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Venue North: Top Picks

The Palace of the Governors may still be closed for renovations, but its doors will be open for its annual Christmas celebration tonight, Friday, Dec. 7.

Visitors will still enter through the Palace, and the empty museum and courtyard will be the setting for live music, refreshments, a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, and historical activities like operating the palace’s printing press.

New Mexico History Museum events coordinator Tay Belenovic wrote in an email that the current state of the palace will offer visitors a “rare glimpse” of the landmark, particularly because recent excavations have led to the discovery of new doors, windows and other features. Some of the empty rooms will be used by musical performers. Christmas at the Palace is from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

The New Mexico History Museum will close at 3 p.m. and remain closed throughout the event. Guests are welcome to bring non-perishable food donations.

Santa Fe Symphony’s “Christmas Treasures” features a range of musical styles. (Courtesy of Santa Fe Symphony)

A MUSICAL MEDLEY: The program for Santa Fe Symphony’s 2018 “Christmas Treasures” show runs the gamut from 19th-century classical to modern movie soundtrack. Included in a selection of widely recognized standards are movements from the “The Nutcracker Suite” and Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas.” But the symphony is also set to play pieces from the 2004 film “The Polar Express” and the upbeat, samba-style holiday tune “Brazilian Sleigh Bells” composed by Percy Faith in the 1950s. The Santa Fe Youth Symphony will be on hand to pitch in. “Christmas Treasures” takes place Sunday. Dec. 2, at the Lensic, 211 W. San Francisco, at 4 p.m. A free preview talk will be held one hour before the show. Tickets, priced between $22 and $80, are available at, over the phone at (505) 988-1234 or at the Lensic Box Office.

Christine Vigil, Jeni Nelson and Amrit Bhandal will perform in Teatro Paraguas’ “A Musical Piñata for Christmas VI.” (Courtesy of Argos Maccallum)

A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING: A potpourri of holiday-themed entertainment – poetry, dancing, theater, music, even piñata smashing – comprises Teatro Paraguas’ annual family-friendly show. “A Musical Piñata for Christmas VI” starts off with a one-act original play, “The Holy Season,” said to be inspired by current events, the tradition of Las Posadas, and famous poet and author N. Scott Momaday’s Christmas story “Circle of Wonder.” Performances by the Teatro Paraguas Orchestra, musical group Trio Latino, Nambé Pueblo’s Lightning Boy Hoop Dancers, dancers from Casablanca Studios and local actors reading poetry are all on the schedule. According to the Teatro Paraguas website, Santa Claus may show up with “a couple of Cheech and Chong look-alikes.”

As per tradition, the show ends with a piñata for kids. “A Musical Piñata for Christmas VI” is at Teatro Paraguas, 3205 Calle Marie, starting today until Dec. 16. Shows are at 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Purchase tickets ($10/$5 for kids under 16) at