You don't have to wait to send 2016 packing. (And why would you?) Dress in full feather and dance the night away with local musicians Michael Dayvid and Dominic Romano at the Pre-New Year's Eve Blues event on Tuesday, Dec. 27 from 8 to 10:30 p.m. at Arcata Core Pilates Studio ($5). There'll be cider and treats for snacking. Bring something to share.
Baby, it's cold outside. Cold enough to chatter our teeth but not freeze our lagoons. Don't let that dash your Cutting Edge dreams, skaters. Head to the Humboldt Ice Rink in Fortuna's Newburg Park now through Jan. 8 ($12, $8 kids, rental included). See www.humboldticerink.com for the schedule and start carving out those figure eights.
Not sure if you made the Nice List this year? Fear not. The Season of Giving offers plenty of opportunity to get in good graces. That sweater Aunt Tilda knitted you three Christmases ago that's still keeping the hanger warm? Chuck it into a Goodwill box. Winter coats, new socks and canned goods are all cherished by local organizations that help those in need. Here are a few places to start.
Food For People, which provides food assistance in Humboldt County, has holiday donation bags and drop sites across the county. Visit www.foodforpeople.org for a full list of donation drop sites. They are also in need of holiday hams and turkeys. Donations can be dropped off daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the food bank, 307 W. 14th St. in Eureka, next to the DMV.
The Eureka Rescue Mission is always looking for volunteers to help serve Christmas meals.
If you are interested in ladling out some kindness, give a call at 445-3787. The staff is also looking for gently used items for its thrift store, as well as food for its shelters. If you'd like to donate, call 443-2523.
Light up a kid's face this Christmas morning by making sure he or she is included in Santa's delivery. Drop off new toys for kids in need at Toys for Tots collection boxes placed throughout the community. Find locations or info about toy drives at www.eureka-ca.toysfortots.org.
There are also a number of animal rescue and shelter organizations that need pet food, cat litter, used newspapers, hay, grain, dog-walking volunteers and more. Check out Miranda's Rescue's website at www.mirandasrescue.org/links for a list of local animal rescue groups.
Winter break is long, parents. Take the kids to celebrate the magic of reading with Magician Dale Lorzo on Thursday, Dec. 22 at 3 p.m. in the Fortuna Library (free). The Master of Mirth and Magic mixes stories, illusions and games with audience participation. Little ones receive a free book to keep them entertained at home.
Need a break before the holidays hit this weekend? Spend some time with a couple of couples at the Eureka Theater and the Arcata Theatre Lounge. Sure, other theaters have the explosion-riddled blockbusters but the aim here is to reduce stress, not add to it. The lines will be shorter, the crowds less frenetic and the scenes playing out on the screen more nostalgic. That's how to take in a movie during the holidays, right? Plus, booze.
On Thursday, Dec. 22, order a martini (or six to catch up) in the lobby of the elegant Eureka Theater and watch William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles, an ex-detective and his socialite wife (and their little dog Asta, too) spend the holidays solving a murder mystery with wit and style in The Thin Man showing at 7:30 p.m. ($5). They're a tad drunk and so might you be. It's like spending time with family so don't feel guilty about stepping out.
Next stop, Arcata. Travel halfway across the country with Steve Martin and John Candy in Planes, Trains and Automobiles playing at the Arcata Theatre Lounge on Friday, Dec. 23 at 8 p.m. ($5). The comedic giants star as Neal and Del, two guys who couldn't be more different, yet are stuck with each other trying to get home for the holidays amid a series of madcap mishaps that play out with hilarity and heart. If you think it's bad when 299 is closed ...
At five bucks a pop, these flicks buy you a nice reprieve from the holiday madness. Go on, give yourself the gift of sanity. Your family will thank you for it.
We are merrily making our way through December — up to our elbows in festivities, crafts fairs, concerts and parades. Humboldt's bountiful arts scene provides oodles of entertainment this time of year and plenty more nuts to crack.
One of the larger productions of the holiday dance classic is Sundance Ballet Company's The Nutcracker Ballet, playing Saturday, Dec. 17, with shows at 2 and 7 p.m. and on Sunday, Dec. 18 at 2 p.m. in the Van Duzer Theatre ($18, $15 kids, $15, $12 kids advance). This full-length production features new choreography by Artistic Director Carrie Badeaux, guest artists from the Bay Area and nearly 100 Dance Scene Studio students.
Trinity Ballet Academy presents Clara's Dream, Saturday, Dec. 17 at 4 p.m. at North Coast Repertory Theatre featuring traditional dances of The Nutcracker as well as dances of the First Noel. Trinity Ballet Academy's Youth Ballet Theater dancers, a group of students ages 11 to young adult, perform. Also performing are dancers of the academy's resident company, the Ballet Emmaus Project. For tickets and information call 839-1816.
And ... No Limits Dance Academy presents Candy Cane Lane, a holiday show featuring "colorful costumes, exciting music and spectacular dancing," on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 6 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 18 at 2 p.m. at the Arkley Center for the Performing Arts ($12.50, $8.50 kids 3-12 in advance, $19 adults, $15 for kids 12 and under at the door).
Hark! The herald angels sing and following suit are many talented troubadours right here on earth. Don't miss these local songsters making a joyful noise this Christmas.
A cappella supergroup A Company of Voices presents its holiday repertoire during Winter Song on Friday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. at Morris Graves Museum of Art ($10). Holiday work party that night? Catch an encore performance on Sunday, Dec. 18 at 3 p.m. at Humboldt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship ($10).
Xmas at the SPACE is another opportunity to fill your holiday music stocking. Get warm with the Hot Toddies (Claire Bent, Fiona Gadd-Ryder and Amy Chalfant), an Andrews Sisters-inspired trio ringing in the season with tunes from the 1940s on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 7:30 p.m. at HLOC's Space ($10). Joining the gals are Melissa Hinz and the Tapping Toes, guitarist James Gadd and singers Tristin Roberts and Ty Visenor. Space is limited at the SPACE so come early or reserve your spot by calling 822-3319.
The McKinleyville Community Choir Winter Concert on Sunday, Dec. 18 at 3 p.m. at Arcata Playhouse (free, donations) promises a fun evening in an intimate setting where you and yours will be serenaded by a full choir, an ensemble group, solos and duets with accompanying instruments and a cappella songs. Plus, there's an audience sing-along and refreshments to keep the holiday spirit meter on full tilt.
No sound embodies Christmas more than brass instruments playing traditional carols. Treat yourself to trumpets heralding in the season with Christmas Brass Bands (saxophone quartet and a brass ensemble) strolling Ferndale Main Street, Saturdays, Dec. 10 and 17 from 2-4 p.m. (free). Music to your ears.
Kids can create delicious and fun holiday decorations at Holiday Castles and Graham Cracker Houses on Saturday, Dec. 10 at the Arcata Community Center from 10:30 a.m. to noon for ages 4-6 and 1 to 2:30 p.m. for ages 7-10 ($15/$20 non Arcata residents). Meanwhile, parents browse the Holiday Craft Market from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (free). Sweet deal.
What happens when ocean lovers get swanky? They throw a holiday party and year in review, call it Black & White Ocean Night and invite the public to party with them. Join Surfrider Humboldt, Northcoast Environmental Center and Humboldt Baykeeper on Saturday, Dec. 10 from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at the Arcata Theatre Lounge for black and white surf flicks, food, drinks and merriment ($3 donation).