Christine's Weekend Picks for 12/9-12/11

The Cape Cod Kidz What to Do on the Weekend Guide

Featuring Christine's top picks for December 9 through 12, 2011

By Christine Chapman

I can't help it. It feels way too weird to be just over two weeks away from Christmas! It doesn't seem possible when there's barely any snow on the ground and most of us are walking around as if it's spring outside! I saw a man walking around in shorts on my way to a doctor's appointment just yesterday!

I guess it allows me to procrastinate, or to decide to celebrate the spirit of Christmas and not bother spending a whole lot of money-this economy can be humbling to many of us-but it's been a great learning experience for so many of us, too-no need to go overboard because the stores seem to be advertising sale prices. The holidays don't have to be about gifts...after all.

Once the sun sets, take the family out to see some festive holiday lights.

My family's alternative to gifts this year is to commit to getting dates on the calendar to bond with friends and family we love and miss. So if you're thinking about doing the same, as the holidays approach, there are any number of ways you can enjoy time with friends and family while doing something active and fun...together. 

Weekend-long activities:

  • Chatham Historical Society's Annual Hearthwarming 1:00PM - 4:00PM on Friday and Saturday. The Atwood House Museum in Chatham. Join us in a two day celebration of the holidays "Atwood House-style". On Friday, spend a relaxing night enjoying Christmas decorations and music while strolling through our galleries (look into our old house to see a new antique toy display!), enjoying hot cider and treats. The best part of our Hearthwarming this year? You can take part in all of these fun activities while we take care of wrapping your holiday gifts! The Atwood House volunteers will be available to wrap your stash of holiday gifts from home- all in beautiful bright papers and bows!

    On Saturday the festivities continue with a special visit from Mrs. Claus. She is always happy to pose with youngsters for pictures in our antique sleigh. Children can have fun exploring our galleries and making special crafts while mom and dad peruse our gift shop sales and new exhibits.

    Saturday afternoon, visitors can enjoy live organ music and a fashion demonstration by Printed Village scarf company representative, Jan McEachron, before enjoying Christmas caroling by the Chatham Music Club which will take place at 3:00 pm. The Hearthwarming is an open-house event, so admission to the museum is free!

  • 3rd Annual Festival of Trees 10:00AM - 3:00PM, December 9 and 10, Friday and Saturday. Free admission. Special Saturday Story Hour @11 a.m. for ages 3 and up: Featuring Sara Hoagland Hunter's book "The Lighthouse Santa" at Osterville Historical Museum in Osterville.

  • Heritage Gardens Aglow Annual Celebration of Lights 5:00PM - 9:00PM all weekend. The museum's buildings and grounds will sparkle with festive lights and decorations and Old St. Nick will hold court in the museum's Ford Model T (as his sleigh is in the shop). There will also be a gingerbread house display and kids' holiday crafts area. Tickets are $7/member adults, $4/member children ages 3 to 17, $10/ non-member adults, $5 member children ages 3 to 17, and free for children age 2 and under. Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich.

  • Cape Cod Enchanted Village 5:00PM - 9:00PM at The Cape Codder Resort & Spa in Hyannis. 10th annual event. Come bring the kids to see a magnificent display of more than 100,000 lights, animated reindeer and more. In addition, carolers and Santa Fri-Sat from 5:30 to 8:30 and Sun from 5 to 7 thru 12/18. Lights remain on display through January 2, 2012. As you approach our courtyard each night at dusk, you will be dazzled by the glow of more than 100,000 lights. Topiary animals will greet you as you make your way past rows of miniature Christmas Trees and Santa's Reindeer to a Santa's Village reminiscent of an old fashioned Enchanted Village. On Fridays and Saturdays from 5:30pm to 8:30pm and on Sundays from 5pm to 7pm, strolling carolers will walk among the visitors, spreading holiday spirit through song. And, back by popular demand, Santa will be taking some time out of his busy schedule to visit us at the Cape Codder! Children are welcome to sit on his lap to tell him their holiday wishes. Hot apple cider, hot chocolate and cookies (available for purchase in the Hearth 'n Kettle) may be enjoyed by the glow of the Cape Codder's bonfire, while children roast marshmallows and sing along with the carolers (weather permitting). The centerpiece of the Enchanted Village will be a 12 foot tall "Giving Tree" with a 3.5 foot star on top. Guests to the Enchanted Village are encouraged to bring NEW, unwrapped gifts or Gift Cards or non-perishable food to place under the tree. All donations will be given to Independence House in Hyannis. Last year, the "Giving Tree" yielded over $10,000 in food, toys, and gift cards for Independence House!

Treat the whole family to a live show as "Madeline's Christmas" premieres this weekend. HJT photo.

Here are some great things to consider on Friday December 9, 2011

  • HYCC Stroller Skating 9:30AM - 10:30AM at The Hyannis Youth & Community Center in Hyannis. All levels of skating ability are welcome! We'll help you get started! Kid-Friendly Music: We'll lower the volume to a level that is acceptable for babies' ears! This is a great way for new moms and caregivers to get a workout that offers aerobic strength training and fun interaction with their babies, older children and other moms!! EVERY FRIDAY starting November 11th! 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. ADMISSION IS JUST $5 (includes your adult skate rental!)Bring your older kids! Family Admission is $10 Child Skate Rentals are just $2 during Stroller Skating.

  • Preschool Storytime is at10:30AM at Eastham Public Library in Eastham for ages 2 - 5 will include stories, fingerplays, songs, silliness and a craft. All are welcome.

  • Toddler Town will happen from 10:30AM - 1:00PM at Wellfleet Public Library in Wellfleet. Join us for stories and crafts at 10:30am and lots of fun in our "indoor gym" at 11am!

  • Critter Capers 10:30AM - 11:00AM at Green Briar Nature Center in East Sandwich. Families are invited to drop by for a half hour visit with a Thornton W. Burgess Society naturalist and one of the resident animals at the nature center. Learn about life cycles, habits and habitats. This program, which is offered every Friday morning, is suitable for children ages 3 and up with an adult. Advance registration is not required. Free to Society members, $2 per person for non-members.

  • Holly Jolly Time! 10:30AM at Buttonwood Park Zoo in New Bedford. Join Santa's elf in creating holiday crafts that will make great gifts for parents and grandparents. Each week will feature two different holiday crafts. Program includes: two crafts, a holiday snack and zoo admission.
    Please Note: Space for Holly Jolly Time is limited. Zoo Members: $7 per child; Non-Members: $10 per child.

  • Provincetown Children's Theater presents "The Snowman in the Dunes" at 6:00 PM at Provincetown Theater in Provincetown.

  • Rock Night at HYCC (Grades 3-7 only) 7:15 PM - 9:15 PM at Hyannis Youth & Community Center in Hyannis-a favorite for skaters in grades 3-7-get those skates on and skate to whatever is popular in rock and roll these days!

  • HJT presents "Madeline's Christmas" - A Musical 7:30 PM Enjoy the Madeline Christmas story, in musical form! Books and lyrics by Jennifer Kirkeby, Music by Shirley Mier. Based on the book by Ludwig Bemelmans. Directed with musical direction by Robert Wilder. Choreography by Suzette Hutchinson. Sounds like great fun at Harwich Junior Theatre in W. Harwich.

Saturday December 10, 2011 has a lot going on, too!

  • Breakfast with Santa 8:00AM - 11:00AM is happening at Camp Lyndon in Sandwich.

  • Doughnuts with Santa 9:00AM Enjoy the North Pole's favorite pastry! Gift from Santa, train ride and admission to the Zoo for the day is included in program price. Don't forget to bring your camera to take a picture with Santa! Participants must pre- register and pay in advance by visiting www.bpzoo.org or calling (508) 991-4556 x 18. Please Note: Professional photos will not be provided at these events. We invite you to bring your own camera if you wish to take a photo with Santa. Buttonwood Park Zoo in New Bedford.

  • Girls and Dolls Afternoon Christmas Tea 11:00AM - 12:30PM: $18 adults; $12 girls. Advance ticket registration is required. Call 508-385-3434. Also, the Village Tea Room will be staying open until 5 p.m. on Tuesdays to allow teachers to stop by after school for a relaxing time of tea and dessert at their Traditional Afternoon Tea. Visit www.borsarigallerycapecod.com. Borsari Gallery Cape Cod & Village Tea Room in Dennis.

  • Live Animal Story Time 10:30AM - 11:00AM Drop by and join a naturalist for a lively story of "Peter Rabbit" and friends and a visit with one of the animals featured in the day's story. Suitable for families with children ages 3 and up. Advance registration is not required. Green Briar Nature Center in East Sandwich.

  • Milk and Cookies with Santa 1:00PM and 3:00PM. Enjoy cookies and milk with Santa before he makes his annual trip. Don't forget to bring your camera to take a picture with Santa! Gift from Santa, train ride and admission to the zoo for the day is included in program price. Participants must pre-register and pay in advance by visiting www.bpzoo.org or by calling (508) 991-4556 x 18. Buttonwood Park Zoo in New Bedford.

  • Nauset Model Railroad Club "Magical" Open House 1:00PM - 4:00PM. There is something magical about trains at Christmastime, as visitors will discover at the Nauset Model Railroad Club this holiday season. The club is hosting public Open House events from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturdays, November 26 and December 3, 10, 17 and 31, at its location in the lower level of Hilltop Plaza on Route 6A in Orleans. Admission is free. Nauset Model Railroad Club in Orleans.

  • Check out Dramafun's "Willy Wonka

    Provincetown Children's Theater presents "The Snowman in the Dunes" 6:00PM. This family musical has endeared itself to the Outer Cape community over the past two years. Originally a short play, Snowman tells the story of Yeti, the Abominable Snowman, who moves from the Himalayas to Provincetown to find his dream-acceptance and friendship. Yeti moves into a dune shack just before Christmas and meets two kids whose mother, Mrs. Galilee, runs the Sea Glass Inn. Mrs. Galilee has no time for "monsters in the dunes" because the bank is foreclosing on the inn while her wife is deployed overseas in Afghanistan. Will the family be able to save the inn? Will Yeti become the friend he yearns to be? Will the Evil Banker remain... evil? And will the magic and spirit of Christmas prevail and save the day? All these questions will be answered in The Snowman in the Dunes with the help of the audience and some dancing snowflakes. Provincetown Theater in Provincetown.

  • Dramafun presents "Willy Wonka Jr." 7:00PM - 8:15PM. Join Charlie Bucket on his adventures through Willy Wonka's world famous Chocolate Factory! From the mysterious Oompa Loompas to a handful of greedy children, the cast of hilarious characters will bring this delicious musical to life just in time for the holidays. The Dramafun Players present Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka Jr. on Saturday, December 10th @ 7pm and Sunday, December 11th at 2pm at The Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School, 220 Sandwich Road in Bourne. $10 Tickets are available at www.dramafun.com or at the door.

  • Public Skate 7:00PM - 9:00PM. Head out to the Hyannis Youth & Community Center in Hyannis for this awesome family time.

Santa is going to be stuffed! Cookies, doughnuts AND breakfast!

And for Sunday December 11, 2011:

  • Milk and Cookies with Santa 1:00 PM Enjoy cookies and milk with Santa before he makes his annual trip. Don't forget to bring your camera to take a picture with Santa! Gift from Santa, train ride and admission to the zoo for the day is included in program price. Participants must pre-register and pay in advance by visiting www.bpzoo.org or by calling (508) 991-4556 x 18. Please Note: Professional photos will not be provided at these events. We invite you to bring your own camera if you wish to take a photo with Santa. Buttonwood Park Zoo in New Bedford.

  • HJT presents "Madeline's Christmas" - A Musical 2:00PM. Enjoy the Madeline Christmas story, in musical form! Books and lyrics by Jennifer Kirkeby, Music by Shirley Mier. Based on the book by Ludwig Bemelmans. Directed with musical direction by Robert Wilder. Choreography by Suzette Hutchinson. Sounds like great fun at Harwich Junior Theatre in W. Harwich.

  • Dramafun presents "Willy Wonka Jr." 2:00PM - 3:15PM. Join Charlie Bucket on his adventures through Willy Wonka's world famous Chocolate Factory! From the mysterious Oompa Loompas to a handful of greedy children, the cast of hilarious characters will bring this delicious musical to life just in time for the holidays. The Dramafun Players present Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka Jr. on Saturday, December 10th @ 7pm and Sunday, December 11th at 2pm at The Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School, 220 Sandwich Road in Bourne. $10 Tickets are available at www.dramafun.com or at the door.

  • Provincetown Children's Theater presents "The Snowman in the Dunes" 6:00PM. This family musical has endeared itself to the Outer Cape community over the past two years. Originally a short play, Snowman tells the story of Yeti, the Abominable Snowman, who moves from the Himalayas to Provincetown to find his dream-acceptance and friendship. Yeti moves into a dune shack just before Christmas and meets two kids whose mother, Mrs. Galilee, runs the Sea Glass Inn. Mrs. Galilee has no time for "monsters in the dunes" because the bank is foreclosing on the inn while her wife is deployed overseas in Afghanistan. Will the family be able to save the inn? Will Yeti become the friend he yearns to be? Will the Evil Banker remain... evil? And will the magic and spirit of Christmas prevail and save the day? All these questions will be answered in The Snowman in the Dunes with the help of the audience and some dancing snowflakes.
    Provincetown Theater in Provincetown.

Enjoy these weeks, as the Christmas lights and the decorations greet you as you drive past holiday-dressed homes...and don't forget the activities that can be fun as the holidays approach-and cost effective at home, too! This year, my little girl and I are going to bake. I'm not a great baker but I can follow a recipe so we're going to bake and wrap little cookie packs and get the house smelling like Christmas and then share all that Christmas sweetness with our loved ones...in place of gifts. It's a great thing to do...because it's about making memories and having fun bonding...as a family.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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