Alternative things to do for Homecoming

Homecoming is great, if you’re into parades and 5Ks and football. But maybe you’re not. Maybe you’re rankled by running, peeved by parades and won’t stand for the sport. Maybe you don’t ever want to come home. And if that’s the case, here are some suggestions for you.

…you could take the Fort Collins Ghost Tour

This is some scary stuff, guys. Kickstart your October—nationally lauded as the spookiest month of the year—with the FoCo Ghost Tour. This thing is legit, with a ban on kids less than 12 years old and a requirement that people younger than 18 years old are accompanied by their parents, since this tour is too scary for even unattended high school juniors. (Or, if you have kids, a family-friendly tour is available as well.)

The website, www.HauntedFortCollins.com, says, “Our tour guides take you on a journey into and under historic and haunted buildings and sites, and regale you with stories about ghostly sightings, local legends, and strange happenings.” Tours are Friday and Saturday evenings, and tickets are available online.

Cost: $15
More information available at www.HauntedFortCollins.com

…you could make cookies

Who doesn’t like cookies? Please raise your hand. OK, now you look like an idiot, which is what you get for not liking cookies. For the rest of you: there used to be a bakery called Krista’s Kitchen in Wisconsin, which unfortunately closed down when a truck hit the owner’s uninsured house, forcing her to close up shop. But first, this top secret recipe was stolen just for you.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips

Mix solids and liquids in separate bowls, then blend together.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

…you could crash Windsor High School’s Homecoming

Between puzzling over the stupid theme, saying yes to awful dates (in case no one else asks) and cheering themselves hoarse for their football team, everyone remembers their high school homecomings fondly.

I can vouch for this, having spent one waiting for my friend to emerge from the bathroom all evening, two eagerly waiting for the event to be over and one asleep on the floor of my bedroom, so I’m all about high school homecoming.

If you’re feeling nostalgic, or at least masochistic, you can crash Windsor High School’s Homecoming this weekend instead of attending your own. Nothing blends in with a room full of Wizards like a CSU ram.

Cost: Your dignity

…you could play Mafia

Easily the best game ever, Mafia combines medical science, murder and anonymity. Make it a drinking game too and you’ll have the best of all worlds.

Sit a group of people—more than 10 is best—in a circle.  Have one person (the orchestrator) select the doctor, the detective and the murderer without telling anyone else. Everyone else is the townsfolk. Everyone closes their eyes while the murderer chooses someone to kill.

The murderer then closes their eyes while the doctor chooses someone to save, and the process is repeated with the detective, who selects someone to send to prison. Everyone then opens their eyes; whoever the murderer killed is informed of the fact by the orchestrator, and then removed from play unless they were saved by the doctor.

Whoever the detective chose is also removed from play as a prisoner. If you have enough players, everyone can vote on a person to be imprisoned as well. The game continues in this pattern until all players have been eliminated or until the murderer is caught.

To make it a drinking game, have everyone take a shot whenever they guess wrong.

Cost: Free

…you could go sky gazing

Tonight at Fossil Creek, Fort Collins offers its monthly sky gazing event from 8 to 10 p.m. According to www.FCGov.com, “Each month, volunteers from the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society provide telescopes for your viewing pleasure, and share their knowledge about stars, planets, galaxies and more.”

If there is anything cooler than casual astronomy, we don’t want to hear about it. Dress warmly, and they suggest you bring a chair to sit on. The event is free, and no registration is needed. The group meets in the parking lot of Fossil Creek Reservoir at 8 p.m.

Cost: Free

…you could go bowling

Sure, you could do this any weekend, but when else can you expect everyone else to be caught up attending Homecoming events? Plus, at Chipper’s Lanes on West Horsetooth Road., there are some deals you might not be aware of, such as Happy Hour every night (except Saturdays) from 4 to 6 p.m. and $2 games, shoes and drafts on Sundays after 9 p.m.

Or, for something a little closer to campus, Chipper’s College Street location will give you the same deal Sunday, plus a karaoke bonus or Cosmic Bowl any day of the week after 9 p.m.  That’s where there’s a lot of black lights and everything glows in the dark, for the record, which is the best thing you’ve ever heard of.

For more information go to www. ChippersLanes.com

…you could clean the Poudre River

If Homecoming really isn’t your bag, or if your pride extends beyond the reaches of CSU into the Fort Collins community, you could get down with your civic duty and come help clean the Poudre.

“Save the Poudre, the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department and additional co-sponsors invite the community to help pick-up trash along the Poudre River and trail. Volunteers will pick up trash along the river from Shields to Timberline,” says www.FCGov.com.

Volunteers are advised to wear pants, closed-toe shoes and gloves because, you know, trash.  Trash bags are provided, but bring some water. Obviously, this event is free (no one would pay to pick up trash) and no registration is required.

Cost: Free

…you could watch elk get up in each other’s faces

Head up to Rocky Mountain National Park to get an eyeful of fall color—excluding the evergreens—and watch elk fight each other for mating privileges. The elk population numbers near 1,000 in The Park, and according to its website, they’re not hard to find.

“As Autumn approaches, elk descend from the high country to montane meadows for the annual breeding season,” the site said.

Throw in a fall fighting frolic and you’re good to go. Keep your distance, and pack a lunch.  Entry is $20 for motor vehicles and $10 per person on foot, bikes and motorcycles.

Cost: $10 to 20