We tell you what to do, where to be, and why for each week of the year.


What: Four by Four by 400: The Biggest “Small” Show on Earth. An eclectic exhibit from the folks at Brainbox Creative, featuring 400 works of art measuring four inches by four inches. Submissions were solicited from a diverse group of people—the only requirement being that the artwork (any medium) fits onto a four-by-four square.
Why: See what happens when artists are forced to think “inside the box.”
Bonus: Stop by the opening reception on Friday at 5 p.m. for live music and truffle-oil seasoned popcorn to accompany your teeny-tiny art viewing (and don’t forget your glasses). Some of the artists will be on hand, and many of the pieces are for sale at affordable prices—perhaps you’ll discover the next Picasso before the art critics send their prices soaring.
Details: Fri 5–11 p.m; Sat–Thu 5–8 p.m. Orange Cat Studios, 2625 Larimer St. Visit www.brainboxcreative.biz.


What: HOPE Day: Every year the students of Colorado Academy’s Club HOPE (Helping Other People Eat) bring about 1,000 homeless or underprivileged persons to their campus to give them a day of good food, good gifts, and good cheer. The students prepare a hearty holiday meal, provide bags of clothing to choose from, hand out toiletries and other necessary items, and offer toys for the children. A bilingual Santa Claus will be on hand, as will medical personnel to help with health questions or needs. The students plan, organize, and execute the entire day, relying on donations and contributions from community members and parents.
Why: Because more than 15,000 Coloradans are homeless this holiday season, and of those with homes, about 12 percent worry where their next meal will come from.
Bonus: The HOPE club accepts donations year-round for this annual service event (14 years running), so no matter what time of year you can afford to give, the money goes directly to buy food, clothes, and toys for next year’s HOPE Day.
Details: Sun 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Colorado Academy, 3800 S. Pierce St. Donations in the form of checks can be mailed to: Students H.O.P.E., c/o Barry Simmons, Colorado Academy, 3800 S. Pierce St., Denver, CO 80235.


What: Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto: World-famous violinist Midori joins with the Colorado Symphony to perform Tchaikovsky’s melodic masterpiece. The evening also includes a CSO premiere of Christopher Theofanidis’ Rainbow Body, winner of the 2003 Masterprize competition.
Why: So you’ve gotten your fill of The Nutcracker in the past couple years….But it just doesn’t feel like Christmas without Tchaikovsky.
Bonus: On Saturday, show up 20 minutes early or stay after the show for an informal talk with Midori, Duain Wolf (conductor), Sharla Nafziger (soprano), and Nina Heebink (mezzo-soprano).
Details: Fri–Sat 7:30 p.m. $15–$69.50. Call 303-623-7876 or visit www.coloradosymphony.org.


What: Holiday Bash & Silent Auction: The Denver Phoenix Club hosts its second annual benefit for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver—a lavish party featuring wine tasting, live music, hors d’oeuvres, and drink specials, at Denver’s swanky Jet Hotel.
Why: December is packed with parties, but this one’s got both class and cause.
Bonus: Round out your holiday gift arsenal with some shopping (bidding) at the silent auction. Highlights include Nuggets and Avs tickets, a little red wagon stocked with liquor, and resort packages to local ski areas.
Details: Thu 7 p.m. 1612 Wazee St. $20–$30. Visit www.denverphoenixclub.com.

Take a Time-Out: The holidays always seem to sneak up on us. Take a few moments to enjoy some wintertime fun amid the chaos: Snag a free Carriage Ride through Olde Golden, Sat–Sun noon–4 p.m., www.goldencochamber.com. Visit the Botanic Gardens’ Blossoms of Light show (and nosh on steaming hot roasted chestnuts) nightly 6–9 p.m., www.botanicgardens.org. Or burn off some holiday cookie calories with a few laps around an Outdoor Ice-Skating rink—daily at: One Boulder Plaza, Boulder, www.bouldericerink.com; the Plaza at Belmar, Lakewood, www.belmarcolorado.com.