Weekly Happenings: December 22-28


Below are a list of unique or seasonal reoccurring things to do this week in Hartford County. Be sure to check out our giveaway for Disney on Ice.

Monday, December 22 at 10am | New Britain, CT | Theatre Playday | Toddlers learn the art of expression through activities and games designed to stimulate their hearts and minds! Led by New Britain Youth Theater. Free

Monday, December 22 at 5:30pm | New Britain, CT | Family Yoga | Family Yoga teaches balance and focus. All the muscles are used in our warrior poses, and children learn to direct their energy with precision and force. Athletes in many disciplines are now using yoga to gain control over their breathing and total body awareness. (Children ages 6 and up and their parents -also open to single adults/teens!) Free

Monday, December 22 – 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

Monday, December 22 – Wednesday, December 24 from 10am-12pm (Also on 12/22-12/23 from 1:00-7:30pm | Bristol, CT | Open Jump

Monday, December 22 – 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!

Monday, December 22 – Thursday, December 25 | ABC’s 25 days of Christmas

Monday, December 22 – Sunday, December 28 (Reoccurs 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

Tuesday, December 23 from 5-6:30pm | Rocky Hill, CT | Jingle Bounce | Join us for a holiday filled event, complete with complimentary cupcakes for each child who attends, along with a visit from Santa.

Tuesday, December 23 – Sunday, December 28 from 10am-4pm (Note: closed on Christmas) (Reoccurs Mon-Sun through January 4) | Farmington, CT | Christmas Memories: Tales & Traditions of an Early 20th Century Holiday | You’ll feel like an invited guest when you tour the country house, decorated for the holidays circa 1901. Museum interpreters portray members of the Pope-Riddle family, including Theodate herself, their household staff, and such illustrious visitors as novelest Grace Flandreau. Free to members or with museum admission. 

Tuesday, December 23 – Wednesday, December 24 & Friday, December 26 – 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. 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 were invited to Opening Night.

Thursday, December, 25 | Merry Christmas from our family to yours.

Friday, December, 26 – Tuesday, December 30 from 11am 12pm to 4pm | Bristol, CT | Winter Wonderland: 5 Days of Family Fun | School’s out! Spend your winter break at the Carousel Museum as we provide five straight days of family fun. Visitors will enjoy games, movies, snacks, and a unique craft activity each day. All admissions include a free ride on our working carousel and access to all of our museum’s exhibits, including our collection of over 130 carousel animals, the Museum of Fire History, the Museum of Greek Culture, and our Restoration Department, all of which have been decorated to celebrate everyone’s favorite time of the year. Craft Schedule: 12/26: 11am-4pm – Ringing Reindeer: Guests will create jingling bells in the shape of the most famous reindeer of all. 12/27: 11am-4pm – Make Your Own Mug: Decorate your own mug and fill it with delicious hot chocolate. 12/28: 12-4pm – Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?: Build an edible snowman out of marshmallows and other delicious treats. 12/29: 11am-4pm – Tote Bag Decorating: Paint and decorate your very own tote bag. 12/30: 11am-4pm – Super Duper Snowflakes: Use craft sticks to create a dazzling snowflake. Cost: $5 per child, $6 per adult. Free for members.

Friday, December 26 – Saturday, December, 27 from 10am-3pm | Windsor Locks, CT | Lego Contest | Step into a room full of LEGOs and build your ideal aircraft. The theme is “Futuristic Flying Machine.” The program is for ages 3-12. Prizes will be awarded for each age category: 3-5, 6-8 & 9-12. Participants do not need to be present to win a prize.

Friday, December 26 – Saturday, December, 27 from 10am-12pm and 1:00-7:30pm | Bristol, CT | Open Jump

Friday, December 26 – Sunday, January 4 | Rocky Hill, CT | The Wild Inside | Track Talks or Animal Demos at 11am, 11:30am, 2:30pm; Craft at 11:30am to 3pm; Films at 10am, 10:30am, Noon, 1:30pm, 2pm, 3pm, 3:30pm. Free Poster Friday, December 26 – the first 100 visitors will receive a free dinosaur poster with admission.

Friday, December 26 – Wednesday, December, 31 (Reoccurs on Saturday-Sunday’s) at 1:30pm | Hartford, CT | Family Tour | School’s Closed, But We’re Not! Introduce your kids to the new Family Tour at the 
Harriet Beecher Stowe Center. Just in time for school vacation, the Stowe Center offers a  new Family Tour. The Family Tour is an interactive hands-on tour of Stowe’s home that uses storytelling, historic photographs and letters, and journaling to bring the 19th century’s most famous female author/activist to life for kids 5-12. Learn how Stowe’s words changed the world and how you can too!

Friday, December 26 – Tuesday, December 30 from 5-9pm | 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 26 – Sunday, December 28 (Reoccurs 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.

Friday, December 26 – Sunday, December 28 (Reoccurs through Thursday, January 1) | Fri 5 to 8pm, Sat 10am to 4pm, Sun 1-4pm | 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. Stay tuned for our review.

Friday, December 26 | Hartford, CT | Kwanzaa Day Celebration: Umoja | Join us for Hartford’s biggest Kwanzaa celebration, honoring family, community and culture, presented by Charter Oak Cultural Center and Sankofa Kuumba Cultural Arts Consortium. Come see performances by master dancers, musicians and drummers and have the opportunity to participate in this joyous festival.

Friday, December 26 at 7pm | Hartford, CT | Hartford Wolfpack vs the Springfield Falcons | Gift Exchange Night: Get rid of that unwanted gift! Put it in a bag, bring it to the game, and exchange it for someone else’s gift.

Saturday, December 27 from 1-3pm | Manchester, CT | WalkCT Family Ramble: Highland Park History Hike | Come learn about the history of the Highland Park area and the Case Brothers National Historic District. Starting at the trailhead on Spring Street, we will see a parklet, mansions, former paper mills, and stone walls and stairs. Our 3-mile hike will start out slow, with commentary on the history of the area, but it does include steep and rocky areas, so some athleticism is needed. For additional information on the Case Brothers National Historic District, visit here.This free event is co-sponsored by the Manchester Historical Society and the CFPA Rambles program of the Connecticut Forest & Park Association. Families with children able to manage a steep hike as well as singles are welcome. Extreme weather cancels. No dogs, please.

Saturday, December 27 from 7pm-10pm | New Britain, CT | Kwanzaa Celebration | The Queen Ann Nzinga Center presents their annual Kwanzaa Celebration at Trinity-on-Main!

Saturday, December at 7pm | Hartford, CT | Hartford Wolfpack vs the Portland Pirates | Post-Game Skate: Stick around after the game and skate with all your favorite Wolf Pack players.

Sunday, December 28 | Windsor Locks, CT | Aircraft Drawing Contest – “What I love about flight!” | Participants between the ages of 3-15 can make a drawing or a collage. All materials will be provided. Prizes will be awarded for each age category. Participants do not need to be present to win a prize, but must have created their artwork at the Museum on this day.

Now 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.

Plan Ahead:

Tuesday, December 30 from 11-1pm | Hartford, CT | How about spending a cold winter day at a Luau? We will prepare Sweet and Sour Meatballs, Pineapple Salsa, Hawaiian Spam Sliders and Tropical Cupcakes. We won’t forget to leave time to learn to Hula Dance! Children are encouraged to wear a Hawaiian Shirt if they have one. Ages 6 & older. $25 per child.

Tuesday, December 30 at 1pm | Rocky Hill, CT | A live raptor program sponsored by the Friends of Dinosaur Park and Arboretum. Meet these magnificent descendants of dinosaurs! Recommended for ages 5 and older.

Wednesday, December 31 from 6:30-8pm | West Hartford, CT |  Ring in 2015 on the ice with hats, horns and a countdown to an “early midnight”! DJ Ean will be taking your requests!

Wednesday, December 31 | Hartford, CT | First Night Hartford | The name “First Night” symbolizes this forward look, over the technically correct “Last Night”. First Night is a celebration of the New Year through the arts. It is an alcohol free, family-friendly, public celebration that marks the passage from the old year to the new with art, ritual and festivity. The day is a multicultural, artistically unique, alcohol-free New Year’s experience with countless professional musicians, artists, performance groups and exhibits that inspire thousands of people of all ages to attend each year. It’s also an affordable way for everyone to ring in the New Year. The day includes two spectacular fireworks shows at 6pm and midnight in Bushnell Park that can be seen throughout the city by thousands of residents and visitors.

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.

Save the Date:

Wednesday, January 14 – Sunday, January 18th | Hartford, CT | Disney on Ice comes to the XL Center.

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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