Jim Fischer's picks for December.

ZOOM

It's as if the folks at the Wexner Center for the Arts heard people say, "There's no way the annual Zoom: Family Film Festival could be any better," and replied, "Challenge accepted!" This year, in addition to the totally awesome films, Zoom welcomes artist Julian McFaul's interactive Adventures in Cardboard. Filmgoers can build a fort in the Zoom Family Studio and grab a seat inside for a movie after it becomes part of an epic cardboard screening environment. Are you kidding me? And they're going to show some of the other films in the festival with the forts as seating! The event runs Dec. 3-6 and, as always, includes a Saturday morning Cereal and Pajama Party.

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

ONSTAGE

Columbus Children's Theatre will present Mr. Scrooge, artistic director William Goldsmith's adaptation of the classic Dickens tale. It's recommended for ages 4 and up, and runs from Nov. 27 through Dec. 20 in its Park Street Theatre. CATCO is Kids offers up a non-holiday-themedbut- delightful-nonetheless show for December - Rick Elice's Peter and the Starcatcher, a prequel to the story of Peter Pan and Wendy, based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson.

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.

CHRISTMAS PAST

The Ohio History Center will stage its annual Dickens of a Christmas in the Ohio Village, Dec. 11, 12, 18, 19 and 20. 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, 614-297-2300.

DANCING SUGAR PLUMS

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. 11-27. Additionally, community productions of the ballet, some featuring entire young casts, abound: Central Ohio Youth Ballet, Nov. 27-29, Midland Theatre, midlandtheatre.org; New Albany Children's Ballet Theatre, Dec. 11-13, McCoy Center, newalbanycbt.org; Columbus Youth Ballet, Dec. 19-20, Lincoln Theatre, columbusyouthballet.com. Lastly, for a change of pace, Columbus Dance Theatre (columbusdancetheatre.com) presents its annual Matchgirl Dec. 11-12 in the Lincoln Theatre.

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


HOLIDAY MUSIC

We vow, as long as the Columbus Symphony Orchestra refers to its December concerts as Holiday Pops, to make some sort of joke equating the title to that bearded, red-suited fellow who makes an appearance at the concerts each year. "Pops" (aka Santa) is just one in a cast of more than 300 musicians, singers, dancers and characters to fill the Ohio Theatre stage Dec. 4-6. 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. 2-6 in the Southern Theatre, joined this year by singers Kelly Crum Delaveris and Bruce Wermuth.

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

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

-The Fam Five is arts and entertainment coverage from Jim Fischer at Columbus Alive!