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Posted on Thu. Dec. 13, 2012 - 12:01 am EDT

Going out guide: The best things to do in the coming week

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TODAY

NIGHT OUT: Enjoy the music of Chris Worth & Co. 7-10 p.m. at Covington Bar & Grill, 6330 W. Jefferson Blvd.

FRIDAY

SPIRITUAL FOCUS: The 61st annual Christ Child Festival opens 6-9 p.m. at Memorial Coliseum, 4000 Parnell Ave.

Events include children's crafts, activities and face painting; a live Nativity with animals; entertainment including live music; displays of artwork; and numerous exhibitor booths.

People attending are invited to bring non-perishable food items for donation to the Associated Churches of Fort Wayne and Allen County food bank system. They also can help via a “Soldier's Tree,” which will display contact information for sending a card or gift to active-duty U.S. military men and women who are serving away from home during the holidays.

Festival admission is free. Parking is $4, main lot, and $8, preferred lot.

For more information, go to www.christchildfestival.com.

WINTER FANTASY: Follow along as the fairy tale “The Snow Queen” unfolds on stage in a Fort Wayne Youtheatre production at 7 p.m. at the Arts United Center, 303 E. Main St.

The Hans Christian Andersen tale revolves around children Kai and Gerda, who travel to the land of the Snow Queen and learn a lesson about the power of good over evil. The fairy tale was adapted for the stage by Youtheatre Artistic Director Harvey Cocks, who also directs.

Additional performances will be at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Tickets are $15, adults; $10, children/seniors; and $7, groups of 10 or more. Buy tickets by calling 422-4226 or at the ArtsTix Community Box Office, 303 E. Main St., open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and noon-4 p.m. Saturdays.

A pre-show party, the Ice Castle Ball, at 6 p.m. Friday will allow people to meet the cast and enjoy a cocktail buffet provided by Club Soda. Cost is $5 for children and $10 for adults.

MUSICAL MERRIMENT: Celebrate the season with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic's annual Holiday Pops concert at 8 p.m. at the Embassy Theatre, 121 W. Jefferson Blvd.

Bradley Thachuk, the Phil's former associate conductor and longtime Holiday Pops planner and conductor, returns to lead the festivities. The orchestra will be joined by talented vocalists from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, as well as by the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Chorus and Fort Wayne Children's Choir.

Additional Holiday Pops concerts will be presented at 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are $28-$68. To order, call 481-0777, go to www.fwphil.org or buy them at the Embassy Theatre box office.

SATURDAY

RIDE WITH SANTA: A half-century ago, Santa Claus always arrived by train to begin the Christmas season in Fort Wayne. He'll ride the rails again Saturday aboard the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society's annual Santa Train.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., families can board a vintage train for $4 per person and visit with Santa during a 20-minute ride. Special evening Santa Charter rides for up to 15 people include an hour-long train trip with refreshments, classic holiday music and gifts; cost is $200.

The Santa Train can accommodate up to 40 passengers at a time. The Bravas food truck also will be on site serving hot dogs.

While there, visitors also can see Nickel Plate Road steam locomotive No. 765, which the rail historical society operates for passenger excursions and public exhibitions.

For more information, go to www.fortwaynerailroad.org.

YOUNGER 'NUTCRACKER': The New American Youth Ballet and Conservatory will present “The Nutcracker” at 8 p.m. at the University of Saint Francis Performing Arts Center, formerly the Scottish Rite Center, 431 W. Berry St.

The production by the Fort Wayne academic and dance program has been designed for young performers and audiences, so some scarier and mature aspects of the traditional performance have been removed.

Cost is $15 per person. Tickets are available in advance by calling 471-7848 by 5 p.m. Friday, or at the venue box office beginning one hour before the show.

SONGS OF THE SEASON: Enjoy holiday classics and newer tunes as the Heartland Sings choral group presents Heartland Sings: Holidays at 7 p.m. at Homestead High School's auditorium, 4310 Homestead Road.

Heartland also will perform the concert at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Trinity Evangelical Presbyterian Church, 709 E. Business U.S. 30 in Columbia City.

Tickets for all shows $20 are each and are available at www.heartlandchorale.org or 436-8080. Children ages 18 and younger are free when accompanied by a paying adult.

SUNDAY

GO NUTS: Grinches, elves, snow queens and rag dolls take over the stage during the Fort Wayne Dance Collective's performance of “Nuts & Crackers” at 2 p.m. in the auditorium at South Side High School, 3601 S. Calhoun St.

The performance includes dance students ages 3 to adult from the Dance Collective's School for Movement and Creative Process. They will perform modern dance, ballet, contemporary dance, hip hop dance and taiko drumming.

Tickets are $13, adults; and $11, children ages 12 and under. They are available through the Arts United Community box office in the Arts United Center, 303 E. Main St.; by calling 422-4226, or at https://tickets.artstix.org. For more information, email info@fwdc.org or call 424-6574.

TUESDAY

CHRISTMAS CONCERT: Christian artist David Phelps performs Christmas and other music at 7:30 p.m. at First Assembly of God Christian Center, 1400 W. Washington Center Road.

Cost is $20, advance; $25, at the door; $18 each, groups of 10 or more; $10, ages 6-12; free, ages 5 and under. Tickets are available at YoYo, 10015 Lima Road and 9930 Illinois Road; www.trinitycommunications.org or 484-1029.


— News-Sentinel staff reports


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