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The Hustle & Bustle of the Holidays: This Week’s Distractions

MASSACHSUETTS – If you’re not all “wrapped up” in the hustle and bustle of this holiday season, spend some time this weekend getting into the holiday spirit.  Here’s a look at the rest of this week’s distractions.

1. The Northeast Youth Ballet’s The Nutcracker debuts tonight at the newly renovated Lynn Memorial Auditorium. The productions includes both national and international guest artists hailing from China, Columbia, Canada, Hawaii and New York as well as youth from the NoBo region. In its 15th year of production, the show will run from Thursday, December 8 through Sunday December 11, 2011.  Tickets are $26.00 for adults and $23 for children and seniors. Tickets may be purchased through the theater Box Office at Lynn Memorial Auditorium.  Groups of 20 or more and students are eligible for discounted tickets at $22.00.

2. The Malden Chamber of Commerce and Oak Grove Improvement Association will host the 12th annual Remembrance Tree Lighting Ceremony on Thursday, December 8, 2011, from 5:30 to 7:30PM in Malden Government Center Plaza at 200 Pleasant Street. Residents and visitors can remember and honor loved ones this holiday season by purchasing lights in their name on the Remembrance Tree. The cost was $10 per name, but names must have been received by December 6. Click here for information.

3. The North Shore Music Theater is now presenting the Charles Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol with actor David Coffee returning for his 18th performance as Scrooge. Performances will run through December 23rd at the North Shore Music Theatre located on 62 Dunham Road in Beverly. Evening shows begin at 7:30 p.m. on December 9, 10, 16, 17, 21, 22 and 23. Matinees are at 2PM on Deccember 10, 11, 17, 18, and 23. Tickets range in price, from $45 to $60. For tickets and information, call 978-232-7200, visit the box office in person at 62 Dunham Road, Beverly, or visit online at nsmt.org.

4. Enjoy this year’s annual celebration of Zoolights at the Stone Zoo. Thousands of lights have been added to the zoo, and several animals will be on hand including bald eagles, a porcupine, a lynx, a gray fox, and a reindeer. Santa will also be available for photos through December 23, and the event will continue through January 1 with the exception of Christmas Day.

5. The Boston Holiday Pops kicks off tonight with Jan Brett, narrating the performance of “A Visit From St. Nicholas” which includes projections from her new book, “Home for Christmas.” The son of Arthur Fiedler will conduct “Sleigh Ride” with Keith Lockhart once again at the helm of the world-renowned orchestra. The Holiday Pops continue through Dec. 24. For the complete lineup, visit www.bostonpops.org.

6. Smolak Farms is a great place to spend a December day celebrating the upcoming holiday. The staff at the farm takes each and every one of their special activities as a unique opportunity to interact with their shoppers. On Saturday, December 10th, the farm will host a special Breakfast with Mrs. Claus. Enjoy stories, crafts, and breakfast from 10AM to 12PM. Santa is scheduled to visit from 12PM to 3PM. The cost is $12 per child, including the aforementioned activities as well as cookie decorating.

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