Planet Weekend Picks, Dec. 7-9

The American Repertory Ballet’s “Nutcracker” has been a holiday tradition since 1963. Photo by Leighton Chen.

Friday, December 7

Princeton University A Capella Jam & Toy Drive at Palmer Square – Enjoy some music on Palmer Square near the tree, bring an unwrapped gift for the toy drive for local kids in need or just bring yourself, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

D&R Greenway “Urban Landscapes” Reception – The D&R Greenway Land Trust invites the public to enjoy a new collection of multi-media art, “Urban Landscapes”, evoking the contemporary relationship between the urban and the natural, where constellations compete with city lights and cement cloverleafs are more common than wildflowers.  Exhibit runs through February 15.  All art is for sale, a percentage supporting the land trust’s preservation and stewardship mission.  Reception at One  Preservation Pl., Princeton, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., free and open to the public.

Canvas of Care Silent Auction to Help the People of NJ Affected by Hurricane Sandy – CG Gallery, TKG Healthcare Consulting and the Arts Council of Princeton host a silent auction event. CG Gallery will donate all proceeds from the silent auction event. CG Gallery’s support of 2012 hurricanes and other related storms will help the American Red Cross prepare for and respond to tropical activity such as Hurricane Sandy, and provide services such as food, shelter and emotional support to those impacted, 5 to 9 p.m. at the Arts Council of Princeton, 102 Witherspoon St, free.

Tree of Light Celebration at The Lewis School – Annual event benefits the scholarship and program fund features a holiday concert, gourmet foods, and  silent auction, 53 Bayard Lane, 6-8 p.m., free.

A Christmas Carol, McCarter Theatre – Enjoy the holiday classic by Charles Dickens. Tickets start at $20. Runs Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Mr. Ray Performs ay Forrestal Village – Family concert that the little ones will enjoy, 6:30 p.m., free.

An Evening of Readings and Carols with Performers from Westminster Choir College – Holiday music for choir, organ, and brass at the Princeton University Chapel, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, tickets $40 and up.

Dance Improv, Live! with Catherine Judd – Princeton Yoga welcomes Dance Improv, Live! to its new home. Founded in 1985 by Catherine Judd, Princeton’s Dance Improv, Live! is a lightly structured evening of self-expression through movement and live music. It is a bare-feet, comfy-clothes, free-movement workshop with live music, which has become not only a Princeton institution but a cutting-edge dance/movement event known nationwide. Princeton Center for Yoga & Health, is located at 88 Orchard Road in Skillman. Runs 8 to 10 p.m., admission $16.

Saturday, December 8

St. Nicholas Bazaar at Trinity Church – Holiday shopping and fun includes gingerbread houses, balsam wreaths, hand-knit sweaters, evening shawls, cookie walk, bake sale, boxwood topiaries, and more. Children’s activities, story telling. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the church at 33 Mercer Street, free.

Yulefest at the Waldorf School –  Holiday craft market, cafe, puppet show, and more at the school at 1062 Cherry Hill Road in Princeton beginning at 9 a.m.

Princeton Shopping Center Holiday Celebration – The shopping center will celebrate the holidays with music, store giveaways, discounts, food tastings and a tree and Menorah lighting. A cappella at 4 p.m. in the courtyard, tree lighting at 4:30. Festivities run from 2 to 4:30 p.m.

Screening of ‘Not a Feather, But a Dot’ at the Princeton Public Library – Film followed by a discussion with director Teju Prasad, 2 p.m. in the community room, free.

Holiday Handbell Concert at Princeton Theological Seminary – Holiday songs performed by members of the seminary community in Miller Chapel, 3 p.m., free.

The Nutcracker with the American Repertory Ballet – Features Tchaikovsky’s score,  a cast of more than 100 dancers, and a newly designed and snow forest scene at the Patriots Theater at the War Memorial in Trenton, performances a 1 and 4:30 p.m., tickets $25 and up.

Spiff Wiegand Performs at Small World Coffee – Spiff is a one-man band and can juggle up to seven instruments at a time. Check his performance out at the Witherspoon Street location. Starts at 8:30 p.m., free.

Sunday, December 9

Princeton Writers Block Readings at the Princeton Public Library – A group of writers and actors will present works by David Ives and Shel Silverstein in the community room, 3 p.m., free.

All the World Sings Nowell with Cantus Novus – Seasonal works for chorus, brass, and organ features Bach, Mendelsson Leontovich and more, at Christ Congregation Church, 50 Walnut Lane in Princeton,  4 p.m., tickets $20.

Third Annual Chanukah Bowl for Children and Adults with Special Needs – The Friendship Circle will be hosting their third annual family Chanukah Bowl at Slocums Bowl-O-Drome on Route 31 in Ewing. Families with children and adults with special needs and volunteers are encouraged to attend. Menorah Lighting. Tasty, hot latkes, doughnuts, and Chanukah gelt will be served.  Each child will participate in various arts and crafts and will receive a surprise Chanukah Gift. It is our hope that this event will help us celebrate both the holiday and our wonderful families and volunteers, as we promote the gift of giving during this joyous season. Runs from 1-3 p.m., free.

Screening of `leben, um zu sagen (live to tell)’ at the Mill Hill Playhouse – The Trenton Film Society and Passage Theatre Company will present a free screening of the documentary produced by Princeton resident Dan Bauer at the Mill Hill Playhouse, 205 E. Front Street in Trenton, at 3 p.m. The film explores one family’s journey from Nazi-occupied Vienna to America. The story is told through the eyes of Bauer’s 100-year-old grandmother, his father, and a cousin.

Truly Grimm Stories at the Cotsen Children’s Library – The Cotsen Children’s Library of Princeton University’s Firestone Library is celebrating the 200th anniversary of Grimms’ famous fairy tales with a marvelous exhibition and storytelling event!  Join professional storytellers Susan Danoff ’75 and Tara McGowan ’90 as they spin these traditional tales. The storytelling will be followed by a gingerbread and cider reception. Suitable for ages 9 and up, registration required. To register, please e-mail Aaron Pickett, Curatorial Assistant at Runs from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Costen Children’s Library at Firestone Library, free.