Holiday Happenings: Plays, concerts, parades, ballets are all part of offerings for the season

By NIKKI ROWELL,

By NIKKI ROWELL

Sun Staff  Writer

The holiday season is upon us, and events across the Jackson metro offer something for everyone to ensure your holidays are merry and bright.

The Mississippi Children’s Museum (MCM) will offer several opportunities for visits with Santa November 30  through December 22.

The following is a complete list of dates and times for Santa visits and photos: November 30, from 10 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.; December 1, from 2 to 4 p.m.; December 6, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.; December 7, from 10 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.; December 14, from noon to 2 p.m.; December 21, from 10 a.m. to noon; and December 22, from 2 to 4 p.m.

In addition to Santa visits, MCM will keep the holiday magic going with its annual holiday event Journey to the North Pole.

Drawing inspiration from lessons in navigation and geography, along with traditional holiday literature, Journey to the North Pole transforms the Gertrude C. Ford Exhibition Hall’s 1,800 square feet of space into a magical winter village of twinkling lights and train cars, beginning November 25 and running through January 5.

MCM has added an interactive clock tower slide with a gear wall, and a child-size post office equipped with a package sorting station and conveyor belt for guests to sort and ship packages. The event will also include, for the first time, the Reindeer Rink for sock skating.

Journey to the North Pole already includes a train built for students to create their own journey, a holiday train table with toy trains, a letter writing station where students can pen their letter to Santa, the popular Snowflake Slide and Santa’s Stable. 

The program is included with general admission or museum membership. For more information, call 601-981-5469 or visit www.mississippichildrensmuseum.com.

The Westin of Jackson will kick off its annual Festival of Trees with a tree lighting ceremony on December 4 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. This event is free and open to the public, so guests are invited to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or cider as they enjoy the “Whimsical Winter Wonderland” of Christmas Tree Lane, which will be decked out in blue, white and silver.

The trees, which are decorated by local businesses and organizations as a donation to Children’s of Mississippi, will be displayed from December 4-29.

The Trustmark pop-up ice skating rink will be located on the corner of West and Tombigbee Street and will be available during select dates and times.

The admission fee, which is $5 and includes skate rental, will be donated to Children’s of Mississippi.

Skating hours are Thursday and Friday, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

On Thursday, December 5 at 7 p.m., the Special Olympics of Mississippi will have its annual GOLD Gala at the Westin. During the gala, more than 4,500 athletes across the state will be honored. There will also be a silent auction and entertainment provided by the Love Notes and the Central Mississippi Blues Society.

For more information, visit the Westin website or social media pages.

New Stage Theatre is keeping a holiday tradition alive with the return of “A Christmas Carol – a Ghost Story for Christmas.”

Adapted by Michael Wilson from the Charles Dickens story, “A Christmas Carol” tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a wealthy man who is “rich in money and poor in spirit.”

Featuring visitors from Christmas past, present and future, Dicken’s classic tale will bring the Christmas spirit to the stage with a “heart-stirring Carol of profound beauty and redemption.”

Directed by Peppy Biddy, showings will begin on December 5 and run through December 22. From December 5-7, 11-14 and 17-21, the show will begin at 7:30 p.m.

On December 8, 15 and 22, the show will begin at 2 p.m.

From December 6 through 8, the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi will transform the Mississippi Trademart in Jackson into a wonderland of holiday shopping. The annual event, Chimneyville Arts Festival, will feature wares from local craftsmen.

On Friday and Saturday, Chimneyville will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. On Sunday, the event will begin at 11 a.m. and run through 4 p.m.

The Museum of Natural Science is gearing up for the holiday season with a few Christmas-themed events.

On Friday, December 6, the museum will host STEM with Snowflakes from 10 a.m. to noon.

Guests will experiment with instant snow, make their own paper snowflakes to learn about symmetry, explore the fascinating properties of dry ice and hear the wonderful story of “Snowflake Bentley,” the naturalist and photographer who first captured snowflakes on film.

Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for youth ages three and up. Tickets are free for ages under three. Museum members are free.

The Museum of Natural Science will also turn into a winter wonderland on December 13 and 14 for its Snow Much Fun event, which will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Each night will include scheduled “snowfalls,” selfies with Santa, winter woodland crafts, winter science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) experiments and a “Snow-Ball.”

Coffee and food vendors will be on site.

Tickets are $9 for adults and $5 for children three and up.

Advance tickets may be purchased until noon on December 12th and used once for either event date.

For more information, call 601-576-6000 or email nicole.smith@mmns.ms.gov.

The 87th annual Belhaven University Singing Christmas tree will be held December 6 and 7 at Blazer Stadium at 7:30 p.m.

Belhaven choral arts singers and additional students, faculty, and staff join together to sing Christmas carols while holding lights and standing on risers that form the shape of a Christmas tree. Belhaven’s event is one of the top 20 events in the southeast.

Ballet Mississippi will keep tradition alive with its 25th anniversary production of The Nutcracker.

The classic holiday story will be brought to life on the stage December 6 at 7:30 p.m. and December 7-8 at 3 p.m.

Ticket prices range from $15 to $40. Tickets will be available online at www.balletms.com or at the door. For more information, call 601-960-1560.

The Christmas by Candlelight tour will be Friday, December 6 from 4:30 to 8 p.m. at all Mississippi Department of Archives and History sites in Jackson.

This popular annual event features seasonal decorations, live holiday music and refreshments at the Governor’s Mansion, the Eudora Welty House and Garden, the Manship House Museum, the Old Capitol Museum and the State Capitol.

The beloved model trains and family movies of past winter holidays will run at the William Winter Archives Building. The historic section of the Governor’s Mansion features traditional holiday decorations using seasonal greenery.

Free transportation will take visitors from site to site, with parking available at the Old Capitol and the State Capitol.

For more information, call the Mississippi Department of Archives and History at 601-961-4724 or email info@mdah.ms.gov.

The city of Ridgeland’s Christmas tree light will be at the Plaza at Old Town Crossing on December 5 from 6 to 8 p.m.

The Ridgeland Christmas parade will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 7. The theme for the 2019 parade is “Songs of Christmas.”

Parade winners will be announced immediately following the parade at Holmes Community College.

The city of Jackson Christmas tree lighting will begin at 6 p.m. on December 6 at Jackson City Hall. The following day, December 7, the Jackson Christmas parade will roll through the city beginning at 5 p.m.

For more information, contact constituent services at 601-960-1084.

The Madison Christmas parade will march through the city on December 7 beginning at 9 a.m.

At First Baptist Church in Jackson, volunteers will share the story of Christmas through a combination of music and drama in the 50th annual Carols by Candlelight.

The production will take place at First Baptist Church Jackson from December 13 through December 15.

Tickets are available online at www.firstbaptistjackson.com. For more information on the production, call 601-949-1920.

Childcare is available to people attending Carols by Candlelight for children from ages birth through three years old. The service is free, but reservations are requested to assist with planning.

The Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet will present a timeless holiday classic, The Nutcracker, on December 14 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and on December 15 at 2 p.m.

Performances will be held at the Jackson Academy Performing Arts Center. For tickets, call 601-853-4508 or visit msmetroballet.com.

The Town of Livingston will present Christmas on the Square on Saturday, December 14 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The festive event is filled with holiday cheer, including pictures with Santa, arts and crafts, kids activities and a mimosa bar.

The Square of Livingston is located on the corner of Mississippi Highway 463 and Mississippi Highway 22.

The Mississippi Grande Chorus, with soloists and members of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, will present Messiah by Candlelight on December 14 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at St. Columb’s Episcopal Church in Ridgeland.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $5 for students with ID. Children 12 and under will be admitted free.

Ballet Magnificat! will bring the story of “A Christmas Carol” to the stage December 21 and 22 at Thalia Maria Hall from 2 to 4 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased online at balletmagnificat.com.

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