1. THINK CHRISTMAS
Thanksgiving? Old news. Kick off Christmas season from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Downtown Boise Tree Lighting at the Grove plaza at 8th and Main streets. More info: downtownboise.org. (Also, Nampa will celebrate its tree lighting at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at 12th Avenue and Front Street.)
Want more trees? Find beautiful, decorated ones at the Saint Alphonsus Festival of Trees from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily through Sunday (2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thanksgiving Day) at the Boise Centre, 850 W. Front St. ($7 general, $5 military, $4 seniors and children 3-12, free for ages 2 and younger, $30 family pass).
Want more lights? Starting Thanksgiving Day, there are more than 390,000 of them at Winter Garden aGlow, which shines in full splendor from 6 to 9 p.m. nightly at the Idaho Botanical Garden ($12 adult, $10 youth 5-12, free 4 and under). Online: idahobotanicalgarden.org
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2. SEE A BAND
Cut a rug and burn off a few bird calories. The Jeremiah James Gang will uncork honky-tonk tunes starting at 9 p.m. Friday at the recently reopened Ranch Club, 3544 W. Chinden Blvd. in Garden City. Cover is $5.
Local Beatles cover group The Come Together Band will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Sapphire Room at the Riverside Hotel, 2900 W. Chinden Blvd. Tickets are $12 general, $16 preferred, at eventbrite.com, or $15 and $20 at the door.
Boise band the Blues Addicts will rock classic tunes by acts such as Eric Clapton and the Allman Brothers at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Sapphire Room. Tickets are $15 general, $20 preferred, at eventbrite.com, or $20 and $25 at the door. Special guests: Brass Tacks Horns.
Last and loudest, Portland rock group Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons will unleash gritty guitar jams Saturday (9 p.m.) and Sunday (8 p.m.) in Downtown Boise at Neurolux, 111 N. 11th St. Tickets are $10 advance at TicketWeb, or $12 at the door.
3. CATCH SOME SPORTS
The puck hits the ice at 7:10 p.m. when the Idaho Steelheads take on the Allen Americans on Friday and Saturday at CenturyLink Arena, 233 S. Capitol Blvd., Boise. Advance tickets are $18 to $35 at idahosteelheads.com.
Check out high-flying dunks when the Boise State men’s basketball team takes on Loyola Marymount at 7 p.m. Saturday at Taco Bell Arena, 1401 Bronco Lane. Advance tickets are $10 to $20 general, $9 o $19 seniors, $8 to $18 juniors, at broncosports.com/tickets.
4. HAVE A BEER (OR TWO)
If you’re a fan of porters and stouts, Boise doesn’t get any better than Payette Brewing’s Black Friday. Approximately 40 beers will be tapped at the event, which runs from 1 to 10 p.m. inside Payette Brewing Co., 733 S. Pioneer St. Drink tokens are $4. Grab advance token packages online at Eventbrite.
Whole Foods River Room, 401 S. Broadway Ave., will party from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday with $10 chicken and waffles, $5 draft beers and $10 flights of an array of big beers. How big? We’re talking Payette Sunday Mourning Imperial Oatmeal Stout, Mother Earth Autumn Barrel-Aged Scotch Ale, Odell Barrel-Aged Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout, Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout and more.
Yo, beer geek: Hunting for bottles of Bourbon County, which get released every Black Friday? Whole Foods will have a whole bunch. Other retailers with healthy allocations will include both Boise Co-op locations, Brewer’s Haven, 1795 S. Vista Ave., and Prefunk Beer Bar, 1100 W. Front St. In addition, Prefunk will host a Bourbon County release party at 10 a.m. Black Friday, complete with a three-year vertical of the delicious beer.
5. GET BOWLED OVER
Shopping in Downtown Boise on Black Friday? Here’s a lunch opportunity to warm your belly and your heart: The 20th annual Empty Bowls fundraiser, which takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Grove plaza. Local restaurants donate the soups. Artists and other community members make the hand-painted ceramic bowls. Choose a bowl (most cost $10), pick a gourmet soup, eat —and take home the bowl. Proceeds benefit the Idaho Foodbank, which will feed tens of thousands of needy families this holiday season. That 10 bucks can provide food for 50 meals. Online: idahofoodbank.org.
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