Five Reasons to Leave the House This Weekend

Run the 5K turkey trot, watch The Nutcracker, and listen to the Boston Tuba Christmas Concert.


Photograph by Kate Oeser

Franklin Park Turkey Trot 5K

Run or walk the “jewel” of the Emerald Necklace this turkey day with the Franklin Park Coalition’s annual 5K Turkey Trot. Prizes will be awarded for those who finish the quickest and have the best costumes. With “a more open start area, an out and back behind Scarborough Hill, and a longer loop around the pond, not to mention a tidier finish area,” the Franklin Park Coalition boasts that this is their best route yet. Participants will be greeted by Mayor Marty Walsh, and are encouraged to sign up for the Franklin Park Coalition’s 2016 Boston Marathon team here:

$25 for ages 18+, $10 for ages 16-17, free for kids five and younger, Thursday, November 26, 9 a.m., Franklin Park Golf Clubhouse, One Circuit Dr., Dorchester, 617-442-4141,


Photograph by Samara Vise, courtesy of the MIT Museum

MIT Museum Friday After Thanksgiving Chain Reaction

Participants at the MIT Museum’s 18th annual event will link their individual chain reaction devices together to form one giant reaction, which will be set off at the end of the day’s festivities. “It’s like watching a giant domino demonstration or a mega Rube Goldberg machine,” says Jennifer Novotney, the public programs coordinator at the MIT Museum. With 1,500 people expected to be in attendance, even spectators will have fun. “Making a chain reaction allows people to explore their own creativity, and see how their unique contraptions relate to a larger whole. No matter how different the chain reactions, inevitably, with a little string and duct tape, they all work together beautifully,” says Novotney. There are plenty of family-friendly, hands-on activities about designing and engineering before the giant chain reaction contraption is set off—and, as this is the 18th annual event, all activities are themed around the 18th century. Want to participate and build your own device? Make sure you register your team online.

$12.50, $5 for students/seniors/MIT IDs, Friday, November 27, 1 p.m., MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Ave., Building N51, Cambridge, 617-253-5927,


Lia Cirio and Lasha Khozashvili in Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker. / Photograph by Gene Schiavone, courtesy of Boston Ballet

Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker

In the ballet world, Christmas season is synonymous with Nutcracker season–but at the Boston Ballet, there’s a twist. Since 2012, these dancers have performed Mikko Nissinen’s re-imagined version of the holiday classic, and this year also features new lighting design by award-winning Finnish-based designer Mikki Kunttu. “[Kunttu’s] unique eye will add an even more exciting layer of magic and wonder to the production,” says Nissinen. With the full company of 57 dancers, 11 Boston Ballet II dancers and 217 Boston Ballet School students, this show also boasts new cast members, 350 handmade costumes, and elaborate set design—all accompanied by Tchaikovsky’s original score. “The Nutcracker is a wonderful way for families to escape the hectic holiday season and cherish time with one another,” Nissinen says.

$35-$199, Friday, November 27, 7:30 p.m., Saturday, November 28, 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, November 29, 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., Boston Opera House, 539 Washington St.,

30th Annual Boston Tuba Christmas Concert

Now in its 30th year, the Boston Tuba Christmas returns to Faneuil Hall to spread holiday cheer with a single brass instrument. “The event always helps make the holidays extra special,” says Carol Troxell, president of Faneuil Hall Merchant’s Association. The annual concert is hosted by the Harvey Phillips Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to “developing, expanding, and preserving the music arts.” This year features an estimated 150 to 200 volunteer tuba players conducted by Michael S. Milnarik. “The vast majority are made up of part-time players and students,” says Milnarik. “Although, some professionals have been known to participate.” The 30th anniversary of the Boston show also has a special guest conductor, Peter Sexauer. Sexauer is a former student of the late William Bell, the man regarded as “the father of the modern tuba player” and whom the original event is in honor of. Stop by and let these musicians put you in the Christmas spirit with your favorite holiday classics.

Free, Saturday, November 28, 2 p.m., Faneuil Hall Marketplace, 617-523-1300,


Improv Asylum cast members. / Photograph courtesy of the Improv Asylum

Afternoon Delight

This fully improvised, two-act show combines Improv Asylum’s Main Stage, alumni, and NXT company actors in a sure-to-be-hysterical Saturday afternoon show. Because it’s audience interactive, you’ll be the voice that guides the show. “Someone will say something along the lines of ‘What’s the last thing you bought online?’ or ‘What’s a profession your grandparent had?’ They’ll receive an answer from the audience, and do a scene based off of that,” says Mike Paternoster, Improv Asylum’s training center administrator. Good news for families: this show is suitable for younger teens and a lot less risque than, say, their Show Against Humanity. And if someone in your group is celebrating a birthday or graduation—or if you just want to put them on the spot—sign them up for the show’s volunteer slot. During the show, the cast will pull them on stage, interview them, and act out a fully improvised scene based on their life. Why settle for waiters awkwardly singing “Happy Birthday” when you could have this?

$20, Saturday, November 28, 4 p.m., Improv Asylum, 216 Hanover St., Boston,