1. See 'The Nutcracker'

Newton Dance Connections will present "The Nutcracker" at 7 p.m. Dec. 13 and 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 14 in Krehbiel Auditorium in the Luyken Fine Arts Center at Bethel College, 300 E. 27th, North Newton.

This collaborative dance company co-directed by Bethel College Academy of Performing Arts' dance director Haylie Berning and Newton Performing Arts Center's owner Kari Hinkel provides Newton-area dancers an opportunity to work together in their love of dance. In addition to local dance students, this year's production will include guest artists from Chicago and Wichita State University, as well as professional dancers from Regina Klenjoski Dance Company.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children and can be purchased through a link on the Facebook page at facebook.com/NewtonDanceConnections/. 


2. Go for a ride

Free carriage rides will be offered in downtown Newton from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15. Many downtown businesses will also offer special Sunday afternoon hours for holiday shopping.


3. Meet Santa and see 'The Grinch'

First Church of God will hold a Christmas celebration including pictures with Santa and a screening of "The Grinch" movie. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 14 at the church, 620 Fairview. Santa will visit from 6:30-7 p.m. The movie and refreshments will follow. Admission is free.


4. Hear Handel's 'Messiah'

A performance of Handel's "Messiah" will begin at 7 p.m. Dec. 15 at First Mennonite Church, 429 E. First, in Newton. Admission is free and the public is invited.


5. Learn about a serious issue

Allison Pate of EmberHope Youthville will present a program on human trafficking at 7 p.m. Dec. 16 at Newton Public Library, 720 Oak St. The program will include information on what the public can do to help combat the problem.