Holiday highlights

Local organizations, artists host a bounty of seasonal entertainment

Before or after your stroll down the streets to gaze at Christmas lights, the Midpeninsula has more holiday events and traditions to offer. For locals who enjoy ballet, there are multiple renditions of "The Nutcracker" being performed by youth and professional dancers.

If holiday arts and crafts feel like a better fit, the area offers hands-on activities and a number of local artisan sales. The holiday event genres don't stop there. Theatergoers, Lego builders and comedy enthusiasts will also find an event for their taste this season. Happy holiday events!


Ernie's train keeps on chuggin'

From Thanksgiving to Christmas Day, Ernie's son John Bianco will continue the holiday tradition of running Ernie's model trains. Each year, around 100 visitors come every night, which more than 300 coming out on Christmas Eve, to view the train show.

Where: 2387 Adele Ave., Mountain View

When: Thanksgiving to Christmas Day, 6:30-9 p.m., except Mondays

Cost: Free

Info: Model trains mesmerize a neighborhood


Romance takes the stage

TheatreWorks' brings back Jane Austen's "Emma" for the holidays. The musical hit features a cast of characters obsessed with romance and a score from Paul Gordon, the Tony Award-nominated composer of "Jane Eyre" and "Daddy Long Legs."

Where: Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto

When: Dec. 2 through Jan. 2, 2016

Cost: $25-$74

Info: TheatreWorks or 650-463-1960


Builders unite at "Living LEGO-CY" show

The Museum of American Heritage, the Bay Area LEGO User Group and the Bay Area LEGO Train Club bring builders together again for its annual holiday Lego extravaganza, "Living LEGO-CY." Visitors can enjoy creations made by club members, including Bay Area landmarks, castles and portraits.

Where: Museum of American History, 351 Homer Ave., Palo Alto

When: Dec. 11 to Jan. 16 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Cost: $2, free for Museum of American Heritage and Bay Area LEGO User Group members

Info: Museum of American History or 650-321-1004


Holiday concert from Ragazzi Continuo

Ragazzi Continuo, alumni of the Ragazzi Boys Chorus, invites locals to its holiday concert, "Carols Ancient and New." This program features a blend of Christmas classics from around the world and throughout time.

Where: All Saints Episcopal Church, 555 Waverley St., Palo Alto; and St. Peter's Episcopal Church, 178 Clinton St., Redwood City

When: Saturday, Dec. 12, at 2 p.m. in Palo Alto; and Saturday, Dec. 19, at 7 p.m. in Redwood City

Cost: $15-$18

Info: Ragazzi Continuo


'It's a Wonderful Nutcracker'

Menlowe Ballet presents "It's a Wonderful Nutcracker" under artistic director Michael Lowe. This performance was inspired by Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life," and is set in the 1940s. Lowe collaborated with Julie Lowe and Sarah-Jame Measor to make the ballet's narrative. The story, with its twists and turns, offers a heartfelt message to the audience about what makes the holidays wonderful.

Where: Menlo Atherton Performing Arts Center, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton

When: Saturday, Dec. 12, through Sunday, Dec. 20

Cost: $28-$55

Info: Menlowe Ballet or 650-231-2025


Youth ballet's 'Snow Queen'

The Bayer Ballet Co.'s "Snow Queen" will take the audience through the story of a love and friendship that overcomes evil. The youth ballet performance will include beautiful scenery, costumes, music and special effects.

Where: Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St.

When: Saturday, Dec. 19, and Sunday, Dec. 20, at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Cost: $40-$50

Info: Bayer Ballet Co. or 650-903-6000


Choral, orchestra celebration

"Winter's Gifts: Celebration" features The Choral Project and the San Jos Chamber Orchestra during an evening of live holiday music. Conductors Barbara Day Turner and Daniel Hughes come together to make this combination concert happen.

Where: First Presbyterian Church, 1140 Cowper St. Palo Alto

When: Saturday, Dec. 19, at 8 p.m.

Cost: $10-$32, children under 10 are free

Info: The Choral Project or 408-279-0161



Comedian Wayne Federman will bring the laughs while guests enjoy Chinese food at the annual holiday laughfest. Federman was the head monologue writer for NBC's "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" in its first season, and has had roles in "Legally Blonde," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," and more.

Where: Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto

When: Thursday, Dec. 24, at 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $55-$60

Info: Oshman Family JCC or 650-223-8791


Read more holiday stories in the Holiday Guide to Everything.

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