Hit the Hardwood • Kelly Martin CD Release • Tango into the New Year • A Different Kind of Ladies' Night • Walk the Dinosaurs 

2 Friday – 3 Saturday

Hit the Hardwood

The roar of the crowd, fast-moving action and the squeak of basketball shoes are all part of the fun. The first game of 2009 pits the Idaho Stampede against the Bakersfield Jam on Friday, and on Saturday, they meet the Austin Toros head-on. The Idaho Stampede is affiliated with the Portland Trail Blazers and Toronto Raptors, both NBA teams. As part of the development league, players from the Idaho Stampede can be brought up to play at the NBA level. In Boise, fans can watch the players develop their mad basketball skills in the comfort of their hometown arena. If technical fouls, three-point shots and slam dunks don't do it for you, direct your attention to the antics of the Stampede's mascot AAA Rumble or the slick moves of the Spirit Dance Team.

7 p.m., $7-$20, Qwest Arena, 233 S. Capitol Blvd., 208-388-HOOP, idahostampede.com.

3 Saturday

Kelly Martin CD Release

Kelly Martin, one of two singer/songwriters for the band CrashFour recently released his solo album Another End. For almost a decade, Martin performed with CrashFour, sharing the stage with talented locals and bands from Built to Spill to REO Speedwagon. Martin catapulted from a foundation of classical music and gathered the talents of some of his former band mates and fellow musicians to make this intensely personal album. From upbeat songs that get the crowd swaying to slow ballads with reflective lyrics, Martin took his time writing the album—five years of days and nights. A couple of members of the band Stella—Rob Hill (bass) and Scott Lindbloom (drums)—perform on the album along with pianist Josh Olswanger, Mark Doubleday on cello, Dan Costello on classical guitar and Russ Pfeifer on organ. Becca Gourley, another former member of CrashFour, doubles as violinist and album producer.

8 p.m., $5, Visual Arts Collective, 3638 Osage St., Garden City, kellyjmartin.com.

6 tuesday

Tango into the New Year

If the yuletide log put a damper on the fire burning inside, rekindle some passion by dancing the seductive steps of Argentine tango. Two different tango classes happen simultaneously on Tuesday nights starting in 2009. Jeanne Rogers leads Beyond Beginner for students with tango experience and an Intermediate Fundamentals of Salon Style class taught by Beth Anne Osborn includes an in-depth analysis of tango music and how to interpret it. Both classes are followed by a practica. Students from both classes dance together. Although the tango dances are about connecting with a partner, students don't need to bring their own. Preregister by calling Camille Wood at 208-989-0239 or e-mail starfiretango@gmail.com.

7:30-8:30 p.m., $25 for three class sessions, Broadway Dance Center, 893 E. Boise Ave., Boise, boisetango.com.

7 Wednesday

A Different Kind of Ladies' Night

Eagle Firefighters will flood into International Furniture to sign copies of their new 2009 calendar to help raise money for the Eagle Fire Burnout fund. The fund, which offers immediate assistance to those in distress after a disaster, needs to be constantly replenished, and that's where unique fundraisers such as the calendar come in. For a mere $15, get the calendar, a signature and a chance to hobnob with up to 12 heroes, depending on who's on call that night. Flip through the calendar to see one fireman in front of a firetruck posed on his motorcycle in his turnouts, while another guy shares the shot with his restored hot rod. Calendars can be found for sale around town or online at burnoutfund.org. Darla Stowe, owner of International Furniture, said she gladly signed on for the double incentive of giving back and the chance to hang out with Eagle's finest firemen. Take a break from staring at hot men and check out the 100 percent solid wood furniture, much of which is hand-carved indigenous rose wood out of India.

6-9 p.m., International Furniture, 202 E. 37th St., Garden City, 208-344-5832.

Walk the Dinosaurs

The live, theatrical show Walking with Dinosaurs, guided by Huxley the Paleontologist, takes viewers on a 200-million-year journey. Get up close with some prehistoric creatures as they let out Earth-shattering roars, hunt prey and fervently protect their young. Based on the award-winning BBC television series, the stars of the show are 15 life-size dinosaurs that are so huge, the production takes up an entire arena. The experience is full of special effects that make audiences feel as if they've escaped to a different time. See dinosaurs with tiny arms and sharp teeth, others with long necks that help them to reach their preferred vegetarian fare and some with leathery wings spanning 40 feet. Opening night tickets are discounted by $10.

Jan. 7-9 at 7 p.m.; Jan. 10 at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Jan. 11 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., $29.50-$61.50. Idaho Center, 16200 Idaho Center Blvd., Nampa, dinosaurlive.com.

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