Saturday. Salute Veteran’s Day with a full morning of fun at the Denver Veteran’s Day 5K Fun Run/Walk and the Veteran’s Day Parade. The celebration begins early with the 5K Fun Run — the starting line is on the Auraria Campus. Registration fees benefit the Metro State Army ROTC Running Club. After the run, head toward the state capitol for the Veteran’s Day Parade as it winds around downtown. This year’s parade marks the 150th anniversary of the National Guard — expect cannon and gun salutes, a fly-over and plenty of marchers from civilian and military groups. 5K: Starting gun at 8 a.m. Auraria Campus, 1000 Larimer St. Registration is $30, or $20 for veterans. Children age 16 and younger are free. Visit dvd5k.com for more details. Parade 10 a.m. Downtown Denver, between Broadway and Welton Street and 14th and 17th Streets. Admission is free. Learn more at denvergov.org/veterans.
Thursday. In celebration of Veteran’s Day, national parks throughout the United States will admit visitors free of charge. Anyone can take advantage of the deal at any National Park Service site. In Colorado, that means free entrance to more than 10 monuments, parks and historic sites, from Mesa Verde National Park in Cortez to Bent’s Old Fort in La Junta. Rocky Mountain National Park is included in the offer, too. Take advantage if you can — Thursday will be the NPS’s last free-entrance day in 2010. All day Thursday at national parks nationwide. For more information, including a full list of NPS sites in Colorado, visit www.nps.gov.
Saturday. Learn about the wide world of science at the University of Colorado’s “CU Wizards” program. The free monthly series is designed for kids in grades 5 to 9, and uses entertaining lectures to teach kids about different areas of scientific study. This month’s topic is “The Magic of Chemistry, featuring a demonstration and talk by CU professor Veronica Bierbaum. The series runs through June; upcoming lectures include “Climate Change in a Bottle” (December) and “The Chemistry of Cooking” (January). 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Cristol Chemistry Building, room 140, on the University of Colorado campus, Boulder. Admission is free. For more information, visit colorado.edu/physics.
Wednesdays through November. Pick up a new instrument at the Wednesday Ukulele Sing and Strum-A-Long at the Children’s Museum of Denver. Presented by local folk-music organization Swallow Hill, the weekly lesson invites kids and their grownups to give the mighty ukulele a try. Swallow Hill brings along plenty of ukuleles for students to use. The 30-minute group lessons are included in museum admission, and are best for kids age 5 and older. Get there early; the classes are first-come, first-served. 6-6:30 p.m. Wednesdays through November. Children’s Museum of Denver, 2121 Children’s Museum Drive; 303-433-7444. Admission is $8 for guests ages 2-59, $6 for 1-year-olds and seniors ages 60 and older. Visit mychildsmuseum.org for more information.
Friday-Sunday. Snowhounds, this one’s for you: Just in time for ski season, the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Expo takes over the Colorado Convention Center. For three days, the Convention Center will be awash in snowsports vendors, from gear retailers to ski resorts. There’s plenty to do besides shop, though. Test your strength at the ELITEAM Fitness Challenge, watch trampoline demonstrations of sick tricks and see the latest slopeside fashions at the WSI Sports Fashion Show. Kids have their own place to play, too, at the Breckenridge Kids Snowpark. Noon to 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th St.; 303-228-8000. Tickets are $12 for adults, free for children ages 12 and younger with a paid adult. Learn more at bewisports.com.
-Kathleen St. John. Photo: Run Georgia