The count area, centered on Ann Arbor, is a 15-mile-diameter circle, divided into 8 regions, that must be counted in a single day. This makeshift census may be off by thousands, but much useful information is gained by comparing the results from year to year. The count is also great fun, and everyone from novices to experienced birders is invited to volunteer for all or part of the day, either as a field observer or (if you have a bird feeder) as a feeder watcher. Some count regions also conduct predawn searches for owls. The results are tallied at a potluck dinner at U-M Matthaei Botanical Gardens this evening.
6 a.m. For instructions and further information, call Jacco Gelderloos at 973-9422. Free; donations accepted. To sign up as a feeder watcher, contact Kurt Hagemeister at 663-9746 or
Every Sat. 22-mile ride, at various paces along the Border-to-Border Trail, from Ann Arbor Ypsilanti to decide where to eat lunch.
10 a.m., meet at Wheeler Park, N. Fourth Ave. at Depot St. Free. 545-0541. [map]
Dec. 7 & 21. One of the largest regular gatherings of RC racers in the country features off-road dirt-track racing for stock and modified model electric trucks and buggies. Awards for the top three finishers in each class. Spectators welcome. Food concessions.
10:30 a.m.-midnight, Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds, 5055 Ann Arbor-Saline Rd. Doors open at 8 a.m. Free admission. $16 to race. (517) 960-5252. [map]
Every Sat. & Sun. (except Dec. 1 & 7), Nov. 2-Dec. 22. Hands-on 20-minute family-oriented demo that involves making a comet, observing its changes, and exploring the methods scientists use to identify the "ingredients" of objects in space.
11 a.m. (Sat.) & 3 p.m. (Sat. & Sun.), U-M Exhibit Museum, 1109 Geddes at North University. Free. 764-0478. [map]
All kids in Grdes preK-3 invited to make a snow-covered evergreen tree.
11 a.m.-noon, AADL Malletts Creek Branch, 3090 E. Eisenhower (between Stone School & Packard). Free. 327-8301. [map]
Lunch followed by a white elephant gift exchange and caroling at Courthouse Square Apartments. Aglow is an international Christian organization devoted to meeting people's spiritual needs.
11:30 a.m., Share Restaurant, Sheraton Hotel, 3200 Boardwalk. Free (buy your own lunch); reservations required. 971-4545. [map]
Every Sat. & Sun. (except Dec. 7) and Dec. 27. Three different audiovisual planetarium shows.
The Sky Tonight (Sat. & Dec. 27 and Jan. 2 & 3 11:30 a.m., Sat. & Sun. & Dec. 27 and Jan. 2 & 3 1:30 p.m., Sat. & Sun. 3:30 p.m.) is an exploration of the current night sky.
Season of Light (Sat. & Sun. and Dec. 27 and Jan. 2 & 3, 12:30 p.m.) is an audiovisual show that explores how telescopes work and what they can do.
Impact Earth (Sat. & Sun. 2:30 p.m.) is an audiovisual show, narrated by astronaut Tom Jones, about meteors, meteorites, asteroids, and comets and the dangers they can pose to life on Earth.
Note: Impact Earth is shown several times on Dec. 7 as part of "Comet Discovery Day" (see listing).
Various times, U-M Natural History Museum, 1109 Geddes at North University. $5. 764-0478. [map]
This class will work on the basic steps to this popular inversion. Never before balanced on your hands? Got some handstand know-how but want some tips and tricks? This class works with beginner-level students on building the courage and strategies for inversions on the hands. Focuses on alignment, flexibility, and strength. Will also cover spotting, falling, breath, and subtle adjustment. Each class includes 15-20 minutes of warm-up and stretching, followed by demonstration of handstand tips and tricks, and practice with spotters.
$15 per student
Drop in students welcome, but registering online will guarantee you a spot in class!
A2 Aviary, 4720 S. State Rd. $15. (734) 726-0353. email@example.com http://a2aviary.com/offerings/hand-balance/ [map]
Join us for a fun day of cookie decorating and gingerbread house decorating competition! Each guest to visit us at Cake Nouveau on Saturday, December 21, will get to decorate one cookie, free of charge! Please sign up to decorate 6 cookies or more, and reserve a time slot. All supplies, packaging, and complimentary hot chocolate are included! 12 cookies/$18, Gingerbread house/$15, other quantities available. To pick up a pre-assembled gingerbread house to decorate for the competition, call ahead to reserve and pay $10 to register. More information is available at www.cakenouveau.com or calling 734-994-4033. Spaces are limited so reserve your spot now for the day of sugary fun!
Cake Nouveau, 1924 Packard Street. $10+. 734-994-4033. firstname.lastname@example.org www.cakenouveau.com [map]
This class can take your flexibility from basic warm up stretching to beginning contortion poses, all levels are welcome to train at your own pace. We will focus on safely exploring your limits through proper warm up and mat exercises to take home. Come increase your bendy power, learn to prevent injuries through safe stretching, breathe, and stretch in a supportive environment.
A2 Aviary, 4720 S. State Rd. $12. (734) 726-0353. email@example.com http://a2aviary.com/offerings/flexibility/ [map]
Dec. 7, 8, 21, & 22. Museum staff give family-friendly science demos. Dec. 7 & 8: "Mighty Motion" offers gravity, inertia, and air resistance experiments, including the chance to see a tray of eggs launched with a broom. Dec. 21 & 22: "Luminosity" features experiments with light, such as making a dill pickle light up.
1 & 3 p.m., AAHOM Legacy Gallery, 220 E. Ann. $10 regular admission (members & kids under age 2, free). 995-5439. [map]
All adults and teens in grade 9 & up invited to learn about and try out this new AADL multi-player video game.
1-5 p.m., AADL freespace (3rd floor), 343 S. Fifth Ave. Free. 327-4555. [map]
A holiday event that will enchant audiences of all ages.
The second annual production of a musical adaptation of the timeless Dickens classic performed by a multi generational cast from 6 to 74.
The Power Center for Performing Arts. $22 (group rates available). 734-547-5156. firstname.lastname@example.org www.foreverafterproductions.com
Christmasville will feature a variety of comics, singers, bad jugglers, acrobats (well sort of) and other holiday eccentrics, as well as the premier of the play-let No Room At The Big Sleep Inn. Khurum Sheikh will MC, and many of the best comics from past shows at The Mix Studio will make one or more appearances, including Marty Smith, Larry Donnelly, Germaine Gebhard, Washboard Floyd, James Boyd, as well as The Flying Zucchini Brothers, Polyethylena from The Ballet Plastique, Pope Tamers Rodrigo and Bert, and Doctor Thuddersplatt the International Orator and Geritologist.
The Mix Studio Theater, 8 N. Washington Street, Ypsilanti. $12 and $10. (734) 985-0875. email@example.com www.emergentarts.com [map]
May 3 & 17. All musicians invited for a contra dance music open jam. Bring Judi Morningstar's The Ruffwater Fakebook, Susan Songer's The Portland Collection, and Bill Matthiesen's The Waltz Book if you have them.
3-6 p.m., Pittsfield Grange, 3337 Ann Arbor-Saline Rd. (just south of Oak Valley Dr.), Saline. Free. 994-9307. [map]
Get ripped and have fun doing it! This one hour conditioning class focuses on building strength, flexibility, and technique with progressive training in the air and on the floor. Students will develop the core and upper body muscle groups needed for all aerial apparatuses and will learn exercises and spotting techniques to practice on their own. Please bring a water bottle!
A2 Aviary, 4720 S. State Rd, Ann Arbor MI. $12. 734-726-0353. firstname.lastname@example.org http://a2aviary.com/offerings/aerial-conditioning/ [map]
(Alexander Payne, 2013). An aging, booze-addled father makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son to claim a million-dollar sweepstakes prize.
Times TBA at michtheater.org, Michigan Theater. $10 (children under 12, students with ID, seniors age 55 & older, & U.S. veterans, $8; MTF members, $7.50; films before 6 p.m., $7). 668-TIME. [map]
(John Lee Hancock, 2013). Dramatic biopic about Mary Poppins writer P.L. Travers' difficult childhood and relationship with Walt Disney. Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks.
Times TBA at michtheater.org (unless otherwise noted), Michigan Theater. $10 (children under 12, students with ID, seniors age 55 & older, & U.S. veterans, $8; MTF members, $7.50; films before 6 p.m., $7). 668-TIME. [map]
The Lyra (also known as the aerial hoop, aerial ring or cerceau) is a circular steel apparatus, resembling a hula hoop. It is suspended from the ceiling and can be used static, spinning, or swinging. This class is designed for beginning aerialists to gain confidence and strength in the fundamentals of Lyra. You will learn to get on and off the apparatus unassisted, as well as seated and under the bar poses.
Strength makes it seamless! This is also an excellent conditioning class for established aerialists looking to hone their transitions and perfect their technique, without focusing on choreography.
Be ready to build strength, flexibility, and coordination - not to mention bruises in unusual places…!
$25 per student
Six student maximum
Drop in students are welcome, but registering online will guarantee you a spot in the class!
A2 Aviary, 4720 S. State Rd. $25. (734) 726-0353. email@example.com http://a2aviary.com/offerings/lyra/ [map]
Aerial Silks, also known as Tissu or Ribbons, are a fabric apparatus hung from above that is climbed, wrapped around the body, and/or tied to create dramatic drops, poses and movements in the air. This class is designed for beginning aerialists to gain confidence and strength in the fundamentals of Aerial Silks. You will learn basic climbs and descents, how to apply foot locks, and work towards inversions.Strength makes it seamless! This is also an excellent conditioning class for established aerialists looking to hone their transitions and perfect their technique, without focusing on choreography.
$25 per single one hour class
Six student maximum
Drop in students are welcome, but registering online will guarantees you a spot in class!
A2 Aviary, 4720 S. State Rd. $25. (734) 726-0353. firstname.lastname@example.org http://a2aviary.com/offerings/aerial-silks-basics-conditioning/ [map]
Local Russian children present Forget Herostratus, Grigory Gorin's comedic drama based on the historical figure of Herostratus, a young Greek man who burned the temple of Artemis at Ephesus in an effort to become famous. The play is performed in Russian, with English-language synopses provided.
5:30 p.m. (doors open at 5 p.m.), WCC Liberal Arts and Sciences Bldg. Auditorium LA175, 4800 E. Huron River Dr. Free. 741-1953. [map]
All adults and older children invited to join an outdoor circle to learn and sing seasonal songs, rounds, and chants.
7-9 p.m., Michigan Friends Center, 7448 Clark Lake Rd. (off Oakridge from Waterloo Rd. west of M-52), Chelsea. Donation. Preregistration requested. 475-0942. [map]
Begin your holiday season with the world premiere of a delightful holiday classic, Clara and the Nut, performed by the Randazzo Dance Company. With new choreography performed by talented local dancers, this show is sure to get you in the holiday spirit. 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. The tickets are $20, $15 Seniors/Students. Lydia Mendelssohn Theater, 911 N University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109. Tickets available online through randazzodancecompany.com. 734-528-0273.
Lydia Mendelssohn Theater, 911 N University Ave. $20/$15. 734-528-0273. email@example.com randazzodancecompany.com [map]
A wacky open mike in which participants are given 45 seconds to 5 minutes to do anything from storytelling to an abs workout to trying to sell a bike.
7:30 p.m.-midnight (Dec.) & 7:30-11:30 p.m. (Jan.), Yellow Barn, 416 W. Huron. $5 (Yellow Card holders, free). ouryellowbarn.com. [map]
Dec. 20-22. This local company, formerly the Ypsilanti Area Dancers, performs the premiere of Sara Randazzo's new show inspired by The Nutcracker. In Randazzo's version, a little girl named Clara is presented with gifts at her family's annual holiday party. The gifts each take a turn to dance, delighting Clara and the party guests, but a gift from Clara's mother-"the Canned Nut"-gets everyone to dance and takes Clara on a nighttime adventure to the Land of Snow. The show incorporates many dance styles, from ballet and jazz to Spanish, Russian, Dragon dance, and others. The Dec. 21 performance is preceded at 6 p.m. by "Dancing with the Stars of Clara & the Nut!" ($10 per child, includes a gift), a chance for kids (accompanied by an adult) to learn about choreography and have their picture taken with the performers.
7:30 p.m. (Dec. 20 & 21) & 2 p.m. (Dec. 22), Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre, 911 North University. Tickets $20 (seniors age 60 & over and students, $15) in advance at randazzodancecompany.com. 477-9350. [map]
Callers and bands TBA. No partner needed; beginners welcome. Bring flat, smooth-sole shoes. Preceded by a lesson at 7:30 p.m.
8-11 p.m., Pittsfield Grange, 3337 Ann Arbor-Saline Rd. (just south of Oak Valley Dr.), Saline. $10. 426-0241. [map]
Robin Warner and Peter Baker call to live music by Dawn's Early Light. Preceded at 7:30 p.m. by a beginner lesson. Bring flat, smooth-sole shoes.
8 p.m., Pittsfield Grange, 3337 Ann Arbor-Saline Rd. (just south of Oak Valley Dr.). $10 (members, $7). 426-0241. [map]
A concert of experimental world music in celebration of the winter solstice by guitarist/sitarist Robert Spalding Newcomb, keyboardist James Aikman, and percussionist/flautist Ken Kozora.
8 p.m., KCH, 415 N. Fourth Ave. $10-$25 (students, $5). Reservations recommended. 769-2999. [map]
Dec. 19-21. Smart, edgy observational humor by this young Detroit comic who specializes in probing autobiographical anecdotes. Preceded by 2 opening acts. Alcohol is served.
8 p.m. (Thurs.-Sat.) & 10:30 p.m. (Fri. & Sat.), 314 E. Liberty. $8 (Thurs.) & $11 (Fri. & Sat.) reserved seating in advance, $10 (Thurs.) & $13 (Fri. & Sat.) general admission at the door. 996-9080. [map]
All singles invited for an evening of socializing and dancing to recorded 70s to contemporary dance music played by a DJ. Cash bar. Preceded at 6:30 p.m. by a potluck (bring a dish to pass, or pay $5).
8 p.m.-midnight, Grotto Club, 2070 W. Stadium. $8 (PWP members, $6). 973-1933. 994-0587, 214-6449. [map]
Oct. 19 & 26 and Nov. 2, 9, 16, & 30. The Dreamland Puppet Troupe presents Dreamland owner Naia Venturi's adaptation, with both Venturi's marionettes and Patrick Elkins' shadow puppets, of Shakespeare's delightful comic fantasy about a jealous tiff between the king and queen of the fairies, and the mortals snared in their mischief. With a score by Andrew Bruce Mitchell II. This project was initiated when the Dreamland puppets were used in Arnaud Desplechin's Jimmy P.: The Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian, a nominee for the 2013 Cannes Film Festival Palm d'Or.
8 p.m. (doors open at 7:30 p.m.), Dreamland Theater, 26 N. Washington St. Ypsilanti. $10 at the door only. 657-2337. [map]
Every Thurs.-Sun. (except Nov. 28), Nov. 14-Jan. 5, and Nov. 27. Carla Milarch directs Jerry Herman and Larry Alford's Tony-winning 1985 musical, a cabaret-style revue with large-scale production numbers, tap dancing, and a bit of drag showcasing songs from Herman's musicals, including Hello Dolly!, Mame, La Cage aux Folles, Mack and Mabel, and others. Stars Naz Edwards.
7:30 p.m. (Thurs. & Nov. 27), 8 p.m. (Fri. & Sat.), 2 p.m. (Sun.), & 3 p.m. (Nov. 30 & Dec. 14), Performance Network, 120 E. Huron. Preview tickets: whatever you can afford to pay (Nov. 14), $24 & $26 (Nov. 15 & 17), $30 & $32 (Nov. 16), and $22 & $24 (Nov. 21). Nov. 22 opening night tickets: $39 & $41 includes reception. After Nov. 22: $27 & $29 (Thurs.), $34 & $36 (Fri. & Sun.), $27 & $29 (Sat. matinee), $39 & $41 (Sat. eve.). $3 discount for seniors age 60 & over. Tickets available in advance at performancenetwork.org & by phone, and at the door. $10 student discount in advance, half-price student tickets at the door only. For reservations, call 663-0681; to charge by phone, call 663-0696. [map]
Screening of a feature film or several shorts with spiritual themes. Followed by discussion.
8 p.m., Interfaith Center for Spiritual Growth, 704 Airport Blvd. $5 suggested donation. 327-0270. [map]