Here are the latest Dorchester neighborhood notes:
St. Brendan’s and St. Ann’s churches will “Swing into Christmas” from 7 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9 at St. Brendan’s, Father Lane Hall, 589 Gallivan Blvd. Families will enjoy live music and refreshments.
Cal 617-436-0310 for further details.
The Fields Corner Branch Library, 1520 Dorchester Ave., will host a free USCIS immigration information session on benefits from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Dec. 9.
A U.S. Citizenship and Immigration officer will give general information on immigration issues such as naturalization and citizenship, eligibility requirements, permanent residency, filing procedures, avoiding scams and finding low cost and safe advice. This is a cooperative effort of USCIS, the Mayor’s Office for Immigration Advancement and Boston Public Library.
Call 617-565-9430 for more information.
The Vibe Coffeehouse at Second Church in Dorchester, 600 Washington St., will host a Christmas Marketplace from 4 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9.
Shoppers will enjoy a fun relaxed atmosphere where they can shop for unique hand-made, artsy and trendy gifts that will make gift giving easier. There will be musical entertainment and fun interactions, as well as prizes and surprises. Tasty Caribbean bites, signature drinks and delicious cupcakes will be available for sale.
Admission is free. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 617-804-5850.
The third annual Half Way to Dot Day 5K will be held at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9 at Florian Hall, 55 Hallet St.
All children, ages 12 and under who bring an unwrapped toy, are registered for free. The cost for adults is $20. All proceeds go to help Dorchester families and charities during the holiday season, including a partnership with the Mayor’s Toy Drive. Awards will be given for age groups from youth to senior.
The Dorchester Running Club is the race sponsor.
To sign up or for more information, visit www.dotrunners.org.
Santa at the zoo
Santa Claus will visit the tropics from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9 and 16 at the Franklin Park Zoo, 1 Franklin Park Rd.
Activities at the Tropical Forest will include story time with Santa; winter-themed arts and crafts; holiday-themed enrichment for the animals; and animal encounters. The forest is home to western lowland gorillas, ring-tailed lemurs, a giant anteater and many more incredible animals.
Children can have their photo taken with Santa in the Hippo Theater from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Further information is available by calling 617-541-5466 or at www.zoonewengland.org.
Families are invited to learn about the brain in a free Brain Day program from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9 at the Fields Corner Branch Library, 1520 Dorchester Ave.
Staff from the Cognitive Neuroscience Group from the MGH Institute of Health Professionals will lead a fun day of learning exploration and activities, including brain games, learning how to trick your brain and making a brain hat. Children will receive prizes and certificate.
For more details, call 617-436-2155.
Historic home open house
The Dorchester Historical Society will host its holiday party at the historic 1806 William Clapp House, 195 Boston St., from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 10.
Refreshments and music in an historic setting decorated for the holidays will be featured. There will be music of the holiday season and a lively carol sing. The gift shop will offer reproduction Dorchester Pottery fruit plates, Clapp pear jam, potpourri and Dorchester town seal chocolates made by Phillips Candy House.
Call 617-293-3052 or visit www.dorchesterhistoricalsociety.org for more information.
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library on Columbia Point will present “Reality and Truth in Contemporary Journalism” from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 11.
Dan Balz, chief correspondent at the Washington Post; Kathleen Hall Jamieson, professor of communications at the University of Pennsylvania; and Tom Nichols, author of “The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters,” will discuss reality and truth in today’s media with Heather Cox Richardson of Boston College.
To register for this free program, visit www.jfklibrary.org or call 617-541-1600.
Author and Boston Globe reporter Emily Sweeney will be the guest speaker at the Adams Street Branch Library, 690 Adams St., at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 11.
Sweeney’s new book “Gangland Boston” reveals the secrets of organized crime in the city, showing how the Italian Mafia and Irish gangs rose to power, how the Winter Hill Gang gained prominence and how James “Whitey” Bulger became the city’s most feared crime boss.
Books will be available for purchase and signing. Admission is free.
For further information, call 617-436-6900.
The Uphams Corner Branch Library, 500 Columbia Road, will host the annual holiday party from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 14.
The Fred Woodard Collective will entertain, with refreshments to follow.
Admission is free.
Visit www.bpl.org or call 617-265-0139 for further details.
The Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre will performing the 30th annual production of “The Nutcracker” at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays, 2 and 7 p.m. on Saturdays, 1:30 and 5 p.m. on Sundays, from Friday, Dec. 15 to Sunday, Dec. 24 at the Strand Theatre, 543 Columbia Road.
The dance company will celebrate the holiday season with a family-friendly production of “The Nutcracker.” This is a full-length production with professional dancers plus a cast of local children, new sets and costumes, set to Tchaikovsky’s timeless score. With a cast of 20 professional company members accompanied by more than 200 local area children dancing the roles of Mice, Soldiers, Cherubs, Polichinelles and Clara, this production encapsulates the community spirit of Boston.
Tickets range in price from $20 to $75.
Visit www.ballettheatre.org/product/the-nutcracker-at-the-strand or call 617-354-7467 for further information and to purchase tickets.
Heart of the holidays
The Celebrity Series of Boston will host a Neighborhood Arts Program “Heart of the Holidays: A Global Celebration of Song” at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16 at the Salvation Army Kroc Center, 650 Dudley St.
The concert will feature the Guy Mendilow Ensemble and the Boston City Singers. Admission is free.
Call 617-482-2595 or visit www.celebrityseries.org for further details.
The Boston City Singers will perform in the Winter Stars Concert at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 17 at St. Ann Church, 243 Neponset Ave.
More than 100 of the young singers will perform in the holiday spirit through singing and drumming, including the Dorchester Training Chorus, Cantare, Harmony, the new teen choir, and the Tour Choir.
Free will donations will be appreciated.
Visit www.bostoncitysingers.org or call 617-265-6700 for more information.