Planet Weekend Picks, Dec. 30-Jan. 1

There is lots to do in the Princeton area this weekend, from Patriots’ Week events to the traditional New Year’s Eve celebrations. For those who want to mark the end of 2011 and beginning of 2012 in a more subdued (and alcohol-free) way, but still want to venture out of the house, there are alternatives out there like Hogmanay at the David Brearley House in Lawrenceville and the Princeton Center for Yoga and Health’s celebration.

Friday, December 30

Patriots’ Week in Trenton – All sorts of events to choose from all day long,  most events them free, including a film, and a lecture on African Americans in the American Revolution. Cap the day off at the colonial ball at the Masonic Temple. Starts at 7 p.m, tickets $15. For a complete listing of Patriots’ Week events visit

Frame Your Year, Historical Society of Princeton – Head over to the Updike Farmstead, at 354 Quaker Road and tour the “Picturing Princeton” photography exhibit, which is on view through Jan. 14. Decorate a picture frame while you are there. Cost is $5. 10 a.m.-2p.m.

Almost New Year’s Even Dance Party – The Princeton Public Library hosts a party for children 3 and over and their caregivers at 3 p.m. Free.

Princeton Folk Dance – Lesson followed by dance, beginners welcome, no partner needed. At the Suzanne Patterson Center, 45 Stockton Street, 8 p.m., tickets $5,

Saturday, December 31

Sunrise Celebration to Mark the 235th Anniversary of the Battle of Trenton – Celebrate the special anniversary of the historic battle with a special crossing of the Delaware in Durham boats at first light at Washington Crossing Historic Park, Pa.  After the crossing, the marchers will start walking at 7a.m., then march over the original route to Trenton.  This reenactment of the journey on Washington’s Victory Trail will include the crossing of Jacobs Creek.  The public is invited to join in and cheer on the marchers along the Victory Trail. For more information and a map of the Victory Trail visit

Other Patriot’s Week Events: Patriots 5K Run at 9 a.m., blood drive at 10 a.m.,  cemetery stroll at 10 a.m., lunch with the soldiers at noon, the Second Battle of Trenton at 3 p.m., Vigil against Violence at 5 p.m.. For a full schedule visit

Hogmanay New Year’s Eve Bonfire – Join the Lawrence Historical Society for the annual event at the Brearley House on Meadow Lane in Lawrenceville. Revelers of all ages gather in the Maidenhead Great Meadow to light up the night with a traditional Scottish New Year’s Eve bonfire. The ancient tradition celebrates a clean break from all that had been bad in the old year. Hot cocoa, cake, and music follow indoors at the Brearley House. 6 p.m. Free,

Princeton Center for Yoga and Health New Year’s Eve Celebration – Back by popular demand, the Princeton Center for Yoga and Health’s alcohol-free New Year’s Eve celebration. Spend the whole evening at the center or choose from several activities to reflect in good company and renew your spirit in preparation for the new year. The celebration includes four different types of yoga, sound healing meditations with crystal singing bowls and a gong bath, healthy savory foods and sweet treats, and yogic chanting. Yoga fusion from 6-9 p.m., Bliss Cafe from 9-10 p.m., Kirtan with Suzin Green from 10-midnight. Price for the whole evening is $50 for singles, $90 per couple. Price for fusion or Kirtan with Bliss Cafe is $30 per person, $55 per couple. For more information call 609-924-7294 or visit

New Year’s Eve at the Witherspoon Grill – Three course dinner from $55 to $78. Children’s menu available, $17. 7 p.m.,

Jazz Supper with Doug Miller and Bernhard Geiger at the Blue Rooster Cafe – Early menu option for reservations between 6:30 p.m.-7:45p.m. for $75 per person,  full menu option from 6:30p.m.-9:30pm for $90 person. Piano and acoustic bass music from 6:30-11p.m. The Blue Rooster is located at 17 North Main Street in Cranbury, Call 609-235-7539 for reservations,

Semi-Formal Dance with the Central Jersey Dance Society – Holiday buffet, and dancing to a mix of salsa, swing, tango, ballroom, and West coast swing. No partner needed. Suzanne Patterson Center, 45 Stockton Street, Princeton, starts at 8:45 p.m.. Tickets $20,

New Year’s Eve at the Salt Creek Grille – Open bar cocktail reception with hors d’oeuvres followed by carving stations, pasta bar, and desserts. Live music, dancing, and a countdown celebration with 3D. Register. $99. 9 p.m. Forrestal Village, 609-419-4200,

New Year’s Eve at Tre Piani – Buffet dinner, dancing, and champagne feast starting at 9 p.m. $79 (call 609-452-1515 for reservations). Forrestal Village,

New Year’s Eve at Trenton Social – Filet Mignon and Lobster dinner, $75 for 7p.m. dinner seating and open bar, $65 for 9p.m. dinner seating and open bar, or purchase a $45 ticket for open bar all night. All tickets include full open bar, a champagne toast and continental breakfast. Live music – M.C. Pollock will be bringing down the house with his band. Call 609-989-7777 to make a reservation.

Sunday, January 1

30th Annual Hamilton Hangover Run – Choice of five-mile run or 1-mile fun run. Starts at Veterans Park on Kuser Road in Hamilton. $17 includes a shirt. Register online.