Hitlist of activity to keep the family busy in Greater Victoria this weekend

Plus 3 things to see this holiday season

Friday, Dec. 8

Drop in to the Sidney North Saanich Library from 3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m and listen to festive stories while you use their LEGO to create masterpieces to display in the library windows. Ages 5 years and up.

Claremont students bring a Shakespeare classic to the stage. A Midsummer Night’s Dream runs Dec. 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m. at Claremont Secondary, 4980 Wesley Rd. Featuring a cast of 25 students in Grades 9-12, this classic Shakespeare comedy has been adapted and edited to make it even more accessible for modern audiences. Tickets $7.50.

Nearly 800 swimmers will make a splash this weekend at Saanich Commonwealth Pool for the annual Pacific Coast Swimming Christmas Cracker swim meet. It is one of the largest youth swim meets in Canada, drawing competitors from across B.C. and Alberta. The Christmas Cracker runs from Dec 8 to 10, with heats beginning at 9 a.m. and finals at 5:30 p.m.

Looking for a Christmas tree? The 1st Cedar Hill Scouts are selling Christmas trees and crafts until Dec. 22 (or until they run out) at their Scout Hall located at 3680 Cottonwood St. Weekdays from 5 to 7 p.m. and weekends from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The UVic Vikes cross-country and track program also holds its annual Christmas tree sale, daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through to end of day Dec. 23 at Centennial Stadium.

Saturday, Dec. 9

Glenlyon Norfolk School in Oak Bay hosts a Seaside Craft Fair with creations from 25 talented local artisans, makers and bakers, as well as a Children’s Market where young ones can purchase small gifts for their parents with gift wrapping help from the elves. All proceeds to the Parents’ Auxiliary. Free admission and wheelchair accessible at 1701 Beach Drive from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Oak Bay Preschool hosts its tree pick up and bake sale from 8 a.m. to noon in St. Mary’s church parking lot, 1701 Elgin Rd. in Oak Bay

Sunday, Dec. 10

Dash on over to the Pyjama Prance for its third annual gallop, where proceeds benefit The Rainbow Kitchen. The annual event offers a 2 or 5 km route and the fun kicks off at Esquimalt United Church at 9 a.m. For details on entry visit the Facebook event page.

Panorama Recreation Centre (1885 Forest Park Dr.) is hosting a free family skate from 1-2:15 p.m. to close out Canada 150, presented by the Government of Canada and the Peninsula Celebration Society.

St. Luke’s Christmas Pageant at 10 a.m. in St. Luke’s Church, 3821 Cedar Hill Cross Rd. A joyful, musical Christmas pageant and service. For more information, visit www.stlukesvictoria.ca or call 250-477-6741.

Three things to hit over the holidays

Celebrate a Life Hillside shopping centre hosts the annual Celebrate a Life campaign for Victoria Hospice. Visitors are invited to share their memories of loved ones by creating a personalized tribute to hang on the tree. Donations are also accepted on site for Hospice, which provides compassionate end-of-life care for patients and their families. You can also make an online tribute or donation to Hospice at celebratealifevictoria.ca.

The 26th annual Festival of Trees – The Bay Centre (Douglas and Fort street) hosts the fundraiser for the BC Children’s Hospital, is on now on the second and third levels at the downtown mall. It features 80 Christmas trees decorated with all manner of ornaments by local companies, non-profits and community groups. Vote for your favourite tree with a donation to Excellence in Child Health Fund,which supports programs and services offered by BC Children’s Hospital, its research institute and Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children.

Gingerbread showcase Amazing creations are on display through Jan. 2 at the Parkside Hotel and Spa (810 Humboldt St.), the new host for Habitat for Humanity’s ninth annual Gingerbread Showcase. With a theme of Celebrating Canada! this exhibit of baked architecture and astounding creativity by local chefs appeals to all ages and is a fundraiser aiding Habitat’s affordable home ownershipprograms. View them between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. daily.

Just Posted

Multi-vehicle crash along the Malahat leaves traffic crawling

Southbound lane heavily delayed at Malahat Summit

BC GAMES: Victoria athletes hit the podium

Gold, silver and bronze performances in equestrian, kayak, rowing, golf

Victoria man arrested in connection with Hillside murder

Daniel Creagh faces second-degree murder charge in death of Joseph Gauthier

PHOTO GALLERY: Phillips Backyard Weekender hits all the right notes

Local and international acts keep Victoria crowd cutting a rug

Raccoons making themselves at home on Saanich property

Resident blames neighbour for attracting pests to area

BC Games: Day 3 wrap and closing ceremonies

The torch in the Cowichan Valley has been extinguished as Fort St. John gets ready to host the 2020 BC Winter Games

Royal Canadian Navy announces leadership changes in Esquimalt

Commodore Angus Topshee new commander of Canadian Fleet Pacific, naval reserve also gets new leader

Police confirm girl, 8 others injured in Toronto shooting; shooter dead

Paramedics said many of the victims in Danforth, including a child, were rushed to trauma centres

Why do they do it? Coaches guide kids to wins, personal bests at the BC Games

Behind the 2,300 B.C. athletes are the 450 coaches who dedicate time to help train, compete

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Lower Mainland teams battle for baseball gold at BC Games

Vancouver Coastal squeaked out a 3-2 win against Fraser Valley

The Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw people signed an agreement-in-principle with the B.C. government

The signing ceremony, at the Eliza Archie Memorial School, was 25 years in the making

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Most Read