Week 40

Monday, October 3rd:

12:30 – 3pm: Cupcake Challenge Vacation Camp! Kids ages 6-12 years will create their own signature cupcakes! They can chose to make chocolate, vanilla, pumpkin, confetti or lemon cupcakes and will have lots of topping choices including candy. Please let me know if your child has any allergies. Younger children can attend as long as they are okay with drop off classes and are able to sit to cook. The kids will take home a decorated box of their signature cupcakes!

Monday, October 3rd – Monday, October 31st:

8am – Dark: Kids Hay Maze Kids of all ages will delight in Stew Leonard’s Hay Maze, located under the tent in the Pumpkin Patch.

Scary Face Pancakes

Tuesday, October 4th:

9:30 – 10:30am: Little Brooker Trail Runners Club Whether you are a novice or a comfortable trail runner this club if for you. Even if you can only run-walk, you will be taught how to build up your stamina and eventually run longer. Running trails is easier on the joints and works all muscle groups all while building up your cardio fitness. For the beginners, you will learn how to navigate the trails and have fun. Run with trail runner expert, Andrea Buono, each week to help you sharpen your skills. This club is about having fun, enjoying nature, meeting new trail runners, building friendships and learning the joy of trail running. Each week Andrea will teach you a new skill on how to better your running. All abilities are welcome. No special equipment required. We run in all kinds of weather. Ages 13 and up.


Flatbread Company

Wednesday, October 5th:

7:30am – 9pm: New York City, a La Carte! Join Director, Jay Johnston on this traditional visit to New York City! Shop, see the sights, enjoy fine dining, culture, and more! Some options include: MOMA, SOHO, Brooklyn Bridge, Rockefeller Center and more. Catch a show! Wednesday is matinee day on Broadway.

9:45 – 11am: Nourishing our Bodies & Souls Self-Care Meetup! This Meetup if for all Moms-bring children or not, whatever works for you! Moms of older toddlers will “take turns” as needed to watch the toddlers play as we talk about a much needed topic: Self-Care! We Moms work hard! We are constantly filling cups held out to our pitchers! If we don’t go to the well and refill our pitchers, we won’t have anything left to give.  Let’s talk about ways to refill our pitchers. Our own Sharon Thomason, will give a brief introduction to the importance of self-care, how to incorporate self-care into our lifestyles, and and lead our discussion of habits we can begin to practice today! We need a variety of ways to chill-ax and to nurture our bodies and souls, so let’s brainstorm a big menu! Bring your ideas, lists, and recipes (facial scrubs? massage oils? best playlists ever?) to share in our discussion of how ever-giving moms can replenish!

10am – 5pm: Sensory Friendly Day The Science Center is an exciting place, bustling with loud sounds and bright lights…but we’re lowering the volume and dimming the lights for our Sensory Friendly Days. We welcome all students and families on the autism spectrum or with sensitivity to light and sound to enjoy all of our 165 hands-on exhibits, and our newest exhibit, Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion!

3:30 – 4:30pm: Smithsonian Affiliation Announcement and Reception Join us as we announce the prestigious designation of becoming an Smithsonian Affiliate–one of only four in Connecticut! Enjoy refreshments as we tell you what lies ahead in this new partnership.

4:45 – 6:30pm: Dance Classes for Children on the Autism Spectrum Students learn the basic elements of dance technique including alignment, musicality and rhythm, discovering their relationships to space and time, while growing emotionally, socially, physically, and cognitively. Class is specifically designed for children on the Autism Spectrum. Runs until November 23rd.

Wednesday, October 5th – Sunday, October 9th:

Wednesday – Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday – Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm: Little Shop of Horrors From the creators of hit Broadway musicals Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid, comes Little Shop of Horrors, a mad cap, delightfully scary and quirky joy of a musical, that’s a treat for the whole family. Seymour is a nerdy floral clerk with a knack for plants, but not much else. However, one peculiar plant he’s tending might just be his ticket to fame, fortune and the girl of his dreams. Little Shop of Horrors is the screamingly funny, gleefully twisted, out-of-this-world hit musical. Runs until October 16th.

Thursday, October 6th:

3:45 – 5:15pm: Artsy Afternoons Halloween Luminaries Artsy Afternoons is a new art series for kids ages 5-9. Art projects will be “crafty”, awesome treasures that are also open ended. For our Halloween Luminaries on October 6th, you will need to send your child with a clean, empty jar without a label. We will provide the rest of the supplies. This class is a drop off class for children ages 5-9 who are able to sit through art.

5pm: The Trouble Begins Like Mark Twain, Frederick Russell Burnham came of age in Western mining camps and boomtowns and, like Twain, enjoyed the admiration and friendship of some of his era’s notable people, including Theodore Roosevelt and Cecil Rhodes. But while Twain soon settled into the refinements of Hartford, Burnham spent a lifetime chasing frontiers across the globe. He was once world-famous as “the American scout.” Gunplay, ambushes, secret missions, countless narrow escapes from death, assassinations performed and thwarted, great fortunes made and lost—this list barely begins to describe Burnham’s outsized life (1861-1947). His adventures encompassed Apache wars and Western range feuds, booms and busts in mining camps from Mexico to the Klondike, explorations in remote regions of Africa, and death-defying military feats that brought him fame and high honors, including the DSO from King Edward VII. Other men of his era had a few such adventures, but Burnham had them all. His friend H. Rider Haggard, author of many best-selling exotic tales, once remarked of him, “in real life he is more interesting than any of my heroes of romance.” Once world-famous as “the American scout,” his expertise in woodcraft helped inspire another friend, Robert Baden-Powell, to found the Boy Scouts. On Thursday, October 6, Burnham’s story will be presented by Steve Kemper, journalist and author of A Splendid Savage: the Restless Life of Frederick Russell Burnham (W. W. Norton, 2016). The Wall Street Journal described the book as “rich, detailed, and pitch-perfect, with the witty and wonderful skipping off every page.”

5 – 8pm: Voices of Wisdom: Growing Up in Connecticut To coincide with the CHS exhibit Growing Up in Connecticut, the Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program presents an evening of conversation on this topic with several speakers from a diverse range of Connecticut communities. Voices of Wisdom: Growing Up in Connecticut begins with a reception to welcome visitors, then we will gather for an informal presentation of stories and oral narrative. Audience members will be invited to ask questions and discuss the presentations with the speakers. Artists and speakers will include Manola Sidara, a Laotian dancer, educator, and chef who came to the US as a refugee and settled in Connecticut where she is raising two daughters; Walt Scadden, a blacksmith who grew up in the multicultural Front Street area with his Irish family; Leticia Cotto, a librarian and educator from a Puerto Rican family that traveled back often to the island; and Marek Czarnecki, an iconographer from the Bristol Polish community. Additional presenters from other communities will also participate, and anyone who wishes to share similar stories is welcome.

Ski, Sun & Travel Expo

6:30pm: Caseus Fromagerie Dinner Metro Bis is pleased to welcome Jason Sobocinski, author of Caseus Fromagerie Bistro Cookbook: Every Cheese Has a Story for a five course, wine dinner featuring recipes from his book. Overflowing with signature recipes, mouthwatering photos, and tons of personality, Caseus Fromagerie Bistro Cookbook showcases a young gastronome’s pursuit of pleasure through artisanal food. Jason Sobocinski introduces the meals served at his landmark gastropub in New Haven known for its cheese-oriented menu with a classic French twist; a funky atmosphere with an educated palate. Within these pages you’ll come to know the staff, favorite suppliers, and even some regular customers, as well as the history and flavor of the cheeses, meats, and other foods showcased in the delectable recipes.

{New} 7pm: Jewish Book Festival Get the scoop on new books from Roxanne Coady, President of RJ Julia Booksellers; Jennifer Black and Michael Kindness of Penguin/Random House; and West Hartford’s own Matthew Dicks.

7:30pm: An Evening with Joan Baez More than 50 years into a storied career, Joan Baez remains a musical force of nature whose influence is incalculable — marching on the front line of the civil rights movement with Martin Luther King, inspiring Vaclav Havel in his fight for a Czech Republic, singing on the first Amnesty International tour and more recently, standing alongside Nelson Mandela when the world celebrated his 90th birthday in London’s Hyde Park. She shined a spotlight on the Free Speech Movement, took to the fields with Cesar Chavez, organized resistance to the Vietnam War, then forty years later saluted the Dixie Chicks for their courage to protest the Iraq war. Her earliest recordings fed a host of traditional ballads into the rock vernacular, before she unselfconsciously introduced Bob Dylan to the world in 1963, beginning a tradition of mutual mentoring that continues to this day.

Friday, October 7th:



6:30 – 7:30pm: Deco Mesh Witch Wreath Create this spooky witch wreath with Peggy! $25 per wreath – all materials included.

7pm: Halloween Hay Bale Theater Stew’s Garden Shoppe will be transformed into a Hay Bale Theater to show a free children’s Halloween-themed movie! For movie titles and additional information, please see in-store. The movies begin at 7:00pm, with seating opening at 6:30pm. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Kids can also dance to Halloween music with their favorite Stew’s characters before the movie starts! The movies will be also be shown on Friday, October 14; Friday, October 21; and Friday, October 28.

Friday, October 7th – Saturday, October 8th:

6 – 10pm: Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours We reprise our popular Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours for Halloween month fun. The Mark Twain House has been featured on Syfy Channel’s Ghost Hunters and the Biography Channel’s My Ghost Story. On these tours participants will hear all these creepy tales — and learn about Mark Twain’s own interest in the supernatural. Filled with haunted history, dark tales and Victorian traditions surrounding seances and spiritualism, these nighttime tours are as educational as they are goosebump-inducing. Prior to the tour, we’ll be showing the short film Ghost Tour, which was filmed in The Mark Twain House. Reoccurs October 14-15, 21-22, 27-29.

Friday – Saturday from 7:30 – 9:30pm: Spirits at Stowe: An Otherwordly Tour Did you know that Harriet Beecher Stowe attended séances and visited mediums to communicate with departed family members? Like many 19th-century Americans, she had an open mind about connecting with those who were no longer living. Stowe’s interest in spiritualism helped to ease the pain of losing four of seven children during her lifetime. The paranormal occasionally showed up in her writing as well; she included a ghost story in Uncle Tom’s Cabin, her most famous work written in 1852. During the “Spirits at Stowe” tour, an interpreter will share stories about the famous author and describe unexplained events from past and present, all conducted in the dark by flashlight. Visitors will learn about the five reported deaths in the 1871 Gothic Revival home in which she lived for 23 years. Stowe herself died in an upstairs bedroom in 1897 at age 86. In one small room off the main hall, battery-operated candles will illuminate photos of Stowe family members, as if a séance was about to begin. A “planchette,” which pre-dates the ouija board, will be set up to show what Stowe and her fellow spiritualists used to receive what they believed were messages from the dead. This is a 45-minute tour and is recommended for ages 12 and up. Runs until October 29th.

9:30pm: Rails to the Darkside The museum is founded on the roadbed of the Old Hartford and Springfield Street Railway branch line that ran from Warehouse Point to Rockville. When the line was constructed in 1905, a small cemetery was moved to make way for the Trolley Line. This cemetery was located in the present location of the museum’s Newberry siding. The decision was made and the cemetery was purportedly moved to a location not far from the trolley line on a dry piece of land close to the dirt road that would eventually become Route 140. The cemetery after the move was always a bone chilling place and the locals soon abandoned the upkeep of the cemetery and nature reclaimed her own. When the museum was established in 1940, the land was available and purchased at a low price. Only recently during the construction of the visitor center was the old cemetery discovered hidden in the woods. The gravestones were found, but it was discovered that there were no coffins or bodies under the gravestones. The gravestones were moved, but the coffins and bodies never were. Now during the dark nights, the mournful cries of the abandoned dead are heard in the woods of East Windsor along the tracks of the museum. Come and experience Rails to the Darkside, beware. Not recommended for children. Reoccurs until 10/29.

Friday, October 7th – Sunday, October 9th:

Friday 10am – 3:30pm, Saturday 10am – 4:30pm and Sunday 11am – 4:30pm: Pumpkin Patch Enjoy a ride through the beautiful Connecticut countryside in the crisp fall air aboard one of our antique trolley cars. Then, hop out at the Pumpkin Patch and search for a pumpkin that’s just right for you. Every child admission includes a free pumpkin! Keeping your pumpkin safe on your lap, you ride back to the Visitor Center where you can participate in pumpkin decorating activities, contests, games, and other activities. Reoccurs Friday – Sunday until October 30th and on Monday, 10/10.

Friday – Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 3pm: Scheherazade Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio espagnol is one of the most famous orchestra showpieces, a vividly brilliant composition based on Spanish folk melodies. Inspired by the collection of Middle Eastern and Indian tales “The Thousand and One Nights,” Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade brings to vibrant life the story of the young wife of a Sultan who tells tales to her husband to forestall his plan to kill her. Rodrigo’s extraordinarily beautiful Concierto de Aranjuez for Guitar and Orchestra is unquestionably his best known work, and established his reputation as one of the most significant Spanish composers of the 20th century. Don’t miss artist Sarah Paolucci’s exhibit in the lobby, featuring gorgeous paintings of HSO musicians’ hands! Please join us for a pre-concert talk, led by HSO Music Director Carolyn Kuan, one hour prior to curtain each day.



Saturday, October 8th:


10 – 11am: Colorful Me As a professional face painter, the question children ask me most often is, “Can I paint myself?” Today the answer is finally, “Yes!” In this class I will teach you how to make your own face paint out of simple, safe ingredients. You can use your paint to create your own designs on your face and body. I will teach you some tricks to make your designs look extra special. A smock or clothes that can get messy is recommended. Age 4 and up. $16

10 – 11:30am: Little Brooker Trail Runners Club Whether you are a novice or a comfortable trail runner this club if for you. Even if you can only run-walk, you will be taught how to build up your stamina and eventually run longer. Running trails is easier on the joints and works all muscle groups all while building up your cardio fitness. For the beginners, you will learn how to navigate the trails and have fun. Run with trail runner expert, Andrea Buono, each week to help you sharpen your skills. This club is about having fun, enjoying nature, meeting new trail runners, building friendships and learning the joy of trail running. Each week Andrea will teach you a new skill on how to better your running. All abilities are welcome. No special equipment required. We run in all kinds of weather. Ages 13 and up.

10am – 3pm: Fall Photography Workshop Joe Madar, a lifelong photographer and retired high school photography and graphics teacher, will offer techniques to give any level of photographer the best results for photographing vibrant fall colors. Learn the basics about lens speed and aperture, depth of field, composition, Photoshop tips and more. Bring your digital camera and bagged lunch. Weather permitting, we will go outside and take pictures of fall foliage during lunch. If rain is forecast, bring 1-3 of your photos on a memory card or flash drive. We will then critique them during the afternoon session.

10am – 4pm: Pumpkin Carving Demo Pumpkin carver Lenny Calvin will be at the store to bewitch shoppers with his elaborate Halloween-themed etchings on the store’s pumpkins. The carving will take place from 10am– 4pm for customers to see and enjoy as they pick out their own pumpkins. The carver will use knives, chisels, and X-Acto knives to create a spooky scene on the pumpkins.

10am – 4pm: Open Cockpit Day Special activities include the chance to climb aboard historic aircraft including a WWII P-47 Thunderbolt, a jet-age F-100 Super Sabre and an F-104 Star-fighter as well as number of helicopters. Other activities include hands on flight simulators and the opportunity to Build & Fly your own flying machine! Sneakers or rubber-soled shoes are recommended.

 1 – 2pm: Halloween crafts! Create with Peggy a fun Halloween craft! $15 per child.

2pm: Family Series: Commedia Mania! The classic Italian art of commedia dell’arte gets a modern twist for family audiences! Commedia Mania is a show of masks, laughs, slapstick and shameless theatrical nonsense. This energetic, comic troupe performs traditional stories as well as sends up timeless pieces. Commedia Mania is happy to bring their zany antics to The Mark Twain House & Museum and put their own spin on several of Twain classics. Families will learn the basics of commedia movement with the troop so they can put on their own shows at home!

Oktoberfest 2016

Anne Cubberly Home

Saturday, October 8th – Sunday, October 30th:

Sunday, October 9th:

10am – 4pm: Dalmatian Pup Cups October is Fire Prevention month! We will be learning about fire prevention and safety, as well as making our own Dalmatian Pup Cups. Along with participating in our craft, children will receive a complimentary red firefighter hat as well as get to tour the Museum and take a ride on our carousel. We will also have Firehouse Friends Storytime every hour on the hour. This is a great way for families to spend the day together and make wonderful memories!

{New} 3pm: Nostalgic Synchronic What could a Hardanger fiddle player and a computer programmer possibly have in common? For Dan Trueman, an expert in both areas, it’s all just technology. And whether the eventual expression of his ideas requires old instruments or the invention of new ones, he is more concerned that the tools employed offer musicians the most engaging musical experience possible.

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Plan Ahead:

Monday, October 10th:

9am – 12pm: Columbus Day Camp Camp is a 3-hour drop off for kids ages 2.5 years and up. We play games, do arts and crafts, eat snack and much more. Open to non-members.

Saturday, October 22nd:


P.S. We are looking for one Mom in every city and town in Hartford County to help contribute to this section of our website. If you enjoy finding local area events and happenings, this may be right up your alley. Volunteers only please!