Week 51

Monday, December 19th:

10am: Sensory-friendly 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! Make your own special cupcake by printing out this coloring page and bringing with you to the theatre! Playhouse on Park, West Hartford

10 – 11:15am: Mommy and Me Christmas Tree and Ornament Decorating Come decorate a miniature Christmas tree to bring home and display. We will also be making a Christmas ornament as a keepsake. Ages 1-5 with caregiver. $25 per child. The Little Green Tambourine, Canton

1:30 – 3pm: Homeschool Days: Process vs. Product Contemporary artist Sanford Biggers’s installation will provide an opportunity to talk about several compelling topics, including cross-cultural connections, different reasons for creating art, and process versus product. We will visit the installation as well as a selection of other contemporary works, then delve into the practice of meditative art-making in the studio. By beginning our drawings with focusing on small details instead of a big idea, our artwork will expand outward, focusing on process rather than product. Ages 5–14. $10 non-Members. Half-price for members. Children under 5 are free. New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain

4:30 – 5:45pm: After School Christmas Tree and Ornament Decorating Come decorate a miniature Christmas tree to bring home and display. We will also be making a Christmas ornament as a keepsake. Ages 4-8. Drop-off class. $25 per child. The Little Green Tambourine, Canton

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Monday, 12/19 – Saturday, December 12/23:

Monday-Friday from 3-6pm and Saturday from 1-5pm: 31st 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

Monday, 12/19 – Saturday, December 12/24:

Monday – Friday from 10am – 9pm and Saturday from 8am – 4pm: 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: Guests must be in line to receive a ticket by 4pm when line closes. West Farms Mall, West Hartford

Monday – Friday from 9am – 9pm and Saturday from 9am – 5pmPhotos 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. Save over 30% on your photos by pre-purchasing online. Christmas Eve: Break: 12:30-1:30pm. Santa may take occasional breaks to feed the reindeer. The Shoppes at Buckland Hills, Manchester

Monday – Friday at 7:30pm and Saturday at 2:30pm: A Wonderful World After an election season that put decency and cooperation to the test, it is the perfect time to reconnect with Frank Capra’s movie about community values vs. individual gain. James Stewart plays a small town guy who’s put his own dreams on hold to help others, only to see his optimism eroded by greed of a privileged few. It takes an angel-in-training named Clarence to reveal what Bedford Falls would have become without his sacrifice and commitment. More than just a holiday classic, Capra’s film is a powerful vote for the hope – and change – we need. 129 minutes. Cinestudio, Hartford

Monday, 12/19 – Sunday, 12/25:

Monday, 12/19 – Sunday, 1/1:

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. Visit their website 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, 12/19 – Sunday, 1/8:

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Monday-Friday from 11am – 8pm and Saturday-Sunday from 12-4pm: 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 20th:

10am: PJ Library Storytime Stop by with your children to listen to PJ Library Chanukah stories and do some holiday shopping, as well! Free and open to the community. Toy Chest, West Hartford

10 – 11:15am: Mommy and Me Gingerbread Houses Come decorate a gingerbread house to bring home! Ages 1-5 with a caregiver. $25 per child. The Little Green Tambourine, Canton

12:45pm: PJ Chanukah Celebration Join us for Chanukah crafts and stories. Create your own Chanukah snack. Free and open to the community. Register in advance. Congregation Kol Haverim, Glastonbury

1 – 2:15pm: Preschool Gingerbread Houses Come decorate a gingerbread house to bring home! Ages 3-5. Drop-off class. $25 per child. The Little Green Tambourine, Canton

3:30 – 5:30pm: LEGO Holiday Sing-A-Long Join us to celebrate the holidays… Snapology style! Children will be provided blocks and bricks to build holiday-theme LEGO builds. We’ll sing songs, nibble sugar cookies, sip some egg-nog, and share stories. If you wish to bring anything, please do; just no nuts due to possible allergies. This event is free for all to attend; but does require registration in advance just so we can plan appropriately. Thank you for helping making 2016 such a great year! Happy Holidays! Ages 3 and up. Unitarian Universalist Church, West Hartford

4 – 4:45pm: Holiday Cooking for Kids Kids ages 8 -11 will learn to prepare creative and delicious recipes. A healthy take on traditional holiday treats from a variety of cultures are on the menu. Cookshop Plus, West Hartford

4:30 – 5:45pm: After School (Family) Gingerbread Houses Come decorate a gingerbread house to bring home! All ages. $25 per family. The Little Green Tambourine, Canton

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. $10 for non-residents, $5 for residents. Recreation Department, Manchester

8pm: Hark! The Harold Angels Sing Sea Tea Improv and accompanist Kevin Scott are going to give you exactly what you want for Christmas: the complete and total absence of planning. Join us at Sea Tea Comedy Theater for the Opening (and Closing) Night of a totally made-up Christmas musical that has never been performed before and never will be again! This is a perfect fun & funny way to take a break from it all and enjoy the holiday in the moment. The lyrics, the music, the story, the choreography — all improvised on the spot based on suggestions from, you, the audience! Who doesn’t love brand new Christmas songs, right? Sea Tea Comedy Theater, Hartford

Tuesday, 12/20 – Friday, 12/23:

CHRISTMAS ON THE ROCKS

Tuesday – Thursday at 7:30pm and Friday at 8pm: 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, 12/20 – Saturday, 12/24:

Tuesday – Friday at 7:30pm and Friday – Saturday 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, 12/20 – Saturday, 12/31:

12pm: 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. Note: Closed Christmas Day. The Children’s Museum, West Hartford

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. Note: Closed Christmas Day. Roaring Brook Nature Center, Canton

Tuesday, 12/20 – Wednesday, 1/11:

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. Note: Closed Christmas Day. Hill-Stead Museum, Farmington

Tuesday, 12/20 – Tuesday, 1/31:

Tuesday – Friday at 10am and Saturday at 11am: 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. Note: Closed Christmas Day. The Children’s Museum, West Hartford

Wednesday, December 21st:

4 – 5:30pm: Celebrate Hanukkah Come celebrate Hanukkah at TLGT! Kids will make their own latkes and decorate a menorah. Ages 3-9. Drop off class. $25 per child. The Little Green Tambourine, Canton

 

Thursday, December 22nd:

10 – 11:30am: Mommy and Me Cookies for Santa Come decorate some cookies to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve. We’ll make enough for you to sneak one or two as well. Ages 2 – 5 with a caretaker. $25, $20 for each additional sibling. The Little Green Tambourine, Canton

3 – 4pm: Austin House Visit Located two miles from the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford’s West End, the Austin House, a National Historic Landmark, is the largest object in the Wadsworth Atheneum’s collection and is the former home of A. Everett “Chick” Austin, Jr., the museum’s director from 1927–1944. Click here for a complete description and photos of the house. With a $25 contribution to the Sarah Goodwin Austin Memorial Fund, guests are invited to visit the Austin House and also receive same-day admission to the Wadsworth Atheneum. Advance reservations are required, and groups are limited to 12 visitors. Austin House, Hartford

4 – 5:15pm: After School Cookies for Santa Come decorate some cookies to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve. We’ll make enough for you to sneak one or two as well. Ages 3 – 9. Drop-off class. $25, $20 for each additional sibling. The Little Green Tambourine, Canton

5:45 – 7pm: Family Cookies for Santa Come decorate some cookies to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve. We’ll make enough for you to sneak one or two as well. All ages. $20 per family. The Little Green Tambourine, Canton

6 – 9pm: Winter Solstice: Astronomy Workshop Come celebrate the shortest day of the year. Using the power of the planetarium we’ll explore the history and traditions of the winter solstice, study the many jewels found in the winter sky, see the yearly and daily motions of the sky and gaze through our telescopes. Test your sky knowledge with our “Constellation Shoot Out.” This is a perfect way to transition into the new season and year. Glastonbury/East Hartford Magnet School Planetarium, Glastonbury

7pm: Ugly Sweater Party! Join us at Muse for our Ugly Sweater Party. Those who wear an ugly sweater will receive a coupon for 50% off of their next reservation for a public session. Muse Paintbar & Eatery, West Hartford

7 – 8:30pm: It’s Lit Glass Painting Impress your family with your ” Let’s get Lit” Personalized Holiday wine glass. BYOB to this class and make this glass for yourself or as a gift! Ages 21 and up. My Own Masterpiece Studio, Rocky Hill

Friday, December 23rd:

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5:30 – 8pm: Parents Night Out We are hosting a night out for parents of children ages 5 and up. Drop your child off and get that last-minute shopping and wrapping done or just enjoy dinner out before the hectic holiday weekend. The kids will have fun and you will get a few hours to yourself. Cost: $25 per child Includes: pizza, juice, games, and two minifigures to bring home. Age: 5 and up Call our stop by to pre pay and register. Spots are limited and are first come first serve. Bricks & Minifigs, Southington

5:30 – 8:30pm: Parents’ Night Out Need an evening without the kids? My Gym’s Parents’ Night Out gives our parents the opportunity to take a well-deserved break. Go out for a night on the town feeling confident that your little ones are safe and having the time of their lives with their favorite My Gym teachers. This incredible evening for your children is filled with a variety of fun games, rides and activities, and they won’t want the night to end. And don’t worry about food, we’ll take care of that too. Make your own Edible Olaf. Ages 2.5 and up. Non-Members pay $40 1st child, half-off siblings. My Gym, West Hartford

6 – 8pm: Snowman Snow Globe Canvas Drop off class for kids ages 7+. Need to do some Holiday grocery shopping? We’re here to help! This fun little snowman can decorate the home for Christmas and winter. This design is great for tweens to do and hang in their bedrooms. Who doesn’t love snow globes? You could even add a bit of glitter to make it sparkle. Kids will paint and enjoy snacks with a movie. $25 per child. My Own Masterpiece Studio, Rocky Hill


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Friday, 12/23 – Friday, 12/30:

Saturday, December 24th:

9am – 12pm: Christmas Eve Camp Kids will make a gift for a special person in their life. Ages 4-10. Drop-off camp. The Little Green Tambourine, Canton

10am – 12pm and 1 – 3pm: Family Fun: Sweet Holiday Gifts Join us for a fun-filled class 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 marshmallows into adorable gifts. Plus, we’ll walk you through creating delicious and beautiful gingerbread cookies—from preparing dough to rolling, cutting and decorating. This year, make the holidays extra special for your little loved ones by making homemade gifts—and precious memories—together. Menu: Chocolate-Dipped Marshmallow Pops, Gingerbread Snowflakes, Cranberry and White Chocolate Bark. This class is for children and their special adult to cook and learn together. Class price is per person and children must be accompanied by a paying adult. $49. Sur La Table, Canton

Saturday, 12/24 – Sunday, 1/1:

Saturdays from 10am – 4pm and Sundays from 1 – 4pm: Three Centuries of Christmas The 2015 season kicks off with the lively Webb-Deane-Stevens Holiday Preview Party on Friday, December 11, from 5 to 8pm. 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. Admission is $12 adult, $6 children, $28 family (2 adults, 2 children). Webb-Deane-Stevens, Wethersfield

Sunday, December 25th:

4 – 6pm: Chanukah Celebration Fire on Ice Children (up to age 13) are encouraged to write an essay on “What Chanukah Means to Me”, the winner will read their essay at the lighting ceremony. The grand prizes include a Samsung Galaxy Tablet, a Garmin Vivo fit Fitness Band and a Mini-Drone The essay has a 300 word max and should be submitted to info@ChabadHarford.com with subject line “Essay Contest” by Dec 20. Collect as much chocolate gelt coins as you can, as it “rains” down from above! Participants are asked contribute cans of food, which will then be constructed into a large menorah. The food will be donated to local food pantries. In addition, the program will feature a grand fire show, the interactive construction of a huge Lego “Dreidel,” live Jewish music, an entertainer, activities for all ages, and free raffles and prizes. Blue Back Square, West Hartford

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Week 34

Monday, August 22nd:

11am – 3:30pm: Make a Paper Trolley Model Make a Paper Model of our People Movers. This is a make and take craft activity and is included with the cost of museum admission. Reoccurs on 8/29.

4 – 6pm: The Pooch Plunge! Everyone’s favorite dog swim returns, the day after the Town pools close for the season. Dogs must be currently licensed with tags. $5 entrance fee per dog, per session. Dogs must be accompanied and controlled by their owners.

Monday Night Jazz Logo

6:30 – 8:30pm: No-Sew Tasseled Tote Pillow Turn a plain tote into a pillow with just a needle, yarn and some fabric paint. Supplies not included. Cost of supplies up to $21.

Tuesday, August 23rd:

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6 – 9pm: Farm, Field, Faith & Food; A Farm Field Trip and Cooking Class Bloom is teaming up with Chef Cathy for a fun and educational night out at the Farm. Our evening will begin with a field trip to L.E.A.F (Leaf Educational Agricultural Farm) in Southington. We will meet farmer Mark, take a mini tour of the farm, do a little “pick your own,” and create a bountiful basket full of fresh and unique farm foods just for you! We will then head over to Bloom where we will prep, cook, and package our farm fresh goodies. The evening will be full of cooking tips and tricks, tastings, recipes, and much more. You’ll discover new and refreshing methods for preparing your old favorites. Plus, you’ll learn to expand your palette as Chef Cathy introduces you to some of the more unfamiliar and obscure veggies – including how to purchase, prep, and cook these uncommon, yet wonderful foods. We will conclude our evening with a “Thank You Mother Earth” Meditation. Come experience and savor the earth’s bounty as together we practice love of the Earth, love of Self, and love of each other with some of nature’s most beautiful gifts.web_openhouse

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6:30 – 8:30pm: Fall Floral Dried Arrangement Learn floral-arranging basics and make a gorgeous fall centerpiece with dried florals. Supplies not included. Cost of supplies up to $47.

Tuesday, August 23rd – Wednesday, August 24th:

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Wednesday, August 24th:

10am – 12pm: Open Play Back to School Bash Can you believe how fast this Summer went by? It’s just about time for some serious back to school shopping, and to enjoy the last days of summer as much as we can- We’d like to help! Miss Emily will host a special drop off open play so that kids can enjoy full access to all the toys at TLGT, music, dancing, a light show a bubble machine, and outside time in our beautiful garden while caregivers can shop for school supplies! This event is open to all children who are potty trained and comfortable with being dropped off! $25 per child.

10am – 2pm: Dog Days of Summer Beat the heat and come indoors to meet a variety of tail wagging friends and learn about the loveable canine.

{Free} 10:30am: Pollinators Take a look into the world of pollinators! Learn about important bees, butterflies, moths, flies, and beetles visiting flowers here! Laura.rogers-castro@ct.gov Details: Children and their caregivers are welcome to join Wildlife Division Natural Resource Educator Laura Rogers-Castro for a look into the world of pollination! Participants will learn about the important bees, butterflies, moths, flies, and beetles visiting the flowers at Sessions Woods. This program is most appropriate for children over 10 years old and will include a 1-mile walk. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

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{Free} 12 – 1pm: Audio Feed Ten consecutive Wednesdays of free, lunchtime music on Constitution Plaza (by the big fountain). You bring a lunch and we’ll supply the music. Reoccurs until 9/13.

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{Free} 5 – 7pm: Carnival Traditions Dr. Milla Riggio, James J. Goodwin Professor of English, Trinity College, will present an illustrated lecture and lead a discussion of Carnival traditions examining the roots, significance, and activities of Carnival in the Caribbean and its expressions in Hartford over the 53 years of community celebrations here. Registration is required for this free program.

5 – 8pm: End of Summer Adventure Pre-register online and enter into raffle! Win Back to School Treasure Chest filled with school supplies!

Wednesday, August 24th – Sunday, August 28th:

11am – 3:30pm: Make a Paper Trolley Model Make a Paper Model of our People Movers. This is a make and take craft activity and is included with the cost of museum admission. Reoccurs from 8/24-28 and 8/31.

Thursday, August 25th:

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{Last Call} 5:30 – 8pm: Pop-up Bar During the months of July and August, join the NBMAA on Thursdays for a Pop-up Bar on the Park! Enjoy refreshingly cold beer, wine, and craft cocktails—inspired by works in our collection—amidst the warm summer weather on our café terrace. Overlooking Walnut Hill Park, the night also includes various lawn/board games, so come ready to drink and play! Drinks are $5, cash bar only.

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6:30 – 8:30pm: Fire & Hops The evening will feature four courses of food, each paired with a beer specifically picked to enhance the culinary experience. The evening begins with a welcome beer cocktail and then moves through four courses. Local craft beer from Black Hog Brewing Co. of Oxford will be featured. Iron & Grain Co. founder, Tate Norden, selected Black Hog for many of the pairings because they are “talented and innovative brewers” with an eye toward pairing beer with food. Iron & Grain Co. is one of West Hartford’s newest mobile food establishments. The food truck is housed in a refurbished 1959 Chevy Viking and comes complete with a wood fired oven to cook fresh and locally sourced foods over an open flame. Chef Adam Belward is a veteran who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan is a graduate from the Culinary Institute of America. Tickets are $60, and the price includes all food and drink during the evening. Seating is limited for this one-night-only event. You must be 21 years or older to participate in the event and valid ID will be required. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society. RSVP on Facebook. Buy tickets online today! $60

6:30 – 8:30pm: Inspired Bowls The latest trend in food isn’t even an ingredient—we’re talking about bowl food. Together we’ll whip up soba noodle bowls, and even make dessert in bowls. Menu: Chicken Power Bowls with Tahini Dressing, Vanilla Bean–Quinoa Pudding, Steak and Soba Noodle Bowls. What to Expect: Learn all about soba noodles and the health benefits of buckwheat. Discover how to use a vanilla bean. Find out how to make pudding from scratch (with a secret ingredient).

7 – 8pm: Windsor Woman’s Club Membership Open House The Windsor Woman’s Club of Connecticut and GFWC is looking for new members who are interested in being involved in serving our community, making new friends, reacquainting with old, and enjoying a variety of social activities. We welcome members from as far away as 15 miles from Windsor who are not a member of another GFWC woman’s club.

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7:30pm: Outdoor Movie: Holiday In this romantic comedy, a young man (Grant) falls in love with a girl (Doris Nolan) from a wealthy family. His unusual plan to go on an extended holiday for the early years of his life is met with skepticism by everyone except for his fiancée’s eccentric sister (Hepburn) and long-suffering brother (Lew Ayres). Well-received by critics, Holiday is the third of four films featuring Hepburn and Grant. The movie will be shown on an outdoor screen on the sprawling lawn between the community mausoleums. Bring a blanket or chair to enjoy the show. Raindate: Friday, August 26th.

8pm: Mary Chapin Carpenter with Lucy Wainwright-Roche Five-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and 2012 Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee Mary Chapin Carpenter returns to Infinity Hall’s Hartford stage for a one night only performance with her band. For over thirty years Mary Chapin Carpenter has been a beloved staple of the popular music scene with 14 albums, several that have gone gold and multi-platinum, and her two dozen hits including “Shut Up And Kiss Me,” ”Passionate Kisses,” “I Feel Lucky” and “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her.” She has numerous CMA, ACM and Grammy awards and is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame. She is the only artist to win four Grammys in a row for Best Female Country Vocal Performance. Carpenter’s new album ‘The Things That We Are Made Of’ is receiving widespread critical acclaim.

Friday, August 26th:

12 – 2pm: Mud Pie Bakery Experience mud-pie making fun and create a variety of pies in all shapes and sizes in our outdoor bakery!

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5 – 8pm: Kids Night Out Kids ages 3-10 will make their own pizza from scratch and have it for dinner! While our creations are in the oven, we’ll do fun art activities, dance to music and a light show, play with bubbles, and more!

5:30 – 7:30pm: Olympic Appetites Calling all little athletes. The 2016 Summer Olympic Games are here! Bring the fun home with this collection of fun- and flavor-packed Olympic-inspired recipes, including dessert. Menu: Olympic Bagel Rings, Stars and Stripes Salad, Pineapple Gold Medal Rings. What to Expect: Uncover what it means to eat the rainbow. Discover “what is an emulsion?” Learn how to temper chocolate.

Sunset: Free Movies in Riverside Park: Big Join us for free movies in Riverside Park, presented by Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ! Movies will begin at sunset, arrive early and order your dinner from Bear Force One, the Bear’s BBQ food truck.

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Friday, August 26th – Saturday, August 27th:

6 – 10pm: Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours We reprise our popular Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours for some summer 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. $22 with discounts available for members and children.

8pm: Improvaganza Two nights jam-packed with improv! Come see your favorite groups and new performers take the stage at Playhouse on Park. Featuring improv groups from around Connecticut and beyond, it is sure to be a riotous romp of comedy.

8pm: The Fantasticks There’s always time to remember this funny and romantic tale about a boy, a girl, their two fathers and a love that grows with each season. At the heart of this breathtaking show lies poetry and subtle theatrical sophistication with purity and simplicity. The Fantasticks is a timeless tale — full of magic and moonlight — of a young boy and girl who fall madly in love, but soon grow restless and disillusioned. Matt, played by Jordan Duvall, and Luisa, played by Jillian Caillouette, are in love and find their relationship challenged by their intruding fathers, played by Russell Fish and George Lombardo, and a bandit narrator known as El Gallo played by Jon Escobar. Two corky theatrical actors Henry and Mortimer, played by Dave Wall and James J Moran, and a Mute, Sue Emond, complete the cast of characters. This tender coming-of-age story with beautiful music and a dose of nostalgia is a guaranteed treat for parents and children alike. Runs until September 24th.

Friday, August 26th – Sunday, August 28th:

Plainville Fire Company Hot Air Balloon Festival

Bierfest 2016

12th Night

{Last Call} Friday – Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm: Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night Brother and sister Viola and Sebastian—who are not only very close but look a great deal alike—have been shipwrecked in a violent storm, and both think the other dead. Now seemingly alone in a foreign country, Viola dresses as her brother for protection and adopts the name “Cesario,” becoming a trusted friend and confidante to Count Orsino. Count Orsino is madly in love with Lady Olivia, who is in mourning due to her brother’s recent death, which she uses as an excuse to avoid seeing the count, whom she does not love. Orsino sends “Cesario” to do his wooing, but Viola’s a little too good at her job and finds herself in the middle of a messy love triangle: Olivia falls in love with “Cesario” (who we know is Viola), but Viola can’t return Oliva’s favors because she has fallen in love with the Duke! Things get more complicated when a moronic nobleman, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, and a self-important servant, Malvolio, get caught up in the schemes of Lady Olivia’s uncle, the alcoholic Sir Toby Belch, who leads both Aguecheek and Malvolio to believe Olivia loves them. Furthermore, Sebastian, Oliva’s twin brother, surfaces in the area causing more confusion in this tale of mistaken identities! Runs until August 28th. Picnic on the patio before every performance.

Saturday, August 27th:

10am: Mushroom Walk Join Joe Lenoce of Connecticut Valley Mycological Society in search of mushrooms at Cedar Hill. During this educational hunt, Joe will discuss the basic types of fungi, where to find them and proper methods of collecting. After the walk, he will review identification resources while identifying any fungi collected.

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10am – 1pm: Mindfulness Painting Class Join artist Noel G. Coonce for this mindfulness-themed painting workshop. Discover how painting can be used for mindfulness practice. The focus of this three hour class will be painting in acrylic. The materials are included in the course cost. This is a one-time workshop class. Registration is greatly encouraged so that we can make sure there are enough materials available. Class cost is $50.00, includes all materials.

Summer Reading

Join us for Kick Off!

1 – 3pm: Planning With Michaels We’ll bring the supplies, you bring the creativity and your planner to personalize – and learn how to make a pom pom paper clip.

Secret Stash Beer Bash

6 – 8pm: 67th Annual Peach Festival The proceeds for this event are used to support the mission of the Utilities Fire Department. The event would not be possible without the community involvement in the annual tradition of the peach peeling, which marks the beginning of this event. Your $5 Peach Festival ticket provides you with a delicious bowl of mouth-watering peach shortcake, admission to the event, and the opportunity to win one of several door prizes.

6 – 9pm: Explore the Night Walk Get outside on Saturday nights with Miss Judy for an educational walk with 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. On those nights when 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 for the weather by wearing a pair of good hiking shoes and a pair of water boots or shoes are recommended.

7:30pm: Speak Up is an evening of true stories centered on a common theme, told by storytellers chosen for their skill and expertise. This remarkable event, brought to Real Art Ways by Matthew and Elysha Dicks, celebrates the craft of live storytelling in the Greater Hartford area. All stories are 5-10 minutes long, and may not be suitable for young kids. The theme of the evening is “Power.”

Saturday, August 27th – Sunday, August 28th:

Sunday, August 28th:

8:30am: The Old Wethersfield 5K and 10K are USAT&F certified courses that run along the historic streets of Old Wethersfield. The 10K is a double-loop course and the 5K is one-loop. Both finish along the scenic Wethersfield Cove.

9am – 12pm: Cycle and Stroll Residents of all ages are invited to “take to the streets” for a car-free summer morning in West Hartford Center. The town’s first-ever “Center Streets” event will close traffic on four roads that form a rectangular loop around the central business district: Farmington Avenue, South Main Street, Memorial Road Extension, and LaSalle Road. Ride your bicycle or scooter, or take a stroll down the street, without automobiles. Families with young children are especially welcome. Participating stores will be open, there will be food for sale, and live music will be performed all morning.

5pm: Jinta La Mvta East meets West with Jinta La Mvta, Tokyo’s Premiere Klezmer Band. Considered the “epicenter of the Tokyo underground scene,” Jinta La Mvta combines Japanese street music chindon and jinta as its backbone.

Check back often as we update on the regular. Subscribe to receive our weekly email.

Plan Ahead:

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PS 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!

Sensory-friendly Performance of A Christmas Carol

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Hartford Stage will host a sensory-friendly performance of its annual holiday classic, A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story of Christmas. Sensory-friendly performances are designed to create a theatre experience that is welcoming to all families of children with autism or other disabilities that create sensory sensitivities. Click here to learn more about the sensory-friendly performance.

Sensory-friendly Performance: Tuesday; December 8, 2015 at 7pm

Ticket prices starts at $12. Click here to buy your tickets.

Momford County subscribers can comment below to enter to win a family four-pack of tickets to see this sensory-friendly performance.

The magic of Charles Dickens’ heart-warming classic returns for its 18th 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!

By Charles Dickens adapted and originally directed by Michael Wilson, directed by Maxwell Williams.

Running time: approximately 1 hour, 45 minutes with one intermission.
Recommended ages: 8 and up.

Special thanks to Theatre Development Fund’s Autism Theatre Initiative for serving as an advisor (www.tdf.org/autism).

Weekly Happenings: December 15-21

 

 

 

Below are a list of unique or seasonal reoccurring things to do this week in Hartford County.

{Parents Time Out} Through Sunday, December 21 | Hartford, CT | 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 guest – children from your favorite holiday specials – now all grown up! Tiny Tim, Charlie Brown, Cindy Lou Who and a host of other favorites pour out their Christmas woes in this delightful parody.

Through Tuesday, December 23 | Manchester, CT | 31st 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. Hours are 3-6pm weekdays and 1-5pm on weekends. Come and create a new family tradition. Free

Through Wednesday, December 24 | West Hartford, CT | Experience the Ice Palace at West Farms Mall In celebration of the November 18 release of the Disney Frozen Sing-Along Edition on DVD & Digital HD, West Farms presents a Frozen Ice Palace experience. The Ice Palace will feature characters from the number one animated film of all time, Disney Frozen. This much-loved, interactive holiday display features the art of Anna, Elsa and their friends Olaf, Kristoff and Sven, plus a 30 foot Ice Palace with falling snow, a light show and other activities for the whole family. Interactive globes will showcase scenes such as Anna & Elsa ice skating with Olaf, plus Anna, Kristoff & Sven on their quest to find Elsa on the North Mountain. Adults & children alike will enjoy leaving their hand print in ice at The Icy Hand Print experience, seeing how they compare in size to Sven & Olaf and having their photo taken with Olaf at the Ice Throne. End your magical journey at the Ice Palace with a visit to Santa and a special Disney Frozen Look-and-Find book!

Through Thursday, December 25 | ABC’s 25 days of Christmas

Through Sunday, December 28 | Hartford, CT | A Christmas Carol | A Ghost Story of Christmas The magic of Charles Dickens’ heart-warming classic returns for its 17th 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. Family Fun Night is December 18 at 6:30pm. This is the night to bring kids of all ages to see A Christmas Carol! Before the show, our spooky ghosts will greet and entertain. After the show, get autographs from all your favorite characters! Free with a ticket to the show. Stay tuned for our review as we have were invited to Opening Night.

Through December 29 from 5/6-9pm | East Windsor, CT | Winterfest | That delightful and magical season of WinterFest is now upon us. The Connecticut Trolley Museum once again pushes the limits to treat you and yours to an evening of entertainment and seasonal exhilaration! Ride the antique traction through the “Tunnel of Lights” tripping on our open electrical chariot (The Montréaler) or another open car – 3 miles of cool breezes under the starlit heavens. Or cozy down in an enclosed trolley for the warmer, dashing through the snow, rail trip. Open your complimentary “Ride & Sing Along WinterFest Songbook” and belt out your favorite Christmas Carol with the Trolley Crew and fellow passengers! Stroll through the Teresalee Bertinuson Visitor Center where the functioning and enchanting model train layouts will take your mind on a flight of fancy. The “halls are decked” with the proverbial “boughs of holly” and there are enough decorations to satisfy any souls need for visual Holiday splendor. The youngsters can sit on Santa’s lap and receive a gift – you may also if you desire.

Through Thursday, January 1 | Sun-Thurs 5-10pm and Fri-Sat 5-11pm | Plainville, CT | Lights on Lovely | Tune your radio to 96.1FM to hear the music synchronized to the light show. Free

Through Thursday, January 1 | Thursday 5-9pm & Friday-Saturday 5-10pm | Hartford, CT | Holiday Light Fantasia is a much loved Greater Hartford tradition and this season’s destination. The 2-mile show transforms Goodwin Park into a drive-through wonderland of holiday spirit with a beautiful collection of over 1 million lights.​Whimsical holiday scenes, familiar characters and local tributes shine bright in larger-than-life lighted scenes and 200 individual displays. Lighted animations celebrate not only Christmas, but Hanukkah, New Years and Three Kings Day. Click here for a $3 off coupon.

Through Sunday, January 4 | Fri 5 to 8pm, Sat 10am to 4pm, Sun 1-4pm | Wethersfield, CT | Each year, the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum’s “Three Centuries of Christmas” tours show in fascinating detail how the American holiday season has evolved over the past 300 years. This year, two evening candlelight tours, with costumed guides, have been added for viewing the three elegantly appointed historic houses that comprise the museum.

Through Tuesday, January 6 | Hartford, CT | 44th Annual Hartford Festival of Light | Hartford Festival of Light has become a not-to-be-missed event for the thousands who turn out on Constitution Plaza each year to sing carols, enjoy musical entertainment and witness the spectacle that is the illumination of more than a quarter of a million tiny white lights.

Through Tuesday, January 6 | Old Hartford, CT | Home for the Holiday’s | A Butler-McCook House Celebration! Come view the decorated Butler-McCook House and learn how the McCook family celebrated Christmas.

Monday, December 15 | Hartford, CT | Holiday Festival at the Old State House | Music will fill the halls of the Old State House!

Monday, December 15 from 10am-1pm | Hartford, CT | Volunteer to be an elf!

Tuesday, December 16 at 10am | New Britain, CT | Infant Massage Class | Infant Massage offers many wonderful benefits – bonding between caregivers and children, health support and comfort. Free

Tuesday, December 16 from 1-2pm | Manchester, CT | Celebrate the State | Let’s learn about the great state of Connecticut! We’ll learn about the history, symbols, famous people and inventions that make this state great through activities, artifacts, and crafts! Space is limited, reservation required. Ages 3-5.

Tuesday, December 16 from 4-5pm | Manchester, CT | Calling All Nutmegers | It’s time to celebrate! Come learn with us about all the exciting things in Connecticut’s past. We’ll learn the importance surrounding the history, symbols, famous people and inventions that contributed to our states history. Space is limited, reservation required. Ages 5-10.

Wednesday, December 17 from 4:30-6pm | West Hartford, CT | Latke Throwdown | Sample traditional and new potato pancake recipes from the kitchens of our favorite JCC chefs.

Thursday, December 18 – Friday, December, 19 from 4-9pm, Saturday, December 20 from 10 am – 8pm, Sunday, December 21 from  9am-2pm | Toys R Us of West Hartford, Newington and Manchester | Connecticut State Police 18th Annual Toy Drive | For the past 17 years, troopers from Troop H of the Connecticut State Police have been as busy as Santa’s elves carrying out their annual December Toy Drive.

Thursday, December 18 at 6:30pm | Hartford, CT | Family Fun Night at A Christmas Carol | A Ghost Story of Christmas The magic of Charles Dickens’ heart-warming classic returns for its 17th 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. This is the night to bring kids of all ages to see A Christmas Carol! Before the show, our spooky ghosts will greet and entertain. After the show, get autographs from all your favorite characters! Free with a ticket to the show. Stay tuned for our review as we have were invited to Opening Night.

Thursday, December 18 at 6:30pm | West Hartford, CT | Community-Wide Chanukah Bash | Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Hartford’s Community-Wide Chanukah Bash. Join us to celebrate Chanukah with latkes and holiday fun! Free

Thursday, December 18 – Sunday, December 21 | Thursday at 6:30pm, Friday at 7:30pm, Saturday at 1pm and 5pm, Sunday, December 21 at 1pm and 4:30pm | West Hartford, CT | Ballet Theatre Company’s 13th Annual Production of The Nutcracker

Thursday, December 18 at 7:30pm | Hartford, CT | Winter’s Chorale | The Travelers Chorale invites you to join them for their 90th annual Holiday Concert, “Winter’s Heart” with the West Hartford Symphony Orchestra. Warm your heart with music of the season. The Chorale will perform a vibrant musical program featuring favorites such as Christmas Star (from Home Alone 2), Hallelujah Chorus and Winter Wonderland of Snow. Other notables include The Gift, Christmas Pipes, and a medley of traditional carols called Noel Fantasy.

Friday, December 19 – Sunday, December 21 | Friday 5-9pm, Saturday & Sunday 4-9pm | Bristol, CT | Holiday Lights at Lake Compounce | 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. Find all “12 Days of Christmas” – 12 light displays throughout the park. Meet Santa!

Friday, December 19 from 4:30-5:30pm | West Hartford, CT | Skate with Santa | Join Santa on the ice for some holiday fun! Each child will receive a gift from Santa!

{Parents Time Out} Friday, December 19 from 5:30-8:30pm | West Hartford, CT | Parents Night Out | Drop your kids off for three hours of nonstop fun at My Gym. Activities include games, rides, songs, dance, relays, practice & play, and more! Dinner included! Perfect for children ages 2.5 and up (potty-trained, please). Space is limited.

Friday, December 19 – Sunday, December 21 | Friday/Saturday at 7pm, Saturday/Sunday at 2pm | Newington, CT | Seussical Jr. | A musical based on a combination of Dr. Seuss classics. The Cat in the Hat tells the story of Horton, an elephant who discovers a speck of dust containing Whos, including Jojo, a Who child sent off to a butter battling military school for thinking too many “thinks.” Horton’s attention to the speck of dust and his “loitering” care of Mayzie LaBird’s egg has elicited taunting and accusations from the rest of the animal kingdom, except for Gertrude McFuzz, who longs for his attention, and JoJo, whose “thinks” save them all in the end.

Friday, December 19 – Sunday, December 21 | Friday/Saturday at 7pm, Sunday at 2pm | New Britain, CT | The Christmas Schooner | Back for it’s second year at the Repertory Theatre by popular demand, 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.  This is a stirring tale of love and loss that reminds us of the importance of tradition and family during the holidays and throughout the year.

Friday, December 19 – Sunday, December 21 | Friday/Saturday at 7:30pm, Sunday at 2pm and 7pm | West Hartford, CT | The Nutcracker | The Hartt School Community Division has been bringing dance performances to the families and community of the Greater Hartford region for years. Each holiday season, HCD’s fully staged production of Tchaikovsky’s time-honored classic with staging again by Artistic Director Samantha Dunster, transports the audience to a magical world. It’s a wonderful opportunity to see young artists perform a full-length ballet laced with humor, bravery, and sensitivity and it is guaranteed to ignite the child within all of us and invoke the warmth of the holiday season.

Saturday, December 20 {Reoccurs on December 20} Seatings at 8:30am and 10:30am | Canton, CT | Santa Breakfast at Dish n’ Dat.

Saturday, December 20 – Sunday, December 21 | Breakfast seatings at 8:30, 9:30, 10:30 and 11:30am | West Simsbury, CT | 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. Stay tuned for our upcoming review.

Saturday, December 20 from 8:30am-4pm & Sunday, December 21 from Noon-4pm | Canton, CT | Victorian Carolers | Celebrate the season with Victorian Carolers. Free.

Saturday, December 20 from 9-11am | Windsor, CT | A Holiday With the Animals at Northwest Park | During the season of giving, don’t forget our friends in the animal barn! Northwest Park is home to many animals, so come out and help us celebrate for the holidays by making tasty cookies, fun treats and edible wreaths for our animals to enjoy! We will also learn their natural history, decorate their barn and appreciate how important they are to us. Registration required $3 for residents, $5  for non-residents. Adult supervision required.

Saturday, December 20 from 9-11am | Newington,  CT | Christmas Breakfast Roundup | It’s best to come hungry to this class because it will be packed with all kinds of goodies to enjoy. We will make Green Christmas Tree Pancakes, Strawberry and Banana Canes, Cinnamon Sugar Snowflakes and Snowman Donuts. Ages 6 & older. $25 per child.

Saturday, December 20 from 11am-3pm | Bristol, CT | Annual Santa’s Farm Workshop | Visit Santa’s farm friends! Then take a hayride to our rustic Pebble House and join Santa by a crackling fire! Have your picture taken with Santa! Christmas crafts, stocking stuffers and tasty treats will be for sale! Photo with Santa, farm animals, hay wagon rides, kids holiday crafts, Post Office for letters to Santa, gingerbread decorating and more…

Saturday, December 20 – Sunday, December 21 from 12 – 3pm | Hartford, CT | Winterfest: Photos With Santa | Winterfest wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Santa, so visit the Pump House and have your photo taken with him for free. Each family receives 1 free 5×7 photo; additional prints may be purchased online, the day after you skate.

Saturday, December 20 – Sunday, December 21 {Sat at 2pm and 7pm, Sun at 2pm} | Manchester, CT | Connecticut Concert Ballet presents the Nutcracker.

Saturday, December 20 at 2pm | Manchester, CT | As we approach the holiday season, many parents will be asked the question “Is there a Santa Claus?” We will answer that through a reading of Andrew J. Fenady’s play Yes Virginia There Is a Santa Claus. Please bring your family to join us as we hear the answer to the age-old question. Children are encouraged to bring with them their favorite hand-held gift from Santa, and to bring a non-perishable food item we’ll collect for MACC Charities food pantry. Recommended for 8 years and older, all children must be accompanied by an adult. Admission is $5. Children ages 8 – 12 are free.

Saturday, December 20 – Sunday, December 21 from 2:30-4pm | West Hartford, CT | The 2nd Annual Great Gingerbread Engineering Challenge | Back by popular demand, the Great Gingerbread Engineering Challenge is a fun (and yummy) way for families to enjoy the holiday season. Families are challenged to use their engineering skills to construct a Gingerbread House masterpiece. Each structure is unique and each family is a winner. Families will be supplied with miscellaneous candies, graham crackers, and special frosting-glue. The workshop will open with a brief tutorial on gingerbread house construction, including hints and ideas of how to decorate. Don’t worry– every family wins the Great Gingerbread Engineering Challenge, and each family will take home a special certificate of completion (as well as their creation). Up to 6 people per group. Ages 5 and up.

Saturday, December 20 at 3pm and 7:30pm | Hartford, CT | Holiday Cirque Spectacular | Celebrate the spirit of the season at this holiday extravaganza. Carolyn Kuan will conduct the HSO in a spectacular program of seasonal favorites, while Cirque de la Symphonie surrounds the stage with awe-inspiring aerialists, mind-boggling contortionists and breathtaking juggling acts.

Saturday, December 20 at 4pm | Manchester, CT | Resounding Joy | With Resounding Joy, CitySingers of Hartford will sing in the holiday season with traditional carols and folksongs from Eastern and Western Europe, Celtic lands and America. Festive choral motets will include Resonent in Laudibus, The Bell Carol and Ding Dong Merrily on High in a featured arrangement for voices and suspended bells. Flutes, oboe, harp, pipe organ and percussion will add color to the musical palette while festive sounds and cherished memories will inspire our audiences to join in singing!

Saturday, December 20 from 5-6pm | Simsbury, CT | A Birthday in Bethlehem | A Fun Family Fellowship Annual event, open to the whole Simsbury community. Come as you are, play in church and dress up in costumes to tell the Christmas story, sing Christmas carols, make a Christmas craft to bring home, and share refreshments.  

{Parents Time Out} Saturday, December 20 from 5-9pm | New Britain, CT | Holiday Kids’ Night Out | Wondering what to do with the kids while you finish your holiday shopping? Pizza dinner, games, activities, and animals included. Pre-registration and pre-payment required for each evening. Call (860) 827-9064 for more information and to register. Fee: $24/non-members Ages: 3-10. Stay tuned for our upcoming review.

Saturday, December 20 from 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm | Canton, CT | Chanukah Family Fun Night | Games in the gym, Chanukah stories, crafts, light the menorah and decorate your own Chanukah cookies. RSVP to Elana MacGilpin at 860-231-6327. $15 per family.

Saturday, December 20 at 6pm | Hartford, CT | “Christmas Angelicus – A New England Tradition” | Holiday cheer will unfurl once again as the choirs, Chorus Angelicus and Gaudeamus, of Joyful Noise, Inc. perform their annual “Christmas Angelicus” concert series across Connecticut.

Sunday, December 21 at 2pm | Farmington, CT | Honeyky Hanukah Storytime Free

Sunday, December 21 from 2-3:30pm | Canton, CT | Winter Solstice Celebration | Join us for some fun at the Nature Center on the shortest day of the year. Take a guided hike in Werner’s Woods. Make a variety of winter-related crafts, or watch a slide show on the beauty of winter. Hot chocolate provided after the hike. Program, hike and crafts free with admission to the Nature Center.

Sunday, December 21 from 2-4pm | Bristol, CT | Family Sunday: Ornament Making | Celebrate the holidays by creating your own special ornament at the Carousel Museum. We will use paint and sparkles to decorate fabulous glass ornaments that you can take home and enjoy. Adults are $6, children are $5, and residents of Harwinton are free.

Sunday, December 21 from 3:30-5pm | Canton, CT | Chanukah Family Fun Night | Games in the gym, Chanukah stories, crafts, light the menorah and decorate your own Chanukah cookies. $15 per family

Sunday, December 21 at 4pm | West Hartford, CT | Chanukah at Blue Back Square | Join the biggest community wide Chanukah celebration in town! Watch an 8 foot menorah being carved out of ice, kids and parents; use your creativity to engineer a giant light up dreidel, raffles, prizes, fire show, heated tent, menorah lighting ceremony and special children’s performance.

Sunday, December 14, 2014, 7 pm | The Nutty Nutcracker | Hold on to your seats or you’ll be rolling in the aisles as The Hartt School Community Division Dance Department presents an off the wall comedic version of The Nutcracker: The Nutty Nutcracker. If you’re a Nutcracker “regular,” just stop and think for a moment: What might happen if Clara didn’t get a Nutcracker? What would she get instead? How would the story evolve? Several ballet companies around the country have incorporated a similar idea of allowing zany and outrageous things to happen in a special production of their Nutcracker.This year, the HCD Dance Department will again follow their lead. With choreography by Samantha Dunster and comedic contributions from students from our Pre-Professional Program, the Hartford area is in for a treat with this tasteful spoof version of the original Nutcracker story. If you have never seen the Nutcracker, you will still enjoy this unconventional whacky performance. Suitable for all ages, this production’s cast members include former dancers from the Hartford Ballet, surprise character appearances, and students from the Dance Department’s Pre-Professional and Children’s Ballet programs. In total, the cast numbers more than 100 performers.

Plan Ahead:

Tuesday, December 23 from 5-6:30pm | Rocky Hill, CT | Jingle Bounce | Join us for a holiday filled event, complete with complimentary cupcakes for each child who attends, along with a visit from Santa.

Friday, December 26 | Hartford, CT  | Kwanzaa Day Celebration: Umoja | Join us for Hartford’s biggest Kwanzaa celebration, honoring family, community and culture, presented by Charter Oak Cultural Center and Sankofa Kuumba Cultural Arts Consortium. Come see performances by master dancers, musicians and drummers and have the opportunity to participate in this joyous festival.

Tuesday, December 30 from 11-1pm | How about spending a cold winter day at a Luau? We will prepare Sweet and Sour Meatballs, Pineapple Salsa, Hawaiian Spam Sliders and Tropical Cupcakes. We won’t forget to leave time to learn to Hula Dance! Children are encouraged to wear a Hawaiian Shirt if they have one. Ages 6 & older. $25 per child.

Wednesday, December 31 from 6:30-8pm | West Hartford, CT |  Ring in 2015 on the ice with hats, horns and a countdown to an “early midnight”! DJ Ean will be taking your requests!

Wednesday, December 31 | Hartford, CT | First Night Hartford | The name “First Night” symbolizes this forward look, over the technically correct “Last Night”. First Night is a celebration of the New Year through the arts. It is an alcohol free, family-friendly, public celebration that marks the passage from the old year to the new with art, ritual and festivity. The day is a multicultural, artistically unique, alcohol-free New Year’s experience with countless professional musicians, artists, performance groups and exhibits that inspire thousands of people of all ages to attend each year. It’s also an affordable way for everyone to ring in the New Year. The day includes two spectacular fireworks shows at 6pm and midnight in Bushnell Park that can be seen throughout the city by thousands of residents and visitors.

Monday, January 5 from 6:30pm – 9:30pm | Hartford, CT | Learn to Solder at MakeHartford | Back by popular demand! Participants will learn to solder electronic components to a printed circuit board while assembling and testing a small electronic project kit. The finished project is useful for the further study of electronics and is the participant’s to keep. Instruction will include workbench safety. All tools and materials will be provided. Eye protection is required. Safety glasses are available for an additional $4. Ages: Teens/Adults. Cost: $35/class.

Save the Date:

Saturday, January 31 from 10am-5pm- Sunday, February 1 from 10am-4pm, 2015 | 11th Annual Big Y Kid’s Fair | Fun, entertainment, exhibits, prizes and more are what you’ll get this day at the Connecticut Convention Center, in Hartford. Here’s one-stop-shopping for the latest products and services for growing families, including national, state and local companies offering product samples and valuable information. Plus, we’ll present entertainment, celebrity appearances and loads of activities for families with busy babies and toddlers. There will be Pony Rides and a Petting Zoo, magicians, a stage area featuring events like a kids fashion show, a kids play area, amusement rides and much, much more! $10 Adults, $5 Kids {Adults get $2 off with Big Y Express Savings Club or Silver Savings Club Card, limited to one per party}.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Happenings: December 8-14

 

 

 

 

Below are a list of unique or ongoing things to do this week in Hartford County.

Through Saturday, December 13 | South Windsor, CT | 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. Anyone is welcome to submit a gingerbread house and sign-ups are starting now. With holiday music playing in the background and the spicy aroma of gingerbread in the air, the library will provide the perfect holiday venue for showcasing the sugary artistic creations. “Ye Olde Gingerbread Shop” will also be open offering the opportunity to take home a bit of the magic with many holiday themed gifts and treats. Free

Through Tuesday, December 14 from 10am-4pm | Canton, CT | Gallery of Trees

Through Wednesday, December 24 | West Hartford, CT | Experience the Ice Palace at West Farms Mall In celebration of the November 18 release of the Disney Frozen Sing-Along Edition on DVD & Digital HD, West Farms presents a Frozen Ice Palace experience. The Ice Palace will feature characters from the number one animated film of all time, Disney Frozen. This much-loved, interactive holiday display features the art of Anna, Elsa and their friends Olaf, Kristoff and Sven, plus a 30 foot Ice Palace with falling snow, a light show and other activities for the whole family. Interactive globes will showcase scenes such as Anna & Elsa ice skating with Olaf, plus Anna, Kristoff & Sven on their quest to find Elsa on the North Mountain. Adults & children alike will enjoy leaving their hand print in ice at The Icy Hand Print experience, seeing how they compare in size to Sven & Olaf and having their photo taken with Olaf at the Ice Throne. End your magical journey at the Ice Palace with a visit to Santa and a special Disney Frozen Look-and-Find book!

Through Thursday, December 25 | ABC’s 25 days of Christmas

Through Sunday, December 28 | Hartford, CT | A Christmas Carol | A Ghost Story of Christmas The magic of Charles Dickens’ heart-warming classic returns for its 17th 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! Open Captioned Performance is on December 6 at 2pm. For patrons who are deaf or have hearing loss. Market Days are on December 6, 7, 14. 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 12:30pm and booths will be open during intermission and after the show. Sensory-Friendly Performance is on Tuesday, December 9 at 7:30pm. Family Fun Night is December 18 at 6:30pm. This is the night to bring kids of all ages to see A Christmas Carol! Before the show, our spooky ghosts will greet and entertain. After the show, get autographs from all your favorite characters! Free with a ticket to the show. Stay tuned for our review as we have been invited to Opening Night.

Through Thursday, January 1 | Sun-Thurs 5-10pm and Fri-Sat 5-11pm | Plainville, CT | Lights on Lovely | Tune your radio to 96.1FM to hear the music synchronized to the light show. Free

Through Thursday, January 1, | Thursday 5-9pm & Friday-Saturday 5-10pm | Hartford, CT | Holiday Light Fantasia is a much loved Greater Hartford tradition and this season’s destination. The 2-mile show transforms Goodwin Park into a drive-through wonderland of holiday spirit with a beautiful collection of over 1 million lights.​Whimsical holiday scenes, familiar characters and local tributes shine bright in larger-than-life lighted scenes and 200 individual displays. Lighted animations celebrate not only Christmas, but Hanukkah, New Years and Three Kings Day. Click here for a $3 off coupon.

Through Tuesday, January 6 | Hartford, CT | 44th Annual Hartford Festival of Light | Hartford Festival of Light has become a not-to-be-missed event for the thousands who turn out on Constitution Plaza each year to sing carols, enjoy musical entertainment and witness the spectacle that is the illumination of more than a quarter of a million tiny white lights.

Through Tuesday, January 6 | Old Hartford, CT | Home for the Holiday’s | A Butler-McCook House Celebration! Come view the decorated Butler-McCook House and learn how the McCook family celebrated Christmas.

Monday, December 8 at 5:30pm | Hartford, CT |  Our winter Youth Arts Institute Showcase is followed by a community dinner at 6:30pm. Free

Tuesday, December 9 through Thursday, December 11 from 11am to 3pm | Hartford, CT | Holiday Shopping Fair at Connecticut’s Old State House

Tuesday, December 9 at 7:30pm | Hartford, CT | Sensory Friendly Performance of A Christmas Carol | Hartford Stage will host a sensory-friendly performance of its annual holiday classic, A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story of Christmas. Sensory-friendly performances are designed to create a theatre experience that is welcoming to all families of children with autism or other disabilities that create sensory sensitivities. This will be the first time that Hartford Stage has offered this type of performance for the community.

{Parents Time Out} Tuesday, December 9-Thursday, December 11 at 7:30pm | Friday, December 12 at 8pm | Saturday, December 13 at 4 and 8pm | Sunday, December 14 at 2:30 & 6pm {Reoccurs through 12/21) | Hartford, CT | 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 guest – children from your favorite holiday specials – now all grown up! Tiny Tim, Charlie Brown, Cindy Lou Who and a host of other favorites pour out their Christmas woes in this delightful parody.

Wednesday, December 10; 5–8 pm – Sunday, December 14; 10am–5 pm | Hartford, CT | 41st Annual Festival of Trees & Traditions | Celebrate the season at the 41st Annual Festival of Trees & Traditions! Established in 1973 by the Women’s Committee as a museum fundraising event, Festival has become an annual holiday tradition for many visitors from throughout the state and beyond. Stay tuned for our experience review!

Wednesday, December 10 at 7:30pm | Hartford, CT | Hartford Chorale presents one of the most famous choral works ever written – Handel’s Messiah. Led by Hartford Chorale’s Music Director Richard Coffey, this performance will feature the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and four guest soloists performing with the Chorale’s 160 members.  This work has endured as one of the greatest pieces for chorus and orchestra of all time and this holiday performance will feature choruses and arias from the oratorio, including, of course, the rousing Hallelujah Chorus.

Thursday, December 11 from 5:30-7pm | Hartford, Ct | Cookie Workshop | Quick and delicious-cookies mean instant gratification, and this class will give you recipes and instruction to keep the cookie jar full during this peak cookie season. Learn to make classic shortbread and more.

{Parents Time Out} Thursday, December 11th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm | Hartford, CT | Connecticut Landmarks presents Cultural Cocktail Hour at the Butler-McCook House & Garden. The event takes place on the second Thursday of the month from May through December. Sponsored in part by the Greater Hartford Arts Council, Cultural Cocktail Hour will feature the opening of Jason Werner’s The Corning Fountain exhibition. The event is free with a suggested food and per drink donation of $5.

Thursday, December 11 at 7pm | Hartford, CT | Holiday Sing Along | Join us for our 4th night of harmony. Music director, Susan Mazer has put together a book  of songs, some great musicians and tasty treats.  All we need is you. Bring a baked good to share and we’ll provide hot apple cider. All ages.

Friday’s, December 12 and Friday, December 13 | Fri 5 to 8pm, Sat 10am to 4pm, Sun 1-4pm | {Reoccurs through January 4 | Wethersfield, CT | Each year, the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum’s “Three Centuries of Christmas” tours show in fascinating detail how the American holiday season has evolved over the past 300 years. This year, two evening candlelight tours, with costumed guides, have been added for viewing the three elegantly appointed historic houses that comprise the museum.

Friday, December 12 – Sunday, December 14 {Reoccurs: December 19 – 21} Friday 5-9pm, Saturday & Sunday 4-9pm | Bristol, CT | Holiday Lights at Lake Compounce | 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. Find all “12 Days of Christmas” – 12 light displays throughout the park. Meet Santa!

Friday, December 12 – Sunday, December 14 {Reoccurs through December 29} | 5 or 6-9pm | East Windsor, CT | Winterfest | That delightful and magical season of WinterFest is now upon us. The Connecticut Trolley Museum once again pushes the limits to treat you and yours to an evening of entertainment and seasonal exhilaration! Ride the antique traction through the “Tunnel of Lights” tripping on our open electrical chariot (The Montréaler) or another open car – 3 miles of cool breezes under the starlit heavens. Or cozy down in an enclosed trolley for the warmer, dashing through the snow, rail trip. Open your complimentary “Ride & Sing Along WinterFest Songbook” and belt out your favorite Christmas Carol with the Trolley Crew and fellow passengers! Stroll through the Teresalee Bertinuson Visitor Center where the functioning and enchanting model train layouts will take your mind on a flight of fancy. The “halls are decked” with the proverbial “boughs of holly” and there are enough decorations to satisfy any souls need for visual Holiday splendor. The youngsters can sit on Santa’s lap and receive a gift – you may also if you desire.

Friday, December 12 – Sunday, December 21 | Friday/Saturday at 7:30pm, Sunday at 2pm and 7pm | {Reoccurs December 19-21} | West Hartford, CT | The Nutcracker | The Hartt School Community Division has been bringing dance performances to the families and community of the Greater Hartford region for years. Each holiday season, HCD’s fully staged production of Tchaikovsky’s time-honored classic with staging again by Artistic Director Samantha Dunster, transports the audience to a magical world. It’s a wonderful opportunity to see young artists perform a full-length ballet laced with humor, bravery, and sensitivity and it is guaranteed to ignite the child within all of us and invoke the warmth of the holiday season.

Friday, December 12 from 6-9pm | Collinsville, CT | Christmas in Collinsville | Champagne walk, horse drawn carriage rides, gallery of trees and more…

{Parents Time Out} Friday, December 12 at 6 and 8pm (Adults Only BYOB) – Saturday, December 13 at 10am, 1pm and 3pm (family-friendly) | Gingerbread Day | Gingerbread Day is an annual event which allows kids and adults alike to construct a homemade creation from homemade gingerbread, fresh icing, and delicious candies. Taking place on the first weekend of December, the event is a sight to behold! Each cookie is handmade at the Noah Webster House and fun candy mixes offer a variety of artistic options.

{Parents Time Out} Friday, December 12 from 6-10pm | Hartford, CT | Liquid Lounge: Naughty & Nice | ‘Tis the season for Hartford’s hottest night out! Join 1000+ merry makers for three floors of awesome hands-on exhibits, liquid delights, fabulous seasonal treats, live music, dancing, and more. Meet 6 crazy Santas and take our Selfie Santa challenge for a chance to win great prizes! Holly jolly entertainment includes live music and dancing, holiday crafts, an “Elf Yourself” photo booth, caroling karaoke, an ugly sweater contest, and much more!

{Parents Time Out} Friday, December 12 from 6-9pm | Manchester, CT | 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.

Friday, December 12- Sunday, December 14 [Reoccurs December 19-21] | Friday/Saturday at 7pm, Saturday/Sunday at 2pm | Newington, CT | Seussical Jr. | A musical based on a combination of Dr. Seuss classics. The Cat in the Hat tells the story of Horton, an elephant who discovers a speck of dust containing Whos, including Jojo, a Who child sent off to a butter battling military school for thinking too many “thinks.” Horton’s attention to the speck of dust and his “loitering” care of Mayzie LaBird’s egg has elicited taunting and accusations from the rest of the animal kingdom, except for Gertrude McFuzz, who longs for his attention, and JoJo, whose “thinks” save them all in the end.

Friday, December 12 – Saturday, December 13th at 7pm & Sunday, December 14 at 2pm | The Christmas Schooner | Back for it’s second year at the Repertory Theatre by popular demand, 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.  This is a stirring tale of love and loss that reminds us of the importance of tradition and family during the holidays and throughout the year.

Friday, December 12 – Sunday, December 14 | Fri at 7pm, Sat at 6pm and Sun at 11am and 6pm | Bristol, CT | Tiny Tim’s Christmas

Friday, December 12 at 7pm | Hartford, CT | Read It and Sleep | Guest reader Dorene Hicks will choose a children’s book. Wear your cozy clothes and bring your parents. Enjoy hot chocolate and cookies. First 23 families takes home a free copy of the book.

Elf of the Shelf Storytime | Barnes & Noble | Join select Barnes & Noble stores for The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition Storytime and Elf Adoption Event. This holiday season, begin a new family tradition – this interactive holiday hide and seek with Santa’s elf is perfect for children and families of all ages.

Friday, December 12 at 7:30pm | Simsbury, CT | “Christmas Angelicus – A New England Tradition” | Holiday cheer will unfurl once again as the choirs, Chorus Angelicus and Gaudeamus, of Joyful Noise, Inc. perform their annual “Christmas Angelicus” concert series across Connecticut.

{Parents Time Out} Friday, December 12 – Saturday, December 13 at 8pm, Sunday, December 14 at 2pm | Hartford, CT |  The Nutcracker Suite and Spicy features a fusion of athletic dance forms including tap, jazz, and hip hop and a sense of humor. The curtain opens on an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party, featuring a break dancing doll brought by suave Drosselmeyer, and an athletic and dizzying snow ball scene with acrobatic dancing using pearly white exercise balls. In Act II, the audience meets sexy hip hop Sugar Rum and CONNetic Dance’s signature Florettes in a high kicking, Rockettes-inspired Waltz of the Flowers, followed by a battle between Club Rat and the Nutcracker in the Club of Sweet Temptations. It is all set to a fun compilation of diverse music inspired by Tchaikovsky’s classic score. The Nutcracker Suite & Spicy is great fun, has creative choreography, and is accessible and enjoyable for all audience members because of the various forms of popular and modern dance used to tell and update the classic story. It is a show as truly diverse as the city from which it hails, with talented professional dancers from varied backgrounds.

Saturday, December 13 – Sunday, December 14 {Reoccurs December 20-21} | Breakfast seatings at 8:30, 9:30, 10:30 and 11:30am | West Simsbury, CT | 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. Stay tuned for our upcoming review.

Saturday, December 13 – 8:30am-4pm & Sunday, December 14 {Reoccurs weekends through December 21} | Noon-4pm | Canton, CT | Victorian Carolers | Celebrate the season with Victorian Carolers. Free.

Saturday, December 13 from 9:30-11:30am | Newington, CT | Elf Workshop | Shoppers and their children are invited to create a Pinecone Tree decoration, complete with pompom ornaments. Free

Saturday, December 13 at 10am | Lowe’s | Train Engine | The holidays are right around the corner! Bring your child to Lowe’s and they can build this festive Train Engine!

Saturday, December 13 from 10am-1pm | Hartford, CT | Celebrate world holiday traditions during the 41st Annual Festival of Trees & Traditions! Make ornaments inspired by Kwanzaa, Christmas, Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, and Three Kings Day. Free.

Saturday, December 13 from 10am-4pm | Collinsville, CT | Christmas in Collinsville | Craft Show from 10am – 4pm. Horse Drawn carriage rides; puppet shows; Santa Claus, and more from 12-3pm. Free

Saturday, December 13 at 11am | Canton, CT | Snowman Storytime and Craft | Join us in the Children’s Department for a special Snowman Storytime! We will read snowman books and do a special snowman craft.

Saturday, December 13 from 11-11:45 am | West Hartford, CT | ChallahPalooza | An interactive service for children five and under and their grown ups. We sing songs, prayers, dance, read stories and play Shabbat friendly games. The program concludes with Adon Olam on the bima followed by kiddush with the entire Emanuel community. This program is free and open to all.

Saturday, December 13 from 11am-3pm {Reoccurs on 12/20} | Annual Santa’s Farm Workshop | Bristol, CT | Visit Santa’s farm friends! Then take a hayride to our rustic Pebble House and join Santa by a crackling fire! Have your picture taken with Santa! Christmas crafts, stocking stuffers and tasty treats will be for sale! Photo with Santa, farm animals, hay wagon rides, kids holiday crafts, Post Office for letters to Santa, gingerbread decorating and more…

Saturday, December 13 from 11am-7pm | Canton, CT | Stock the Cruiser | Support the Canton Police Department’s food and toy drive. Donation benefit area families in need.

Saturday, December 13 – Sunday, December 14 {Reoccurs December 20-21} 12 – 3pm | Hartford, CT | Winterfest: Photos With Santa | Winterfest wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Santa, so visit the Pump House and have your photo taken with him for free. Each family receives 1 free 5×7 photo; additional prints may be purchased online, the day after you skate.

Saturday, December 13 from 12 to 3 pm | Hartford, CT | Wreathmaking Workshop | Make a Victorian Holiday Wreath with Jackie McKinney, Site Administrator of the Isham-Terry House. Tour the festively decorated house and make your own indoor wreath! Admission is $30. Registration is required as space is limited.

Saturday, December 13 – Sunday, December 14 at 12:30 & 4pm | Hartford, CT | The Nutcracker | The Nutmeg Ballet’s Nutcracker returns to The Bushnell’s Robinson and Cole Family Series with times that the whole family can participate in. Enjoy yourself this yuletide season as you travel with young Clara to the enchanted Land of Sweets. Delighting audiences young and old, this holiday favorite brings to life toy soldiers and dueling mice, princesses and sugarplums – a delicious treat for the child in all of us performed one of the most respected classical ballet conservatories in America.

Saturday, December 13 – Sunday, December 14 {Sat at 2pm and 7pm, Sun at 2pm} | {Reoccurs on December 21-20} | Manchester, CT | Connecticut Concert Ballet presents the Nutcracker.

Saturday, December 13 from 12-5pm | Hartford, CT | Winterfest Ugly Sweater Stroll | Show off your ugliest sweater and stroll through downtown, stopping to sample Winterfest-inspired Onyx cocktails at downtown restaurants. Admission is $25 and includes a super awesome “Hartford Has It” scarf, drink specials at all participating restaurants and prizes. Participating restaurants will be announced in early December.

Saturday, December 13 through Tuesday, December 23 | Manchester, CT | 31st 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. Hours are 3-6pm weekdays and 1-5pm on weekends. Come and create a new family tradition. Free

Saturday, December 13, from 3-8pm | New Britain, CT | Holiday Pajammin’ Party | Join us anytime for activities including stories, games, music, dancing, crafts, and karaoke! Arrive by 3:30 to meet Suzy-Q the clown for balloon animals and fun! Stay for the Pajama Fashion Show beginning at 4:30 for anyone coming in pj’s! Karaoke will begin at 6:00! Pizza and other food and drink will be provided throughout the afternoon and evening, guests are welcomed to bring food or drinks to share. Free but RSVP. Along with being a holiday party for NBYT friends and families, we’re going to collect donations for Connecticut’s Pajama Program. The Pajama Program is a charitable organization that provides brand new pajamas and new books to children in need. These children live in group homes, shelters, and temporary housing facilities, and are often shuffled from one place to another waiting and hoping to be adopted. Many of them have been abandoned, abused, or neglected. Some of the children are living with their families below the poverty level, in desperate need of food, clothing, and shelter. These simple gifts let the children know that someone cares. Donations of pajamas (brand new only!) are encouraged, but not required, to come to the party. Wearing pajamas is optional for kids attending too!

Saturday, December 13 – Sunday, December 14 {Reoccurs on Saturday, December 20} at 4pm | Manchester, CT | Resounding Joy | With Resounding Joy, CitySingers of Hartford will sing in the holiday season with traditional carols and folksongs from Eastern and Western Europe, Celtic lands and America. Festive choral motets will include Resonent in Laudibus, The Bell Carol and Ding Dong Merrily on High in a featured arrangement for voices and suspended bells. Flutes, oboe, harp, pipe organ and percussion will add color to the musical palette while festive sounds and cherished memories will inspire our audiences to join in singing!

Saturday, December 13 from 4:30-6pm | Newington, CT | Holiday Cookie Workshop | Join us as we stamp out some of our favorite holiday cookies to decorate! As they bake, we will make some colorful chocolate bark to take home. Ages 6 & older. $25 per child.

Saturday, December 13 from 5-8pm | Granby, CT | Every Christmas season, we invite the community to take part in a holiday tradition when Valley Brook Community Church presents The Live Nativity. Stop by any time during the event and enjoy it at your own pace.Follow a path lined with hundreds of luminaria to the manger scene and pet a sheep, talk with a shepherd, see the wise men present their gifts and get an idea of what that very first Christmas was like! All of the character and animals are real and children may pet the animals. Live vocal music is provided to accompany the scene. Take time to stop and enjoy the special music, refreshments and a hot beverages.

{Parents Time Out} Saturday, December 13 {Reoccurs December 20} | 5-9pm | New Britain, CT | Holiday Kids’ Night Out | Wondering what to do with the kids while you finish your holiday shopping? Pizza dinner, games, activities, and animals included. Pre-registration and pre-payment required for each evening. Call (860) 827-9064 for more information and to register. Fee: $24/non-members Ages: 3-10.

Saturday, December 13 at 6pm | Windsor, CT | Carol Sing & Torch Light Parade | Join us for an evening of Holiday Fun! The holiday season will come alive with song at 6:00 PM on the Windsor Town Green for the Carol Sing. Stick around for the Annual Torch Light Parade at 6:30 PM.

Sunday, December 14 from 1:30am-12pm | West Hartford, CT | Bagels, Blocks & Beyond Chanukah | The Emanuel Synagogue’s Early Childhood Center invites you to have a bagel and learn about Chanukah with circle time and crafts and a life-sized dreidel!  Make your own dreidel to take home. RSVP

Sunday, December 14 from 11am-1pm | Newington, CT | “Dear Santa” Cupcakes | Decorate Christmas cupcakes that will impress Santa himself! You’ll use easy buttercream icing techniques such as pull-out fur, zigzags and printing to make festive cupcakes for your celebrations. Recommended for all skill levels. Visit the website for a lis of materials. Recommended for ages 15 and up. $10 per person.

Sunday, December 14 from 12-5pm | New Britain, CT | Get yourself into the holiday spirit with a fun, festive, and free community day! The Museum has partnered with the Ballet Theatre Company of West Hartford to offer performances and activities for visitors of all ages. Catch a sneak peek of their magical production of The Nutcracker, which puts a modern and moving twist on this holiday favorite, as they perform excerpts throughout the afternoon in the Stanley Works Center. In between performances, meet members of the Company who will roam the galleries as “dancer docents”—watch them interpret their favorite artworks in dance, and hear more about the paintings that quite literally “move” them! Museum educators will provide free drop-in art activities all afternoon—stop in the Lobby to create a snowflake ballerina, and pop into the ArtLab to make your very own nutcracker ornament out of clothespins and various embellishments. Don’t miss our annual Kwanzaa tasting, prepared and presented by the Museum’s African American Advisory Committee. Take a break from your holiday rush and treat yourself to a beautiful day of art, dance, and delicious food! Free

Sunday, December 14 from 1-3pm | Newington, CT | Bring the whole family to listen to holiday carols right in the store, courtesy of the Newington High School Carolers. Free

Sunday, December 14 at 3pm | West Hartford, CT | Holiday Concert

Sunday, December 14 from 3-5pm | Manchester, CT | Art Painting Instructor Demonstration | Come and meet our certified art painting instructor.

Sunday, December 14 from 4-7pm | West Hartford, CT | Centennial Celebration | The first in a year-long series of Centennial themes events, the Mandell JCC Centennial Celebration will feature a fabulous array of games, activities, food, fun and surprises for people of all ages. The evening features an international food court with a variety of HKC approved cuisine options from around the globe, including Mexican, Chinese and Israeli themed menu items. And satisfy your sweet tooth with our dessert bar featuring funnel cakes, cotton candy, popcorn, pie and ice cream. With carnival style games, a large interactive community art project, and crafts and activities, there’s something for everyone Float on in to Bubble-ology from the Connecticut Science Center and learn how bubbles are made. Try your luck and win a prize at our carnival games, or take a Centennial Selfie in our photo booth. Come together as a community and build The Wave, a national interactive art project. Enjoy strolling performers, jugglers, face painting and more! Get a front row seat to the spectacular world premiere of Our Future Starts Now! — a one night only special multimedia display. Cost in advance: $18 per person, free for children ages 12 and under (must be accompanied by an adult) or at the door: $25 per person, free for children ages 12 and under (must be accompanied by an adult).

Monday, December 15 | Hartford, CT | Holiday Festival at the Old State House | Music will fill the halls of the Old State House!

Monday, December 15 from 10am-1pm | Hartford, CT | Volunteer to be an elf!

Check out our Holiday happenings page for holiday happenings after this week.

Save the Date:

{Parents Time Out} Friday, December 19 from 5:30-8:30pm | West Hartford, CT | Parents Night Out | Drop your kids off for three hours of nonstop fun at My Gym. Activities include games, rides, songs, dance, relays, practice & play, and more! Dinner included! Perfect for children ages 2.5 and up (potty-trained, please). Space is limited.

Saturday, December 20 {Reoccurs on December 20} Seatings at 8:30am and 10:30am | Canton, CT | Santa Brakfast at Dish n’ Dat.

Monday, January 5 from 6:30pm – 9:30pm | Hartford, CT | Learn to Solder at MakeHartford | Back by popular demand! Participants will learn to solder electronic components to a printed circuit board while assembling and testing a small electronic project kit. The finished project is useful for the further study of electronics and is the participant’s to keep. Instruction will include workbench safety. All tools and materials will be provided. Eye protection is required. Safety glasses are available for an additional $4. Ages: Teens/Adults. Cost: $35/class.

Saturday, January 31 from 10am-5pm- Sunday, February 1 from 10am-4pm, 2015 | 11th Annual Big Y Kid’s Fair | Fun, entertainment, exhibits, prizes and more are what you’ll get this day at the Connecticut Convention Center, in Hartford. Here’s one-stop-shopping for the latest products and services for growing families, including national, state and local companies offering product samples and valuable information. Plus, we’ll present entertainment, celebrity appearances and loads of activities for families with busy babies and toddlers. There will be Pony Rides and a Petting Zoo, magicians, a stage area featuring events like a kids fashion show, a kids play area, amusement rides and much, much more! $10 Adults, $5 Kids {Adults get $2 off with Big Y Express Savings Club or Silver Savings Club Card, limited to one per party}.