TODAY -- Voice of Christmas: As part of FRIDAYS AT THE FIRST, the 2012 Advent Series, mezzo soprano BRIANNA KRAMER will perform at noon today at First Christian Church, 701 Franklin St. SE, Olympia. The Timberline High School graduate has degrees in music, opera and musical theater and has performed roles in operas and musicals. Her free concert will feature classical and popular Christmas music. Free refreshments will be served at 11:30 a.m. You are welcome to bring your lunch.
TONIGHT AND SATURDAY -- Grammy winners: The Grammy-winning duo of guitarist ERIC TINGSTAD and multi-instrumentalist NANCY RUMBEL has been recording and performing together for 27 years. They will bring a concert of both holiday and non-holiday music to Traditions Cafe & World Folk Art, 300 Fifth Ave. SW, Olympia, at 8 p.m. today and Saturday. Tickets are $18, or $12 for students and those with low incomes. For more information, call 360-705-2819, or go to traditionsfairtrade.com or tingstadrumbel.com.
TONIGHT-SUNDAY -- Toe-pointing tradition: Theres still time to see Ballet Northwests THE NUTCRACKER at The Washington Center for Performing Arts, 532 Washington St. SE, Olympia. The classic ballet will enchant the whole family with visions of sugar-plum fairies, dancing princes and an epic battle beneath the Christmas tree. This is the final weekend of performances, which are at 7:30 tonight, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $14-$30 at 360-753-8586.
TODAYDEC. 31 -- Catch one of two holiday stage plays. Harlequin Productions A CHRISTMAS SURVIVAL GUIDE takes a wry and knowing look at the stressful season. The play runs through Dec. 31 at the State Theater, 202 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia. Tickets are $12-$38. Go to harlequinproductions.org. Meanwhile, Olympia Family Theater is putting on the childrens classic by Kenneth Grahame, WIND IN THE WILLOWS, now in its final weekend at the Minnaert Center for the Arts at South Puget Sound Community College, 2011 Mottman Road SW, Olympia. Performances are tonight, Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $9-$16. Call 360-753-8586.
TODAYJAN. 1 -- Chugga chugga choo choo: The Washington State History Museum will transport you back to the days when the iron horse was king with the MODEL TRAIN FESTIVAL, in its 17th year. The interactive exhibit at the Tacoma museum is so popular that its expanded to 11 days, starting today and running through Jan. 1 -- and it's so popular that I'm including it here. Taking over every floor of the museum, the interactive features include Operation Lifesaver, which simulates the time it takes to stop a real train in an emergency; the Cannonball Express, where visitors can build and play with sets themselves; and Santa Claus himself from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. today through Sunday. Train movies will play every day in the History Lab. And dont forget the Polar Express mini-train that takes visitors down the sidewalk from the history museum to Tacoma Art Museum, where the Polar Plaza offers ice-skating, camel rides, a tree lot and concessions. The museum is at 1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, except it closes at 1 p.m. Monday and is closed Christmas. Admission is $7-$9.50, with those 5 and younger getting in free. Call 888-272-9747 or go to washingtonhistory.org.
SATURDAY -- Create works of art: Create family memories and fun holiday gifts at the free HOLIDAY HANDPRINT CRAFTS workshop from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at LOTTs Wet Science Center, 500 Adams St. NE, Olympia (next to the new Hands On Childrens Museum, if you want to make a day of it). Get creative and make a special holiday work of art such as handprint trees, wreaths, reindeer and snowmen. Materials will be supplied. Call 360-528-5742.
SATURDAY -- Fiddlin' around: The OLY KIDS JAM is a traditional-music jam session, an outgrowth of the Oly Old-Time Fest that offers young players the opportunity to practice making beautiful music together. The sessions run from 3 to 5 p.m. this Saturday and the fourth Saturday of each month at South Bay Grange, 3918 Sleater-Kinney Road NE, Olympia. Admission is free. For more information, contact Anthea Lawrence at 360-357-7800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SATURDAY-MONDAY -- To market, one last time: The end of the year is a panicked time for lovers of the OLYMPIA FARMERS MARKET, as they scurry to stock up for more than three months without a trip to the market. The market will finish its season with its LAST MINUTE SHOPPERS DELIGHT weekend from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday, then it will close until the first weekend in April. For more information, go to olympiafarmersmarket.com.
TUESDAY -- Keep the faith: If you dont celebrate Christmas, Dec. 25 can be a lonely, boring day. Fill it up with a trip to the Capitol Theater, 206 Fifth Ave. SE, Olympia, to see the Academy Award-winning 1971 film FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. Temple Beth Hatfilohs sing-along film screening at 5 p.m. Dec. 25 tells the story of a Jewish family in rural Tsarist Russia in 1905 and the fathers attempts to maintain his family and Jewish traditions while outside influences encroach upon their lives. Bring a coat or blanket to donate to the homeless, and join in the costume contest if you like. For more information, go to olympiafilmsociety.org.
WEDNESDAY -- Blow off some steam: You will have unwrapped all your gifts and enjoyed a holiday meal maybe now you need to get active. The DAY AFTER CHRISTMAS CORN MAZE PAINTBALL GAME at Rutledge Farms might just be the kind of activity you need to recover from the big day -- or a little too much family togetherness. Get a group together and head out to the farm at 302 93rd Ave. SE, Olympia, for a day of paintball fun from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission is $20. But make sure to call ahead to 360-239-1770 to schedule a game.