Stuff to do this weekend

its a wonderful life still

It's a Wonderful Life, Friday on the big screen at The Palace

Happy first weekend of winter.

The good news is that the days will start getting longer on Saturday. The other good news, it's the weekend. It will be a busy one for a lot of people, with Christmas Eve on Monday, but for those looking for stuff to do this weekend, there's a list after the jump.

Doing something you don't see there? Share it with the crowd. And whatever you're up to this weekend, we hope you enjoy it.

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Holiday Stuff

Melodies of Christmas
The Empire State Orchestra and Youth Choral's annual Melodies of Christmas concert is this weekend at Proctors. Friday and Saturday at 7 pm, Sunday at 3 pm

A Christmas Story
The Classic Theatre Guild's live production of A Christmas Story continues this week at Proctors, Friday-Sunday.

It's a Wonderful Life
The Palace is also showing It's a Wonderful Life Friday night. If you've never seen the film on a big screen at a big old theater like the Palace, it's worth going. 7 pm - $5 / $3 kids

More Wonderful Life
The production of This Wonderful Life -- "All the pleasure of Frank Capra's classic movie - in only 70 minutes! -- continues this week at Capital Rep. It closes Saturday. various times - $20 and up

The McKrells' Christmas Show
Friday through Sunday at The Parting Glass: The McKrells perform their annual holiday show. It's a great one to bring both the kids and grandparents to, and still enjoy it yourself. $10, reservations suggested

Model trains
miSci (formerly Schenectady Museum) is bringing back its 19x27-foot model train display. Free with admission on Saturday and Sunday.

Santa Con
Saratoga's first Santa Con is Saturday. People dress up as Santa and then bring "charitable mayhem" along a route that goes from bar to bar. The organizers are apparently keen not to call it a "bar crawl," though -- perhaps because of the negative publicity a similar event has generated in recent years in New York City. noon, starting at Putnam Den -- a two non-perishable food item donation to participate

Music

Friday: The Figgs Annual Holiday Show at Valentine's
With: Guy Lyons. 8:30 pm

Friday: Everett Bradley's Holidelic: Snowglobe at Helsinki Hudson
"This holiday funk-tacular blends the influences of P-Funk, Sly Stone and other 1970's and '80's funk and soul bands into original songs that celebrate diversity, mild familial seasonal dysfunction and holiday booty shaking." 9 pm - $18

Friday: The Manhattan Project at Red Square
Electronic. 8 pm - $11

Friday: Conehead Buddha at Bayou Albany
An end of the world party. 9:30 - $10 ahead / $12 at door

Friday: Annual Holiday Folk Show at Caffe Lena
"Enjoy the region's (the world's??) only "Candlemas-Hanukkah-Ramadan-Solstice-Christmas-Kwanzaa-New Year-Boxing Day-Epiphany Event!" Well, OK. 8 pm - $15

Friday: West Point Jazz Knights at The Linda
Playing holiday music. It's a free show, but it sounds like it's already full -- it's now standing room only. 7 pm

Saturday: The Figgs at Putnam Den
Twice in one week. 9 pm - $10 / $15 under 21

Saturday: Annual Ghost of Hardcore Past Show at Valentine's
Local punk bands playing stuff from the Misfits, Green Day, and others. 8 pm

Saturday: Mistletoe Martinis with Musty at Helsinki Hudson
A "Christmas cabaret extravaganza" with Musty Chiffon, Melora Creager, and Michael Holland. 8 pm - $15

Saturday: Pony in the Pancake Holiday Show at Valentine's
With: The Black Fox River Project, Christina Abbott, The Mysteos, Mountain Sons. 8 pm

Movies
Holiday movie season is underway. The Hobbit, Hitchcock, Lincoln and Life of Pi are all playing at local theaters.

Ice Skating
The Empire State Plaza ice skating rink is open daily from 11 am to 8 pm. Skating is free. Skate rental is free every Friday. The rest of the week it's $4 for adults and $3 for kids. Here are a few other places you might want to try if it's cold enough.

Art in the Wild
peace_crane_peter_leue.jpgPerhaps this most unusual celebration of the solstice this year: the sculpture "Peace Crane" will be on display outside -- with special lighting -- at the Yellow Brick Road in Albany. The crane -- with a 17-foot wingspan, and constructed from pulleys and giant wood erector set pieces -- is the creation of sculptor and craftsman Peter Leue. Friday 4-9 pm - parking at Golder and Delaware (dentist's office)

Winter Solstice Night Hike
The Albany Pine Bush is offering a "night" hike on Friday -- the winter solstice and the shortest daylight of the year. "Walk with us along the trails without light and test your senses at night. We will also explore how nocturnal animals utilize the nighttime for their survival." 6:30 pm. $3 per person / $5 per family, pre-registration required

Last minute shopping
Still need some holiday gifts? Here are some local ideas.

Have a little nog
It's egg nog season. Which one is the best? Here's our taste test from a few years ago. And last year's taste test from Kayla at Foodonia.

Capital Rep and MopCo. advertise on AOA.

crane photo: Peter Leue

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