The Holiday Train run by the Canadian Pacific Railroad will once again be stopping in Loretto at 4:15 p.m. Thursday. Tracey Brown and the Claytones will perform.
Activities begin at 3 p.m. on W. Railway Street. A visit from Santa, rides on a kiddie train and hay wagon, and free hot chocolate and cookies will be available.
Parking will be provided at the Loretto Softball Fields and the Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church parking lot, with a shuttle service to W. Railway Street.
Last year the Holiday Train took in more than $21,000 and 2,400 pounds of food during the stop. This year's donations will be shared with food shelves in Maple Plain, Delano, Hanover and Rockford.
You have until Dec. 22 and 23 to check out the Minnetonka Center for the Arts holiday gift sale at the center and its Ridgedale Mall satellite location.
More than 120 artists are selling handmade arts and crafts, including paintings, sculpture, photos, pottery, jewelry, glass, fiber and wood creations.
The arts center, located at 2240 North Shore Drive in Orono, is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. through Dec. 22, and until 8 p.m. on Thursdays.
Its satellite center also is open at the Ridgedale Mall, on the second level next to Sears, through Dec. 23. Hours are 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 12-6 p.m. on Sundays.
Maple Grove is seeking residents' input on the city's farmers market in an online customer survey that will be open until Dec. 21.
Responses will help the city plan ways to enhance the market and attract new customers in 2013. Go to www.startribune.com/a1935 to fill out the survey.
The indoor market's last day this year will be 3-6 p.m. Dec. 20 inside the Maple Grove Community Center. For more information, go to www.maplegrovefarmersmar ket.com.
The Metropolitan Ballet and the Hopkins Youth Ballet will present "The Nutcracker" with a full symphony orchestra at 1 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22 at Hopkins High School Auditorium, 2400 Lindbergh Drive in Minnetonka.
The Kenwood Symphony Orchestra will perform in the production that features Broadway performer Giuseppe Bausilio dancing the role of the Nutcracker prince.
Tickets are $19 to $59 and can be ordered at www.metroballet.org or by calling 866-811-4111.
Artist Holly Swift, whose work is featured at the Minnesota Museum of American Art, will discuss the role of nature in her paintings during an "Artist Walk and Talk" at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum from 1-3 p.m. on Thursday.
After an indoor presentation, Swift will lead participants on a tour of the Arboretum grounds focusing on areas that Swift paints in during the winter -- the Japanese garden, and the oak and crab apple woods.
Afterwards the class will go back inside to hear Swift and filmmaker Kristen Lowe discuss the documentary project that gave rise to the Minnesota Museum of American Art exhibition "Painting the Place Between."
The class is free for Arboretum members and $12 for non-members.
The Arboretum is also offering a class with local watercolor artist Georgia Kandiko to guide participants in painting winter scenes from the warmth of Arboretum buildings. The class will meet in the Snyder building and explore three window vantage points for winter painting.
The class will meet from 9:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Cost is $57 for members and $69 for non-members.
To register for either class, go to www.arboretum.umn.edu/artsdesigncrafts.aspx or call 952-443-1422.
The Angelica Cantanti Youth Choirs will present their annual winter concert at 7:15 p.m. Saturday at St. Michael's Lutheran Church, 9201 Normandale Blvd. in Bloomington.
"Listen, Hear, Sing, Live" will feature more than 200 youths in grades 2-12, as well as the Alumni Choir and the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra String Quartet.
For more information, go to www.angelicacantanti.org or call 952-563-8572.