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Weekend Possibilities | ‘The Nutcracker(s),’ Toys for Tots Bar Crawl and The Grisly Hand 

Time to Chill

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Above image credit: KC Ballet's "The Nutcracker" opens this weekend at the Kauffman Center for Performing Arts (Contributed | KC Ballet)

Root for Croatia on Strawberry Hill, crack a Nutcracker Ale or shop for vinyl and chill. Sounds like the weekend to us.

Friday, Dec. 9

9 a.m. If you still have World Cup fever, despite the United States’ exit, join the early morning party planned for the Croatia vs. Brazil quarterfinal match Friday morning at St. John’s Catholic Club, 414 Barnett Ave. What should be a pro-Croatia crowd will gather around televisions in the famous Kansas City, Kansas, church basement and bowling alley an hour before the opening whistle. Breakfast will be ready at 8:30 a.m. The watch party is free.

5 – 7 p.m. Needle in the Gay Stack, a queer crafting meetup by the Kansas City Center for Inclusion, meets this week at Plexpod Westport Commons, 300 E. 39th St. The bi-weekly session provides a safe space for crafters to do their thing in great company. Head to the fourth floor commons to knit, draw, crochet, “hot glue things on to other things” or make whatever it is you want to make. Needle in the Gay Stack is free. There is usually a few extra supplies on hand, but feel free to bring your own.

7:30 p.m. Kick off the weekend with an all-time holiday classic in the Kansas City Ballet’s ”The Nutcracker” on stage at Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway Blvd. Tickets remain available for the ballet’s rendition of the E.T.A. Hoffman tale on its opening weekend, but the popular show sells out fast. Be sure to check out the full pricing tiers online. “The Nutcracker” runs through Christmas Eve.

Saturday, Dec. 10

10:30 a.m. The Big Man is in town from the North Pole and is recruiting copycats to join a group bike ride around Kansas City to spread holiday cheer. Equal parts hilarity and healthy, Santa Rampage KC 2022 starts and ends at Filling Station, 2980 McGee Trfy., with a jolly jaunt around the town in between. You must be 21 or older to ride along. No registration required. You know what to wear.

11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Manor Records, 401 N. 6th St., is making holiday shopping easy for music lovers this weekend with its Winter Vinyl Fair. The Kansas City, Kansas, label and record store has plans for live music, drink specials and lineup of vinyl vendors that just might have exactly what a collector on your list is looking for.

4 p.m. – Midnight There’s still time to sign up for the 5th Annual Toys For Tots Bar Crawl. The crawl starts with check-in at Border Brewing Company, 512 E. 18th St., and includes six stops around town where cover fees will be waived and a few free drinks/shots will flow. Register as a group or individual before Friday, Dec. 9. Tickets are $20 for individuals as part of a group and $25 for singles, plus fees. A toy donation is strongly encouraged, though not required. Festive attire is the dress code. 

6 – 8 p.m. Midwest Poetics’ final event of the year is on the books for Saturday evening at the Stern Theater at Charlotte Street Foundation, 3333 Wyoming St. Reserve a spot for free to check out the group’s Winter Showcase featuring performances by artists ShaLeeah Banks, Unique and Zeebee. Midwest Poetics gives the mic to Black and Indigenous vocalist, writers, rappers and musicians to celebrate their craft.

8 p.m. Kansas City’s own, The Grisly Hand, has plans to play Knuckleheads Saloon, 2715 Rochester Ave., Saturday night. Unafraid to explore multiple genres, the six-piece alternative outfit has become a staple of the local music scene. Tickets are $15. Those under 21 must be accompanied by a guardian.

Sunday, Dec. 11

10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The 6th Annual Holiday Bizarre at Boulevard Brewing Co.’s Tours & Rec Center, 2534 Madison Ave., is Sunday. Join the fun to shop local makers like Messner Farms and Sandlot Goods, play a little holiday bingo and enjoy tunes from DJ Elgin with a pint of Nutcracker Ale. There’s a prize for the best holiday costume. The Holiday Bizarre is free to attend.

2 & 6 p.m. If “The Nutcracker” at the Kauffman Center is not in the cards, consider checking out The Academy of the Arts’ production of Nutcracker, All Jazz’d Up on the City Stage at Union Station, 30 W. Pershing Road. This version of the holiday classic incorporates tap, ballet, jazz and is complete with a visit from Santa Claus. The all-ages show is $12.

Clarence Dennis is audience and digital content strategist with Flatland.

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