Making plans? Short on ideas? No worries. See June Wulff's picks for the top things to do around the Hub this weekend.
HOUSES FOR SALE Little houses lead to bigger houses at the Boston Christmas Festival where you can purchase entries from the Gingerbread House Competition (proceeds from the gingerbread houses goes to Housing Families, Inc., a non-profit organization that works to end family homelessness in Massachusetts). You can also purchase jewelry, clothing, gourmet food, and more, thanks to the handiwork of more than 350 artisans. Nov. 2, noon-7 p.m. (through Nov. 4). $12, $10 seniors, free under 14. Seaport World Trade Center, 200 Seaport Blvd., Boston. 617-385-5000. www.bostonchristmasfestival.com
PLATFORM SHOWS If you're not thrilled with Obama or Romney, vote for someone else at the ImprovBoston Election Show. You suggest a platform and the improv comedians will take it from there with campaigns, slogans, and attack ads. Nov. 2-3, 8 and 10 p.m. Nov. 4-6, 8 p.m. $14-$18 (student discounts available). ImprovBoston, 40 Prospect St., Cambridge. 617-576-1253, www.improvboston.com
TAKE THE COLTRANE Saxophonist John Coltrane died at 40 in 1967 after an all-too-brief career playing with Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, and other jazz legends. The John Coltrane Memorial Concert honors the musician with Boston's Grammy-winning drummer Terri Lyne Carrington and others who will play Coltrane classics including "Moment's Notice." Nov. 3, 7:30 p.m. $35 and $40, $30 students. Northeastern University Blackman Theatre, Ell Hall, 360 Huntington Ave., Boston. 617-373-4700, www.tickets.neu.edu
GUITARISTS AND THEIR GROUPS You get two for the price of one with Juanito Pascual New Flamenco Trio and the Julian Lage Group. The ensembles will perform separate sets showcasing their jazz, classical, world, and improvisational styles. Nov. 3, 8 p.m. $18-$38. Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Sq., Somerville. 617-625-4088, www.feitheatres.com
MANN OH MANN Of her latest release,"Charmer," Berklee College of Music alum, Aimee Mann, has said: "I'm fascinated by charming people and the whole idea of charm. It's hard to remember sometimes that there is usually an agenda behind the act of being charming, and that is what I'm most interested in. Is someone's charm being utilized just to try and entertain people, make them feel special and interesting, or is there a more sinister purpose behind it? Sometimes I think 'charm' can just be another word for 'manipulation'." Ted Leo is Mann's special guest. Nov. 3, 8 p.m. $39.50, $42.50. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 617-747-2261. www.berkleebpc.com
BOOM WITH THE FAMILY Lea DeLaria needs help finding "Boom Boom's Bow," and while the kids help with the search they'll write a blues song, shake their groove things, and meet Jazz, Boom Boom, Crash, and Mrs. Tinkle. Nov. 4 at 1 and 4 p.m. $15 (recommended for ages 4-10). Oberon, 2 Arrow St., Harvard Square, Cambridge. 617-547-8300. www.cluboberon.com
MOTHER, DAUGHTER, MAESTRO Setsu Goto taught Midori the violin when her daughter was very young -- and it didn't take long before conductor Zubin Mehta invited the musician to be a guest soloist with the New York Philharmonic. The violinist plays works by Beethoven, Webern, and Crumb. Nov. 4 at 3 p.m. $30 and up. Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 617-482-6661. www.celebrityseries.org
FOUR SCORES You might be sick of campaign ads, news coverage, and Donald Trump, but you can never get enough of the local ladies performing at "All About Election Eve." Leigh Barrett, Mary Callanan, Kerry A. Dowling, and Kathy St. George each get 20 minutes to sing tunes they have never performed. Benefit for SpeakEasy Stage Company. Nov. 4 and 5 at 7:30 p.m. $60, $25 ages 25 and under (includes post-show reception with cast). Stanford Calderwood Pavilion, 527 Tremont St., Boston. 617-933-8600, www.speakeasystage.com
CULTURE CLASH Boston Lyric Opera opens its season with the powerhouse "Madama Butterfly." Puccini's passionate and tragic love story stars soprano Yunah Lee as Cio-Cio San. Tenor Dinyar Vania plays Lieutenant Pinkerton. The BLO production features new scenery by John Conklin. Nov. 4 at 3 p.m. (through Nov. 11). $30 and up. Citi Performing Arts Center Shubert Theatre, 265 Tremont St., Boston. 617-542-6772, www.blo.org
GOTTA LOVETT Texas native and four-time Grammy winner, Lyle Lovett, has a new album, "Release Me," that the singer/songwriter has said is a "punctuation mark for this whole part of my career." Be punctual when Lyle Lovett and His Acoustic Band perform at the Wilbur. Nov. 4 at 8 p.m. $49-$75. The Wilbur Theatre, 246 Tremont St., Boston. 800-745-3000, www.thewilbur.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.