In celebration of the release of “The Force Awakens,” the latest movie in one of the most famous sagas in cinematic history, which premiered in Costa Rican on Dec. 17, fans of Star Wars from all over Costa Rica will get together for a four-day festival. Activities include Jedi training, photos with movie characters, exhibits, talks, film screenings, contests, and music, along with animatronic characters.
“StarFest” takes place Dec. 17 – 20 at Avenida Escazú. 2 p.m. – 10 p.m. Free. More info: Event’s Facebook page.
Star Wars Concert
To add to the Star Wars celebrations, the Cartago Orchestra will offer a concert featuring the best of Star Wars soundtracks, including “Main Theme of Star Wars,” “The Phantom Menace,” “Anakin’s Theme,” “Imperial March,” “Princess Leia’s Theme,” and “Star Wars Final Theme.” The concert will be the closing event of the StarFest described above.
“Concierto Star Wars” will be performed Dec. 20 at Avenida Escazú. 6 p.m. Free. More info: Star Fest Facebook page.
The last festival of the year of the Natural Market will offer yoga classes, meditation, belly dance workshops, a hoop workshop, henna tattoos, face painting, live music, a theater workshop, food sales, and veggie picnics.
“Festival del Solsticio” takes place Dec. 20 at Mercado Natural de Curridabat, at La Lía School. 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Free. More info: Event Facebook page.
Ballet: “Sleeping Beauty” and “Five Weeks in a Balloon”
Step Up Dance Academy presents a show with more than 100 dancers from the age of 3 on up, featuring the “Sleeping Beauty” ballet and an interpretation of Jules Verne’s “Five Weeks in a Balloon.”
“La Bella Durmiente, y Cinco Semanas en un Globo” will be performed Dec. 19 at the National Auditorium, Children’s Museum, San José. 8 p.m. ₡15,000 ($30). More info: Event Facebook page.
More than 100 cities along the continent will be connected at the same time through meditation as a call for peace. The main purpose of the event is to promote human welfare and a non-violent world, and to contribute to world peace. It is an activity for the whole family, and no experience is required.
“América Medita” takes place Dec. 19 at Feria Verde, Polideportivo Aranjuez, San José. 11:30 a.m. Free. More info: Event Facebook page.
Christmas Activities for Children
Home-made Christmas cards workshop: Plasticola, Resistol y Articolor are joining forces so children can make unique christmas cards. Dec. 19 at Mango Plaza, Alajuela. 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Cookies Workshop: Don Mayo Coffee Shop will teach children how to make Christmas cookies, Dec. 19 at Mango Plaza, Alajuela. 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Balloon Sunday: Balloon twisting, face painting, and other activities. Dec. 20 at Avenida Escazú, Escazú. 12 noon – 2 p.m.
Pics with Santa: Santa Claus will be at Plaza Bratsi to take pictures with children. Dec. 19 at Plaza Bratsi, Heredia. 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Year-End Event for Casa Frida
Casa Frida wraps up 2015 with a big party featuring special guest band Rockalila, along with other musicians, live painting with Diego Furnier, a circus performance, and an afterparty. Traditional Christmas fruit punch is on the house.
“Cierre de año Casa Frida” takes place Dec. 19 at Casa Frida, San José. 7 p.m. Free. More info: Casa Frida Facebook page.
Ice Hockey Classes
During December, a temporary outdoor ice rink has been built in La Sabana Park. On Satudays and Sundays, there will be ice hockey classes for people of all ages; for experienced players, games are being organized a few nights a week at 10 p.m.
“Clases de hockey” will take place throughout December on Saturdays and Sundays at Huawei Ice Rink, La Sabana Park, San JOsé. 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Classes are included in the skate rental fee. A ticket good for 30 minutes on the rink costs ₡3,000 (about $6) for children and ₡6,000 ($12) for adults. More info, or to sign up for games: [email protected].
During the fair people will enjoy rides, theater plays, puppets, concerts, sports, food, and more. Entrance and most of the attractions are free; some cost ₡500 – 1,000 ($1 – 2).
“Family Fair Costa Rica” takes place Dec. 17 – 20 at Centro de Eventos Pedregal, Belén, west of San José. ₡3,000 ($6). Children under 10 get in for free. More info: Event Facebook page.
Art Exhibit: “Take Out My Eyes”
A group of artists wanting to find a alternative approach to the material world have created an art exhibit including photographs, books, paintings and other objects. During the activity there will be a pop-up bar and live acoustic music by Christina Cleveland, Paola Rogue, Psj, The King Of, Emma Brott, Nanuka Pituka, and Daniela Orozco.
“Quitame los ojos” takes place Dec. 19 at Talentum Art Gallery, San José. 7 p.m. ₡4,000 ($8). More info: Talentum Art Gallery Facebook page.
Artisanal Christmas Market
The artisanal market of Distrito 4 turns into a Christmas market filled with hundreds of gifts options for the holidays.
“Mercado Navideño Artesanal” takes place Dec. 19 at 10:30 a.m., and Dec. 20 at 5 p.m. At Distrito 4, Escazú. Free. More info: Event Facebook page.
International Film Festival
Approximately 45 films from all around the world will be screened at this year’s festival. Locations include the Magaly Theater, 1887 Theater, La Aduana Theater, and National Cultural Center (CENAC) Amphitheater, from Dec. 11-18. Check out the whole program here.
“Festival Internacional de Cine” takes place Dec. 10 – 18 at various theaters around San José. ₡1,000 – 1,500 ($2 – 3), free for seniors. More info: Festival Internacional de Cine Facebook page. Buy your tickets here.
Art Exhibit: “Under the Sun”
U.S. artist Cher Compton will unveil her latest exhibit, “Bajo el sol,” at Guanacaste’s Hidden Garden Art Gallery. Her paintings reflect the beauty of the simple elements that characterize Costa Rican life.
“Bajo el sol” will be exhibited Dec. 12 – Feb. 5 at Hidden Garden Art Gallery, 5 km west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport, Liberia, Guanacaste. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Free. More info: 2667-0592/8386-6872.
Just in time for your holiday shopping, the annual Tropical Market returns with the best from Costa Rican artisans. Artwork, crafts, natural cosmetics, gourmet products, independent publications, local food products, and more.
“Mercado Tropical” takes place Dec. 18 – 20 at Mercado Antiguo, Ciudad Colón. 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Free. More info: Mercado Tropical Facebook page.
A Christmas play by famous Costa Rican puppeteer Juan Cuentacuentos, “Gangoche Christmas” describes a humble but hopeful Christmas Eve.
“Navidad de Gangoche” takes place Dec. 18, 19, 20, 22, and 23. ₡7,000 ($14). At La Fortuna Theater, Paseo de las Flores, Heredia. More info: 2560-7777.
The Municipal School of Integrated Arts (EMAI) will offer Chritmas concerts with its Youth Orchestra, Intermediate Orchestra and Lyric Choir.
“Conciertos navideños” will be performed Dec. 19 at the Church of La Cruz, Guanacaste, 7 p.m.; Dec. 20 at the Cathedral of Liberia, Guanacaste, at 11 a.m.; and Dec. 24 at the Church of Santa Ana, 8 p.m. Free. More info: EMAI Website.
Christmas concert: Alta Las Palomas Hotel will feature live music including jazz and a Christmas special. Dec. 19 – 20 at Restaurant La Luz & Bar. 7 p.m. More info: Alta Las Palomas Hotel Website.
World Music Night: World music bands Akiria and Peregrino Gris will play together for the first time. Dec. 18 at El Sótano. 9 p.m. ₡4,000 ($8). More info: 2221-2302.
Infibeat: Funk rock band Infibeat will be giving a year-end concert. Dec. 18 at MundoLoco El Chante. 11 p.m. ₡4,000 ($8). More info: 2253-4125.
Zarpe 2015: A year-end part opens with musical selections by Fo León, followed by live music by Colornoise, Malas Palabras, SEKA, Adaptados, Niño Koi, and Monte, along with local food and skateboarding contests. Dec. 19 at Nasional Skate & Surf. 12 noon. ₡3,000 ($6). More info: 2222-3536.
Subterranean Christmas: Jazz concert with various artists to celebrate Christmas. Dec. 22 at El Sótano. 9 p.m. ₡3,000 ($6). More info: 2221-2302.