TWIN FALLS — There’s only five days until Christmas.
While many holiday activities have passed and a quiet week lies ahead, there’s still a chance to check out a handful of events across south-central Idaho and get your last fix of holiday spirit before the real thing.
The College of Southern Idaho’s Faulkner Planetarium has five shows on the schedule — both holiday and non-holiday themed — over the next week.
“The Star of Bethlehem” runs 8 p.m. Friday and 3:30 p.m. Saturday. It’s followed by a live sky tour.
Compared with some holiday planetarium shows, “Star of Bethlehem is a little more cerebral,” said Chris Anderson, production specialist and observatory coordinator for the Faulkner Planetarium. “It takes a look at the Biblical clues into the what the Star of Bethlehem may have been.”
It’s like solving a mystery and is a little more academic, he said, and may be a bit over younger children’s heads.
“Let it Snow!” is a show for all ages that features popular Christmas songs, including a finale by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Show times are 7 p.m. Friday, and 2:30 and 7 p.m. Saturday.
“It’s like you’re visiting a bunch of ornaments on a Christmas tree and each one represents a different song,” Anderson said.
Another planetarium show, “The Longest Night: A Winter’s Tale,” runs at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. “It’s sort of a Christmas show, but not really,” Anderson said.
The show is unlike anything the Faulkner Planetarium has featured before, he said. There’s computer graphic scenery and performances by a puppet troupe with life-sized puppets.
It’s a folk tale and audience members can feel submersed in the plot as they see the entire environment around them, Anderson said.
He described it as a “hero quest,” as a little girl must discover the nature of what makes the seasons change.
Other planetarium shows on the schedule include “Titans of the Ice Age” at 8 p.m. Saturday and “Planet Nine” with a live sky tour at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.
“Planet Nine” is about news surfacing last year that astronomers believe there’s good evidence of a large planet well beyond Pluto, Anderson said.
“The nice thing about the show is it shows how the scientist method works,” he said.
The Faulkner Planetarium introduced the show last year, but it got overshadowed with all the hype surrounding the total solar eclipse in August, Anderson said. “We’re trying to give it sort of a second run here in case they missed it in the shadow of the eclipse.”
The day after Christmas, a new show will start at the planetarium called “Dinosaurs at Dusk.”
“It’s been a while since we’ve had a dinosaur show in the lineup,” Anderson said.
It looks at the origin of birds and how that overlaps with dinosaurs. That’s done through the story of a father and daughter who are magically transported into the age of the dinosaurs and interact with them through extreme sports such as ATV riding.
Tickets for planetarium shows are $6 for adults, $5 for seniors (ages 60 and older), $4 for children (ages 2-17) and free for children younger than 2.
Ice show in Sun Valley
Here’s an out-of-the-box idea for Christmas Eve: go to an ice show in Sun Valley.
Gates open at 3 p.m. Sunday for “Skating in a Winter Wonderland” and the show starts at 5:30 p.m. at Sun Valley’s outdoor ice rink.
The performance will include modern renditions of classic holiday music. It will feature professional figure skaters, including Erin Reed and members of the Sun Valley Figure Skating Club. Free cookies and cocoa will be served.
The yearly ice show has been up-and-running for more than 20 years. but the tradition itself extends for much longer.
“It’s always been a Sun Valley tradition that there has been a Christmas Eve ice show,” said Scott Irvine, ice operations manager and ice show producer for the Sun Valley Co.
The show will last about 30 minutes and promises to be a spectacular evening, he said. “It’s a really, really fun night for the family.”
In addition to the ice show, expect to see Santa Claus and carolers. After the show, more festivities are planned, including the Dollar Torchlight Parade and fireworks on Dollar Mountain.
Jerome cookie and craft party
Your children can decorate Christmas cookies and make crafts Friday at the Jerome Public Library.
The library is having a party and open house from 2:30-4 p.m. at 100 First Ave. E. for preschool through fifth-graders.
Children will be able to select cookies to decorate. They’ll also make a paper Christmas tree and reindeer decoration, and take snapshots in a photo booth with Christmas props.
Need to finish Christmas shopping?
Still need to finish up your Christmas shopping? Drop off your children — ages 5-12 — on Friday night at the Magic Valley YMCA, 1751 Elizabeth Blvd.
Children will be entertained with games and activities from 6-9:30 p.m. It costs $15 for YMCA members and $25 for nonmembers.
Register by Thursday by calling 208-733-4384 or visiting Ymcatf.com.
Here are a handful of other Christmastime events across south-central Idaho:
Seeds of Christmas event
Senior center holiday dinner, dance and raffle:
- 6-8 p.m. Dec. 22 at the Senior Junction, 2421 Overland Ave. Turkey and ham dinner with all the trimmings. At-will donations. 208-878-8646.
Jackpot Christmas parade and festival
- : 6 p.m. Dec. 20. The parade starts in the park on Ace Drive, followed by festivities at the Jackpot Recreation Center, 2395 Progressive Road. The event will include a visit with Santa, family games, and music by the Rockin’ Horse and UNDERDoG bands. The public is welcome to join the free potluck dinner. Bring a side dish or dessert to share. Info: Eileen, 208-329-1054.
“A Christmas Carol—the Musical”
- : Laughing Stock Theatre and the Sun Valley Performing Arts will present the musical at 7 p.m. Dec. 20, 22-23 and 2 p.m. Dec. 24 at the Community School Theater, 1 Community School Drive. Tickets are $35 for reserved seats, $25 for general seating and $15 for students. Tickets: 208-726-9124 or laughingstocktheater.com.
Annual classic Christmas concert
Holiday storytelling for children
Holiday vintage sweater contest and party
- : 5-7 p.m. Dec. 22 in the Duchin Lounge at the Sun Valley Lodge. Prizes for first, second and third place sweaters.
Brunch with Santa
- : 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 23-24 at the Sun Valley Club at Sun Valley’s Trail Creek golf course. Cost is $45 for adults and $20 for children. Free for ages 2 and younger. Reservations: 208-622-2919.
“Striking 12” musical
- : Company of Fools performs at 7 p.m. Dec. 20-22, 23, and 26-30, and 2 p.m. Dec. 23 (with a chat-back with actors and backstage tour). It’s a New Year’s themed production about a New Yorker who thinks they’ll spend New Year’s Eve alone, but a visitor brings hope and a new perspective. Tickets are $35 for Sun Valley Center for the Arts members and seniors, $40 for nonmembers and $15 for students. Tickets: sunvalleycenter.org, 208-726-9491 or at the box office one hour before the show.