It’s never too early to start planning for the holidays, especially if you’re a bargain hunter. Through Oct. 26, participating Hallmark Gold Crown stores are holding an annual Pre-Season Stock-Up Event. During the sale, Hallmark holiday cards (up to $2.99), holiday boxed cards (of equal or lesser value), holiday stationery (from $4.95 to $14.95) and holiday gift wrap (from $1.25 to $9.99) are buy-one-get-one FREE while supplies last. There’s no mixing and matching and the free item must be of equal or lesser value. Some exclusions apply. For locations nationwide, click here. Prices and participation may vary.
If you’re thinking about joining the My Starbucks Rewards program, you’re in for a real treat. Through Nov. 1, when you register your Starbucks gift card, Starbucks will load a FREE drink reward on your card. Then, every time you use your card, you’ll earn a star toward FREE food, drinks and other perks, including a free birthday drink. The offer is not available to current My Starbucks Rewards members — new members only. Limit one offer per person.
Living out in rural El Paso County doesn’t mean there aren’t fun things to do around the holidays. This weekend, catch the FREE Light the Night event, sponsored by the Gathering Stones Community, at the Meridian Ranch Center, 10301 Angeles Road, Peyton. There will be candy and other goodies, face painting, games, jumping castles and more. The fun begins at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25. For more information, call 358-1937.
Youngsters will really dig the next Children’s History Hour, at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25, at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, 215 S. Tajon St. There will be a story time, an archeology activity and a dirt-inspired craft, all geared for ages 2-6. It’s FREE but resservations are required. Call 385-5990 to save your spot.
Dress up your little ones in their cleverest costumes for the annual Halloween Costume Carnival from 4 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 25 in North Cheyenne Cañon Park. Admission is FREE for the whole family. Festivities include: a costume contest with prizes, a haunted trail and a Piñata bash. In addition, tickets will be available for purchase for games, a cake walk, cookie decorating, and a bake sale. Monies raised from ticket sales go to The Friends of Cheyenne Cañon.
The event will be at the Starsmore Discovery Center, 2120 S. Cheyenne Canyon Road. For more information call 385-6086 or go to http://cheyennecanon.org/.
Health screenings can be costly, even if you have insurance. So if cost is a barrier to you getting screened, check out the 9 Health Fair. This FREE health fair offers FREE health screenings to Adults and Kids. Some screenings include- Dental screening, Free flu shots, Breast and PAP screenings, Height/Weight screenings, Skin Cancer screenings, and LOW cost blood draw. For a Complete list of screenings offered visit the 9Health Fair website. Screenings take place at the Mission Medical Center, 2125 E. LaSalle St., from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25. Each participant will have to register to participate in the screening. You can Pre-Register for your screenings online at www.9healthfair.org. If you wish to participate in the LOW cost blood draw you must also pre-register online. For more information, call 219-3402.
Hooked on Books, Southern Colorado’s largest used book store, has lots of great deals on books (including some new). You knew that. But they also have FREE coffee and Wi-Fi. It’s a cozy place to read and write, enjoy a cuppa coffee and use their Wi-Fi for research. In addition to a place to nurture your creativity and reading, there are 200,000 books to peruse. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily (except Sundays) and it’s located at 3918 Maizeland Road. For more information, call 596-1621.
Are you the outdoorsy type, looking for other nature-lovers and wanting to make friends? Then check out the Active Adults Nature Club, hosted by Bear Creek Nature Center. The next gathering is 11 am – 12:30 pm on Saturday, Oct. 25 at the center, 245 Bear Creek Road. Their Rainbow Falls Picnic and Social is the perfect way to start. BYO lunch and meet others in the group. This club is for adults who enjoy being active, love nature, and like to try new things and meet new people. Activities are held each month and vary in interests. It’s FREE to join. No club fee required to participate in club activities.
Individual Dates & Times: *
Oct 25, 2014: 11 am – 12:30 pm (Sat)
For your Halloween party, make this cake that looks like a jack-o’-lantern but is pretty delicious to cut up and eat. The best part: You don’t have to contend with seeds or pumpkin pulp! Start with the cake – you can do a pumpkin cake from scratch if you want to really be in the Halloween mode, but you also can do any flavor you like – spice, yellow, chocolate. Make it from a mix, if you prefer. Bake two cakes in Bundt pans. Cool both cakes on a wire rack. If the flat side of the cakes are too rounded or bumpy, level them off with a knife. Put the two flat sides together, using icing to cement them in place. Voila! You have a pumpkin shape. Place slips of waxed or parchment paper onto a serving platter or pedestal, then place the cake on top of the paper. This will help you keep frosting off the serving dish. Check out the new colored frosting options in the baking aisle of the grocery store. You can make your own icing using the recipe that accompanies the pumpkin cake recipe above or just choose a ready-made white, vanilla or cream cheese frosting and add red and yellow food coloring till you get the desired shade of pumpkin orange. Frost the entire cake. Remove slips of paper from the bottom. Use a flat-bottomed ice cream cone for the pumpkin “stem.” Frost the cone with green icing (again, white icing tinted with green food coloring). If the hole in the middle of your Bundt cake is too big for the cone, you can bridge the gap with a clean disc of cardboard and frost over it before adding the cone. Just remove the cardboard before cutting the cake. Use extra green icing to make leaves and vines. If you want to get really inventive, make a jack-o’-lantern face on the pumpkin cake with black or chocolate icing. for more pumpkin treats, visit Living on the Cheap.
Blow out the candles for great birthday freebies as a member of these online loyalty eClubs. The month of your birthday you’ll receive some sort of email you can exchange for your goodie. Many of these are valid during your entire birthday month, but be sure to read each coupon for the details.
Stargazers should head out to the Star Light Observatory Public Viewing Event, presented by National Space Science & Technology Institute and Star Light-Star Bright Observatory, 2015 Wickes Road, this week. Weather permitting, the Observatory will be open to allow visitors to safely view the Partial Solar Eclipse that will take place 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm on Thursday, Oct. 23. No reservations are required and it’s FREE. A limited number of Solar Eclipse viewing glasses will be available for a $2 donation per glasses in support of the Observatory operation. Please park in the school’s parking lot and walk to the back of the school, next to the playground equipment, to find the Observatory. For more information, call 964-8327.
If you had a baby Monday, Oct. 20, 2014, Voya Financial is offering your baby a $500 mutual fund investment, for FREE, as a head start on his or her retirement savings. According to the FAQ, parents have until Dec. 19, 2014, to register their child. Parents do not have to make an investment or be members. There is no cost to this and parents may, but are not required to, add to the investment. This offer is being made to every baby born Oct. 20 in the United States. So if you’ve got an October 20th baby, you’re in luck!