5 Things To Do Today: Guided snowshoe walk, Deck the Walls, ZooLights, trivia night ...

By Volcano Staff on December 19, 2011

MONDAY, DEC. 19, 2011 >>>

1. Oh yes, it is winter. Instead of allowing your hostility toward cold and snow and Mother Nature build and build (a destructive practice that may surely only result in tragedy, namely the increased proliferation of strip malls and other nature-defying-structures across our fair South Sound), make your peace. Experience the beauty of nature during the colder months. Join a park ranger to learn the art of snowshoeing and discover how plants, animals, and people adapt to the challenging winter conditions at Mount Rainier. Snowshoe walks daily at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.

2. Only six more shopping days left ... so begins the jolliest (and undeniably the most stressful) time of the year. Especially these days, with the economy wallowing in the shitter. Santa has local gift ideas for your mom/aunt/significant other/sibling/bus driver/favorite local vagrant/bossman/whomever over on his Santa Says Blog.

3. Tired of boring old posters on your living space walls? The folks at State of the Arts Gallery in Olympia, which specializes in selling art created by Northwest and regional artists, has some interesting alternatives as part of its 20th Annual Deck The Walls & More show, which is open today from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. - normally close don Mondays.

4. You're sick and tired of driving through the neighborhood looking at the homes of people who think they deserve an award for their light displays. You deserve to take a night to go see ZooLights at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. Billed as the region's biggest walk-through light show, ZooLights includes animated light sculptures, live entertainment, snacks, animal encounters and the Paul Titus Carousel. While enjoying your stroll, be thankful you're not in charge of this holiday light display. The lights flip on at 5 p.m.

5. From 6-8 p.m. host Jeff Ross tosses out random trivia questions about movies, sports, news and geography to teams of players at the Mandolin Café - while students study in the corner, ladies knit and that one guy dozes next to the fire. The winning team of each round - six total - receives a bowl of candy. The overall winning team scores a free drink, which means beer and wine.

PLUS: Sing-along "Messiah" in Olympia

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: live music and DJs tonight