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5 Things to do in NEO: Hanukkah fun, holiday singalong and more

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Akron Symphonic Winds
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The Akron Symphonic Winds play their annual holiday concert on Sunday at the Chapel in Uniontown.

From the sounds of a local wind ensemble to finding those last-minute handmade gifts, here are a few suggestions for holiday fun this weekend in Northeast Ohio.

Winter Solstice stroll

The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes is holding its 3rd annual Winter Solstice Luminary Walk and Winter Market on Friday, Dec. 16, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Take the illuminated All Peoples’ Trail through the forest, Doan Brook and Lower Shaker Lake, then head inside the Nature Center to shop the holiday market featuring a dozen local vendors.

Akron Symphonic Winds

The Akron Symphonic Winds, a 40-piece, non-profit ensemble, is performing a holiday concert Sunday, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m., at the Green Campus of the Chapel. Founded six years ago to be a band for the community, performers range from students at the Cleveland Institute of Music to a retired member of the Cleveland Orchestra.

Illuminate the Falls

Mark the beginning of Hanukkah with the Chabad Jewish Center of Chagrin Falls on Sunday, Dec. 18, beginning at 5 p.m. As the sun sets, a 9-foot menorah will be lit in Riverside Park in Downtown Chagrin Falls, followed by a fire show and community celebration in Township Hall. Enjoy hot latkes, refreshments, children’s activities and music with the whole family. Nightly menorah lightings will continue Dec. 19-26 in the nearby Bell Street Park.

Messiah singalong

Join the chorus for the annual singalong of Handel’s “Messiah” at Oberlin College’s Finney Chapel on Friday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m. Musical scores will be available for rent if you’d like to add your voice to the program, or simply sit back and enjoy the concert conducted by Peter Slowik.

Shop local in Lakewood

If there are still names left on your holiday shopping list, the artists of the Screw Factory in Lakewood have you covered. Shop the annual holiday market on Friday, Dec. 16, from 6-10 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 17, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 18, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Handmade jewelry, metal sculptures, ceramics, paintings and more are all under one roof at 13000 Athens Ave.

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Georg Kremer
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Nature Center at Shaker Lakes
Enjoy an illuminated stroll through the grounds of the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes and celebrate Winter Solstice.

A native of Akron and graduate of Kent State University, Jean-Marie Papoi has been working in the field of video production for 15 years. Since joining Ideastream Public Media in 2016, she's enjoyed filming and telling the stories of community members throughout Northeast Ohio.