Making plans? Short on ideas? No worries. See June Wulff and Courtney Hollands' picks for the top things to do around the Hub this weekend. Take a peek, then get out!
FRIDAY & SATURDAY
'Long Time Gone: Words & Music by Bob Dylan': After staging an unauthorized version of his Bob Dylan tribute show, Peter Landecker met the subject at a gas station (really). The two discussed the show several times and Landecker landed permission. Through Dylan's words and music, this show interprets the singer's music interspersed with Landecker's portrayal of Dylan through writings and interviews. Act One covers Minnesota in the '50s through Dylan's arrival in New York; Act Two moves into Dylan's spiritual journey through country music. The show's title is from a 1962 Dylan song. Snow Crow & Friends accompanies the Québec-based performer. 8 p.m. both days. $18. Emerson Umbrella Center for the Arts, 40 Stow St., Concord. 978-371-0820. emersonumbrella.org
Boston Baroque: Raise your hand if you've belted out a few bars of the "Messiah" in the shower or if you've seen that flash mob YouTube video at the mall. Handel's masterpiece is not to be missed from the first hal to the last lelujah, and Boston Baroque tackles it tonight and tomorrow with soloists Amanda Forsythe, soprano; Matthew White, countertenor; Keith Jameson, tenor; and Kevin Deas, bass-baritone. Martin Pearlman music directs the 21-member chorus. 7:30 p.m. both days. $27-$68. Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough St., Boston. 617-585-1260. bostonbaroque.org
Uhuru Afrika: Celebrate the second anniversary of this monthly African music dance party, and be sure to wish organizer and DJ Adam Gibbons a happy birthday. (No word on which anniversary he's celebrating.) DJ Max Pela, percussionist Issa Coulibaly, and video artist Jay Medina are also on the bill. All proceeds will go to NextAid. 9 p.m. $10. 21+. All Asia Bar. 617-497-1544, uhuruafrika.com
Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas Show: A meeting at the Talladega Institute for the Blind in 1939 was the beginning of a more than 60-year relationship, induction into the Gospel Hall of Fame, five Grammys, and White House appearances for Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama. Saturday's concert is titled "Go Tell It on the Mountain" and comes fully loaded with foot stomping, hand clapping, and lots of traditional and contemporary spirituals. 8 p.m. $30-$42. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 617-876-4275. worldmusic.org
Candy Land Tournament: Everyone can play at this benefit for the Pitching in For Kids Foundation, but only kids can choose from a selection of Hasbro toys (sorry). Meet Princess Lolly, Lord Licorice, Gloppy the Molasses Monster, and other folks on your way to Gum Drop Mountain and Candy Cane Forest. 10 a.m.-noon. $10 per family (for ages 3 and up). Upper Rotunda at Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston. 617-367-3322. pitchinginforkids.org
Stars and Meteors at the Holidays: Ed Jameson knows a thing or three about what's up in the sky. As an astronomer for more than 30 years, the Framingham State College staffer is the go to guy at this program. Jameson and his telescope will be outside to tell you about a Geminid meteor shower, Orion's belt, and explain the difference between a meteor and a star. Inside there will be a computer star show, snacks, and hot drinks. 7-9 p.m., weather permitting. $15, $8 kids (reservations recommended). Mass Audubon’s Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, 280 Eliot St., Route.16, Natick. 508-655-2296. massaudubon.org/broadmoor
SATURDAY & SUNDAY
Model Trains Weekend: Skip the shopping madness and harken back to the days when trains were the way to travel. Thanks to the HUB Division of the National Model Railroad Association, you'll watch trains chug up mountains, pass small villages, icy lakes and skaters, snow-covered farms, and disappear into tunnels. 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday; Noon-4 p.m. Sunday. $7 per family, $5 per person. The National Heritage Museum, 33 Marrett Road, Lexington. 781-861-6559. nationalheritagemuseum.org
An Evening with Amanda Palmer and Tristan Allen: On the last day of Berklee College of Music's five-week summer program, student Tristan Allen and two other teens were hugging on a bench. Amanda Palmer walked by and shot a picture of the trio. When Allen was told that the woman played cabaret piano music, he ran up to her and she told him she was in the Dresden Dolls. A shocked Allen asked if she would like to hear his original piano music. Fast forward to Sunday's EP release concert for Allen. Palmer and Allen perform solo sets followed by an audience Q&A and a duet. 7 p.m. $10. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 800-745-3000. ticketmaster.com
Children's Zebra Tea: Hot cocoa with homemade marshmallow and marzipan chocolate mice are plenty for us, but there's more — grilled cheese and pb&j sandwiches (no crust), black-and-white brownies, gingerbread zebras, and holiday cookies. Please bring a new stuffed zebra or other stuffed animal for Children's Hospital Boston. 2-4 p.m. (also Dec. 19 and 26) $28, $15 kids.UpStairs on the Square, 91 Winthrop St., Cambridge. 617-864-1933. upstairsonthesquare.com
'One Page Play Experiment': A staged reading of 15 plays sounds like a long afternoon, but since each play is on a single sheet of paper, things will move along quite nicely. Plays were solicited from artists around the country for this GAN-e-meed Theatre Project, and artists were encouraged to fuse text, performance, and visual art. The 15 pieces will be on display in the lobby of the troupe's production of "Silence" which runs through Dec. 18. Audiences from Sunday's reading and "Silence" will vote for the five finalists which will be mounted during the 2011 season. 2 p.m. Free (reservations recommended). The Elizabeth Peabody House, 277 Broadway, Somerville. 617-863-0664. ganemeed.eventbrite.com
Stephanie Callahan is a native Bostonian who loves cooking, traveling, spa treatments, and being on the ocean.
Meghan Colloton is a Bostonian who loves traveling, channeling her inner Julia Child, and trying weird things -- from food to bungee jumping.
Milva DiDomizio is a New England native who's fond of cooking, singing, and Boston's arts and culture scene.
Rachel Raczka is a Bostonian who enjoys buttercream frosting, gin cocktails, and conquering cobblestone streets in high heels.
Emily Sweeney is a Boston native who goes out all over, from Irish pubs in Southie to the roller rink in Dorchester.
Emily Wright is a native Cape Codder who enjoys exercising, baking, and the occasional guilty pleasure action movie.