Uprock, Six-Step, Freeze • All Aboard • Keep the Animals Warm • Ride the Rail • Counting is for the Birds 

26 Wednesday

Uprock, Six-Step, Freeze

Clear the floor and make way for the second annual Battle Royal two-on-two breakdance battles. Sponsored by local clothing company, Rhetoric Style, the event brings in a big crowd. Gathered around the wood floor watching in amazement, the skilled dancers spin, twist and defy gravity with precise moves. For a sampling of the action, check out the Rhetoric Style events page on myspace.com. The first contest brought a fierce competition between the Idaho locals and the Salt Lake City dancers. With a $200 cash prize, breakdancers from Boise and beyond will face some serious challengers. The night will also feature live music by DJ Revolve, as well as vocalists from Kamphire Collective, Origin and TimBuk2 and a special guest performance by Damien Noir.

9 p.m., $6, cover for 21 and up, Neurolux, 111 N. 11th St., Boise, 208-343-0866, Neurolux.com.

26 wednesday- 30 sunday

All Aboard

An enjoyable and exciting activity over the holiday break involves climbing aboard the Thunder Mountain Line's holiday train. Relax after Christmas and embark on a two-and-a-half hour round-trip holiday ride aboard a vintage-style train. The train leaves from Horseshoe Bend and travels to Banks. The interior of the locomotive is all decked out in decorations with a holiday theme, lights and a tree. Even though Christmas has passed, the festive atmosphere inspires riders to wind down, take a breath and look forward to the new year. Windows dressed with garlands frame beautiful scenery as the vessel makes its way down the track. Move about the car while you enjoy decorations, holiday music and complimentary treats.

1:30 p.m., Dec. 26-30, adults, $24.50; senior (60+), $23; child (3-12), $15, Thunder Mountain Line at the Horseshoe Bend Depot, 120 Mill Road, Horseshoe Bend, Idaho, 877-IDA-RAIL, 208-793-4425.

27 thursday – 28 friday

Keep the Animals Warm

Without opposable thumbs and a way to pay the bills, animals have to be a bit more inventive to stay cozy without the use of human necessities like sleeping bags or space heaters. Children in the second through fourth grades are invited to participate in a two-day, hands-on exploration of how animals and plants survive the challenges of winter. The presentation is titled, "Hibernate, Migrate, or Insulate: A Wildlife Winter Survival Guide Camp." For more information, contact Amy Ulappa at 208-467-9278, e-mail amy_ulappa@fws.gov.

1-4 p.m., FREE, Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge Visitor's Center, 13751 Upper Embankment Rd., Nampa, 208-467-9278, or visit Fws.gov/Deerflat.

29 Saturday

Ride the Rail

There are many ways to slide down a slippery rail on a snowboard or skis, but the riders who have a shot at placing need to do it with style and substance. The second rail jam of Tamarack's season will bring in local and regional skiers and boarders to compete in a jam-style competition. A session consists of timed cycles in which riders descend the hill, hitting rails to perfect the run while being judged on form and content. The point is to stay on your board or skis, do tricks and land beautifully.

The fourth annual Payette River Mountains FreeRide Series Rail Jam registration is at 8 to 10 a.m. and the competition begins at noon. For more information, contact Randy Hall at 208-325-1358.

Noon, $25, competition fee; $25, day of event competitor lift tickets. Tamarack Resort, 888-657-0578, TamarackIdaho.com.

Counting is for the Birds

Calling all early birds. The time has come for the National Audubon Society and the Boise Golden Eagle Audubon Society's annual wintertime tradition, the Christmas Bird Count. The point of the CBC is to monitor the status and distribution of bird populations. All across the western hemisphere, the century old tradition is considered to be the world's most significant citizen-based conservation effort.

Here in the Gem State, volunteers of any experience level will count and record every individual birds and bird species in an assigned 15-mile radius covering a staggering 177 miles. The information collected is an important part of scientific data for the natural history monitoring database. New analysis will focus on the effects of climate changes on our feathered friends, who often serve as early warning signs of trouble in the health of the global climate.

7 a.m., $5, Idaho Fish and Game Department Building, 600 S. Walnut St., Boise, GoldeneEagleAudubon.org. For additional information, contact RL Rowland at 208-336-9808.

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