A guide to shopping, Santa and song

SHOP HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, St. Anthony Park’s annual celebration in the business district along Como Avenue, will be held Saturday, Dec. 5. The day’s activities include strolling carollers; reindeerpulled sleigh rides and Santa photo-ops at Sunrise Bank, 2300 Como Ave., 9 a.m.-noon; cookie decorating at Tim and Tom’s Speedy Market, 2310 Como Ave., 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; a wine tasting at the Little Wine Shoppe, 2236 Carter Ave., 1-4 p.m.; and Mischief Toys, 2290 Como Ave., will have hot cider and cookies on hand and free glitter tattoos. The Best Holiday Sale Ever will be in the lower level of Milton Square from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The occasional shop, Thistle, in Milton Square will be open all weekend.

SANTA, SANTA, SANTA: You’ve got three opportunities to see the jolly old elf in St. Anthony Park the first weekend in December. St. Paul Parks and Recreation will host a dinner with Santa and Mrs. Claus on Friday, Dec. 4, 5:30-7 p.m. at Langford Park Recreation Center, 30 Langford Park. The event will include a spaghetti dinner, a craft project, cookie decorating and face-painting. Cost is $5 per person. Register at any St. Paul recreation center or call 651-298-5765. Register online at www.stpaul.gov/parks. On Saturday, Dec. 5, Santa and some of his elves and reindeer will be at Sunrise Bank on Como Avenue, 9 a.m.-noon, on Saturday, Dec. 5. He’ll be hanging out at Milton Square with Christmas Carol about 4:30 p.m. to light the Christmas tree in the courtyard at 5 p.m.

LOOKING FOR A HANDMADE GIFT? The Best Holiday Sale Ever! will be held two days, Saturday, Dec. 5, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 6, noon-3 p.m., in the lower level of Milton Square. Local artists will be selling paintings, pottery, guitars crafted by Lee Acoustics, handmade hats and purses, quilts and aprons, wreaths and holiday greens, gourmet cookies, Christmas ornaments, jewelry, accessories, home décor, quirky photos, greeting cards, felted tapestries, vessels and woolen creatures, and other surprises. There will be a number of new artists this year.

Ginkgo Coffeehouse, 721 N. Snelling Ave., will hold its annual art and craft fair on Saturday, Dec. 5, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The fair will host 15 local artists, whose products include handmade glass beads, knit and felted items, quilted products, wooden items, metal sculptures, chain maille and other types of jewelry, and more.

BLUE HOUSE BOUTIQUE: Check out this unique boutique on Saturday, Dec. 5, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 6, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 2136 Carter Ave. The boutique is a major fundraiser for the Blue House, an orphanage in Uganda. Saturday’s sale features a homemade lunch (from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.), coffee and pastries. The sale will include gourmet goodies, a Christmas shop, pottery, knit accessories, jewelry, purses, fun baby and kid stuff, greeting cards, kitchen items, new African crafts and a raffle for a lace shawl.

YULEFEST, YULETIDE SING & HOLIDAY HOOLEY: Celtic Junction, 836 N. Prior Ave., has three holiday events coming up in December: Yulefest VIII, a benefit for the Food Group, will be held Friday, Dec. 5, at 7 p.m. The evening includes an all-Irish lineup with Barra, the Hi-Bs, Patsy O’Brien and the Eddies and a silent auction. All proceeds from the fest will go toward stocking food shelves in Minnesota. A $15 donation will be requested at the door.

Charlie Heymann’s Yuletide Sing, with special guests Paddy O’Brien and Erin Hart, Tom Klein, Shawn McBurnie and Hannah Flowers, will be held Sunday, Dec. 12, at 5 p.m. The program promises a mix of rare and popular seasonal songs and tunes to sing. All ages are welcome. Admission is $10 at the door.

Celtic Holiday Hooley—a family-friendly event—will be held two nights, Friday, Dec. 18, and Saturday, Dec. 19. The evening will include traditional folk music by Aidín Ní Shé, Todd Menton, Cory Froelich, Cormac O’Se and John Wright; Irish step dance by the O’Shea Irish Dancers; Christmas carols; cute kids; mulled wine and popcorn; and Santa! Doors will open at 7 p.m. and the show will start at 7:30 p.m. Advance tickets are $15; tickets will be $18 at the door. A $50 family ticket covers two adults and up to three children under 18. For tickets, visit thecelticjunction.com.

COMMUNITY CAROL SING-ALONG: Members of the Roseville String Ensemble will host their annual Community Carol Sing-Along Monday, Dec. 7, 7:30-8:30 p.m. at Centennial United Methodist Church, 1524 W. County Road C2. The group will be under the direction of Joel Johnson and accompanied by Karen Johnson. The evening will feature special guests Finn Hall. Everyone’s invited to venture out for an evening of music and singing to celebrate the holidays. Admission is free. Nonperishable goods will be collected for a local food shelf. In the event of severe weather, check the Roseville String Ensemble website, www.rosevillestrings.org, for cancellation updates.

HO HO HO DOWN: Join in the fun at a free country-and-western holiday party at North Dale Recreation Center, 1414 N. St. Albans St., on Thursday, Dec. 10, 5:30-7:30 p.m. There will be food, square dancing and other activities, including a visit with Santa.

IT’S THAT CHRISTMAS SAUSAGE TIME AGAIN: Every year Tim Faacks at Tim & Tom’s Speedy Market, 2310 Como Ave. W., cranks out more than 2,000 pounds of the Lindquist family’s Christmas sausage. The Christmas sausage comes from a secret recipe handed down to Faacks by the family of Harry Lindquist, a butcher in Minneapolis from the 1920s to the 1960s. Lindquist was the grandfather of St. Anthony Park residents Dave and Mark Hansen, who own Hansen Tree Farm.

A COMO CHRISTMAS TEA: Como Park Zoo and Conservatory continues its tradition of offering a three-course holiday tea that includes a behind-the-scenes tour in the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory. This year’s tea will have two seatings, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., on Thursday, Dec. 10. The tea will be held in the conservatory’s North Garden and will include savory petite sandwiches, and an assortment of desserts. Guests will get a tour of the building’s production greenhouse space and Sunken Garden after the tea. Tickets are $40 per person. Reservations are required. Call 651-487-8250.

ALL ABOARD THE NIGHT TRAINS: Night Trains is a holiday tradition at the Twin City Model Railroad Museum in Bandana Square, 1021 Bandana Boulevard, Suite 222. The show displays dozens of model railroad layouts with miniature Christmas lights and decorations. It runs every Saturday, 6-9 p.m., through Feb. 27. Admission is $10 per person with special group rates for families. Find out more at www.tcmrm.org. For


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