Take your kids to visit Santa, create holiday crafts, get your pet's photo taken with St. Nick and tour homes decked out for the holidays this weekend. Here's a sample of holiday activities around the Chattahoochee Valley. For more information on these events visit ledger-enquirer.com/todo.
Victorian Christmas Open House: The National Civil War Naval Museum at Port Columbus hosts the free holiday event Dec. 1-2 and Dec. 8-9. Expect holiday music, refreshments, guided museum tours and shopping. A Civil War era Santa will be at the Dec. 8-9 event. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturdays and 12:30-4:30 p.m. Sundays.
Holiday open house at Oxbow Meadows: Sip hot cocoa, snack on sweet treats, create Christmas crafts and sing carols on Saturday, Dec. 1. Bring your camera to get a photo of the kids with Santa. Guests are encouraged to wear their favorite tacky holiday sweaters. Ornament decorating and candle-making activities will be held all day. A children’s choir performance is at 11 a.m. and Santa stops by noon-2 p.m. A wreath-making is at 1 p.m. (a minimum $10 donation is requested to make a wreath.) Most activities are free. Hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Columbus State University’s Oxbow Meadows, 3535 South Lumpkin Road. Information: 706-507-8550.
Fort Benning Tour of Homes: Tour 18 homes on post. Check in and get a map at Riverside, 100 Vibbert Ave. Homes are open to visitors 2-6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2. Advance tickets may be purchased at Bit of Benning, building 229. Cost is $10.
Joseph House Art Gallery Open House: More that 100 pieces of original artwork will be for sale for less than $100 at Sunday's (Dec. 2) event from 1-5 p.m. The gallery's featured artists for December are Amy Patterson and Juanita Barrow, both retired art instructors, who exhibit a multi-media show.
Saturday parades: In Hamilton, Ga., visit Santa and enjoy music on the square at 5 p.m. Dec. 1. 706-628-4663. Head to Opelika, Ala., for the 10 a.m. CST (11 a.m. EST) Dec. 1 “Christmas Memories” themed parade. 334-745-4861. Pine Mountain's parade is at 2 p.m. Dec. 1. 706-663-4000.
Britt David Studio's Holiday Open House: Work of local artists on view and for sale. Refreshments will be served. It's 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 1 and noon-4 p.m. Dec. 2 at Britt David Studio, 2700 West Britt David Road. 706-653-4196.
Christmas at the Landings: Visit Santa Claus 6-9 p.m. Nov. 30, Dec. 1, Dec. 8, Dec. 14-15, Dec. 21; and 6-8 p.m. Dec. 22. Horse and buggy rides are 6-9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The Landings shopping center is at 2501 Airport Thruway, off Exit 8 on I-185. Free for most activities. 706-323-6401.
Pet photos with Santa: Santa Claws photo events are held 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 16 at PetSmart, 1591 Bradley Park Drive. Purchase a photo of your pet with Santa for $9.95, with the Pet Perks reward program. $5 from every purchase will be donated to the local animal-welfare organization participating that day. Call PetSmart at 706-323-6788 for more information. Peachtree Mall welcomes dogs and cats on Monday nights 6-8 p.m. for St. Nick's Pet Pics. Dates are Dec. 3, Dec. 10, and Dec. 17. Portraits with Santa begin at 6 p.m. Photo packages are available for purchase. They cost $22.99-$45.99. Peachtree Mall is at 3131 Manchester Expressway in Columbus, GA. For more information, call 706-327-1578 or visit peachtreemall.com.
Holiday Market: More than 24 vendors offer holiday gifts, monogrammed items, clothes, decorative items, jewelry, baskets and baked goods 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at 6298 Veterans Parkway, at the Main Street Village. Proceeds benefit the Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary.
"Polar Express" 3D: See the holiday film at the IMAX Theatre at the National Infantry Museum. Shows are 7:15 p.m. Nov. 30 and Dec. 7; 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. Dec. 1 and Dec. 8; 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Dec. 2 and Dec. 9. Cost is $8-$10, children 3 and younger get in free. 706-653-9234.
'The Best Christmas Pageant Ever’ at The Family Theatre: The show based on the children’s classic by Barbara Robinson is performed at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 30, Dec. 1, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, and 15. The show focuses on the Herdman family of troublemaking hooligans who invade the lives of the Bradley family and their church when rehearsals begin for the annual Christmas pageant. The Family Theatre is at 2100 Hamilton Road, located in the theatre annex of Rose Hill Baptist Church. Tickets cost $10 for adults, $8 for military and seniors, and $6 for students. Seating is limited, so reservations are encouraged. Information: Call 706-366-7196 or visit familytheatre.org.
'Great Joy’ choir performance: Kick off the 2012 Christmas season with “Great Joy!,” a concert featuring the Tri-Cities Inspirational Voices Choir. The concert begins at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at G.W. Carver High School, 3100 Eighth St. “Great Joy!” features new arrangements of traditional Christmas songs including “Joyful, Joyful” from “Sister Act II,” “Hallelujah” from Handel’s “Messiah,” “O Holy Night” and “Go Tell it on the Mountain.” The concert is free but donations to Carver’s music department and the Girls’ Inc. Glory Girls (competitive jump rope team) will be gladly accepted. Information: 706-393-1056.
Greenery sale: The historic Wynn House offers fresh holiday greenery to decorate your house at the annual Holiday Greenery Sale 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, and 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at 1240 Wynnton Road. Fresh wreaths, table top trees and garland, all from North Carolina, will be sold. Information: 706-323-1895.
Fantasy In Lights: The holiday light and sound show with more than 8 million twinkling lights can be seen nightly through Dec. 30. Drive your car or ride the Jolly Trolley. Ticket prices are $22 for adults at prime times and $16 at other times and $11 or $8 for children. Find out which dates are prime times at callawaygardens.com. Same-day tickets cost $25 per adult and $12.50 per child (ages 6-12).