We're in for a pretty nice looking weekend with perfect weather for Victorian Strolling. There are all sorts of events scheduled -- some holiday themed and others, not so much. After the jump, you'll find a few we thought might be worth checking out.
Got something else in mind? Let us know about it.
And have a fantastic weekend!
The December edition of Albany's First Friday is usually pretty festive. There are art and music events and local holiday shopping opportunities all over the city, with lots of shops and galleries open late. A few things that look interesting: Ed Atkeson's Firlefanz Puppets will perform at the Albany Center Gallery, The Spectrum's new window display by A.C. Everson and Patrick Porter and Mark Jones at The Iron Gate Cafe. After parties include the monthly Capital Swing Dance at the Albany Elks Club (25 South Allen), the 60s retro trio Off the Record (complete with beehives) at The University Club and Roxie Tart's burlesque show at Paradiso. 5 pm - free
The Turkey Trot might be Troy's pre-game to the holiday season, but the Victorian Stroll is the official kick-off. For one day, all of the shops in downtown transform into even quainter versions of themselves. There are folks dressed in Victorian costumes and there's entertainment throughout the streets and in venues all over downtown. Sunday at 11 am - free
The Great Train Extravaganza at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center will feature more than 240 operating model train layouts. Sunday at 10 am, $5 for adults, children under 12 free
The 6th Annual New York State Museum Chocolate Expo & Holiday Gift Market includes more than 40 vendors -- and chocolate dipping fountains. Sunday at 11 am, $3 for adults, children under 12 are free
Empire State Plaza Tree Lighting
The plaza's tree will be lit Sunday evening, and the night will end with a round of fireworks. The festival starts at 1 pm with music, arts and crafts, and visits with Santa. The tree lighting will be at around 5:15, and fireworks are planned for 5:30. free
Saratoga Festival of Trees
The Saratoga Festival of Trees features all kinds of holiday decorations. Friday at 2 pm, Saturday and Sunday at 11 am, free
Annual Greens Show
This is the Rensselaer County Historical Society and the Van Rensselaer Garden Club's 55th Annual Greens Show -- a big holiday themed flora display. This year's theme is "My Favorite Things." The Greens Show runs all weekend, through the Victorian Stroll. $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and $3 for children over 4.
Cohoes Holiday Craft Fair
Cohoes' annual holiday craft fair on Saturday will gather a bunch of local crafters. Bring the kids for breakfast with Santa.10 am - free
Candlelight House Tour
On Friday, Saratoga homes in the Fifth Avenue and Phila Street neighborhood will be open to the public. 5 pm - $40/$50
Downtown Schenectady's Holiday Open House
On Saturday afternoon, downtown Schenectady will be celebrating the season with outdoor performances, kids activities, and open houses at a bunch of downtown businesses. Also: the Holly Jolly Trolley, which be running through downtown. Noon to 5 pm - free
MOPCO: Spontaneous Broadway
Mop and Bucket Co. continues its run at Underground at Proctors tonight with a Spontaneous Broadway show. They'll improvise a complete Broadway musical based on audience suggestions. 8 pm. $14 for adults, $6 for students and seniors
Man of La Mancha
The Capital Rep production of the Cervantes tale continues its five-week run this weekend. Tonight at 8. Saturday 3 & 8, Sunday 2 & 7 $40-$70
The Schenectady Light Opera Company is performing Aida, Elton John and Tim Rice's take on the Verdi opera. Friday, Saturday at 8, Sunday at 2. $22-$28
The Royal Family
The Schenectady Civic Playhouse presents The Royal Family, a thinly-veiled look at the Barrymores of Hollywood. Friday and Saturday at 8, Sunday at 2:30, $15
It wouldn't be the holiday season without The Nutcracker. This weekend local kids from the Malta Ballet dance the classic with professional principals from the New York City Ballet are on Saturday. 2 pm and 7:30 pm. $9.50-$30.50
The Albany All-Stars will take on Broome County Roller Derby on Saturday night. The Deadbeats will be the musical guest. 7 pm - $10-$12, $4 for children.
A jazzy Peanuts Christmas
Vince Guaraldi is the guy who wrote all those Peanuts Christmas songs that make you feel like dancing like a cartoon character. The Friday, local jazz artists Dave Gleason, Mike Lawrence and Pete Sweeney perform them as The Peanut Gallery Trio at The Massry Center at The College of Saint Rose. The 7 pm show is sold out, but they've added a 9pm performance. $20 for general audience, $10 for students, and free for children under 6.
The ASO has its "Magic of Christmas" shows lined up this weekend at the Palace. Saturday at 7:30 pm and Sunday at 3 pm - $25 and up
Performance art duo Japanther will be unveiling the product of its EMPAC residency with a performance Friday and Saturday night called "The Cake of The 3 Towers." There's an Austrian super villain involved. Friday and Saturday at 8 pm. $18
Saturday: Sgt Dunbar at the Sanctuary for Independent Media
A benefit for the Sanctuary's Youth Media Sanctuary project. The show will be audio/video recorded and webcast for the "Live From Lock One" concert series. 8 pm - $10 ($5 students)
Temple of Fancy
A new exhibit at the Albany Institute looks at Pease's Great Variety Store, which was one of the first five-and-dime stores in Albany. Opens Saturday. Museum admission ranges from free to $10.
Katharina Grosse's exhibit, One Floor Up More Highly, has been extended at MASS MoCA through the end of the year, so you can still go see her large scale installations merging painting, sculpture and architecture. All weekend, $5-$15, free for members
Bake some chocolate chip cookies
One of the best things about the holidays? Cookies! Here are two of the best chocolate chip cookie recipes you're likely to find (at least until the year 2040) and some interesting info to go along with them.
Get the road tripping out of your system before the real snow starts. Maybe it's time for a holiday shopping trip to Northampton. Or you could spend 12 hours in Ulster County, Bennington, Vermont and Columbia County.
Capital Rep advertises on AOA
Proctors is also an AOA advertiser
photo: Sebastien Barre
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