Holiday on Ice — Special holiday-themed public skating is Dec. 18-31, at the Sierra Providence Event Center next to the Coliseum, 4100 Paisano. Information: 479-PUCK (7825) or elpasoicemonitor.com.
Cumberland Circle — Luminarias and Christmas lights adorn the circle each Christmas Eve in the central El Paso neighborhood. From I-10, take Trowbridge northwest to Pennsylvania Ave. Pennsylvania leads directly into the circle.
Eastridge Christmas lights — The residents of the Eastside subdivision of Eastridge participates each year in an elaborate neighborhood-wide holiday lights display. Lights are usually lit around the first week of December, and run through the holiday season.
The subdivision is off McRae Blvd; turn west on Eastridge.
Holiday Light Show — A brilliant display of holiday lights choreographed to music will be featured Fridays through Sundays, Dec. 3-Jan. 1, at 12001 Paseo de Oro (one block north of Montwood, off Bob Mitchell). Admission is free.
Ascarate Park Winter Wonderland — The county park and lake is lit for the holidays through early January. Hours are 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and to 11 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Admission is $1 per vehicle. Information: 772-5605.
Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino — The 2010-2011 live horse racing season runs Dec. 10-April 19. Race days are Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. First post is 12:25 p.m. each race day. General admission is free to the track and casino. First post time is 12:25 p.m. Turf Club seating is $7. Information: (575) 874-5200 or sunland-park.com
UTEP Men’s Basketball – Home games are at the Don Haskins Center. Game time is 7:05 p.m., unless otherwise listed. Individual tickets: $14-$50, plus service charge. Information: 747-5234 or utepathletics.com.
• Monday, Dec. 20 — Stephen F. Austin
• 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 2 — Sam Houston State.
Hyundai Sun Bowl — The 77th annual football classic begins at noon, Friday, Dec. 31. The game features Notre Dame versus the University of Miami, and tickets are sold out. Reserved seats: $20-$60; general admission: $15. Captain’s Club tickets: $650. Information: 533-4416, 1-800-915-BOWL or sunbowl.org. (Ticketmaster).
‘The Great Russian Nutcracker’ — The Moscow Ballet presents the 16th anniversary of this holiday classic at 4 and 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 23, at the Plaza Theatre. Tickets: $26, $36 and $86, plus service charge. (Ticketmaster). Information: nutcracker.com.
Featuring spectacular sets and beautifully costumed Russian dancers, Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker uses whimsical and imaginative storytelling blended with world-class choreography and dance.
El Paso Museum of History — 510 N. Santa Fe. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday (open until 9 p.m. Thursdays), and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Closed Mondays. Admission is free. Information: 351-3588 or elpasotexas.gov/history.
A free Holiday History Film Festival presented by Capstone Productions is 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 28-29, featuring four new lecture films about the El Paso Mission Trail. Tuesday’s films are “Celebration of Cultures” at 10 a.m. and “Cultural & Linguistic Make-up of the Conquistadores” at 2 p.m. Wednesday’s films are “El Paso’s Mission Trail in the Mexican Period, 1821-1848” at 10 a.m. and “Viticulture (grapes) in the Southwest in the early years at 2 p.m.
Southern New Mexico
Mount Cristo Rey Hike — A guided hike is at noon Thursday, Dec. 30, at Mount Cristo Rey, Sunland Park, N.M. Length: 5 miles round trip (2-3 hours). Cost: $5 ($2 for children) donation requested for the Mt. Cristo Restoration Committee. Information: 252-9840. No reservation is required.
A presentation on the history of the monument will be given at the summit.
Luminarias and Christmas Carols on the Plaza — Old Mesilla, N.M., turns into a wonderland of music and light beginning at dusk Christmas Eve, Friday, Dec. 24, at San Albino Church and the surrounding historic plaza. Around 6,000 luminarias will be set up. The Mesilla Singers will lead singing of Christmas carols from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.? Mesilla is southwest of Las Cruces. Take I-10 West to the Avenida de Mesilla exit. The plaza is off NM Highway 28 (Avenida de Mesilla) south of I-10. Admission is free. Information: (575) 524-3262, ext. 116.??New Year’s Eve??Ardovino’s New Year’s Eve Celebration — Ardovino’s Desert Crossing, One Ardovino Drive in Sunland Park, will ring in 2011 Friday,Dec. 31, with a special dinner, glass of champagne, and live music. Champagne toast, and party favors. Cost: $100 per person for (optional) dinner. Admission to party alone is free. Information/reservations: (575) 589-0653 or ardovinos.com.??New Year’s Celebration — Premiere Entertainment will host a pair of New Year’s Eve parties at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 31, at Ramada Palms, 201 E. University Ave, in Las Cruces. A performance by “Phat Soul” with reserved seating is offered in the Ballroom, and entertainment by Dulce and Sunny Padilla featured in the Bar Club. Seating is limited. Ages 21 and older welcome. Tickets for either event: $35 (includes party favors and champagne). Room packages available. Information: (915) 630-2206, (575) 526-4411, ext. 402, pre-e.com or ramadalascruces.com.??New Year’s Eve Dance — El Paso Parks and Recreation will host a senior New Year’s Eve dance 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday, Dec. 31, at San Juan Senior Center, 5701 Tamburo, and Grandview Senior Center, 3134 Jefferson. Information: (San Juan) 772-8365 or (Grandview) 566-1217.??Sunland Park New Year’s Eve — Bosee will headline the New Year’s Eve celebration in the Signature Showroom at Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino Friday, Dec. 31. Dinner offered 7 to 8:30 p.m. with music and dancing 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets: $35 (includes dinner buffet, entertainment, favors and champagne toasting); $250 table for eight. Ages 21 and older welcome. Information/reservations: (575) 874-5200.? A free party featuring music by Inolvidable and party favors is 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. in the Franklin Lounge. No reservations needed, seating available on a first come, first serve basis.??Speaking Rock Entertainment Center — 122 S. Old Pueblo Road, hosts a series of free concerts from nationally known touring acts. Ages 18 and older welcome. Information: 860-7777 or speaking-rock.com.?• 11 p.m. Friday, Dec. 31 — New Year’s Eve concert with La Mafia.?• 10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 1 — Brenton Wood and Sunny Ozuna & The Sunliners.??Spencer Theater for Performing Arts — Airport Hwy 220 in Alto, N.M. (about 12 miles north of downtown Ruidoso). Free public guided tours are 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays (except show dates). Information: (575) 336-4800, (888) 818-7872 or spencertheater.com.?• Flying J Christmas — Alto’s own western entertainers return for their holiday performance at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 21. This group of western swing yodelers, singers, fiddlers and more perform timeless spirituals, cowboy Christmas tunes and Flying J originals. Tickets: $26 and $29.?• “Oklahoma” — Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Great American Musical” is 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 2. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, two Academy Awards, a Grammy and a special Tony, “Oklahoma” is the classic love story of a handsome cowboy and winsome farm girl. Tickets: $66 and $69.?