Stuff to do this weekend

giant guilderland snowman

Build a snowman!

We're still in the midst of the holiday season, so things are a little slower than the average Capital Region weekend, but there are a few things going on you might want to know about.

After the jump, a few weekend happenings we thought might interest you. If we're missing something on your list of weekend activities, let us know.

And whatever you're up to, have a wonderful weekend and a safe and happy new year's eve.

New Year's Eve

First Night Saratoga
+Thousands of people will ring in 2013 in the Spa City with music, performances, art, kids activities and a laser light show at First Night Saratoga. $15 for a First Night Button / Kids 12 & Under are free.

+ Proctors is hosting a Funk-n-Country New Year's Eve bash on Monday night. Music from Capital Region party band Funk Evolution, and Skeeter Creek. New York City-inspired food and a live HD video feed of the Times Square ball drop and fireworks over The Statue of Liberty on the screen in the GE Theatre. 9:30 pm - $25 ahead / $30 at door


New Year's Eve Comedy Blast
Travon Free -- from The Daily Show, TOSH.O and Chelsea Lately -- and Eli Braden -- writer and comedian for Howard Stern and Jimmy Kimmel -- join a handful of other comedians at the New Year's Eve Comedy Blast at The Palace Monday night. 8 pm - $20 and up

First Night of Funny
Proctors hosts stand up comedians from Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, and The Tonight Show on New Year's Eve at the First Night of Funny. 8 pm - $30 ahead / $35 at door

The film adaptation of Les Miserables and Tarantino's Django Unchained are out. So are Judd Apatow's This is 40, The Hobbit, and Silver Linings Playbook (which opens at the Spectrum on Christmas). And Spielberg's highly praised Lincoln is still in theaters.

Ice skating
The ice skating rink at the ESP is open this weekend, as well as New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, (conditions permitting) for its regular hours (11 am-8 pm). On Friday (December 28) Olympic silver medalist (1992) Paul Wylie will be there from 1-3 pm. (Friday is also free skate rental day.)

Here are other ice skating spots around the Capital Region. Be sure to check for special holiday hours at the rinks. And as for the frozen ponds -- the cold temps lately are good, but the freezing rain and snow are not. It may be another week or two.

Play in the snow
Hey, guess what? There's snow! We know, it's hard to believe. Here are some ideas for where to go sledding, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing.

The State Museum (close, free, family stuff all week), the Albany Institute (close), miSci (close, kids) MASS MoCA (unusual, big spaces, good for kids), and the Baseball Hall of Fame (a whole day trip with Cooperstown) are all open this weekend.

If you go to MASS MoCA, look for the new exhibit "Xu Bing: Phoenix," which opened this week. Blurbage:

The installation features two monumental birds fabricated entirely from materials harvested from construction sites in urban China, including demolition debris, steel beams, tools, and remnants of the daily lives of migrant laborers. At once fierce and strangely beautiful, the mythic Phoenixes bear witness to the complex interconnection between labor, history, commercial development, and the rapid accumulation of wealth in today's China.

The exhibit (sneak peek photo) was scheduled to open in November, but its shipment from China -- which included passage through the Panama Canal, and 16 18-wheeler trucks from port to the museum -- was held up by weather.

If you go to the State Museum, be sure to go through the "1934: A New Deal for Artists" exhibit. The group of 50 Public Works of Art Project paintings are from the Smithsonian's collection, and worth a look. The exhibit closes at the State Museum January 20 -- so this is a good chance to see it before it's gone. (You can also gawk at the state's (tiny) moon rock.)

Cirque Dreams Holidaze
Friday-Sunday at Proctors: Cirque Dreams Holidaze. Blurbage: "Gingerbread men flip mid-air, toy soldiers march on thin wires, snowmen balance, penguins spin, puppets dance and reindeer soar high above a holiday wonderland. Original music accompanies seasonal favorites with hundreds of spectacular costumes set in a lush world of colorful dreams." various times - $20 and up

More holiday spectacle: Proctors will be showing the London Royal Ballet's production of The Nutcracker in the GE Theater Saturday and Sunday. various times - $15 / $10 age 17 and under

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

Rocky Horror
Friday at The Linda: a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show with shadow cast the Whip-it Outskirts. 8 pm - $10


Friday: Brother Joscephus and the Love Revolution at Red Square
A 12-piece soul band... er, "explosion of love." 8 pm - $10

Friday: Bernie Worrell Orchestra at Putnam Den
Keyboardist, founding member of Parliament Funkadelic. With: Stone Revival Band. 9 pm - $10 ahead / $12 day of

Friday: Girls Guns and Glory at Helsinki Hudson
Country rock. 9 pm - $8 / $10 day of

Friday: Lila Ignite at Valentine's
Pop punk. With: Nine Votes Short, The Damaged, Streetlights at Midnight, Vacate the Scene, Hillcrest. 7:30 pm

Friday: Reunion Show at Valentine's
Three bands, three reunions: The Sense Offenders, The Switched On, Five Alpha Beatdown. 9 pm

Saturday: Rustic Overtones at Helsinki Hudson
Still kicking. With: Bohemian Slackers. 9 pm - $12 / $15 day of

Saturday: The Lucky Jukebox Brigade at Valentine's
An end-of-year party show. With: Megan Jean and the Klay Family Band, Headband Jack, Betty Bonneville and Alice Mammalis. And: tarot card readings. 8 pm

Winter Ice Show
The Albany Figure Skating Club is holding its annual Winter Ice Show on Sunday at the Albany Academy Fieldhouse. 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm. $1 - $3

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.

Spend time with family and friends
It's a good season for that.


The Collar Works Gallery in Troy is showing Albany's "Best Performance Artist" Abraham Ferraro's new sculptures tonight from 5-9pm.

Collar Works Gallery
444 River Street, Troy, New York

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