Sunday, Dec. 16, is the final day of Kerstmarkt, a special Christmas market in Marine on St. Croix featuring local crafts. The event runs from noon to 6 p.m.

Meant to be small in scale but big on quality, Kerstmarkt has offerings ranging from gift items to some winter essentials. Colorful wood huts like those found in European markets and a stage with a large picture window looking down Judd Street have been built for the event.

Mulled wine, Belgian hot chocolate and waffles, and other baked items and hot meals will be available form L'Etoile Du Nord Café.

Activities will include a haystack treasure hunt, building of a town toboggan, a carpet ball tournament and reindeer games. Entertainment will be provided by the Hill House Holiday Singers.


St. Croix Galleries offers two exhibits

The St. Croix Galleries of ArtReach St. Croix is offering two free exhibits through Tuesday, Dec. 22.

•Holiday Gift Gallery: Two galleries are transformed into a unique holiday shopping experience. Each piece is handmade by a Valley artist and includes jewelry, textiles, paintings and more.

•Faces of South Sudan: An exhibition of photographs by Debra Dawson, who traveled to Kenya and Sudan in 2007 to make a documentary about a Lost Boy of the Sudan and his desire to help the orphans in the Sudan. Return trips to the Sudan and partnerships with groups such as H2O for Life-Water for South Sudan at Stillwater Junior High School have allowed this traveling exhibit to stay current. ArtReach St. Croix worked in conjunction with H2O for Life-Water for South Sudan at Stillwater Junior High School to bring this exhibition to the St. Croix Galleries at 224 N. Fourth St. in Stillwater.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays.


Community concert set tonight at church

An evening of music celebrating the Christmas season in song will be held at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16, at St. Ambrose of Woodbury Church, 4125 Woodbury Drive.

Selections will be performed by Con Brio Community Choir (formerly the District 833 Community Choir), St. Ambrose of Woodbury Combined Choir, St. Ambrose Jubilate and Schola Childrens' Choirs, the Woodbury High School Chamber Choir and Woodbury Lutheran Bell Choir.

A reception will follow, and a free-will offering will be collected to benefit the Christian Cupboard Community Food Shelf.

High school choirs schedule performance

The Woodbury High School Choirs will present their 2012 Holiday Concert at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 17, at the Woodbury High School auditorium. The cost is $5.

The choirs will present a program of traditional choral music as well as traditional and contemporary songs of the season.


Bird programs planned at Carpenter Center

Two programs are scheduled at Carpenter Nature Center, 12805 Saint Croix Trail South, Hastings.

• Bird banding demonstration, 8:30 a.m.-noon Dec. 28. This is your chance to see songbirds up close and to watch the experts band birds. Banding runs continuously for the full 3 1/2 hours. Visitors may come and go at any time. Please call ahead to RSVP. This program is free, but a donation of bird seed or suet is welcomed.

• Natural challenges, 8-10 a.m. Dec. 29. Jim Fitzpatrick, the center's executive director, will lead a bird hike to conduct a survey of the species found at the center as a part of the annual Christmas Bird Count. Dress for the weather and bring binoculars if you have them.


Activities planned during school break

With no school Dec. 26-28, a Winter Break Bash from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each of those days at Cottage Grove's Peter Thompson Park will offer activities for kids aged 5 and older.

Bring your winter gear, a dry set of clothes, ice skates if you have them, any G-rated movies you want to watch, and your lunch and snacks. Cost is $54.

Wednesday will feature movie and popcorn; Thursday will include a ping-pong contest; and Friday will be highlighted by a pizza party.