Weekender’s Five 5s: Affordable options of things to do in NEPA and surrounding areas

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This week the Five 5s bring you options of wine tasting, holiday shopping, Christmas villages and Hanukkah themed events.


Wine making and tasting: $15. Head to the Wyoming Free Library from 358 Wyoming Ave., and take part in learning how to create the popular adult beverage. Samples will be provided from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 4. $25 per couple. For more information, call 570-693-1364.

An afternoon of Colonial hospitality: $5, $3 for children. Take part in the annual 18th-century Christmas program at the historic Nathan Denison House, 35 Denison St., Forty Fort. The event runs from 1 to 5 p.m. Dec. 5 and 6. For more information, call 570-855-2737.

Mayrutz Run: $14, $12 for seniors.On Dec. 6, the annual Running of the Torch from B’nai B’rith in Kingston and Temple Israel in Wilkes-Barre to the Jewish Community Center at 60 S. River St., Wilkes-Barre, to light the first candle of the outdoor menorah, signaling the beginning of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights will take place. Bubbie’s Hanukkah Dinner will follow the lighting with music and games. The run begins at 5 p.m., lighting at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m. The event is open to the public and reservations can be made by calling 570-824-4646.

Chanukah on Ice: $9. Enjoy ice skating, menorah lighting, Hanukkah crafts, a DJ and pizza from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 7 at Coal Street Ice Rink, 38 Coal St., Wilkes-Barre. Admission includes skate rental. Call 570-590-9763 for more info.

Wine glass painting: $20. At 6 p.m. Dec. 9, take part in the class at Marian Sutherland Kirby Library, 35 Kirby Ave., Mountain Top. Admission includes two glasses, paint and aprons. To register call 570-474-9313.


Christmas in a Small Town: Free! Take part in the annual Santa Train on Dec. 5. There will be refreshments, live entertainment and activities. Stops begin at 10:30 a.m. in Carbondale, 11:35 a.m. in Archbald, 12:20 p.m. in Jessup, 1 p.m. in Olyphant, 1:45 p.m. in Dickson City and 2:45 p.m. at Steamtown National Historic Site, off Lackawanna Avenue in downtown Scranton. Call 570-963-6730 for more info.

Homemade for the Holidays: Enjoy a little nature at Lackawanna State Park, 1839 Abington Road, North Abington Township. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 5, create an ornament using natural materials such as pine cones, milkweed pods and teasel. Call 570-945-3239 for more info.

Scranton Made Holiday Market: Free! If you make it they will come. And, artisans made it. Head to The Mall at Steamtown, 300 Lackawanna Ave., Scranton from 5 to 10 p.m. Dec. 4 and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 5 and browse through vendors of locally made products.

Christmas Bazaar: Free! Continue your holiday shopping with dozens of local artisans, lunch, bake sale and basket raffles. Shop from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 5 and 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at St. Thomas Moore Catholic Parish, 116 Theodore St., Scranton.

Holiday Light Spectacular: Free! Thousands of holiday lights turn Nay Aug Park in Scranton into a winter wonderland. When the sun sets drive through the park to enjoy holidays scenes. Fore more info call 570-348-4186.


Holiday Workshop: Free!Grab the kids and bring them to the Dietrich Theater from 11 to 12:30 p.m. on Dec. 5 for a morning of cookie decorating, holiday crafts, singing and creations by the Balloon Lady.

Olde Time Christmas: Free! On Dec. 4 Jim Thorpe’s holiday event kicks off.Enjoy tours of the Asa Packer mansion, live nativity, train rides with Santa, ghost walks, gingerbread-house contest, scavenger hunt, concerts by the Bach and Handel Chorale, a display of 500 creches, Santa’s Workshop, strolling carolers, musicians and more. Downtown Jim Thorpe. A tree-lighting ceremony is at 5 p.m. in Josiah White Park. Festivities continue 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 13.

Christmas in Our Hometown: Enjoy horse-drawn wagon rides, trolley rides, ice sculptures, Santa and Mrs. Claus, strolling carolers and musicians, “Living Window” entertainment, Living Nativity, model-train displays, hot chocolate and cider, a Cookie Walk, Gingerbread House Display, free showings of “Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas,” a holiday workshop, tree lighting each night and more. Head to downtown Tunkhannock and the Dietrich Theater, 60 E. Tioga St. 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 4; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 5. For more info call 570-996-1500 or 570-687-1584.

Treefest: $6.The Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble invites you to see more than 130 decorated trees, seasonal musicians, choirs and dance groups, artisans market, a gingerbread house contest and Chinese auction at Market Square in Bloomsburg from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 4; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 5; noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 6.

Herbal Teas: $5. Take a walk around the preserve to find various plants for tea-making. Event takes place at 10 a.m., Dec. 5 at Kettle Creek Environmental Education Center, 8050 Running Valley Road, Stroudsburg. Call 570-629-3061 for more info.


Blue Cross RiverRink Tree Lighting: On Dec. 4, head to Winterfest for an incredible tree lighting. The evening includes a parade with Santa, the elves, the Sixers’ mascot Franklin and player Robert Covington and the Eagles’ Drumline. Activities include stocking decoration and other holiday crafts at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and making ice skating ornaments with the Arden Theater Company.

Comcast Holiday Spectacular: Philly’s Comcast Center is home to one of the largest four-millimeter LED screens in the world. For the eight year, the Holiday Spectacular lights up that screen with a free 15-minute show, which includes scenes from The Nutcracker, performed by the Pennsylvania Ballet. The show runs through Jan. 3, at the top of each hour from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Christmas Village at Love Park: One of the highlights of Center City, the outdoor Christmas Village runs until Dec. 27. The German-style holiday market features 60 vendors in more than 90 wooden booths in Love Park. Shop for holiday gifts, ornaments and other crafts. There’s a giant Christmas tree in the center, and special events throughout the season. This year, there’s a food and wine garden behind the welcome center. It’s very close to City Hall’s Rothman Ice Rink.

Franklin Square Holiday Festival: The outdoor festival returns through Dec. 31. Enjoy the the Electrical Spectacle Light Show, where 50,000 twinkling lights appear with holiday music. There’s a holiday market and winter beer garden (Thursday through Sunday until Dec. 24, daily from then through Dec. 31). On Dec. 4, celebrate all things “Frozen” with Kids Corner host Kathy O’Connell (5:30-7:30). For a full list of events, visit: www.historicphiladelphia.org/holidays-in-franklin-square/

Winter Wonderland at Headhouse: South Street Headhouse District’s annual holiday celebration at the Shambles kicks off at 3 p.m. Dec. 6. Start at the Headhouse Holiday Market and get local goods and food from area eateries. At 4:30 p.m. a menorah will be lit for the first time. This is a family friendly event, complete with arts and crafts workshops and Santa arriving on a fire truck at 5 p.m. At 6:15 p.m., the tree will be lit.


Star Wars and the Power of Costume: $27.50. Can’t wait until “Star Wars: The Force Awakens?” Get in the mood with an exhibit at Discovery Times Square. See 70 original costumes from the first two trilogies, along with seven new costumes from The Force Awakens. The exhibit runs through Feb. 29.

Crafts at the Cathedral: $6. For the 17th year, the holiday market returns to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. More than 60 local vendors will be on hand, selling artisan crafts at 5 p.m. Dec. 4, 10 a.m. Dec. 5 and 11 a.m. Dec. 6. Proceeds from admissions goes to the Cathedral and its programs.

China Doll: Al Pacino hits the stage at the Gerald Shoenfeld Theatre in China Doll, one of David Mamet’s plays about a wealthy man and his trophy wife. The show runs through Jan. 31. Tickets start at $72.

School of Rock: The popular 2003 Jack Black movie hits Broadway in a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Julian Fellowes. The show stars Alex Brightman as an unsuccessful rocker who forms a band with students at his substitute teaching gig. The musical is at the Winter Garden Theatre; tickets start at $59.

Walid Raad: $25. Lebanese artist Raad’s work is showcased at the Museum of Modern Art through Jan. 31. The exhibition includes videos, photos and art installations inspired by Raad’s memories of Lebanon’s civil war, as well as life in the current Middle East. The exhibit is free with admission. For more information, visit www.moma.org.

Affordable options of things to do in NEPA and surrounding areas

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