Weekly Happenings: December 8-14





Below are a list of unique or ongoing things to do this week in Hartford County.

Through Saturday, December 13 | South Windsor, CT | Gingerbread Festival | The Wood will once again deck its halls and throw open its doors for one of the largest Gingerbread House Festivals in all of New England. Local artisans and bakers, experts and beginners alike show off their creative talents in a vast array of candy covered houses, trains and in some cases entire villages. Anyone is welcome to submit a gingerbread house and sign-ups are starting now. With holiday music playing in the background and the spicy aroma of gingerbread in the air, the library will provide the perfect holiday venue for showcasing the sugary artistic creations. “Ye Olde Gingerbread Shop” will also be open offering the opportunity to take home a bit of the magic with many holiday themed gifts and treats. Free

Through Tuesday, December 14 from 10am-4pm | Canton, CT | Gallery of Trees

Through Wednesday, December 24 | West Hartford, CT | Experience the Ice Palace at West Farms Mall In celebration of the November 18 release of the Disney Frozen Sing-Along Edition on DVD & Digital HD, West Farms presents a Frozen Ice Palace experience. The Ice Palace will feature characters from the number one animated film of all time, Disney Frozen. This much-loved, interactive holiday display features the art of Anna, Elsa and their friends Olaf, Kristoff and Sven, plus a 30 foot Ice Palace with falling snow, a light show and other activities for the whole family. Interactive globes will showcase scenes such as Anna & Elsa ice skating with Olaf, plus Anna, Kristoff & Sven on their quest to find Elsa on the North Mountain. Adults & children alike will enjoy leaving their hand print in ice at The Icy Hand Print experience, seeing how they compare in size to Sven & Olaf and having their photo taken with Olaf at the Ice Throne. End your magical journey at the Ice Palace with a visit to Santa and a special Disney Frozen Look-and-Find book!

Through Thursday, December 25 | ABC’s 25 days of Christmas

Through Sunday, December 28 | Hartford, CT | A Christmas Carol | A Ghost Story of Christmas The magic of Charles Dickens’ heart-warming classic returns for its 17th season. Come see Connecticut’s favorite family holiday tradition and spend some time with Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, Ebenezer Scrooge, Jacob Marley and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they bring A Christmas Carol to life on stage. It’s perfect holiday entertainment! Open Captioned Performance is on December 6 at 2pm. For patrons who are deaf or have hearing loss. Market Days are on December 6, 7, 14. Come and join Hartford Stage for some shopping and a show! Local vendors will showcase unique items for purchase in our lobby. Doors will open before the show at 12:30pm and booths will be open during intermission and after the show. Sensory-Friendly Performance is on Tuesday, December 9 at 7:30pm. Family Fun Night is December 18 at 6:30pm. This is the night to bring kids of all ages to see A Christmas Carol! Before the show, our spooky ghosts will greet and entertain. After the show, get autographs from all your favorite characters! Free with a ticket to the show. Stay tuned for our review as we have been invited to Opening Night.

Through Thursday, January 1 | Sun-Thurs 5-10pm and Fri-Sat 5-11pm | Plainville, CT | Lights on Lovely | Tune your radio to 96.1FM to hear the music synchronized to the light show. Free

Through Thursday, January 1, | Thursday 5-9pm & Friday-Saturday 5-10pm | Hartford, CT | Holiday Light Fantasia is a much loved Greater Hartford tradition and this season’s destination. The 2-mile show transforms Goodwin Park into a drive-through wonderland of holiday spirit with a beautiful collection of over 1 million lights.​Whimsical holiday scenes, familiar characters and local tributes shine bright in larger-than-life lighted scenes and 200 individual displays. Lighted animations celebrate not only Christmas, but Hanukkah, New Years and Three Kings Day. Click here for a $3 off coupon.

Through Tuesday, January 6 | Hartford, CT | 44th Annual Hartford Festival of Light | Hartford Festival of Light has become a not-to-be-missed event for the thousands who turn out on Constitution Plaza each year to sing carols, enjoy musical entertainment and witness the spectacle that is the illumination of more than a quarter of a million tiny white lights.

Through Tuesday, January 6 | Old Hartford, CT | Home for the Holiday’s | A Butler-McCook House Celebration! Come view the decorated Butler-McCook House and learn how the McCook family celebrated Christmas.

Monday, December 8 at 5:30pm | Hartford, CT |  Our winter Youth Arts Institute Showcase is followed by a community dinner at 6:30pm. Free

Tuesday, December 9 through Thursday, December 11 from 11am to 3pm | Hartford, CT | Holiday Shopping Fair at Connecticut’s Old State House

Tuesday, December 9 at 7:30pm | Hartford, CT | Sensory Friendly Performance of A Christmas Carol | Hartford Stage will host a sensory-friendly performance of its annual holiday classic, A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story of Christmas. Sensory-friendly performances are designed to create a theatre experience that is welcoming to all families of children with autism or other disabilities that create sensory sensitivities. This will be the first time that Hartford Stage has offered this type of performance for the community.

{Parents Time Out} Tuesday, December 9-Thursday, December 11 at 7:30pm | Friday, December 12 at 8pm | Saturday, December 13 at 4 and 8pm | Sunday, December 14 at 2:30 & 6pm {Reoccurs through 12/21) | Hartford, CT | Christmas on the Rocks | It’s Christmas Eve in a rundown local bar. Expecting a silent night, the bartender finds himself mixing drinks for a parade of surprising guest – children from your favorite holiday specials – now all grown up! Tiny Tim, Charlie Brown, Cindy Lou Who and a host of other favorites pour out their Christmas woes in this delightful parody.

Wednesday, December 10; 5–8 pm – Sunday, December 14; 10am–5 pm | Hartford, CT | 41st Annual Festival of Trees & Traditions | Celebrate the season at the 41st Annual Festival of Trees & Traditions! Established in 1973 by the Women’s Committee as a museum fundraising event, Festival has become an annual holiday tradition for many visitors from throughout the state and beyond. Stay tuned for our experience review!

Wednesday, December 10 at 7:30pm | Hartford, CT | Hartford Chorale presents one of the most famous choral works ever written – Handel’s Messiah. Led by Hartford Chorale’s Music Director Richard Coffey, this performance will feature the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and four guest soloists performing with the Chorale’s 160 members.  This work has endured as one of the greatest pieces for chorus and orchestra of all time and this holiday performance will feature choruses and arias from the oratorio, including, of course, the rousing Hallelujah Chorus.

Thursday, December 11 from 5:30-7pm | Hartford, Ct | Cookie Workshop | Quick and delicious-cookies mean instant gratification, and this class will give you recipes and instruction to keep the cookie jar full during this peak cookie season. Learn to make classic shortbread and more.

{Parents Time Out} Thursday, December 11th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm | Hartford, CT | Connecticut Landmarks presents Cultural Cocktail Hour at the Butler-McCook House & Garden. The event takes place on the second Thursday of the month from May through December. Sponsored in part by the Greater Hartford Arts Council, Cultural Cocktail Hour will feature the opening of Jason Werner’s The Corning Fountain exhibition. The event is free with a suggested food and per drink donation of $5.

Thursday, December 11 at 7pm | Hartford, CT | Holiday Sing Along | Join us for our 4th night of harmony. Music director, Susan Mazer has put together a book  of songs, some great musicians and tasty treats.  All we need is you. Bring a baked good to share and we’ll provide hot apple cider. All ages.

Friday’s, December 12 and Friday, December 13 | Fri 5 to 8pm, Sat 10am to 4pm, Sun 1-4pm | {Reoccurs through January 4 | Wethersfield, CT | Each year, the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum’s “Three Centuries of Christmas” tours show in fascinating detail how the American holiday season has evolved over the past 300 years. This year, two evening candlelight tours, with costumed guides, have been added for viewing the three elegantly appointed historic houses that comprise the museum.

Friday, December 12 – Sunday, December 14 {Reoccurs: December 19 – 21} Friday 5-9pm, Saturday & Sunday 4-9pm | Bristol, CT | Holiday Lights at Lake Compounce | The park will be covered in lights, thousands of bulbs and spectacular light shows every half hour set to music. A selection of children’s and family rides will be open. Find all “12 Days of Christmas” – 12 light displays throughout the park. Meet Santa!

Friday, December 12 – Sunday, December 14 {Reoccurs through December 29} | 5 or 6-9pm | East Windsor, CT | Winterfest | That delightful and magical season of WinterFest is now upon us. The Connecticut Trolley Museum once again pushes the limits to treat you and yours to an evening of entertainment and seasonal exhilaration! Ride the antique traction through the “Tunnel of Lights” tripping on our open electrical chariot (The Montréaler) or another open car – 3 miles of cool breezes under the starlit heavens. Or cozy down in an enclosed trolley for the warmer, dashing through the snow, rail trip. Open your complimentary “Ride & Sing Along WinterFest Songbook” and belt out your favorite Christmas Carol with the Trolley Crew and fellow passengers! Stroll through the Teresalee Bertinuson Visitor Center where the functioning and enchanting model train layouts will take your mind on a flight of fancy. The “halls are decked” with the proverbial “boughs of holly” and there are enough decorations to satisfy any souls need for visual Holiday splendor. The youngsters can sit on Santa’s lap and receive a gift – you may also if you desire.

Friday, December 12 – Sunday, December 21 | Friday/Saturday at 7:30pm, Sunday at 2pm and 7pm | {Reoccurs December 19-21} | West Hartford, CT | The Nutcracker | The Hartt School Community Division has been bringing dance performances to the families and community of the Greater Hartford region for years. Each holiday season, HCD’s fully staged production of Tchaikovsky’s time-honored classic with staging again by Artistic Director Samantha Dunster, transports the audience to a magical world. It’s a wonderful opportunity to see young artists perform a full-length ballet laced with humor, bravery, and sensitivity and it is guaranteed to ignite the child within all of us and invoke the warmth of the holiday season.

Friday, December 12 from 6-9pm | Collinsville, CT | Christmas in Collinsville | Champagne walk, horse drawn carriage rides, gallery of trees and more…

{Parents Time Out} Friday, December 12 at 6 and 8pm (Adults Only BYOB) – Saturday, December 13 at 10am, 1pm and 3pm (family-friendly) | Gingerbread Day | Gingerbread Day is an annual event which allows kids and adults alike to construct a homemade creation from homemade gingerbread, fresh icing, and delicious candies. Taking place on the first weekend of December, the event is a sight to behold! Each cookie is handmade at the Noah Webster House and fun candy mixes offer a variety of artistic options.

{Parents Time Out} Friday, December 12 from 6-10pm | Hartford, CT | Liquid Lounge: Naughty & Nice | ‘Tis the season for Hartford’s hottest night out! Join 1000+ merry makers for three floors of awesome hands-on exhibits, liquid delights, fabulous seasonal treats, live music, dancing, and more. Meet 6 crazy Santas and take our Selfie Santa challenge for a chance to win great prizes! Holly jolly entertainment includes live music and dancing, holiday crafts, an “Elf Yourself” photo booth, caroling karaoke, an ugly sweater contest, and much more!

{Parents Time Out} Friday, December 12 from 6-9pm | Manchester, CT | Rudolph is already filing his flight plan. Will you be ready? Our “Drop & Shop” night can help. Children ages 3–10 are invited to a fun-filled pajama party at the museum while their parents make holiday preparations (or just enjoy a quiet dinner together). Your contribution of $20 for the first child and $10 for each additional sibling includes a pizza dinner, activities, crafts, and a movie. Jammies are optional, but you might want to bring a blanket or teddy bear in case anyone gets sleepy.

Friday, December 12- Sunday, December 14 [Reoccurs December 19-21] | Friday/Saturday at 7pm, Saturday/Sunday at 2pm | Newington, CT | Seussical Jr. | A musical based on a combination of Dr. Seuss classics. The Cat in the Hat tells the story of Horton, an elephant who discovers a speck of dust containing Whos, including Jojo, a Who child sent off to a butter battling military school for thinking too many “thinks.” Horton’s attention to the speck of dust and his “loitering” care of Mayzie LaBird’s egg has elicited taunting and accusations from the rest of the animal kingdom, except for Gertrude McFuzz, who longs for his attention, and JoJo, whose “thinks” save them all in the end.

Friday, December 12 – Saturday, December 13th at 7pm & Sunday, December 14 at 2pm | The Christmas Schooner | Back for it’s second year at the Repertory Theatre by popular demand, The Christmas Schooner tells the true story of a Michigan shipping captain who braves the deadly winter weather to bring Christmas trees to homesick German American families in turn-of-the-century Chicago.  His voyages become a yearly tradition despite his wife’s misgivings – until a fateful voyage makes her realize the true importance of his mission.  This is a stirring tale of love and loss that reminds us of the importance of tradition and family during the holidays and throughout the year.

Friday, December 12 – Sunday, December 14 | Fri at 7pm, Sat at 6pm and Sun at 11am and 6pm | Bristol, CT | Tiny Tim’s Christmas

Friday, December 12 at 7pm | Hartford, CT | Read It and Sleep | Guest reader Dorene Hicks will choose a children’s book. Wear your cozy clothes and bring your parents. Enjoy hot chocolate and cookies. First 23 families takes home a free copy of the book.

Elf of the Shelf Storytime | Barnes & Noble | Join select Barnes & Noble stores for The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition Storytime and Elf Adoption Event. This holiday season, begin a new family tradition – this interactive holiday hide and seek with Santa’s elf is perfect for children and families of all ages.

Friday, December 12 at 7:30pm | Simsbury, CT | “Christmas Angelicus – A New England Tradition” | Holiday cheer will unfurl once again as the choirs, Chorus Angelicus and Gaudeamus, of Joyful Noise, Inc. perform their annual “Christmas Angelicus” concert series across Connecticut.

{Parents Time Out} Friday, December 12 – Saturday, December 13 at 8pm, Sunday, December 14 at 2pm | Hartford, CT |  The Nutcracker Suite and Spicy features a fusion of athletic dance forms including tap, jazz, and hip hop and a sense of humor. The curtain opens on an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party, featuring a break dancing doll brought by suave Drosselmeyer, and an athletic and dizzying snow ball scene with acrobatic dancing using pearly white exercise balls. In Act II, the audience meets sexy hip hop Sugar Rum and CONNetic Dance’s signature Florettes in a high kicking, Rockettes-inspired Waltz of the Flowers, followed by a battle between Club Rat and the Nutcracker in the Club of Sweet Temptations. It is all set to a fun compilation of diverse music inspired by Tchaikovsky’s classic score. The Nutcracker Suite & Spicy is great fun, has creative choreography, and is accessible and enjoyable for all audience members because of the various forms of popular and modern dance used to tell and update the classic story. It is a show as truly diverse as the city from which it hails, with talented professional dancers from varied backgrounds.

Saturday, December 13 – Sunday, December 14 {Reoccurs December 20-21} | Breakfast seatings at 8:30, 9:30, 10:30 and 11:30am | West Simsbury, CT | Breakfast with Santa | Breakfast Includes: a hearty breakfast with pancakes, home fries, sausage and farm fresh eggs, a memorable visit with Santa, Mrs. Claus, Elves, Frosty and the Grinch, a toy from Santa, a relaxing time on a Christmas Trolley ride out to reindeer land and a free visit to the petting zoo. Stay tuned for our upcoming review.

Saturday, December 13 – 8:30am-4pm & Sunday, December 14 {Reoccurs weekends through December 21} | Noon-4pm | Canton, CT | Victorian Carolers | Celebrate the season with Victorian Carolers. Free.

Saturday, December 13 from 9:30-11:30am | Newington, CT | Elf Workshop | Shoppers and their children are invited to create a Pinecone Tree decoration, complete with pompom ornaments. Free

Saturday, December 13 at 10am | Lowe’s | Train Engine | The holidays are right around the corner! Bring your child to Lowe’s and they can build this festive Train Engine!

Saturday, December 13 from 10am-1pm | Hartford, CT | Celebrate world holiday traditions during the 41st Annual Festival of Trees & Traditions! Make ornaments inspired by Kwanzaa, Christmas, Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, and Three Kings Day. Free.

Saturday, December 13 from 10am-4pm | Collinsville, CT | Christmas in Collinsville | Craft Show from 10am – 4pm. Horse Drawn carriage rides; puppet shows; Santa Claus, and more from 12-3pm. Free

Saturday, December 13 at 11am | Canton, CT | Snowman Storytime and Craft | Join us in the Children’s Department for a special Snowman Storytime! We will read snowman books and do a special snowman craft.

Saturday, December 13 from 11-11:45 am | West Hartford, CT | ChallahPalooza | An interactive service for children five and under and their grown ups. We sing songs, prayers, dance, read stories and play Shabbat friendly games. The program concludes with Adon Olam on the bima followed by kiddush with the entire Emanuel community. This program is free and open to all.

Saturday, December 13 from 11am-3pm {Reoccurs on 12/20} | Annual Santa’s Farm Workshop | Bristol, CT | Visit Santa’s farm friends! Then take a hayride to our rustic Pebble House and join Santa by a crackling fire! Have your picture taken with Santa! Christmas crafts, stocking stuffers and tasty treats will be for sale! Photo with Santa, farm animals, hay wagon rides, kids holiday crafts, Post Office for letters to Santa, gingerbread decorating and more…

Saturday, December 13 from 11am-7pm | Canton, CT | Stock the Cruiser | Support the Canton Police Department’s food and toy drive. Donation benefit area families in need.

Saturday, December 13 – Sunday, December 14 {Reoccurs December 20-21} 12 – 3pm | Hartford, CT | Winterfest: Photos With Santa | Winterfest wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Santa, so visit the Pump House and have your photo taken with him for free. Each family receives 1 free 5×7 photo; additional prints may be purchased online, the day after you skate.

Saturday, December 13 from 12 to 3 pm | Hartford, CT | Wreathmaking Workshop | Make a Victorian Holiday Wreath with Jackie McKinney, Site Administrator of the Isham-Terry House. Tour the festively decorated house and make your own indoor wreath! Admission is $30. Registration is required as space is limited.

Saturday, December 13 – Sunday, December 14 at 12:30 & 4pm | Hartford, CT | The Nutcracker | The Nutmeg Ballet’s Nutcracker returns to The Bushnell’s Robinson and Cole Family Series with times that the whole family can participate in. Enjoy yourself this yuletide season as you travel with young Clara to the enchanted Land of Sweets. Delighting audiences young and old, this holiday favorite brings to life toy soldiers and dueling mice, princesses and sugarplums – a delicious treat for the child in all of us performed one of the most respected classical ballet conservatories in America.

Saturday, December 13 – Sunday, December 14 {Sat at 2pm and 7pm, Sun at 2pm} | {Reoccurs on December 21-20} | Manchester, CT | Connecticut Concert Ballet presents the Nutcracker.

Saturday, December 13 from 12-5pm | Hartford, CT | Winterfest Ugly Sweater Stroll | Show off your ugliest sweater and stroll through downtown, stopping to sample Winterfest-inspired Onyx cocktails at downtown restaurants. Admission is $25 and includes a super awesome “Hartford Has It” scarf, drink specials at all participating restaurants and prizes. Participating restaurants will be announced in early December.

Saturday, December 13 through Tuesday, December 23 | Manchester, CT | 31st Annual Santa’s Workshop | A free event sponsored by Wickham Park. Children of all ages enjoy visits with Santa and his elves and refreshments with Mrs. Claus. Santa’s Workshop provides a chance for children to enjoy an uncommercialized Christmas experience. Guests are welcome to bring non-perishable food items to be donated to area food pantries. Hours are 3-6pm weekdays and 1-5pm on weekends. Come and create a new family tradition. Free

Saturday, December 13, from 3-8pm | New Britain, CT | Holiday Pajammin’ Party | Join us anytime for activities including stories, games, music, dancing, crafts, and karaoke! Arrive by 3:30 to meet Suzy-Q the clown for balloon animals and fun! Stay for the Pajama Fashion Show beginning at 4:30 for anyone coming in pj’s! Karaoke will begin at 6:00! Pizza and other food and drink will be provided throughout the afternoon and evening, guests are welcomed to bring food or drinks to share. Free but RSVP. Along with being a holiday party for NBYT friends and families, we’re going to collect donations for Connecticut’s Pajama Program. The Pajama Program is a charitable organization that provides brand new pajamas and new books to children in need. These children live in group homes, shelters, and temporary housing facilities, and are often shuffled from one place to another waiting and hoping to be adopted. Many of them have been abandoned, abused, or neglected. Some of the children are living with their families below the poverty level, in desperate need of food, clothing, and shelter. These simple gifts let the children know that someone cares. Donations of pajamas (brand new only!) are encouraged, but not required, to come to the party. Wearing pajamas is optional for kids attending too!

Saturday, December 13 – Sunday, December 14 {Reoccurs on Saturday, December 20} at 4pm | Manchester, CT | Resounding Joy | With Resounding Joy, CitySingers of Hartford will sing in the holiday season with traditional carols and folksongs from Eastern and Western Europe, Celtic lands and America. Festive choral motets will include Resonent in Laudibus, The Bell Carol and Ding Dong Merrily on High in a featured arrangement for voices and suspended bells. Flutes, oboe, harp, pipe organ and percussion will add color to the musical palette while festive sounds and cherished memories will inspire our audiences to join in singing!

Saturday, December 13 from 4:30-6pm | Newington, CT | Holiday Cookie Workshop | Join us as we stamp out some of our favorite holiday cookies to decorate! As they bake, we will make some colorful chocolate bark to take home. Ages 6 & older. $25 per child.

Saturday, December 13 from 5-8pm | Granby, CT | Every Christmas season, we invite the community to take part in a holiday tradition when Valley Brook Community Church presents The Live Nativity. Stop by any time during the event and enjoy it at your own pace.Follow a path lined with hundreds of luminaria to the manger scene and pet a sheep, talk with a shepherd, see the wise men present their gifts and get an idea of what that very first Christmas was like! All of the character and animals are real and children may pet the animals. Live vocal music is provided to accompany the scene. Take time to stop and enjoy the special music, refreshments and a hot beverages.

{Parents Time Out} Saturday, December 13 {Reoccurs December 20} | 5-9pm | New Britain, CT | Holiday Kids’ Night Out | Wondering what to do with the kids while you finish your holiday shopping? Pizza dinner, games, activities, and animals included. Pre-registration and pre-payment required for each evening. Call (860) 827-9064 for more information and to register. Fee: $24/non-members Ages: 3-10.

Saturday, December 13 at 6pm | Windsor, CT | Carol Sing & Torch Light Parade | Join us for an evening of Holiday Fun! The holiday season will come alive with song at 6:00 PM on the Windsor Town Green for the Carol Sing. Stick around for the Annual Torch Light Parade at 6:30 PM.

Sunday, December 14 from 1:30am-12pm | West Hartford, CT | Bagels, Blocks & Beyond Chanukah | The Emanuel Synagogue’s Early Childhood Center invites you to have a bagel and learn about Chanukah with circle time and crafts and a life-sized dreidel!  Make your own dreidel to take home. RSVP

Sunday, December 14 from 11am-1pm | Newington, CT | “Dear Santa” Cupcakes | Decorate Christmas cupcakes that will impress Santa himself! You’ll use easy buttercream icing techniques such as pull-out fur, zigzags and printing to make festive cupcakes for your celebrations. Recommended for all skill levels. Visit the website for a lis of materials. Recommended for ages 15 and up. $10 per person.

Sunday, December 14 from 12-5pm | New Britain, CT | Get yourself into the holiday spirit with a fun, festive, and free community day! The Museum has partnered with the Ballet Theatre Company of West Hartford to offer performances and activities for visitors of all ages. Catch a sneak peek of their magical production of The Nutcracker, which puts a modern and moving twist on this holiday favorite, as they perform excerpts throughout the afternoon in the Stanley Works Center. In between performances, meet members of the Company who will roam the galleries as “dancer docents”—watch them interpret their favorite artworks in dance, and hear more about the paintings that quite literally “move” them! Museum educators will provide free drop-in art activities all afternoon—stop in the Lobby to create a snowflake ballerina, and pop into the ArtLab to make your very own nutcracker ornament out of clothespins and various embellishments. Don’t miss our annual Kwanzaa tasting, prepared and presented by the Museum’s African American Advisory Committee. Take a break from your holiday rush and treat yourself to a beautiful day of art, dance, and delicious food! Free

Sunday, December 14 from 1-3pm | Newington, CT | Bring the whole family to listen to holiday carols right in the store, courtesy of the Newington High School Carolers. Free

Sunday, December 14 at 3pm | West Hartford, CT | Holiday Concert

Sunday, December 14 from 3-5pm | Manchester, CT | Art Painting Instructor Demonstration | Come and meet our certified art painting instructor.

Sunday, December 14 from 4-7pm | West Hartford, CT | Centennial Celebration | The first in a year-long series of Centennial themes events, the Mandell JCC Centennial Celebration will feature a fabulous array of games, activities, food, fun and surprises for people of all ages. The evening features an international food court with a variety of HKC approved cuisine options from around the globe, including Mexican, Chinese and Israeli themed menu items. And satisfy your sweet tooth with our dessert bar featuring funnel cakes, cotton candy, popcorn, pie and ice cream. With carnival style games, a large interactive community art project, and crafts and activities, there’s something for everyone Float on in to Bubble-ology from the Connecticut Science Center and learn how bubbles are made. Try your luck and win a prize at our carnival games, or take a Centennial Selfie in our photo booth. Come together as a community and build The Wave, a national interactive art project. Enjoy strolling performers, jugglers, face painting and more! Get a front row seat to the spectacular world premiere of Our Future Starts Now! — a one night only special multimedia display. Cost in advance: $18 per person, free for children ages 12 and under (must be accompanied by an adult) or at the door: $25 per person, free for children ages 12 and under (must be accompanied by an adult).

Monday, December 15 | Hartford, CT | Holiday Festival at the Old State House | Music will fill the halls of the Old State House!

Monday, December 15 from 10am-1pm | Hartford, CT | Volunteer to be an elf!

Check out our Holiday happenings page for holiday happenings after this week.

Save the Date:

{Parents Time Out} Friday, December 19 from 5:30-8:30pm | West Hartford, CT | Parents Night Out | Drop your kids off for three hours of nonstop fun at My Gym. Activities include games, rides, songs, dance, relays, practice & play, and more! Dinner included! Perfect for children ages 2.5 and up (potty-trained, please). Space is limited.

Saturday, December 20 {Reoccurs on December 20} Seatings at 8:30am and 10:30am | Canton, CT | Santa Brakfast at Dish n’ Dat.

Monday, January 5 from 6:30pm – 9:30pm | Hartford, CT | Learn to Solder at MakeHartford | Back by popular demand! Participants will learn to solder electronic components to a printed circuit board while assembling and testing a small electronic project kit. The finished project is useful for the further study of electronics and is the participant’s to keep. Instruction will include workbench safety. All tools and materials will be provided. Eye protection is required. Safety glasses are available for an additional $4. Ages: Teens/Adults. Cost: $35/class.

Saturday, January 31 from 10am-5pm- Sunday, February 1 from 10am-4pm, 2015 | 11th Annual Big Y Kid’s Fair | Fun, entertainment, exhibits, prizes and more are what you’ll get this day at the Connecticut Convention Center, in Hartford. Here’s one-stop-shopping for the latest products and services for growing families, including national, state and local companies offering product samples and valuable information. Plus, we’ll present entertainment, celebrity appearances and loads of activities for families with busy babies and toddlers. There will be Pony Rides and a Petting Zoo, magicians, a stage area featuring events like a kids fashion show, a kids play area, amusement rides and much, much more! $10 Adults, $5 Kids {Adults get $2 off with Big Y Express Savings Club or Silver Savings Club Card, limited to one per party}.



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