A sample of some of the holiday happenings in the Elk River area.
Saturday, Nov. 30:
• “In-Laws, Outlaws, and Other People (That Should be Shot)”: Elk River Community Theatre presents this Christmas comedy. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, Friday, Dec. 6, and Saturday, Dec. 7, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1, and Sunday, Dec. 8, at Elk River High School’s Little Theatre (Door H), 900 School St. Tickets cost $12 for adults and $7 for students and seniors and are available at Anytime Fitness, 18130 Zane St., Elk River, online at www.erct.org or call the ticket hotline at 763-441-1251.
Monday, Dec. 2:
• Holiday House: Create a Holiday House with graham crackers, frosting, candy and sugar during this special EdVentures class for children in kindergarten through fifth grade 3 to 5 p.m. at Westwood Elementary and Zimmerman Elementary. Also offered from 3:45 to 5:45 p.m. Dec. 3 at Hassan Elementary and Parker Elementary, Dec. 4 at Otsego Elementary and Twin Lakes Elementary and Dec. 5 at Meadowvale Elementary and Rogers Elementary. Cost is $15. Register online at www.728communityed.com or call 763-241-3520.
• Holiday craft class for adults with disabilities: 6:45 to 8 p.m. at Handke Center, Elk River. Class costs $8. Register online at www.728communityed.com or call 763-241-3520.
Thursday, Dec. 5:
• Holiday Decorating and Entertaining: 6:30 p.m. at Zimmerman Home & Garden. Learn tips and tricks to add a holiday touch to every room. Make a holiday arrangement while enjoying party food ideas. Class costs $15 and is offered by District 728 Community Education. Register online at www.728communityed.com or call 763-241-3520.
• Ballet story presentation of “The Nutcracker” by the North Ballet Youth Company: 6:30 p.m. at the Elk River Library, 13020 Orono Parkway. Free, but registration is required at www.griver.org.
Friday, Dec. 6:
• Holiday photo class: 10 a.m. Elk River Activity Center, 413 Proctor Ave., Elk River. Learn tips from a professional photographer. Examples of good lighting, composition, background settings and more will be included. Class fee is $3. Preregister at 763-635-4500.
• Spectrum High School’s Choral Fine Arts Concert: 7 p.m. at the school, 17796 Industrial Circle, Elk River. Admission is free.
• “Elf” movie: 7 to 9 p.m. Prairie Center, 8899 Nashua Ave., Otsego. This holiday family movie will be shown on a large movie screen. Free.
Saturday, Dec. 7:
• Celebrate the Season in Zimmerman: Variety of activities including a holiday boutique from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Nelson Nursery and Garden Center, professional photos with Santa (9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., fee applies) and free ornament making for the kids, as well as a word scramble with a $200 prize, horse-drawn wagon rides at Johnson’s Hardware Hank (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and Neighbors Helping Neighbors Toy and Food Drive at Zimmerman Fire Station’s Open House (1 to 3 p.m.). A tree-lighting ceremony with Santa arriving on a fire truck will be at 4:30 p.m. at the corner of Second Street and Fremont Avenue.
• Eighth Annual Christmas Tree Ornament Party: 10 a.m. to noon at the Sherburne History Center, 10775 27th Ave. SE, Becker. Free family event with crafts, goodies, visit from Santa, and performances by Command Performance Premiere and Prep Choirs of the Elk River area. Door prizes every half hour. Nonperishable donations for the food shelf will be accepted. Contact Karah at 763-262-4433 for more information.
• Youth Crescendo Music Recital: Students taking music lessons perform from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at Handke Center, 1170 Main St., Elk River. Admission is free.
• Pet photos with Santa Paws: Noon to 2 p.m., Chuck & Don’s Pet Food Outlet, 19230 Freeport St., Elk River. Pet photos are free, and there will be refreshments for pets and people.
• Toy making workshop: 1 to 3 p.m. Oliver H. Kelley Farm, 15788 Kelley Farm Road, Elk River. Make homemade toys to give as gifts. Choose between making several 19th-century toys, including a ball-and-cup game, buzz saws, pick-up sticks and corn husk dolls. All tools and materials will be provided. Cost: $5 or $4 for Minnesota Historical Society members. Reservations required, call 763-441-6896.
• Light It Up Elk River: Tree-lighting ceremony at 4:30 p.m. at River’s Edge Commons Park in downtown Elk River. Land of Lakes Choirboys will be caroling and unwrapped toys and donations will be accepted for Gifts Anonymous. People donating will be given opportunity to put a name on an ornament and put it on the tree. Elk River Mayor John Dietz will speak and flip the switch to light the tree.
• A Night in Bethlehem: 4 to 7 p.m. Central Lutheran Church, 1103 School St., Elk River. Enter the ancient city of Bethlehem during the time of the census. Hear the sounds, smell the foods, see the sights and take a self-guided tour of Bethlehem. Contact Kirsten Gill at 763-441-2363 for details.
Sunday, Dec. 8:
• Elk River Lions Club Breakfast with Santa: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lions Park Center, 1104 Lions Park Drive, Elk River. Menu includes homemade buttermilk pancakes (plain, blueberry, chocolate chip and walnut). Donations accepted at the door. All profits will be donated to Gifts Anonymous.
• Zimmerman Lions Breakfast with Santa: 8:30 a.m. to noon at the Zimmerman Lions Civic Building. Event includes a breakfast for a donation (includes breakfast sandwiches, rolls, coffee, juice), a cookie decorating center and Santa will have his Lionel Toy Trains on display. All proceeds will go to Neighbors Helping Neighbors.
• Advent Service: 4 p.m. at Union Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, 1118 Fourth St., Elk River. A service of music, readings and reflections to acknowledge that God’s word comes to shine light into darkness. There will be candle lighting and a remembrance table for photographs of loved ones. Child care provided.
Monday, Dec. 9:
• Loopy Holiday Tree: Create a whimsical tree with paper loops and make some sweet treats during this special EdVentures class for children in kindergarten through fifth grade 3 to 5 p.m. at Westwood Elementary and Zimmerman Elementary. Also offered from 3:45 to 5:45 p.m. Dec. 10 at Hassan Elementary and Parker Elementary, Dec. 11 at Otsego Elementary and Twin Lakes Elementary and Dec. 12 at Meadowvale Elementary and Rogers Elementary. Cost is $15. Register online at www.728communityed.com or call 763-241-3520.
• Rogers High School band and choir holiday concert: 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the school, 21000 141st Ave., Rogers. Admission is free.
Thursday, Dec. 12:
• Zimmerman Middle School grades six through eight band concert: 6:30 p.m. at Zimmerman Middle/High School, 25900 Fourth St. W., Zimmerman. Admission is free.
Friday, Dec. 13:
• Spectrum High School’s Band Fine Arts Concert: 7 p.m. at the school, 17796 Industrial Circle, Elk River. Admission is free.
Saturday, Dec. 14 & Sunday, Dec. 15:
• Christmas on the Farm: Saturday, Dec. 14 and Sunday, Dec. 15, 2 p.m. Join a guide for a 75-minute tour of the Kelley Farm including a hike along the nature trail, a stop inside the historic farmhouse and a visit to the livestock pens. Discover how farm families and their animals coped with shorter days, colder temperatures and the upcoming holidays 150 years ago. Enjoy a horse or oxen-drawn bobsled or wagon ride. Dress for outdoor weather. Warm refreshments follow in the visitor center. Cost: $8 or $7 for Minnesota Historical Society members; free for children ages 5 and under. Reservations required, call 763-441-6896.
• “O Holy Night,” a walk-through living nativity: 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14 and Sunday, Dec. 15 at St. John Lutheran Church, 13045 Fremont Ave., Zimmerman. Stroll the streets of Bethlehem and interact with actors telling the Christmas story. Hear music, see live animals and warm up by a bonfire while enjoying refreshments during this free event. Contact the church at 763-856-4561 for more information.
• SOAR Regional Arts will present two fundraising holiday concerts, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at Rogers Community Center and at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, at St. Michael City Center. A silent auction and raffle will be held at each. SOAR, based in St. Michael, is a theater and music organization including students from St. Michael-Albertville, Otsego, Rogers and Elk River. The choir has more than 50 youngsters.
Saturday, Dec. 14:
• Cookie Walk: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Spectrum High School, 17796 Industrial Circle, Elk River. Need holiday treats but don’t have the time to do all the baking? Come to the cookie walk at Spectrum High School. The funds raised will go to support a group of high school students going to New York on a fine arts field trip.
• Otsego Santa Day: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Santa Claus is coming to town at Prairie Center, 8899 Nashua Ave., Otsego. Activities include children visiting with Santa Claus, cookies and hot chocolate and horse-drawn sleigh rides for the whole family. Quality Photo will be present to take pictures of children with Santa for purchase or bring a camera and take your own. People attending are encouraged to bring food goods for donation to the local food shelf, Community Aid Elk River.
• Downtown Elk River Holiday Celebration: Santa and Mrs. Claus and reindeer will be at River’s Edge Commons Park in downtown Elk River from noon to 3 p.m. Bring your camera and take photos with them. Help fill Santa’s sleigh with unwrapped toys for Gifts Anonymous. Many downtown businesses will have specials and events. The Command Performance Girls Choir will sing at 1:30 p.m. at Olde Main Eatery, 313 Jackson Ave. There will be face painting for children from noon to 4 p.m. at the Arts Alliance Gallery, 609 Main St. as well as a holiday art and gift show and sale. Kids can decorate a cookie or cupcake at Elk River Travel, 650 Main St.
•Elk River Area Arts Alliance’s annual Holiday Art and Gift Show is taking place through Dec. 28 at the gallery at 609 Main St., open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. A reception for the public to meet the artists will be held Saturday, Dec. 14, starting at 2 p.m. More than 20 alliance members are displaying and selling art in a wide variety of mediums.
• The North Star Boys’ Choir: Mass followed by a service of Christmas carols. Mass begins at 5 p.m. and the Christmas concert follows at about 6:15 p.m. No tickets needed; donations will be accepted. St. Andrew’s Catholic Church, 566 4th St., Elk River.
• “The Nutcracker”: Presented by The North Ballet Youth Company at Zabee Auditorium, Elk River High School, 900 School St. Performances are at 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale at www.NorthBallet.com.
Sunday, Dec. 15:
• Land of Lakes Choirboys’ Annual Christmas Tea: 2 p.m. Elk River Lutheran Church, 729 Main St., Elk River. Tea, sandwiches, desserts and Christmas music featuring the Land of Lakes Choirboys. Tickets are $30 a person or a table of 10 for $25 a person. Call 763-213-8105 for more information and to purchase tickets.
• Elk River Arena’s Holiday Spectacular: 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the arena, 1000 School St., Elk River. Show features the Elk River Skating Club performing to holiday classics. Admission is free. Nonperishable food donations requested for Community Aid Elk River, the local food shelf.
• Skate with Santa: 3:45 to 5:45 p.m. at the Elk River Arena, 1000 School St., Elk River. Skate with Santa open skate and get a chance to meet the jolly fellow himself. Admission is free. Nonperishable food donations requested for Community Aid Elk River, the local food shelf.
• Legends of Hollywood Christmas Concert: Featuring the Command Performance Choirs. Dessert reception at 5 p.m., followed by the concert at 6 p.m. at Monticello High School, 5225 School Blvd., Monticello. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children; order online at www.commandperformancemn.org.
Monday, Dec. 16:
• Elk River High School winter band concert, 7 p.m. at the school, 900 School St., Elk River. Admission is free.
Thursday, Dec. 19:
• Elk River High School winter choir concert: 7 p.m. at the school, 900 School St., Elk River. Admission is free.
Saturday, Dec. 21:
• Land of Lakes Choirboys’ Annual Christmas Concert — Celebrate the Season: 7 p.m. Elk River Lutheran Church, 729 Main St., Elk River. A donation will be taken. Baked goods will also be sold. Call the Land of Lakes Choirboys at 763-213-8105 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
• Christmas Bird Count: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Annual count of birds in and around Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge near Zimmerman. Meet at the refuge headquarters, located on County Road 9, 5 miles west of Highway 169. Register to participate by emailing email@example.com. Detailed information about the Christmas Bird Count is available at http://birds.audubon.org/christmas-bird-count.