Whether you're ready to drop some big bills this holiday season, or you've decided to prolong Buy Nothing Day through the end of the year, First Thursday has plenty of pretty shiny things to keep you amused. Here's BW's go-to guide for how to make the most of your December First Thursday, two ways.
Hip Holiday Shopper:
5:30 p.m.--Ballet Idaho (501 S. Eighth St., 208-343-0556, balletidaho.org). Before your arms are burdened with shopping bags, twirl into Ballet Idaho and fill up on hot cider and cookies with the cast of The Nutcracker. You can catch a special performance of Nutcracker for the Curious at 5:30 p.m. and then strut your sugarplum self over to the Ballet Idaho Nutcracker Boutique to browse mouse king- and marzipan-themed trinkets.
6:15 p.m.--Brown's Gallery (408 S. Eighth St., 208-342-6661, brownsgallery.com). If you want to knock a couple of your artsy aunts off your shopping list, stop by Brown's Gallery to peruse a selection of reasonably priced bronze and ceramic pieces, oil paintings and jewelry. And there's even some pieces made from antlers for that hard-to-please cousin.
6:45 p.m.--Berryhill and Co. (121 N. Ninth St., 208-387-3553, berryhillandco.com). Now that you've procured a couple presents for your pals, get all bourgeoise at Berryhill with free champagne and cake. Hayden Beverage will pour samples of holiday bubbles and Chef John Berryhill will roll out some sweet and savory cake pops.
7 p.m.--Fancy Pants (825 W. Idaho St., 208-345-3339, fancypantstyle.wordpress.com). With your champagne buzz in full swing, clatter over to Fancy Pants for more holiday decadence at the clothing store's fifth-anniversary party. Scan brands like Rebecca Taylor and Rag & Bone while sipping a wintery five-spice cocktail and snacking on celebratory treats. And don't miss the Fancy Pants discount--draw five numbers from a bowl and the grand total is the amount you'll receive off your purchase.
7:30 p.m.--Artisans For Hope (Hoff Building Lobby, 802 W. Bannock St., artisans4hope.org). If you want to spend your holiday bucks on an original scarf, hat or felted bag hand-crafted by a local refugee, head over to Artisans 4 Hope in the Hoff Building. Artisans 4 Hope "assists local refugees in developing the skill base, language acquisition and competence to successfully integrate into their new community."
8 p.m.--Boise Massage Matters (816 W. Bannock St., lower level, 208-315-0072, facebook.com/boisemassage). If all that shopping and cocktail sipping has you feeling wiped out, stop into Boise Massage Matters for a free chair massage. And while you're waiting for your rubdown, check out new work from painter Cody Rutty.
Bohemian on a Budget:
5 p.m.--Goldy's Corner (625 W. Main St., 208-433-3934, goldysbreakfastbistro.com). Jay O'Leary, from the bright purple-and-green tat shop Spit Shade on Sixth Street, is bringing his inky skills to Goldy's Corner this First Thursday. O'Leary, aka Captain Toofless, will showcase new artwork alongside his recently published book, Cute Things Happen in Toofless Ways.
5:30 p.m.--Trip Taylor (210 N. 10th St., 208-344-3311). After you've soaked in your fill of tat art, shuffle over to Trip Taylor for an open mic poetry sesh. Trip Taylor himself will serenade finger-snappers with a rendition of an Allen Ginsberg poem and give a short talk on censorship. You can read stanzas from your own scribbled masterpieces or simply recite brief passages of someone else's brilliance.
6 p.m.--Basement Gallery (928 W. Main St., 208-333-0309, basementgalleryboise.com). With your inner poet sated, now it's time to dive deep into the underground. Basement Gallery's annual winter show features work from cutting-edge local artists like Veiko Valencia, Goran Fazil and Grant Olsen. You can also bid on an array of silent auction ornaments designed by local luminaries like Bill Carman, Erin Ruiz and Molly Hill. All silent auction proceeds will benefit Life's Kitchen.
6:30 p.m.--Jack's Urban Meeting Place (Ninth Street between Front and Myrtle streets, jacksurbanmeetingplace.org). If you want to be the first of your friends to jump on the Jack's Urban Meeting Place bandwagon, make sure to swing by the future arts megaplex and add your own personal touch. The public is invited to contribute handprints to the live mural on First Thursday as it is painted on the JUMP building walls by the United Way Junior Service Club.
7 p.m.--8th Street Marketplace Artist in Residence Program (Mercantile Building, BODO). Now it's time to slide on your dancing loafers and head to painter and mixed-media artist Willow Socia's studio for a peek at her portrait work. Cut a rug to holiday-themed sets by DJ Muertos and Stardust Lounge while sipping on a refreshing beverage. Don't leave without ducking into writer Amanda Turner and filmmaker Todd Lundbohm's AIR studios as well.
8 p.m.--Ming Studios/Bricolage (Sixth and Myrtle streets). Wrap up your December First Thursday festivities with a slew of hands-on art activities all in one central spot: Ming Studios. Idaho Poster and Letterpress will team up with Classic Design to offer demonstrations on a refurbished Challenge Gordon antique letterpress. You can also stand mesmerized as Wil Kirkman of Rocket Neon shapes neon tubes and Boise Art Glass blows out molten glass ornaments. Top the evening off with a stop into Bricolage for a look at new work by BW cover artist Kyler Martz and tasty treats by Le Bisou Bakery.