Shopping, shows, First Friday make Holiday in the City weekend merrier

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

You can ride, skate or walk into the second week of Holiday in the City activities in downtown Springfield. Add in monthly First Friday activities — and a slew of weekend happenings — to make the mood merrier.

Holiday in the City activities began on Nov. 24 with the grand illumination of the community tree, live music, visits with Santa and other attractions. It’s presented by the Greater Springfield Partnership.

“It went really well. The lights were spectacular and people really liked the ice sculptures,” said Ashten Houseman, downtown events programmer for the Partnership. “We’ve got a lot more coming up.”

Thursday, Willow Wind Horse and Carriage rides begin, from 6-8 p.m., in the esplanade across from the Courtyard by Marriott. The cost is $5 a person and free for ages 6-under. Rides will be each following Thursday in December as well as Jan. 4-6.

The Speedway Ice Skating Rink in Market Alley will be open 5-8 p.m. today and Sunday and 5-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Skating including skate rental is $5 for ages 6-older.

The Ohio Performing Arts Institute’s 34th annual presentation of “The Nutcracker” will be 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Clark State Performing Arts Center.

Activities will be highlighted by the First Friday Holiday Market, 5-9 p.m. co-hosted by Mother Stewart’s Brewing Co. and the Hatch Artist Studios that will include vendors indoors and outdoors and five food trucks.

There will be 25 local vendors offering a variety of goods and 30 artists in Hatch for those wanting to get personal gifts for the season. There will also be a variety of downtown merchants offering specials as part of First Friday.

The Champion City Market Pop Up will be 5-8 p.m. at Building Block Play Studio, 137. E Main St. Parents can shop while their kids play for $6 a child during event hours.

Saturday will bring more shopping opportunities with Christmas at Bushnell Bazaar at the Bushnell Events Center, 2-7 p.m. that will include magic shows, Christmas vendors, a holiday children’s book reading and signing, handmade crafts, food trucks and selfies with Santa and DJ Grinch.

A holiday mini art and gift market will be 5-8 p.m. at Frame Haven, 126 E. Main St. with goods from local artists and makers with free snacks and drinks available.

Other Saturday offerings are the OSU Master Gardeners Poinsettias and Pints event, noon to 3 p.m. at Mother Stewart’s; a gingerbread and cookie decorating contest at COHatch, 4-8; and the beginning of weekly holiday movie matinees, 5-9 at the State Theater with the movie to be announced.

Saturday and Sunday will be the Pennsylvania House Christmas Open House, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 1311 W. Main St. Covenant Presbyterian Church, 201 N. Limestone St., will offer its annual Alternative Christmas Market, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

For the calendar of Holiday in the City activities and events and updates, go to