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Weekend Agenda

Looking for something to do this weekend? Check out our top picks for December 18-20.

Photo by Paul Andrews

Friday

After many long years, one of the most anticipated movies of all time is finally in theaters. Tickets for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” showings tonight and this weekend are still available at Cinetopia, where you can kick back and enjoy the film on a four-story, 75-feet wide screen at the GXL auditoriums. Keep your costumes on and your ticket stubs handy, as they’ll get you specials throughout Prairiefire, including a free game of bowling or bocce at Pinstripes, free entry to Museum at Prairiefire’s “The Horse” exhibit and a free gift at Fat Brain Toys. No costume is needed to enjoy special $6 Princess Leia, Han Solo and C-3PO cocktails at Rock & Brews, perfect to enjoy while dissecting the film (or anxiously awaiting your screening to start).

One way to know that holidays are really here: the Kansas City Symphony’s annual Christmas Festival! The program features more than 250 performers filling the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts’ Helzberg Hall with the sounds of beloved Christmas carols and songs of the season, plus one lucky attendee at each performance will receive a gift from Helzberg Diamonds.

Musical Theater Heritage also brings the holiday cheer with “A Spectacular Christmas Show,” running now through Dec. 23. With one act dedicated to holiday songs from musical theater and another featuring celebratory tunes, the upbeat performance is fit for the whole family—plus kids and teens under 16 get in free with each paying adult if you call to order tickets.

Wrap up your holiday shopping at Downtown Overland Park’s Local Life. You’ll find flaming foods and kitchen fire safety demo by the Overland Park Fire Department at the Culinary Center of Kansas City along with sizzling deals. Or whip up a holiday batch of bath salts, scrub or body butter scented with peppermint, cinnamon, vanilla clove or pine at Milagro’s Maker Counter.

Saturday

It’s a not-so-classic Christmas story as characters collide at a night club in “Christmas Ain’t a Drag,” a musical Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 5 and 8 p.m. at the Madrid Theatre. Traditional tunes, original songs and a big band, plus a cast that includes Shay Estes, David George and Missie B’s favorite Doug Brewer (putting the drag in “Christmas Ain’t a Drag”) make for a unique entertainment experience. A portion of proceeds will be donated to LIKEME Lighthouse, an organization that provides a safe and welcoming space for LGBT individuals and their families.

Bid Kansas City Zoo polar bear extraordinaire Nikita farewell before he leaves for the North Carolina Zoo at his going away party 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. The festivities include themed crafts, activities and zookeepers discussing their favorite Nikita memories at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. While you’re there, see Santa dive with penguins at 11 a.m., then watch them waddle the red carpet and strike a pose at 2 p.m.

Santa is also on the guest list at Rye’s brunch this morning (because cookies and milk don’t hold a candle to what Megan and Colby Garrelts have up their sleeves). Families can enjoy the restaurant’s offerings, such as cinnamon rolls, biscuits and gravy and fired chicken and snag a photo with the man in red. Seating is limited, so make your reservation now.

Sunday

If you’re more inclined to grab a doughnut to start your day, make a beeline for Doughnut Lounge. The just-opened Westport spot offers a case full of traditional and signature doughnuts (think a mega-chocolatey S’more and the Dolly, a goat cheese-stuffed root beer-glazed doughnut topped with basil) as well as a coffee bar. Stop by early or risk the doughnuts selling out…or stop by around 4 p.m. for another fresh batch and a cocktail at the full bar.

Take a break from the frenzy of the season with a music meditation class led by master musicians Brandon Draper and Allaudin Ottinger. Attendees are invited to meditate, practice yoga and relax to the soundtrack of Tibetan bells, singing bowls, gongs, and other instruments from all over the world. The 4 p.m. session at Quixotic School of Performing Arts is $10.

Animals are not a gift to be given lightly, but if you are buying a pet for yourself or someone on your list this season, make sure you’re also making the wish of a furry friend come true by adopting from a shelter. KC Pet Project’s A Home for the Holidays Adoptathon Dec. 18-27 at all three of its locations means dogs are only $40 and cats are $20 (excluding kittens and puppies). Two worthy candidates to consider adding to your family: amateur scarf model Carlos and sweet senior Kierkegaard.

Check back next week for info on more events you won’t want to miss!