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FAMILY CALENDAR

SANTA’S IN TOWN

The city of Winter Park welcomes Santa and Mrs. Claus to the city on evenings through Monday, Dec. 19. Mingle with Old St. Nick himself as he rides his sleigh through Winter Park neighborhoods. Visit cityofwinterpark.org for a full schedule.

Maitland residents should be on the look out for Santa Claus too. The Maitland Police will be escorting Santa though the city’s street on Saturday, Dec. 17. For times in your neighborhood, visit www.itsmymaitland...

DEC. 17

Enjoy the rich sounds of Christmas as tuba, euphonium, sousaphone and baritone players of all ages perform at Winter Park’s 16th annual Merry Tuba Christmas from the main stage in Central Park beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17. Call 407-599-3463.

DEC. 24

The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art will hold a free Christmas Eve open house on Saturday, Dec. 24, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, please call 407-645-5311.

DEC. 25

Chanukah Family Fun Day is 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 25, at the Roth JCC of Greater Orlando, 851 N. Maitland Ave., Maitland. Family fun with activities, games, crafts, food and more. It’s $15 per family JCC members and $25 per family community members.

Chabad of Greater Orlando will present Chanukah on the Park on Sunday, Dec. 25, at 5 p.m. in Central Park. The evening will include singing performances, live music, dancers, face painting, jugglers and food. For more information, please call 407-644-2500.

DEC. 29

To wrap up the holiday season with a bright red bow on top, the city of Winter Park will host the fifth annual Champs Sports Bowl Parade of Bands on Thursday, Dec. 29, at 11 a.m. As a prelude to the Champs Sports Bowl game on Thursday evening at 5:30 p.m. at the Florida Citrus Bowl, school bands from Florida State and Notre Dame will march through downtown Winter Park and perform in Central Park. Call 407-599-3463.

ONGOING

In celebration of the holiday season, the Orlando Magic will host four holiday basketball camps at the Jewish Community Center Maitland campus and the RDV Sportsplex Athletic Club from Monday, Dec. 19, to Friday, Dec. 23, and Monday, Dec. 26, to Friday, Dec. 30. The camps, which run from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. daily, are open to youth of all skill levels ages 7–16. To register or for more information, visit www.OrlandoMagicC... or call 216-378-0932.

Orlando Fashion Square welcomes back Santa Claus for visits and pictures with children this holiday season. Santa photos will be taken daily through Saturday, Dec. 24. Also, Fido and Fluffy can sit with St. Nick on Pet Nights from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Dec. 19.

Winter in the Park ice-skating rink is in Central Park West Meadow through Sunday, Jan. 8. The rink will be open Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. Call 407-599-3203.

The Maitland Public Library has bedtime stories for all ages at 6 p.m. every Monday. Preschool story time is 10:30 a.m. every Tuesday. Infant and toddler story time is at 10:30 a.m. every Thursday. Reading buddies is Thursdays at 4 p.m. Call 407-647-7700 for more information.

The Crosby Observatory atop the Orlando Science Center is open for seasonal sky-watching every first and third Saturday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. until Feb. 18. Admission includes a live planetarium show. Tickets are $10. For more information, call 407-514-2000 or visit www.osc.org.

THURSDAY

Orange Audubon Society presents “A Year in the Life of a Park Ranger” by Amy Conyers at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15. It’s free and at Leu Gardens, 1920 N. Forest Ave., Orlando. Call 407-637-2525 or visit www.orangeaudubonfl.org

SATURDAY

Join the Orlando Circle of Friends as we jazz up the holidays with our winter concert: “Cool Yule” at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, at 398 W. Amelia St., Orlando. Tickets are $15 ($12 for seniors/students) and are available at www.ocofchorus.com or 321-345-OCOF (6263). A portion of the proceeds from these performances go to New Hope for Kids.

SUNDAY

Ballet South and The School of Performing Arts, a student dance company based in the Maitland/Fern Park area, will be presenting a benefit performance of “Clara's Nutcracker Dream” on Sunday, Dec. 18, at 2 p.m. at the Trinity Preparatory School Auditorium at 5700 Trinity Prep Lane, Winter Park. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased at the door only on the day of event. Visit www.balletsouth.org

Catch the mellow jazz guitar stylings of Peter Thatcher at Casa Feliz from noon to 2 p.m. Dec. 18. Peter favors what has become known as the "Great American Songbook"- Gershwin, Arlen, Ellington et al. — the Jazz standards of the ’40s with a liberal dash of Jobim for good measure!

Alborea Dances, a multicultural Entertainment Dance Company, created and directed by Jenny and Ernesto Caballero, will perform at Casa Feliz from 2-3 p.m. Dec. 18.

A Christmas cantata, “Night of Miracles” will be presented by The Singing Seniors of Winter Park’s First Baptist Church at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18. Arrive early and hear the Dicken’s Carolers. The concert is free and is at 1021 N. New York Ave. in Winter Park. Visit firstwinterpark.org for more information.

DEC. 24

North Park Baptist Church cordially invites the Baldwin Park community and our surrounding neighbors to join with us as we celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ through a special Candlelight Service and Lord’s Supper, Christmas Eve, December 24, 2011, from 6 to 7 p.m. Come and participate in an intimate, personal service that emphasizes the true reason for the season.

Christmas Eve Open House: Saturday, December 24, 2011, 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m., with live music from 1 p.m.–4 p.m. Visit www.morsemuseum.org for details.

DEC. 25

North Park Baptist Church will have a Christmas Day worship service on December 25, 2011, at 11a.m. Childcare is provided for birth through 5 years old. North Park Baptist Church is located at 2047 Prospect Avenue in Baldwin Park. Our regular times of Service are every Sunday at 9:30 a.m with a time of fellowship at 10:30 a.m., and a study (Sunday School) of God’s Word, for all ages, at 11a.m. Please call 321-972-5900 or visit us on the web www.northparkbaptist.org for more information.

ONGOING

The Winter Park Farmers’ Market is every Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the old train depot, 200 W. New England Ave. Visit CityofWinterPark.org

The Maitland Farmers’ Market is every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Lake Lily Park. Visit ItsMyMatiland.com or call 407-539-6268.

Food Truck Café is every Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Lake Lily Park in Maitland.

“Music at the Casa” is a free weekly Sunday open house featuring live performances and tours of the historic Casa Feliz, 656 N. Park Ave. Visit CasaFeliz.us or call 407-628-8200 ext. 3.

Art & History Museums – Maitland’s Culture and Cocktails takes place the second Friday of every month until April both inside and outside of the Maitland Art Center’s Germaine Marvel Building, 210 W. Packwood Ave. Guests are sure to enjoy this evening of art, music, poetry, food and fun.

Schedule includes:

Friday, Jan. 13, 6-9 p.m., featuring artist Doug Rhodehamel

Friday, Feb. 10, 6-9 p.m., featuring artists Cherie Dacko, Cake Marques and Tracy Burke

Friday, March 9, 6-9 p.m., featuring artist Adrian Gonzalez

Friday, April 13, 6-9 p.m., featuring artist Andrew Spear

For more information, phone 407-539-2181 or visit ArtandHistory.org

Ballroom Dancing Lessons are every Monday night except the first Monday of the month at 7 p.m. at the University Club of Winter Park, 841 N. Park Ave. Line Dance Instruction is held on the first Monday. It’s $5 per lesson. Call 407-644-6149.

What was Maitland, Florida like before European contact? The Art & History Museums – Maitland invites you to come and explore as it presents “Borders of Paradise: The New World in the Eyes of Explorers”, beginning on Friday, Dec. 9, and continuing through Feb. 26 at the Maitland Historical Museum, 221 W. Packwood Ave., Maitland. For more information, call 407-539-2181 or visit www.ArtandHistory.org

Friday Nights at the Morse features free admission to the Morse Museum on Fridays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. through April 27. Occasional programs include live music, art demonstrations, curator tours and family tours. Visit MorseMuseum.org for details.

“Mid-Century: A Photographic View of Three African-American Communities in Florida” is at the Hannibal Square Heritage Center through Dec. 30. Visit HannibalSquareHeritageCenter.org

The Breakthrough Theatre of Winter Park presents the holiday play, "It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play" through Dec. 19. This beloved American holiday classic comes to captivating life as a live 1940s radio broadcast. With the help of an ensemble that brings a few dozen characters to the stage, the story of idealistic George Bailey unfolds as he considers ending his life one fateful Christmas Eve. Call 407-920-4034. The Breakthrough Theatre is located at 419A W. Fairbanks Ave. in Winter Park.

Visit wpmobserver.com/events for more details. Send submissions to editor@observernewspapers.com