Trenton Doyle Hancock's site-specific work Moments in Mound History is the multimedia artist's metaphorical battle against something he calls "the Mound" -- a beast that's part animal, part vegetable. Really, it's just an excuse to explore various cultural and elemental aspects of Hancock's life, using wallpaper, watercolors, drawings, etchings, and paintings. He's built a whole mythology (complete with recurring characters, such as Torpedo Boy and the Vegans), combining comic books, fake fur, and his own African American background for wholly original pieces. Moments in Mound History is at the Cleveland Museum of Art (11150 East Boulevard) through April 4. Admission is free. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (closed Mondays). Call 216-421-7340 for more information.
Friday, December 19
Trains and Christmas belong together, just like Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. And Connotton Valley Railway's Sleigh Ride Express, an 80-minute trek though Bedford, is one of the area's most serene rides. It's best when traveling through a snowy winter wonderland, but Santa's presence on each and every choo-choo guarantees a jolly time, no matter what the weather. The Sleigh Ride Express runs through December 27 at the Connotton Valley Railway, 33-1/2 South Park Street in Bedford. It departs at 7 and 9 p.m. Friday and 5, 7, and 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $7.50, $5 for kids, and free for children 2 and under. Call 440-232-7505 for more information.
Saturday, December 20
Today's A Winter's Pond: Is Anybody There? program is a trip down to the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center's creek. That's where you'll drag your net through the water in search of cold, wet critters (expect tadpoles and salamanders). "This will be quite the mystery hour," says Jenny Ewashinka, program educator. "The plan is to head out to the backyard pond in search of invertebrates, insects, and small amphibians. Once we retrieve our findings, we'll head to the classroom and be pond detectives, discovering what lives beyond the cold." Dip into Winter's Pond from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, 28728 Wolf Road in Bay Village. Admission is free. Call 440-871-2900 for more information.
Calling all tuba players: The 24th annual TubaChristmas happens today, and all horn-blowers are invited to participate. "People expect it to be very loud," says the excellently named Tucker Jolly, who conducts. "But it isn't. It's a very dark, warm sound." More than 500 tubas gather annually for the event, which includes holiday fixin's (like tinsel, garland, and lights) and audience-fueled sing-alongs. "When you put that many players holding brass instruments onstage with lights, it's quite a spectacle," Jolly says. "The whole idea is to have a good time." If you wanna play, bring your tuba to the Akron Civic Theatre at 8:30 a.m. for registration and a brief practice session. TubaChristmas is performed at noon and 2:30 p.m. at the Akron Civic Theatre, 182 South Main Street in Akron. Admission is free. Call 330-972-7570 for more info.
Sunday, December 21
In the Spanish film import Km.O (Kilometer Zero), 14 disparate people make plans to hook up at 6 p.m. at the titular spot. And much hooking up happens in the breezy 2000 film; it's just that most of the coupling is accidental. The characters -- a prostitute, a budding filmmaker, a male escort, and a gay flamenco dancer, among them -- get into situations (a mother thinks she's just had sex with the son she abandoned years ago, an aspiring actress throws herself underneath the wheels of a director's moving car, a bride-to-be is robbed three times in one afternoon) that ultimately connect and converge. It's a playful romp that never takes the sex at its center very seriously. Km.O is at the Cleveland Cinematheque (11141 East Boulevard) at 4 p.m. Admission is $8, $5 for members. Call 216-421-7450 for more information.
Monday, December 22
Here's one of your last opportunities to take in a seasonal concert: A Holiday Celebration of Organ and Brass tackles Bach, Bizet, and Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker, as well as a bunch of traditional numbers, such as "Angels We Have Heard on High," "Sleigh Ride," and "O Come All Ye Faithful." Organist Todd Wilson rocks the house with Burning River Brass. Sing-alongs are planned, too, so get your own pipes in order. A Holiday Celebration of Organ and Brass happens at 8 p.m. tonight and tomorrow at Severance Hall, 11001 Euclid Avenue. Tickets range from $22 to $50, available by calling 216-231-1111.
Tuesday, December 23
Baron Davis and the New Orleans Hornets are in town tonight for a game against the Cavaliers. And yes, the Cavs still suck -- but in exciting and unpredictable new ways each night. Plus, LeBron will be there. Cleveland lost by 10 points when they met the Hornets a month ago in New Orleans. Let's see if they can bring it within five points tonight. Tip-off is at 7 at Gund Arena, 100 Gateway Plaza. Tickets range from $10 to $65. They are available by calling 216-241-2121.
Wednesday, December 24
Tomorrow's Christmas Day, so it's a little too late to order that iPod online. And face it, all the good gifts are probably picked over by this point. If you didn't snag that Bratz Formal Funk Runway Disco with Nevra Doll three weeks ago, chances are pretty slim you're gonna stumble across one at the mall today. But you're sure to find something good, original, and, best of all, cheap at the Low Dough Holiday Show at Nimbis art gallery. A bunch of local artists -- including Scott Radke, Scott Pickering, and Blythe Pavone -- contribute paintings, sculptures, glasswork, and jewelry. And it sure beats settling for last year's Yu-Gi-Oh! cards or a Nintendo GameCube. The show runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Nimbis, 1836 West 25th Street. Admission is free. For more information, call 216-402-8104.