BEST BETS: Nov. 28 to Dec. 5, 2013
A holiday tradition: 'The Nutcracker' ballet
The ever-popular "Nutcracker" ballet returns to Kodak Hall at the Eastman Theatre this weekend. The Rochester City Ballet and Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra will perform the holiday classic. This year's performance—the 15th annual—features brand-new choreography for the favorite "Land of Snow" scene. The RPO's Michael Butterman will conduct, and Jamey Leverett is the artistic director of the ballet. The Bach Children's Chorus, led by director Karla Krogstad, will also perform. The classical music ensemble includes girls and boys ages 8 to 16. Performances are at 2 and 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Visit rpo.org or rochestercityballet.com for more information.
Webster Turkey Trot
Prepare for a day of overeating turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie at the annual Webster Turkey Trot. The event began in 1972 as a way for a high school cross-country coach to get in a Thanksgiving Day workout for his team. Today the race from Webster Park is a holiday tradition that draws thousands from around the area. This year's race will be capped at 5,872 racers. It's fun to watch as a spectator, too. Two distances are offered (4.4 or 2.5 miles). Start time is 10 a.m. at Webster Park on Holt Road. Register at Fleet Feet Sports on Monroe Avenue. YellowJacket Racing offers free shuttle service. Visit yellowjacketracing.com or facebook.com.
Spectacle of Lights at Camp Eastman
Irondequoit's annual Holiday Spectacle of Lights returns to Camp Eastman on Lakeshore Boulevard. Run by volunteers, the event is a fundraiser for Golisano Children's Hospital. It raised $20,000 for the hospital last year. In addition to the holiday light displays, there will be activities and entertainment, including a petting zoo and visits from Santa. The festival is 5 to 9 p.m. Friday to Sunday. It continues through Dec. 23. Admission is $10 per car, and entertainment and activities are free. Visit irondequoit.org or facebook.com.
Heritage Christian Services is planning breakfast with Santa this weekend at Springdale Farm in Spencerport. There will be personal visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, Springdale's petting zoo, children's holiday crafts and, of course, a country breakfast. Seating times are 9, 10, 11 and noon Saturday and on Dec. 7 and 14. Visit springdalefarm.org to reserve a spot. On Friday, Santa parachutes in to Stokoe Farms in Scottsville to check on his reindeer and spread holiday cheer. Santa is expected to arrive around 1 p.m., weather permitting. (The rain date is Saturday, also at 1 p.m.) Visit stokoefarms.com.
'A Christmas Carol'
"A Christmas Carol," Charles Dickens' classic tale, returns to Geva Theatre's Wilson Mainstage for another holiday season. Geva's version features a script adapted by Mark Cuddy from Dickens' novella, with music and lyrics by Gregg Coffin. Cuddy also directs. Guy Paul reprises his role as Ebenezer Scrooge, and Jim Poulos returns to the role of Bob Cratchit. Melissa Rain Anderson returns as Mrs. Cratchit, and Remi Sandri returns as the Ghost of Jacob Marley. It runs through Dec. 28. Visit gevatheatre.org.
Second Storie Indie Market
The Second Storie Indie Market will showcase handmade creations with an artistic flair. More than 30 vendors attending this year offer creations ranging from handmade jewelry and pottery to paper products. The Second Storie Market is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at Visual Studies Workshop, 31 Prince St. They're also collecting new and gently used art supplies to benefit local art classes in need. Visit secondstorie.com.
On the big screen
From director Spike Lee, "Oldboy" stars Josh Brolin as an alcoholic advertising executive who sets out to find out why he was kidnapped and locked into solitary confinement for 20 years. "Homefront" stars Jason Statham as a former DEA agent who moves his family to a quiet town, where he soon tangles with a local meth druglord (James Franco). Sylvester Stallone wrote the screenplay. "Frozen" is the animated tale of Anna and Kristoff and their adventures in a kingdom in eternal winter. "Black Nativity" is about a street-wise teen who travels to New York City to spend the Christmas holiday with his estranged relatives. Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett and Jennifer Hudson star. Find movie times.
Holidays in the 1800s
How did local families in the 1800s get ready for the upcoming winter and holiday season? Genesee Country Village & Museum presents "Preparing for the Holidays the 19th-Century Way" on Saturday. Watch as the townsfolk decorate for the yuletide season and butcher meat for the holiday feast. Planned from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. are tastings, soap making, smoking and other meat preserving, candle making, wool spinning and more. Also planned are breakfasts with St. Nicholas. Visit gcv.org. To see more area museums that are planning special holiday events, go to the digital edition of Explore or check out the museums page on the Explore website.