Family Picks

Family Picks: Lunch with Santa and the Sandbox Band

CorrespondentDecember 13, 2012 



If your children are anything like mine, one of the highlights of the Christmas season is singing carols. This weekend, the Garner Performing Arts Center has the perfect event for kids and adults who love holiday songs.

At 11 a.m. Saturday, the center will host “Lunch with Santa and the Sandbox Band.”

The popular children’s band Sandbox will perform sing-along favorites like “Jingle Bells” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” The quirky band puts its own twist on songs, such as a rock-and-roll version of “Little Drummer Boy.”

To get a preview, you can listen to Sandbox’s Christmas album “Snow Day.”

Santa and Mrs. Claus will also be there, and Santa may even perform onstage with the band. During intermission, Santa will visit with children and hear their Christmas wishes.

Organizers say the event will last about 1 1/2 hours.

Tickets are $10 and can be reserved at A box lunch from McDonald’s is provided with admission.

The Garner Performing Arts Center is a new place to watch for family events. This year, it began offering family programs for the first time, and this is the first children’s event that is open to the public, Manager Debbie Dunn said.

Dunn said the center will increase its offerings next year.

The next family event will be March 9, when a New York touring company will perform “Charlotte’s Web.”

• On the other side of the Triangle, the N.C. Botanical Garden is offering a workshop Sunday on decorating for the holidays naturally. From 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., kids can use materials such as acorns, pine cones and milkweed pods to craft their own holiday ornaments.

Organizers say it’s appropriate for kids age 4 and up. Hot chocolate will be provided.

The cost is $8 per child or $6 for members. Please register by calling 919-962-0522.

• For a sing-along that’s a bit more traditional than Sandbox, you can head to the Longview Center in downtown Raleigh on Sunday. At 5:30 p.m., The 50-member choir from Unity Church of the Triangle will perform its annual “The Glory of Christmas Concert.”

The choir will be accompanied by a full orchestra and Broadway soloists. The program includes some special moments designed for children and families.

Admission is free but donations are accepted. For more information, go to

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