Fun things to do in Thurston County this week

Dancers from Ballet Northwest's 2016 "The Nutcracker." This year’s production has four performances this weekend.
Dancers from Ballet Northwest's 2016 "The Nutcracker." This year’s production has four performances this weekend. Courtesy photo

Saturday & Sunday

Kids can play in the snow at Hands On Children’s Museum

You won’t have to go to the mountains to get some snow play this weekend. Just head down to the Hands On Children’s Museum, 414 Jefferson St. NE, for its Snow Days. Real snow will be brought in, and kids will be able to dig into snow sensory bins, construct a snow city, learn how to snowshoe, and explore the science of snowflakes. The cold fun runs from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Activities are free with museum admission. Go to hocm.org/special-guests-activities for more information.

Friday (Dec. 15)

Support local nonprofits at Alternative Gift Fair

Take part in a non-commercial celebration of the season at the Alternative Gift Fair at Flourish, 112 E. Fourth Ave., Olympia. Join GRuB, Friendly Water for the World, Rachel Corrie Foundation, Pizza Klatch and other nonprofits from 5:30-8 p.m. Friday (Dec. 15) to purchase gifts and goods, sign up to volunteer, and plan your end-of-year charitable donations. To find out more, go to tinyurl.com/Alternative-Fair


The audience is the chorus at Messiah singalong

The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St. SE, will once again host its community Handel’s Messiah Singalong. Come to sing or listen to the classic choral masterpiece at 7 p.m. Monday. Admission is free, vocal scores will be available for purchase. washingtoncenter.org.

Friday (Dec. 15) — Sunday

Ballet Northwest’s “The Nutcracker” in final weekend

Ballet Northwest’s “The Nutcracker” continues at the Washington Center for Performing Arts, 512 Washington St. SE, this weekend. The production features 200 local dancers. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets start at $14. Go to washingtoncenter.org to get yours.

Friday (Dec. 15) — Monday

Studio West Dance Theatre produces ‘The Nutcracker’ for one weekend only

Studio West Dance Theatre’s production of “The Nutcracker” is this weekend at the Minnaert Center for the Arts at South Puget Sound Community College, 2011 Mottman Road SW, Olympia. Featuring guest artist Joshua Grant, soloist with Pacific Northwest Ballet, the production also showcases the talents of more than 230 dancers. Performance times are 7 p.m. Friday (Dec. 15), 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday and 1 p.m. Monday. Each matinee includes Clara’s Winter Wonderland Party for children ages 3 and older one hour before showtime. Tickets start at $17 and are available at washingtoncenter.org.


BiblioBall takes over Olympia Library

It’s going to be a folksy frolic at the annual BiblioBall at Olympia Timberland Library, 313 Eighth Ave. SE. Come dressed as fairies, gnomes, sprites, a favorite classic literary character or your finest formal wear to enjoy dancing, refreshments and a fashion show. Join author/herbalist Elise Krohn making nature crafts while enjoying the music of The Bow Weevils. The fun runs 6:30-8 p.m. Saturday and is for all ages. Call 360-352-0595 for more information.


Celebrate winter solstice at poetry night

Help brighten up the shortest day of the year at the annual Poetry for Winter Solstice “Seasons Readings” at Traditions Café, 300 Fifth Ave. SW, Olympia. Sponsored by Olympia Poetry Network, local poets are invited to read seasonal poems about winter, peace, holidays, family and more at the open mic. Members of the Olympia Poetry Network board will be featured readers. The free event begins at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. For more information, call 306-701-2030.

Friday (Dec. 15) — Dec. 31

Apple Tree Productions brings two holiday plays to Capitol Theater

Discover the talents of local youth when Apple Tree Productions opens two holiday shows at the Capitol Theater, 206 Fifth Ave. SE, Olympia. The production company, known for its educational theater productions, will first put on “Annie” at 7 p.m. Friday (Dec. 15), Saturday and Sunday along with 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday. To ring in the New Year, the group will bring “Children of Eden” to the stage with 7 p.m. performances Dec. 30 and 31. Tickets prices for both productions are $15 general admission, $12 students, seniors and Olympia Film Society members, and are available at olympiafilmsociety.org. Doors open one hour before curtain.