7-Day Happenings: 12/3 – 12/9

Welcome to your 7-day Momecast of what to do and where to go throughout Hartford County! We have combined most of our Holiday fun into one area of our site for you – click here to check it out – many events have already started!

This week is yet another event-filled one in the greater Hartford area. The stress of the Holidays wearing you down? Treat yourself to a Parents Night Out – our version of the PTO. No sitter, no problem, My Gym in West Hartford is hosting several this month. We also have many fun events listed below intended for a perfect Girls Night Out too. Want something to do with the whole family – we’ve got ideas for that too! Scroll below by day and time and be sure to not miss the events that run the weekend through and see special notation for events that reoccur in the event you cannot make it this weekend.

Thursday, December 3:

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5 – 7pm: Give-a-Gift, Get-a-Gift Give a new unwrapped toy and get a $25 gift card, while supplies last, one per household. The Shoppes at Farmington Valley, Canton.

5 – 9pm: The 6th Annual Holidays on Main Details of the event include Opening Remarks and Carol Sing-along beginning at pm by the Tree at Main and Marsh Street, near Lucky Lou’s Bar and Grill, with a Tree Lighting and Santa’s Arrival. Santa will make his way over to the Wethersfield Volunteer Fire House for free visits! Strolling entertainment at various locations along Main Street including fire juggling, live ice carving, horse and wagon rides and more. The Winter Farmer’s Market will be open near the Webb Barn, with many of your favorite vendors. The Wethersfield Police Department will be kicking off their annual holiday Toy Drive at the Holidays on Main Event. Please bring a new, unwrapped toy for donation! The Silent Auction will be set up and ready at 5pm, along with live tree raffle. The Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum is graciously providing the historic Webb Barn for the Silent Auction portion of the evening. The barn comes to life under the skillful direction of Diane McAdams, with sparkling decorated trees of all sizes, wreaths, wall art, and gift baskets.  A special “Beer Tree” and “Wine Tree” will be available for bidding. Also in the Webb Barn, as a special treat there is a free Wine and a Beer Tasting!

5:30pm: Holiday Stroll Please join us for family oriented activities including live holiday music and performances, horse-drawn carriage rides, festive food and goodies, Santa & Mrs. Claus, a tree lighting, photo booth and more! Visit Blue Back Square stores and restaurants for extra goodies, treats and savings that evening too! Lite 100.5 FM’s Joan Dylan and also 96.5 TIC FM will be on-site with fun and giveaways for all. PowerStation Events will be providing the fantastic sound, audio and lights. Every child gets a free gift. This event is sponsored locally by Hartford Stage Company.

6 – 8pm: Ugly Sweater Glass Painting Party Celebrate the season by painting a glass inspired by your favorite ugly sweater. Don’t have one? Not to worry. We’ll provide sweater samples and special holiday stencils to inspire you. Best part? We’ll donate $5 of each participant’s fee to the Glastonbury Food Bank along with a giant card listing all participants’ names. And you’ll leave with your favorite new glass to help you toast the holidays. $15 per person. Glastonbury Party Studio & Lounge, Glastonbury.

6 – 9pm: Intro to Letterpress infused with Craft Beer Printmaker Kait Lennon will guide guests in the art of linoleum block carving. With carving tools in one hand and a pint in the other, you’ll be able to carve + print a beautiful art piece that will then be bound into hand-stitched journals. This is perfect festive night out which includes unique handmade holiday gifts! Price: $55 (includes supplies, pints and 6 letterpress + hand-stitched journals). Great for designers, beer lovers, letter writers + makers. Hartford Prints, Hartford.

7 – 8:30pm: Wine & Chocolate Tasting Want a piece of chocolate with that wine? Of course you do! Come and enjoy a wine and chocolate tasting at the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society. Steve Leon of Wine Cellars 4 (68 Farmington Avenue, Farmington) and Mary Anne Charron of Cocoa Chi will give a lesson on pairing the perfect bottle with the perfect box of chocolates. Guests will try six varieties of each over the course of the evening. These will include dark and milk chocolate tastings featuring chocolate with pralines, dark chocolate truffles, and white chocolate with raspberry ganache. Wine pairings will include Shiraz, Zinfandel, Port, and Muscat among others. $25 per person. Ages 21 and over are invited and valid identification is required.

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7:30pm: Fiddler on the Roof Get ready to raise the curtain and take center stage as the spotlight is on the Mandell JCC’s Theater Program. This year’s show is a community theater production of Fiddler on the Roof. With the professional direction of Carolyn Mostel Weiser along with live musical accompaniment, actors will present several performances of “Fiddler.” Reoccurs on 12/8 at 7pm, 12/10 and 12/12 at 7:30 and 12/15 at 7pm.

8pm: Racism Isn’t it time we had an honest conversation about racism? Eric Garner. Sandra Bland. Michael Brown. Baltimore protests. Police. White privilege. Institutional racism. Racial profiling. “Post-racial.” Black Lives Matter. Let’s talk about it. Be part of a candid conversation about power, privilege, and prejudice in the context of history, current events, and personal experience. Moderated by NPR’s Michele Norris. Be sure to arrive early at 6:30pm for the Youth Education & Diversity Expo in The Bushnell lobbies! CT Forum at The Bushnell, Hartford.

Thursday, December 3 – Sunday, December 6:

10am – 6pm: 5th Annual Gingerbread House Showcase & Raffle Visit Hartford’s Habitat for Humanity pop-up shop here at Blue Back Square in the former Umi Sushi space located across from The Cheesecake Factory. Create and showcase your gingerbread house entry. Vote in the “Fan Favorite” competition. Fun kids activities and gingerbread house decorating or see a demonstration.

Thursday, December 3 – Wednesday, December 9:

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Wednesday – Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday – Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 2pm: Passing Strange From singer-songwriter and performance artist Stew comes Passing Strange, a daring musical that takes you on a journey across boundaries of place, identity and theatrical convention. Stew brings us the story of a young bohemian who charts a course for “the real” through sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. Loaded with soulful lyrics and overflowing with passion, the show takes us from black middle-class America to Amsterdam, Berlin and beyond on a journey towards personal and artistic authenticity. Passing Strange won multiple Drama Desk Awards including Outstanding Musical and a Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical in 2008. Previews on December 2nd and 3rd; all seats $15. Opening Night: December 4 – wine and cheese reception before the show. Sunday matinée features a talkback with the cast after the show. Runs until Sunday, December 20. Playhouse on Park, West Hartford.

Friday, December 4:

9:30 – 10:30am and 11:30 – 12:30pm: Frosty the Snowman Toddler Class Children will celebrate this snowy season by creating their own Frosty the Snowman cupcake and ornament! Each child will be able to take home a snowman jar filled with hot cocoa and marshmallows too! Ages 2-5. $15 per child (must be accompanied by an adult).

10 – 11am: Meet the Old Cranks Have you ever wondered what goes on behind closed doors (on our clocks, I mean)? Come watch the American Clock & Watch Museum’s official clock winders in action as they travel through the museum winding over 70 of our historic artifacts for public enjoyment throughout the week. American Clock & Watch Museum, Bristol.

4 – 7pm: Shop Locally at the 11th Annual Holiday Market! $10 admission benefitting the Corner Food Pantry. The White Hart Inn, Salisbury.

4:30 – 5:45pm: T(w)een Yoga & Art Yoga and Art for even the people who need it most! Teens and tweens! Join us for an afternoon of relaxation and healthy practices. Imagine Studio, West Hartford.

5:30 – 7 pm: Forgotten Drinks of Colonial New England Join us at Windsor Historical Society to discover and sample Forgotten Drinks of Colonial New England. Colonial New England was awash in ales, beers, wines, and spirits. Everyone from teenage farm workers to our founding fathers imbibed heartily and often. Ring in the holidays with an exploration of the origins and tastes of some of the favorite beverages of early Americans. Ever heard of flip? Syllabub? Rattleskull? Switchel? Learn more from Corin Hirsch, award-winning author of Forgotten Drinks of Colonial New England. Then visit four stations including the new kitchen of the Society’s Strong-Howard house to see the drinks made and for samples of these forgotten but surprisingly delicious beverages. Recipes provided. Cost for this program is $10 adults. This is an adults-only program.

5:30 – 8:30pm: Parent’s Night Out Need an evening without the kids? My Gym’s Parents’ Night Out gives our parents the opportunity to take a well-deserved break. Go out for a night on the town feeling confident that your little ones are safe and having the time of their lives with their favorite My Gym teachers. This incredible evening for your children is filled with a variety of fun games, rides and activities, and they won’t want the night to end! And don’t worry about food – we’ll take care of that too! Ages 2.5 and up. Non-Members pay $40, half off siblings! My Gym, West Hartford.

6 – 7:30pm: Snowy Night Cupcake and Canvas Come in from the cold and join us for a snowy night cupcake and canvas class! Kids will show off their creativity by painting a beautiful snowflake canvas, instructed by our hosts. Kids will also decorate a cupcake to go along with the theme, and will go home with a snowman jar filled with hot cocoa and marshmallows! Ages 6-12. $25 per child. Stew Leonard’s, Newington.

6 – 9pm: Cocktails at Hatheway Enjoy an opening night preview party in the festively decorated Phelps-Hatheway House. Featuring wine, hors d’oeuvres and a Silent Auction. All proceeds benefit the Phelps-Hatheway House. Phelps-Hatheway House & Garden, Suffield.

6:30 – 7:30pm: Connecticut Concert Ballet’s Nutcracker Sweet Dreams Party Come in your pajamas and join Clara and her enchanting friends from The Nutcracker Ballet for a magical evening! Listen to the story of The Nutcracker as you watch it come to life right before your eyes in a special up-close performance. Then join Clara, The Sugar Plum Fairy and all of the Nutcracker dancers for milk and cookies, autographs and photos, hands-on activities and more. Visions of Sugar Plums will dance in your head all night! $12 per person. Glastonbury Riverfront Community Center, Glastonbury.

7pm: The Polar Express Storytime All aboard! In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the beloved classic The Polar Express, join us  for a pajama Storytime. There will be crafts and tons of fun! Barnes & Noble of Farmington, Canton, Glastonbury, Manchester and Enfield.

Friday, December 4 – Saturday, December 5:

Attention Battle of Yavin heroes, it’s time to take your certificate to any Toys”R”Us to get your exclusive free medal. Available only while supplies last. Quantities limited. No rain checks. Open to all ages. Parental supervision required at all times. Those who complete the activity are eligible to collect one medal per person, per battle in store during the specified time frame. Haven’t played yet? There’s still time to earn your Yavin medal! Play now.

Friday from 5 – 8pm and Saturday from 10am – 1pm: Grinch Festival Embark on a magical holiday journey as the Imagine Nation Museum, is transformed into Dr Seuss’ Whoville!  A wacky and wonderful festival complete with crafts, sing-a-longs and special visitors including the Grinch, his dog Max, Cindy-Lou Who and the Mayor of Whoville!

Friday 4 – 7pm and Saturday from 1 – 5pm: Downtown Hospitality Night Friday evening will feature the Southington Chamber Singers and their melodious renditions of holiday classics. Both open houses will include hot apple cider for visitors provided by Southington ShopRite. This year the Museum’s holiday decorations will include a collection of greeting cards received by Bradley and Leila Barnes in 1925 and antique holiday postcards dating back to 1906. The porch will have an exhibit of antique toys and games in their original boxes. The trees, staircases and mantels will be decorated with foliage from the Museum gardens. The dining room will have a special exhibit on display for the first time. The Barnes Museum, Southington.

7pm: White Christmas the Musical Based on the beloved classic film, this heartwarming musical adaptation features seventeen wonderful Irving Berlin songs and a book by David Ives and Paul Blake. Veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis have a successful song-and-dance act after World War II. With romance in mind, the two follow a duo of beautiful singing sisters en route to their Christmas show at a Vermont lodge, which just happens to be owned by Bob and Phil’s former army commander. The dazzling score features well-known standards including Blue Skies, I Love A Piano, How Deep Is the Ocean and the perennial favorite, White Christmas. Reoccurs 12/11-13 and 12/18-20. The Repertory Theatre, Berlin.

8pm: Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some) What do you get when you take Rudolph, Frosty, the Grinch, mix in “The Gift of the Magic,” “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” and “It’s A Wonderful Life,” then add a touch of “A Christmas Carol, “The Nutcracker” and a few other Beloved Holiday Classics? A Holiday recipe for a fast, fond, and furious look at the yuletide traditions we all remember, some we never knew, and a few we’d like to forget. Chock full of outrageous folly holiday hilarity, nothing is spared in this rollicking tour de farce. It’s a non-stop holiday romp through everyone’s favorite holiday memories, as three actors cram an entire season’s worth of stories, carols and television specials into non-stop laughs. Ticket price $30. The theatre’s motto is “bring your own”. Presented cabaret-style, patrons are welcome to bring whatever they like to eat or drink with them. Connecticut Cabaret Theatre, Berlin. Reoccurs until December 19.

Friday, December 4 – Sunday, December 6:

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Friday at 7pm, Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 2pm: A Christmas Carol One of the best-loved holiday stories of all time comes to life with Ebenezer Scrooge, the Cratchits, the Fezziwigs, Jacob Marley, the Spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future, and a large cast creating Dickens’ nineteenth century London! Based on the novel by Charles Dickens and adapted by Rae Johnson. $13 per adults, $11 per child. New Britain Youth Theater at Holmes Elementary School, New Britain.

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8pm: A Tale of Two Clones: Episodes 2-6 For four nights only, a galaxy far, far away comes to Hartford. From the team that brought you the sold-out Disney Reality Show comes a new live action comedy of fan fiction. A Tale of 2 Clones: Episodes 2-6 is the untold story of two clones and their effects on the Star Wars universe. Join Jack and Gus as they embark on serendipitous journeys searching for family, freedom and the force in this epic comedic saga. There’s action! There’s romance! There’s a whole lot of robots and alien stuff. Perfect show for the Star Wars fans and those that never even saw the movies but love comedy. Don’t miss this amazing show. Get your tickets before it’s too late! And…may the force be with you. May not be suitable for children under 8. $10 per ticket. The Carriage House, Hartford. Reoccurs 12/11-12.

Saturday, December 5:

8am and 10am: Breakfast with Santa Gather your family and friends for a memorable morning at The Bushnell. Take a photo with Santa and visit with Santa’s elves and Mrs. Claus. Enjoy breakfast, carolers, crafts and more. Christmas lists accepted! Adult $25 and Child $23. The Bushnell, Hartford.

9am and 10:30am: Breakfast with Santa Families are invited to have breakfast with Santa and his friends Wow the Cow, Daphne Duck and Cynthia Chick! A buffet style breakfast of scrambled eggs, French toast sticks, bacon, sausage, mini muffins, assorted bagels, and fruit salad will be served. Children age 11 and under: $7.95/each. Age 12 and over (including accompanying parents): $9.95. Sign up and prepay at Customer Service.

9am – 12pm: Holiday Stacking Blocks Join our hands-on workshop and build fun holiday stacking blocks. Then, decorate your project with fun stickers and different paint colors. Home Depot locations.

9:30 – 10:30am: Frosty the Snowman Toddler Class Children will celebrate this snowy season by creating their own Frosty the Snowman cupcake and ornament! Each child will be able to take home a snowman jar filled with hot cocoa and marshmallows too! Ages 2-5. $15 per child (must be accompanied by an adult). Stew Leonard’s, Newington.

10 – 11:30am: Natural Holiday Wreath Making Workshop Please join us a hands-on Natural Wreath Making Workshop. Those age 12 and above will make a natural wreath from provided materials during this hands-on workshop. Participants have the choice of several different wreath styles to be used as gifts, decorations, or to feed winter birds. The cost is $15 for Windsor residents, $20 for non-residents. Registration is required. Northwest Park, Windsor.

10am – 1pm: Family Program: Holiday Poppers Celebrate the holidays at CHS with our annual popper craft! First invented by a London pastry chef in the 1840s, poppers (or “crackers”) have become timeless favorites. Poppers make great gifts, holiday party favors, or New Year’s Eve noisemakers. Traditional fillers, like candy, paper hats, and fortunes will be provided, or you may bring your own. CT Historical Society, Hartford.

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10am – 5pm: Community Day: Newington, Wethersfield, and Glastonbury This month, residents of Newington, Wethersfield, and Glastonbury enjoy an admission free day of gallery viewing and art activities. Visitors can now explore more artwork throughout our recently completed expansion and view works that have been hidden in our collection. You can also bring the family and create your own work of art by joining one of the hands-on art activities taking place in our new studio classrooms. Open Studio: 11am to 2pm. Let our volunteer educators tap into your creative side and create self-portraits with your children inspired by a variety of artists. New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain.

11am: How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Storytime Join us for coloring and activities as we celebrate all things Grinch with a special event featuring How The Grinch Stole Christmas! Barnes & Noble of Farmington, Canton, Glastonbury, Manchester and Enfield.

11am: Ugly Sweater Run Rummage up the Ugliest Sweater you can find and celebrate the Holidays by participating in the Merriest 5K of the year. Join thousands of runners, walkers and prancers from around the nation as The Ugly Sweater Run tours North America. If you’ve never participated in a 5K, this is a perfect way to burn some calories, have some fun and immediately replace those calories with a warm hot chocolate and a Samuel Adams beverage. All you have to do is register! The run is approximately 3.1 miles, through city streets and scenic parks. The start line includes massive inflatables, photo stations, games and the most cheerful holiday music. Once on course, you’ll find holiday themed stations at every mile. Ditch the traditional water or Gatorade as good old-fashioned hot chocolate will be stationed on course as refreshment. Once you’ve completed the merriest run of your life, join us for some post-event festivities. We have everything your five-year old self could want with a few perks of adulthood. Take a much-deserved break from the shopping frenzy, and celebrate your sweater filled day with a Samuel Adams beverage and other holiday goodies. Awards for Best Ugly Sweater, Best Kids Sweater, Best Pet Attire and Best Real/Fake Mustache/Beard will be handed out. Register now and join us for a truly unforgettable tradition! Bushnell Park, Hartford.

11am – 12pm: Holiday Ready with Götz Dolls Get ready for the holidays! Bring your favorite doll into the store for a special updo and check out our new holiday styles. Plus, enjoy refreshments and enter for a chance to win a Doll Hair Accessory Kit. Pottery Barn Kids locations.

11am – 1pm: Children’s Holiday Tours, Art Activities, and a visit from Santa Visit Hill-Stead and see the house decorated for the holidays! On Saturday, December 5, your children are invited for a special Children’s Tour. Caregivers are welcome to join the tour or finish up their holiday shopping in the Hill-Stead Holiday Boutique. Following the tour, kids can get creative with art activities, including holiday ornament making, in our Education Station. 30-minute tours will begin at 11am and 11:30am. Check-in at the Museum Shop. Hill-Stead Museum, Farmington.

1 – 2pm: Tree Tours Join us for a festive tour of the mini trees on display and the holiday décor with a member of the Museum staff. After your tour take in the Victorian splendor of the Moser Library while enjoying holiday cookies and hot chocolate. Tours will meet in the lobby. Guided by the Holiday Decorators. Note: Tours subject to volunteer docent availability; last-minute cancellations may occur. Reoccurs on 12/12, 12/19 and 12/26.

1 – 4pm: Building Gingerbread Houses Kids and kids at heart will love assembling a gingerbread house with us! Buy the kit and the supplies are included. Michaels locations.

1 – 4pm: Nature Store Grand Opening The Connecticut Audubon Society Center at Glastonbury’s Holiday Nature Store will hold its Grand Opening. This family fun day will feature guest artisans and will showcase a wide range of holiday gifts. The Holiday Store will then be open from Tuesday, December 8 through Saturday, December 12, from 1-4 pm. It will offer nature gifts for everyone, including bird houses and feeders, books, holiday decorations and jewelry. All proceeds will benefit the Nature Center’s educational programs. The Center is located at 1361 Main Street, Glastonbury, CT.

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2pm: Join us for this Glitzy Glamour Holiday Party – homemade wine and great prizes! Cork & Brew, Southington.

2pm: Wine + Weaving Join renowned textile artist Ruben Marroquin for an evening of wine and introductory weaving at Hartford Prints! Through his studies at FIT in New York and ENSCI in Paris, Ruben developed a passion for weaving and fiber arts. An instructor of beginning weaving for over seven years, Ruben will guide your first foray into loom weaving, using bamboo and Alpaca yarn, to help create a beautiful scarf or table runner just in time for the holidays! Price: $100 (includes wine + yarn). Hartford Prints, Hartford.

2pm and 5pm: It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play George Bailey, Zuzu, Clarence the Angel, and grumpy old Mr. Potter are turning Hartford into Bedford Falls this year! Come relive the story of a man who gets to see what life would have been like if he had never been born. (And there’s even a Twain connection–when Clarence is pulled out of the water, he dries off his copy of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer!) When the film “It’s A Wonderful Life” was released in 1946, it was not an immediate popular or financial success. However, its reputation grew over the years, and a clerical error resulting in the loss of its copyright protection resulted in it being shown widely during the Christmas season every year. It has become a phenomenon, and many don’t feel that their holiday season is complete without watching it. Now, there’s a very unique opportunity to revisit this wonderful story–in a fun, live radio-show performance, complete with a foley (sound effects) artist! The play is written by Joe Landry and is directed by Virginia Wolf. The performance is 90 minutes, and there is no intermission. $10 tickets. Mark Twain House & Museum, Hartford.

2 – 6pm: Holiday Magic Connecticut Landmarks’ Phelps-Hatheway House is a featured stop on the Suffield Garden Club’s Holiday Magic tour. The bus tour includes 7 private homes on historic South Main Street decorated by the Suffield Garden Club, as well as entry to the Phelps-Hatheway House & the King House Museum. Tickets for Holiday Magic are $20 in advance; $25 day of. Phelps-Hatheway House & Garden, Suffield.

4 – 6pm: 5th Annual Jungle Bell Jubilee holiday celebration and carol sing will be held in downtown Unionville. Co-sponsored by the Unionville Village Improvement Association and Unionville Museum, this event kicks off the season by bringing together Unionville’s holiday traditions in one festive event for all to enjoy. The event begins with family activities from 4-5:30pm. Stop by the Unionville Youth Center for cookie decorating and take a photo in front of the holiday backdrop. Kid’s games will be offered next door at the Youth Center Annex and Union School PTO will also be sponsoring holiday ornament making at the First Congregational Church. After 5 pm, the event centers around Unionville’s Gazebo in Clover Pinney Park, which is transformed into Jingle Bell Square. Enjoy a bonfire and DJ, free refreshments and hot cocoa and a carol sing at 5:30pm. The fun concludes with a visit from Santa around 5:45pm. In conjunction with the activities, the Unionville Museum will hold its annual free Yuletide Open House from 3 – 5pm featuring a holiday trees designed by local businesses. There will also be hand painted ornaments for auction painted by local artists and refreshments.

4 – 6pm: Decorate Your Own Tree, Star or Snowflake! Join us before the Glastonbury Town Center Tree Lighting to decorate your own tree, star or snowflake! Free.

4:30 – 6pm: Holiday Time at the Clock Museum Join us for a special children’s holiday program at the American Clock & Watch Museum! Children will make a  snowman-clock or snowflake-ornament craft. Then, they will enjoy hot chocolate and cookies while watching the 1974 animated short film “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” In this picture, clockmaker Joshua Trundle and Father Mouse build a singing clock tower that plays a special song in the hopes of convincing Santa not to bypass their town on Christmas Eve. $5 per person.

5 – 9pm: Candlelight Tours: Christmas in Connecticut This once-a-year event features a warming supper of hearty soup, bread and cookies in the Whitman Tavern, followed by a tour with costumed actors portraying the lives and holiday traditions of people who lived from 1720 to 1899. A rich and surprising history of Christmas in Early America will unfold before your eyes…and will touch your hearts. Guests register for a specific time slot. First tour at 5 pm, last tour at 8 pm. $14 per person. Registration required. Stanley-Whitman House, Farmington.

7 – 9:30pm: Glass Wine Bottle Painting Class Come join us for a wine bottle painting class and create your very own hand-painted wine bottle that can be used as a decoration or oil or vinegar bottles.  Great personalized gift idea to someone else or to yourself!  We provide clear wine bottle,  pour spout , and all of the paint and supplies you’ll need for your creation. Doors open at 6:30pm, instruction begins at 7pm. $40 per person. Scene Art Bar, Unionville.

8pm: Latanya Farrell is a contemporary solo artist, and former Star Search champion from Connecticut, whose vocal stylings have been described as “incredible”, “amazing”, and “mesmerizing” by critics and audience members alike. Featuring an ensemble of highly talented musicians, her shows encompass a mix of high energy and elegance, and include selections that showcase her unique talents, and capture her wonderful spirit and love for life. With a busy schedule of performances throughout the northeast, Latanya crafts her sets with a skillful selection of soul, blues, jazz, and dance classics along with some of the best known original music from her debut album, “Feelin? Alright”! $25 per person. The Artists Collective, Hartford.

Saturday, December 5 – Sunday, December 6:

10am – 4pm: Hill-Stead Holiday Boutique Find unique holiday gifts while supporting local artists and artisans. More than 25 selected vendors present fine art, hand-made clothing, jewelry, home goods, gourmet food, pet items, and more. Get into the holiday spirit with delicious spiced wine, cider and gourmet food truck fare. Admission is free. Hill-Stead Museum, Farmington.

10am – 5pm: Shop Locally at the 11th Annual Holiday Market! The White Hart Inn, Salisbury.

Saturday 1 – 6pm and Sunday 1 – 4pm: Home for the Holidays Tours Experience the season’s splendor at the Phelps-Hatheway House with tours of the nature inspired décor by Suffield’s own landscape designer Julie Simmons Harrison. Music students from Suffield High School will serenade you with carols & music of the season. Children’s activities throughout the weekend. Light refreshments served. Participate in our Gingerbread House Competition in three age categories: youth (12 and under), teen (13-18), and adult (19 and up). Entries need not be a house but preferably a Suffield structure. Children are encouraged to make their dream house! Bring your entry on Saturday, Dec. 5th, at 11am for an 11:30am judging and awards. Weekend Tour Tickets: $10; children 6-18: $5 (under 6 free). Phelps-Hatheway House & Garden, Suffield.

Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 3pm: Albano’s Nutcracker Start you holidays with Clara and her Christmas journey through the land of the sweets. Welte Theater; Central Connecticut State University, New Britain.

Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 2pm: Fiddler on the Roof Get ready to raise the curtain and take center stage as the spotlight is on the Mandell JCC’s Theater Program. This year’s show is a community theater production of Fiddler on the Roof. With the professional direction of Carolyn Mostel Weiser along with live musical accompaniment, actors will present several performances of “Fiddler.” Reoccurs on 12/8 at 7pm, 12/10 and 12/12 at 7:30 and 12/15 at 7pm.

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Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 2:30pm: American School for the Deaf Presents: The Cridders in The Spirit of Christmas Click here for the flyer. $15 per ticket, $20 at the door. Kingswood Oxford’s Roberts Theatre, West Hartford.

Sunday, December 6:

8:30am: Blue Back Mitten Run Bring mittens, gloves and hats to help support The Town That Cares Fund. 8:30am: Registration in West Hartford Town Hall Parking Lot 10am: Kids Race 1/2 Mile and 1 Mile and 10:30am: 5K Race.

10am – 5pm: 1st Annual Connecticut Christmas Gift Show Come shop almost 150 vendors of every category imaginable. There will be something special for everyone on your list: Crafts, food and beverage, jewelry, stocking stuffers, electronics, games, apparel, collectibles and more! We have some fun free crafts and activities for the kids, and face painting will be available for a small charge along with free goodie bags! Admission is just $3 for Adults, kids 12 and under are free! Aqua Turf Club, Southington.

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11am – 4pm: 35th Annual Holiday House Tour This is the famed-in-Connecticut weekend holiday tradition when people flock to the Mark Twain House, and to distinctive area homes, for The Friends of The Mark Twain House & Museum Holiday House Tour. The tour will feature Mark Twain’s 19-room home and several historic homes will be opened for viewing for the 35th year of this event. Each will be decorated for the holidays and will feature live music and floral arrangements. The Twain mansion will be decorated for a 19th-century Christmas with the Samuel Clemens family. The tour takes about three hours and requires some driving, but all the houses are not far from one another. Proceeds from the tour will benefit the continued restoration, preservation, and education programs of The Mark Twain House & Museum, which is a National Historic Landmark.

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11am – 6pm: The Chocolate Expo Celebrate your passion… and celebrate life! Chocolate is truly one of life’s simple pleasures.  Almost everyone loves chocolate! The Chocolate Expo, now one of the very largest chocolate events in the U.S., offers tastings & sales of chocolates, baked goods, specialty foods, gelato, cheeses, wines and more from 35-100 local, regional and even some international vendors, depending on location and the size of the facility. Each Chocolate Expo event combines chocolate and food with a dash of fun such as unique exhibits, performances, demonstrations and celebrity appearances. Whether its touring a world-class air & space museum on Long Island, touching live sharks in Connecticut, a magical Beatles tribute concert in NYC or an appearance by “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro in New Jersey, The Chocolate Expo is unlike any other chocolate event.

1 – 4pm: Meet the Family (and Mary Cassatt!): A 1908 Christmas While a visit to Hill-Stead during the holiday season always gives a peek at the past, Meet the Family on the first Sunday in December, invites visitors to call on the Popes and celebrate the holiday in their home. This year, the Popes welcome a very special guest—artist Mary Cassatt. Museum interpreters dress in vintage costumes to portray members of the Pope family, their guests, and the household staff, as they act out vignettes based on the real accounts of life at Hill-Stead. “One of the highlights of this event,” commented Curator Melanie Bourbeau, “is that guests hear true stories, straight from the mouths of famous and not-so-famous characters.”

1:30 – 3pm: Family Paint for a Cause Join us for a step-by-step painting class along with music and lots of fun to support Christmas Wish CT. $10 of each ticket sale will be donated to Christmas Wish CT. $25 per person. Scene Art Bar, Unionville.

3pm: Farmington Valley Chorale presents Magnificat! – four settings of the Canticle of Mary by Vivaldi, Mozart, Rutter and Stanford – and traditional songs of the season. The 100 member chorale under the direction of Dr. Ellen Gilson Voth, will be joined by soloists Louise Fauteux – soprano, Dana Kephart – mezzo soprano, Marc Winer – tenor, and Anthony Leathem – bass. Frank Zilinyi will accompany on organ. Donation is $15, full-time students are free. First Church of Christ, Simsbury.

3 – 4:30pm: A Chanukah Fair Eight days of fun rolled into one! Get ready for Chanukah: taste delicious latkes made by our celebrity chefs at our annual Latke Throwdown, create your own wooden menorah, decorate a Chanukah cookie, listen to PJ Library stories, make holiday cards, and have fun with Legos. The Claypen will be here to help you can paint Chanukah pottery (for a small fee). Join us for candle lighting at sunset. $10 materials fee for the Claypen art. Mandell JCC, West Hartford.

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4pm: Fire on Ice Join the biggest community wide Chanukah celebration in town. Watch an eight foot menorah being carved out of ice. Kids and parents, use your creativity to engineer a giant light up reindeer. Arts and crafts, heated tent, live music, fire show, children’s performance, a menorah lighting ceremony and much more. West Hartford Center, West Hartford.

untitledfth.png8pm: 3rd Annual Super Sensitive Dude-A-Palooza Jen Lowe brings her annual event to Charter Oak Cultural Center for one night only on December 6. The night will feature some of the best local musicians in town (in no particular order of sensitivity); Auburn Mode, Michael Cleary, Lee Sylvestre, Chip Fenney, Paul Lombardo, Billy Megofna, Dennis Fancher, John Corvo, Ed Corvo, Alan Friedman, Jay Wiggin and Scott Wattel. The evening will also include an appearance by Belle of the Fall. Jen Lowe brings her poetic verses to life with unyielding melodies and a sense of humor. She is a true natural performer, whether she’s pounding ferociously on a djembe or gently finger-picking her old guitar. For the Dude-A-Palooza Jen’s love of spontaneity and good music come together in the perfect pre-holiday cocktail of songs and stories with some of Hartford’s top vocalists, musicians and songwriters. $15 per person.

Monday, December 7:

10 – 11:15am: Open Play Join us for free open play with the donation of a new unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots. Imagine Studio, West Hartford.

4 – 5pm: Gingerbread Houses Come get in the holiday spirit and join Ms. Courtney for a delicious afternoon of gingerbread house construction! $20 per child, $15 per sibling. Imagine Studio, West Hartford.

Tuesday, December 8:

9:30 – 10:30am and 11:30am – 12:30pm: Gingerbread Fun Toddler Class Today we will be making the most delicious gingerbread cupcakes with homemade frosting! In addition to this, each child will create their own gingerbread house! Kids can get creative and use our variety of toppings to personalize their creation! Ages 2-5. $15 per child (must be accompanied by an adult). Stew Leonard’s, Newington. Reoccurs on 12/11 and 12/12 (first session only).

12 – 2pm: Holiday Adult Luncheon with Live Music Back by popular demand is the musical group Dave & Friends. They are back to play your favorite holiday season favorites and you can sing along! Come out with your friends and enjoy the music. Lunch, dessert and beverages will be served. Registration is required by three days prior to the start of the program. $10 per person. Winding Trails, Farmington.

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7pm: 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.

7pm: Fiddler on the Roof Get ready to raise the curtain and take center stage as the spotlight is on the Mandell JCC’s Theater Program. This year’s show is a community theater production of Fiddler on the Roof. With the professional direction of Carolyn Mostel Weiser along with live musical accompaniment, actors will present several performances of “Fiddler.” Reoccurs on 12/8 at 7pm, 12/10 and 12/12 at 7:30pm and 12/15 at 7pm.

7 – 8:30pm: That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Jewish This group is for converts to Judaism to have a safe, shared space, regardless of their affiliation or “by whom” they were converted; a place where everyone will be respectful, kind, and supportive of each other; a place to rejoice, complain, share observations, information and advice, comfort, humor, and news. Free and open to the community. Mandell JCC, Zachs Campus, West Hartford.

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7pm: Men: Notes from an Ongoing Investigation From the notoriously contrarian author of Against Love, a witty and probing examination of why badly behaved men have been her lifelong fascination, on and off the page. It’s no secret that men often behave in intemperate ways, but in recent years we’ve witnessed so many spectacular public displays of male excess–disgraced politicians, erotically desperate professors, fallen sports icons–that we’re left to wonder whether something has come unwired in the collective male psyche. In the essays collected here, Laura Kipnis revisits the archetypes of wayward masculinity that have captured her imagination over the years, scrutinizing men who have figured in her own life alongside more controversial public examples. Slicing through the usual clichés about the differences between the sexes, Kipnis mixes intellectual rigor and wit to give us compelling survey of the affinities, jealousies, longings, and erotics that structure the male-female bond. This is a free event and is followed by a book sale and signing. Reservations are highly recommended. Mark Twain House & Museum, Hartford.

Tuesday, December 8 – Thursday, December 10:

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11am – 3pm: Old State House Holiday Shopping Fair Attention holiday shoppers: back by popular demand, the Connecticut’s Old State House Holiday Shopping Fair will be taking place for three straight days. This fair invites some of the best Connecticut-based vendors who sell handcrafted and CT-made products, providing visitors a great opportunity to purchase quality jewelry, crafts, holiday decorations, knitted apparel, photography, artwork, soaps, candles, notecards and all you need for your hand-made holiday. Admission to the fair is free.

Wednesday, December 9:

2 – 3pm: Story and Craft at the Museum Join us for a holiday storytime at CHS! Children will listen to a reading of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and make a holiday craft to take home. After the program, explore the hands-on activities in our exhibits. This program is great for children ages 5 and under. CT Historical Society, Hartford.

4 – 5pm: Nutcracker Story Ballet Join Miss Karla as we read and dance through the pages of the Nutcracker Story. Ages 3-7. Imagine Studio, West Hartford.

4pm: Intergenerational Chanukah Fun Join us at Hoffman Summerwood for Chanukah songs, PJ Library stories and a Chanukah craft.  See what our senior neighbors have in store for us. Free and open to the community. Hoffman Summerwood Community, West Hartford.

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6 – 8pm: Delecato Christmas Four Courses, Four Flight” with Delecato. Reservations Required. Rooftop120, Glastonbury.

7:30pm: Other People’s Stories celebrates the way that our favorite tales evolve with every telling, whether they’re stories our parents told us about their parents, stories our friends told us about themselves, or the far-fetched boasting of the neighborhood raconteur. There are only two rules for Other People’s Stories: (1) No notes! Tell it as you remember it, make up the parts you forget. (2) No first-hand knowledge! Tell something that someone else told you. Who will be telling these stories? A revolving crowd of Hartford area regulars, first timers, and maybe you. Real Art Ways, Hartford.

Be sure to check out more fun things to on our activities page and our Holiday page. These are usually fun things that reoccur each week or month – we just don’t want to cloud up this page with redundancy – but these are some awesome things to do too.

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