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Columbia Digest

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'The Nutcracker on Ice'

The Columbia Figure Skating Club, featuring more than 80 performers, presents this holiday event at 5:30 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at the Columbia Ice Rink, 5876 Thunder Hill Road. Tickets are $12; free for ages 2 and younger. Information: 410-730-0322.

Community sing-along

The Jewish Federation of Howard County hosts a Chanukah Zimriyah at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, the first full day of Hanukkah, at Oakland Mills Meeting House, 5885 Robert Oliver Place. Songs will be led and taught by community cantors, and lyrics will be projected on a big screen. Cookies and refreshments will be served. Dietary laws will be observed. The event is followed by a menorah lighting at 4 p.m. at the south entrance of Centennial Park. Information: 410-730-4090.

Lecture

Shalom Cohen, the former Israeli ambassador to Egypt, delivers a lecture "Israel and the Arab World: A View from the Front Line" at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, at Beth Shalom Congregation, 8070 Harriet Tubman Lane. Free. Information: 410-531-5115.

Bird club meeting

Matt Perry of the Patuxent National Wildlife Refuge makes a presentation, "Atlantic Seabird Project: From Chesapeake Bay to Hudson Bay," at the monthly meeting of the Howard County Bird Club at 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13, at Robinson Nature Center, 6692 Cedar Lane. Information: 410-313-0400.

Public speaking

The Patuxent Toastmasters Club meets twice a month to give participants a chance to practice public speaking and leadership skills. A meeting will be held from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20, at Oliver's Carriage House, 5410 Leaf Treader Way. Information: patuxenttoastmasters.org.

'Holidays'

An exhibition featuring the works of Susan Feller, Karen Gray, Ingrid Cowan Hass, Elizabeth Kosterich, Joyce Ritter and Rhona LK Schonwald is on view through Jan. 5 in the Meeting House Gallery, Oakland Mills Interfaith Center, 5885 Robert Oliver Place. Information: 410-730-4090 or themeetinghouse.org.

Dance classes

The Long Reach Community Association offers Chicago-style stepping classes for adults from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays. Stepping offers fellowship opportunities while exercising to music. Information: 410-730-8113.

Singles social group

The Phoenix Cultural Singles Group, a Columbia social group for those 50 and older, meets from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Sundays at the Oakland Mills Interfaith Center, 5885 Robert Oliver Place in the Oakland Mills Village Center. Coffee, tea and a light snack are served. The group plans events and trips. Information: 410-997-0739.

Around town

English conversation The Howard County Library, 10375 Little Patuxent Parkway, offers Let's Get Together: English Conversation Club. The club offers an opportunity for those for whom English is a second language to practice speaking and understanding English in a group setting. It meets at 9:30 a.m. Mondays and 7:30 p.m. Thursdays. Register with the library before your first meeting. Information: 410-313-7850.

Wii Club The Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks offers a Wii Club for those 55 and older from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesdays at the Bain Center, 5470 Ruth Keeton Way. The first game is free. Information: 410-313-7213.

Single Again Changing Focus Single Again, a nonprofit program for adults who are separated, widowed or in the process of divorce, provides weekly presentations and small-group discussions in a confidential, comfortable atmosphere. The group meets at 7 p.m. Mondays at First Presbyterian Church, 9325 Presbyterian Circle. An orientation for new members is offered at 6:30 p.m. Information: changingfocus.org.

Chair yoga The East Columbia 50+ Center at the East Columbia branch of the Howard County Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way, offers chair yoga, an easy introduction to yoga that eases the pain of arthritis, reduces fatigue, and improves circulation and breathing, at 9:30 a.m. Tuesdays. Reservations: 410-313-7680.

Also at the 50+ Center

•Age Well Exercise classes with Joyce DiTomaso will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Cost for an eight-week session is $35.

•A belly dance class will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesdays. Learn hip movements, stretches, arm and hand techniques, and veil dancing. First class is free, then a monthly fee.

•A yoga class is offered at 11 a.m. Mondays and 2 p.m. Tuesdays. The cost is $24 per month.

•A chess club for novice and veteran players meets at 1 p.m. Thursdays. Free.

•View newly released DVD movies on a large screen at 7 p.m. Thursdays. Free.

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