The most fun you’ll have with a calendar of events all week. And you just might learn something, too.
Sunday, Dec. 3 — stART at the Station, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Grand Hall and Concourse, Union Station, Washington Square This is the stop to get gift shopping stARTed and your holidays on track. Some 135 local artisans will be on hand with items that are beautiful, unusual, useful or whimsical. There will be a stART Lounge, too, with a lineup of local performers, offering a break from the crafts and/or crowds. Organizers promise wider aisles this year, but trust us, this thing is chaotic — in a merry sort of way.
Admission is free; early entry from 9 to 11 a.m. costs $10, which will support stART and could get you first dibs on some of the delights. Parking is $1 at the Union Station Garage at 225 Franklin St.
Sunday, Dec. 3 — Preservation Worcester Holiday Stroll, noon to 5 p.m., addresses to be announced Guaranteed, you’ll get decorating ideas from this Preservation Worcester fundraiser. Candy canes on Christmas trees, menorahs and candles on mantels — the tip of the iceberg of the seasonal magic behind those doors.
You’ll glimpse domestic perfection that could never last in real life, plus help a worthy institution. But the real reason everyone goes is to nose around some pretty spectacular city homes. This year’s stroll features eight residences of city leaders past and present; a holiday party will follow at an undisclosed location.
The cost is $35; pay and pick up tour brochures beginning at noon at Preservation Worcester, 10 Cedar St.
Sunday, Dec. 3 — “It’s a Wonderful Life” radio play for the stage, 2 p.m., Grandview Playhouse, 21 Grandview Ave. Financial ruin, dashed dreams, angels getting their wings … we speak, of course, of one of the best stories ever written for the Christmas season.
The Worcester County Light Opera Company offers a stage adaption of the Frank Capra film classic. Psst, a twist: This adaptation, by Joe Landry, takes the form of a live 1940s radio show. It will all make perfect sense, and lift your spirits, well before George Bailey shouts, “Merry Christmas, you wonderful old Building and Loan!”
Also running at 8 p.m. Dec. 7, 8 and 9; and 2 p.m. Dec. 10. Tickets are $22, $18 for seniors and students. If your name is Clarence you get in free (not really).
Tuesday, Dec. 5 — “Keeping Your Heart Healthy,” talk by Dr. Mazen Roumia, 9-10 a.m., Worcester JCC, 633 Salisbury St. Put a cardiologist on your calendar for an hour. Dr. Roumia is an “interventional cardiologist” who has seen all kinds of heart conditions — and will give a talk, followed by a discussion, about how you might be able to avoid them. He attended medical school at Aleppo University in Syria, and is affiliated with St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester. Free.
Saturday, Dec. 9 — “Islam 101,” 2-3:30 p.m., Saxe Room, Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Square The Islamic faith is often in the news, but how much do most area folks really know about it? This is a chance to deepen your knowledge — that’s pretty much always a good idea on any topic. American-born Muslim educator Mona Ives will give a talk and lead a discussion. She is president of Ansaar of Worcester, a nonprofit that assists refugees. Free.
Saturday, Dec. 9 — Holiday Stroll, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Blackstone Canal District, Kelley Square This Canal District-style stroll is a first for the hopping, happening downtown neighborhood. Take a self-guided tour of local businesses, which will be offering giveaways, entertainment and more. There’s lots to do: shop, sip, talk yourself into a Table Talk Pie or two … and the Kelley Square tree lighting will be at 5 p.m. Just be sure to look both ways — look all dozen ways — before any actual strolling near Kelley Square. Free.