Free Stagings of The Nutcracker, Nevada’s Largest Light Show and More

A curated guide to this week in your city

Ethel M's holiday cactus garden.

Ethel M Chocolate’s holiday cactus garden.

December 17

New thing in town at a cool old hangout: Decadence in the Desert is an arts, crafts and culinary get-together every third Thursday at the Ethel M Chocolate Factory in Henderson. This time around, the cactus garden is decorated with about a billion lights for the holidays, and Santa is there, too.  4-10 p.m.

December 18

A good time for a good cause? Yes, please. It’s the seventh annual U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots Benefit at 7 p.m. in the Orleans. The show features David Perrico and the Pop Strings Orchestra, along with other Las Vegas notables, and, as the event name implies, proceeds help kids have a merrier Christmas. Don’t be a Grinch.

December 19

If you remember the Andrews Sisters, you’re old. But you also understand their iconic appeal, particularly at this time of the year. The Beverly Belles bring that harmonious magic back with their Santa Baby Holiday Show, 7 p.m., at the Charleston Heights Arts Center. 800 S. Brush St.

December 20

It’s Christmas and you want to see The Nutcracker, but hauling the entire family to most productions is a budget buster. What to do? Downtown Container Park has you covered with free stagings, including one at 7 p.m. This is no second-rate production, either: Most roles are filled by professional dancers.

December 21

If you aren’t getting enough basketball, you’re just not trying. Example: The Global Sports Basketball Classic is in town today, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., at the Cox Pavilion. It features some of the top NCAA teams in continuous hoops action.

December 22

An empty room, bare shelves and two artists. It doesn’t sound particularly promising until you show up and begin collaborating with Kate Gilmore and Franklin Evans on their Shelf Life exhibit, through Jan. 3 at the Cosmopolitan’s P3Studio. Bring something for the shelves and they’ll help you make art out of it.

December 23

You’ve probably already been out to see Glittering Lights at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, so this is just a reminder that if you haven’t, the largest light show in the state (3 million or so lights along a 2.5-mile drive-through display, FYI) runs through Jan. 3. It’s also a benefit for area nonprofits, including Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican Hospital, so there’s no harm in going again.

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