Here Come Da Judges • Out of the Mouths of Babes in Toyland • Never Too Young to Learn 

Here Come Da Judges

Last Thursday, a passel of judges including employees from the Mayor's office, the DBA, CCDC and yours truly walked about downtown Boise judging windows for the Winter Window Gallery Stroll. Local artists collaborated with 15 downtown business to create scenes that reflected the business inside and the holiday season. This year's winner was Tacabi's (800 W. Idaho St.) gossamer underwater scene "Crooked Trees and Underwater Shrimp & Jellys" by Heather Bauer (who also created Mai Thai's multi-windowed purple dragon). Bauer has also created a new clothing line which will be available at the Projectionist (1020 W Main St) by Dec. 17.

Second place went to Mesa Taqueria owner (215 N. Eighth St.) Wendy Blickenstaff for her portrayal of a bright, warm yellow scene titled "Las Posadas del Desierto." Sandy Marostica took third place with "Above the Rooftops at American Clothing Gallery (100 N. Eighth St.), her Western take on Santa's Christmas Eve journey. Miriam Woito and Highlands Elementary third graders received honorable mention for their work on the Travel Centre's window, a happy house titled "Oh The Places You Can Go ... Let It Snow!"

The other businesses and artists involved in the creations were the Hampton Inn and Suites and See Jane Run by Julie Rumsey; the sexy design at Ella's Room by Megan McJunkin; Shoe Fetish's skiing snowmen by Edna Rey-Vizgirdas; Flying M Coffeehouse's movie for the animals by Grant Olsen; Owyhee Plaza Hotel's holly holiday by Julie Rumsey; Connect Wireless' high-tech gadget carrying snowmen by Roberta Chism; Brick Oven Bistro's nursery-rhyme theme by Michaela Frence, Old Spaghetti Factory's trolley by Stephanie Olson; Dragonfly's presents and dragonflies by Kris Hudson; and the stained-glass effects at Falcon Tavern by Kate Masterson.

Most of the window designs will remain up through the end of the year, so throw on a scarf, some mittens and some boots that were made for walkin' and check them out. And, if you are a downtown business owner, or an artist interested in participating next year, contact Morgan Cole at 208-472-5251 or Joshua Olson at 208-433-5670.

For information, visit DowntownBoise.org.

Out of the Mouths of Babes in Toyland

The Nampa Civic Center presents the national tour of Victor Herbert's classic tale, Babes in Toyland.

Two young siblings run away to escape heavy-handed discipline at home with their sights set on Toyland, a magical place where the toys dance and sing with joy. Soon, though, tragedy erupts and the children are lost but are rescued by a couple of big, brave mice and return to Toyland where everyone celebrates with a festive holiday ball.

December 18, 8 p.m., $34. Nampa Civic Center, 311 Third St. S., Nampa. For ticket information, call 208-468-5555 or visit NampaCivicCenter.com.

Never Too Young to Learn

Give your 1- to 10-year-old (and yourself) a little education and a lot of entertainment with the Boise Philharmonic's Sounds Like Fun! concert series for families. Each one focuses on a group of instruments and children are encouraged to listen to the music and then ask questions as the musicians explain how the instruments work.

January 12 features "Percussion," the series' most popular concert; February 2 presents "Strings"; March 1 features "Brass"; April 5 "Woodwinds" are on display; and on April 26, "Orchestral Specialists brings musicians from each of the Philharmonic's sections to show the attendees how all of the instruments function together." And don't let the kids have all the fun: this series is geared toward families so bring the whole gang.

10:30 a.m. and noon. Single family tickets are $30, single child/student tickets are $5, single adult tickets are $7. Season tickets are also available. For tickets or more information, call 208-344-7849 or visit BoisePhilharmonic.org.

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