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Family events
For the week of Dec. 9-15
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This week

Reading with TJ the Dog, Flowery Branch. Call if you plan to attend. 10 a.m. today, Mulberry Creek Community Center, 4491 JM Turk Road, Flowery Branch. 770-965-7140.

Festival of Trees, Helen. Bid on trees and wreaths decorated by residents and business owners. Through Friday, Unicoi State Park, 1788 Ga. 356, Helen. Free. 800-573-9659, ext. 305.

Toy drive and open house, Gainesville. Bring an unwrapped toy for a child between birth and 18 years. Benefits the Court Appointed Special Advocate Program. Noon to 3 p.m. Friday, The Little House, 603 Washington St., Gainesville.

  Christmas Tree Lighting, Blairsville. Santa Claus, hot chocolate, cider and cookies; hayrides, bonfires and the lighting of a live 30-foot blue spruce. Bring a blanket and chair. 4-6:45 p.m. Saturday, Vogel State Park, 405 Vogel State Park Road, Blairsville. Admission is one unwrapped gift for a child age 0-12. No toy guns, knives or dangerous items. Benefits the Give-A-Gift toy drive of the Union County Sherrif's Department. 706-745-2628.

Nacoochee Village Christmas, Helen. Live music, hot chocolate, snacks and photos with Santa. Prize drawing. Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nacoochee Village, 7272 S. Main St., Helen. Free. 706-878-1234.

Breakfast with Santa, Cumming. Santa will arrive by helicopter. Photo and goody bag. 8 and 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Good Shepherd Catholic Church, 3740 Holtzclaw Road, Cumming. $6 adults, $4 kids, $1 age 1 and younger. 770-887-9861, ext. 21.

Pancakes with Santa, Gainesville. Eat breakfast, make a craft and get your photo taken with Santa. 10 a.m. Saturday, East Hall Community Center, 3911 P. Davison Road, Gainesville. $6. Preregistration required. 770-535-8280.

Family Day, Gainesville. Photos with Santa, music by Enota Multiple Intelligences Academy Choir and Gainesville High School Crimson Chorus, Christmas crafts and food. 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Northeast Georgia History Center, 322 Academy St. NE, Gainesville. 770-297-5900 or


Active Generation holiday get-together, Flowery Branch. Bring a side dish to share and a $5 wrapped gift for Bingo. For ages 55 and older. Reservations required. 11:30 a.m. Dec. 16, Mulberry Creek Community Center, 4491 JM Turk Road, Flowery Branch. 770-965-7140.

Pancakes with Santa, Flowery Branch. Make crafts, get photos with Santa. 10 a.m. Dec. 18. Reservations due by Friday. Mulberry Creek Community Center, 4491 JM Turk Road, Flowery Branch. $6 per child. 770-535-8280.


Story times, Hall County. Children can listen to stories, sometimes read by special guests. Various days and times at libraries in the Hall County Library System. Free.

"Waters of Time: The Chicopee Woods Story," Gainesville. Learn about previous eras and inhabitants of Chicopee Woods. 10 a.m. to p.m. Monday-Saturdays. Elachee Nature Science Center, 2125 Elachee Drive, Gainesville. $5 adults, $3 children age 2-12; age 1 and younger and members free. 770-535-1976.

Photos with Santa, Buford. Through Dec. 24. Santa available daily. Hours and prices vary. Nordstrom Court, Mall of Georgia, 3333 Buford Drive, Buford. 678-482-8788.