Move over , Rockefeller Center. "Winter Wonderland" is Edinburgh's outdoor ice rink in East Princes Street Gardens against a backdrop of Edinburgh Castle. The opening gala on Thursday at 5 p.m. features ice dancing by professionals and amateurs from the United Kingdom. Public skating starts Friday, and when you need a break from your spins and jumps, there's a Christmas fair, rides for children, food, and mulled wine. Daily starting at 10 a.m. Adults $16, children ages 7-16 $14, under 7 $8 (includes skate rental).
East Princes Street Gardens. gildedballoon.co.uk/wonderland.
Christmas started in July for members of Origami USA . That's when they began folding paper in the shapes of lions, tigers, bears, elephants, giraffes, and camels for the holiday tree at the American Museum of Natural History. Five hundred creatures hang from the "Origami Safari" tree, and volunteers will be teaching the art of origami folding. Check out the two 19-foot Holiday Barosaurs at the museum's main entrance . These whimsical dinosaurs are made of stainless steel and covered with pine boughs and lights. Daily 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Adults $14, students and seniors $10.50, children ages 2-12 $8.
American Museum of Natural History, 79th Street and Central Park West. 212-769-5100. amnh.org.
What does it take to be a world champion Santa Claus? Do you have to be the fastest man down the chimney or eat the most cookies? At this 6th annual event near the borders of Austria and Italy, 16 teams compete in chimney climbing (with bags of gifts on their backs, of course), sprinting, gingerbread decorating, donkey trekking, and scooter racing (cookie eating doesn't seem to be on the list). The top three teams win cash prizes, and the winning team takes the world title. Festivities start at noon. Free.
To win the first- prize money and have your picture in the local paper in this colonial city in southeastern Mexico, all you have to do is carve radishes creatively . The tradition began in the 19th century when vegetable vendors created radish designs to compete for customers shopping for dinner after midnight Mass . For this annual competition and exhibit, radishes are transformed into saints, Nativity scenes, animals, dancers, and villages. Unlike the small radishes we put in salads, these are up to 2 feet long, weigh up to 10 pounds, and have contorted shapes and twisted roots. Free.
Events sometimes are canceled, rescheduled, or sold out; call or check online to confirm. Contact June Wulff at email@example.com.