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    The Polar Express (operated by Cape Cod Central Railroad).
    Nick Thomas
    The Polar Express (operated by Cape Cod Central Railroad).

    Catch the Express

    THE POLAR EXPRESS For one hour and 15 minutes you can ride the Polar Express (operated by the Cape Cod Central Railroad) to the North Pole while sipping hot chocolate, eating cookies, and listening to a reading of Chris Van Allsburg’s “The Polar Express.” Say hi to the characters from the movie when they pass through the train. Nov. 23 at 4:10 and 7 p.m. (Buzzards Bay); 3:45, 6, and 8:15 p.m. (Hyannis). Through Dec. 30 (closed mondays, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day). $29-$59, $24-$49 ages 2-12. 888-797-7245.

    June Wulff


    POLAR EXPRESS MODEL TRAIN AND QUILTED VILLAGE A smaller Polar Express arrives at the New England Quilt Museum where it winds its way through a landscaped quilted village of houses, churches, and shops. Nov. 24 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (through Dec. 29). $7, $5 students and seniors, free under 6. New England Quilt Museum, 18 Shattuck St., Lowell. 978-452-4207.

    PLAY DATES AT THE ICA The Institute of Contemporary Art isn’t just about new stuff. At this family outing you’ll do some virtual time traveling by watching films from then and now at “Times Are A-Changing.” Screenings include “Alitas” and “Red’s Dream.” Nov. 24 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free (up to two adults with kids 6-12.). Institute of Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Ave., Boston. 617-478-3100.


    BOSTON CHILDREN’S MUSEUM Young singers join forces with the Handel & Haydn Society Singers who lead kids, ages 6-12, in seasonal tunes. Nov. 25 at 2:15 and 2:45 p.m. (museum is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m.). Free with admission of $14, free under 12 months. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 617-426-6500.



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    THANKSGIVING AT AVILA MODERN MEDITERRANEAN Why tucker yourself out and dirty the kitchen when you can sit at a table and let executive chef Rodney Murillo do all the work? In addition to the regular dinner menu, special Thanksgiving additions include Vermont free-range organic turkey, glazed carrots, and cranberry-apple chutney. Nov. 22 from noon-8 p.m. $47, $15 under age 12. Avila Modern Mediterranean, 1 Charles Street South, Boston. 617-267-4810.

    HOLIDAY SALE AT GROPIUS HOUSE Walter Gropius founded of the German design school called Bauhaus. He designed his Lincoln home when he came to Massachusetts to teach at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. The museum shop is stocked with goodies and guided tours are available on the hour. Nov. 23-25 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free admission to the sale. Gropius House, 68 Baker Bridge Road, Lincoln. 781-259-8098.

    LIGHTING OF HARVARD SQUARE HOLIDAY TREES Bring the family to Harvard Square to help decorate trees (4 p.m.), hear the Santa Claus Jazz Band (5-6:30 p.m.), and meet the jolly old chap himself and watch the tree lighting (5:30 p.m.). Nov. 24 at 4 p.m. Free (complimentary beverages and cookies from Henrietta’s Table; bring an unwrapped toy or gift for the Home for Little Wanderers). The Charles Hotel, 1 Bennett St., Cambridge. 617-491-3434.

    JAZZ COUTURE This feast for the senses comes with jazz from Dr. Stanley Sagov and his Remembering the Future Jazz Band and a fashion show. Zimbabwean fashion designer Blessing “Bless” Mazarura and Corbu Spa & Salon hair and makeup stylist Vincent Cox will outfit and design hair and makeup for fashion models who will walk the walk accompanied by Dr. Sagov’s band. Nov. 24 at 7:30 and 10 p.m. $30, $25 (10 p.m.). Regattabar at the Charles Hotel, 1 Bennett St., Cambridge. 617-395-7757.


    Correction: An earlier version of this story had the incorrect starting date for the Polar Express.