Week 49

Monday, December 5th:

12-1pm: Dorie’s Cookies We’re delighted to welcome culinary guru, Dorie Greenspan into the Sur La Table kitchen where she’ll discuss her new cookbook and demonstrate how to make Jammers, one of the signature cookies from her beloved former cookie shop Beurre & Sel. Following the talk, you’ll have a chance to ask Dorie questions, and she’ll autograph your copy of Dorie’s Cookies. Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind event! Space is limited, so reserve your spot today. All attendees will go home with a copy of Dorie’s Cookies, autographed by Dorie Greenspan. $49 per person. Sur la Table, Canton

4-5pm and 6-7pm: Holiday Cookie Mix In A Jar Workshop During this workshop we will put together a Mason jar filled with pre-measured dry ingredients for holiday cookies! Give the jar as a gift or enjoy it with your family – all you have to do is add the wet ingredients to the contents of the jar and bake. Ages 2-12. $10 per child. Stew Leonard’s, Newington

6-8pm: A History of Trash What’s causing our growing trash problem and what can we do about it? Learn how to re-purpose to save money and the environment. $5 per resident and $10 per non-resident. Parks & Recreation Department, Manchester

Monday, December 5th – December 1oth:

Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10am – 8pm and Saturdays – Sundays from 10am – 5pm: Gingerbread Festival The Wood will once again deck its halls and throw open its doors for one of the largest Gingerbread House Festivals in all of New England. Local artisans and bakers, experts and beginners alike show off their creative talents in a vast array of candy covered houses, trains and in some cases entire villages. With holiday music playing in the background and the spicy aroma of gingerbread in the air, the library provides the perfect holiday venue for showcasing the sugary artistic creations. “Ye Olde Gingerbread Shop” offers the opportunity to take home a bit of the magic with many holiday themed gifts and treats. This festival is a major fundraiser for The Wood and supports our educational programs and exhibitions. Be sure to mark your calendars to start the holidays off right with a classic seasonal event that is fun for both the young and the young at heart! Wood Memorial Library, South Windsor

Monday, December 5th – Sunday, December 11th:

Saturday – Wednesday from 10am – 4pm and Thursday – Friday from 10am – 8pm: Gallery of Trees Approximately 70 uniquely decorated trees. Canton Museum

Monday, December 5th – Saturday, December 24th:

Monday – Friday from 10am – 9pm, Saturday from 8am – 9pm and Sunday from 9am – 7pm: Santa’s Flight Academy Santa’s Flight Academy is a wholly interactive and magical hero’s journey that transforms children into key members of Santa’s Flight Crew. Create memorable and sharable moments for families, including the Flight Suit Visualizer and the Flight Navigation Station. Experience a powerful and magical snow and light show inside Santa’s sleigh, and, of course, a visit with Santa Claus. December 24th: 8am – 4pm Guests must be in line to receive a ticket by 4pm when line closes. West Farms Mall, West Hartford

Monday – Saturday from 12-8pm and Sunday from 12-6pm (12:30-1:30pm break)Photos with Santa Make a reservation to see Santa and spend less time in line. Plus, save 30% on your photos by pre-ordering a package online. Visit before December 9 to save an extra $5. Santa may take occasional breaks to feed the reindeer. Mondays from 4-8pm: Pet Night Bring your four-legged friend to see Santa and pose for a photo! Cats and dogs only, please. Save over 30% on your photos by pre-purchasing online. 12/16-23 from 9am – 9pm and 12/24 from 9am – 5pm. The Shoppes at Buckland Hills, Manchester

Weekdays from 3–6pm and Saturday-Sunday from 11am – 6pm: Santa Claus Comes to Stew’s! Santa will make regular appearances at the store. Stew Leonard’s, Newington

Monday, December 5th – Sunday, January 1st:

Sunday – Thursday from 5-9pm and Friday-Saturday from 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. Come visit Santa Saturday and Sundays in the park Clubhouse from 5pm – 8pm. Admission $15 per car. Click here for a $3 off coupon. Military Appreciation Night is on Tuesday, December 27th. Free admission to veterans and active service personnel when they show a valid military or veteran association issued ID. Goodwin Park, Hartford

Monday, December 5th – Sunday, January 8th:

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11am – 8pm: Winterfest presented by ConnectiCare, officially opens on Friday, November 25th. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day hours are 12 – 4pm. Stop by and enjoy free skating and free skate rentals in the beautiful Bushnell Park. Bushnell Park, Hartford

Tuesday, December 6th:

9:30-10:30am and 11:30am – 12:30pm: Gingerbread Fun Class Today we will make the homemade gingerbread cookies and decorate them with frosting and toppings! Kids will also create and decorate their very own mini gingerbread house. Ages 2-5. $15 per child (must be accompanied by an adult).  Stew Leonard’s, Newington

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. $6 per person. Free for members. Winding Trails, Garmany Hall, Farmington

6-8pm: Growing Food Indoors Fresh greens, herbs, sprouts, and more can be grown indoors all winter long. Demonstrations on techniques and basic gardening skills. Reoccurs on 12/20. $5 per resident, $10 per non-resident. Parks & Recreation Department, Manchester

7pm: Jewish Book Festival In the tradition of The Nightingale, Sarah’s Key, and Lilac Girls, Karolina’s Twins is a saga inspired by true events of a Holocaust survivor’s quest to return to Poland and fulfill a promise. Written by Ronald H. Balson, author of the international bestseller, Once We Were Brothers. Tickets: $20. Mandell JCC, West Hartford

Tuesday, December 6th – Friday, December 23rd:

CHRISTMAS ON THE ROCKS

Tuesday – Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday – Saturday at 8pm, Saturday at 4pm, Sunday at 2:30 and 6:30pm: Christmas on the Rocks It’s Christmas Eve in a rundown local bar. Expecting a silent night, the bartender finds himself mixing drinks for a parade of surprising guests – children from your favorite Christmas specials and movies – now all grown up! Tiny Tim, Charlie Brown, Cindy Lou Who and a host of others pour out their Christmas woes in this delightful parody. Theaterworks, Hartford

Tuesday, December 6th – Saturday, December 31st:

Tuesday – Thursday at 12pm, Friday – Sunday at 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 Planetarium. This is a family-friendly program and perfect for all ages. The Children’s Museum, West Hartford

Tuesday – Wednesday at 7:30pm, Friday – Saturday at 7:30pm, Saturday – Sunday at 2pm: A Christmas Carol The magic of Charles Dickens’ heart-warming classic returns for its 19th season. Come see Connecticut’s favorite family holiday tradition and spend some time with Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, Ebenezer Scrooge, Jacob Marley and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they bring A Christmas Carol to life on stage. It’s perfect holiday entertainment! Hartford Stage will host “Tiny Tim’s Holiday Food Drive” to benefit Hands on Hartford’s Manna Community Pantry and Backpack Nutrition Program. The food drive will begin on Thursday, November 17 and continue through the entire run. Hartford Stage, Hartford

Tuesday, December 6th – Wednesday, January 11th:

Tuesday – Saturday from 10am – 4pm: Hill-Stead for the Holidays Beginning the day after Thanksgiving and continuing through early January, the former Pope family mansion is decorated for the holidays. Hill-Stead’s holiday décor will feature thematic trees and lush greenery as well as a bit of “sparkle and glitz.” Included with the cost of admission. Hill-Stead Museum, Farmington

Wednesday, December 7th:

4-5pm and 6-7pm: Homemade Snow Globe Workshop Today we will be putting together a homemade snow globe! We will offer a variety of fun, festive pieces you can add to the center of your globe. Shake these glittery globes and watch them come to life! Ages 2 -12. $10 per child. Stew Leonard’s, Newington

4:30-9pm: Tons of Toys is a spirited and sophisticated gathering combining delicious food, drinks, and festive activities with charitable giving. All toys collected will once again benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford. Last year we collected over 1,500 toys, and we hope to surpass that number of donations at this year’s event. Admission to Tons of Toys is one new unwrapped toy valued around $20. We are once again inviting HYPE members to bring their children (or nieces/nephews/cousins) between 4:30 and 5:30pm. Have them bring a toy to donate and we’ll provide the milk and cookies. They can even get their photo taken with Santa! At 6pm we’ll kick off the adults-only cocktail party. Semi-formal dress is encouraged but not required (business or business casual is also acceptable). Hors d’oeuvres will be provided, there will be a cash bar, and an amazing holiday cake provided by A Little Imagination Cakes. DJ Miles Elliot will be DJ’ing all night long, and SnapSeat, a photobooth service. Marquee, Hartford

6-8:30pm: Christmas Cooking Demonstration and Dinner Join us for a delicious festive meal preceded by a cooking demonstration by our Chef Joseph Russell. For this special evening Chef Joseph will demonstrate food art. He will show step-by-step how you can wow your friends and family this Christmas by presenting your holiday dishes decorated with edible art. Join us for a delicious festive meal preceded by a cooking demonstration by our Chef Joseph Russell. For this special evening Chef Joseph will demonstrate food art. He will show step-by-step how you can wow your friends and family this Christmas by presenting your holiday dishes decorated with edible art. $49 per person. Our Lady of Calvary Retreat Center, Farmington. 

6:30-8pm: Adult Cookie Decorating TLGT is a great place for kids but we know that parents like to get out as well. Leave the kids home for the night and come learn some fun cookie decorating techniques. Local mom and cake decorator, Patty Nickerson will be at TLGT to teach you some cookie decorating techniques to help inspire your decorating. We’ll provide the sugar cookies, frosting and other tools necessary to make amazing cookies. You will leave with one dozen decorated cookies, a recipe booklet and you won’t have a messy kitchen to clean up afterwards! The cost of this event is $25. Register in advance. The Little Green Tambourine, Canton

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Wednesday, December 7th – Sunday, December 11th:

10am – 5pm: 43rd Annual Festival of Trees & Traditions Established in 1973 by the Women’s Committee as a museum fundraising event, Festival of Trees & Traditions has become an annual holiday custom for visitors from throughout the state and beyond. Every year community members, artists and organizations decorate holiday trees and wreaths to be displayed in the galleries throughout the week. All items are for sale, and profits help fund the museum’s special exhibitions, educational programs, and operating expenses. Purchase a tree or wreath for your home or donate it to a local charity. Adults $18, Students $15, Hartford Residents $3. The Wadsworth Atheneum usually waives admission fees every Wednesday–Sunday from 4–5 pm. Please note that guests visiting the museum at these times during the Festival of Trees & Traditions fundraiser will be charged $3 for their admission. The Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford

Thursday, December 8th:

9:30-10:30am and 11:30am – 12:30pm: Gingerbread Fun Class Today we will make the homemade gingerbread cookies and decorate them with frosting and toppings! Kids will also create and decorate their very own mini gingerbread house. Ages 2-5. $15 per child (must be accompanied by an adult). Stew Leonard’s, Newington

4-5:30pm: LEGO Creator: All About Snakes Ok, let’s just admit it…snakes are just plain cool! But beyond that… What is a Boa anyway, and how is it different from other snakes? What’s a Kingsnake? Get up close and personal with snakes in this unique deep-dive, hybrid class developed in joint collaboration by Westmoor Park and Snapology of Hartford-West! Each week, a trained Westmoor Park naturalist introduces kids to a live animal and leads them through a focused discussion of its habitat, species, and lifestyle. Then a trained Snapology educator leads the kids to express their understanding of the animal via a fun, creative, and challenging LEGO Mosaic Art Project: Pre-schoolers use DUPLO blocks; younger elementary use LEGO bricks; older elementary use small LEGO plates; middle schoolers use tiny LEGO wedges for truly complex designs! Art projects are publicly displayed throughout the week for all to see! Ages 4-14. $20 per child. Westmoor Park, West Hartford

4-6:30pm: 10th Annual Kids’ Holiday Gift Shop A holiday shop for children only, stocked with gifts for shoppers with pint-sized budgets. Volunteers will be on hand to help children select and bag-wrap the perfect gift for parents, siblings, family and event the family pet! Caregivers can enjoy a coffee or hot chocolate while their children shop. We listened to our young customers, and have a new and improved stock of gifts for Dads, Moms, siblings,and pets! Stanley-Whitman House, Farmington

5:30pm: The Trouble Begins Mark Twain’s religious beliefs are one of the most controversial topics associated with one of America’s most controversial authors. Atheist? Agnostic? Critic? Christian? Perhaps all of the above, at different times? Twain’s religiosity has fascinated his readership since the publication of Letters from the Earth, over fifty years after his death, brought Twain’s private and distinctly un-Victorian views on religion to light. Four noted scholars will explore different aspects of Mark Twain, religion, and irreligion in the nineteenth century. Mark Twain House & Museum, Hartford

5:30-7pm: Yankee Ingenuity: Hartford as a Place of Invention Eric S. Hintz, PhD is an historian with the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, will present research underlying Places of Invention, a 3,300-square foot, interactive, family-friendly exhibition that debuted on July 1, 2015 at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Hartford, CT is one of six communities featured in the exhibition and companion book. Hartford was one of America’s key places of invention in the 19th century, and a leading industrial city. Founded in 1636, the state capital had long been a trading post, as merchants shipped goods along the Connecticut River to New York City and the Atlantic. In the 1850s and 60s, firms like Aetna and Travelers emerged to underwrite the maritime trade, making Hartford the “insurance capital of the world.” Meanwhile, the Colt Armory and its neighboring firms perfected the techniques of interchangeable parts manufacturing, establishing Hartford as one of the birthplaces of American mass production. Thus, all kinds of products— including firearms, sewing machines, typewriters, bicycles, and automobiles—were manufactured in Hartford, making this New England city a hotbed of “Yankee ingenuity” from the late 1800s through the early 20th century. Hartford’s fortunes changed greatly after World War II, as the effects of deindustrialization turned the city into one of the poorest in the nation. However, Hartford’s leaders have drawn inspiration from the city’s innovative past to revitalize the city and muster a comeback. $5 for non-members. Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford

5:30-7pm: A Swingin’ Latke-Vodka Holiday Dance Party with Allongé Dance Variations Celebrate Hanukkah & the Holiday Season in the best way possible: by sampling a variety of tasty latkes (fried potato pancakes), sipping on vodka cocktails and joining in a fun dance lesson of the Jewish Hora & East Coast Swing! Food and Entertainment provided by Alison Bogatay, Artistic Director of Allongé Dance Variations. Allongé Dance Variations is a Hartford-based company that performs, teaches, and nurtures dance through creativity and passion; they have led dozens of classes and been featured at numerous cultural events. The program, held from 6-7pm, will follow a short wine and cheese reception from 5:30-6pm. Drinks will be served for $3 each. New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain

New York vs. Boston Comedy Throw Down

8pm: New York vs Boston Comedy Throw Down You’ve seen these comics on Letterman, Conan, Comedy Central and a multitude of Comedy Specials. They’ve won festivals and headlined casinos as well. Now here’s your chance to see them go head-to-head, live and in person, settling once and for all, which city is truly the Capitol of Comedy. It’s the clash of the clam chowders, Beantown against the Big Apple, A-Rod versus V-Tek. Come laugh your evening away and cast you vote. Infinity Musical Hall, Hartford

Thursday, December 8th – Saturday, December 10th:

Thursday – Friday at 7pm and Saturday at 1pm: Disney’s “The AristoCats” Kids Everybody wants to be a cat in Disney’s stage adaptation of the animated classic motion picture. Based on the beloved Disney film, Disney’s The Aristocats is a non-stop thrill ride of feline fun, complete with unbelievable twists and turns. In Paris, a kind and eccentric millionairess wills her estate to Duchess, her high-society cat, and her three little kittens. Laughs and adventure ensue as the greedy, bumbling butler pulls off the ultimate catnap caper. Now it’s up to the rough-and-tumble alley cat, Thomas O’Malley, and his band of swingin’ jazz cats to save the day. Very talented children age 7-14 years old from several communities in the Greater Hartford area will be performing in this Production, which lasts approximately 40 minutes long. This show is for children and families alike and a wonderful way to spend time with the family! Tickets $8 adults, $3 kids 12 and under. East Hartford Community Cultural Center

Thursday, December 8th – Sunday, December 11th:

Thursday – Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm: An Improvised Christmas Carol Come see a hilarious retelling of Charles Dickens’s Christmas classic twist! This show combines your suggestions with the improvisers’ imaginations to create a performance of A Christmas Carol like nothing you have ever seen. What if Scrooge owned a pet store? What if the Ghost of Christmas Past was a Film Noir detective? What if Tiny Tim wasn’t so tiny? Come find out and see how your suggestions tell an all new tale of how Christmas can (or can’t!) change Ebenezer Scrooge’s life! Reoccurs 12/15-18. Sea Tea Comedy Theater, Hartford

Thursday, December 8th – Sunday, December 25th:


Thursday, December 8th – Sunday, December 31st:

Tuesday – Saturday from 10am – 5pm and Sunday from 1-5pm: Home for the Holidays Scavenger Hunt Hike our trails in December and learn which animals have chosen to spend the upcoming holidays in Werner’s Woods. Outdoor scavenger hunt maps included with the cost of admission to the Nature Center. Roaring Brook Nature Center, Canton

Friday, December 9th:

9:30-10:30am and 11:30am – 12:30pm: Gingerbread Fun Class Today we will make the homemade gingerbread cookies and decorate them with frosting and toppings! Kids will also create and decorate their very own mini gingerbread house. Ages 2-5. $15 per child (must be accompanied by an adult). Stew Leonard’s, Newington

5-8pm: Three Centuries of Christmas The 2015 season kicks off with the lively Webb-Deane-Stevens Holiday Preview Party. Guests will delight in a candlelight preview of the dazzling holiday decorations throughout the museum, stroll from house to house enjoying delicious food, wine, ale, and live holiday music, and chat with Mr. and Mrs. Silas Deane, Mrs. Claus, and guides in period dress. Admission is $30 at the door. Evening-candlelight tours of the three elegantly appointed, historic houses—featuring guides in period dress sharing the fascinating history of Christmas and New Year’s Day. Reoccurs on Friday and Saturday, December 18 and 19, from 5 – 8pm. Admission is $12 adult, $6 children, $28 family (2 adults, 2 children). Webb-Deane-Stevens, Wethersfield



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6-8pm: Gingerbread Fun Class! We will make old fashioned gingerbread cake with cream cheese frosting as well as prepare homemade gingerbread cookies and decorate them with frosting and toppings. In addition, kids will get to decorate their very own mini gingerbread house! Snacks will be served. Ages 6-12. $20 per child. Stew Leonard’s, Newington

6-8pm: Historic Libations Ring in the holidays at Windsor Historical Society with an exploration of the origins and tastes of some of the favorite beverages of early Americans. Ever heard of flip? Shrub? How about posset, the forerunner of eggnog, or grog, a sailor’s favorite? Society Archivist Michelle Tom and Educator John Mooney will briefly regale you with the origins of these concoctions and some colorful laws governing the operations of early Connecticut inns and taverns, as you sample historical drinks and enjoy light munchies. The flip will be prepared hearthside at the Society’s historic Strong-Howard House. Grog and posset are new drinks featured this holiday season. Drink recipes provided! $15 adults and seniors, $14 members. 21 and up only. Strong-Howard House, Windsor

6-8:30pm: Champagne Walk Luminaries will light the Collinsville streets as you stroll from business to business. Must be over 21! Hot Chocolate Bar available at American the beautiful Country Store. Additional activities include horse-drawn carriage rides from 6-8pm, tree lighting at 7pm, roasted chestnuts at Wilson’s Pub, Open Mic at LaSalle’s, Comedy Show at Bridge Street Live at 8pm. Downtown Collinsville

6-9pm: Drop & Shop Night Rudolph is already filing his flight plan. Will you be ready? Our “Drop & Shop” night can help. Children ages 3–10 are invited to a fun-filled pajama party at the museum while their parents make holiday preparations (or just enjoy a quiet dinner together). Your contribution of $20 for the first child and $10 for each additional sibling includes a pizza dinner, activities, crafts, and a movie. Jammies are optional, but you might want to bring a blanket or teddy bear in case anyone gets sleepy. The Lutz Children’s Museum, Manchester

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Harry Potter Magical Holiday Ball

Friday, December 9th – Saturday, December 10th:

Friday at 7pm, Saturday – Sunday at 10am and 1pm and Saturday at 4pm: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer the Musical The beloved TV classic Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer soars off the screen and returns to The Bushnell stage by popular demand this holiday season. Come see all of your favorite characters from the special including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and, of course, Rudolph, as they come to life in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer the Musical. It’s an adventure that teaches us that what makes you different can be what makes you special. Don’t miss this wonderful holiday tradition that speaks to the misfit in all of us. Special note: The Sunday, December 11th 10am show will be specially adapted to serve the needs of audience members on the autism spectrum or with sensory sensitivities. The Bushnell, Hartford

8pmMama D’S Christmas Stocking We are the bow tied around your brightly wrapped present, the gleaming star atop your tannenbaum, the high note in your Jingle Bell Rock, and the surprise at the very bottom of your stocking. We are Mama D’s Outrageous Romp, a celebration of all things sexy and bawdy in an evening of music, dance and comedy. Mama D is back and outrageous as ever, and this time she’s planning a show with a holiday twist. Come in from the cold as we heat things up at the Playhouse and celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with Mama D’S Christmas Stocking! So what can audience members expect? Some things nice, but mostly naughty! You’ll experience a night filled with laughter as the crew of sultry performers give the gift of laughter, entertainment and merriment. It’ll be nuttier than your weird Aunt Sophie’s fruitcake! And feel free to bring some spiked eggnog as this event is BYOB. Reoccurs on 12/26-17 and 12/28-30. Playhouse on Park, West Hartford

Friday, December 9th – Saturday, December 10th:

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Friday, December 9th – Sunday, December 11th:

Friday – Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 2pm: Elf the Musical Jr A family feel-good musical comedy based on the hit holiday film! Elf the Musical Jr follows Buddy—a human who grew up thinking he was one of Santa’s elves—on his adventure from the North Pole to New York City to find his family and help them remember the true meaning of Christmas! Holmes Elementary School, New Britain

8pm: The Nutcracker Suite & Spicy CONNetic Dance puts a contemporary twist on this holiday classic, featuring a fusion of athletic dance forms including tap, jazz, and hip hop, and a sense of humor! Aetna Theater, Hartford

Friday – Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 3pm: Merry Mozart Usher in the winter months with works by Mozart, Mackey and the return of guest violinist Sirena Huang! Mozart’s Don Giovanni is recognized as one of the greatest operas of all time, and its overture, with comedic and melodramatic elements, was completed just hours before the opera’s premiere in October, 1787 – not atypical for that time period. Back by popular demand, violinist Sirena Huang first graced the HSO stage as a young child. Her return with composer Steven Mackey on electric guitar for his Four Iconoclastic Episodes will be…electrifying! Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen, Op.20 “Gypsy Airs” is one of the Spanish composer’s most popular compositions and a favorite among violin virtuosos. The program concludes with Mozart’s exhilarating and transcendent “Jupiter” symphony. Mozart’s final symphony was given its nickname in tribute to the ancient Roman god of sky and thunder, also known as the King of the Gods. Plus, don’t miss a holiday musical surprise! Please join us for a pre-concert talk, led by HSO Music Director Carolyn Kuan, one hour prior to curtain each day. Belding Theater at The Bushnell, Hartford

Friday, December 9th – Sunday, December 18th:

Friday 5-9pm, Saturday & Sunday 4-9pm: Holiday Lights The park will be covered in lights, thousands of bulbs and spectacular light shows every half hour set to music. A selection of children’s and family rides will be open. Adults $11.99 per person (online, $15.99 at the gate, children (4-10) $11.99 each and children 3 and under are free. Click here to purchase your tickets. Lake Compounce, Bristol

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Friday – Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 2pm: The Christmas Schooner Based on the historic Great Lakes voyages of Christmas tree ships during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, The Christmas Schooner tells the true story of a Michigan shipping captain who braves the deadly winter weather to bring Christmas trees to homesick German American families in turn-of-the-century Chicago. His voyages become a yearly tradition despite his wife’s misgivings – until a fateful voyage makes her realize the true importance of his mission. A bi-annual tradition at Connecticut Theatre Company, we are proud to present the show for a third time. This beautiful critically acclaimed musical fills the heart with holiday spirit and delights both young and old. The Repertory Theatre, New Britain

Friday, December 9th – Friday, December 17th:

8pm: Babes in Hollywood Salute the legendary musical careers of Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney. You’ll thrill to such American classics: “Over the Rainbow,” “Easter Parade,” “You Made Me Love You,” “On the Sunny Side of the Street,” “Meet Me in St. Louis,” “That’s Entertainment,” “Yankee Doodle Boy,” “Come Rain or Come Shine,” “Strike up the Band,” and many more! Let our talented cast take you on a magical journey from the soundstages of Hollywood to the stages of Broadway. Connecticut Cabaret Theatre, Berlin

Friday, December 9th – Friday, December 30th:

5-9pm: Winterfest and the Tunnel of Lights Join hundreds of others and start a family tradition of coming for a trolley ride during the holiday season. Whether you ride a closed car or brave the cold to ride the open “electric sleigh,” we promise you a good time and one that you’ll remember for years. Join your motormen in singing traditional Christmas carols as the trolley makes its way through the “Tunnel of Lights”. When you return, head inside the Visitors Center which has been transformed into a Winter Wonderland complete with model trains, decorations galore and you can even buy a delicious cup of hot cocoa to sip as you enjoy the entertainment. Additionally, meet and pose for a picture with Santa. Santa will also have a gift for each child. Reoccurs on Friday-Sunday in December as well as from 6-9pm Monday, 12/28-Friday, 12/30. Connecticut Trolley Museum, East Windsor

Friday, December 9th – Saturday, December 31st:

Friday – Sunday at 10:30am and 3:30pm: Lars the Little Polar Bear is a story about a young polar bear who explores his arctic home, meeting friends along the way. Children will learn about the arctic climate, the animals that live here, and how to find the Big and Little Dipper in the night sky. Select Friday showings: 11/25, 12/23. Schedule changes the week of Saturday, 12/24-12/31 with daily showings (except Christmas Day). The Children’s Museum, West Hartford

Friday – Sunday at 1pm: The Sky Tonight Using the planetarium’s digital projection system, astronomy educators take visitors on a live tour of the current night sky. Learn how to find visible planets and star patterns.  This show changes with the current season! Select Fridays: 11/25, 12/23 and 30. The Children’s Museum, West Hartford

Saturday, December 10th:

8:30am – 12:30pm: Earth Rocks Geology Workshop for Boy Scouts Scouts will complete a series of activities related to Connecticut geology including meeting a geologist, starting a rock collection and conducting mineral tests. $2 per chiild (ages 6-12), ahes 13 and up $6. Dinosaur State Park, Rocky Hill

8:45am – 12pm: Jingle Bell Run Be part of the largest holiday-themed 5K race series anywhere – and join the movement to conquer arthritis! The Arthritis Foundation’s Jingle Bell Run is a fun way to get out, get moving and raise funds and awareness to cure America’s #1 cause of disability. In communities nationwide, this annual event brings together people from all walks of life to shout “Yes, we will live life to its fullest while searching for a cure!” As a Champion of Yes, kick off your holidays by helping conquer arthritis once and for all! Wear a holiday-themed costume. Tie jingle bells to your shoelaces. Show off your ugly Christmas sweater. Complete a 5-kilometer run or walk with your team members, spreading smiles, good cheer and a winning spirit and be a Champion of Yes! University of Hartford, West Hartford

9am & 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. Sign up and prepay at Customer Service. Limited seating available. Children age 11 and under $7.99, children age 12 and adults $9.99 Stew Leonard’s, Newington

9am-10am: Gingerbread Fun Class Today we will make the homemade gingerbread cookies and decorate them with frosting and toppings! Kids will also create and decorate their very own mini gingerbread house. Ages 2-5. $15 per child (must be accompanied by an adult). Stew Leonard’s, Newington

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9am – 12pm: TLGT Craft Fair A number of vendors including people selling jewelry, wooden signs, painted glasses and homemade lotions. The Little Green Tambourine, Canton

9:30am – 4pm: Christmas in Collinsville Breakfast with Santa at Canton Community Center from 9:30-11:30am. $15 per adult and $12 per child. Horse-drawn carriage rides from 10am – 4pm. Meet Mrs. Claus from 11:30am – 12pm and enjoy a storytime from 12-1:30pm at Canton Historical Society. Face painting from 12-2pm. Santa Claus photos from 12:30-3pm at Collinsville Savings Bank. Puppet Shows at Town Hall Auditorium at 1pm, 2pm and 3pm. Hot Cocoa in front of the museum. Downtown Collinsville


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11am – 12pm and 1-2pm: Behind-the-Scenes Tour: Treasures from the CHS Collection Abel Buel’s first map of the United States; a dressing table designed and built by Eliphalet Chapin; the Leatherman’s mitten; Munson Hoyt’s loyalist uniform coat from the Revolutionary War; these are just a few of our favorites of the 265,000 artifacts and images in the CHS collection. None of these treasures are currently on display, but you can come behind the scenes and see them for yourself and learn about how we care for these special items in our charge. When you visit our beautiful and informative exhibits, you are actually experiencing only a tiny fraction of the CHS collection. Hanging under muslin, placed carefully on shelves, hiding in drawers, the objects and images that tell the story of Connecticut are waiting to be shared. We invite you to experience that history in a way only a very few can–come and explore with an all-access pass to see hidden treasures of Connecticut history and learn about how museums work. Behind-the-Scenes Tours will be held 8 times a year with changing themes. The tours last approximately 1 hour and take visitors to the non-public areas of the museum to explore the riches of the CHS collections. $10 for CHS members, $15 for non-members. Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford

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12-5pm: Community Days The Museum will offer free admission on Saturday, December 10 in honor of our annual holiday-inspired Community Day! West Hartford-based Ballet Theatre Company will return to perform excerpts from The Nutcracker and engage visitors in dialogue about art and dance. Guests can drop into the ArtLab to celebrate Kwanzaa and enjoy crafts and readings about African history or stop by the Art Studio to participate in a holiday card activity. Although festive activities begin at noon, visitors can enjoy the annual holiday tree display anytime—on view throughout the entire Museum during the month of December. Free admission for all. New Britain Museum of American Art

12:30-6pm: Market Days Come and join Hartford Stage for some shopping and a show! Local vendors will showcase unique items for purchase in our lobby. Doors will open before the show at 12:30 PM and booths will be open during intermission and after the show. Reoccurs on 12/17-18. Hartford Stage

1:30pm: Children’s Program: Fall to Winter A look into the world of winter readiness! Learn about migration, hibernation, winter dormancy, and more, and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate! Children and their caregivers are welcome to join Wildlife Division Natural Resource Educator Laura Rogers-Castro for a look into the world of winter readiness! Participants will learn about migration, hibernation, winter dormancy, and more! This indoors/outdoor program will be followed by a complimentary cup of hot chocolate! Take a break from the busy holiday season! All children must be accompanied by an adult. Sessions Woods WMA, Burlington

2pm: Americano Holiday Concert Make this holiday season one to remember when the Little Theatre of Manchester at Cheney Hall presents Americano’s Rockabilly Holiday Extravaganza for the whole family, on Saturday, December 10, 2016, at 2:00 pm. Americano, a Brian Setzer Orchestra tribute band, will perform some of the biggest hits of the season done up rockabilly style, including holiday favorites like “Jingle Bells,” “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” and “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” General admission for $18 ($12 for anyone age 12 and under). Cheney Hall, Manchester 

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2-6pm: Holiday House TourHoliday House Tour We’ve all driven down Main Street in Glastonbury and admired the social and architectural history and grandeur of many of the homes which line the street. One of the most magical times of the year these homes stand out is during the holiday season when the street is glistening with the colors and lights of the season. You’ll have the opportunity to go inside some beautifully decorated homes from four different centuries. There will be ten stops on the tour route that will be open for viewing, some of which have never been seen by the public before this tour. You don’t want to miss this extra special holiday house tour directly in the heart of the Glastonbury Main Street Historic District. This is one of the best and unique ways to take in the history and beauty the area has to offer! All attendees will receive a keepsake house tour booklet with map, house descriptions, and pictures that also serves as a ticket for the event. Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 day of the house tour. The Historical Society of Glanstobury

3pm: Stowe House Preservation Tour Explore behind the scenes of the $3.3 million preservation project in Hartford’s Harriet Beecher Stowe House, an 1871 National Historic Landmark where the internationally famous author lived from 1873-1896. Learn about project planning, packing, moving and storing historic collections, and new discoveries about Stowe’s interiors. $12/person. Reoccurs on 1/14. Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, Hartford

3-4:30pm: Annual Family Holiday Pops! Join us for an afternoon of your favorite holiday classics from the Farmington Valley Symphony Orchestra! Excerpts from The Messiah, The Nutcracker, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas and other seasonal favorites. First Choice of Christ, Farmington

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4pm: Holiday Arts and Crafts Showcase Immediately following the Americano concert, Little Theatre of Manchester and the Manchester Arts Commission will open the Silk Room at Cheney Hall to the general public for an Arts and Crafts Showcase, featuring for-sale artwork and crafts from local artists and craftspeople. Vendors will showcase unique items that will make great holiday gifts. Silk Room at Cheney Hall, Manchester

4pm: Jubilo! A jubilee of songs and motets from around the world. Founded in 1982 under the patronage of the Trinity College Chapel, CitySingers of Hartford was started by a few friends who enjoyed singing together. Since then, the ensemble has established a musical presence in Central Connecticut of inspiring programs that celebrate our common music heritage. These concerts often combine traditional and classical music for choral ensemble with other performing arts idioms. From the festive sounds of the holiday season to hauntingly beautiful Celtic melodies that touch the soul, to a celebration of the arts as a vehicle for world peace, this season’s programs will present a rare and varied musical experience. One of our continuing goals each season is to perform in different communities, on both sides of the Connecticut River, in order to visit a variety of performance spaces and audiences throughout the region. It is also our desire to make our performances available to all through many non-ticketed events. Emanuel Lutheran Church, Manchester

5:30-9pm: Parents Night Out black white logo Begin here! Go Anywhere! Parents! This is a great time to get some holiday shopping done or to just have a quiet dinner before the rush! The kids will have a blast doing. Open gym, games, pizza, and a big screen movie! Don’t forget to bring a pillow and a blanket to cuddle up with during the movie. You may sign up at the door space permitting. For Children 4 years and older. $40 per child, sibling discount. The Gymnastics Training Center, Simsbury

6-8pm: Gingerbread Fun Class! We will make old fashioned gingerbread cake with cream cheese frosting as well as prepare homemade gingerbread cookies and decorate them with frosting and toppings. In addition, kids will get to decorate their very own mini gingerbread house! Snacks will be served. Ages 6-12. $20 per child. Stew Leonard’s, Newington

6 – 8pm: Carol Sing & Torchlight Parade Please join us for an old fashioned Carol Sing on the Town Hall Portico. At 6:30pm, join in the fun as fire trucks parade in their holiday decorations. The parade will begin on Remington Road and will proceed through downtown Windsor. Downtown Windsor

6pm – 8am: Overnights Can you imagine spending the day at the Connecticut Science Center? Now imagine being here when the lights go out! Enjoy a rare opportunity to stay at the Science Center at night. Explore the exhibits, discover special programs and set up camp in front of your favorite exhibit during this exclusive after-hours experience. Don’t miss this memorable overnight adventure! Learn stealth tactics, uncover tricks and guide your way through our top secret laser maze all before bedtime. Included are: free general admission to the Science Center the next day, a late night snack and a light breakfast in the morning and a special patch for completing the program. $55 per person. Open to families and groups ages 5-12. A chaperone/parent-to-child ratio of at least 1:8 is required. Connecticut Science Center, Hartford

6-9pm: Explore the Night Walks Get outside on Saturday evenings with Miss Judy, Winding Trails’ naturalist, for an educational walk that includes some hands-on activities with your family and friends. After the walk, return to make a fire, roast a few marshmallows, and enjoy some lively conversation about the night findings. Once it becomes fully dark, we walk to the recreation fields to view the night sky for seasonal constellation identification and to view special celestial events. Come prepared with walking shoes, clothes for the weather. Bring your binoculars and/or telescopes for night viewing; and red light flashlights, so we can see as we walk and not disturb the wildlife. Registration is required by 3 days prior to the start of the program. $25 per non-member family. Winding Trails, Farmington

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7-11pm: Holiday Madness Cruise Escape the madness of the Holiday frenzy with this popular dinner cruise! Kick off the season with a night of great food, games, music and dancing and much more! Live Entertainment with Celebrity DJ Mike Stacy! $72.95 per person. Charter Oak Landing, Hartford



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7:30pm: Christmas with Concora! In the half century since Oxford University Press released the first volume of its popular sets of Carols for Choirs, these sparkling Christmas carol settings have become essential to the choral holiday repertoire. Concora presents a sleigh-full of these immortal a cappella carol arrangements by Sir David Willcocks, John Rutter, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and others. And in keeping with the “Christmas with Concora” tradition, the audience is invited to sing along with Concora in a number of beloved Christmas carols. First Lutheran Church, New Britain

Saturday, December 10th – Sunday, December 11th:

8:30-11:30am: Breakfast with Santa Breakfast Includes: a hearty breakfast with pancakes, home fries, sausage and farm fresh eggs, a memorable visit with Santa, Mrs. Claus, Elves, Frosty and the Grinch, a toy from Santa, a relaxing time on a Christmas Trolley ride out to reindeer land and a free visit to the petting zoo. Reserve your on the hour seating from 8:30-11:30am. We will be offering a “No Grinch” seating each weekend (12/5 at 8:30), (12/13 at 11:30) and (12/19 at 8:30). Ticket Prices: $2 per person. Flamig Farm, West Simsbury

Candle lit table decorated for Christmas at Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum

Saturdays, through 1/3 from 10am – 4pm and Sundays, from 1 – 4pm: Three Centuries of Christmas Daylight tours of three historic houses decorated for the Holidays of their times. Admission is $12 adult, $6 children, $28 family (2 adults, 2 children). Webb-Deane-Stevens, Wethersfield

1pm and 4pm: Pinkalicious the Musical This is the tale, based on the popular book by Victoria Kann and Elizabeth Kann, of Pinkalicious, who can’t stop eating pink cupcakes despite warnings from her parents. Her pink indulgence lands her at the doctor’s office with Pinkititis, an affliction that turns her pink from head to toe – a dream come true for this pink loving enthusiast. But when her hue goes too far, only Pinkalicious can figure out a way to get out of this pink predicament. Pinkalicious the Musical is about learning the power of self-control and the importance of moderation. Recommended for ages 3 and up. Visit AC Petersen Farms before or after the show receive a free “Pinkalicious Ice Cream Cup” with the purchase of a kid’s meal! Kids, Make your own special cupcake by printing out this coloring page and bringing with you to the theater! Reoccurs on 12/28-29. An additional sensory-friendly production will be provided on 12/19. Playhouse On Park, West Hartford

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Saturday, December 10th – Sunday, December 18th:

8am – 12pm: Breakfast with Santa We are now accepting reservations for Breakfast with Santa which will be held Saturday December 11th, Sunday December 12th, Saturday December 17th and Sunday December 18th. All 4 days will be a buffet style breakfast so families can enjoy their meals without having to wait and spend as much time with Santa as possible!! Of course you may take your own pictures or have a picture taken by our elves for a small fee! In order to maintain order while Santa is visiting the farm we have set up time slots for you to choose from. Each day we will have two slots set up. One from 8am to 10am and the other from 10am to 12pm. When you make your reservations enter the number of adults in the quantity section and kids in the kids section and once we are full at that spot we will take that slot off the website. $19.99 per adult, $7.99 per child (under 12). Clark Farms at Bushy Hill Orchard, Granby

Saturday, December 10th – Saturday, December 23rd:

Weekends from 1-5pm and Weekdays from 3-6pm: 33rd Annual Santa’s Workshop A free event sponsored by Wickham Park. Children of all ages enjoy visits with Santa and his elves and refreshments with Mrs. Claus. Santa’s Workshop provides a chance for children to enjoy an uncommercialized Christmas experience. Guests are welcome to bring non-perishable food items to be donated to area food pantries. Wickham Park, Manchester

Sunday, December 11th:

11:30am – 1:30pm: Cocoa with Santa Come to TLGT to sing some Christmas carols, enjoy some hot cocoa, decorate a picture frame and visit Santa! Santa will be stopping by to sing carols and take pictures with this kids. This is a great oppo rtunity for your kids to get to spend some time with Santa without having to wait in the long lines at the mall or fight the crowds at other events. We will have a photographer available to take pictures in our North Pole setup or you can bring your own camera. The Little Green Tambourine, Canton



12:30 – 6pm: Market Days Come and join Hartford Stage for some shopping and a show! Local vendors will showcase unique items for purchase in our lobby. Doors will open before the show at 12:30 PM and booths will be open during intermission and after the show. Reoccurs on 12/10-11 and 12/17-18. Hartford Stage, Hartford

1-3pm: Newington High Carolers Bring the whole family to listen to holiday carols right in the store, courtesy of the Newington High School Carolers. All ages. Stew Leonard’s, Newington

1-3pm: Youth Program Preview Bring the entire family to meet the instructors and sample what JCC Youth Programs are offering this winter. Free and open to the community. Mandell JCC, West Hartford

2 – 4pm: Family Fun: Sweet Holiday  Join us for a fun-filled afternoon of laughter, learning and plenty of scrumptious holiday treats. Kids and adults alike will have a wonderfully sweet time practicing techniques for tempering chocolate and transforming gelatin and sugar into fluffy homemade marshmallows. Plus, we’ll walk you through the surprisingly simple steps for making graham crackers from scratch—from preparing dough to rolling, cutting and baking. This year, make the holidays extra special for your little loved ones by making homemade gifts—and precious memories—together. Ages 6 and up. $49 per family. Sur la Table, Canton

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3-5pm: Glass Ornament or Wine Glass Painting Class Come join us for a glassware painting class and create your very own hand-painted glassware to give as a gift or keep for yourself! $35 per person. Scene Art Bar, Unionville

4pm: Jubilo! A jubilee of songs and motets from around the world. Founded in 1982 under the patronage of the Trinity College Chapel, CitySingers of Hartford was started by a few friends who enjoyed singing together. Since then, the ensemble has established a musical presence in Central Connecticut of inspiring programs that celebrate our common music heritage. These concerts often combine traditional and classical music for choral ensemble with other performing arts idioms. From the festive sounds of the holiday season to hauntingly beautiful Celtic melodies that touch the soul, to a celebration of the arts as a vehicle for world peace, this season’s programs will present a rare and varied musical experience. One of our continuing goals each season is to perform in different communities, on both sides of the Connecticut River, in order to visit a variety of performance spaces and audiences throughout the region. It is also our desire to make our performances available to all through many non-ticketed events. Reoccurs on Saturday, 12/17. First Church of Christ, West Hartford

4:30-6:15pm: The Yale Whiffenpoofs The Museum is delighted to host a special performance by the Yale Whiffenpoofs, the world’s oldest and best-known collegiate male a cappella group—fourteen seniors are selected each year to comprise the group. Also known as the ’Whiffs,’ the group was founded in 1909 and began as a senior quartet that met for weekly concerts at Mory’s Temple Bar, the famous Yale tavern. In years since, the group still plays weekly at Mory’s and is considered to be one of Yale’s most celebrated traditions. There will be a reception with a cash bar from 4:30-5:30pm. $15 per member. $30 per non-member. New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain

5-7pm: Holiday Skate Show Come join us for this year’s West Hartford Figure Skating Club Holiday show! Tickets will be on sale at the door. Adults $7, children (under 12) $5. Veterans Memorial Ice Skating Rink, West Hartford

Sunday, December 11th – Tuesday, December 20th:

Nutcracker

Friday – Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 2pm: The Nutcracker The Hartt School Community Division (HCD) presents its annual holiday production Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker and this year’s production promises magical storytelling and vivid dancing with a newly choreographed second act. Ticket prices: $30 for adults, $20 for students, $15 children 12 and under. University of Hartford, West Hartford

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