7-Day Happenings: January 1 – 7

Welcome to your 7-day Momecast™ a event forecast for Moms (and Dads) of what to do and where to go throughout Hartford County! School is back in session on Monday so I wanted to give you a head start to get that family time in. Happy New Years from our family to yours; we hope it is a happy, healthy and wealthy one!

Friday, January 1:

{Last Call} 12pm and 2:30pm: Let It Snow: A Christmas Musical Journey in the Planetarium combines animated holiday images with classic Christmas music under the Travelers Science Dome. This is a family friendly program and perfect for all ages. The Children’s Museum, West Hartford.

1pm: Scantic River First Day Hike East Windsor American Heritage River Commission hosts their 6th annual New Year’s Day hike, a 2.5 mile loop trail, family and dog friendly. Scantic River State Park Broad Brook, East Windsor.

1:30 – 2:30pm: Walk in the Park Meet at the Cottage. Elizabeth Park, West Hartford.

{Last Call} 5-10pm: 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 coupon. Military Appreciation Night is on Tuesday, December 29th where free admission is given to veterans and active service personnel when they show a valid military or veteran association issued ID. Goodwin Park, Hartford.

Friday, January 1 – Wednesday, January 6:

{Last Call} 4pm – Midnight: 44th Annual Hartford Festival of Lights 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. Constitution Plaza, Hartford.

Friday, January 1 – Thursday, January 7:

11am – 8pm: Winterfest Hartford Free ice skating and skate rentals return to Bushnell Park. Learn to skate program on Saturdays at 10-11am. Children under the age of sixteen must be accompanied by an adult. The Bushnell Carousel from Friday – Sunday from 11am – 5pm. Runs through Sunday, January 24. Bushnell Park, Hartford.

Saturday, January 2  – Sunday, January 3:

{Last Call} Saturday from 10am – 4pm and Sunday from 1 – 4pm: The Three Centuries of Christmas enchanting, historic view of holidays past begins in the Silas Deane House, circa 1770, where New Year’s Day was the main holiday, rather than Christmas, due to the Puritanical customs that lingered in New England. It was also the day when individuals who owed the family money would meet privately with the master of the house to settle their debts or make a New Year’s resolution to provide goods or services to settle their accounts in the coming year. The Isaac Stevens House is decorated to depict the holiday celebrations of a middle-class household during the early to mid-1800s, when many of the Christmas traditions known today were adopted in New England. At the Joseph Webb House visitors are dazzled by decorations typical of the early 20th century, a period of stunning decoration and celebration. Admission is $12 adult, $6 children, $28 family (2 adults, 2 children). Webb-Deanne Stevens Museum, Wethersfield.

Saturday, January 2:

9am – 12pm: Kid’s Monthly Workshop: Kung Fu Panda 3 Spinning Box Join our hands-on workshop and build a Spinning Box toy. Then, decorate your finished box with stickers featuring characters from the upcoming Dreamworks movie Kung Fu Panda 3. Home Depot locations.

10am – 1pm: Family Program: Let’s Build a City! Calling all builders! Join other families at the CHS as we build our own community on our giant floor map. We’ll provide the boxes (and other supplies), while kids will use their creativity to turn boxes into buildings and help our city come to life. This free program is great for all ages. CT Historical Society, Hartford.

11am: Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast Storytime Enjoy the funniest “food fight” story ever! Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast have a beautiful friendship – until they discover that there’s only one drop of maple syrup left. Join us to see who will enjoy the sweet taste of victory! Activities to follow. Barnes & Noble of Farmington, Canton, West Hartford, Glastonbury, Manchester and Enfield.

7pm: Hartford Wolf Pack vs Albany Devils Promotions: Winter Clothing Drive: Donate a winter hat, jacket or scarf and receive a buy one, get one free ticket voucher for any 2015-16 Wolf Pack home game. Travel Mug Giveaway: The first 2000 fans will receive a Wolf Pack travel mug. XL Center, Hartford.

8pm: Franklin’s Peaches & Friends Come celebrate the New Year with a laugh! Franklin’s Peaches returns to Playhouse on Park for a night of improv comedy. Franklin’s Peaches, renowned for their confident, high-energy style, will be joined by some of Hartford’s best improv artists for a one night only performance. Doors open 30 minutes prior to the show. BYOB. $10 admission. Playhouse on Park, West Hartford.

Saturday, January 2 – Sunday, January 3:

Saturday from 10am – 4:30pm with Story Time at 1:30pm and Sunday from 1 – 4pm: Frozen Fun Make six-sided snowflakes, learn how animals survive winter cold, snow and ice, and hike the trails around the Nature Center to find frozen treasures. Register for story time with Anna and Elsa only. Activities and crafts are free with admission to the Nature Center. Roaring Brook Nature Center, Canton.

Sunday, January 3:


8am – 3pm: Fitness Frenzy Day Start your New Year with fitness and activities for the whole family. For one day only we are opening our doors to the entire community to share in the fitness and fun. Work out in our state-of-the-art Fitness Center with cardio equipment and weight room. Bring your swim suit and splash around in our 25-yard indoor lap pool, training pool, and whirlpool. Try out one of our renowned Group Exercise classes, or two, or three including Spinning, Zumba, Yoga, Body Pump and more. Shoot hoops in our gymnasium, complete with basketball courts. Return of Superhero Fitness for children. Free and open to the community. No registration required. JCC, Zachs Campus, West Hartford.

11am – 2pm: Jazz Brunch Join us for a brunch buffet while listening to The 2nd Line Jazz Quartet perform a fresh, toe-tapping spin on the Great American Songbook! Afterwards, explore the galleries on your own or take a tour with a docent. Tickets include museum admission, jazz, brunch, and one complimentary bloody mary or mimosa. There are two seatings; one at 11am and one at 12:30pm. The brunch buffet features the Chef’s egg dish of the day, home fries, thick cut bacon, sausage, and ham, NY bagels and lox, stuffed French toast, Belgian waffles with fixings, assorted breakfast pastries, seasonal fruit, freshly brewed coffee, and tea. Tickets are available online only, click here to purchase. Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford.


1 – 4pm: Open House See all the new and exciting programs the Mandell JCC Valley Sports & Community Center has to offer! Free and open to the community! Click here to RSVP on Facebook. Mandell JCC Valley Sports & Community Center, Canton.

3pm: Hartford Wolf Pack vs Scranton Penguins Promotions: Winter Clothing Drive: Donate a winter hat, jacket or scarf and receive a buy one, get one free ticket voucher for any 2015-16 Wolf Pack home game. Sonar’s Birthday: You’re officially invited to Sonar’s Birthday Bash! Hang out with mascots from around the league and from some of your favorite local teams. XL Center, Hartford.

3 – 4pm: Frozen Party Dress as your favorite character from Frozen, and join in the “frozen” fun with Whimsical Wishes! Feel free to bring a friend to this family event. $10 per child in advance or $15 at the door. JCC, Zachs Campus, West Hartford.

Monday, January 4:

6 – 7pm: Free Yoga Monday nights never felt so good as they do with your yoga buddies at Hartford Sweat at ArtSpace in Downtown Hartford! Join Abbey for a fierce, fabulous and free Bikram Yoga class set in a “room temperature” environment (so be sure to dress appropriately)! Grab a mat, water, towel and a buddy and come see what the buzz is all about! Ample free parking is located behind the building. Doors open at 5:30pm. Hartford ArtSpace Gallery, Hartford.

Monday, January 4 – Tuesday, January 5:

Monday – Tuesday from 7-8:30pm and Monday 8:30-9:30pm: Auditions for “Fool for Love” combines music, poetry, comedy with the music of Broadway and American Standards such as “My Funny Valentine” and “Why Do Fools Fall in Love.” Cast includes 5 women and 5 men. Email for an appointment. Please state first and second choice of day and time in 30 minute increments every 30 minutes. Bring a current photo or headshot. Plan on arriving 10 minutes prior to your appointment. Prepare 32 bars of a song in either the Broadway or American Standards style, preferably memorized. Bring music, accompanist provided. No karaoke or a cappella. Rehearsals: Sunday, January 10, 17 and 24 from 3-6pm, January 31, February 1-3, 7-9, 10-11 from 7-10pm. Performances: Friday, February 12, Saturday, February 13 and matinée on Sunday, February 14. Farmington Valley Stage Company, Canton.

Tuesday, January 5:

9:30 – 10:30am and 11:30am- 12:30pm: Book and a Bite Today we will bake yummy dog bone-shaped treats! While we munch on our creations, we will sit back and relax as we read the book “Harry the Dirty Dog,” written by Gene Zion. Reoccurs on Friday, January 8. Ages 2-5. $15 per child (must be accompanied by an adult). Stew Leonard’s, Newington.

3 – 6pm: Get Hired is Connecticut’s largest insurance and financial services career fair for college students. Get Hired gathers regional, national and globally recognized insurance and financial services companies in a single Hartford venue to meet college students seeking opportunities in Connecticut’s Insurance Financial Services industry. Students from academic institutions across Connecticut turn out to market their talents and many attendees hail from colleges and universities beyond Connecticut’s borders. Register online. Hartford Marriott Downtown, Hartford.


8pm: UConn Men vs. Temple at the XL Center, Hartford.

Wednesday, January 6:

10 – 10:30am: A Trip to South America Listen to Spanish music and stories while learning about the animals and art of the region. Discover the Cave of Hands in Argentina, the folk art of Panama and the Butterflies of Brazil. Create your own artwork based on your discoveries. Ages 2-3 with caregiver. Reoccurs 1/13 and 1/20. Lutz Children’s Museum, Manchester.

11 – 11:45am: The Art of South America Take a trip to South America! You will see artifacts, hear music, and listen to some folk tales from the region. Explore artwork and create your own masterpiece based on this vibrant culture. Ages 3-5. Reoccurs 1/13 and 1/20. Lutz Children’s Museum, Manchester.

4 – 4:45pm: The Art of South America Take a brief trip to South America. Look at maps and artifacts from the region. Listen to music and folk tales from a few of the countries there. Discover the Cave of Hands in Argentina, the folk art of Panama, and the Butterflies of Brazil. Create your own artwork based on your discoveries. Ages 5-10. Reoccurs 1/13 and 1/20. Lutz Children’s Museum, Manchester.

5:30pm: No Excuse Moms Workout Class Join us for a free Mommy and Me (baby, child, kid, teen) workout class. YMCA, Plainville.

5:30 – 8:30pm: Get HYPEd is a casual event that offers an opportunity to network with other young professionals. Join us and make sure to drop a business card for your chance to win a prize! Spotlight Theatres, Hartford.

7pm: Bottles, Bottles and More Bottles Where to begin? Let us help you in the process of understanding all the different options -Picking a bottle type -Choosing a bottle shape -Selecting a nipple size and flow. Free. Register online. Babies R Us, Manchester.

Thursday, January 7:

11 – 11:45am: Arts & Crafts for Preschoolers Come join us for a fun filled creative class that will stir your preschooler’s imaginations. Every week your child will enjoy an hour of creative arts and crafts projects that they will be able to take home and show off to the entire family. Ages 3-5. Non-members $30 per child. Reoccurs until 2/4. Winding Trails, Farmington.

4 – 4:45pm: Young Scientists Join us to explore the mysteries of biology! We are about to dive into science and ask questions about the world around us. Using the steps of the scientific method we will answer questions like: how do plants grow? How do animals stay warm outside in winter months? We will explore these questions and many more in Young Scientists! Ages 5-10. Reoccurs 1/14, 1/21, 1/28, 2/4 and 2/11. Lutz Children’s Museum, Manchester.

6pm: From Earth to the Universe This stunning, 30-minute voyage through time and space conveys, through an arresting combination of sights and sounds, the Universe revealed to us by science. Reoccurs on Thursday, 1/21 and 2/25. Glastonbury Planetarium, Glastonbury.

6 – 9pm: Writing in Mark Twain’s Library Get your 2016 writing resolution off with a (quiet) bang! Spend some time writing in Mark Twain’s own library! Tickets for three quiet hours in Mark Twain’s Library are $50. Mark Twain House, Hartford.


7:30pm: Buyer & Cellar An outrageous comedy about the price of fame, the cost of things and the oddest of odd jobs. An under-employed Los Angeles actor goes to work in Barbra Streisand’s Malibu basement. Hilarity ensues as we puzzle over the solitude of celebrity and the melancholy that lurks beneath it. Runs until Sunday, Feburary 14. TheaterWorks, Hartford.


7:30pm: The Body of an American “If you do this, I will own you forever.” Canadian photojournalist Paul Watson is haunted by the words he heard a dead soldier say as he took the photo that would win him the Pulitzer Prize and reshape American foreign policy. Playwright Dan O’Brien, struggling with ghosts of his own, reaches out to Watson, and the two forge a friendship as they reckon with the traumas that have shaped their lives. The Body of an American is a bold, radically theatrical and poetic true story that ranges from Afghanistan and Iraq to the Canadian High Arctic. Runs through Sunday, January 31. Hartford Stage, Hartford.

7:30pm: Kathleen Madigan is one of the most respected comedians of her generation; over her 25 year career Madigan has performed on nearly every standup television show ever made. The Bushnell, Hartford.

Be sure to check out more fun things to on our activities page. These are usually fun activities 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.