February 16 – 21

Welcome to the third full of February! Once again we have scoured our rolodex and the internet for all of the fun things happenings this week across Hartford County! With many schools closed on Monday and Tuesday or some the whole week through – we have many options for those parents who work and may need a camp day or those just looking for something to do – we’ve got you covered! Check the links provided for weather delays and cancellations before heading out.

Tuesday, February 16:

8am – 4pm: Contraption Factory Go, go, gadget! Simple machines have been around for thousands of years, and were used to help construct the pyramids and Stonehenge. Explore the uses of levers, pulleys, and inclined planes. Build these machines to help solve a series of challenges that await you! Ages 6 – 12. $68 per child. $3 discount for Hartford employees. Connecticut Science Center, Hartford.

8am – 5pm: Preschool Camp: A Winter Wonderland Enjoy the beauty of winter without the cold. Create snowy landscapes that sparkle, learn about critters that love the cold and, if the weather permits, paint some snow. Campers will also enjoy a popular winter-themed Planetarium show. $85 per child. The New Children’s Museum, West Hartford.

8:45 – 4pm: Vacation Science Camp: Afloat and Aloft Many inventions help us stay afloat and fly when traveling on solid ground isn’t possible. Campers will create contraptions that travel in water and air including rockets and sailboats. Children in grades 1-5. $70 per child. The New Children’s Museum, West Hartford.

9am – 12pm: Nature Carnival Fun with snow and ice, animal tracking and; depending upon weather conditions, snowshoeing or even maple sugaring will be part of this two-day vacation program. Grades K-5. $40 per child. Roaring Brook Nature Center, Canton.

9am – 12pm: Hearth Cooking, a child’s favorite. Young cooks will use colonial period recipes and cook over an open hearth the old-fashioned way! The program fee is $25 per child, per workshop, and $20 for museum members. Bring a bagged lunch when registering kids for both sessions! We are a peanut free facility. Please pack your child a snack. Noah Webster House, West Hartford.

9am – 12pm: Winter Break Cooking Camp Join us for a day of dancing, baking, art and yoga activities! $40 per child. Ages 3-6. Extended day from 12-1pm for an additional $10. The Little Green Tambourine, Canton.

10am – 4pm: National Engineers Day & GE Makers Lab Opening Join GE and Imagine Nation as they unveil the GE Makers Lab – a makerspace dedicated to nurturing young children’s interest in invention, innovation and manufacturing. The GE Makers Lab will be unveiled at 10am as part of Imagine Nation’s annual-Engineer’s Day celebration. More than 20 local GE engineers will lead hands-on activities that introduce kids to the fun and challenge of engineering, such as making batteries out of lemons, constructing parachutes and testing them in a wind tunnel and designing egg drop structures. Imagine Nation Museum, Bristol.

10am – 5pm: The Great Paper Airplane Contest Put your paper airplane folding skills to the test! Using only a single sheet of paper, contestants will construct and fly a paper airplane for distance. Prizes for the greatest distance in three age categories will be awarded, and contestants need not be present to win. New England Air Museum, Windsor Locks.

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 2/23. $10 per child and $5 for siblings. A general release form is required for non-members. The Gymnastics Training Center, Simsbury.

12 – 3pm: Visiting Artist at The New Children’s Museum Explore color themes and the science behind chromatography with Connecticut art educator, Adrienne Brown! Learn about how water can mix and bleed colors together through interesting patterns and effects while creating your own silly, kooky, or scary monster mask. Adrienne Brown is a local art educator with a passion for working with children. She is a former Education Coordinator and ParkArt Instructor for Real Art Ways, and has taught art programs for ConnectiKids, Community Access to the Arts, and several local schools. Adrienne recently completed her M.Ed. in Special Education with a focus on working with visually impaired students. Included with the cost of admission. For kids of all Ages. The New Children’s Museum, West Hartford.

1 – 4pm: Sampler of Colonial Life Kids experience first-hand the many sides of colonial life! They will dress in colonial costume, tour the historic house, attend a one-room schoolhouse, play colonial games, learn a colonial dance and do colonial chores such as carding wool and processing flax.  The program fee is $25 per child, per workshop, and $20 for museum members. Bring a bagged lunch when registering kids for both sessions! We are a peanut free facility. Please pack your child a snack. Noah Webster House, West Hartford.

3:30 – 5pm: Sing A Long With Snow White Join Snow White for an afternoon of singing, games, photo opportunities and more! Apples and chocolate dipped apples will be served for snack. Whimsical Wishes will be providing the entertainment! Get your singing voices ready. $30 per child. Register online. The Little Green Tambourine, Canton.

Wednesday, February 17:

10am – 5pm: Nose Art Design Workshop Learn about the unique history of airplane nose art and create a custom nose art design for one of NEAM’s historic aircraft. New England Air Museum, Windsor Locks.

{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.

7pm: Shock Treatment No other artist captures the drama and fragility of the AIDS era as Karen Finley does in her 1990 classic book Shock Treatment. “The Black Sheep,” “We Keep Our Victims Ready,” “I Was Never Expected to Be Talented,”- these are some of the seminal works which excoriated homophobia and misogyny at a time when artists and writers were under attack for challenging the status quo. This twenty-fifth anniversary expanded edition features a new introduction in which Finley reflects on publishing her first book as she became internationally known for being denied an NEA grant because of perceived obscenity in her work. She traces her journey from art school to burlesque gigs to the San Francisco North Beach literary scene. A new poem reminds us of Finley’s disarming ability to respond to the era’s most challenging issues with grace and humor. Book sale and signing to follow talk. Free. The Mark Twain House & Museum, Hartford.

Wednesday, February 17 – Sunday, February 21:

1:30pm: The Family Tour A hands-on experiencefor kids 5-12 with an adult. Learn how Stowe’s words changed the world and how you can too! $10 per person, discount for groups of 5 or more. Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, Hartford.

Thursday, February 18:

10am – 5pm: Kites in Flight Workshop Discover the science of how kites fly, construct a kite using an array of materials, and test your creation at our indoor flight station. New England Air Museum, Windsor Locks.

5:30 – 7:15pm: Criminal Justice Reform in Connecticut Join the conversation with featured guests: Mike Lawlor, CT Under Secretary for Criminal Justice Policy and Planning and Associate Professor of Criminal Justice in the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences at the University of New Haven. And Iran Nazario, Compass Youth Collaborative. Free. Stowe Visitor Center, Hartford.

8pm: Hot 93.7 presents Love & Laughter – the Ultimate Lover’s Night Out. The event brings together the best of Music and Comedy for a date night you won’t want to miss. As an artist who needs no introduction, Brian McKnight has earned himself a spot in contemporary music history. He has released 13 albums to date, with several going 2 and 3x platinum and he has sold over 20 million albums worldwide. In addition to being a singer, songwriter and producer, McKnight is also a multi-instrumentalist who plays nine instruments including piano, guitar, bass, drums, percussions, trombone, tuba, flugelhorn and trumpet. Gary Owen has been entertaining America for more than a decade with his side-splitting comedy. Having performed to sold-out audiences in all the major comedy clubs and theatres across the country, Owen is one of America’s most loved comedians.Gary is one of the stars of the Screen Gems comedy “Think Like A Man Too” and co-starred in the original film “Think Like A Man,” both opening at #1 at the box office. He was last seen co-starring in the Universal comedy “Ride Along” with Ice Cube and Kevin Hart. On the small screen, Gary starred last season in TruTV’s funny video/sketch show “Upload” which he co-hosted with Shaquille O’Neal. The Bushnell, Hartford.

Thursday, February 18 – Sunday, February 21:

Thursday from 10am – 7pm, Friday from 10am – 8pm, Saturday from 10am – 8pm and Sunday from 10am – 5pm: 35th Annual Flower & Garden Show The Convention Center will be transformed into a breathtaking event for floral and garden enthusiast. Connecticut Convention Center, Hartford.

Tuesday – Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday – Saturday at 8pm, Saturday – Sunday at 2pm and Sunday at 7:30pm: Romeo & Juliet Director Darko Tresnjak follows up his spectacular production of Hamlet with Shakespeare’s most popular play. The intense feud between the Montague and Capulet families devastates the city of Verona and foreshadows tragic consequences for young Romeo and Juliet. Revenge, passion and a secret marriage lead the world’s most famous star-crossed lovers to a harrowing end. Runs until March 20. Hartford Stage, Hartford.

Friday, February 19:

10am – 5pm: LEGO Flying Machine Contest Back by popular demand! Create your own imaginative LEGO flying machine and enter to win prizes from our Wings ‘N Things Gift Shop. Prizes will be awarded in three age categories and builders need not be present to win. New England Air Museum, Windsor Locks.

5:30 – 8pm: Kids Night Out – Pasta Making Kids will make home made pasta dough and roll it out for a delicious dinner.  We’ll also make a fresh salad with homemade, sweet salad dressing and cheesy garlic bread. Ages 6 – 12. $40 per child. Register online. The Little Green Tambourine, Canton.

6 – 8:30pm: 3rd Annual Craft Sippin’ in New Britain Beat the winter blues and join us for the tasting event of the season! Sample and sip the finest local craft beers throughout the Museum’s galleries! The Museum gives thanks to Hartford Distributors for lining up this year’s list of distinguished breweries that will be sure to wow your taste buds. In addition to the beer, food, and music, there will be a do-it-yourself studio component in which guests can get creative in making their own coasters. Not feeling crafty? You can also enjoy playing video games on our large projector! New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain.

7 – 8:30pm: Full Moon Hike Dress warmly as we’ll head to the open field for some moon gazing, astronomy and listening for great horned owls, to be followed by hot cider and cookies in the Nature Center auditorium. This program is not geared for young children. Participants should dress for cold evening temperatures! Pre-registration is required. $7 per person. Roaring Brook Nature Center, Canton.

9pm: Hot Chocolate Soul is a delicate balance of music, comedy and poetry with a live band featuring Karl Browne’s Smooth Improvisation. The Bushnell, Hartford.

Friday, February 19 – Sunday, February 21:


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.

Saturday, February 20:

10 – 11am: All Aboard: Trains for Kids Windsor Historical Society’s meeting room will be transformed with model railroads and train-oriented play tables.  Bob Bell in costume as the Railroad Baron leads the fun. Play with Lionel and G-scale sized trains, learn some secret train whistle codes and get your own whistle to take home, make a paper engineer’s hat and play a piston game showing how a steam locomotive works. Learn how railroads got started and how locomotives and train cars changed over the years. Appropriate for families with pre-K through grade 3 children. Limited enrollment. Adults $6, children $4. Snowdate: 2/21 from 2-3pm. Windsor Historical Society, Windsor.

{National} 12 – 2pm: Quest to Power Up Visit any US Toys “R” Us store for a Lego Nexo Knights building event! Build and take home an exclusive build and join the quest to collect up to 7 Nexo powers in the store!

1 – 2pm: Remembering G. Fox & Co.: Hartford’s Iconic Department Store In the 1950s, just about every major city had a landmark department store. In Connecticut, it was G. Fox & Co in Hartford! This presentation will bring you back in time to Fox’s heyday as we go from floor to floor and recall departments ranging from accessories on the “street” floor, to designer dresses on 6, and ending at Toyland on 11. You’ll also learn about Beatrice Fox Auerbach, the remarkable woman who made every visit to Fox’s so enjoyable and set the standard for customer service. We promise to stir pleasant memories of date nut bread in the Connecticut Room, back-to-school shopping, and the wonderful Christmas season at G. Fox & Co.! A 45-minute presentation by Joe Waxman, CHS Member & Volunteer, will be followed by Exhibit Tours of Beatrice Fox Auerbach: The Woman, Her World & Her Wardrobe at 2:00 pm. Refreshments will be provided. $8 per person. Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford.

2pm: All About Whales and Dolphins Come meet Don Sineti, singer-songwriter and award-winning marine mammal illustrator, at the Connecticut Audubon Society Center at Glastonbury, 1361 Main Street, Glastonbury. He will be presenting an interactive program on whales and dolphins, including songs, stories, artifacts, whale art and a hands-on experience with how whales stay warm. Proceeds will benefit the educational programs at the Connecticut Audubon Society Center. Admission will be $14 for non-members, with children 1/2 price. Family maximum will be $40 for non-members. CT Audubon, Glastonbury.

Saturday at 2pm and 7pm: The Harlem Globetrotters are preparing for their most epic tour in history, as the world famous team celebrates its 90th anniversary world tour, with over 320 games in North America alone.  A star-studded roster will have fans on the edge of their seats to witness the ball handling wizardry, basketball artistry and one-of-a-kind family entertainment that thrills fans of all ages.  The Globetrotters will tip off their historic 90th year of smiles, sportsmanship and service in the fall of 2015. XL Center, Hartford.

2 – 4pm: Hands-On History Workshop: Fashion From Silk Gloves to Skinny Jeans Discover the history of fashion with an interactive workshop designed just for kids! Take a trip through time as we explore the historic fashion in our museum exhibits and go behind-the-scenes to our costume storage to examine the changing styles in clothes (and underclothes!). Students will try out the science behind the preservation of historic clothing and make their own fashion flipbook designs to take home. This program is appropriate for students ages 10-14. The cost is $8 per student for members and $10 per student for non-members (no cost for parents or guardians). Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford.

7pm: Clue Tours of the Mark Twain House will be offered in a special, one-night-only edition, using the various rooms (secret passageway, conservatory, billiards room, and more) of the Twain house – and some of the author’s favorite literary characters – as part of the game. Who killed that varmint Pap Finn? Was it Tom Sawyer in the Library with the Wrench? Merlin in the Billiard Room with the Knife? The Pauper in the Kitchen with the Rope? Play our live-action version of the classic board game Clue in an hour-long tour featuring the famed comedy troupe Sea Tea Improv as Twain’s beloved characters and suspects. Clue Tours provide all the murder, mayhem and merriment you expect in a whodunit. Our Clue Tours were featured on an episode of the Travel Channel show Wackiest Tours! Reservations are required, and tours sell out, so please book early. Tickets are $22; children 6 to 17 are $15. Mark Twain House & Museum, Hartford.

7pm: The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour Good things come to those who wait. This year’s World Tour showcases the very best mountain filmmakers, allowing you to experience the stories that inspire us to continue exploring our environments.The Banff Centre’s Banff Mountain Film Festival is the one of the most prestigious mountain festivals in the world. Hot on the heels of the festival held every fall in Banff, Alberta, the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour hits the road with stops planned in about 450 communities and 40 countries across the globe. The Bushnell, Hartford.

7:30pm: Hartford Indepedent Chamber Orchestra forges an innovative musical path, championing non-standard repertoire for chamber orchestra in performances throughout Greater Hartford. $20 per person. The Mark Twain House & Museum, Hartford.

7:30pm: Speak Up Salon show is an intimate and interactive night of storytelling. The four storytellers will tell 8-10 minute stories with the theme of Unexpected. The first half of the show features two of the storytellers, followed by a question-and-answer session, during which the audience and the host can ask questions about the stories. The evening is hosted by Speak Up co-founder and Executive Director Elysha Dicks. Following a 10-minute intermission, the second half of the show will feature an interactive storytelling game. It requires the storyteller to generate a brand new, true story on the spot based upon prompts provided by the audience. Following this interactive game, the final two storytellers tell their stories, and the evening ends with a final question-and-answer session. Matthew Dicks, the co-founder and Creative Director of Speak Up said, “It’s a night of storytelling where the audience is given a voice and even some say in what stories are told.  This is high stakes storytelling without a net. You never know what will happen!” Doors open at 7pm. $15 per person. Space is limited. Noah Webster House, West Hartford.

7:30 – 10pm: Celebrate the Best of Broadway Come on along and listen to the lullabies of Broadway! Connecticut’s own Goodspeed Musicals is known the world over as the home of the American musical. Join the HSO, Goodspeed Resident Music Director and Conductor Michael O’Flaherty, and special guests as they celebrate 70 years of Tony® Award-winning music. This one-night-only, blockbuster performance will spotlight the best of Broadway through the years. Tickets: $19-66. The Bushnell, Hartford.

Saturday, February 20 – Sunday, February 21:

10am – 4pm: Open Sugarhouse at Northwest Park Learn the art and skill of maple sugaring from Chuck Drake, our sugarhouse expert. Admission is free. Reoccurs Saturday – Sunday until 3/26. Northwest Park, Windsor.

Saturday from 11am – 6pm and Sunday from 11am – 4pm: 31st Annual Bristol Home & Business Expo Some of the highlights of the 2016 Home & Business Expo are: over a hundred vendors, a special kid’s alley activity section, food and snacks, free appraisals and a silent auction from Tim’s Auctions, plus a huge craft fair! Admission $6, Children 12 and under are free. Bristol Eastern High School, Bristol.

Sunday, February 21:

9am – 1pm: Sketch Comedy Lab Created by Jeff Giliberto and Will Niedmann, Sketch Comedy Lab is designed to teach your son or daughter all the basics they need to create a funny and smart comedy sketch. The class starts with a quick introduction to the basics of sketch comedy. Once the students have learned the basics, they break up into groups and start writing their very own comedy sketches, with the help from our experts. After, the students will perform and record their sketches. All of this in one day! From there the Sketch Comedy Lab staff will edit the videos and post them on the Imagine Studio YouTube page. $40 per child. Ages 9 -14. Imagine Studio, West Hartford.

10:30 – 11:30am: You, Your Baby, and the Senses Join Sarah Laub, Certified Aroma Touch Technique Therapist and Wellness Consultant, to learn how to use many senses to soothe your baby, relieve stress for parent and baby, and bond together using a variety of calming oils and techniques. Free and open to the community. RSVP. Mandell JCC, Zachs Campus, West Hartford.

10:30am – 12pm: Sunday Funday Join us for a special Sunday Open Play complete with bubbles, painting, dancing and snack!  Complimentary coffee will be served for the adults! $20 per child. Parent participation required. All Ages. The Little Green Tambourine, Canton.

12 – 1:30pm: Newbie Yoga Yoga is a practice that addresses the mind, body and soul.  However, attending a yoga class without any prior knowledge or experience can be intimidating. This workshop is intended for those wishing to explore this ancient practice. Learn basic poses in sitting, standing and lying positions. Experience a “mini” practice of breathing, simple sequences of poses, balance and restorative poses and meditation. Free and open to the community. Mandell JCC, Zachs Campus, West Hartford.

12 – 4pm: “The Art of the Wedding” Bridal Show will feature local wedding vendors and a fashion show by Kathy Faber Designs at 3pm. There will also be fabulous vintage wedding dresses on display. This free event is the perfect opportunity for attendees to meet some of the best wedding vendors in the area. Brides are encouraged to bring their fiancés, bridesmaids, family and friends to this fun and advantageous afternoon. The New England Carousel Museum, Bristol.

1 – 3pm: Baking the Best Cheesecake Mary Hyde has been baking her famous Almond Brittle cheesecake for years.  To be a recipient of one of these delectable treats or a plain cheesecake of your own, join us for a hands-on baking class. Bring a mixing bowl and utensils. Spring pan and ingredients included BYOB. RSVP by 2/17. Snowdate 2/28. $25 per person. Indian Rock Nature Preserve, Bristol.

3pm: Sonar Saves Pet Adoption Day Come to the game to take a look at some of Sonar’s lovable little friends that are in need of a good home with a caring family. XL Center, Hartford.

Monday, February 22:

6 – 8:30pm: Boards and Commissions on Tap This panel discussion will offer information on how to get involved in shaping your community by joining a local town Board or Commission, as well as the roles and responsibilities of these entities. Attendees will have the opportunity to speak with town representatives from various Boards and Commissions in the Metro Hartford region. Mayor Dan Drew of Middletown and Mayor Luke Bronin of Hartford will both speak briefly on the need for increased participation of young professionals in public service, as well as the positive impacts this participation can have on policy. Registration is encouraged for this free event. City Steam Brewery, 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 inundate up this page with redundancy – but these are some fun things to do too! Check back often as we update on the regular.

If you don’t mind the drive, check out our parent site, Momecticut – puts the Mom into Connecticut! We list events that are worth the drive, and are looking for publishers to do what we do in Hartford County, in other counties of CT.