Here are the latest Dorchester neighborhood notes:
Santa at the zoo
Santa Claus will visit the tropics from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8 at the Franklin Park Zoo, 1 Franklin Park Road.
A professional photo team will be on hand to snap and send Santa photos directly to an inbox for free.
Visitors can warm up inside the Tropical Forest building and watch some of the animals receive festive enrichment. Activities will include a tiger zookeeper chat at 10:30 a.m., red panda zookeeper chat at 1:30 p.m., arts and crafts from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the Boston Community Leadership Academy Dance Team performing a set list of holiday songs that reach across cultures and languages, from 1 to 2 p.m. The 20-member team ranges from grades 9 to 12 showcasing dancers of varying ability, sexuality, gender and ethnicity.
Further information is available by calling 617-541-5466 or at www.zoonewengland.org.
The fourth annual Half Way to Dot Day 5K Run and Toy Drive will be held at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8 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 will help Dorchester families and charities during the holiday season, including a partnership with the Mayor’s Toy Drive. This family-friendly race will end with a breakfast at Florian Hall as a part of the partnership with the Mayor’s Toy Drive.
All registrants will receive a long-sleeve shirt and finishers will receive a handmade, one-of-a-kind holiday ornament. 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.
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. 8.
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 or 617-436-2155 for more information.
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. 9.
Refreshments and music in an historic setting decorated for the holidays will be featured. Dorchester-based pianist Bil Mooney-McCoy will play music of the holiday season and lead the gathering in 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.
Admission is by donation of any amount.
Call 617-293-3052 or visit www.dorchesterhistoricalsociety.org for more information.
Visit from Santa
The Mayor’s Enchanted Trolley will tour the neighborhood for the 23rd year at 5:15 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9 at Adams Corner.
Mayor Marty Walsh and a visitor from the North Pole will bring holiday cheer and light the Christmas tree at each location. Festivities will include carolers, refreshments, prizes and games for the children.
For further information, call 617-635-3911 or visit www.cityofboston.gov/arts.
Lucy Stone recalled
The Adams Street Branch Library, 690 Adams St., will offer a program on suffragist Lucy Stone at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 10.
The program will explore the lifelong fight of Massachusetts’ Stone to win equal voting rights for women and African Americans. Despite leading both the women’s rights and abolitionist movements, Stone’s name is often absent from the history. The audience will learn why this historical titan’s work was so integral to the nation’s evolution.
This free program is part of the National Parks of Boston outreach presentations. To learn more, visit https://www.nps.gov/bost/index.htm or call 617-436-6900.
Congresswoman to speak
Congresswoman-elect Ayanna Presley will be the guest speaker at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 13 at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute, 210 Morrissey Blvd.
Pressley will participate in a moderated discussion where she will preview the issues she will be fighting for in the 116th Congress, share insights from her longstanding commitment to community-based policy reform and reflect on her most recent history-making campaign.
In a career marked by breaking new ground and bringing a new seat to the table, Pressley made history when voters in Massachusetts’ 7th Congressional District elected her to the U.S. House of Representatives, making her the first African-American woman who will represent the Commonwealth in Congress.
Since 2010, she has been serving as a Boston City Councilor At-Large, after being the first woman of color elected to the Boston City Council in 2009. Her political career spans more than 18 years, including working as a senior aide for Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II and Senator John Kerry.
Registration is required for this free program, online at www.emkinstitute.org or by calling 617-740-7000.
The Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre will perform the 31st annual production of “The Nutcracker” at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays, 2 and 7 p.m. on Saturdays and 1:30 and 5 p.m. on Sundays, from Friday, Dec. 14 to Sunday, Dec. 23 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 $25 to $80.
Visit www.ballettheatre.org/product/the-nutcracker-at-the-strand or call 617-354-7467 for further information and to purchase tickets.
Holiday magic show
Magician Debbie O’Carroll will present her “Celebrate the Holidays” magic show at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15 at the Lower Mills Branch Library, 27 Richmond St.
This exciting and colorful interactive show will captivate children, ages 4 to 12, with mystifying stage magic, comedy and enchanting lore with celebrations of Christmas, Hanukkah, Las Posadas, the Winter Solstice, Dewali, New Year’s Eve, Bodhi Day, St. Stephen’s Day, Three Kings Day, Kwanzaa and more.
Admission is free. For further information, call 617-298-7841 or visit www.debbieocarroll.com.
Heart of the holidays
The Celebrity Series of Boston will host the second annual Neighborhood Arts Program “Heart of the Holidays: Tales of Light” concert at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15 at the Salvation Army Kroc Center, 650 Dudley St.
The concert will feature the Guy Mendilow Ensemble, the Boston City Singers, Regie Gibson and Courtney Swain. Admission is free.
Call 617-482-2595 or visit www.celebrityseries.org for further details and to register.
The Boston City Singers will perform in the Winter Stars Concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16 at St. Ann Church, 243 Neponset Ave.
More than 100 young singers will perform in the holiday spirit through singing and drumming, including the Tour Choir, Cantare, Harmony, Boston City Singers Carolers and St. John Paul Catholic Academy’s Strings Ensemble.
Free will donations will be appreciated.
Visit www.bostoncitysingers.org or call 617-265-6700 for more information.