Stuff to do this weekend

It's a Wonderful Life -still.jpeg

"Every time a bell rings..."

This weekend starts off with the winter solstice. Yes, the daylight will be short -- but there are twinkle lights and hot cocoa and a whole weekend of fun stuff to do on the horizon.

After the jump, we've put together a list of goings-on to help make your weekend merry and bright. Planning something you don't see here? It's the season of sharing, so drop it in the comment section and let the rest of us know about it.

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

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Holiday

It's a Wonderful Life
Friday: The Palace is showing It's a Wonderful Life. The old classic in an old movie palace. Friday 7 pm -- $5

Saratoga City Ballet 25th Anniversary Nutcracker
Friday-Saturday: The Saratoga City Ballet presents The Nutcracker at The Egg. Friday 7:30 pm, Saturday 2 pm and 7:30 pm -- $28 / $20 seniors and students / children 5 and under free

Capital Holiday Lights
Ongoing: The Capital Holiday light display in Washington Park is open for the holiday season. Sunday-Thursday 6-9 pm, Saturday-Sunday 6-10 pm -- $20 per car

Holiday markets

Fort Orange Holiday Market
Friday: The Fort Orange Holiday Market is at The Arcade Building in downtown Albany (488 Broadway) and the nearby Fort Orange General Store (412 Broadway). Friday 5-9 pm

The Shop at the Arts Center
Friday-Sunday: Shop for gifts from local artists and crafters at the holiday shop at the Arts Center of the Capital Region. Friday and Sunday noon-4 pm, Saturday noon-5 pm

Ice skating

Empire State Plaza
The ice skating rink on the Empire State Plaza is open for the season. The operating schedule is seven days a week (weather permitting)from noon-8 pm, closed daily from 3:30-4:30 pm for maintenance. Skating is free. Skate rental is $4 for adults / $3 for kids 12 and under. A photo ID is required to rent skates. And this season free skate rental day is Saturday.

Swinburne
The city of Albany's Swinburne Skating Rink is open for the season. The rink is covered, so it can operate in all weather. It's open Monday-Sunday various times (usually the afternoon and evening). Admission is $1 / 50 cents for kids / 25 cents for seniors. Skate rental is $3.

Music

Thursday: Deadgrass at The Hollow
"[A] string band adventure through Jerry Garcia's musical world." With: The Lane Brothers. 8 pm -- $12

Thursday: Gypsy Jazz Party & Jam with Hot Club of Saratoga at Caffe Lena
They'll be joined by Sara L'Abriola, "a twenty year old guitar virtuoso from New York City studying under gypsy-jazz master Stephane Wrembel." 7 pm -- $15

Saturday: Clear Mind at Lucky Strike Jupiter Hall
As part of a hip hop showcase with: D3V, Rhakim Ali, Promise the Unbreakable, Touch Money Militia, Word the ThirdEye, Chris Cool Peeples & Clarisse Harbour. 8 pm -- $10

Sunday: Roomful of Blues at Caffe Lena
"[O]ne of the tightest, most joyful blues ensembles in the world." 7 pm -- $37

Sunday: Pony in the Pancake Holiday Show at The Low Beat
Better Pills, Onlyness, Beargrass, Sinkcharmer, Los Espejos, Electric Turtle. 7 pm

Stage

The Wizard of Oz
Saturday-Sunday: Proctors presents a live production of The Wizard of Oz. Saturday 8 pm and Sunday 2 pm -- $25 and up

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley
Thursday-Sunday: This is the last weekend for The Rep's production of Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, based on characters from Pride and Prejudice. "In this charmingly imagined sequel to Jane Austen's masterwork, the ever-dependable Mary Bennet is growing tired of her role as dutiful middle sister in the face of her siblings' romantic escapades. When the family visits for Christmas, an unexpected guest sparks Mary's hopes for independence, an intellectual match -- and possibly even love?" Thursday-Sunday various times -- $22 and up

A Comedy of Tenors
Friday-Sunday: Curtain Call Theater presents A Comedy of Tenors. Friday-Saturday 8 pm, Sunday 3 pm -- $20

Comedy

Friday Night Improv: Solstice Spectacular
Friday: The MopCo Improv Theater hosts a Winter solstice show with performances by local groups Down the Rabbit Hole, Spontaneous Twilight Zone and Electric City Puppet Improv. Friday 8 pm -- $10 / $6 for students and seniors

Spontaneous Broadway
Saturday: The Mop & Bucket Company continues its run of Spontaneous Broadway. Act one is an improvised backers audition in which performers invent songs based on audience suggestion. The crowd then votes for their favorite song. In act two improvisors create an entire musical based on that song. Saturday 8 pm -- $10 / $6 for students and seniors

UAlbany basketball
Thursday: The UAlbany men's basketball team faces Manhattan at SEFCU Arena. Thursday 7 pm -- $8 and up


Museums/galleries/talks/walks

Albany Institute
The Albany Institute has a new exhibit of cast iron stoves from its collection. Manufacturers in Albany and Troy were once some of the largest producers of cast iron stoves, and the some of the stoves have intricate decorative designs. Also: Birds & Beasts: The Scary, Magical, and Adorable Animals of the Albany Institute and A Menagerie of Whimsey: The Art of William B. Schade are on display for a few more weeks.

State Museum
The State Museum The Historic Woodstock Art Colony: The Arthur A. Anderson Collection. "Long before the famous music festival in 1969, Woodstock, New York, was home to what is considered America's first intentionally created, year-round arts colony--founded in 1902 and still thriving over 100 years later. Collecting the remarkable range of work produced there has been Arthur A. Anderson's focus for three decades, resulting in the largest comprehensive assemblage of its type." On display through the end of 2019.

The Fashionable 1920s
Sunday: The State Museum presents a holiday vacation week program on the fashion of the Roaring Twenties, from every day to fancy dress. Sunday 1:30 pm -- free

miSci Toy exhibit
Saturday-Sunday: miSci hosts a 20th Century Toy Chest exhibit with a collection of toys, games, action figures and more.

Full moon hike
Saturday: Indian Ladder Farms is offering a guided full moon hike. Dress warm, wear appropriate footwear, and bring a flashlight (with a red light setting if you have one). Saturday 3:45 pm -- up to $8

Winter hikes
Check out this list of fun winter hikes around the region -- and places to get hot chocolate afterward.

Farmers markets
Farmers markets have moved indoors:
+ The Troy Waterfront Farmers Market is in the Troy Atrium. Saturday 9 am-2 pm
+ The Saratoga Farmers' Market is at the Lincoln Bathhouse. Saturday 9 am-1 pm
+ The Schenectady Greenmarket is indoors at Proctors. Sunday 10 am-2 pm
+ The Spa City Farmers' Market is at the Lincoln Baths. Sunday 10 am-2 pm.

Troy Makers Market
Saturday: Local craft vendors will display and sell wares at the Troy Makers Market in conjunction with the Troy Waterfront Farmers Market. Saturday 9 am to noon

The Albany Institute of History and Art, Fort Orange General Store, and MopCo advertise on AOA. And AOA is a media sponsor of the winter events at ESP.

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