No, my dinosaur-fiend friend, there should not be Velociraptors along the banks of the Mississippi this weekend. Thank goodness. But there will be raptors from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday when the TreeHouse Wildlife Center brings owls and perhaps a kestrel and a hawk to the Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower, 435 Confluence Tower Dr. in Hartford.
For those needing tamer fare ...
Hush, the game is on
One might expect a mixed-allegiance crowd at the Scott VFW Post 4183 Sunday night. The Post, at 1516 Old Illinois 158 just outside the gates of Scott Air Force Base, is hosting a Super Bowl 50 event and invites you to bring your own snacks. They’ll have drink specials and attendance prizes.
Otherwise, catch it from your own couch at 5:30 p.m. Sunday on CBS when the Carolina Panthers formally meet the Denver Broncos. Go... well, my team was eliminated in the Wild Card. Let’s just enjoy one more football game this season, shall we?
Hundreds of balancing acts
More than 800 gymnasts from across the country will be twisting and turning the weekend away at the Gateway Challenge this weekend at the Gateway Convention Center in Collinsville. It’s the 19th such event, and the only sanctioned event in Southern Illinois for floor exercise, uneven bars, vault and balance beam and more.
One of the local gymnasts is Taylor Dittmar, a junior at O’Fallon High School and a qualifier for the 2015 Junior Olympic Nationals.
The meet starts Friday and continues from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $10 adults, $5 for those 12 and younger.
The ‘Other’ Stephensons
How many folks did the Stephenson House have? Find out starting this weekend at the landmark home at 409 S. Buchanan St. in Edwardsville. The living history museum has a special exhibit called “The Other Family: Indentured Servants at Stephenson House” every weekend this month, which will also study slavery in Illinois. The home is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 3 p.m. Sundays. Admission is $6 adults, $3 for children 6 to 12 and free for children 5 and under. Call 618-692-1818 or go to www.stephensonhouse.org for more information.
Make a date with a book
There is a picture on Facebook that makes me very, very happy. It’s of “THOUSANDS OF USED BOOKS” that are waiting for me — ME! — at the St. Andrew’s Book Sale from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
OK fine, you can go too.
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, at 406 Hillsboro Ave., in Edwardsville estimates it has 20,000 books in children’s, current fiction, mysteries, history, literature and more. They’ve got more than 2,000 children’s books and a 1,000 cookbooks. Most books are less than $2, says organizer Cindy Reinhardt, who does the sale four times a year with others including her husband, a retired librarian.
“The librarian part of him insists on things being really well organized,” she said.
Reinhardt says any money raised in the sale goes to maintain the building that is 99 years old this spring.
“If anyone’s lived in an old house they know ... but they’re so precious aren’t they?” she says.
Call 618-656-1929 for more information or to learn how to donate to the next sale.
Show your heart some love
Before you get all romantic next weekend, perhaps this weekend you can make sure your physical heart is good.
February is heart health awareness month, and Prairie Heart Institute, the HSHS Southern Illinois Division and St. Clair Square are offering an event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the mall to check your ticker, learn some new exercise moves and more.
In addition to the free glucose and cholesterol screenings, visitors will be able to talk to clinicians about improving their health.
Sonya Jones, a finalist on television’s “The Biggest Loser,” will provide an exercise demonstration and MedStar Ambulance will give demonstrations on the hand-only CPR.
For more information, go to www.steliz.org.