1. Celebrate winter
▪ One of Boise’s top brew festivals is back from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday. Old Boise’s annual Pray For Snow Winter Ale Fest will storm the Republic parking lot across from Tom Grainey’s, 109 S. 6th St. More than 40 breweries will pour a huge variety of beers, leaning toward cold-weather styles. (High ABV alert!) Standouts will include Elysian (Night Owl and Space Dust), New Belgium (Sour Saison and Coffee Cocoa Stout), Fremont (Lush IPA and Dark Star) and Firestone Walker (Mocha Merlin and 805). Update: Because snow was unavailable, this year’s rail jam will be replaced by a skate jam. (Sorry, snowboarders!) But it still looks like fun. There will be “multiple features and rails with dual drop-ins,” and The Boardroom and Prestige skate teams are expected. As always, a DJ will crank tunes, and Sturman’s will have a cigar tent. It’s an all-ages party. Tickets are $25 advance, $35 at the gate.
▪ Wanna stay frosty? The Warren Miller Film Festival is in town with “Face of Winter” at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, at the Egyptian Theatre, 700 W. Main St. It’s $15 evening showtimes, $13 matinee. Proceeds benefit Bogus Basin Ski Education Foundation, Bogus Basin Ski Patrol and Recreation Unlimited.
2. Rock out and stay warm
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Here are concert highlights this weekend:
▪ The Mighty Red Melons: Performing honky tonk hits from the Grand Ole Opry. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, The Sapphire Room, Riverside Hotel, 2900 W. Chinden Blvd., Boise. $23 general, $31 preferred. eventbrite.com. $26 and $34 at the door. Opening: Twangtown.
3. Get in the holiday mood
▪ The Village at Meridian’s ice skating rink opens Friday. Come on, Mom. Don’t be chicken! You’ve got lots of time to give it a try, since it’s open until late January. (Or maybe you should go right away and get your holiday shopping done, too.) Skating costs $5 for ages 12 and under, $7 adult. That includes skate rental.
4. Do sporting events
For once, you don’t have to feel guilty for not supporting the Boise State Broncos at one of their late, frigid home games. (They’re on the road against New Mexico.) Instead, go see Idaho Steelheads hockey vs. the Rapid City Rush at 7:10 p.m. Friday and Saturday at CenturyLink Arena, 233 S. Capitol Blvd. Or hit Taco Bell Arena to root for the Boise State basketball team, which takes on Jackson State at 8 p.m. Friday.
5. Say goodbye to the Piper
After almost 30 years, The Piper Pub & Grill is closing at 150 N. 8th St. in Downtown Boise. It’s a sad story, but all good things come to an end. The bar’s most recent owners, who ran it for a decade, are throwing a three-day Piper Pub farewell bash through Saturday with drink specials, live music and lots of reminiscing.