Best Bets for August 17

August 16 2007, 10:00 PM

—PARTICIPATE—

WHAT: Denver Playground Master Plan: Your chance to chime in, folks; Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) is requesting that parents and children help evaluate the quality of Denver's 150 playgrounds in categories such as safety, accessibility, and maintenance. Online surveys take a few minutes, and your feedback is essential to DPR's renovation of parks and playgrounds. DPR and the city council have hired leading national environmental design firm Moor, Iacofano, Goltsman to implement the results of this collaboration between citizens and the city, hoping the program will serve as a role model to other cities.
WHY: There are 143,000 children under 18 in the city—when you're living an urban lifestyle, city parks and playgrounds are a major factor in play time—so get your two cents in.
BONUS: In a few years, you and your kids can see if your input was integrated into playground revisions.
DETAILS: Through Sept. 15. Visit www.denvergov.org or call 311 to fill out your survey.

—CHARITY SPORTS—

WHAT: Kick-A-Ball, Make-A-Wish—Third Annual Charity Adult Kickball Tournament: Register through September 1 to relive your glory days on the playground in the grownup version of everybody's favorite game. Teams of up to 15 players are guaranteed at least two games, and everyone gets a sweet t-shirt, so get your group together and your game faces on.
WHY: All proceeds benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Colorado, which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.
BONUS: Worry not, sideline lurkers: Neither experience nor athletic ability required. Just a capacity for free food and beer, and a good bottle of sunblock.
DETAILS: Tournament Sep. 22, Sat 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (Registration through Sep. 1 for individual and corporate teams.) Dick's Sporting Goods Park, 6400 Quebec St. $300 per team (up to 15 players). Call 303-534-2924 or 303-824-5340, or visit www.kickaball-makeawish.org.

—FUND-RAISER—

WHAT: Pancakes For a Good Cause: Pablo's Coffee on Sixth is flipping flapjacks and rolling sausages Sunday morning to raise money for Denver's African Community Center, a refugee resettlement program helping newcomers acculturate, recover from trauma, and achieve economic self-sufficiency in American society.
WHY: You're a Sunday brunch-junkie anyway. Why not carb up for a solid cause this week?
BONUS: Meet, greet, and network with fellow charitable-minded breakfast lovers: Last year, owner Craig Conner expected 50 people to show (mostly regular customers), but the block-long line drew attention and cars began stopping. Conner ended up feeding hundreds a tasty breakfast through the afternoon.
DETAILS: Sun 8 a.m. Pablo's Coffee, 630 E. Sixth Ave. $5. Call 303-744-3323 or visit www.pabloscoffee.gourmetfoodmall.com.

—KIDS—

WHAT: Zip A De Do At The Zoo—Back to School Night: The Denver Zoo is hosting a learning-intensive fundraiser this Friday to give kids a little science boost before the school year gets underway. Animal shows, African drumming, face-painting, arts and crafts, karaoke with Radio Disney, and goodies from Breckenridge Brewery and other restaurant faves make for a worthy night out for the whole fam.
WHY: Proceeds go toward the Red Apple Scholarship Fund, which provides opportunities for low-income families to take advantage of the educational programs available at the zoo, such as after-school sessions, overnights, and summer camps. Red Apple has helped more than 85,000 people (ages 3 to 100) since its creation in 1998.
BONUS: Can't let go of that pesky "what if" in your career choice? ("What if I had followed my childhood dream and become an elephant trainer?") Ponder no more, because this night is all about kids learning: Learning what a day in the life of a zookeeper, veterinarian, or animal trainer is like. Find out how it feels to train elephants, feed baby parakeets, or treat gorillas. And wonder why you're stuck in the office all day.
DETAILS: Fri 6:30–9:30 p.m. Denver Zoo, 2300 Steele St. $15–$35. Call 303-376-4800 or visit www.denverzoo.org.