England: Starting Monday, festive winter wonderland scenes will brighten the way for shoppers on London’s Regent and Oxford streets with the ceremonial turning on of Christmas lights.
This year’s theme for the lighting displays is based on Charles Dickens’ "A Christmas Carol" (in conjunction with Disney’s premiere of a 3-D movie based on the book). Stars of the film will flip the switches between 5 and 6:30 p.m. — Colin Firth and Robin Wright Penn on Regent Street and Jim Carrey on Oxford Street.
Two other popular shopping streets also will be illuminated for the season: Marylebone Street from Nov. 18 and Bond Street from Nov. 19.
Germany: Get ideas and materials for craft projects through Sunday at Wiesbaden’s Kreative Welt, one of the largest hobby shows in Europe. In the city’s Rhein-Main-Hallen, 400 exhibitors are showing the newest hobby trends and selling a variety of crafts materials for making dolls, teddy bears, jewelry, ceramics, patchworks, floral arrangements, scrapbooks, embroidery and other decorative items.
Workshops will be held in flower arranging, card designing and making patchworks, jewelry, mosaics and other crafts. A traveling exhibit of embroidery work by women in Afghanistan, "Threads Unite Women," also will be on display.
The show, which begins Thursday, is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. A one-day ticket costs 8.50 euros for adults, 4.50 euros for children younger than 6; a two-day ticket costs 12.50 euros. For more information, see the Web site www.kreativ-welt.info (in German).
Ireland: Temple Bar, which bills itself as Dublin’s Cultural Quarter, is all about chocolate Friday through Sunday. Meeting House Square is the center of activities for the city’s first Chocolate Fair. It will feature chocolate tasting, chocolate beauty treatments, chocolate artworks and crafts, truffle-making workshops, chocolate stout tasting and a chocolate-inspired book and poetry reading. Some events are free, but require reservations; others charge admission. The complete schedule is at www.templebar.ie/docs/choc-fest.pdf.
Switzerland: Zurich’s venue for its annual Expovina wine fair is a bit unusual: 12 ships anchored at Burkliplatz Dock on the River Maur. Through Nov. 12, wine lovers can board the ships and sample more than 4,000 wines from both Swiss and international vintners as well as attend wine seminars. The fair is open noon to 10 p.m. daily except Sundays and the final day of the event, when it closes at 7 p.m. Three restaurants serve meals noon to midnight Mondays through Saturdays and until 9 p.m. Sundays. Tickets cost 20 Swiss francs (about $19.85) and include a catalog. The Expovina’s Web site is www.expovina.ch (in German).