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The Weekend: Hanukkah Family Olympics, Christmas Concerts and More

Seasonal activities in and around the Caldwells.

December has been described as “the most wonderful time of the year”, with good cause! As the holidays approach, exciting events occur all over town, including pageants and concerts, Hanukkah events, shows and classes. Patch has highlighted several opportunities for seasonal fun below that are happening right in the Caldwells area. Read on for details, and feel free to make your own suggestions for weekend fun in the Comments section. Enjoy!

Where/When: , 359 Central Ave., North Caldwell; Sunday at 7:30 p.m.

Why Go? Take a 42-piece symphony orchestra, add an all-professional chorus, featuring leading soloists from the New York City Opera, The New York Grand Opera and the New Jersey State Opera, and put them together under the directorship of renowned priest-conductor the Reverend Alphonse Stephenson, and you have a magnificent evening of holiday music. Not to be missed!

Pricing: $35

Where/When: , 30 Clinton Road, West Caldwell; Sunday at 2 p.m.

Why Go? Multi-award-winning Latino vocalist and guitarist Jesse Rivera will perform a bi-lingual holiday concert featuring traditional holiday carols in English and Spanish, such as "Feliz Navidad," "Deck the Halls," and "Jingle Bells." He will also perform some original holiday songs, including "Merry Christmas, Navidad,” "Happy Holidays to You" and "The Best Time of the Year."

Pricing: Free, but advance registration is required.

Where/When: , 1275 Bloomfield Ave., Fairfield; Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Why Go? Just in time for holiday shopping, is conducting a Meet the Artist reception and art sale. Artists will be conducting demonstrations throughout the day.

Pricing: FREE

Where/When: Essex County Environmental Center, 621b Eagle Rock Ave., Roseland; Saturday at noon

Why Go? Holiday treats need not be bad for you to be delicious! Learn to prepare three kinds of organic cookies without wheat or sugar cane to taste and take home. One of the cookies will be gluten-free, one vegan, and one a surprise! Take home the recipe cards for home baking!

Pricing: $10

Where/When: , 8 Academy Road, Caldwell; Sunday at 10 a.m.

Why Go? One of the more magical parts of Christmas is watching children act out the Nativity story. The young members of the Methodist church will present their pageant for all to share in the wonder of the Christmas Story. Everyone is welcome.

Price: FREE

Where/When: , 760 Northfield Ave., West Orange; Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

Why Go? Families with children in kindergarten through sixth grades are invited to join in Olympics-style fun and games at this Hanukkah Party. Families will compete together on a team in swimming games, Hanukkah Apache Relay Race, and parent tug-of-war. Children under 4 will be entertained in the Hanukkah Playroom. Prizes, Sufganiyot, and Latkes for all!

Pricing: $25

Where/When: , 22 Crestmont Road, Verona; Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from noon to 4 p.m.

Why Go? Kip’s Castle, built in 1905 to replicate a medieval Norman Castle, is decorated in the style of 1928, complete with a nine-foot Christmas tree. Open in December for public touring, the former home of Frederic Ellsworth Kip and his wife, Charlotte, showcases magnificent Tiffany stained-glass windows, a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace and wonderful architecture.

Pricing: FREE

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