Planet Princeton Weekend Picks, Dec. 5-7



Princeton artist and musician Chris Harford will kick off his latest art opening at Small World Coffee with a free concert Friday night at 8 p.m.

chris harford princetonHarford will perform with the Band of Changes, a revolving door band concept that features a loose consortium of musicians. The Small World performance will feature Matt Kohut, Stephanie Sanders, and J Wesley Russo.

The Princeton native performs regularly in the Tri-State area. He is also a member of the Wayside Shrines, a collective of musicians that plays original songs with lyrics by poet Paul Muldoon.

Fifty-five new Harford paintings and photographs will be on display and for sale at Small World Coffee’s 14 Witherspoon Street location for the month of December.

Friday, December 5

Gallery Talk at the Princeton University Art Museum – “What You Always Wanted to Know About Contemporary Art but Hesitated to Ask” with  Dee Gozonsky. 12:30 p.m. Free.

Historian Tristram Hunt Discusses Modern Irish Politics – The Fund for Irish Studies presents historian and broadcaster Tristram Hunt, who will speak on “The Socialism of ‘The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists’: Robert Noon and the Modern Labour Party,” at 4:30 p.m. in the Stewart Theater, 185 Nassau St. Free.

Princeton University Orchestra Performs – The orchestra will perform under the direction of conductor Michael Pratt at 7:30 p.m. in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall, at Princeton University. The program includes Four Sean-nós Songs arranged by Daniel Trueman, professor of music, and Donnacha Dennehy, performed with Irish folk singer Iarla Ó Lionaird; and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4. For tickets call 609-258-9220.

BodyHype Student Dance Ensemble – The Princeton University student dance group BodyHype will perform its winter show “Distortion” at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.  at the Berlind Theatre, McCarter Theatre Center. For tickets, call 609-258-9220.

Opening Reception: Sauce for the Goose – Unique gifts for sale at the Arts Council of Princeton’s Annual Sauce for the Goose Art Sale. The sale showcases regional artists, artisans and crafters and features a mix of fine art and functional crafts, including paintings, drawings, functional and decorative ceramics, and more. 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Arts Council of Princeton, 102 Witherspoon Street, Princeton.

Princeton Ice Hockey vs. Harvard – See the Tigers take on the Crimson at Baker Rink. 7 p.m. Admission $10 for adults, $6 for children.

Holiday Walk in Pennington – Music, beverages, and tree lighting kick off the festivities. Santa Claus arrives. Shops and businesses, some brand new, will be open to welcome visitors an evening of holiday cheer. Downtown will sparkle with our 52 illuminated snowflakes. Main Street in Pennington, Starts at 6 p.m. Free.

Tree of Light Celebration at The Lewis School – Annual event to benefit the scholarship and program fund features the lighting of the tree, a holiday concert, gourmet foods, and a silent auction. The thousands of lights lit on the stately outdoor tree represent the 30 million Americans who are struggling with learning and literacy. Warm clothing is recommended. 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 53 Bayard Lane, Princeton.

A Cappella Night at the Princeton Public Library – Event features vocal groups from Princeton’s four high schools. Only open to students who attend those schools. 7 p.m. 65 Witherspoon Street, Princeton.

Multimedia Light Show in Cranbury – More than 120,000 lights controlled by 640 channels, featuring new additions of falling lights on the house. Additional lights on the mega tree now number 30,000. The “Shooting Fountain of Light” has 10,000 lights and a 20 foot by 20 foot wall of snowflakes has more than 25,000 lights. The 16 songs range from traditional to whimsical. Park on North Main Street or on side streets. No parking directly in front of the house or across the street from the house. Dress for the weather.The exhibit will be lit every night through December 31, but will only have music on 18 nights. Free-will donations for Princeton Alliance Church food bank in Plainsboro and other charities. 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., 128 North Main Street, Cranbury. For more info. visit

A Christmas Carol – McCarter Theatre presents the  timeless story that follows Ebenezer Scrooge on a magical journey through past, present, and future as he discovers the true meaning of Christmas and generosity of spirit that embodies the holiday season. 7:30pm. Friday and Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday. 91 University Place, Princeton.

Saturday, December 6

23rd Annual St. Nicholas Bazaar – Take a selfie with St. Nick at the twenty-third annual Trinity Church St. Nicholas Bazaar. This Princeton tradition features handmade gingerbread houses, live boxwood topiaries, swags and balsam wreaths from Maine, a cookie walk, bake sale, gourmet-to-go homemade meals, a silent auction, handmade Christmas crafts, holiday books for adults and children and children’s activities. Vendors offer llama alpaca yarn, all-natural treats for dogs and cats, jewelry, hand-stamped cards, woolen felted hats and scarves, hand-knit children’s sweaters, hats, and mittens, pillows, and olive oil. 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., 33 Mercer Street, Princeton.

Winter Wonder 6K run at the Institute Woods – 10 a.m.start at the Princeton Friends School. Course is on well maintained trails. Walkers welcome. T-shirt, refreshments. Event by Princeton Athletic Club. Registration on-site opens at 9 a.m. at the Princeton Friends School, 470 Quaker Road, Princeton.

Holiday Flea Market – Christmas decorations, bric-a-brac, household goods, art, toys, books, and a bake sale. Sale benefits the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 237 North Harrison Street (Rescue Squad), Princeton.

Screening of “Elf” – Visit the Garden Theatre on Nassau Street for the holiday classic. Part of the Garden’s family event series. 10:30 a.m. Tickets $4.

Off the Wall Artisan Market and Art Show – The West Windsor Arts Council presents the Off the Wall Artisan Market and Art Show. Handcrafted jewelry, ceramics, fiber art and more. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. West Windsor Arts Council, 952 Alexander Road, Princeton Junction.

Christmas on the Farm at the Howell Living History Farm – St. Nick’s sleigh will appear at noon. A children’s craft program will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Crafts cost $3 each. 10:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. 70 Wooden’s Lane, Lambertville.

What Is A Green Home? – Join Baxter Construction on a tour of a LEED Certified home in Princeton – a unique opportunity to visit and see the latest in green building techniques and design before the dry wall goes up. Tours at 10:30 a.m.., 12:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. Space is limited. Register at 609-466-3655. 85 Linden Lane, Princeton. Free.

Annual Tree Lighting and Visit from Santa at the Princeton Shopping Center – Talk to Santa and dig in his bag for a winter gift. Santa will arrive via Hook & Ladder fire truck. Bring the kids, cameras & take your annual holiday picture. Stick around for the lighting of the official courtyard Christmas Tree. Christmas Carols will be song by the Cloud Singers. noon to 2 p.m.  301 North Harrison Street, Princeton.

Mill Hill Holiday House Tour – Now entering its 48th consecutive year, the House Tour is Mill Hill’s signature event and a Trenton tradition. This year’s tour will take place from noon-5 p.m. About 15-20 homes in the neighborhood will swing open their doors and invite people to come in from the cold to take a look around. This year’s theme is “City Sidewalks Dressed in Holiday Style.” The tour begins at Artworks, located at 19 Everett Alley and South Stockton Street. Tickets $20 the day of the tour. The tour is run and organized by the Old Mill Hill Society and the residents of Mill Hill. It has played an important role in the restoration of the neighborhood. Money raised by the tour funds historic preservation grants that assist homeowners in maintaining the landmark standards that have helped make the neighborhood what it is today. Free parking is available in the Artworks lot at the beginning of the tour.

Spice Up Your Holiday – Join the  Historical Society of Princeton at the Updike Farmstead to sample herbs, spices, and sauces. Presented by Savory Spice Shop. Donations of non-perishable food items, toiletries, linens, and household items for HomeFront are invited. “Princeton’s Portrait: Vintage Photographs from the Historical Society of Princeton” is on view. Noon. to 4 p.m. 354 Quaker Road, Princeton.

The Nutcracker – Performance by the American Repertory Ballet at the Patriots Theater, War Memorial, in Trenton.
1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Tickets $35 and up.

Princeton Women’s Basketball vs. Georgetown University – Cheer on Princeton at 3 p.m. at Jadwin Gym. Admission $5 for adults, $3 for children.

Cultural Show with the India Foundation of Metropolitan Princeton – Traditional Indian dance, Bollywood beats performed by area performers. $30 includes snacks and a vegetarian dinner. 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North, 90 Grover’s Mill Road, Plainsboro.

Holiday Handbell Concert at Princeton Theological Seminary – “Christmas Tidings” features students, faculty, and community members. Audience sing along. Rachel Barker directs. Free. 3 p.m. Miller Chapel at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Marcia deSanctis Visits Labyrinth Books – The author of “100 Places in France Every Woman Should Go” will talk and sign copies of her book at 4 p.m.  122 Nassau Street, Princeton.

An English Christmas – The Westminster Concert Bell Choir performs holiday songs. 4 p.m. Bristol Chapel, Princeton. Admission $25.

Princeton Men’s Basketballl vs. Stony Brook – Cheer on the Tigers at Jadwin Gym at 4:30 p.m. Admission $12, $6 for children.

Kindred Spirit A Cappella  – The Princeton University student a cappella group Kindred Spirit will present “Rejoice: A Christian a Cappella Concert” at 2:30 p.m. in McCosh Hall, Room 10, at Princeton University. Guest artists include the University of Delaware’s Vision, New York University’s Shine and the University of Pennsylvania’s Full Measure.

Port Release Weekend – Join Unionville Vineyards as they release their Vat 20 Port. Taste the latest in their Vat series as well as a vintage or two that was included in the blend. The tasting room is open 12 to 5 p.m., with tours Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Unionville Vineyards, 9 Rocktown Road, Ringoes. Tastings $10 per person.

The 10X10 Show – The Red Dot art shows support of community arts in Trenton. Come to the Artworks Red Dot Fundraiser and put your red dot on the art that you love. More than 200 Trenton area artists created artworks on 10″ x 10″ canvas. Oil, acrylic, mixed media, photography, pastel, watercolor and more. Each artwork will sell for $100 with the funds raised going to support Artworks. 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Princeton University Ice Hockey vs. Dartmouth -The Tigers will face Dartmouth at 7 p.m. in Baker Rink. Tickets $10, $ 6 for kids.

Sunday, December 7

Pancake Breakfast with Santa – Join the West Windsor Lions Club for pancake breakfast with Santa at the Community Middle School, 55 Grovers Mill Road, Plainsboro.  Annual breakfast of pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, cookies, pastries, orange juice and coffee. Santa will be available for photos with children (Bring your own camera). $10 adults, $3 children (5 to 11), free for age 4 and under. Poinsettias for sale. Bring non-perishable food donations for the local Food Bank. Portions of this fundraiser benefit the West Windsor Lions Club sight, hearing and scholarship programs. 8 a.m. to noon.

Caring Santa – Caring Santa is an opportunity for children with special needs and their families to enjoy getting their Christmas photos taken. Santa Clause knows that every child is unique; so he has taken extra care to support the sensory, physical and other developmental needs of children so they may enjoy this wonderful holiday tradition. No lines, no crowds, no music but lots of fun.  8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Quaker Bridge Mall, 150 Quaker Bridge Mall, Lawrence.

Art Station Open Studio – Celebrate the holiday season with the Art Station. Meet artists in their studios while touring this historic Hightstown building. There will be music, a door prize, and light refreshments.11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  148 Monmouth Street, Highststown.

Christmas Concert at Witherspoon Church – Choirs and soloists perform Christmas music. 1 p.m., 124 Witherspoon Street, Princeton.

Danny Simmons and the Brown Beatnik Tomes – The artist, author and entrepreneur reads from “The Brown Beatnik Tomes,” his collection of prose and paintings. Books will be available for purchasing and the author’s autograph. Simmons, who calls his style of painting “Neo-African Abstract Expressionism,” originated and co-produced the hit HBO series “Def Poetry Jam,” and won a Tony Award for the Broadway version of the show. Co-founder and president of the Rush Arts Gallery, Simmons is also founder and vice president of the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, an organization dedicated to providing disadvantaged urban youth with significant arts exposure and access to the arts.Co-sponsored by the Princeton Public Library and the Baker Street Social Club: Patrons of Black Film & Fine Art. 3 p.m. in the Princeton Public Library Community Room.

Live Music in the Winery: Working Class Hussys – Enjoy  wines and live music on the winery floor. Local alternative rock band Working Class Hussys performs from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., during the Port Release Weekend. Glasses of wine are $6 to $12. Outside food is permitted, and snacks are available for purchase. Outside alcohol is not permitted. Unionville Vineyards, 9 Rocktown Road, Ringoes.

Princeton Chapel Choir  Advent Concert – Fee advent concert “… And My Spirit Rejoices … Music of the Season” at 2:30 p.m. in the Princeton University Chapel. The program includes works by Donkin, Pärt, Khvoshchinsky, Verdi, Lauridsen and Whitbourn.

Winter Solstice – Princeton University Ballet presents Winter Solstice – a diverse performance including excerpts from The Nutcracker and original contemporary choreography. The performance is free and is for audience members of all ages. 4:30 p.m. Berlind Theatre, McCarter Theatre.

Princeton University Glee Club and Concert Jazz Ensemble Holiday Concert – The Princeton University Glee Club and the Princeton University Concert Jazz Ensemble will perform a holiday concert at 5 p.m.  in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall, at Princeton University. The program will include music of the season, including Wynton Marsalis’ gospel work “Abyssinian Mass.” Marsalis composed his Mass for the 200th anniversary of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem. Admission $15.

Gavin Black Organ Recital – Organist Gavin Black, director of the Princeton Early Keyboard Center, will play works of Bach, Buxtehude, Scheidemann and Daquin on the German Baroque style Charles Ruggles organ at Hillsborough Reformed Church in Millstone Borough. 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Hillsborough Reformed Church at Millstone, 1 Amwell Road, Hillsborough. $10 suggested donation.

West Windsor Township Holiday Tree Lighting – Annual town tree lighting at Memorial Twin Ponds, Ron Rogers Arboretum, corner of Route 571 and Clarksville Road. 7 p.m.