Hot Picks: Seasonal fun, from movies to shopping to running

Santa visits Petco from 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, 3090 Mountain View Drive.
Courtesy PETCO
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is playing at the Regal Tikahtnu.
Courtesy RffTrax
The Anchorage Concert Chorus will perform at the holiday tree-lighting on Town Square on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.
Marc Lester

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

The Martians kidnap Santa because there is nobody on Mars to give their children presents in this 1964 science-fiction film, which regularly appears on lists of the worst films ever made. For this engagement, RiffTrax (the stars of "Mystery Science Theater 3000") will provide their observations throughout the film. Go if you enjoy cheesy sci-fi and even cheesier commentary. Tickets $10.50-$12.50. 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, Regal Tikahtnu, 1102 N. Muldoon Road and Century 16, 301 E. 36th Ave.

Santa Paws

Do you ever wish your pooch could be in the family Christmas photo? This Saturday, Petco will be hosting "Santa Paws" -- a photo opportunity for you, your furry friends and Santa Claus. 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, at Petco (3090 Mountain View Drive). Pictures will be emailed so you can make your own prints, cards, etc. Girl Scout Troop 765 will be stuffing holiday stockings for dogs. Suggested donation is $15.

Black Friday

Black Friday, Nov. 29, may be the most under-appreciated event of the holiday season. Sure, you can line up the night before and muscle your way through the department stores if that's your thing, but you can also spend it sitting around drinking hot cocoa in your PJs, dreaming up Christmas lists online. Or you can refrain from spending a penny and feel extra smug about buying nothing, regardless of your purchasing habits the rest of the year. No matter how you spend it, this is truly the official kick-off to the Christmas season. Enjoy!

Tree-lighting Ceremony

If your belly isn't too full of leftovers and you're not too exhausted from combat shopping, bundle up and head to Town Square the day after Thanksgiving for Anchorage Downtown Partnership's holiday tree-lighting ceremony. There will be free cookies, hot cocoa, live music, Santa and his reindeer and the lighting of the Holiday Tree. It all begins at 5:20 p.m. Friday. See for details.

Skinny Raven Turkey Trot

This second annual 5K running event will raise funds for the Food Bank of Alaska and also help send high school runners to the Foot Locker Regional Meet in California. Burn off some calories before Thanksgiving dinner. 11 a.m.-noon Thursday, Skinny Raven, 800 H St. $35. See for details.