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Planning Your Christmas Calendar
November 22, 2011

The holidays are upon us and there seem to be so many things to do. Don't pass up on the chance to make the season magical. Plan your Christmas calendar with some of these additional holiday events.

Elisa Black, Been There Done That blogger, points out some events that are worth participating in this year.


Gingerbread Competition at the Shops at Riverwoods in Provo

The Shops at Riverwoods is starting a new tradition this year with their gingerbread house competition. Each of the businesses created a large gingerbread representation of themselves, and they are on display at the shops, and the public has been invited to participate in the competition as well. You can buy gingerbread house kits with the basic tools at the Blickenstaff's toy shop. All building materials must be edible. The competition will run through Dec. 2nd and the winner will be announced on Dec. 3rd at Shops "Festival of Giving." Read more about the rules and regulations here: http://www.shopsatriverwoods.com/entertainment/eve nts/riverwoods- gingerbread-competition.html

International Creche Exhibit at the Homestead Resort in Midway

Dec. 2-5 it is the 13th annual International Creche Exhibit in Midaway, and this year it is hosted by the Homestead Resort. This is a free exhibit of nativity scenes from around the world. The Homestead will also have light refreshments and some fun activities for kids including cookie decorating and crafts for a small fee. The weekend of the exhibit is also Midway's Swiss Christmas which includes craft vendors, musical performances, and a visit from Father and Mother Christmas. Midway's outdoor skating rink is also open. The International Creche Exhibit is open from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Beehive Bazaar at the Bell Room in Provo

Dec. 8-10, Thurs. Fri.10 a.m.-10:00 p.m., Sat. 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. My favorite craft bazaar of all time, the Beehive Bazaar is opening its doors for three days starting Thursday, Dec. 8 at the Bell Room in Provoâ"”that's on the corner of University and Center street. This is a true artisan show. All of the vendors are artists and everything is hand-made. These are unique, really creative gifts. You'll find paper goods and prints, clothing, hand-crafted jewelry, bags, vinyl, custom chocolate, glassworksâ"¦it's sort of a hipsters market place.

Echoes of Christmas: Live Nativity at Liberty Park

Dec. 15-17, 19-21, 7:00-9:00 p.m. For those who are looking to experience the true meaning of Christmas in a new way, the "Echoes of Christmas" live nativity presentation at Liberty Park lets you participate in the story.

Shepherds with torches lead the audience from scene to scene, as you follow the story and draw closer to the stable and the Christ child. This is a 40-minute show with original music. There is about 20 minutes of walking, and the audience should dress warmly. This presentation has been enthusiastically received ever since it opened three years ago. Admission is free. You can see pictures and a video at their website www.echoesofchristmas.com .

Imagine Ballet Theatre presents "The Nutcracker"

Founded by former Ballet West principal dancer Raymond Van Mason, Imagine Ballet Theatre (IBT) is Utah's pre-professional ballet school for kids and teens. Their production of The Nutcracker is truly a unique, Utah production. The scenery has been painted by local artists; the score has been arranged by a Utah composer, and the choreography is by Raymond Van Mason who has also choreographed for Ballet West and the Utah Opera. In most productions of The Nutcracker, Clara and her nutcracker prince dominate the first act, but the second act is taken over by the Sugar Plum Fairy and her cavalier. In IBT's version, the focus remains on Clara, as the story is very much from her point of view.

This is a production that appeals to children. The scenery, the child actors, the storyâ"¦it's all magical. There's a reason this ballet is Christmas tradition for all ages and interests.

Imagine Ballet's Nutcracker runs Dec. 14-17 and the 19th 7:30 p.m. at the Peery Egyptian Theater in Ogden. There is a 2:00 p.m. matinee on Saturday the 17th.

Christmas Riverboat Cruise

This season, you don't have to wait for snow for a sled ride. Take a scenic tour down the Provo river with thousands of lights reflecting off of the water. There are Christmas scenes along the shore, Christmas music, and Santa even comes along in his canoe. The barges can hold up to 40 people. The trips happen every 30 min. on the hour and half-hour. This part of the Provo River is very beautiful and isolated; there are tree branches arching over the river. This is a great activity for families. Forget the mall, the line to see Santa, the frightened toddlers. Tickets are just $6 per per personâ"” less than movie tickets. Dec. 2nd-26th, Mon.- Sat. 6:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m. 3606 W. Center Street in Provo, by Utah Lake. Dress warmly.

Diversity Trees in West Valley

The Utah Cultural Celebration Center in West Valley currently has an exhibition entitled "Trees of Diversity." Fir trees are decorated to represent different countries and ethnicities. Each one has been donated and decorated by a different ethnic group. This is a great way for families to introduce their children to Christmas customs from around the world. There are also nativity scenes and gingerbread houses.

This is a free exhibit, and it is ideal for grown-ups and children, friends, families, singletonsâ"”anyone who is looking to broaden their horizons this holiday season.

The exhibit runs from Nov. 17 through Dec. 27th, Mon.-Thurs. 9:00 a.m. 6:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays by arrangement.


You can discover more holiday events at Elisa's blog, http://beenthere- eb.blogspot.com/