Coming Attractions

A dining tour of downtown Denver

Program launched in 2010 expecting to add to options

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When you live in a place long enough, you develop a routine of going to the same places for a bite to eat, or a quick drink.

But Megan Bucholz wanted to show residents and visitors alike that Denver’s dining scene is a dynamic and delicious place to eat. To that end, she started Local Table Tours in 2010 with the goal of highlighting some of best bites.

“All our guides are really great, and connect to the food industry,” Bucholz said with a laugh. “But sometimes its fun to get a guide way cooler than I am.”

That’s why this December, Local Table Tours has enlisted Orion Carrington as their newest tour guide. Carrington is known for hosting the Comcast television show, “Let’s Eat,” in addition to emceeing a variety of events around town including the Denver Burger Battle and RAW Artist — Denver. He’s had segments aired on CNN Travel Channel and interviewed cast members from HBO’s “True Blood” and AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”

As Bucholz explains, Carrington will take tourists to a variety of LoDo stops, including Hearth & Dram, Lucky Pie, Euclid Hall, Zoe Ma Ma, Coohills, The Kitchen, Kachina, Poka Lola Social Club, Tap 14 and Vesta.

Moving into 2018, Bucholz is looking to bring coffee and cocktail tours to the area as well.

“We’re always looking for new spins on the tour to develop,” she said. “So often people go to the same place over and over, but we want them to think outside the box.”

Carrington will host a selection of culinary tours in December and January. Custom tour dates and times are also available upon request. For more information, or to book a tour, call 303-909-5747 or visit www.localtabletours.com.

Celebrate the winter solstice outside

Anyone who has visited Lakewood’s Bear Creek Lake Park knows it provides some truly spectacular views, not only of wildlife and the metro area, but also the night sky.

Those night sky views make the park, located at 15600 W. Morrison Road, the perfect place to celebrate the first official day of winter at the Winter Solstice Hike, from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 21.

The evening event features a short night hike, followed by a merry gathering around a large campfire for a marshmallow roast and traditional burning of the yule log. Attendees should bring their own mug to enjoy a hot drink.

For the details, visit www.lakewood.org/BCLPEvents.

Happy bassmas, everyone

It’s pretty standard to go to a coffee shop or bar and hear the music of a singer, accompanied by just an acoustic guitar. It’s a little less common to see a singer and upright bass.

But, if you come up to Kachina Southwestern Grill, 10600 Westminster Blvd., from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 21, that’s what you’ll see when Nalani performs.

A musician who blends classic and contemporary covers of jazz, soul and blues, as well as her own writings, Nalani brings an approach to music that you won’t see all that often. She often brings in guest musicians with her, so you never know what the show will be like until she starts playing. For some pre-holiday fun, this is an event to not be missed.

A visit to www.kachinawestminster.com will provide all the info you need.

Martinis with the Griswolds

Chevy Chase’s Clark Griswold is perhaps the only person who has a worse time at Christmas than Charlie Brown. But his misadventures are hilarious every time.

On Thursday and Friday, Dec. 21 and 22, people of drinking age and older can head to the University of Colorado South Denver, 10035 S. Peoria St. in Lone Tree, to catch the holiday classic and get their drink on at Movie and Martini: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the movie begins at 7:30 p.m.

The all-inclusive evening includes two drinks (signature cocktails, beer or wine), a dinner menu prepared by the in-house culinary team, movie (with popcorn) and the classic film on the big screen. Attendees who arrive early can play trivia to win prizes before the movie begins.

For tickets and information, visit www.southdenver.cu.edu/events/event/national-lampoons-christmas-vacation/.

The best Christmas music, live

For my money, the soundtrack to 1965’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is the best soundtrack for the holiday season. The arrangements and compositions of West Coast jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi beautifully captured the youthful and melancholy spirit of Charles Schulz’s comic and characters.

Music fans who feel the same as I do can see this timeless music performed by the Annie Booth Trio, featuring special guest Max Wellman on vocals, Patrick McDevitt on bass, and Alejandro Castaño on drums. Booth, a Denver-based jazz pianist, composer, arranger, and educator, has received numerous awards for her playing and contributions to the local jazz scene.

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” with Annie Booth is at 5:30 and 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 23 and 24, at Dazzle Denver, 1512 Curtis St. in downtown Denver. Visit www.dazzledenver.com for all you need to know.

Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. A community editor with Colorado Community Media, he can be reached creader@coloradocommunitymedia.com.

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