Saturday-Sunday. Dance to the beat of your own taiko drum at the Cherry Blossom Festival. Held on downtown’s Sakura Square, the fest celebrates Japanese-American culture in Denver with food, demonstrations and live performances. The main stage on Lawrence Street features drummers, dancers and martial arts, while a smaller stage is set for all kinds of demos: Learn how to use furoshiki cloths, wrap yourself in a kimono properly, do origami or make Spam musubi. Inside the Tri-State/Denver Buddhist Temple, quieter classes take place, like ikebana (flower arranging) and bonsai plant-growing. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Sakura Square, between Larimer and Lawrence and 19th and 20th Streets. Admission is free.
Friday-Sunday. Do a good turn for the environment when Rocky Mountain Theatre for Kids presents two “eco-matinees.” Two of the RMTK’s troupes are encouraging patrons to ride bikes or use public transportation to attend Friday’s 11 a.m. performance. In addition, $5 of each ticket sale will go to the Greater New Orleans Foundation’s Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund. All you have to do is choose which show to see: “Bye Bye Birdie” in Boulder or “The Wizard of Oz” in Denver. Both shows have additional performances over the weekend, too. “Bye Bye Birdie”: 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday. The Magic Playhouse, 5311 Western Ave., Boulder; 303-245-8150. Tickets are $9-$12. “The Wizard of Oz”: 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Kenneth King Performing Arts Center, 855 Lawrence Way, Denver; 303-556-2180. Tickets are $10-$12. Learn more at theaterforkids.net.
Friday-Sunday. The hills are alive with the sound of roaring engines at the 88th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. On Friday, race aficionados can pre-party at Fan Fest in downtown Colorado Springs. Fan Fest features live music, a chili cookoff and a beer garden, plus race vehicles on display and autograph sessions with drivers. Sunday is the big race: Show up early (the road closes at 8 a.m.) to claim a spot and watch as all kinds of vehicles zoom up the mountain. Fan Fest: 5-10 p.m. Friday. Downtown Colorado Springs, Tejon Street between Colorado Avenue and Bijou Street. Race: 9 a.m. Sunday. Pikes Peak Highway. Advance tickets are $40 per person age 10 and older; race-day tickets are $45. Buy tickets at ticketswest.com or call 866-464-2626. Learn more at ppihc.com.
Friday. Space travel. Travel through space and time with “Journey to the Stars,” the latest planetarium show at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, “Journey” explores the life cycle of stars, from their earliest formation to death. Using digital imagery and real pictures from telescopes, the show lets viewers see stars up close – including a good look at Earth’s biggest neighboring star, the sun. Shows run hourly from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. Denver Museum of Nature and Science, 2001 Colorado Blvd.; 303-370-6000. Planetarium tickets are $16 for adults and $10 for students and seniors, and include admission to the museum. Museum members receive a discount. For more information visit dmns.org.
Saturday-Sunday. Hoist a stein with the Colorado Railroad Museum at their German Heritage Festival. The fest features rides on a real steam train, German food, collectibles, live entertainment and more. Kids can make crafts and play games, and grownups can sample “Colorado Railway Station 10,” a beer brewed especially for the Museum by their neighbors at MillerCoors. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Colorado Railroad Museum, 17155 W. 44th Ave., Golden; 800-365-6263. Admission is $20 for adults and $5 for children. Buy tickets and learn more at crrm.org.
-Kathleen St. John