Weekend Best Bets: December 18-20


Destination Dining

WHAT: Annual Holiday Wine Dinner
WHEN: 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: Current at the Afton House Inn
Ryan Kaliher, the well-traveled head chef of the Afton House Inn’s restaurant, has put together a four-course meal celebrating the season. The culinary team at Current uses only free-range and natural ingredients, and has a strong preference for local producers. The Holiday dinner menu takes you from hor d’oeuvres to dessert, with each course paired with a unique wine. Reserve your table at Afton House Inn.

Jukebox Kings

WHAT: Trashy Little X-Mas Show
WHEN: 8 p.m.
WHERE: Pepitos Parkway Theater
Recently vacated from Lee’s Liquor Lounge, local band Trailer Trash is taking their annual (more than 20 years now) holiday show to several venues around the Twin Cities. Friday’s show finds a home at Pepitos, a perfect fit for the honky-tonk bar rockers. You can get food and drinks, and cut a rug on the 1,000 square foot dance floor. Tickets available at Brown Paper Tickets.


Choose Your Nutcracker

WHAT: Two different takes on a Holiday Classic
WHEN: 7 p.m.
WHERE: Various
Time is running out to see a nutcracker this season, but luckily there are a couple to choose from this weekend. For the traditionalist, try Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker playing at the State Theater. This annual production still uses the same dances choreographed by Minnesota legend Houlton in 1964. If you’re in a libertine mood, consider Visions of Sugarplums: A Burlesque Nutcracker playing at the Ritz. Unfortunately, you can only choose one—they both start at 7 p.m.

Train Car Soirée

WHAT: Night at the Museum: A Black Tie Event
”‹WHEN: 8 p.m.
WHERE: Minnesota Transportation Museum
There will be several historical and educational elements this evening, but the whiskey tasting should also be well underway by then. Lite food will be served and a jazz quartet, Patty and the Buttons, will be playing all night. Black-tie dress is required, with 1920s outfits encouraged. And it all happens on a vintage steam train. Act quick, tickets are limited; the dinner portion of the evening has already sold out.


Deafening Silence

WHAT: All is Calm
”‹WHEN: 1 p.m.
WHERE: Pantages Theater
Theater Latté Da, whose last show was the widely acclaimed Sweeney Todd, presents this musical dramatization of the World War I “Christmas Truce” between Allied and Central forces, inspired by the radio dramas which were popular at the time. “The heroes of this story are the lowest of the ranks—the young, the hungry, the cold, and the optimistic,” writes creator Peter Rothstein. Tickets and more info at Hennepin Theater Trust.

Family Time

WHAT: Frontier Christmas Celebration
WHEN: 2 p.m.
WHERE: Gideon and Agnes Pond House
The trails that run through Pond-Dakota Mission Park give the perfect opportunity for family-friendly winter exploration. Check out the stunning views of the Minnesota River, spy some wildlife, and time your hike to end at the Gideon and Agnes Pond House, where warm drinks, lite snacks, and arts and crafts await. For directions and more info about the park, visit Bloomington, MN