Stuff to do this weekend

Ready. Strip. Sprint!

This weekend's forecast calls for a 100% chance of Santas in Speedos. Also expect tree lightings, Victorian strollers, ice skaters, holiday open houses and a partridge in a pear tree. Well, maybe not the last one.

The weekend calendar is overflowing with stuff to do of the holiday and non-holiday variety. After the jump, a few items we thought might interest you.

Got something else planned? Share it with the crowd.

And whatever you're up to, have a fantastic weekend.


1st Friday
It's the final 1st Friday of the year in Albany. Shops and galleries are open late with music, art, shopping and holiday treats. Among the events slated for tonight:
+ The Albany Barn presents "Gifted," an exhibition of gift-able works, at Stage 1 gallery. Artwork from jewelry to photography. All works priced $200 or under for holiday gift giving.
+ The Albany Institute of History and Art is open late with free admission from 5-8 pm.
+ The monthly Capital Swing Dance is at the Albany Elks Club at 25 South Allen.

Santa Speedo Sprint
Saturday: The annual ASAP Santa Speedo Sprint dashes down Lark Street partially clothed -- for charity. Of all the local holiday season events, this one might be the most fun. Lots of smiles. There's still time to sign up to participate. And even if you're not sprinting, it's a fun time to turn out and cheer. sprint starts at 2 pm at Madison and Lark

Santa's Speedo Ball
After the Speedo Sprint the ASAP Daisies are throwing a Santa's Speedo Ball at EBA Center for Dance & Fitness. 3-6pm - $25, $20 for sprinters with wristband

Ice skating
Update: Or not. It's postponed again until Sunday. Details. | Postponed from its original opening date, the ice skating rink at the Empire State Plaza is now scheduled to open Saturday, weather permitting -- with free skate rental on opening day. The rink is open 11 am - 8 pm. Skating is free. Skate rentals are $4 / $3 for kids under 12 (and skate rental is free on Fridays).

Troy Victorian Stroll
Sunday is the annual Troy Victorian Stroll. All sorts of holiday whatnot in downtown Troy, including music, food, decorated store windows, and people in costume. Photos from 2012. 11 am-5 pm - free admission

Holiday tree lighting at the Empire State Plaza
The ESP tree lighting is Sunday evening. Music, skating (weather permitting), reindeer, fireworks, a really big tree. events start at 3 pm, fireworks at 5:30 pm - free admission

More holiday events

Friday-Sunday: Holiday Greens Show at the Hart Cluett House
The 57th annual Holiday Greens Show, organized by the Van Rensselaer Garden Club and the Rensselaer County Historical Society. This year's theme is "'Twas the Night Before Christmas..." various times - various prices

Friday: It's a Jazzy Christmas at Massry Center
Popular annual concert of Vince Guaraldi holiday music (you know, as heard in the Peanuts cartoons). 6 pm - $20 / $10 students / kids 5 and under free (with ticket)

Friday-Sunday: Festival of Trees
The annual Festival of Trees starts on Friday at 32 & 44 Washington Avenue in Schenectady. Friday, 9am to 8pm, Saturday & Sunday 10 am-4 pm - $5 / $2 Ages 6-12 / 5 and under free

Saturday: Downtown Schenectady Holiday Open House
"Daily specials, refreshments, entertainment and other in-store activities will be offered throughout the afternoon in shops, restaurants and service businesses along the Jay Street Marketplace, State Street, Union Street, N. Broadway and S. Ferry Street." noon-5 pm

Saturday: Hudson Winter Walk
Warren Street is closed off for "a night well-known for its quirky take on the holidays and for the diversity of entertainment provided." 5-8 pm - free admission

Saturday: Holiday Open House at the Ten Broeck Mansion
Exactly what it sounds like. noon-4pm - $5

Saturday-Sunday: Northeast Ballet's Annual Nutcracker at Proctors
With a principal dancer from the NYC Ballet. Saturday 7 pm, Sunday 2 pm - $20 and up

Saturday-Sunday: ASO Magic of Christmas at The Palace
Popular annual Christmas shows. 7:30 pm / 3 pm - $25

Until December 11: Jingle Elf Quest 2013 In Downtown Albany
Earn prizes by finding elves hidden in downtown Albany using clues. free to play

Ongoing: Capital Holiday Lights in the Park
The Capital Holiday Light Display in Washington Park continues through January 3. After the tour you stop at the lake house for a visit with Santa. Fridays and Saturdays from 6-10 pm / Sundays through Thursdays from 6-9 pm - admission prices are $15.00 per car, $25.00 for 10-18 passenger vehicle

Holiday house tours

Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation Candlelight House Tour
Friday: The Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation is hosting a candlelight house tour in Saratoga's east side neighborhood. Friday 5-7 pm - $40-$75

Junior League of Schenectady and Saratoga Holiday House Tour
Saturday: Tour five homes in Schenectady and Saratoga Counties from Niskayuna to Ballston Lake, all decorated for the season by Capital Region designers and florists as part of the Junior League Holiday House Tour. Saturday 10 am-4 pm - $20 in advance, $25 at the door

Historic Albany Holiday House Tour
Sunday: Historic Albany Foundation's annual holiday house tour "moves from neighborhood to neighborhood highlighting the very best in Albany's architecture and ongoing preservation efforts." Sunday noon-4 pm - $30 / $20 students

Local holiday gift shopping

The Shop at The Arts Center
Saturday: The Arts Center of the Capital Region has opened it's annual holiday shop. You can shop gifts from local artists and crafters at The Arts Center. Saturday 11am - 3 pm

Saturday: The TightKnit handmade holiday market is in the Fear Building atrium on Saturdays through December. Saturday 9 am - 2 pm

Made by Hand Invitational
Saturday at The Foundry for Art Design + Culture in Cohoes you can shop a jury-selected group of artists and designers. 11 am to 5pm - free admission

Honest Weight's Holiday Craft Fair
Saturday: Honest Weight's holiday craft fair continues. Local artisans and crafters will be selling holiday gifts in the co-op's community room. "From decorative paper boxes to wooden bowls and cutting boards; from cards and prints to pottery and ceramics; from jewelry, aprons, and garden-inspired women's clothing." Saturdays 10 am-4 pm

NYS Museum Chocolate Expo and Holiday Gift Market
Sunday: The annual holiday Chocolate Expo and Gift Market is at at the State Museum. Sunday 11am to 4:30pm $3, children 12 and under, free.


The Santaland Diaries
CANCELED until next weekend.

The Schenectady Civic Players are producing an adaptation of The Santaland Diaries, David Sedaris' story of his experience playing Crumpet the Elf at Macy's during the holiday crunch. "At first the job is only humiliating, but once thousands of children start pouring through Santa's Workshop he becomes battle weary and bitter, entertaining us with stories of naughty children and pushy parents, empowered elves and sloshed Santas." Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 2:30 pm - $17

A Christmas Carol
The Dickens classic continues this weekend at Capital Rep. A new adaptation in which five actors play 20 characters. Friday 8pm, Saturday 3pm & 8pm, Sunday 2pm - $20 and up

Plaid Tidings
Cohoes Music Hall presents the holiday review Plaid Tidings. Saturday 3 pm and 8 pm / Sunday 3 pm - $25-$35

White Christmas
Classic Theater Guild presents the Irving Berlin musical White Christmas this weekend at Proctors. Friday at 7:30pm, Saturday at 2pm and 7:30pm - $18.50, $15.50 for students and seniors


Spontaneous Broadway
Friday: The Mop and Bucket Company makes up a Broadway show at the Underground at Proctors, complete with music, props and costumes, based on audience suggestions. Friday 8 pm - $14, $6 for students and seniors


An Affair to Remember
Friday: Carey Grant, Deborah Kerr and the reason people meet at the top of the Empire State Building. The New York State Writers Institute's Classic Film Series wraps up for the holidays with An Affair to Remember. Friday 7:30 pm, UAlbany downtown campus, Page Hall - free

White Christmas
Bow Tie Cinema's Movies and Mimosa film this weekend is the classic holiday movie White Christmas. Saturday and Sunday at 11am - $5.50, $2 mimosas

National Theatre: 50 Years
Sunday The Spectrum is screening a 50th anniversary celebration of the National Theatre of Great Britain with Maggie Smith, Derek Jacobi, Judi Dench and a host of other well-known British actors playing scenes from plays by Pinter, Tom Stoppard, David Hare and others. Sunday at noon - $15, $12 under 12


Saturday: Phantogram will be back in town for a homecoming show at Upstate Concert Hall. Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel are on a headlining tour to support a recently released four-song EP. And they've been popping up all over place -- on TV, in commercials, even on The Hunger Games soundtrack.

With: Until The Ribbon Breaks, Weeknight. Saturday 8 pm - $18 ahead / $20 day of


Friday: Bare Mutants at Valentine's
Jered Gummere from The Ponys. 8 pm

Friday: Turtle Island Quartet + Tierney Sutton at Troy Music Hall
Jazz strings and vocalist. 7:30 pm - $25 and up

Friday: Craig Taborn + Vicky Chow at EMPAC
"Two masterful pianists from different musical worlds." 7:30 pm - $18

Friday: Chandler Travis Three-o at Caffe Lena
Yet another incarnation of Chandler Travis. With: Steve Shook. 8 pm - $20

Friday: Popa Chubby Band at the Van Dyck.
Blues-rock guitar from Hendrix to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." 7pm & 9:30pm - $18 & $22

Saturday: John Medeski at Massry Center
From Medeski Martin & Wood. 7:30 pm - $25 / $12.50 students

Saturday: The Temptations at The Egg
With one original member. 8 pm - $34.50

Saturday: Melissa Ferrick at The Linda
Folk rock singer/songwriter. 8 pm - $20

Saturday: Marco Benevento at Red Square
"Pianist/sound-sculptor/songwriter." 8 pm - $14 ahead / $16 day of

Saturday: Simi Stone at Helsinki Hudson
"Mountain Motown." 9 pm - $12 ahead / $15 day of

Sunday: Sophie Shao at Union College
The cellist returns to Union, with friends. 3 pm - $25 / $10 students

Sunday: Holidelic at Helsinki Hudson
"Part dance party, part funk concert, part comedy show, the holiday-funk spectacular Holidelic features original holiday songs as well as loose, funk-infused adaptations of Tchaikovsky, "Frosty the Snowman," "Little Drummer Boy" and the like." 8 pm - $20 ahead / $25 day of

Sundance Institute Theater Lab: First Daughter Suite
Saturday: The Sundance Institute Theatre Program returns to MASS MoCA with First Daughter Suite -- a musical workshop production based on historical characters and real events that explores the relationships by mothers and daughters close to presidents of the United States. Saturday 8pm - $12 advance / $16 day of / $10 students

Doris Kearns Goodwin
Historian and author Doris Kearns Goodwin's appearance at the Saratoga Springs City Center as part of Northshire Bookstore's Off the Shelf series Friday night is SOLD OUT.

Translating hieroglyphs
Ankhefenmut coffin illustrationsSunday: Egyptologist Joyce Haynes will be at the Albany Institute for a talk about her investigation into the hieroglyphs and illustrated panels on the coffin of one of the institute's mummies. "By reading the hieroglyphs and decoding the illustrations, she had been able to tell us who Ankhefenmut was, what he did in his lifetime, and how he prepared for the afterlife." Sunday 2 pm - free with museum admission

Honey and Mead Workshop
Saturday: The Carey Institute for Global Good is hosting a Farm-To-Glass Classroom workshop on honey and mead production for novices at its Guggenheim Pavilion. Saturday 10 am to noon - $20


Union College
The Union College's men's team takes on Princeton at 7 pm Friday at Messa Rink, and then #5 Quinnipiac at 7 pm on Saturday.

The Engineers have the same schedule, reversed: Quinnipiac at 7 pm at Houston Field House Friday, and Princeton at 7 pm Saturday.

Professional Bull Riding
Saturday: The Professional Bull Riders tour will be at the Times Union Center. 8pm - $18 and up

Farmers' markets
Indoor markets are open in Troy (Saturday at the Atrium), Saratoga (Saturday at the Lincoln Baths in Spa State Park), Schenectady (Sunday at Proctors), and the Spa City Farmers Market -- at the Lincoln Baths in Saratoga Springs (Sunday at the Lincoln Baths).

The Troy Music Hall, Historic Albany, Albany Institute, Saint Rose, Capital Rep, Schenectady Civic and The Mop and Bucket Company advertise on AOA. And AOA is a media sponsor of the Santa Speedo Sprint.


Tonight is Ballston Spa's Holiday Parade & Tree Lighting @ 6:30 pm (Rt 50 will be closed). Music and festivities throughout our downtown (and excellent shopping opportunities if you're so inclined... ).

The Junior League of Troy booth at the Troy Victorian Stroll will feature a free craft project for the kids as well as an opportunity for children to choose a children's book donated by local families.

Due to weather, OGS just changed the Plaza ice skating schedule again. Now it is only open on Sunday for the tree lighting, then closing again next week until Friday 12/13, when it will be formally open for the season.

Hey guys, I heard that the Gourmet Chef store in Crossgates is closing. It was a nice little store, too bad!

"Cary" Grant, not Carey! Or Archibald Leach, if you prefer, but not Carey. An Affair to Remember is one of my favorite movies, and Cary Grant one of my favorite actors (love the accent!).

I remember when they used to be called Victorian streetwalks. They always had the reporters out interviewing the Victorian streetwalkers. I kept hoping Jack the Ripper would make an appearance. I miss those days. Sigh.

Why is our area celebrating these poor old fallen women?
Let them sit for a change!

Come out to Footsy Magoos in Troy for a Victorian Stroll Eve Ugly Sweater party. Live music provided by Intelligent Television playing Albany's favorite alternative music from The Cure, Of Monsters and Men, Bastille, Kings of Leon and more.

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