Five things to do this weekend: Nov. 26-27
Annual Tree Lighting at The Charles Hotel from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Free.
This family event – complete with a visit from Santa – includes free Shake Shack hot chocolate, Henrietta’s Table cookies and live jazz to enjoy as children help decorate trees with ornaments and bow ties. As a benefit to Cradles to Crayons, participants are asked to bring new hats, gloves and baby coats to donate. Information is here.
Thanksgiving Comedy from 7 to 8:15 p.m. Saturday at ImprovBoston, 40 Prospect St., Central Square. Tickets are $12.
The brilliant Emma Willmann (though she left New England for New York a while back, you may be familiar with her from her occasional visit or “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”) will perform along with Carmen Lagala, Katie Que, Annie Russell and more. The show is expected to sell out, so don’t rely on buying tickets at the door. Information is here.
Community Ice Skating @ Kendall Square from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Outdoor Ice Rink at 300 Athenaeum St. Admission is $5 for adults and $1 for children 13 and younger. (Skate rentals are $8 and $5, respectively.)
The city’s seasonal outdoor ice skating rink opens for the season Sunday, along with a cafe serving hot drinks and snacks. Information is here.
Monkeying Around with “Journey to the West” at 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Central Square Theater, 450 Massachusetts Ave., followed by a free talk from 4 to 5 p.m. Tickets are $16 to $61.
An adaptation of a beloved comic Chinese novel, “Journey to the West” has whimsy, delight and a combination of comedy, adventure and satire mixed in a mystical dreamscape filled with beauty – a worthy follow-up to the theater’s “Arabian Nights.” After telling the story of a monk traveling from China to India in search of spiritual enlightenment and Buddhist scriptures, cast and crew will stay around after this Sunday matinee to let audience members climb to the top of Flower Fruit Mountain, explore the stage and learn some monkey chants. (Others can stop in as well for free at 4 p.m., but seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.) Information is here.
Lizard Lounge Poetry Slam Team from 7:30 p.m Sunday to 1 a.m. Monday at The Lizard Lounge, 1667 Massachusetts Ave., between Harvard and Porter squares. Admission is $7.
Wrap up the weekend with a stellar crew of spoken-word artists: Harlym 1Two5, out of New York, a speaker on diversity and pluralism and crisis mediator; Jeannie Nunes, of Boston poetry ensemble the Society of Urban Poetry; Art Collins, a Boston Public School educator and co-host of the Lizard Lounge Poetry Slam venue; Lexi Wight, artistic director of Catalyst Stage; and Cambridge’s Wallace Coar Live, who has performed his poetry nationwide. The team’s performance will be followed by live jazz and a poetry jam, in which open mic poets are backed by the band. Information is here.