Dorchester neighborhood notes

Staff Writer
Link Boston Homes
In January 1856, the Washington School opened in Neponset, combining the Stoughton and Neponset Schools, freeing up the name Stoughton. To learn more, visit the Dorchester Historical Society at www.dorchesterhistoricalsociety.org.

‘The Nutcracker’

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 and 1:30 and 5 p.m. on Sundays now through 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.

Carol concert

The Parish of All Saints, Ashmont, 209 Ashmont St. in Peabody Square, invites the public to “A Service of Nine Lessons & Carols” sung by the Choir of Men and Boys at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 17.

The performance will include a variety of readings and carols for the season, including works by Harold Darke, Benjamin Britten, Eric Whitacre, Leo Sowerby, Pavel Chesnokov, Josquin des Prez, John Tavener and more.

The parish’s choir follows the English cathedral choral tradition and is one of only 30 such choirs in the United States.

The parish is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and was the first church designed by Ralph Adams Cram.

For more information, visit the www.allsaints.net or call 617-436-6370.

Winter concert

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, the new teen choir Harmony and the Tour Choir.

Free will donations will be appreciated.

Visit www.bostoncitysingers.org or call 617-265-6700 for more information.

Holiday magic show

Magician Debbie O’Carroll will present her “Celebrate the Holidays” magic show at 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 18 at the Adams Street Branch Library, 690 Adams 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 617-436-6900 or visit www.debbieocarroll.com.

Cookie decorating

The Adams Street Branch Library, 690 Adams St., will offer a free holiday cookie-decorating program at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 20.

Children of all ages can use their creativity and celebrate the holiday season by decorating cutout sugar and gingerbread cookies.

Call 617-436-6900 for further details.

Gary Cooper movies

The Lower Mills Branch Library, 27 Richmond St., will screen two films starring Hollywood legend Gary Cooper from 1 to 3 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 22 and 29.

The library will show the western “Man of the West” co-starring Lee J. Cobb on Dec. 22 and the Civil War drama “Friendly Persuasion” with Anthony Perkins and Dorothy McGuire on Dec. 29.

For more details, call 617-298-7841.

Last minute gifts

Children can make some last minute gifts in a make and take craft program from 2 to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 22 at the Uphams Branch Library, 500 Columbia Road.

The library has a variety of craft kits and beads to help kids make a lovely gift for a friend or family member during this free drop-in program.

Call 617-265-0139 for more information.

Fairy circus

Tanglewood Marionettes will be the special guest performers at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 26 at the Stephen Smith Center, Kennedy Library at Columbia Point.

In this production of “The Fairy Circus,” families will enjoy turn-of-the-century-style trick puppetry featuring over 20 hand-crafted marionettes that dance, play instruments, juggle, contort, transform and fly through the air, all to the favorite music of famous composers.

The program is free, but reservations are required and can be made by calling 617-514-1646 or by emailing JFKcelebrate@nara.gov. Adults must accompany children. Further information can be found at www.jfklibrary.org or by calling 617-514-1646.

Vacation at the zoo

The Franklin Park Zoo, 1 Franklin Park Road, will host special school vacation programs from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 26 through Friday, Dec. 29.

Activities will include zookeeper encounters, daily story times, education stations, crafts and more. Big Joe the Storyteller will entertain with some “zoorific” tales from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the Tropical Forest Hippo Theater.

Programs are free with zoo admission.

Visit www.zoonewengland.org or call 617-541-5466 for a complete schedule of the week’s activities.