February 1 – 7

Welcome to your 7-day Momecast™ – an event forecast for Moms (and Dads) of what to do and where to go throughout Hartford County; with the kids, without the kids and for the whole family! If you do not mind the drive, check out what to do across the state by visiting our parent site, Momecticut. Does your middle or high scholar like to write? Wouldn’t it be like killing two birds with one stone if they won a writing contest to add to their college application(s) and won their teacher a monetary prize? In addition, for all of the writers in us consider taking your stab at a Haiku for a share to win your partner (or yourself) a massage. The next 7 days features some fun happenings from the CT Kids Expo, to Monster Jam to the Taste Of Hartford. Fill your calendar in with all the fun, not-to-miss happenings in our area. Have a sitter? Consider seeing a show – with so many to choose from; scroll below for more Parent Time Out (our version of the PTO) opportunities. Check back often as we update on the regular.

Announcements:

3rd Annual Haiku Contest: Write a haiku about love by February 12th for a chance to win a free 1-hr massage from Massage Envy in Canton for your sweetie. Need a haiku refresher? It’s a 17 syllable poem in three lines of 5, 7 and 5 syllables, like this: “Love is in the air Even the chill of winter Can’t lessen the warmth.” Visit Massage Envy’s Facebook fanpage to enter!

My Favorite Teacher Contest: Middle and High School Students write an essay, poem, or thank-you letter (500 words or less, in English on 8.5″ x 11″ white paper) sharing how a teacher has influenced their life and why they appreciate and admire them. Participating schools will collect the essays and provide them to their local Barnes & Noble store representative. Deadline for entries is March 1, 2016. Winners are selected, and the local store and community celebrations begin! If your school is not participating in the contest and you would like your teacher to be considered for the local and regional award as well as the national Barnes & Noble Teacher of the Year Award, please submit your signed entry form in person or by mail to your local store. Forms must be postmarked by March 1, 2016 and can be sent to any Barnes & Noble store near you (a complete list of stores is available here). A store representative will ensure it is entered into the pool of entries for the awards.

3rd Annual Royal Nonesuch Humor Writing Contest Recognizing that Samuel Clemens (aka: Mark Twain) began writing at an early age and to encourage other young authors, we welcome submissions for two categories: Adult (age 18 and over at time of submission) at $23 per submission, and Young Author (age 17 and under at time of submission) at $13 per submission. Submissions fees go towards the preservation of The Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford. This contest is a whole new way for “Twainiacs” to support Mark Twain’s legacy. We thank you sincerely! Your deadline is Sunday, July 10, 2016. Word limit is 7,000 words. Further guidelines and the submission portal will be released on February 1st. Submit your original humorous essays and stories for a chance at a cash prize, and best of all – bragging rights! Last year’s winners took home $3,500+ in prizes.

Monday, February 2:

6am – 5pm: Groundhog Day Prediction The Lutz Children’s Museum is proud to be the home of the official Connecticut state groundhog. Hundreds of dedicated fans gather at the museum each year on Groundhog Day to hear her prediction. The museum will open to the public at 6am on Groundhog Day. Coffee and breakfast foods will be served while we await her arrival at about 6:4am. Admission is free from 6 – 9am. The museum will remain open to the public until 5pm so that everyone will have the opportunity to visit the celebrity groundhog. “Connecticut Chuckles VIII” is approximately three years old. She has lived at the Lutz Children’s Museum since she was discovered injured and orphaned as a baby. Her doctor determined that she would not be able to survive in the wild, opening the door to a new career in meteorology. The Lutz Children’s Museum, Manchester.

6 – 7:30pm: Kennedy Middle School and Zing Fit Zumba are partnering for Zumba for a Cause to raise funds for Planting Pencils. Planting Pencils is the new educational, non-profit organization started by 13-year-old Ishaan Patel of Southington that is dedicated to the right of every child to have access to education. One pencil, one book, one child at a time… We can make a difference together! The class is fun for all ages! 100% of the proceeds will benefit the charity. Registration begins at 5:45 pm. $10 per person. Kennedy Middle School, Plantsville.

Monday, February 1 – Sunday, February 7:

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Taste of Hartford’s winter edition returns January 25 through February 7, with prix-fixe menus at several city restaurants. Participating restaurants will serve multi-course meals (lunch, dinner, or both) for $20.16 to $30.16, depending on the offering. Click here for a list of participating restaurants.

Monday, February 1 – Monday, February 29:

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Tuesday, February 2:

Happy Groundhogs Day!

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10:30 – 11:15am: February Family Playtime! Looking for a fun indoor activity to do with your1-5 year old on these cold winter days? Then why don’t you join us for our Family Playtime. This is an open gym forum where children accompanied by a caretaker can explore the many obstacle courses on the floor, the balance beam, the vault, the bars and the pit. Family Playtime is for  children ages 1-5 years of age with caretaker participation. Non-members are welcome. Reoccurs on Tuesday, 2/9, 2/16 and 2/23. $10 per child and $5 for each additional child (in the same family). A general release form is required for non-members. The Gymnastics Training Center, Simsbury.

3:30 – 4:45pm: Ooey Gooey Science Little Scientists will enjoy lots of sensory play as they make slime and play with goo! Ages 3-5. $25 per child. The Little Green Tambourine, North Canton.

7 – 8pm: Connecticut’s Slave Ships and Human Memory The Logbooks: Connecticut’s Slave Ships and Human Memory. Come to this thought-provoking presentation by author Anne Farrow who paints a vivid picture of 18th-century Connecticut slave trading, using three long-neglected ship’s logbooks and other primary sources. Farrow explores the idea that if our history is incomplete, then collectively we have forgotten who we are – a loss similar to the dementia her mother battled as Anne was researching and writing this book. $6 adults, $5 seniors and students, $4 members. Snowdate: 2/3, 7-8pm. Windsor Historical Society, Windsor.

Tuesday, February 2 – Sunday, February 7:

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{PTO} Tuesday – Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday – Saturday at 8pm, Saturday – Sunday at 2:30pm: 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, February 14. TheaterWorks, Hartford.

Wednesday, February 3:

{PTO} 6 – 8pm: Cross Country Skiing for Adults Novice to expert, young or old, all ski enthusiasts are encouraged to join us on Wednesday evenings, weather permitting, for an evening of skiing. You have the option of racing others, racing for personal time, or simply skiing for your own fitness. The ski center will be open for your convenience. Rentals will also be available. Registration is required by noon on Tuesday. Runs until 2/24. $12 per non-member. Winding Trails, Farmington.

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Wednesday, February 3 – Sunday, February 7:

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{PTO} Wednesday – Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday – Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm: The Chosen A standing-room-only hit wherever it has played, this award-winning adaptation from the award-winning novel is the story of two boys, two fathers and two very different Jewish communities—”five blocks and a world apart”—in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in the 1940s. Set against the backdrop of WW II, the revelation of the Holocaust, and the desperate struggle of Zionism, The Chosen remains not essentially political or religious but deeply human. This is a story of friendship, family and difficult choices that we must all make on the path to understanding, respect and reconciliation. Playhouse on Park, West Hartford.

Thursday, February 4:

{Last Call} 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. $30 per child. Winding Trails, Farmington.

9:15 – 10:30am: Messy Bubble Science Who doesn’t love bubbles?  Little Scientists will experiment with bubbles, make art with bubbles, and blow big bubbles! Ages 3-5. $25 per child. The Little Green Tambourine, North Canton.

{Last Call} 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. Lutz Children’s Museum, Manchester.

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7 – 9pm: PJ Library Parents Nite Out Meet up with other PJ Library parents for an evening of friendship. Enjoy a beer on us! Joe Pizza, Simsbury.

Thursday, February 4 – Sunday, February 7:

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{Last Call} Thursday – Friday 8pm: Lint! The Musical Phoebe’s got a problem… No matter where she goes, no matter what she does, she is constantly finding herself in a musical. While this wouldn’t be a problem to some folks, Phoebe tries to escape by taking a job in a laundromat. Everything is fine until one day Phoebe looks up and sees the audience, the lights, everything. Biz, Fab, and Cheer; three muses rise up out of the washers and explain to Phoebe that there is no escaping this musical until she finishes the show and follows the rules to get there. Reluctantly, and with more than a little sarcasm, Phoebe enlists the help of Gary, a pathetic cuckold who was just minding his own business. Jack and Jill enter and the race to finish the musical begins. Along the way, they encounter Heinrich von Baddie, Phoebe’s boss and the representation of villainy in the play. Faced with impending doom (and marriage) Phoebe and her new friends sing themselves through many different emotions and stories, culminating in the classic confrontation of good and evil: a landlord wearing lederhosen and a government agent wearing a jet-pack. Free parking is available in the Chestnut Street garage next to the new police station. Hole in the Wall Theater, New Britain.

Friday, February 5:

9:30 – 10:30am and 11:30 – 12:30pm: Mardi Gras Party for Toddlers Join us as we celebrate Mardi Gras at Stew Leonard’s! We’ll make some traditional New Orleans recipes, including homemade beignets and Jambalaya. ages 2 -5. $15 per child (must be accompanied by an adult). Reoccurs on Tuesday, 2/9. Stew Leonard’s, Newington.

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5:30 – 8pm: First Friday featuring West End Blend and Bluegrass Pals Held monthly, First Friday offers you the use of our galleries as your backdrop as you enjoy local music, artisans, food, and more. A 10-piece musical group, West End Blend’s eclectic mix of jazz, funk, and soul pays homage to classic sounds while weaving in a distinct strain of contemporary style. The Bluegrass Pals are a duo of vocalist and guitarist Lindsey Fyfe (Hartford, CT) and vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Dan Tressler (Easton, CT). Both performers were raised in musical families in Connecticut and met in the winter of 2014 at The Firebox Sunday Night Bluegrass Series. Their acoustic blend of Americana, folk, and bluegrass is sure to get audiences tapping their toes, swaying to the rhythm, and singing along with a smile. $15 non-Members. New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain.

{PTO} 6 – 7pm: UNCorked! You bring the wine, we’ll provide the glasses, hors d’oeuvres, works by local artisans, raffle items, music and mingling with members of the cast of The Vagina Monologues. Wear red to mark this V-Day event. $25 ticket includes admission to the Friday, February 5th opening night performance of The Vagina Monologues at 7:30pm. Limited space. Charter Oak Cultural Center, Hartford.

6 – 8pm: Mardi Gras Party! Join us as we celebrate Mardi Gras at Stew Leonard’s! We’ll make some traditional New Orleans recipes, including homemade beignets and fresh Jambalaya. We will also make colorful Mardi Gras cupcakes! Ages 6-12. $25 per child. Stew Leonard’s, Newington.

7 – 8pm: Owl Prowl at Earle Park Join teacher and naturalist Kasha Breau for a walk in Earle Park.  Bring your flashlight.  Weather is no deterrent as you’ll have a ‘hootin’ good time calling up the owls. Whooo knows, they may even hoot back. Afterwards, enjoy cocoa, coffee or tea to warm you up. Non-members: $10 per person, $5 children under 12. Proceeds from this event benefit the educational programs of The Connecticut Audubon Center at Glastonbury. The Connecticut Audubon Society, Glastonbury.

{PTO} 7 – 10pm: Evening Ski Tour for Adults Skiing under the stars! Does this atmosphere sound good to you? If you answered yes, then you�ll want to join us for this unique program. Weather permitting, fellow skiers will gather the 1st Friday of the month for a special guided ski tour of our trail system. The warmth of a roaring fire, light fareand conversation will follow this nocturnal trek. This program is not for beginner skiers. Weather permitting. $25 per non-member. Winding Trails, Farmington.

{PTO} 7:30pm: The MOuTH: “Thanks, But No Thanks: Stories of Rejection” The Mark Twain House & Museum continues “The MOuTH,” a storytelling series with WNPR personality Chion Wolf. The event is in no way a competition, just storytelling in front of friends in a museum dedicated to Mark Twain, one of our country’s best storytellers. Submissions are now open. Here’s how it works: Email HartfordMouth@gmail.com with your name, approximate story length of less than 10 minutes; note – it usually takes longer to tell your story than you think! Tell it a few times to friends, refine it, and time it!, and a short description of what your story is about. Wolf will look over the submissions and assemble a lineup. “If you don’t get on the list, don’t take it personally!” says Wolf. “It’s our loss, and hopefully we can hear from you at a future ‘Mouth’ event.” There will also be a “Wild Card.” Those wanting to tell a short story can put their names in a hat when they arrive, and at some point, a name will be picked. $5. Storytellers chosen for the lineup get in free. Mark Twain House & Museum, Hartford.

Mardi_Gras_FlyerFriday, February 5 – Saturday, February 6:

{PTO} Friday at 7:30pm and Saturday at 10pm: The Vagina Monologues Eve Ensler’s groundbreaking play, The Vagina Monologues, is a series of monologues about women and their bodies, including texts on sex, love and rape. The Rev. Bridget Fidler  of the First Church of Christ, Congregational in Suffield, returns as director, with Adrienne Wakeman as assistant director and Liz Ellsworth as stage manager. Proceeds benefit My Sister’s Place, Interval House and Connecticut Transadvocacy. Doors open at 7 pm Friday and Saturday. $5 – $15. Charter Oak Cultural Center, Hartford.

Friday, February 5 – Sunday, February 7:

{Last Call} Friday – Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 2pm: Into the Woods James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim take everyone’s favorite storybook characters and bring them together for a timeless yet relevant piece and rare modern classic. The Tony Award-winning book and score are both enchanting and touching. The story follows a Baker and his wife who wish to have a child, Cinderella who wishes to attend the King’s Festival and Jack who wishes his cow would give milk. When the Baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a Witch’s curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse. Everyone’s wish is granted, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later with disastrous results. One of Sondheim’s most popular works, Into The Woods is a musically sophisticated show with the opportunity to feature actors adept at dark comedy. Designers will especially enjoy highlighting the fantastical elements of this magical word. $15 per ticket. Simsbury High School, Simsbury.

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Friday – Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm: Boeing Boeing Bernard, living in Paris, is engaged to Gabriella…and to Gloria…and to Gretchen. With his housekeeper reluctantly playing romantic air-traffic controller, he successfully juggles three gorgeous flight attendant fiancées. But when a new double-speed Super Boeing arrives and changes flight schedules, we quickly learn that one woman is all Bernard can handle! Fasten your seatbelts for the Tony Award-winning comedy! Runs until 2/21. $19 for General Seating. Little Theatre of Manchester at Cheney Hall, Manchester.

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{PTO} 8pm: The Last 5 Years This modern emotionally, powerful and intimate musical chronicles the five-year life of a young couple who fall in and out of love, from meeting to break-up and from break-up to meeting. The Last Five Years uses a unique form of storytelling; Cathy, the woman, tells her story at the end of the relationship and works backwards while Jamie, the man, tells his side of the story from the beginning of the relationship and goes forward. The two characters only meet once, at their wedding in the middle of the show. It ask the questions can time heal or does healing take time? Runs through 2/13. Connecticut Cabaret Theatre, Berlin.

Saturday, February 6:

Take Your Child to the Library Day!

5th Annual Take Your Child to the Library Day (TYCLD) is an international initiative that encourages families everywhere to take their children to their local library. Launched in 2011 right here in Connecticut by librarians Nadine Lipman (Waterford Public Library, retired) and Caitlin Augusta (Stratford Library) with artist Nancy Elizabeth Wallace, TYCLD raises community awareness about the importance of the library in the life of a child, and promotes library services and programs for children and families. TYCLD is officially held on the first Saturday in February – but the date is flexible! TYCLD celebrations may take place on any date(s) in February – it’s up to your library.

10am – 1pm: Valentines for Kids Instead of buying your Valentine’s Day cards this year, come to CHS to create old-fashioned, hand-made cards based on Valentines from long ago. Bring your own supplies or use those that we provide. This free program is great for all ages! Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford.

10am – 1pm: Elmo’s Birthday Bash Come meet loveable, huggable Elmo! Dance and sing in celebration of his birthday! Wear Elmo’s favorite color red and get a prize. The letter of the day is E the number of the day is 3 and the color of the day is Red. Decorate yummy Elmo cupcakes for $2. There will also be a special Sesame Street guest there to help celebrate. Members $5, non-members $10, children under 1 are free. Imagine Nation Museum, Bristol.

12 – 4pm: The 4th Annual Chocolate Expo Chocolate samples, hand-crafted chocolate themed vendors, activities for the whole family. Adults $10, kids (ages 6-11) $3, kids under 5 are free. The Bristol Doubletree Hilton, Bristol.

1 – 3pm: Fun Family Craft Time: Chalkboard Frames Gather your family and friends and join us for an afternoon of fun. We will decorate sweet heart-shaped frames with chalkboard paint and chalk markers, just in time for Valentine’s Day! Supplies are included when you buy the frame. Michael’s locations.

2 – 4pm: Family Winter Survival What do you do if you get lost in the woods in winter? Learn what basic supplies you may need to survive a night outdoors. Includes fire building and shelter construction. Dress for winter weather. Not geared for children under 9. Cost: $7 non-members; $20 per family (non-members). Pre-registration required. Roaring Brook Nature Center, Canton.

{PTO} 3pm: Boot Camp: Create Your Best Year Ever How many times have you tried to change things? How many years have passed, and with them, your dreams of a healthy and vibrant life? Most disease is preventable, yet only eight percent of people achieve their (mostly health-related) resolutions. It’s imperative that you make this year different. Replace your aggravation with motivation. Learn why your resolutions keep duping you, and how to conquer self-limiting beliefs. Get the plan, challenge, and support you need, so that by this time next year you won’t still be saying “next year it’ll be different.” $40 registration fee includes: tour of store, 10% off store purchases at event, sample T3 workout, create a vision board and war plan, complimentary30 minute Far-Infrared Sauna session ($20 Value) and lots of healthy food samples. RSVP. Talcott Family Chiropractic & TFC Health Foods, Farmington.

Saturday, February 6 – Sunday, February 7:

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10am – 3pm: Love is in the Air Market Our Love Local Market is back just in time for Valentine’s Day! Join us and the The Nutmeg Collective as well as oodles of other awesome vendors for a weekend full of fun and exciting artisan goods for sale. We will be highlighting some of our vendors here on this page to show you some of the amazing goodies that they will be bringing to us. Get Baked, LLC, Windsor.

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Saturday 10am – 5pm and Sunday 10am – 4pm: The 12th Annual Connecticut Kids Fair Fun, entertainment, exhibits, prizes and more are what you’ll get at the Connecticut Kids Fair at the Connecticut Convention Center this weekend. 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. Click here for a $1 coupon off of an adult admission and to enter our giveaway to get in for free.

10am – 5pm: Winter Wellness Expo Let’s take healthy to a new level! Learn, explore and shop conventional and alternative treatments and therapies and so much more! $5 admission or free with the donation of a non-perishable food item. Holiday Inn, Enfield.

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Sunday, February 7:

Superbowl Sunday!

1:30pm: Painting Party Become an artist for a day and paint Winter Pines on an 16×20 canvas. Artist Irene Hilbert will guide you step-by-step in a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. Bring a friend or two! The cost is $30 per person and its BYOB. Snacks will be provided. Space is limited so reserve your spot. The Blue Dragonfly Gift Shop, Windsor.

2pm: Kids Stamp! Valentines Come with your kiddo(s) and make some super-cute and fun Valentines, great for passing out to friends, plus one super box that makes a cute grandparent or teacher gift. The class fee is $10 and includes 20 valentines (4 of each design) and 1 box. Each valentine has a joke that goes with the stamp on the front and the answer on the back, along with space for kids to embellish and write their names. I will have other animal choices for the box – the tiger is one example. I’ll have some other samples in another week or so, and your child may choose which animal box she or he would like to make. Anne’s Stampede, East Berlin.

2 – 3pm: SuperbOwl While Dad’s watching the superbowl, come and learn all about owls at our SuperbOWL event! The mysterious creatures of the night will make a live appearance thanks to Connecticut Audubon naturalist Kasha Breau along with Mary Beth Kaezer from Horizon Wings. Find out how owls see, hear and hunt for prey in winter. Learn their songs and visit with the live owls. Afterwards, enjoy a delicious ‘owl pellet’ snack. Non-members: $10 per person, $5 children under 12. Proceeds from this event benefit the educational programs of The Connecticut Audubon Center at Glastonbury. The Connecticut Audubon Society, Glastonbury.

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 inundate up this page with redundancy – but these are some fun things to do too!

Plan Ahead:

Monday, February 8: 10 – 11:15am: Open Play! We will have gross motor toys, play dough, sensory, dancing and bubbles!  Perfect for little ones age 8 months and up! Drop in!  No need to register, $8 per child, $10 for siblings. Cash only please. Imagine Studio, West Hartford.