There’s a lot going on in the city. Many of the events don’t need our help in drawing a crowd, but some do. Here’s our take on some of this week’s most worthwhile excursions.
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Sunday, Dec. 27 — Monthly Ballroom Dancing/West Coast Swing lessons, 3-7 p.m., second floor function room, YMCA Greendale Family Branch, 75 Shore Drive First things first: If you’ve never seen the movie “Swingers,” you’re wrong. More importantly, though, seeing as how this is a listing of interesting local events, have you ever seen the function room of the Greendale YMCA? Well, make a return trip or a maiden voyage up to the topside of the city and find out if you still have two left feet.
This is a fairly new event that provides lessons to beginners, accepts all skill levels and welcomes singles and couples alike. Costs $12 ($10 for YMCA members); $5 for students (with ID) under 23.
Monday, Dec. 28 (through Wednesday) — Basketball Minicamp, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Worcester Jewish Community Center, 633 Salisbury St. XBox One: $300. “Star Wars” in 3D tickets: $18 apiece. Three work days of post-Christmas peace and quiet around the house? Priceless! Well, maybe not exactly priceless — the JCC charges $65/day, $167/three-day for nonmembers; $55/$137 members — but think of all the residual value. Kids from Grades 1 through 7 can learn new drills and hone skills with experienced instructors. Or just have a little fun. All miles away from the mess they’ve left in their bedrooms.
Tuesday, Dec. 29 — Holiday Vacation: My Place in Space, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., EcoTarium, 222 Harrington Way Lots out there for the kids to do this week — but can you pry them away from their new XBox or high-performance tablet? This is where the smart folks at the EcoTarium come in: Even with today’s jaded, cynical set of young’uns, it’s hard to find one who isn’t a little fascinated by space and all its infinite possibilities. Check it out Wednesday and/or Thursday, too. Standard museum admission applies ($14 nonmembers; $10 kids/65+/students with ID).
Wednesday, Dec. 30 — Clark Alumni Holiday Invitational men’s basketball doubleheader, noon and 2 p.m., Kneller Athletic Center, Clark University, 57 Downing St. Get down to the second day of this vacation week round robin as the homestanding Cougars take on the Hawks of Roger Williams University at 2 p.m., following the noon tilt featuring Worcester State vs. Wentworth Institute of Technology.
Sophomore forward Michael Boaheng, who played his high school ball at St. Peter-Marian, is a reserve for Wentworth. The Lancers, though, are stocked with Woo-bred talent, as Bilal Shakir, a junior guard from Tech, paces the team with 13.5 points per game. Jamal Mustapha (Doherty), junior guard, averages 10.3 points mostly off the bench, while sophomore forward Jamal Smith of SPM and junior guard Isaiah Tatum of Holy Name also play as reserves.
Thursday, Dec. 31 — Worcester First Night, 10 a.m.-11 p.m., various venues (including Sturbridge and Clinton) This, in its 35th year, may well be the oldest First Night in the nation, but it knows a thing or two about staying current. For the first time, while you’re frolicking around the Woo perfecting your resolutions — and enjoying a merry scavenger hunt of magicians and puppeteers and other artists — you’ll be able to keep abreast of everything First Night on its free Apple mobile app. Auld Lang Syne, indeed.
Friday, Jan. 1 — New Year’s Day … We suggest trying to stick to your resolution for at least one day. Other than that, don’t you have some pine needles to not pick up, or some fruitcake to throw away?
Saturday, Jan. 2 — Canal District Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-noon, Crompton Place, 138 Green St. I believe today is the last day of National Get the @$%#& Out of the House Week. Sooo … Why not finish it off with a morning filled by checking out area vendors and local products at this year-round market. From wine to flowers to boutique beard grooming products — not a typo — there is clearly a little something for everyone.
Save the date …
Thursday, Jan. 21 — Brand Launch Party, 5-9 p.m., 20 Franklin St., first floor Come check out a shindig celebrating the first home of Worcester Sun! The Worcester Business Development Corporation tasked Action! Worcester with operating and rebranding what was initially known as the Innovation Center. The launch party will be a chance to find out some of what Action! Worcester has in mind. “The space will leverage cross-campus college student engagement and unite the entrepreneurial endeavors taking hold downtown,” according to a release that promises a crowd including several dignitaries. Petty, Augustus, hors d’oeuvres and hipsters — oh, my!