The weekend begins Thursday at Real Art Ways with its monthly Creative Cocktail soiree from 6 to 10 p.m. Hartford’s Markie Gee is the DJ for the night. The evening also includes a recap of the very best YouTube had to offer in 2013. A new exhibit, The Shadow of the Palm is Deep by StepUp artist Austin Ballard will also be featured. Information: realartways.org
Thanks to The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., The Mark Twain House & Museum is offering free tours to Hartford residents Saturday. City residents only have to bring along proof of residency to take that long-planned tour of Mark Twain’s house, which is decorated for the holidays. The museum is open 9:30-5:30; last tour at 4:30. Information: marktwainhouse.org
Some celebrity in town performing this weekend, too. Devon Allman, son of famed rock/blues singer Gregg Allman, will be the featured talent at Black -eyed Sally’s Saturday at 9 p.m. $12 cover. Information: blackeyedsallys.com
Thinking about eating out? You might want to consider Hartford and enjoy a trolley ride.
Several restaurants are among the stops as part of this year’s holiday trolley that runs between Keeney Memorial Cultural Center in Olde Wethersfield and Bushnell Park in Hartford.
Trolleys provide the free, continuous back-and-forth rides on Friday and Saturdays from 4 to 11 p.m. with stops at Costa Del Sol, Carbone’s, Casa Mia and Andreas, Mozzicato’s and Francesco’s, J Restaurant/Bar and Bushnell Park where Winterfest is underway. On New Year’s Eve, transportation will be available from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. The route takes about 30 minutes.
Looking for some on-stage inspiration when it comes to Christmas? Take your pick. Hartford Stage is featuring its annual production of “A Christmas Carol” (hartfordstage.org) through Dec. 28.
Or you can take in the CONNetic Dance’s Nutcracker Suite & Spicy production at The Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford Friday or Saturday at 8 p.m. or Sunday at 2 p.m. This Hartford holiday tradition is a quirky and fun take on the holiday ballet classic and includes athletic dance forms including tap, jazz, and hip hop and seasoned with their signature sense of humor. Information: 860-251-9194 or www.conneticdance.com