Still looking for some great family-friendly fun this holiday season? Take a trip to Harrisburg’s Whitaker Center–home of the Select Medical IMAX Theater, Sonoco Performance Theater, and the Harsco Science Center–for some fantastic options that won’t break your bank.
Holiday Trains and Tree Display
The Center’s famous Holiday Trains and Trees display has returned with its artfully decorated trees and fascinating train displays, all which will surely brighten the spirits of children and adults alike. Admittance is free with Science Center admission.
Steve Bisop, Vice President of Science and IMAX® Programs, describes the display as “Beautiful [with its] Christmas trees, chugging model trains, and hands-on activities for kids… Trains and Trees has become a popular holiday tradition for thousands of Whitaker Center visitors.”
Holiday Trains and Trees is reminiscent of a time and when winter was actually peaceful, full of light and colors and simpler definitions of happiness. Even if we aren’t lucky enough to see a white Christmas this year, Trains and Trees will draw you into their world and make you feel as if you’re really a part of their miniature wonderland.
If you find yourself looking for a way to relax after the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping, stop by the Select Medical IMAX Theater and enjoy one of their featured movies. The theater itself is amazing, with Central PA’s largest movie screen–six stories tall!–and each sits high and comfortable for a prime viewing experience. The theater is a local favorite for opening nights (especially if the movie is in 3-D) and the theater is generally kept very neat and clean.
This holiday’s features:
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol – See the fourth of this series before it is even released in other theaters! The Kremlin has been bombed, and the blame has fallen on the IMF. As a result, the president initiates Ghost Protocol, and accuses Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team of placing the bomb in an attempt to incite a global nuclear war. Now in order to clear the IMF of terrorism charges, Ethan assembles a new team to uncover the truth by using every high-tech trick in the book.
Born to be Wild 3D – A heartwarming documentary of orphaned orangutans and elephants and the kind individuals who rescue and raise them.
Legends of Flight 3D: A New Generation – A documentary exploring the creation of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, as well as a look into classic 20th Century aircraft.
Lewis and Clark: The Great Journey – Join the famous adventurers as they take their historic expedition into the West.
Wednesday, Dec. 28th, 7:30 PM at the Sonoco Performance Theater
Tickets – $31.50 and $35.50
Get the Led Out, who are known as “The American Led Zeppelin,” not only effectively emulate the sound of classic Zeppelin hits, but also pull you into a visual performance that will certainly leave you feeling “Dazed and Confused!” The talented musicians are Paul Sinclair (lead vocals/harmonica), Paul Hammond (electric and acoustic guitars/mandolin), Jimmy Marchiano (electric and acoustic guitars/vocals), Billy Childs (bass guitar/vocals), and Adam Ferraioli (drums/percussion) and Andrew Lipke (keyboards/electric and acoustic guitars/vocals/percussion). All of the band mates personally name Led Zeppelin as a strong musical influence, and their performance is a homage to them in return for such inspiration.
Be sure to check out www.whitakercenter.org for more updates on fun and activities that are available year round!
Before you head out into the mayhem and madness that is Black Friday, consider skipping it all and waiting until Small Business Saturday to kick off your holiday shopping season. On Saturday, November 26th (and throughout the holiday season), we are asking you to “shop small” and patronize your locally, independently-owned, home-grown, “brick-and-mortar” businesses. The second annual Small Business Saturday is a shopping holiday dedicated to supporting small businesses, created by American Express as a counterpart to Black Friday (which traditionally features deals–and herds of sheeple–at “big box” retail stores).
Why shop locally? Not only are our favorite, most unique shops in the area locally owned and operated, they also employ a wide array of supporting local services from architects, sign makers, contractors, accountants, and insurance brokers to garbage companies, attorneys, and advertising agencies. Local businesses are more likely to use other local businesses, donate more money to non-profit organizations, create more local jobs, preserve economic diversity, and be more present and accountable to the community.
Big-box retail stores like Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Target may employ local people to work behind the counters, but these franchises and chains are all clones whose presence in the community does little to help out the local economy and a lot to clog traffic and hinder the success of smaller businesses. These stores enjoy national or international branding power and major economies of scale. They eliminate the need for local planning and require little in local services like advertising and banking, and the profits earned at large retail chains are not disbursed in our community–they are exported to places like Wall Street.
In the last decade, tens of thousands of our locally owned businesses have closed due to unprecedented competition from those larger chains and franchises. Numerous studies show that if just 10% of retail shopping dollars were shifted to locally-owned, independent businesses, millions of dollars in new economic activity and thousands of new jobs could be created. As our national economy continues to plummet and our citizens continue to protest, something as small as heading to a locally owned and operated supermarket like Shurfine (or a local farmer’s market), supporting non-profits and charity shops in your town, and choosing neighborhoods and artisan events over malls, shopping centers, and Wal-Mart can make a huge difference.
For more information on “going local” movements, check out these sites: http://smallbusinesssaturday.com, www.amiba.net, shiftyourshopping.org, susquehannasbn.org, www.buylocalpa.org/york, www.buylocalcoalition.com, and www.codoyork.com/lifestyle. Stay tuned to Unwound Magazine throughout the holiday season as we profile local businesses and shops to help you in your quest for finding the perfect (home-grown) gift for all the special people in your lives. And remember, don’t go to the mall–SHOP SMALL!
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