Time for Time Out

Once the flurry of pre-Christmas activities dies down, there’s no need to feel bored just because school is out and you have a few days off work.

For our last edition of 2011, What’s Up Yukon took a quick snapshot of some seasonal activities that might interest you.

For the artistically or historically inclined, why not a visit to an art gallery or museum? Not all of them are open, so check beforehand. And if you haven’t visited the new Whitehorse Public Library, it comes highly recommended.

Of course, there are many recreational opportunities for all ages at the Canada Games Centre and various rinks and other sport facilities around the territory.

If your family’s preference is outdoor activities, cross-country skiing opportunities abound at Mount McIntyre and elsewhere.

For a change of pace, why not consider a family outing to the Yukon Wildlife Preserve, or the trails at Takhini Hot Springs? Both facilities have extended hours over the holidays.

If downhill skis or a snowboard show up under your Christmas tree, Mount Sima is now open, complete with a new, $3 million state-of-the-art chairlift.

New Year’s Eve revellers have many options for a night of music and fun – too many to list. But save some of your dancing energy for two events on Friday, January 13.

There’s the Moonstroke music festival at Mount Mac, a fundraiser for the Dawson City Humane Society sponsored by Triple J’s Music Cafe. Eight bands, no waiting.

Meanwhile, at the Jarvis Street Saloon, a brand-new Black Sabbath tribute band called A Bunch of B.S. will be cranking up the Ozzy Osbourne, compliments of Janelle Langlais and three “Mikes” – Millar, Trainor and Smith.

Yukon’s rural communities have a variety of special events on offer. Here are some of the highlights:

Dawson City will have a free Santa Skate for the whole family from 1-3 p.m. on December 23 at the Art and Margaret Fry Recreation Centre.

For New Year’s Eve, the Dawson City Music Festival has invited Vancouver cabaret band, Maria in the Shower, for a night of swing, samba, rockabilly, gypsy soul, blues, ballads and other delights at the Odd Fellows Ballroom.

This is an adult event, and organizers are warning teetotallers that “dancing, drinks and debauchery will be on special at this event so come prepared for a night of entertainment and excess.”

The shenanigans begin at 9 p.m. on December 31. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door.

The community known as “The Heart of the Yukon”, Mayo, is also known for its December open houses and the annual Christmas concert at J.V. Clarke School.

But no one in town or the surrounding area would think of missing the annual New Year’s Day community dinner hosted by Na-Cho Nyak Dun First Nation at the community centre.

Faro is a busy place, with three days of dance classes with Cayla Brekk and Josh Wilcox just before Christmas, and an all-you-can-eat (for $5) breakfast at 10 a.m. on December 27 at the Faro Arena.

This event also includes a skate-a-thon to raise funds for the Faro Mad Sled Dogs hockey team and the Arctic Edge Skating Club.

For every dollar pledged, the sponsored child will skate one lap of the arena. Call the Faro Rec Centre at 994-2375 for details.

The Faro Public Library will host an open house from 6-7 p.m. on December 29, as well as its month-long Lights of Life event. For more information, call 994-2684.

New Year’s Eve is party night in town, with an adult event hosted by the Faro Golf Club and FaroNET. DJ Mike will spin the tunes, and a designated driver will available to and from the festivities.

Carmacks will ring in 2012 with a midnight fireworks display on the banks of the Yukon River that a village spokesperson promises will be “pretty fantastic” and easily rival the Whitehorse equivalent.

The explosion of fire and lights in front of the community’s recreation centre will last for 10 to 20 minutes.

Between Christmas and New Year’s, crafts and baking will be the order of the day in Carmacks. There will be craft-making and baking for kids December 28 to 30. And, of course, the community skating will also be open.

According to the municipal office in Haines Junction, there are no special events planned for the holiday period. However, the Kluane area is gearing up for the Alcan 200 International Snow Machine Road Rally January 14 and 15.

The course goes from the Canada-U.S. border to Dezadeash Lake and back.

In Carcross, there are no plans for a public celebration at New Year’s, but there will be a sliding party for kids on December 28 at the dunes, starting at noon.

Teslin will play host to a New Year’s Eve dance at the Teslin Recreation Complex. Whitehorse band Jagermeister will provide the entertainment for this adult-only event, which is being sponsored by the Teslin Minor Hockey Association. The dance will run from 8 p.m. December 31 to 2 a.m. January 1. Tickets are $35.

In Watson Lake, the New Year’s Eve dance will be a family affair, sponsored by the Watson Lake Community Club. For details, contact the Watson Lake Recreation Centre at 536-8020.

There will also be public skating daily during the holiday season.

What’s Up Yukon wishes you and your family a safe, happy and healthy time out. We look forward to having you join us again on January 19. In 2012, that is!

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