Food & wine
ITALY. As a nation, they have a lot to do with food and Christmas. What better culture to look to when polishing your festive cooking skills? The Italian Christmas Baking Class, hosted by Luciana Masci, guides participants through the preparation of recipes from Italy's central Abruzzo region, including almond and honey biscotti, waffles filled with Italian custard cream, and fried pastries with a jam and chocolate filling known as cavicioni. And to add to the appeal, operatic tenor Michael Howard will perform traditional Italian songs.
Tomorrow 3.30pm-6.30pm, Organic Empire, 138 Monbulk Road, Mount Evelyn, $200, 1800 641 136, organicempire.com.au
TOP up your immune system and cleanse before Christmas with the help of a Green Smoothie workshop. Nikki and Jurgen Mennel lead the session, demonstrating how to concoct simple blended drinks using fruit and vegetables, as well as complementary raw food recipes. Lots of sippings and tastings included.
Today 2pm-4pm, CERES Environmental Park, corner Roberts and Stuart streets, Brunswick East, $120, 1800 940 072, cheekychimpworkshop-.eventbrite.com.au
Get into the holiday spirit with a dinner cruise aboard the MV Mandalay. Tonight's cruise takes in Docklands and part of Port Phillip Bay, with a three-course menu accompanied by a selection of drinks. After dinner, strike a pose upstairs on the Mandalay's dance floor.
Today 7pm, Central Pier, Docklands, $140, boatcruises.com.au
THE Collingwood Children's Farm Farmers' Market celebrates its 10th anniversary with seasonal produce from local growers, plus a little birthday cake mid-morning. Summer fare including cherries, apricots, berries, garlic and peas fills the stalls, along with Christmas favourites such as turkeys, ham, puddings and mince pies. Edible stocking fillers abound, including nougat, biscuits and gingerbread.
Today 8am-1pm, Collingwood Children's Farm, St Heliers Street, Abbotsford, $2 entry, vicfarmersmarkets.org.au
AT THE farmers' market at the Old Cheese Factory today, look out for raspberries from Sunny Creek Organic Berries, as well as salad greens and hydroponic tomatoes from Trafalgar producers G&L Bennett. Other picks include beef cuts from the Little Creek Cattle Company.
Today 8am-12.30pm, 34 Homestead Road, Berwick, $2 entry, vicfarmersmarkets.org.au
THE Big Design Market lives up to its name, hosting a massive range of homewares, fashion, textiles, children's products and books by 160 Australian and international designers including Apple Green Duck, Beneath the Sun and High Tea with Mrs Woo. Several designers are using the market to launch new products, including plywood and porcelain jewellery by Angus & Celeste and the Mana Couture range by artist and weaver Maryann Talia Pau.
Today and tomorrow 10am-5pm, Royal Exhibition Building, 9 Nicholson Street, Carlton, free entry, thebigdesignmarket.com
ALL I want for Christmas is my handmade earrings, fine paper journals, vintage-inspired swimwear and gourmet miniature sweets. They'll all be available at the Magnolia Square Christmas Market, accompanied by more than 80 designers and producers offering up homewares, fashion, jewellery, collectables and food. Included will be contemporary furniture from Glammliving, personalised illustrations from Little Skipper and summer accessories from Spider and Lily.
Today 10am-4pm, Malvern Town Hall, Corner Glenferrie Road and High Street, Malvern, free, magnoliasquare.com.au
THE wonderful Dromana drive-in, listed by Heritage Victoria and the National Trust, celebrates its 50th birthday this year. Along with three operating big screens and the delightfully retro '50s-style Shel's diner, the drive-in is home to a great market, with all manner of second-hand goods, homemade crafts, plants, clothing, food and even the odd pair of roller skates.
Tomorrow 8am-1pm, 133 Nepean Highway, Dromana, $2 per car, 5931 0022, drivein.net.au
Out of town
LOCAL theatre group Misfit Theatre presents a production of So Much to Tell You, a play by John Marsden based on his debut novel. Emotionally troubled Marina retreats from the world until an experience at a new school begins to transform her life. The act of writing in a journal helps Marina confront her fears and build new friendships with classmates.
Today 2pm and 7.30pm, Upper Yarra Arts Centre, 3409 Warburton Highway, Warburton, $10, 5966 4500, yarraranges.vic.gov.au
ANIMAL sanctuary Edgar's Mission provides care for more than 250 rescued animals including goats, sheep, pigs, ducks and horses, set on 24 hectares north of Kilmore. The mission hosts a Carols by Barnlight Christmas event today, with barbecue, farm tours, children's activities and, of course, carols.
Today 4pm-8pm, Edgar's Mission Farm Sanctuary, 365 McHarg's Road, Willowmavin, free, edgarsmission.org.au
A DIVERSE selection of artists open their studios to the public as part of the Ballarat Regional Arts Trail this weekend. Thirteen artists are participating from the Ballarat, Creswick and Miners Rest regions, including woodworker Rob Dimmer, wildlife painter Lyn Cooke, sculptor David Barclay and ceramic artist John O'Loughlin. Brochures and maps are available at the Ballarat and Creswick visitor information centres and the Ballarat Art Gallery.
Today and tomorrow 10am-5pm, various venues, free, barts.webs.com
MELBOURNE artist and musician Jon Campbell specialises in simple, humorous works, using Australian popular culture as his inspiration. In his new exhibition just sing what you feel, children can create their own iconic flag (inspired by Campbell's 2004 "yeah" flag), record their own version of the yeah, yeah, yeah song in an interactive karaoke booth and create their own backyard using Campbell's drawings of barbecues, deck chairs and plants. There's an opening event today (10am-noon) and the exhibition runs until February 17.
Today and tomorrow, 10am-5pm, NGV Australia, 180 St Kilda Road, city, free, 8620 2345, ngv.vic.gov.au
MORE than 200 musicians from the Salvation Army gather for the Our Christmas Gift family concert. The horns and strings of the army band join local performers Silvie Paladino, Chris Sebastian, The Idea of North and Wacky Entertainment for this community event. The concert will also be streamed live on the Salvation Army website.
Today 7pm, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Convention Centre Place, South Wharf, salvationarmy.org.au
HARK! The Newport Fiddle and Folk Club presents the third annual Carols at the Substation tomorrow night. As well as renditions of traditional favourites "in the round" by the Newport Carols Orchestra, the evening will include performances by young talent from the Hobsons Bay region, including violinist sisters AJ and Zymone Abatayo and singer Hayley Edwards, who recently performed in Mary Poppins.
Tomorrow 7.30pm-9pm, The Substation, 1 Market Street, Newport, gold coin entry, 9391 1110, thesubstation.org.au
GEELONG gets prehistoric this season with the Permian Monsters: Life Before Dinosaurs exhibition, exploring the creatures that lived before the dinosaurs. The exhibition features fossilised skeletons, life-sized models and interactive dig pits for children. Head back to the Woolshed Monday to Friday for the interactive Christmas in the Woolshed program, as everyone's favourite reindeer becomes Professor Rudolph, sniffing out clues on the hunt for Santa-saurus.
Today and tomorrow, 10am-5pm, National Wool Museum, 26 Moorabool Street, Geelong, $4-$7.50, 5272 4701, geelongaustralia.com.au/nwm
FRESH! showcases the cream of the newest craft and design crop, plucked from graduate exhibitions around Victoria. Works for the annual exhibition are selected by industry professionals, spanning ceramics, glass, jewellery, gold and silversmithing, fashion, textiles, industrial and furniture design and visual arts. The exhibition runs until December 22.
Today 10am-5pm, Craft, 31 Flinders Lane, city, free, 9650 7775, craftvic.org.au
THE Colour Factory Photographic Award 2012 winner Adrian Dennett presents a solo exhibition Green Bag Identity at CF Gallery. The exhibition is the major prize of the award, selected by judges Penny Harris, Lisa Fehily and Polixeni Papapetrou. Featuring rich, disconcerting portraits of subjects masked by green shopping bags, the exhibition runs until January 26.
Today 1pm-4pm, CF Gallery, 409-429 Gore Street, Fitzroy, free, 9419 8756, colourfactory.com.au
T-SHIRT collector Eddie Zammit owns more than 4000 tees, enough to wear one a day for a decade. New exhibition TEES: Exposing Melbourne's T-shirt culture examines the city's devotees through Zammit's eyes, featuring photography by Nicole Reed and visual content on Melbourne's brands and designers. A collaboration between creative agency Just Another and T-world, the exhibition runs until February 17 and includes live screenprinting events.
Today 10am-10pm, tomorrow 10am-5pm, NGV Studio, Federation Square, Flinders Street, city, free, 8620 2222, ngv.vic.gov.au
TAKE a load off this weekend at Couch World. A team of street, visual and installation artists take to a selection of sofas, decorating and altering them according to their take on the theme of human rights. Once the paint has dried, the couches become the soft stage for performance artists.
Today noon-4.40pm, tomorrow 9.30am-1.40pm, Signal, Flinders Walk, Northbank, free, 8696 5400, multiculturalarts.com.au
LEARN how to make, screenprint and embellish cushions at the Screen Printing and Hand Embroidery Cushion class at Thread Den. Participants will make three screen-printed cushions with button-hole closures and stitched decorations. You'll need 1.5 metres of natural cotton, calico or linen fabric, matching thread, nine buttons and a creative mind.
Tomorrow 2pm-5pm, Thread Den, 422 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, $85, 9486 9821, threadden.com
YOUR nearest and dearest will clean up this festive season after you've attended a natural cosmetics for Christmas gifts workshop. Louise Fischer shows how to make economical and versatile beauty products – such as lip balm and toothpaste – using natural ingredients. There's plenty to take home at the end of the workshop, too.
Tomorrow 10am-4pm, CERES Eco House, corner Roberts and Stewart streets, Brunswick East, $90-$100, 9389 0100, ceres.org.au