What: Prairie Dog Day: While Pennsylvania and the rest of the country are waiting for Punxsutawney Phil to spot his shadow, the Denver Zoo celebrates Groundhog Day with a Western twist. Spend the afternoon paying homage to prairie dogs and learning how these little furballs are a vital part of the prairie ecosystem. Visit information booths and a Native American drumming and dancing demonstration.
Why: Whether you love these adorable critters or hate how this rodent is tearing up your backyard, it’s hard to deny that prairie dogs are a much cuter mascot than groundhogs.
Bonus: Field researcher John Hoogland has studied prairie dogs for more than 35 years and at 1 p.m., he shares his knowledge at a limited-seating conservation lecture. RSVP by calling 303-376-6729.
Details: Sat noon-4 p.m. Denver Zoo, 2300 Steele St. Free with admission. Call 303-376-4800 or visit www.denverzoo.org.
What: Super Bowl 5K: Granted, we’d prefer to see the Broncos suiting up this Sunday, but there’s no way that we’d miss watching the Giants and the Patriots (ok, the commercials) in Super Bowl XLII. As a pre-game warm-up and before you retire to a La-Z-Boy for the rest of the day, join football fans in Wash Park for a morning 5K race. Part of the nationwide PACE (Prostate Awareness and Cancer Education) Race series, proceeds benefit the Prostrate Cancer Education Council.
Why: One in six men will fight prostate cancer during their lifetime. Whether you run, walk, or stumble across the finish line, you’ll help raise awareness for early detection and research.
Bonus: Sunday is the second biggest food consumption day of the year (behind Turkey Day) and a single serving of Buffalo wings carries about 964 caloriesand that’s before you dip them in blue cheese dressing. Since you only burn about 85 calories per hour watching TV, logging in some early morning exercise means guilt-free noshing for the rest of the day.
Details: Race start: Sun 9:15 a.m. Washington Park, corner of E. Louisiana Ave. and S. Franklin St. $15-30. Call 303-316-4685 or visit www.pacerace.org.
What: An Evening with The Onion Editors: If your fourth-grade geography lessons are a distant memory, The Onion editors are ready to give you a refresher course with their best-selling Our Dumb World: The Onion’s Atlas of the Planet Earth, Seventy-third Edition. Co-hosted by Neighborhood Flix and the Tattered Cover, the evening will feature a presentation, Q&A session, and book-signing. And yes, they are kidding (for the most part).
Why: This irreverent tome updates the boring atlas that is still gathering dust on your parent’s bookshelf and promises “fewer clouds on maps” and “curvier latitude lines.”
Bonus: If you haven’t had your fill of sarcasm and dry wit at the end of the night, head over to the after party at Rock Bar. 3015 E. Colfax Ave.
Details: Thu 7-9 p.m. Neighborhood Flix Cinema & Café, 2510 E. Colfax Ave. Free. Call 303-777-FLIX or visit www.tatteredcover.com.
What: Third Annual Pajama Party: Have you ever wondered what Denverites wear to bed? To find out, don your favorite pair of PJs and join the mayor and 500 other people to help raise funds for Denver’s Road Home, a 10 year plan to end homelessness. Stuff yourself on comfort food by Three Tomatoes Catering, listen to music from Full Stop Funk, and bid on silent auctions items like airline tickets and jammies signed by the Rockies.
Why: Mayor Hick wore lion slippers and a 25-year-old nightshirt last year. There’s no telling what you’ll see him in this year.
Bonus: More than a dozen downtown hotels will donate all or a portion of the night’s revenue to Denver’s Road Home, so book a pre-Valentine’s Day getaway at the Marriott Residence Inn, Oxford Hotel, Ritz-Carlton, and others.
Details: Thu 5:30-11 p.m. Marriott Residence Inn Denver City Center, 1725 Champa St. $100-250. Visit www.denversroadhome.org.