January is halfway over! The hustle and bustle of the new year is in full swing! This weekend Abilene offers a variety of ways for you to spend your time. Whether you want art, dance or the outdoors, we know you’ll find a fun and uniquely Abilene way to spend your free time!

This Thursday evening the Abilene Civic Center will host the 3rd annual “Dancing with the Abilene Stars” at 6:30 p.m. This entertaining fundraiser benefits Hendrick Home for Children. Twelve local celebrities are paired up with professional dancers to perform a variety of dances and are judged by a panel of four for the following categories: Best Male Dancer, Best Female Dancer, Best Costume/Showmanship. The overall winner is chosen by the audience who purchases votes for their favorite dancer by paying a dollar each time they vote. Seating is limited! Purchase tickets directly from Hendrick Home for Children or through one of the dancers. Call 325-692-0112 for more information.

Also this Thursday, the Center for Contemporary Arts will host the first ArtWalk of 2012 from 5 pm  to 8:30 pm! The theme is “Poetry in Motion: The Beat Generation” and will feature the readings from the Wyile Poetry Club and other area poets from 6 pm to 8 pm. ArtWalkers are encouraged to recreate the 1950’s by dressing the part! Wear your 50’s clothing and enjoy all of historic downtown Abilene. Need more information? Call 325-677-8389.

Also, until Jan. 14, you have the opportunity to visit the Grace Museum to view the “Melissa Miller: Habitat” exhibit, which features her methodical and thought-provoking paintings of the animal kingdom in their current environment conditions. Take advantage of the Grace’s museum featuring a history gallery reconstructing the story of Abilene and their interactive children’s museum! Open 10 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday. If you need more information, call 325-673-4587.

The Texas Gun and Knife Show will be held at the Abilene Civic Center on the 14th from 9 am to 5 pm and the 15th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost is $5 per person! Contact Texas Gun and Knife Show at 830-285-0575 for more information!

The Buffalo Gap Historic Village (BGHV) is hosting two valuable events this weekend! Participate in the Chautauqua Learning Series from 11 am to 1230 pm on Saturday. The Chautauqua movement spread through the rural United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries providing educational lectures and entertainment for the average Americans before mass mediums like television and radio were available. Cost is $7 for non-members and free to BGHV members. Call 325-572-3365 for more information. The BGHV will also hold a Military Appreciation Day for active and retired military members and their families on Sunday from 12-5 p.m. Take the short drive out to Buffalo Gap to enjoy this free event as a thank you for all that you do for our country. If you need more information on either of these events, call 325-572-3365.