The Weekender: Hanukkah Begins, Funk at NJPAC and Essex County House Tour

Jewish Festival of Lights begins at sundown Saturday with party in West Orange.

Here are a few weekend events to keep the holiday spirit alive:

Christmas Spectacular!

Fri., Dec. 7, 8 p.m.
Caldwell College Student Center
$10; Caldwell College Students Free

The Caldwell College Choir, Wind Ensemble and High School Honor Band will perform works featuring an international theme and conclude with a carol sing-along.

Essex County Historic Holiday House Tour

Sat., Dec. 8, Noon
Various locations

Historic homes throughout Essex will open their doors in unison for one spectacular weekend. Each will be dressed for the holiday season while offering entertainment, refreshments or educational information. Fees and times vary by location.

2012 participating houses include: Essex County Kip's Castle, Verona; Essex County Walther House, Upper Montclair; Ballantine House, Newark; Canfield-Morgan House & Museum, Cedar Grove; Charles Shultz House - Evergreens, Montclair; Force Homestead & Museum, Livingston; Glenmont at Thomas Edison National Historical Park, West Orange; Grover Cleveland Birthplace, Caldwell; Israel & Nathaniel Crane Houses, Montclair; Kingsland Manor, Nutley; Nutley Museum, Nutley, and Zenas Crane Homestead, West

New York Philharmonic

Today, Dec. 7, 8 p.m.
New Jersey Performing Arts Center
1 Center St.

Juraj Valcuha, conductor/Andre Watts, piano, featuring Weber: Overture to Oberon, Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2, Strauss: Suite from Der Rosenkavalier. Slovakian conductor Juraj Valcuha gives his debut engagement with the orchestra.  

CGHS Irish Club Toy Drive

Today, All day
Cedar Grove High School
90 Rugby Road, Cedar Grove

Donate new or slightly used toys for less fortunate children at St.Barnabas's Pediatric Burn Center in Livingston and Babyland Shelter in Newark. Collecting ends Dec. 20. Drop off is at Cedar Grove High School, the Middle School, South End, and North End. 

Children's Christmas Workshop

Saturday, Dec. 8, 10 a.m.
The First Presbyterian Church of Verona
10 Fairview Ave., Verona

Christmas Fun for kids from 4 years old through 4th Grade featuring crafts, music, games, lunch and the Christmas story. Call today to reserve your spot (973) 239-3561.

Christmas Bazaar

Saturday, Dec. 8, Noon
Little Zion Methodist Church
154 Stephens St., Belleville 

Gifts and baked goods, reasonably priced. Sponsored by church school staff.


Saturday, Dec. 8, 2 p.m.
New Jersey Performing Arts Center
1 Center St. Newark

Trash becomes treasure when these five innovative, Vancouver-based drummers deliver a performance of pulse-pounding percussion – a world where human athleticism meets eco-power. Intricate rhythms are pounded out using over 145 unique, mobile sculptures created from industrial scrap metal. In the tradition of Blue Man Group and Stomp, this spectacle has roots in street performance, jazz, and world music.

Family Chanukah Party

Saturday, Dec. 8, 6:30 p.m.
Essex County Lubavitch Center Shul
395 Pleasant Valley Way
West Orange

Join the Essex County Lubavitch Center for a Family Chanukah Party featuring a magic show with a live rabbit, Chanukah Bingo, balloons, dreidels, a delicious dinner and a menorah lighting as they celebrate the Jewish holiday of Chanukah. RSVP altiekas@yahoo.com

Funk Fest: George Clinton, Parliament Funkadelic & Morris Day And The Time

Saturday, Dec. 8, 8 p.m.
New Jersey Performing Arts Center
1 Center St. Newark

A one-of-a-kind night dedicated to all things funk! For more than four decades, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee George Clinton has been one of the foremost innovators on the funk music front. For this concert, Clinton arrives with Parliament-Funkadelic, his classic funk, soul and rock collective. Sharing the evening as special guest is Morris Day and his best-selling group, The Time. In their work with Prince (in particular on his Purple Rain) and on their own best-selling recordings (including Jungle Love and What Time Is It?), Day and company have pioneered a cool, street-wise approach to funk music that’s imminently danceable and undeniably sexy. 

Breakfast with Santa at Le Parc Place

Sunday, Dec. 9, 10:30 a.m.
237 Lorraine Ave.
Upper Montclair

Le Parc Place will be hosting breakfast with Santa on December 9th from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Children will have a chance to meet Santa, eat a yummy breakfast and play in the indoor play space. Breakfast will be provided for the parents too! The cost is $5 per child and $10 per adult. This includes fruit, boxed cereal and drinks for the children and bagels and coffee for the adults. Reservations are needed. Call (973) 744-6073 to save your spot.

Pictures With Santa (For your child or pet)

Sunday, Dec. 9, 1 p.m.
74 Franklin Ave., Nutley

Have a picture taken of your child or pet with Santa.


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