Planet Princeton Weekend Picks, Nov. 28-30

Friday, November 28

tree-horizontal-II Princeton Tree Lighting Celebration – Kick off the holiday season with the Palmer Square tree lighting at 4:45 p.m. on the green.The 65-foot Norwegian spruce is adorned with more than 32,000 lights and will be lit with the help of Santa Claus. Performances by The Princeton High School Choir and The Alice Project. Arrive early (2:30-4:45 p.m.) to meet characters from American Repertory Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker.”

The Nutcracker – Tchaikovsky’s score performed with a cast of more than 100 dancers, including the American Repertory Ballet professional dancers and Princeton Ballet School students. Friday, Saturday. 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Annual ‘Nutcracker Sweets’ party at 3:15 p.m. McCarter Theater, 91 University Place, Princeton. Tickets sold separately.

Princeton Men’s Hockey vs. Michigan State – Cheer on the Tigers as they face Michigan State at Baker Rink at 7 p.m. Tickets $10.

Saturday, November 29

Princeton Holiday Trolley Tour – Ride past the homes and hangouts of Princeton luminaries such Albert Einstein, Woodrow Wilson, Grover Cleveland, TS Eliot, Robert Oppenheimer, and more. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., $15 Register at

Screening of “Despicable Me 2” – Family-friendly event at the Garden Theatre on Nassau Street in Princeton. Free.

Hayrides, Wreaths, and Sleighbells at the Howell Living History Farm -Horsedrawn hayrides or sleighrides. Donations of canned goods for area food banks are encouraged. Sleighbells sold benefit the farm’s restoration projects. Handmade items sewn by the Pleasant Valley Stitchers, flour and honey, evergreen wreaths, and doorhangings also available. Donations of canned goods will be accepted for area food banks. 11 a.m. to 3 0.m., 70 Wooden’s Lane, Lambertville. Free.

North Pole Express with the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad – Ride the rails with Santa, Mrs. Claus and a host of holiday revelers for a truly unique holiday experience the whole family is sure to enjoy. Children and adults of all ages are invited to ride the special holiday train, sip hot cocoa and enjoy cookies while Santa visits with each child and presents them with a special gift. Local musicians play and sing Christmas carols for all to enjoy and participate in. Trains departs every 1.5 hours until 8:15 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 32 West Bridge Street, New hope. Adults: $45.95; Children (2 to 11): $43.95; Toddler (under 2): $12.95.

Princeton Men’s Hockey vs. Michigan State – Cheer on the Tigers as they face Michigan State at Baker Rink at 7 p.m. Second of two games against the Spartans. Tickets $10.

The Monkees - Portrait Session

Hey, Hey, It’s Peter Tork – Peter Tork of The Monkees returns to New Jersey. He will perform with his long running blues back-up band, SHOW SUEDE BLUES at The Open Arts Stage Theater in Bordentown. The Open Arts Stage Theater is located at 146 Rt. 130 South. right next to Mastoris World Famous Diner. Doors open at 8 p.m. with music starting at 8:30 p.m.. Tork and the band will perform two one hour sets of blues covers, originals, and many of your favorite Monkees hits from the 60s. This is an all ages event, and families are encouraged to attend. Tickets are $ 27.50 in advance and are available at Randy Now’s Man Cave Store, 134 Farnsworth Avenue, Bordentown City and also online at WWW.MANCAVENJ.COM Peter Tork will meet and sign autographs for fans after the concert ends around 10:30 p.m.. For more information, call The Man Cave at (609) 424-3766.

Fred Hersch and Julian Lage Visit McCarter Theatre – Pianist Fred Hersch continues to reinvent the standard jazz repertoire unlike anybody else, which helps explain his five Grammy nominations, not to mention more than three dozen recordings as composer, bandleader, and theatrical conceptualist/innovator of individualistic jazz. Guitar prodigy Julian Lage displays masterful chops in distilling guitar traditions from prebop swing to bluegrassy flash. Together, the duo released “Free Flying” last fall. 8 p.m. Berlind Theatre, 91 University Place, Princeton. Tickets $50 and up.

Sunday, November 30

Holiday Wine Trail Weekend  –During the annual Holiday Wine Trail Weekend, November 28-30, visit Terhune Orchards, Unionville Vineyards and other participating New Jersey wineries from noon to 5 p.m. to collect ornaments for your grapevine wreath. On Sunday enjoy live jazz music by the Chernoff duo ant Unionville and pick up some holiday gifts from local vendors for your favorite foodie. Terhune Orchards will have wreaths, gift baskets, Christmas trees and other holiday items for sale. Free wagon rides at Terhune Orchards Saturday and Sunday, hot mulled wine.  Unionville Vineyards, 9 Rocktown Road, Ringoes. Terhune Orchards, 330 cold Soil Road, Princeton.

Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival – Visit the Sun National Bank Center on Hamilton Avenue at Route 129 in Trenton and enjoy music with Disney’s favorite characters. 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., Tickets $31 and up.

600full-miracle-on-34th-street-screenshotMiracle on 34th Street – M&M Stage Productions presents the classic family holiday drama at the Kelsey Theater, Mercer Community College, 1200 Old Trenton Road, West Windsor. 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Admission $18.

Lecture in Song with Fred Miller –  Fred Miller returns to the Princeton Public Library for ‘They Wrote the Words Part 2″ at 3 p.m.