The Beat's (a.k.a Jim Fischer) picks for December.


It's an epic understatement to say we love our Saturday morning lounging around, staying in our PJs and downing a couple bowls of cereal. But we're not going to let that keep us from checking out the 11th annual Zoom: Family Film Festival at the Wexner Center for the Arts. Especially not on Saturday, Dec. 6, when the Wex hosts a Cereal and Pajama Party prior to screening a mix of short films and a day of hands-on activities and crafts. The festival begins Dec. 4 and concludes with an ice cream social the evening of Dec. 6. In between, the festival will screen a series of films (one from each continent!) for families.

Wexner Center for the Arts, 1871 N. High St. (Campus), Columbus 43210, 614-292-3535,



There is no truth to the rumor (that we at the Fam Five may have started) that Holiday Pops is the nickname the Columbus Symphony Orchestra gives to that bearded, red-suited fellow, who will make an appearance at the CSO's annual Holiday Pops concerts Dec. 5-7 in the Ohio Theatre. And for a different take on music for the holidays, our own Columbus Jazz Orchestra swings through a set in its annual Home for the Holidays concerts Dec. 3-7 in the Southern Theatre, joined this year by singer Curtis Stigers.

Ohio Theatre, 39 E. State St. (Downtown), Columbus 43215, 614-228-8600,

Southern Theatre, 21 E. Main St. (Downtown), Columbus 43215, 614-294-5200,



Columbus Children's Theatre presents the hilarious The Best Christmas Pageant Ever Nov. 28-Dec. 21 in its Park Street Theatre. Follow a well-meaning couple attempting to stage a church Christmas pageant while working with the Herdman family, possibly the most inventively awful kids in history. And then CATCO/CATCO is Kids presents the holiday classic A Christmas Carol Dec. 3-21 in the Riffe Center's Studio One Theatre. This unique adaptation features live actors and puppetry in a delightful display of holiday cheer.

Columbus Children's Theatre (Park Street Theatre), 512 Park St. (Arena District), Columbus 43215, 614-224-6672,

Riffe Center, 77 S. High St. (Downtown), Columbus 43215, 614-469-0939,



Is there a more magical holiday performing arts tradition than The Nutcracker? BalletMet Columbus' annual presentation of this classic Tchaikovsky ballet will be held in the Ohio Theatre Dec. 12-27, concluding with a special Nutty Nutcracker.

Additionally, community productions, some featuring entire young casts, abound: Central Ohio Youth Ballet, Nov. 28-30, Midland Theatre, Columbus Youth Ballet, Dec. 6-7,Thurber Theater, OSU Drake Union, New Albany Children's Ballet Theatre, Dec. 12-14, McCoy Center.

Ohio Theatre, 39 E. State St. (Downtown), Columbus 43215, 614-469-0939,


The Ohio Village at the Ohio History Connection will present its annual Dickens of a Christmas Dec. 12, 13, 19, 20 and 21. Costumed historical interpreters and Dickens characters will share a Victorian-era-esque Christmas with visitors, who can participate in traditional crafts, dancing, cooking and more.

Ohio History Center, 800 E. 17th Ave., Columbus 43211, 800-686-1541,

...................... More BEAT

-The Fam Five and The Beat are arts and entertainment coverage from Jim Fischer at ThisWeek Community News. Check out weekly coverage at