February 8 – 15

Welcome to the second full week of February. Once again we have scoured our rolodex and the internet for all of the fun things happenings this week across Hartford County! This week is extra special because it is Mardi Gras and Valentine’s Day, so get out and celebrate – with the kids or without the kids; either way make it memorable. No School on Monday for President’s Day with many schools also closed on Tuesday or some the whole week through – we have many options for those parents who work and may need a camp day or those just looking for something to do – we’ve got you covered! Check the links provided for weather delays and cancellations before heading out.

Monday, February 8:

4:15 – 5pm: Paint like Pollock We will learn a little bit about the artist Jackson Pollock and his famous splatter painting before making some ourselves. $20 per child. Imagine Studio, West Hartford.

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

Monday, February 8 – Friday, February 12:

10am – 5pm: Love our Animals Join us as we celebrate Valentine’s Week with our wonderful animals. Each day we will make special Valentines for our animals and loved ones. Special visit with the animal of the day. Monday – Frogs, Tuesday – Lizards, Wednesday – Raptors, Thursday – Turtles and Friday – Snakes. Crafts and animal demo included with the cost of admission to the Nature Center. No need to pre-register. Roaring Brook Nature Center, Canton.

Tuesday, February 9:

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

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

4:30 – 6pm: School Age Cookie Baking Budding Chefs will bake our famous chocolate chip cookies from scratch! Ages 6-12. Drop Off. $30 per child. The Little Green Tambourine, Canton.

{PTO} 7:30pm: Playwrights On Park is a new and exciting artistic endeavor for Playhouse on Park. Our mission is to develop and produce original plays and musicals, to foster emerging and established playwrights, and to become a leader in new play development. We aim to help establish the Greater Hartford Area as a premiere destination for the cultivation and exploration of innovative theatrical work. Let it Come Down by Eve Lederman Inspired by deposition transcripts from a malpractice case, Let It Come Down portrays the relationship between patient and therapist as a seductive love more powerful and volatile than any romance. Rachel is exploring family secrets with her maternal therapist, but when the doctor faces a lawsuit for abruptly terminating treatment, she paints Rachel as violent and an explosive, life-altering battle ensues. This tale of betrayal ignites a dialogue about the dynamics of therapy and the blurry line between obsession and love. $5 general admission. Playhouse on Park, West Hartford.

Tuesday, February 9 – Sunday, February 14:

{PTO} Tuesday – Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday – Saturday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm and Sunday at 1pm and 6:30pm: Love Letters Andrew Makepeace Ladd III wrote his first letter to Melissa Gardner to tell her she looked like a lost princess. They were both seven years old. For the next fifty years, through personal triumphs and despair, through wars and marriages and children and careers, they poured out the secrets of their hearts to each other. They defied a fate that schemed to keep them apart, and lived for the one most meaningful thing, their undying love for each other. Starring Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal, directed by Gregory Mosher and written by celebrated playwright A.R. Gurney. Don’t miss this enduring romance about first loves and second chances. The Bushnell, Hartford.

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{Last Call} Tuesday – Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday – Saturday at 8pm, Saturday – Sunday at 2:30pm: Buyer & Cellar An outrageous comedy about the price of fame, the cost of things and the oddest of odd jobs. An under-employed Los Angeles actor goes to work in Barbra Streisand’s Malibu basement. Hilarity ensues as we puzzle over the solitude of celebrity and the melancholy that lurks beneath it. TheaterWorks, Hartford.

Wednesday, February 10:

9:15 – 10:15am: Valentine’s Day Cupcake Decorating Join us for a morning of decorating delicious cupcakes! Registering for this event entitles you to $5 off admission to Open Play running afterward. $25 per child. All ages. Parent participation is required. The Little Green Tambourine, Canton.

12 – 1pm: The Super Bowl: Advertising, Masculinity & Sports Culture Stowe Salons at Lunch meet monthly at Noon. We’re talking about social justice issues making news. Please join us and share your perspective and ideas for creating positive change in our city, state and nation. A great opportunity to network with other change makers. Bring your lunch or pick up food at the Nook Farm Nook next door at Mark Twain House & Museum. Free. Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, Hartford.

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

Wednesday, February 10 – Sunday, February 14:

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

Thursday, February 11:

4:30 – 6pm: Valentine’s Day Chocolate Making Your little love with have a blast dipping all sorts off yummy foods in chocolate and packaging them in a fancy box! Drop off Ages 6-12, younger siblings welcome. $35 per child. The Little Green Tambourine, Canton.

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5:30 – 8pm: Make a Valentine for Hartford! Join Hartford Preservation Alliance at Hartford rints for Happy Hour and make a Valentine for one of Hartford’s endangered historic buildings. Suggested donation: $25. Hartford Prints, Hartford.

6 – 8pm: BYOB and Paint a Pair of Champagne Flutes for Valentine’s Day Learn the art of painting on glass while designing a pair of champagne flutes with the help of talented Art Truck staff. We provide everything needed so you can enjoy a fun, creative evening with friends. BYOB and snacks and relax in our no-pressure studio filled with paints, stencils, paint pens and lots of fun samples. Our studio is your studio. $30 per person. The Art Truck Party Studio & Creativity Lounge, Glastonbury.

Thursday, February 11 – Sunday, February 14:

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

Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday – Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 3pm: Love Notes Musical love tales and beautiful choreography take center stage in this program that will feature romantic selections and dancers, both human (dancers from the Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory) and puppet (created by the masterful minds of the UConn Puppet Arts Program). Visual artist Maria Rud will create astounding art right before your very eyes.  The program features works by Wagner, Prokofiev, Debussy, Saint-Saëns, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven. Bring your loved one for a special Valentines’ night out! Belding Theater at The Bushnell. Hartford.

Friday, February 12:

9:30 – 10:30am and 11:30am – 12:30pm: Let’s Celebrate Valentine’s Day Let’s celebrate this sweet holiday with some sweet treats! We will make red velvet whoopee pies and heart shaped fruit dipped in chocolate. Kids will also roll and decorate homemade truffles! Ages 2 -5. $15 per child (must be accompanied by an adult). Stew Leonard’s, Newington.

10 – 11am: Valentine’s Day Party Come celebrate Valentine’s Day with a party at the museum! We will play games, enjoy a treat, meet an animal, and make a card for someone you love. Enjoy the activity stations at your own pace. Let’s all wear red and pink too! Ages 2-5 with caregiver. $6 per non-member. Lutz Children’s Museum, Manchester.

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4 – 5pm: Valentine’s Day Celebration Celebrate Valentine’s Day with the ones you love: your friends at LCM of course! Join us for a fun-filled hour of activities, games, crafts, treats, and meeting an animal too. You can wear red or pink to be festive. Ages 4-10 with a caregiver. $6 per non-member. Lutz Children’s Museum, Manchester.

5:30 – 8:30pm: Parent’s 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! Ages 2.5 and up. Non-Members pay $40 per child, half off siblings! My Gym, Enfield.

6pm: Darwin Day – Natural Selection February 12, 2016 is International Darwin Day. Ever since Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species it has changed our view of biology, cosmology and the scientific process. We’ll honor Charles Darwin’s work with a showing of the visually stunning Natural Selection. Witness the thrill of scientific discovery by seeing the world through Darwin’s eyes, make observations of exotic natural scenery and let the pieces of the scientific puzzle slowly but surely fall into place. Follow Darwin’s reasoning to reveal this simple and beautiful mechanism that explains the evolution of life on Earth. Using the dome we’ll will also learn the basics of navigation and how sailors and explorers have used the stars to travel across great distances just as Darwin did on his voyage. In addition, we’ll features some fun hands-on activities and live interaction during the show. Recommended ages: 8 and up. Glastonbury Planetarium, Glastonbury.

6 – 8pm: Valentine’s Day Workshop Let’s make a special treat for a special someone! This workshop will be held in 30 minute intervals. Each child will create half dozen chocolate covered strawberries with yummy toppings. In addition, you will be able to create a personalized Valentine’s Day greeting card! Ages 4-12. $10 per child. Stew Leonard’s, Newington.

6 – 10pm: Valentine’s Day Parents’ Night Out Celebrate your Valentine’s Day with no kids and no worries. Canton Parks and Recreation is providing an evening of activities for your kids while you enjoy a night out. Kids will be supervised and entertained for the evening with arts and crafts, games and more! Valentine snacks and refreshments included. Ages 5-13. $25per child. Canton Community Center, Canton.

6:30 – 8pm: Therapeutic Thai Massage for Couples Thai massage and partner yoga combined can enrich our relationships, deepen our connection and help us feel more radiant and open-hearted. Therapeutic Thai massage is a yoga-like form of bodywork practiced fully-clothed on a mat. We will explore a Massage sequence which can be practiced almost anywhere with minimal equipment, and incorporate a fun and easy series of partner yoga practices. Students will both give and receive Thai massage as we embrace lightheartedness, grounding, and loving-kindness. Supporting our partner through Thai Massage we will be guided into some opening therapeutic stretches. Learn how you and your partner can ease each others tensions, cleanse and align the body, mind, heart & practice metta & love and kindness with each other through Partner Thai Massage. $24 per person. Yoga Center of Collinsville, Collinsville.

6:30 – 9pm: Mommy Son Valentine Dance Mom, bring out your best dress, have your son(s) put on his best clothes, and come enjoy desserts, games, dancing and a photo booth! Ideal for ages 5-12 years old. Adults $10, youth $5. Boys & Girls Club of Bristol Family Center, Bristol.

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{PTO} 8 – 11pm: Museum After Dark: Mardi Gras Enjoy a drink with friends, explore our galleries and special exhibitions, dance to local musicians and DJs, and unwind in a creative environment. M.A.D. Mardi Gras will include tracks spun by DJ zErp, live music from River City Slim and the Zydeco Hogs, and food available for purchase from The Cheese Truck and Hardcore Sweet Cupcakes. Admission includes entrance to our galleries and special exhibits, music, dancing, and beer and wine. $25 per person. New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain.

Friday, February 12 – Saturday, February 13:

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

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

Friday, February 12 – Sunday, February 14:

Friday from 12 – 8pm, Saturday from 10am – 7pm and Sunday from 10am – 5pm: 19th Annual Fishing & Hunting Show Bring the whole Family for a fun filled day of entertainment! Fly casting lessons, kids bass casting competition by The Connecticut Bass Federation, Archery Range plus hunting safety information. There will be hundreds of booths lining the aisles containing the latest products for both fishing and hunting enthusiasts.  Learn about the newest equipment from some of the top manufacturers and reps, retail vendors, public service exhibits, charter boat captains, plus fishing boats and more! Adults $12, children $4, under 5 are free. Connecticut Convention Center, Hartford.

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

Saturday, February 13:

9:30 – 10:30am: Let’s Celebrate Valentine’s Day Let’s celebrate this sweet holiday with some sweet treats! We will make red velvet whoopee pies and heart shaped fruit dipped in chocolate. Kids will also roll and decorate homemade truffles! Ages 2 -5. $15 per child (must be accompanied by an adult). Stew Leonard’s, Newington.

10am: Open House Located on a unique mountaintop site in Avon, Talcott Mountain Academy (TMA) is a co-educational, independent day school for students in grades K-8. Since 1983, TMA has offered an exciting, multi-faceted and integrated curriculum which is dedicated to preparing intellectually excited young people for a full and productive life in a technologically-oriented world. Our diverse student body is racially and culturally mixed, and the ratio of students to teachers is less than 8:1. Experience the TMA difference first hand. RSVP. Talcott Mountain Academy, Avon.

10 – 11am: Valentine The Clown Valentine will entertain children with Valentine stories, silly games and face painting. Refreshments will be served. Space will be limited to 40 children with parents. $6 per child. Registration is required. Town Hall Auditorium, Burlington.

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10am – 4pm: Make a Valentine Children will create a Valentine Giving Tree for Mom or Dad that can be treasured for years. Create a Valentine for the one you love! Older children and adults can make a Rustic Valentine Wall Hanging that is sure to make anyone feel loved! $10 per person. Harry C. Barnes Memorial Nature Center, Bristol.

10am – 4pm: Open Cockpit Day Get up close and personal as you climb aboard selected aircraft from our incredible collection. From helicopters to jets this is your chance to take the stick, check the instruments and create your imagination-powered adventure. Open aircraft include the Vietnam War era “Huey” helicopter; the North American F-100 Super Sabre jet fighter; the Coast Guard HH-52 rescue helicopter; the Lockheed F-104C Starfighter, and many more. Visitors can also meet a re-enactor portraying Professor Silas Brooks from 11am to 3pm, Connecticut’s most famous aeronaut who first flew over Hartford in a giant hot air balloon in 1854. Brooks became nationally known and made over 180 balloon flights before retiring from the skies in 1894, nine years before the Wright Brothers first flight. Brook’s 1854 balloon basket is on display at the museum, and is the nation’s oldest aviation artifact. Visitors can also experience our spectral imaging mini-theater in which Brooks travels through time to observe a century of aviation innovation in Connecticut. From hot air ships to the space age, it’s all here at the New England Air Museum! In addition, visitors can also participate in hands-on activities, take a flying lesson on the Flight Sim Spot high tech flight simulators or fly the Ercoupe full-motion flight simulator built from a real aircraft. The event will be held inside the Museum’s three large, heated display hangars. Sneakers or rubber-soled shoes are recommended. New England Air Museum, Windsor Locks.

11am: Hartford Art Sled Derby Build a one of a kind artistic snow sled and get together with a few hundred of your closest friends! Share, encourage, and cheer each other on as we all go sledding together! Here’s how to build an Art Sled. Step 1: Grab an already existing sled, or anything that will slide on the snow. Step 2: Be Creative! Add decorations, sculpture, lights, flags, banners, fabric, construction, anything you want! Step 3: Bring your Art Sled to the park. Step 4: Slide down the Hill! There will be judges and awards, in many different categories, we’re open to suggestions. Elizabeth Park Overlook on Prospect Ave, Hartford.

11am – 1pm: Valentine Crafts for Kids Gather up your littlest loves and head over to Hartford Prints! for our Valentine’s Day edition of Crafts for Kids. Kids can create their own special Valentines while mom and dad take a minute to do grab some Valentines of their own. All supplies included; $5 suggested donation. Hartford Prints, Hartford.

1 – 2:30pm: History Bites: Chocolate! Chocolate has a long and ancient history, including an association with love. Here’s your opportunity to learn about chocolate in all its wonderful aspects AND make an assortment of chocolate truffles to  give to your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day! We’ll also taste different varieties of hot chocolate. $12 per person. Registration required. Stanley Whitman House, Farmington.

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2:30pm: Zula Patrol – Down to Earth While on a routine fossil-hunting expedition, The Zula Patrol turns up evidence that the villainous Deliria Delight has been travelling back in time to Earth’s prehistoric past to illegally dump her company’s toxic trash. The Zula Patrollers must find and catch her, before her actions cause catastrophic consequences. In the process, our heroes learn all about the formation and development of Earth, and the life forms who call it home. Recommended ages: 5 – 8 and their families. Glastonbury Planetarium, Glastonbury.

4 – 5:30pm: Partner Yoga With the assistance of our partners, we’ll playfully take turns within yoga postures to help deepen our experience. We’ll also learn postures to be in together using our bodies and sense of balance to support one another with ease. Bring a loved one, friend or family member! Partner yoga is a wonderful, easy way to deepen your own sensitivity to one another. Stay after class for a glass of wine, some snacks, and social time together. $24 per person. Yoga Center of Collinsville, Collinsville.

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5:30 – 8:30pm: Kids Night Out Every kid deserves a special night out…and so do you! That’s why we created Kid’s Night Out. Parents get an evening to themselves while the children get to run, play, dance and create their own masterpiece with our energetic instructors. The evening also includes a pizza party dinner and ends with our famous bubble dance party. A perfect evening indeed… Ages 2 through 5.  Children do not need to be potty trained. $35 per child, discount for siblings. Romp n’ Roll, Wethersfield.

5:30 – 9pm: Valentines Day Parent’s Night Out! Join us for tons of the fun!  Open gym, games, pizza, and a big screen movie!  Don’t forget to bring a pillow and a blanket to cuddle up with during the movie. For children 4 years and older (children need not be currently enrolled). Cost: $40 per child. Discount for siblings. The Gymnastics Training Center, Simsbury.

6 – 7:30pm: Let’s Celebrate Valentine’s Day! Let’s celebrate this sweet holiday with some sweet treats! We will make red velvet whoopee pies and heart shaped fruit dipped in chocolate. Kids will also roll and decorate homemade truffles! Ages 6 – 12. $25 per child. Stew Leonard’s, Newington.

7:30pm: Romancing the Stars Celebrate Valentine’s Day by learning some of the many love stories told in the tapestry of the stars of the night sky.  Hear the heroic story of Perseus and Andromeda, the Japanese story of Orihime and Hikoboshi, and the classic Native American tale of Algon and the Pleiades. Feel the romance between Orion and Artemis and the jealous love of Zeus and Callisto. Join us under the stars for romance, storytelling and myth. Recommended ages: 9 and up. Glastonbury Planetarium, Glastonbury.

8pm: Titanic This show will not sink! We know, we know, you’ve heard THAT one before, but this time we mean it. You’ve seen the movie, maybe it made it you laugh, cry, cringe or all three. Now see our spin on it. In this original sketch show, our hearts will go on as writers and actors from Sea Tea Improv & the CT Improv community bring to life scenes that were perhaps just outside of James Cameron’s original scope for the movie. If you’re one of those “I’ve never seen Titanic” types, then take our word for it, this is exactly how things went down. The movie was rated PG-13, the show is too. $10 tickets. HartBeat Ensemble’s Carriage House Theater, Hartford.

8 – 10:30pm: Live Music, Wine Glass Painting and Optional Wine & Dessert Tasting Join us for a special event where you can create two hand-painted wine glasses for your Valentine or yourself!  You can even personalize them with a monogram if you choose.  The cost is $30.00 per person and includes 2 all purpose traditional wine glasses, an artist to help guide you along the way and a special treat of enjoying the sounds of live acoustic folk music by Trin and Travis.  Pre-registration required.  Grab your spouse, date or your girlfriends and enjoy a relaxing evening of art, wine and live music! Optional Wine Tasting and desserts – wine tasting and desserts will be offered for an additional $15 per person should you choose to enhance your evening.  Walk-in’s welcome! Just want to chill out and enjoy relaxing acoustic music?  Stop by anytime between 8-10pm to check out Trin and Travis Acoustic folk music. Doors open at 7:30pm. Wine glass instruction begins at 8pm. $30 per person. Scene Art Bar, Unionville.

Saturday, February 13 – Sunday, February 14:

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

Sunday, February 14:

9 – 10am: Yoga for Couples A yoga session for couples, to celebrate together a special Valentine’s day. The basic definition of yoga is yoke or union — the work of uniting your mind, body and spirit. The benefits of practicing yoga with a partner are endless, including improved levels of communication, deeper expressions of postures and the encouragement of trust. $20. Culteavo, Unionville.

10:30am – 12pm: Valentine’s Day Chocolate Fondue Party Because what’s better than dipping stuff in chocolate? All ages. Parent participation required. $25 per child. The Little Green Tambourine, Canton.

12 – 4 pm: The Annual Great Backyard Bird Count is a citizen science project that is easy and fun for all ages! Join us at the Barnes Nature Center as we count birds at our feeders and around our building.  We will keep a tally of the number of individual birds, by species, that we see throughout the day. The results will be entered on the board at the Center.  The information gathered by participants help scientists track changes in bird populations. Free. Harry C. Barnes Memorial Nature Center, Bristol.

12:30 – 2:30pm: Valentine’s Family Day – Heart Tree Bring your kids, sweetheart, friends or come on your own for a step-by-step painting class along with music and lots of fun. We provide all of the paint and supplies you’ll need to make your masterpiece. The background and heart leaf colors of this fun and whimsical tree can be unique for each painting. Family members joining us can each leave with a unique creation and have a series of tree paintings of various colors to display at home. Our teaching artist will guide you, step-by-step, through the painting and will make sure that you stay on track and complete your masterpiece by the end of class. Our goal is for you to have fun, relax and enjoy – and our teaching artists love to help you make the painting uniquely yours! Doors open at 12pm. $20 per canvas. Scene Art Bar, Unionville.

1pm and 3pm: A SweetART Workshop to Celebrate Valentine’s Day Gather the family and head to our Glastonbury Studio & Creativity Lounge for a creative treat. Step up to our Valentine’s Photo Stage while wearing sweet & silly props. We’ll snap and print your family photo to take home in a hot pink or red frame. Next, paint edible artworks – two cookies and one marshmallow lollipop – to keep or give to your sweetheart. All ages are welcome. $25 per person. The Art Truck Party Studio & Creativity Lounge, Glastonbury.

1 – 3pm: Sweet ‘H’art’ Valentine’s Day Looking for a unique date idea for Valentine’s Day this year? Put the ’art’ in ’sweetheart’ and join us with your significant other in our galleries on February 14 for a private reception complete with lavish chocolate-covered strawberries, white caramel hot chocolate, champagne, and more. Following the reception will be a guided tour of works in our collection conveying love connections—guests will explore a variety of relationships in art. At 3 p.m. participants are welcomed to join our ongoing Sunday Music Series: this month will feature a special musical performance of love songs by Monika Krajewski and Natasha Ulyanovski. $30 for non-Members. New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain.

2 – 2:45pm: Tea Pairing with Chocolate It is well known that chocolate is our friend in good and bad times, and that cocoa is rich in health benefits. When you pair chocolate with teas, you are in for a feast of antioxidants and vitamins, and the proper combination can enhance the taste of chocolate. Chocolate and tea lovers, don’t miss this event! RSVP. $15 per person. Culteavo, Unionville.

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4 – 6pm: Valentine’s Day Evening Open House Visit Hill-Stead Museum before Valentine’s Day dinner with your special someone! Enjoy a toast with sparkling wine in the carriage porch before you learn about Hill-Stead love stories from the past and view “objects of affection” on display just for Valentine’s Day. Included with the cost of admission. Hill-Stead Museum, Farmington.

4 – 6:30pm: Art, Champagne & Chocolates Join us for a special Valentine’s Day Class where you will be inspired to create our couples Wine Pour painting accompanied by a complimentary glass of champagne and chocolates. For couples, the painting will be done on two separate canvases – one with the wine glass and the other with the bottle. This class is not just for couples – this painting can also be done on a single panel too. We provide all of the paint and supplies you’ll need to make your masterpiece. Doors open at 3:30pm. $35 per person. Scene Art Bar, Unionville.

4 – 5:30pm: Chi Massage for Couples Join us for a fun and relaxing afternoon where you will learn how to feel your Qi (life force energy) activate your healing touch, and learn how to give your partner a deeply relaxing, energy balancing acupressure massage. You and your partner will enjoy learning and practicing several qigong methods that include: •Basic qigong exercises to calm your mind and melt away tension while energizing your body, fun Qi-feeling experiments to activate your healing touch, and techniques to give your partner a deeply relaxing and total body energy balancing treatment. No experience necessary. Dress comfortably and bring your love, a yoga mat, and some water. $24 per person. Yoga Center of Collinsville, Collinsville.

6:30 – 8pm: Partner Yoga Join Kathy and Jessie for a playful and relaxing evening of connection. Through movement, music, breath, play and touch, you and your partner will share an amazing experience of trust, communication and intimacy in a different way. Partner Yoga is a great way to strengthen a bond and dig deeper into a relationship. This style of practice explores and invites awareness, openness, patience, communication, and balance surrounding your relationship. No previous yoga experience is required; bring a friend, a loved one, a sibling or anyone you feel a connection with or want to begin or deepen a connection with. $45 per couple. Be.Yoga, Avon.

Monday, February 15:

8am – 4pm: Lights! Color! Science! “Hue” wants to investigate colors? We do! Explore the color spectrum, including those we normally cannot see. Take a spin on the color wheel and become a mixing master. Wear your brightest colors and come have a psychedelic time! Ages 6 – 12. $68 per child. $3 discount for Hartford employees. Connecticut Science Center, Hartford.

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

8:45 – 4pm: Vacation Science Camp: Desert Animals Many of the animals living in our animal sanctuary can be found in deserts around the world. Campers will meet our fennec foxes, bearded  dragons, desert tortoises, blue tonged skinks and learn about the adaptations that allow them to live in the desert. Children in grades 1-5. $70 per child. The New Children’s Museum, West Hartford.

9am – 12pm: President’s Day Camp My Gym camp is simply the best! Children participate in energizing fitness games, noncompetitive gymnastics, arts and crafts, music and so much more. Each camp program is uniquely designed to keep your children moving and active, as we emphasize physical development and personal success. Our themes and programs change daily, so no two camp days at My Gym are ever the same. $40 per child. My Gym, West Hartford.

9am – 12pm: Knit, Knit, Knit! Spool knitting, finger knitting, and knit and purl! Basic knitting stiches to make a scarf and/or belt. All materials are provided. The museum offers this series of workshops for kids during February school vacation week. The program fee is $25 per child, per workshop. Bring a bagged lunch when registering kids for both sessions! We are a peanut free facility. Please pack your child a snack. Registration is required. Noah Webster House, West Hartford.

9am – 12pm: Nature Carnival Fun with snow and ice, animal tracking and; depending upon weather conditions, snowshoeing or even maple sugaring will be part of this two-day vacation program. Grades K-5. $40 per child. Reoccurs on 2/16.

9:30am – 5pm: President’s Day Join us in celebrating President’s Day! We will be open all day with three floors to explore! Children will learn about this holiday and our country’s leaders.  A variety of educational activities will be held throughout the day in the studios. Imagine Nation Museum, Bristol.

10am – 4pm: Candle-Dipping Entertain your children on Presidents’ Day  with Candle-Dipping at Windsor Historical Society. The Society’s Hands-On-History Learning Center will be open, and you can use your engineering skills to build toothpick and marshmallow structures. Afterwards, explore the totally-touchable Strong-Howard House, take a Scavenger Hunt through our main exhibit galleries, and view Layers of Home, an exhibition created by Windsor High School students. $6 adults, $4 children or $12 per family. Windsor Historical Society, Windsor.

10am – 5pm: Open for President’s Day Connecticut Science Center, Hartford.

11am – 3pm: President’s Day at NEAM The New England Air Museum will hold family fun school vacation week programs from through February 21st. A variety of activities will be offered daily including hands-on Build and Fly Challenges, open cockpit experiences aboard real aircraft, aircraft quests, and more! The Museum’s Flight Sim Spot will also be open daily between 11am and 3pm. The Flight Sim Spot allows visitors to use state-of-the-art simulators using real cockpit controls and suitable for ages 8 and up. In addition, docents will be on hand to interact with the visitors. Additional activities are scheduled for the following days: Aero Modeling Workshop Build and fly an AMA Delta Dart model airplane with help from our expert aero modelers. Requires the purchase of a $5 Delta Dart kit. Modelers must be age 10 or older. New England Air Museum, Windsor Locks.

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12 – 3pm: Family Day with Arts for Learning Connecticut The Museum presents a fun and educational Family Day partnered with Arts for Learning Connecticut! The event will provide a variety of art activities for children of all ages and is free with Museum admission. Included with the cost of admission. Included with the cost of admission. New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain.

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1 – 3pm & 3 – 5pm: Drop-in Gym Time Children ages 11 and up can enjoy some drop in gym time. $10 per child. The Mandell JCC Valley Sports & Community Center, Canton.

1 – 4pm: No Sew Blanket & Pillow Making Create a fleece tie blanket to keep you warm and your own no sew pillow out of material and stuffing. Personalize it with decorations that you make. The museum offers this series of workshops for kids during February school vacation week. The program fee is $25 per child, per workshop. Bring a bagged lunch when registering kids for both sessions! We are a peanut free facility. Please pack your child a snack. Registration is required. Noah Webster House, West Hartford.

1:30pm: The Family Tour A hands-on experience for kids 5-12 with an adult. Learn how Stowe’s words changed the world and how you can too! $12 per person. $5 per fifth person and greater (up to 10). Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, Hartford.

Be sure to check out more fun things to on our activities page. These are usually fun activities that reoccur each week or month – we just don’t want to inundate up this page with redundancy – but these are some fun things to do too! Check back often as we update on the regular.

January 29 – February 4

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

Announcements:

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

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

Friday, January 29:

5:30 – 7:30pm: Kids Night Out Kids will enjoy a night of dancing, play, and art activities while their grown ups enjoy a night out!  A pasta dinner will be served! Ages 4-8. Drop off. $35 per child. The Little Green Tambourine, North Canton.

5:45pm: PJ Library Pasta Shabbat Together we will light the candles and say the blessings over wine and challah to welcome in Shabbat. Enjoy a warm pasta dinner with family and friends. PJ stories will be read. RSVP to Member Services by Wednesday, January 27. $10 per adult; $5 per child. Mandell JCC;  Zachs Campus, West Hartford.

7pm: Biscuit Time for bed, Biscuit! Woof, woof! It’s Biscuit’s bedtime, but this little yellow puppy doesn’t want to sleep. He thinks it’s time to play. Before Biscuit gets into bed, he wants one more thing – a snack, a story, a hug, a kiss. When will Biscuit fall asleep? Barnes & Noble, Enfield.

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7pm: SquishyTown Asylum Improv The improv group, which performs short comic scenes without a script (often based on audience suggestions), is made up of eight performers who have previously taken an improv class with the youth theater company. Despite their young ages—ranging from 12 to 16—each of the members have been performing on stage for years. The group describes their improv performances as “crazy,” “pandemonium,” and “both silly and slightly terrifying.” Performances are appropriate for all ages. A donation of $5 is suggested for admission, and tickets will be available at the door only. New Britain-Berlin YMCA, New Britain.

7pm: Projector 1.4 is the final installment of a series that has incorporated the manipulation of light, sound, space, and the human form into performances across the city and state. Using projected images and original scores, the interaction between the dancers, the projected image, and the audience blurs the boundary between performer and viewer. Blending original music, fashion, visual media, light and sound installation with contemporary dance, Hartford-based performance group TNMOT AZTRO‘s Projector series is an utterly unique mix of elements that originate with local artists. $10 per person, $5 students. Also on Sunday at 5pm. Real Arts Ways, Hartford.

7:30pm: LEGO Skyline and Architecture Studio Build Adults and teenagers (ages 14 and up) are invited to help build our new LEGO Skyline in-store display and enjoy a LEGO Architecture build with Architecture Studio bricks afterward. Free. Barnes & Noble, Enfield.

Friday, January 29 – Saturday, January 30:

Friday – Saturday from 6 – 9pm: Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours We reprise our popular Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours for some winter 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. Tickets are $22 for adults; $17 for members; and $15 for children 16 and under (recommended ages 10 and up.) Click here for tickets. The Mark Twain House & Museum, Hartford.

Friday, January 29 – Sunday, January 31:

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Friday 12 – 9pm, Saturday 10am – 9pm and Sunday 10am – 5pm: Hartford Boat Show Boats to Fish, Ski, Cruise, Sail and Paddle are all under one roof on two levels. From Center Consoles to Cruisers, Personal Watercraft to Pontoons Find the latest in power options, service centers and marinas, and accessories to take home! Experience a weekend of special events and special characters. Meet authors who share their best in nautical adventures. Let the Annapolis School of Seamanship broaden your boating skills and enter contests that test your boating trivia or your fishing prowess. Fish against your friends and other Show guests to hook Sailfish, Mahi, Salmon, Bass & Trout! Adults and Kids categories. Like to be powered by your own strength? Check out the great selection of paddle sports – new to the Hartford Boat Show! Watch how they work in the new Paddler’s Paradise Demo Pool. Yoga demonstrations, Stand Up Paddling techniques and more. General Admission $10 online. $12 on-site, Dual Day Pass $18 online, $24 on-site. Kids 12 and under are free with an adult. Connecticut Convention Center, Hartford.

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Thursday – Friday 8pm and Sunday at 2pm: Lint! The Musical Phoebe’s got a problem… No matter where she goes, no matter what she does, she is constantly finding herself in a musical. While this wouldn’t be a problem to some folks, Phoebe tries to escape by taking a job in a laundromat. Everything is fine until one day Phoebe looks up and sees the audience, the lights, everything. Biz, Fab, and Cheer; three muses rise up out of the washers and explain to Phoebe that there is no escaping this musical until she finishes the show and follows the rules to get there. Reluctantly, and with more than a little sarcasm, Phoebe enlists the help of Gary, a pathetic cuckold who was just minding his own business. Jack and Jill enter and the race to finish the musical begins. Along the way, they encounter Heinrich von Baddie, Phoebe’s boss and the representation of villainy in the play. Faced with impending doom (and marriage) Phoebe and her new friends sing themselves through many different emotions and stories, culminating in the classic confrontation of good and evil: a landlord wearing lederhosen and a government agent wearing a jet-pack. Reoccurs on 2/5-6 and 2/12-13. The Friday, 1/29 performance is our Pay What You Can Night. Free parking is available in the Chestnut Street garage next to the new police station. Hole in the Wall Theater, New Britain.

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{Last Call} Friday – Saturday at 8pm and Saturday – Sunday at 2pm: The Body of an American “If you do this, I will own you forever.” Canadian photojournalist Paul Watson is haunted by the words he heard a dead soldier say as he took the photo that would win him the Pulitzer Prize and reshape American foreign policy. Playwright Dan O’Brien, struggling with ghosts of his own, reaches out to Watson, and the two forge a friendship as they reckon with the traumas that have shaped their lives. The Body of an American is a bold, radically theatrical and poetic true story that ranges from Afghanistan and Iraq to the Canadian High Arctic. Runs through Sunday, January 31. Hartford Stage, Hartford.

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

Friday, January 29 – Sunday, February 7:

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

Friday, January 29 – Sunday, January 31:

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Friday – Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 2pm: Into the Woods James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim take everyone’s favorite storybook characters and bring them together for a timeless yet relevant piece and rare modern classic. The Tony Award-winning book and score are both enchanting and touching.The story follows a Baker and his wife who wish to have a child, Cinderella who wishes to attend the King’s Festival and Jack who wishes his cow would give milk. When the Baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a Witch’s curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse. Everyone’s wish is granted, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later with disastrous results.One of Sondheim’s most popular works, Into The Woods is a musically sophisticated show with the opportunity to feature actors adept at dark comedy. Designers will especially enjoy highlighting the fantastical elements of this magical word. Reoccurs on 2/5-6 and 2/7. $15 per ticket. Simsbury High School, Simsbury.

Friday, January 29- Sunday, January 31 & Tuesday, February 2 – Thursday, February 4:

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{PTO} Friday – Saturday at 8pm, Saturday – Sunday at 2:30pm and Tuesday – Thursday at 7:30pm: Buyer & Cellar An outrageous comedy about the price of fame, the cost of things and the oddest of odd jobs. An under-employed Los Angeles actor goes to work in Barbra Streisand’s Malibu basement. Hilarity ensues as we puzzle over the solitude of celebrity and the melancholy that lurks beneath it. Runs until Sunday, February 14. TheaterWorks, Hartford.

Saturday, January 30:

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9:30am – 2:30pm: Daring Daisy Day “Wow, look at all those other Daisies? I’m really a part of something really big!” This is what girls will say at this Level Day. In small groups, girls practice making new friends, try some Girl Scout Traditions, dabble in S.T.E.M., play games, and have fun! Girls will leave with memories, new skills, ideas to continue the fun, and a special patch for the day.Grown-ups, we didn?t forget about you! For half of the event you’ll be with the girls, assisting and seeing what they’re doing. The other half you?ll be able to do your own networking and choose from various workshops. Topics will vary, but will help you guide the girls further in these areas and in life. A snack and patch are included in this event. Bring a bag lunch. $15 girls and $12 adults. Lincoln Culinary Institute, Hartford.

10 – 11am, 11am – 12pm and 1 – 2pm: Behind-the-Scenes Tour: Treasures from the CHS Collection Don’t miss a minute of history on our upcoming Behind-the-Scenes tours. We offer four themed tours, so that every tour covers different time periods and interests. Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford.

{Adults Only} 10am – 12pm: Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic This program is designed for certified CT rehabilitators or people seeking certification who are 18 and up. This clinic will be focusing on birds. We will go over their anatomy, different medical procedures, wing wrapping and wildlife rescue techniques. By invitation only. Call the Nature Center to receive an invitation. Roaring Brook Nature Center, Canton.

{Boy Scouts Only} 10:30am – 1pm: Geologist Pin Program for Webelos Scouts The Connecticut Audubon Society in Glastonbury is offering a three hour program on Geology for scouts. Webelos Scouts will earn all the requirements for the Geologist Activity by participating in a 2 or 3 hour program from a BSA National Camp School Certified, Ecology and Conservation Instructor. Scouts will have the experience of matching minerals and to their popular public products based on properties, and many hands on experiences with the materials. This program is limited to the first 15 scouts that sign up. You may bring snacks and lunch but please do not bring peanut or tree nut based foods. The Connecticut Audubon Society, Glastonbury.

11am: Groundhog Storytime At this Storytime we will feature two titles Groundhog’s Dilemma and Groundhog’s Day Off. Groundhog’s Dilemma: After Groundhog announces six more weeks of winter, half his animal friends are disappointed, while the other half are excited. Each animal asks Groundhog to make his prediction in their favor the following year. Rather than being truthful about the fact that he just “calls it like he sees it,” he leads them to believe he can control the weather, accepting their gifts of food and favor. On the next Groundhog Day, he finally admits he made promises he couldn’t keep because he was trying to please everyone and makes amends. Groundhog’s Day Off: Every year, people ask Groundhog the same, boring old question. Is spring around the corner? Or are we doomed to more winter? Sure, they care about his shadow, but what about him and his interests? He’s had enough! Groundhog packs his bags and sets out for a much-needed vacation. Now the town is holding auditions to find someone to fill his spot. None of the animals seem right for the job, though. Not Elephant, not Ostrich, and most certainly not Puppy. No one has Groundhog’s flair for the dramatic, but is it too late to woo him back into the spotlight? Free. Barnes & Noble of Canton, Enfield, Farmington, Glastonbury, Manchester and West Hartford.

1 – 3pm: Wilton Valentine Candy and Cupcake Event Discover how easy it is to create sweet Valentine cupcakes topped with colorful icing and delicious candy decorations that you can make yourself. Michael’s locations.

1 – 3pm: CFPA Ramble: Cheney Railroad History Walk Join us for an easy walk along this former railroad, built in 1869 to connect the Cheney silk mills to the main rail line in the North End. At 2.5 miles, this was the shortest private freight-and-passenger railroad in the United States. We will meet at the North End of Main Street in Manchester, on the north side (right) of Farr’s Sporting Good store. From there, we will hike along the 1-mile portion owned by the Manchester Land Conservation Trust and, depending on the weather, on to Center Springs Park, and to the new footbridge overlooking Broad Street, which will take about two hours round trip. Come discover the history of the railroad, including a chance to see maps and historic pictures. A railroad favor will be given to children participating in the walk. No dogs, please. Extreme weather cancels. Free. Cheney Railroad Trail, Manchester.

1 – 3pm: Menopause Gracefully Hot topics! Night sweats, memory glitches, weight gain, hot flashes, insomnia and missing libidos. Join us for this informational workshop on navigating naturally and gracefully the journey through peri-menopause and menopause and beyond. You will learn: Natural remedies for common peri-menopausal and menopausal symptoms. Yoga techniques for easing anxiety, depression and for calming the nervous system. Bio-Identical Hormones, the risks, the benefits and when it may be an appropriate choice. Breath work for cooling the body, bringing joy, calming anxiety and balancing the nervous system. This workshop is appropriate for any woman over 40 and with any level of yoga experience. You’ll leave with a renewed confidence and understanding of what you may be experiencing and the knowledge of a health practitioner who has guided hundreds of women through this life transition. Be Yoga, Avon.

1 – 3pm: Doll & Me Tea The day will include afternoon tea, games and crafts for 18” dolls. Each child will create a lace crown or pirate hat for themselves and their doll and some delicious looking clay food for their doll. After crafts, a tea party will take place in the museum’s reproduction 18th-century kitchen.  Children can try tea or have some old-fashioned lemonade along with some delicious cookies.  They will also try historic games like Lookabout, Pass the Slipper, and Change Seats. All children ages 6-11 and their dolls are invited to attend this program. The Doll and Me Tea is $20 per child. Children are invited to wear a fancy outfit or costume. Registration is required. Click here to register. Noah Webster House, West Hartford.

1 – 4:30pm: Cabin Fever Festival The event will kick off with a large bonfire to warm everyone up. This is a wonderful winter event for the whole family, which includes contests, games and prizes, such as, snowball throwing, miniature snowman building and the popular adult/child sled pull race. Cross country skis and snowshoes will be available for rent at $5.00/each. Hamburgers, chili and other refreshments will be for sale. Tell your friends and family. The cost is $3.00 per person (Windsor residents), $5.00 per person (non-residents), children age 2 and under are free. Northwest Park, Windsor.

2pm: LEGO Skyline and Architecture Studio Build Adults and teenagers (ages 14 and up) are invited to help build our new LEGO Skyline in-store display and enjoy a LEGO Architecture build with Architecture Studio bricks afterward. Free. Barnes & Noble of Farmington and Manchester.

2pm: Music to Warm the Winter Away Concert Join us for this eclectic concert for audiences young and old. Hear a variety of music including classical works, pop/rock arrangements, traditional folk songs and more! Tickets are $15, children 12 and under are free. East Granby High School, East Granby.

7pm: Hartford Wolf Pack Family Outing Join us for a fun-filled family activity at a Hartford Wolf Pack game. Be ready to cheer on our home team! Game against the Saint John’s Ice Caps. Tickets: $21 per adult, $10 per child (12 and under). Contact the JCC to get in on their group tickets. XL Center, Hartford.

8pm: Cesar Millan Live! During his nine-season run as host of the hit series “Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan,” he rehabilitated hundreds of aggressive, scared, lazy, compulsive and jealous dogs, as well as the families that were usually in the dark about how their own behavior contributed to their dogs’ quirky traits. Tickets $58.50-$85. The Bushnell, Hartford.

Saturday, January 30 – Sunday, January 31:

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

Sunday, January 31:

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10am – 4pm: A Jewish Book Festival Signature Event 3 inspiring authors. 1 motivational day. An ASL Interpeter will be present for the entire day. Tickets: $20. Purchase tickets online. Mandell JCC; Zachs Campus, West Hartford.

{Last Call} 12:30 – 3:30pm: Hearthside Afternoon Warm yourself by the fire, play a board game or read a book, and enjoy a warm winter beverage. Games and toys will be on hand for adults and children, including our pint-sized Colonial fireplace and Tunxis wigwam. Self-guided tours of the 1720 historic house will be available. Admission is free. Stanley-Whitman House, Farmington.

1:30 – 3pm: Groundhog Day Hike Will the Groundhog see his shadow and what does it really mean? Walk gently through the forest to uncover the mysteries of wildlife habitats in mid-winter. $6 non-members; half-price for children. Pre-registration is not required. Roaring Brook Nature Center, Canton.

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2pm: Biscuit the Dog Visits Farmington Barnes & Noble! Please bring the little ones for a special Sunday Storytime. Biscuit the Dog that everyone loves will be here. Story time is accompanied by a costume character and a special craft, no sign up necessary! Barnes & Noble, Farmington.

3pm: LEGO Skyline and Architecture Studio Build Adults and teenagers (ages 14 and up) are invited to help build our new LEGO Skyline in-store display and enjoy a LEGO Architecture build with Architecture Studio bricks afterward. Free. Barnes & Noble, Canton.

3 – 5:30pm: Personalized Wood Sign Class Join us to create your own 15.5 X 22.5 Monogram Established Wood Sign! We customize the materials for you and take you step by step to create a gorgeous piece for your home or for a gift!   Choose from a variety of paint colors in the workshop. Doors open at 2:30pm, instruction begins at 3:00pm. $60 per person. Scene Art Bar, Unionville.

7pm: Projector 1.4 is the final installment of a series that has incorporated the manipulation of light, sound, space, and the human form into performances across the city and state. Using projected images and original scores, the interaction between the dancers, the projected image, and the audience blurs the boundary between performer and viewer. Blending original music, fashion, visual media, light and sound installation with contemporary dance, Hartford-based performance group TNMOT AZTRO‘s Projector series is an utterly unique mix of elements that originate with local artists. $10 per person, $5 students. Real Arts Ways, Hartford.

Monday, February 2:

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

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

Monday, February 1 – Monday, February 29:

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Tuesday, February 2:

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

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

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

Wednesday, February 3:

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

Wednesday, February 3 – Thursday, February 4:

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

Thursday, February 4:

{Last Call} 11 – 11:45am: Arts & Crafts for Preschoolers Come join us for a fun-filled creative class that will stir your preschooler’s imaginations. Every week your child will enjoy an hour of creative arts and crafts projects that they will be able to take home and show off to the entire family. Ages 3-5. $30 per child. Winding Trails, Farmington.

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

{Last Call} 4 – 4:45pm: Young Scientists Join us to explore the mysteries of biology! We are about to dive into science and ask questions about the world around us. Using the steps of the scientific method we will answer questions like: how do plants grow? How do animals stay warm outside in winter months? We will explore these questions and many more in Young Scientists! Ages 5-10. Lutz Children’s Museum, Manchester.

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

Be sure to check out more fun things to on our activities page. These are usually fun activities that reoccur each week or month – we just don’t want to inundate up this page with redundancy – but these are some fun things to do too!

Plan Ahead:

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

January 22 – 28

Welcome to your 7-day Momecast™ – an event forecast for Moms (and Dads) of what to do and where to go throughout Hartford County; with the kids, without the kids and for the whole family! For those of you who are new to our site, PTO refers to Parental Time Out. It’s our prescription for all you amazing parents out there – take some time to break from the rigors of parenting and enjoy an afternoon or night out. Go to see a play, laugh out loud at a comedy show or make your partner happy and go and watch a game. Either way, we list plenty of options, including some ideas for those without a sitter. Ice fishing, polar bear plunge and a RV and Camping Expo are some extra notably worthy events to mention this week, scroll below for details.

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

Friday, January 22:

7 – 8:30am: Friday Morning Bird & Nature Walk All experience levels welcome!  Bring your binoculars if you have some; otherwise, come 15 minutes early to borrow a pair.  Important: please call to let us know you are coming, since walks with insufficient registrants may be canceled. Non-members $10 (cash only) at the door. The Connecticut Audubon Society, Glastonbury.

{Teachers Only} 9am – 12pm: Exploring Environmental Issues: Places We Live Use ArcGIS Online to bring your high school students into the forest and the forest into your classroom! Are you looking for activities in which your students apply cooperative learning, hands-on experiences, and relevant, real-world problem solving? Project Learning Tree (PLT) is a wonderful tool to address these and many other demands of today’s classroom and the 21st century learner. For Educators 9th-12 grade. Register online. $40. DEEP Headquarters, Hartford.

9:30 – 10:30am and 11:30am – 12:30pm: Around the World: Italy First country on the list: Italy! Kids will whip up some homemade ravioli and tomato sauce. We will also make mini cannoli cups for dessert! Ages 2-5. $15 per child (must be accompanied by an adult). Stew Leonard’s, Newington.

10am: Freedom Train Harriet Tubman was born a slave, but when she was 25 she made her perilous escape from a Maryland plantation, leaving her family behind. Pursued by dogs and relentless slave catchers, she followed an escape route laid out by Quakers – secret hiding places in churches, barns, cellars and homes. The escape route that Harriet followed soon became known as the Underground Railroad, and she quickly became one of its most celebrated ‘conductors.’ Up creek beds, through swamps, over hills in the dark of night, on 19 secret trips Harriet Tubman guided more than 300 slaves, including her aged parents, to freedom. “I never run my train off the track,” she said, “and I never lost a passenger.” Freedom Train tells the thrilling story of Harriet Tubman, the Moses of her people, in a fascinating series of highly theatrical scenes that use dance, dialogue, and music of the period. Songs include “Follow the Drinking Gourd,” “Steal Away,” “Wade in the Water,” “Good News, the Chariot’s A-comin’,” and many others still sung today. Freedom Train is the story of self-sacrifice, dedication and survival, laced with warmth and a sense of humor that celebrates the human spirit – a universal story for all. One hour in length, recommended for grades 3 – 9. $14 per person. Lincoln Theater, West Hartford.

5:30 – 8pm: Fire & Ice Party It is winter in New England, and we are giving you a great way to enjoy it in Bushnell Park with ice skating, drinks and appetizers by the fire. You can bring your own skates or grab a pair provided by Winterfest, free of charge. After being out in the cold, you will enjoy the warmth of the Pump House and the delicious fare provided by our friends at Salute. Non-skaters who just want the warmth of the fire are most welcome, too! Invite friends and family to join you and purchase your tickets today. Suggested donation – $10 in advance, $13 at the door. Pump House Gallery, Hartford.

5:30 – 8:30pm: Parent’s 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! Ages 2.5 and up. $40 per non-member. My Gym, West Hartford.

6 – 8pm: Around the World: Italy First country on the list: Italy! Kids will whip up some homemade meatballs and tomato sauce to enjoy over pasta. We will also make fresh bruschetta, garlic bread, and mini cannoli cups for dessert! Ages 6-12. $25 per child. Stew Leonard’s, Newington.

{PTO} 7 – 9pm: Wine and Waxing Have you ever wished that you could wax you own skis? Did you know that all skis needed to be waxed, even waxless skis? In this program our staff will walk you through the process of waxing your skis while enjoying some wine and a fire. We will talk about glide wax and kick wax as well as answer any questions that you may have about general upkeep of your skis. $15 per non-member. Winding Trails, Farmington.

{PTO} 8pm: Brain’s Song Laugh with Sea Tea Improv, a special guest group or performer, and a mixed group of area improvisers as they all perform different kinds of long form improv comedy! What’s long form improv comedy? It’s the styles of improv comedy made popular in Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, New York and other big cities where a single suggestion or story from the audience can become a 15-30 minute improvised comedy, created right before your eyes! Tickets are just $10! The Studio at Billings Forge Community Works, Hartford.

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Friday, January 22 – Saturday, January 23:

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{PTO} 7:30pm: Violet On a cross-country bus trip in search of a minister to heal her disfigured face, Violet discovers the true meaning of beauty, courage, and love. Tickets: $15 for adults, $10 for students. Black Box Theater, Hartford.

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8pm: Lint! The Musical Phoebe’s got a problem… No matter where she goes, no matter what she does, she is constantly finding herself in a musical. While this wouldn’t be a problem to some folks, Phoebe tries to escape by taking a job in a laundromat. Everything is fine until one day Phoebe looks up and sees the audience, the lights, everything. Biz, Fab, and Cheer; three muses rise up out of the washers and explain to Phoebe that there is no escaping this musical until she finishes the show and follows the rules to get there. Reluctantly, and with more than a little sarcasm, Phoebe enlists the help of Gary, a pathetic cuckold who was just minding his own business. Jack and Jill enter and the race to finish the musical begins. Along the way, they encounter Heinrich von Baddie, Phoebe’s boss and the representation of villainy in the play. Faced with impending doom (and marriage) Phoebe and her new friends sing themselves through many different emotions and stories, culminating in the classic confrontation of good and evil: a landlord wearing lederhosen and a government agent wearing a jet-pack. Reoccurs on 1/29-30 at 8pm and 1/31 at 2pm, and 2/5-6 and 2/12-13. The 1/29 performance is our Pay What You Can Night. Free parking is available in the Chestnut Street garage next to the new police station. Hole in the Wall Theater, New Britain.

{PTO} Friday at 8pm and Saturday at 7pm and 10pm: Kerri Louise High-energy, commanding and versatile-but enough about her sex life-Kerri Louise can entertain any audience with her warmth and razor-edge wit. She just filmed the hit, new, stand-up show “Gotham Live” on AXS-TV. Kerri was a regular correspondent on the Oprah Winfrey Show and that lead her to be a guest on the very first episode of The Dr. Oz Show. NBC took Kerri all the way to the finals in the show, Last Comic Standing. Her performance on that show prompted The Women’s Entertainment Network to make her the star of her own reality show called “Two Funny.” Howard Stern said, “She needs a sitcom!” Other guest appearances include: TV Guide’s “Stand-Up In Stilettos,” NBC’s “The Apprentice,” The Montel Show, Nickelodeon’s “Nick Mom Night Out,” Comedy Central, NBC’s “Access Hollywood,” ABC’s “The View” among many more. Part generation-X, part girl-next-door, Kerri Louise is a pleasure to watch. Her movie debut in The Next Karate Kid addicted her to show-biz, hence her move from her hometown of Boston to New York City. This is where she quickly established herself as a player in the top comedy clubs and festivals like Montreal, HBO Aspen Comedy Festival and most recently the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival. These credits plus her popular webisode on youtube has made Kerri Louise an attraction. Working throughout the country and leaving her audiences applauding, Kerri Louise is the comic to watch. City Steam, Hartford.

Friday, January 22 – Sunday, January 24:

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{Last Call} 11am – 8pm: Winterfest Hartford Free ice skating and skate rentals return to Bushnell Park. Learn to skate program on Saturdays at 10-11am. Children under the age of sixteen must be accompanied by an adult. The Bushnell Carousel from Friday – Sunday from 11am – 5pm. Runs through Sunday, January 24. Bushnell Park, Hartford.

Friday 12 – 9pm, Saturday from 10am – 8pm and Sunday from 10am – 5pm: Northeast RV and Camping Show The show will feature over 140,000 square feet of the latest in recreation vehicles, travel trailers, pop-up campers, camping supplies, accessories, campgrounds and travel information centers. It is the ideal place for camping families who are looking to purchase their first RV, looking to upgrade their present RV or for the veteran camper to explore new camping adventures. Tickets $11. Connecticut Convention Center, Hartford.

{PTO} Friday – Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm: A Trio of Short Plays A Connecticut resident, Geoffrey Craig’s fiction, poetry and drama have appeared in numerous literary journals, Four of his full-length plays (one co-authored) and nine of his one-acts have been produced. Join us for three of his one-act plays, followed by a discussion with Geoffrey and the cast. Divorce First Class: Channing and Seth are in the midst of an amicable divorce. Their respective lawyers, however, turn up the heat; and the notion of amicable goes out the window. Hoax: The play is set in an America that has been divided into two areas: the putative nation called the Eastern Coalition and the barren, burned-up Western Territory. In the Western Territory, global warming has destroyed agriculture and industry; the population is on the verge of starvation. The Eastern Coalition has fared better; but climate change has still wrought tremendous damage. The Eastern Coalition has blocked immigration from the Western Territory by mining the Mississippi River, erecting an electrified fence along its border and shooting on sight anyone who attempts to enter. Mother and Daughter: Portia and her daughter, Cassandra have lived alone for twenty-two years in the house in which Portia grew up. Portia’s father, , had deeded her the house sometime ago. He had died a few months before the action of the play, having rewritten his will to leave the eighty acres adjacent to the house to the young woman who took care of him – in more ways than one – in his final years. $16-18 per person. Farmington Valley Stage Company, Canton.

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Friday – Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 3pm: Battle of the Batons Three finalists will conduct the HSO as part of the selection process for the new Assistant Conductor position! The Bushnell, Hartford.

Friday, January 22 – Sunday, January 24 & Tuesday, January 26 – Thursday, January 28:

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{PTO} Friday – Saturday at 8pm, Saturday – Sunday at 2:30pm and Tuesday – Thursday at 7:30pm: Buyer & Cellar An outrageous comedy about the price of fame, the cost of things and the oddest of odd jobs. An under-employed Los Angeles actor goes to work in Barbra Streisand’s Malibu basement. Hilarity ensues as we puzzle over the solitude of celebrity and the melancholy that lurks beneath it. Runs until Sunday, February 14. TheaterWorks, Hartford.

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{PTO} Friday – Saturday at 8pm, Saturday – Sunday at 2pm and Tuesday and Thursday at 7:30pm: The Body of an American “If you do this, I will own you forever.” Canadian photojournalist Paul Watson is haunted by the words he heard a dead soldier say as he took the photo that would win him the Pulitzer Prize and reshape American foreign policy. Playwright Dan O’Brien, struggling with ghosts of his own, reaches out to Watson, and the two forge a friendship as they reckon with the traumas that have shaped their lives. The Body of an American is a bold, radically theatrical and poetic true story that ranges from Afghanistan and Iraq to the Canadian High Arctic. Runs through Sunday, January 31. Hartford Stage, Hartford.

Saturday, January 23:

7am – 2pm: Eagle Scout Project Fundraising Event Dom’s has graciously offered to donate a portion of their profitsfrom Breakfast and lunch to benefit Jonathan Elkins’ Eagle ScoutService Project, which will benefit the Poquonock CommunityChurch. Enjoy a great meal and support a Boy Scout in earningthe highest rank of Eagle! Dom’s Broad Street Eatery, Windsor.

9:30am – 3pm: Connecticut Aquatic Resources Education (CARE) Ice Fishing Class The Connecticut Aquatic Resources Education (CARE) Program offers a free in-depth ice fishing class that introduces you to the wonders of water, fish and fishing during the winter. Miss Judy and other state certified volunteer instructors will pass along the knowledge they have learned through years of angling. The morning class includes a video, hands-on demonstrations, and activities that will teach and entertain youths and adults alike. If ice conditions are safe, outside ice fishing practice will be offered and all equipment is provided for your use. It is very important to dress in layers for the weather conditions and to wear boots for the afternoon practice; no sneakers are allowed. Free. Space is limited. RSVP. Winding Trails, Farmington.

10 – 11:30am: Feeding Winter Birds Workshop You’ll enjoy a short, guided winter birding walk and instruction on the best techniques for winter bird feeding and bird identification. Using our “bird view cam,” you’ll be able to observe birds feeding while you stay cozy in the Nature Center. Create your very own bird feed assortment to bring home. Ages 8 and above. Registration is required. The cost is $8 per person (Windsor Resident), $10 per person (non-resident). Northwest Park, Windsor.

10am – 2pm: Winter Wonderland Come and indulge your senses in the wonders of the winter season, and learn about places that are cold all year long. Participate in creating snow inspired art and homemade ice cream. We will have many hands-on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) activities. Dress warm for a variety of hands-on outdoor activities in our Outdoor Learning Park. Wear black and white and waddle in our penguin parade at 11am. Admission is $10 per person; Imagine Nation members and children under one are free. Imagine Nation Musuem, Bristol.

10am – 5pm: Community Day: Newington, Wethersfield, and Glastonbury This month, residents of Newington, Wethersfield, and Glastonbury enjoy an admission free day of gallery viewing and art activities. Visitors can now explore more artwork throughout our recently completed expansion and view works that have been hidden in our collection. You can also bring the family and create your own work of art by joining one of the hands-on art activities taking place in our new studio classrooms. Open Studio: 11:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. Let our volunteer educators tap into your creative side and create self-portraits with your children inspired by a variety of artists. New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain.

11am: The Wonderful Things You Will Be Storytime From brave and bold to creative and clever, the rhythmic rhyme expresses all the loving things that parents think of when they look at their children. With beautiful and sometimes humorous illustrations, this is a book grown-ups will love reading over and over to kids. Barnes & Noble locations.

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

Saturday, January 23 – Sunday, January 24:

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

Sunday, January 24:

10am: Tu B’Shevat Brunch Celebrate the birthday of the trees with a Tu B’Shevat seder and brunch. The meal includes many varieties of fruits, each kind representing different ways that trees give to us. Each family will create one wooden mezuzah to take home. $18 per family. Mandell JCC, Zacks Campus, West Hartford.

10am – 5pm: Sensory Friendly Day The Science Center is an exciting place, bustling with loud sounds and bright lights…but we’re lowering the volume and dimming the lights for Sensory Friendly Day! Groups with special needs programs and families with children on the autism spectrum or with other developmental disabilities can enjoy special sensory friendly programs, hands-on activities, and so much more! Families with special needs can purchase in advance for the discounted rate of $12 per person. Tickets will be available at the door for $14.95 each. 1:1 aides are always free. Connecticut Science Center, Hartford.

12:30 – 3:30pm: Hearthside Afternoon Warm yourself by the fire, play a board game or read a book, and enjoy a warm winter beverage. Games and toys will be on hand for adults and children, including our pint-sized Colonial fireplace and Tunxis wigwam. Self-guided tours of the 1720 historic house will be available. Admission is free. Reoccurs on 1/31. Stanley-Whitman House, Farmington.

1 – 3pm: St. Gabriel School Open House St. Gabriel School of Windsor will be holding an Open House for prospective families and students interested in our Pre-K Program (ages 3 & 4), Elementary School (grades K-5) and/or Middle School (grades 6-8). A formal presentation will take place at 1:15 for the Elementary School and 2:15 for the Middle School. You will have the opportunity to meet faculty and current families, tour the school and learn about our mission and all we have to offer, including a strong curriculum, state of the art technology programs, and extracurricular activities. St. Gabriel School, Windsor.

2pm: Tu B’Shevat Family Yoga Join certified Yoga instructor Colby Wyckoff and make your own best tree pose. Breathe, stretch, meditate, and shake the stress away with activities such as Hip Hop Yoga Bop and Yoga Nagila. Free and open to the community. RSVP. Simsbury Library, Simsbury.

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3:30 – 4:30pm: Family Yoga Enjoy an opportunity to bond physically and emotionally through yoga. Family Yoga includes postures for the whole family, including age and intensity level-appropriate variations to accommodate all of the students in the class and make sure that everyone has fun. Journey of Yoga loves families of all sorts – your family can only be defined by you. Bring anyone you love and have fun! Adults of all ages and young yogis age 4 and up are welcome. $10 per adult or child in advance online. $12 per adult or child at the desk. Journey of Yoga, Simsbury.

Monday, January 25:

8am – 1pm and 3 – 5pm: Taste of Tu B’Shevat Stop by the lobby for a taste of the many fruits eaten on Tu B’Shevat. Mandell JCC, Zacks Campus, West Hartford.

10 – 11:15am: Open Play! We will have gross motor toys, play dough, sensory, dancing and bubbles!  Perfect for little ones age 8 months and up! Drop in!  No need to register, $8 per child, $10 for siblings. Cash only please. Reoccurs on 2/8. Imagine Studio, West Hartford.

7pm: The True Story of Caballo Blanco Join The Shenipsit Striders for the premiere of Run Free – The True Story of Caballo Blanco, a feature-length documentary about the ultra-running legend Micah True. Better known as Caballo Blanco – the White Horse – True, was the focal character of Christopher McDougall’s 2009 best-selling book “Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen” about the Tarahumara Indians of northern Mexico. Advance tickets are $12 and can be purchased online; or $15 at the door. Rain or shine. All are welcome. Spotlight Theatres, Hartford.

6:30 – 8:30pm: Arm Knitting Class Create a cozy cowl using just your arms and some yarn. Supplies not included. Cost of supplies up to $15. Michael’s locations.

Monday, January 26 – Sunday, February 7:

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

Tuesday, January 26:

4:30 – 6pm: School Age Cookie Baking Budding Chefs will bake our famous chocolate chip cookies from scratch! Ages 6-12. Drop off. $30 per child. The Little Green Tambourine, North Canton.

6:30 – 8:30pm: Floral Class Create a gorgeous floral arrangement featuring magnolia, lotus pods and berries. Supplies not included. Cost of supplies up to $61. Michael’s locations.

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Wednesday, January 27:

9 – 10am: Story Time at Theodate’s At Hill-Stead’s new Story Time, your child will be introduced to stories related to art, museums, nature, and much more. Each session includes music, movement, and an art project to take home—all in Hill-Stead’s historic setting. Afterward, romp around Hill-Stead’s natural playground of walking trails, gardens and sheep farm. For children ages 2 to 6 and their caregivers. Story Time takes place on the last Wednesday of every month. $8 per child (caregivers are free) or free with museum membership. Hill-Stead Museum, Farmington.

12 – 1pm: LTM Lunchtime Lectures Join local theater historian, writer and Little Theatre member David Garnes and members of the Boeing company for our Lunchtime Lecture. The program is free and no reservations are needed. Guests are invited to bring a lunch; beverages will be served. Free. Cheney Hall, Manchester.

5:45pm: No Excuse Moms Workout Class Join us for a free Mommy and Me (baby, child, kid, teen) workout class. Dads are welcome if with their spouse/partner. YMCA, Plainville.

{PTO} 6pm: Canvas As a young professional you know how important it is to build connections, and being a Canvas member brings you one step closer to establishing relationships and creating an impact on our local arts community. Check out our upcoming meetups below and make your mark. Not a Canvas member? It’s never too late to join. Mix and mingle with us over great beer in the artsy town of Bristol! Plus, hear from Bristol Art Squad on their recent innovative projects. Firefly Hollow Brewing, Bristol.

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

6 – 8pm: Triathlon Night It is never too early to start preparing for your Triathlon races! Join us for a great evening of Triathlon talks, training, equipment, and nutrition & hydration tips. Light refreshments will be served. How to ride, run and swim with training zones – Presented by CCNS. Prepare to have to your best Triathlon yet with the help of CCNS Head Coach Aidan Charles! Essential gear and new product presentation. Brought to you by Sponsors of the Winding Trails Tri-Series. Learn about must-have tech, nutrition, and gear from the supporters of the Winding Trails Tri Series and all multi-sport athletes. Free. Winding Trails, Farmington.

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7pm: My Train to Freedom Ivan Backer, one of Nicky’s Family Kindertransport rescued children, will launch his new memoir at an author talk and signing. Mandell JCC, Zacks Campus, West Hartford.

7pm: The Art of the Con: The Most Notorious Fakes, Frauds, and Forgeries in the Art World Art scams are today so numerous that the specter of a lawsuit arising from a mistaken attribution has scared a number of experts away from the business of authentication and forgery, and with good reason. Art scams are increasingly convincing and involve incredible sums of money. The cons perpetrated by unscrupulous art dealers and their accomplices are proportionately elaborate. Anthony M. Amore’s The Art of the Con tells the stories of some of history’s most notorious yet untold cons. They involve stolen art hidden for decades; elaborate ruses that involve the Nazis and allegedly plundered art; the theft of a conceptual prototype from a well-known artist by his assistant to be used later to create copies; the use of online and television auction sites to scam buyers out of millions; and other confidence scams incredible not only for their boldness but more so because they actually worked. Using interviews and newly released court documents, The Art of the Con will also take the reader into the investigations that led to the capture of the con men, who oftentimes return back to the world of crime. For some, it’s an irresistible urge because their innocent dupes all share something in common: they want to believe. This is a free event and is followed by a book sale and signing. Mark Twain House & Museum, Hartford.

Wednesday, January 28 – Thursday, January 28:

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{PTO} 7:30pm: The Chosen A standing-room-only hit wherever it has played, this award-winning adaptation from the award-winning novel is the story of two boys, two fathers and two very different Jewish communities—”five blocks and a world apart”—in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in the 1940s. Set against the backdrop of WW II, the revelation of the Holocaust, and the desperate struggle of Zionism, The Chosen remains not essentially political or religious but deeply human. This is a story of friendship, family and difficult choices that we must all make on the path to understanding, respect and reconciliation. Previews on January 27th and 28th; all seats $15. Playhouse on Park, West Hartford.

Thursday, January 28:

7:15 – 9:45am: West Hartford Women in Networking Meeting This morning, we will have a workshop on building your personal brand with the fabulous presenter Kathy McAfee. She has a whole workshop planned for us with a lot of worthwhile exercises. So, our Introductions will begin at 7:30am sharp! At this bright-and-early meeting, you will be surrounded by energized, motivated women who are passionate about what they do and what they can learn from one another. Meeting cost: $2. RSVP. Brookdale Chatfield, West Hartford.

8:45 – 10:30am: Open House Our Open House events showcase how Renbrook brings Learning to Life. Parents are invited to join tours of the school, meet teachers, current parents, and hear from our Head of School and educational leaders.  Members of the Admission Office will be available to answer questions about the application process and financial assistance. RSVP online. Renbrook School, West Hartford.

{PTO} 10am – 1pm: Learn, Ski Lunch Come for a cross-country ski program and stay for lunch. If you have never cross-country skied or need a refresher this is a great program for you. This program includes rental equipment, a lesson, and lunch. Space is limited and program is held weather permitting. Lunch will be provided from our snack bar. $20 for non-members. Winding Trails, Farmington.

11 – 11:45am: Arts & Crafts for Preschoolers Come join us for a fun-filled creative class that will stir your preschooler’s imaginations. Every week your child will enjoy an hour of creative arts and crafts projects that they will be able to take home and show off to the entire family. Ages 3-5. Non-members $30 per child. Reoccurs until 2/4. Winding Trails, Farmington.

3 – 6pm: Audition for Anya (Age 7) for the Musical Anastasia Hartford Stage will hold auditions for girls, ages 7-13 years old, for the role of Anya at age 7 in the Tony Award-winning theatre’s new musical Anastasia. From Darko Tresnjak—the new musical Anastasia is the romantic and rousing story of one brave young woman attempting to discover the mystery of her past while finding a place for herself in the rapidly changing world of a new century. Callbacks will be held on Saturday, January 30 from 10-11am. Girls must be between the ages of 7 and 13; they may not turn 14 until after June 19, 2016. Girls will be auditioning for the role of Anya at age 7 – a sweet and impressionable young Russian girl with a beautiful soprano voice. (No belting, please.) Auditions are by appointment only, and there are a limited number of appointments available. To schedule an audition, email auditions@hartfordstage.org. Girls must prepare a monologue, poem or speech that is under one minute long and sing 16 bars of a song (accompanist will be provided). Please bring sheet music in the appropriate key, as well as a headshot and resume. Please wear something casual and comfortable to the audition. Rehearsals begin Tuesday, April 5, with performance dates from Friday, May 12 through Sunday, June 19. Please note that participating in this production will result in missed classes. Hartford Stage, Hartford.

4 – 4:45pm: Young Scientists Join us to explore the mysteries of biology! We are about to dive into science and ask questions about the world around us. Using the steps of the scientific method we will answer questions like: how do plants grow? How do animals stay warm outside in winter months? We will explore these questions and many more in Young Scientists! Ages 5-10. Reoccurs until 2/4. Lutz Children’s Museum, Manchester.

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6 – 8:30pm: The Human Microbiome: A New Frontier that Might Just Affect Everything The human microbiome is the collection of microorganisms that live on and in the body, affecting everything from digestion to defense against disease. Through the presentation of cutting edge research and discoveries in the field of microbial genomics, Dr. Hanson will discuss how the human microbiome plays a big role in both healthy and disease states for everyone. Dr. Hanson’s talk will be followed by an open discussion and meet-the-scientist session. Dr. Hanson holds a PhD in Epidemiology from The University of Iowa and is interested in transmission and colonization of infectious diseases. He currently utilizes advanced technologies to study microbial genomics. Advanced tickets are available online here at $8 for the general public and $5 for college students (with student ID). Tickets will be $10 at the door. Limited seating is available. In case of inclement weather, Dr. Hanson’s talk and discussion will be held on Thursday, February 4, at 6pm. The New Children’s Museum, West Hartford.

7pm: Projector 1.4 is the final installment of a series that has incorporated the manipulation of light, sound, space, and the human form into performances across the city and state. Using projected images and original scores, the interaction between the dancers, the projected image, and the audience blurs the boundary between performer and viewer. Blending original music, fashion, visual media, light and sound installation with contemporary dance, Hartford-based performance group TNMOT AZTRO‘s Projector series is an utterly unique mix of elements that originate with local artists. $10 per person, $5 students. Reoccurs on Friday at 7pm and Sunday at 5pm. Real Arts Ways, Hartford.

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{PTO} 7:30pm: PostSecret: The Show is an immersive, poignant journey through the humor and humanity of the personal stories we keep to ourselves, and on rare occasions, share with others. Projected images, videos, three actors and a guitarist guide the audience through crowd-sourced narratives revealing the true stories behind the secrets. See the hopeful, shocking, painful and sexual secrets that brought hundreds of millions to the PostSecret blog, became six best-selling books and are currently in a Smithsonian art exhibition. The Bushnell, Hartford.

Thursday, January 28 – Sunday, January 31:

Thursday 4 – 9pm, Friday 12 – 9pm, Saturday 10am – 9pm and Sunday 10am – 5pm: Hartford Boat Show Boats to Fish, Ski, Cruise, Sail and Paddle are all under one roof on two levels. From Center Consoles to Cruisers, Personal Watercraft to Pontoons Find the latest in power options, service centers and marinas, and accessories to take home! Experience a weekend of special events and special characters. Meet authors who share their best in nautical adventures. Let the Annapolis School of Seamanship broaden your boating skills and enter contests that test your boating trivia or your fishing prowess. Fish against your friends and other Show guests to hook Sailfish, Mahi, Salmon, Bass & Trout! Adults and Kids categories. Like to be powered by your own strength? Check out the great selection of paddle sports – new to the Hartford Boat Show! Watch how they work in the new Paddler’s Paradise Demo Pool. Yoga demonstrations, Stand Up Paddling techniques and more. Connecticut Convention Center, Hartford.

Be sure to check out more fun things to on our activities page. These are usually fun activities that reoccur each week or month – we just don’t want to inundate up this page with redundancy – but these are some fun things to do too!

7-Day Happenings: January 15 – 21

Welcome to your 7-day Momecast™ a event forecast for Moms (and Dads) of what to do and where to go throughout Hartford County! Kids have off of school on Monday but don’t worry I have plenty of options if you are stuck at home. Get out and celebrate the Holiday!

Friday, January 15:

6 – 9pm: Family Frozen Festival We are inviting families to join us at the Canton Community Center Recreation Room for a special Frozen Festival! There will be frozen arts and crafts, hot cocoa, meet and greet, and autographs with the characters from Frozen and then families will enjoy the feature length hit Disney film: Frozen. Admission is $5 per child (adults are free). Pre-registration is required. Canton Community Center; Park & Rec Room, Canton.

6:30 – 8pm: Sweaty Girls Night Out Get dressed for a night out! Move, laugh, and sweat the night away as we take you through a variety of group exercise classes. Lite refreshments will be served. Space is limited. Preregistration required. JCC; Zachs Campus, West Hartford.

7 – 8:30pm: Read It and Sleep is our monthly children’s book reading event. Snuggle in for the reading of a wonderful children’s book, while enjoying cookies and hot chocolate. Read It and Sleep begins at 7pm in the Charter Oak gallery. Free. Charter Oak Cultural Center, Hartford.

Friday, January 15 – Saturday, January 16:

7:30pm: Violet On a cross country bus trip in search of a minister to heal her disfigured face, Violet discovers the true meaning of beauty, courage, and love. Tickets: $15 for adults, $10 for students. Reoccurs on 1/22-23. Black Box Theater, Hartford.

Friday, January 15 – Sunday, January 17:

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Wednesday – Saturday at 7pm, Saturday at 11am and 3pm and Sunday at 1pm and 4:30pm: Disney on Ice Let’s Celebrate It’s one colossal party on ice, with all your favorite Disney friends at Disney On Ice presents Let’s Celebrate! Presented by YoKids Organic Yogurt. Join Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald and Goofy as they celebrate a Very Merry Unbirthday Party with Alice and the Mad Hatter; a Royal Valentine’s Day Ball with your favorite Disney Princesses, including Cinderella, Ariel, Belle and Tiana; a Hawaiian luau with Lilo & Stitch; a whole new world with Jasmine and Aladdin; a winter wonderland with Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear; a Halloween haunt with the Disney villains and more in a magical medley of holidays, celebrations and festivities from around the globe. Come join the celebration you’ve been waiting for when Disney On Ice presents Let’s Celebrate! skates into Hartford! XL Center, Hartford.

Tuesday – Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday – Saturday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm and Sunday at 1pm and 6:30pm: Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella is the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical from the creators of The Sound of Music and South Pacific that’s delighting audiences with its contemporary take on the classic tale. This lush production features an incredible orchestra, jaw-dropping transformations and all the moments you love—the pumpkin, the glass slipper, the masked ball and more—plus some surprising new twists! Be transported back to your childhood as you rediscover some of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s most beloved songs, including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible” and “Ten Minutes Ago,” in this hilarious and romantic Broadway experience for anyone who’s ever had a wish, a dream… or a really great pair of shoes. Runtime 2 hours and 30 minutes. The Bushnell, William H. Mortensen Hall, Hartford.

Friday, January 15 – Thursday, January 21:

11am – 8pm: Winterfest Hartford Free ice skating and skate rentals return to Bushnell Park. Learn to skate program on Saturdays at 10-11am. Children under the age of sixteen must be accompanied by an adult. The Bushnell Carousel from Friday – Sunday from 11am – 5pm. Runs through Sunday, January 24. Bushnell Park, Hartford.

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7:30pm: Buyer & Cellar An outrageous comedy about the price of fame, the cost of things and the oddest of odd jobs. An under-employed Los Angeles actor goes to work in Barbra Streisand’s Malibu basement. Hilarity ensues as we puzzle over the solitude of celebrity and the melancholy that lurks beneath it. Runs until Sunday, Feburary 14. TheaterWorks, Hartford.

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7:30pm: The Body of an American “If you do this, I will own you forever.” Canadian photojournalist Paul Watson is haunted by the words he heard a dead soldier say as he took the photo that would win him the Pulitzer Prize and reshape American foreign policy. Playwright Dan O’Brien, struggling with ghosts of his own, reaches out to Watson, and the two forge a friendship as they reckon with the traumas that have shaped their lives. The Body of an American is a bold, radically theatrical and poetic true story that ranges from Afghanistan and Iraq to the Canadian High Arctic. January 19, 20 and 26: Join members of the cast and our Artistic staff for a free discussion, immediately following select 7:30 pm performances on Tuesday or 2 pm Wednesday matinees. January 17: Enjoy a lecture from artists and scholars connected with the production immediately following the 2pm matinee. January 21: Join Hartford Stage after the 7:30pm show for an insightful panel discussion with representatives from  several local veterans groups as they discuss the various issues concerning veterans upon their return home. Runs through Sunday, January 31. Hartford Stage, Hartford.

Saturday, January 16:

7am – 1pm: Citizen’s Winter Triathlon: Run, Snowshoe and Ski Looking to try a new challenge? This event will test your winter skills. Join us for a 2K run, followed by a 2K snowshoe, and a 2K classic ski. There are plenty of ski rentals and limited number of snowshoe rentals. First come, first serve. Non-Members $20. Winding Trails, Farmington.

9am – 2pm: Demo Day with Never Summer Snowboards Never Summer is back with an awesome collection of boards for you to demo!  They start at 9am and the last boards go out at 2:00pm. Say hi to Georges, then try before you buy and take these sweet boards for a ride! Ski Sundown, East Hartford.

9am – 4:30pm: First 50 Giveaway Dinosaur State Park is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the discovery of dinosaur tracks in Rocky Hill in 2016. As part of the celebration, the Friends of Dinosaur State Park and Arboretum (FDPA) are sponsoring a year-long giveaway of free prizes that kicks off on January 16, 2016. Once a month on a Saturday, the park will give away 50 prizes to the first 50 families that pay admission to the Park that day. Dinosaur State Park, Rocky Hill.

10am – 5pm: Open Cockpit & Scale Model Display Visitors will be permitted to climb into the cockpits of up to 10 vintage aircraft, a full-motion flight simulator and two static flight simulators. These include the Vietnam era “Huey” helicopter; the North American F-100 Super Sabre jet fighter; the Coast Guard HH-52 rescue helicopter; the Lockheed F-104C Starfighter and many more. As an added feature, the Wings & Wheels Modelers Club will present a plastic scale model show featuring hundreds of model airplanes, military vehicles, figures, ship and cars. There will be ongoing demonstrations by modelers who will be working on and building models throughout the day. There also will be hands on activities for the enjoyment of the younger visitors during the event and the Flight Sim Spot full-flight simulator experience will be available from 11am to 3pm. For the convenience of all, a food vendor will be on site. The event will be held inside the Museum’s three large, heated display hangars. Sneakers or rubber-soled shoes are recommended. New England Air Museum, Windsor Locks.

10am – 3:30pm: Tell A Friend Day presented by The Ski Monster is landing at Ski Sundown!! Hit the parks with Andy Parry and friends, major prize tossouts and of course ending with ‘zza, courtesy of Pizza Pete’s New Hartford,CT! Ski Sundown, New Hartford.

6 – 9pm: Fun Night features in-ground Trampoline, Zip line, huge foam pit, tumble track rope swing, obstacle course, bounce house, games including Earth-Quake, pizza, dessert and drinks. $30 per child. Please pre-register and pre-pay ($5 siblings discount) $40 if not pre-registered and pre-paid. For ages 5 – 12. Register on-line or call us to reserve your spot! Air Time Gymnastics, Enfield.

Saturday, January 16 – Sunday, January 17:

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

Saturday, January 16 – Monday, January 18:

10am – 5pm: Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend Celebrate the new year and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at the Connecticut Science Center! We will be open Saturday, January 16 through Monday, January 18 with a special offer: everyone pays kids’ price all weekend long! Please note that no other coupons or discounts may be applied. Connecticut Science Center, Hartford.

Sunday, January 17:

9am – 2pm: Demo Day with Suburban Sports Always great to try before you buy with our friends from Suburban Sports. Look for the tents in the base area. Demo is free; please bring a valid driver’s license and credit card as ID so you can demo skis from  Atomic, Rossignol, K2, Volkl, Icelantic, Head and more! Ski Sundown, New Hartford.

11am – 2pm: “Drag” Brunch: Barbra Joan Streetsand In celebration of Warhol & Mapplethorpe: Guise & Dolls, join us for a drag performance by diva Barbra Joan Streetsand! Afterwards, explore the galleries on your own or take a tour with a docent. Tickets include museum admission, jazz, brunch, and one complimentary bloody mary or mimosa. There are two seating’s, one at 11 am and one at 12:30 pm. The brunch buffet features the Chef’s egg dish of the day, homefries, thick cut bacon, sausage, and ham, NY bagels and lox, stuffed French toast, Belgian waffles with fixins’, assorted breakfast pastries, seasonal fruit, freshly brewed coffee, and tea. $35 for non-members. Tickets are available online only. Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford.

12:30 – 3:30pm: Hearthside Afternoon Warm yourself by the fire, play a board game or read a book, and enjoy a warm winter beverage. Games and toys will be on hand for adults and children, including our pint-sized Colonial fireplace and Tunxis wigwam. Self -guided tours of the 1720 historic house will be available. Admission is free. Stanley-Whitman House, Farmington.

1 – 4pm: Warm up America Knit or crochet a 7”x 9” rectangle, then bring it to our joining party where we’ll join them together to make colorful, cozy afghans to be donated to homeless shelters, hospices, veteran homes and social service agencies. Michael’s locations.

1:30 – 3pm: Martin Luther King Children’s Program A children’s movie about the Reverend King and the values he worked for, followed by a conversation with Education Coordinator Joann Zeisner. The movie will be Our Friend, Martin, an animated magical adventure for children inspired by the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. Free admission and popcorn. Stanley-Whitman House, Farmington.

1:30 – 3pm: Jewish Genealogical Assisted Research Genealogy experts will be available to help with research. Temple Sinai, Newington.

7 – 9pm: Sea Tea Improv’s Free Comedy Show Eat, drink, laugh, and shout suggestions as Sea Tea Improv’s team of professional comedians host an evening of improvised comedy. Their work has been featured on ESPN, NPR, WFSB, and more. Best of all, admission is free! the comedy club doors open at 6pm for seating and food. Call ahead to City Steam to reserve seats. All ages are welcome. Due to the sale of alcohol, those under the age of 21 must be accompanied by a legal guardian. Steam Brewery Cafe, Hartford.

Monday, January 18:

9am – 4pm: Day Camp: Bridge the Gap Getting from Point A to Point B is not always easy. Campers will be faced with several challenges to transport items and themselves across various obstacles. We will work in teams to build bridges and test how much weight they can hold. Non-members $70. The New Children’s Museum, West Hartford.

8am – 5pm: Preschool Day Camp: Movin’ & Groovin’ Get ready to make some noise! Campers will create their own musical instruments, sing songs, and learn silly dances. We will also visit our Museum and see what sounds we can make in our Tech City exhibit. $85 per non-member. The New Children’s Museum, West Hartford.

9am – 12pm: MLK Camp My Gym Camp is 3-hours of non-stop fun for kiddos 2.5 years and up (potty trained please)! My Gym, West Hartford.

9:15am – 5:30pm: Public Skating Sessions The Veterans Memorial Skating Rink will have special public skating sessions on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Adult Session: 9:15-11:15am. Public Sessions: 12:30-2pm, 2:15-3:45pm and 4-5:30pm. Veterans Memorial Skating Rink, West Hartford.

9:30am – 5pm: Martin Luther King Jr. Day In celebration of Martin Luther King Jr Day we will be open, join us to explore Dr. King’s vision of a world without limitations! Share your dreams and visions with us, and participate in special activities inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. Imagine Nation, Bristol.

9:30am – 5pm: Martin Luther King Day Open House The Stowe Center will open its doors free of charge in honor of Martin Luther King Day. Free tours will be offered all day. At noon join us, along with The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change and individuals and organizations around the world, in ringing bells for nonviolence and peace. Following the noontime bell ringing, join the conversation in a Stowe Salon at Lunch on “The Beloved Community,” where participants will engage in dialogue on how King’s work relates to today and ways to work towards justice. Bring your lunch and bring your ideas for a thought-provoking discussion with staff and fellow visitors. The Stowe Visitor Center will be open for free hands-on activities for all ages. Visitors can examine and discuss historic documents from Stowe’s time in the “Conversation of a Nation” activity, contribute to the “Words that Changed the World” display, and learn more about King through writing and craft projects. Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, Hartford.

10 – 11:30am: 20th Annual Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Join us for the 20th annual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life on Monday, January 18, 2016 in the West Hartford Town Hall Auditorium, 50 South Main Street, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Each year the event that pays tribute to Dr. King’s ideals and vision grows more popular and inspiring. The event draws nearly 400 people each year. This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Constance Belton Green, a renowned consultant on diversity and race. Ms. Green is the first African American woman to receive a Juris Doctor from the University of Connecticut, School of Law. Her passion for social justice and education led her to a second career in education; including as Coordinator of the Legal Assistant Program at Manchester Community College, education consultant for the Connecticut Department of Education, and as Chief Diversity Officer at Eastern Connecticut State University. In 2003 she received her doctorate in education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is one of the founders of Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF), and has served as a Commissioner of the Connecticut African American Affairs Commission. The celebration is free and is open to the public. Town Hall Auditorium, West Hartford.

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10am – 4pm: Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland Looking for some fun winter activities? Visit the Nature Center for a guided hike through the woods. See whose tracks we can find around the Nature Center and in the woods. Warm up inside with animal crafts and quizzes to test your tracking skills. Hike and crafts free with admission to the Nature Center. Guided Hikes are at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. Crafts all day. No need to preregister. Roaring Brook Nature Center, Canton.

10am – 4pm: Martin Luther King Day Activities Cockpit Experiences: Get up close and personal as you climb aboard selected aircraft from our incredible collection. From helicopters to jets this is your chance to take the stick, check the instruments, and create your imagination-powered adventure. Our Build & Fly Challenge will spark the imagination and challenge the inquisitive mind. You even get to take your new creations home with you for future flying fun. Flight Science Demonstrations: Discover the science of flight through hands-on demonstrations lead by our NEAM Team educators. Take Control! NEAM has an assortment of flight simulators which allow you to fly a variety of aircraft through the virtual skies. Experience how airplanes move in three-dimensions with your hands and feet at the controls including yokes, throttles, and rudder pedals. New England Air Museum, Windsor Locks.

10am- 5pm: Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Day: Inner Strength Where does your strength come from? Find your own inner strength and celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. through art-making, performances, and tours for all ages. Performances & Workshops: 10:30am and 11am Guided Gallery Meditation with Downtown Yoga in Morgan Great Hall, 12-12:15pm “I Have a Dream” Live Reading, 1– 1:30pm Studio 860 Dance Performance.  – 2:45pm Freedom: In Three Acts Developed in partnership with The Amistad Center for Art & Culture, Freedom: In Three Acts tells three stories of African American history through music and dance. Performance followed by a Q&A with Bated Breath Theatre Company. All Day Activities: Create your own peace stone with the Hartford Seminary International Peacemakers, explore abstract color-scapes, join artists and art instructors from the Art Connection Studio in creating a collaborative community mandala, sketch in the galleries, and more! Tours: 11am Inner Strength Family Tour, 1pm Collection Highlights Tour, 2:30pm Warhol & Mapplethorpe: Guise & Dolls Tour and 3:30pm Inner Strength Family Tour. Free admission and activities all day long!

11am – 12pm: Nonviolence: A Reawakening of Our Nation’s Consciousness will be the theme of the University of Hartford’s 2016 Martin Luther King Jr. Day observance, in the University’s Lincoln Theater. The program will feature an inspirational program of music and reflections commemorating the life and legacy of the civil rights leader, highlighted by an address by actor, singer, composer, producer, and minister Clifton Davis, who was awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the University of Hartford at Commencement in May 2015. Free, open to the public. The Martin Luther King Jr. Day event will also feature a monologue performed by students from the University High School of Science and Engineering. Musical selections will include a performance by pianist and Hartt School alumnus Mark Templeton and Hartt student Jordan Young. Prelude music at the beginning of the observance will be performed by Hartt student Montre Dewayne Lewis. And Hartt student Kenneth James will give a vocal performance of Lift Every Voice and Sing, which is often referred to as the “Black American National Anthem.” University of Hartford, West Hartford.

11am – 1pm: Basket Challenge Stew’s chefs will challenge our young chefs to a basket challenge! Kids will have the opportunity to create their very own recipes out of our selected items that will be revealed at the beginning of the class. $25 per child. Ages 6 – 12. Stew Leonard’s, Newington.

11am – 5pm: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his unending legacy with free admission for all, tours, art activities, and film. Create an inspiration badge in the American Savings Foundation Art & Education Center with your favorite MLK quote, and watch his historic speech “I Have a Dream” as it loops in Studio C all day. At noon and 2 p.m., meet in the lobby for a docent-led tour of African-American artists in the Museum’s collection (suitable for all ages.) Enjoy a day with friends and family uplifted by Dr. King’s message of love, courage, and acceptance. Free admission for all. New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain.

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1 – 2:30pm: Kidz Art Scene – Snowman Come join us and bring the kids for a step-by-step painting class. We provide all of the paint and supplies you’ll need to make your masterpiece. Our teaching artist will guide the children, step-by-step, through the painting and will make sure they stay on track and complete their masterpiece by the end of class. Doors open at 12:30pm, instruction begins at 1pm. Price is per canvas. For little ones under the age of 6 you may want to have them help an adult painter and make a masterpiece together! Parents are required to be in attendance at the event. Scene Art Bar, Unionville.

1 – 3pm: Open Gym Time Children under the age of 10 must have a parent on site at all times while in the facility. Individual $10, Family $18. Mandell JCC Valley Sports & Community Center, Canton.

6:30 – 8:30pm: Free Painting Class Explore basic acrylic painting techniques, brushstrokes, color selection and more. Michael’s locations.

Tuesday, January 19:

9:30 – 10:30am and 11:30am – 12:30pm: Around the World: Italy First country on the list: Italy! Kids will whip up some homemade ravioli and tomato sauce. We will also make mini cannoli cups for dessert! Ages 2 -5. $15 per child (must be accompanied by an adult). Reoccurs on Friday, 1/22. Stew Leonard’s, Newington.

6 – 8pm: Discussion of Proposed Future Plans for UConn’s West Hartford Campus The New Children’s Museum will offer a presentation and public discussion on its proposed plan to relocate to UConn’s West Hartford property. The proposed plans will focus on creating a family-friendly cultural campus, driving local economic development, and preserving green space. The Museum’s Interim Executive Director, Michael J. Werle, will provide details and drawings of two potential concepts for the campus, followed by an open discussion and a question and answer period. Area residents are encouraged to attend this free public event, which will take place at the West Hartford Senior Center at Bishops Corner. The West Hartford Senior Center at Bishops Corner, West Hartford.

6:30 – 8:30pm: Free Drawing Class Learn basic techniques, including how to use fine art drawing pencils and erasers. Michael’s locations.

Wednesday, January 20:

10 – 10:30am: A Trip to South America Listen to Spanish music and stories while learning about the animals and art of the region. Discover the Cave of Hands in Argentina, the folk art of Panama and the Butterflies of Brazil. Create your own artwork based on your discoveries. Ages 2-3. Lutz Children’s Museum, Manchester.

11 – 11:45am: The Art of South America Take a trip to South America! You will see artifacts, hear music, and listen to some folk tales from the region. Explore artwork and create your own masterpiece based on this vibrant culture. Ages 3-5. Lutz Children’s Museum, Manchester.

4 – 4:45pm: The Art of South America Take a brief trip to South America. Look at maps and artifacts from the region. Listen to music and folk tales from a few of the countries there. Discover the Cave of Hands in Argentina, the folk art of Panama, and the Butterflies of Brazil. Create your own artwork based on your discoveries. Ages 5-10. Lutz Children’s Museum, Manchester.

5:45pm: No Excuse Moms Workout Class Join us for a free Mommy and Me (baby, child, kid, teen) workout class. YMCA, Plainville.

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

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7pm: WBB vs UCF Women’s Basketball Game XL Center, Hartford.

7 – 9pm: LeatherCraft Class – Build A Bag You’ll be guided through the process of making your own small leather bag. This breezy 2 hour class will be a blast! Bring a friend, sip on some wine or beer, create a cool and useful leather bag that you get to take home and use forever! Leather and hardware included in the price of the class! Choose from: off white – cowhide leather, camel – moccasin suede or black patent – designer goatskin. Please email party@sceneartbar.com with your material choice after you register. Doors open at 6:30pm and the class begins at 7pm. $25 per person. Scene Art Bar, Unionville.

7:15 – 9:30pm: Ladies Night Out! What happens when you give a woman two hours a month to focus on herself? This unique style workshop is a great way to take some time out for yourself to learn, reflect, and grow right along side a group of like-minded women. Life is full and has us in constant motion, “Ladies Night Out” is designed to give women the opportunity to slow it all down,  focus on topics that can be a challenge and then determine how they want to bring changes into their lives. Each workshop is facilitated by Certified Personal and Professional Life Coach Kelley Biskupiak. Some workshops feature guest experts. $40 per person. The Pasta Company, Avon.

Thursday, January 21:

11 – 11:45am: Arts & Crafts for Preschoolers Come join us for a fun filled creative class that will stir your preschooler’s imaginations. Every week your child will enjoy an hour of creative arts and crafts projects that they will be able to take home and show off to the entire family. Ages 3-5. Non-members $30 per child. Reoccurs until 2/4. Winding Trails, Farmington.

4 – 4:45pm: Young Scientists Join us to explore the mysteries of biology! We are about to dive into science and ask questions about the world around us. Using the steps of the scientific method we will answer questions like: how do plants grow? How do animals stay warm outside in winter months? We will explore these questions and many more in Young Scientists! Ages 5-10. Reoccurs until 2/4. Lutz Children’s Museum, Manchester.

6pm: From Earth to the Universe This stunning, 30-minute voyage through time and space conveys, through an arresting combination of sights and sounds, the Universe revealed to us by science. Reoccurs on Thursday, 2/25. Glastonbury Planetarium, Glastonbury.

6pm: Creative Cocktail Hour We’re bringing some relaxing vibes your way to ease the post-holiday pain. There will be free 5-minute chair massages courtesy of Jennifer at Living Hands Massage from 6-8pm, so be sure to arrive early! We’ll also have a make-your-own essential oil salt scrub station and tea samples from Whole Harmony tea, all set to the mesmerizing grooves of our DJ, Hypnotic Satellite. Finally, there will be a sneak preview of Tnmot Aztro’s upcoming Projector 1.4 performance. Real Art Ways, Hartford.

6 – 8pm: White Line Print Art Party While the landscape outdoors is bleak with frigid temps in the depths of stick season, find a way to immerse yourself into a creative realm with an art party of printing with artist Jim Brunelle. Working in the ‘White Line’ print technique, participants will sketch and design compositions on plates and create prints from water soluble inks. Much like the early settlement of the Provincetown Artist Colonies, the results are sure to set a standard for having fun while expressing oneself! Fee: $35 includes materials, wine and refreshments. Register online. Farmington Valley Arts Center, Avon.

6 – 8pm: Sip + Sew Afraid of your sewing machine? Never fear-Hartford Stitch is here to help you create an adorable fold over clutch of your very own! Your sewing machine won’t seem so intimidating after this fun, no-fuss sip + stitch workshop. Class includes all supplies and refreshments. $65 per person. Hartford Prints, Hartford.

6:30 – 8pm: Do-It-Herself Workshop: Build a Beverage Crate With just a few tools and a little know-how, you can build a beautiful wood beverage crate. We teach you to properly measure, use a jigsaw to make grid cuts, and customize with paints and stains. The Home Depot Workshops are designed to provide a mix of associate led instruction, demonstration, and some hands-on learning. Materials can be purchased to make your own project. Home Depot locations.

7pm: State of the Political Union Join us as MSNBC political analyst Steve Kornacki talks with WNPR’s Colin McEnroe. $20 per person. $15 for students. Congregation Beth Israel, West Hartford.

Thursday, January 21 – Sunday, January 24:

Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday – Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 3pm: Battle of the Batons Three finalists will conduct the HSO as part of the selection process for the new Assistant Conductor position!

Be sure to check out more fun things to on our activities page. These are usually fun activities that reoccur each week or month – we just don’t want to cloud up this page with redundancy – but these are some awesome things to do too.

7-Day Happenings: January 8 – 14

Welcome to your 7-day Momecast™ a event forecast for Moms (and Dads) of what to do and where to go throughout Hartford County! Enjoy a night out, without the Kids – to see a comedy show or play or see a family production! Now that the temperatures are cold enough for most ice skating and skiing to have finally set in – so get going! In need of some adult conversation – we have many options below. Disney on Ice hits the XL Center this week, get your tickets for this popular family production. Please check back as we update this area of our site regularly.

Friday, January 8:

9:30 – 10:30am and 11:30am – 12:30pm: Book and a Bite Today we will bake yummy dog bone-shaped treats! While we munch on our creations, we will sit back and relax as we read the book “Harry the Dirty Dog,” written by Gene Zion. Ages 2-5. $15 per child (must be accompanied by an adult). Stew Leonard’s, Newington.

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10 – 11:30am: World’s Largest Ski and Snowboard Lesson Be a part of a record setting event while having some fun on the slopes. Yes – this involves the Guinness Book of World Records and the Learn to Ski and Snowboard Organization. It only costs $10 to take a beginner lesson and be part of the action. Why not take a lesson and love skiing and riding for life. Mount Southington, Plantsville.

5 – 10pm: Family Paint Night For a discounted paint time per person plus the cost of pottery, parents and children can enjoy a fun night of quality and creative entertainment enjoying paint time for an extra-affordable price. Make a reservation today and we will have a table saved for you and your family! We have also have a drawing for some awesome pottery painting prizes, free popcorn and soda. The Pottery Piazza, Plainville.

5:30 – 8:30pm: Parents Night Out Every kid deserves a special night out…and so do you! That’s why we created Kid’s Night Out. Parents get an evening to themselves while the children get to run, play, dance and create their own masterpiece with our energetic instructors. The evening also includes a pizza party dinner and ends with our famous bubble dance party. A perfect evening indeed… Ages 2 through 5. Children do not need to be potty trained. Romp n’Roll, Wethersfield.

6 – 10pm: Dinner and a Movie Join us for this wintry mix on our summer movie series. Bring the whole family out for a great dinner served up in front of our big screen movie. A dinner of ziti with red sauce, meatballs, cheesy garlic bread, and salad will be served up family style. Dessert and beverages are also included. Reserve your seats today as seating is limited to only 80 persons. Tables of six will be filled from front to rear of theatre in order of registration. Registration is required at least 3 days prior to the start of the program. Movie: Minions Synopsis: Who doesn’t love a plot to take over the world and secret organizations that recruit agents for black-ops? It’s the stuff that real life is made of. The Minions must stop a super-villain who plots to take over the world with the perfect partner: her inventor husband. With all the bumps, mishaps and around the corner surprises that accompany his mission, our heroes manage to foil the dastardly plot and somehow save the world in the process. 91 minutes. Rated: PG. $25 per non-member family. Winding Trails, Farmington.

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7:15pm: Wolf Pack vs. Springfield Falcons XL Center, Hartford.

8pm: History of the Future vs. Knucklepuck vs. Romantic Baby A no holds barred competition where three improv teams compete head-to-head for a cash prize — and you decide the winner! Only one team will be victorious and your vote counts! The winner returns to defend their title at the next show of the series. Bring your friends and come vote for the best improv team in this one to one matchup. Doors open 30 minutes prior to show. BYOB. $10 general admission. Playhouse on Park, West Hartford.

Friday, January 8 – Sunday, January 10:

Image Speaks for Itself
Image Speaks for Itself

Friday, January 8 – Thursday, January 14:

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11am – 8pm: Winterfest Hartford Free ice skating and skate rentals return to Bushnell Park. Learn to skate program on Saturdays at 10-11am. Children under the age of sixteen must be accompanied by an adult. The Bushnell Carousel from Friday – Sunday from 11am – 5pm. Runs through Sunday, January 24. Bushnell Park, Hartford.

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Friday – Saturday at 8pm, Saturday – Sunday at 2:30pm (Closed Monday), Tuesday – Thursday at 7:30pm: Buyer & Cellar An outrageous comedy about the price of fame, the cost of things and the oddest of odd jobs. An under-employed Los Angeles actor goes to work in Barbra Streisand’s Malibu basement. Hilarity ensues as we puzzle over the solitude of celebrity and the melancholy that lurks beneath it. Runs until Sunday, February 14. TheaterWorks, Hartford.

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Friday – Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 2pm and 7:30pm, (Closed on Monday) Tuesday – Thursday at 7:30pm: The Body of an American “If you do this, I will own you forever.” Canadian photojournalist Paul Watson is haunted by the words he heard a dead soldier say as he took the photo that would win him the Pulitzer Prize and reshape American foreign policy. Playwright Dan O’Brien, struggling with ghosts of his own, reaches out to Watson, and the two forge a friendship as they reckon with the traumas that have shaped their lives. The Body of an American is a bold, radically theatrical and poetic true story that ranges from Afghanistan and Iraq to the Canadian High Arctic. Runs through Sunday, January 31. Hartford Stage, Hartford.

Saturday, January 9:

9am – 2pm: Demo Day with Colorodo Ski Shop Join us for a season full of awesome events, competitions, and equipment demos! An opportunity to try before you buy, with our friends from Colorado Ski Shop!  This ski demo is free, but please plan to supply a valid photo I.D. and credit card in order to demo the equipment. Ski Sundown, East Hartford.

10am – 6pm (Academy) and 7pm – Midnight (Cabaret): Brass Ring Academy Polish your brass goggles, check your corset lacing and meet us in Bristol for a day of marvels! Come join us as we dance, learn, and raise money for our beautiful home, the New England Carousel Museum. Brass Spring Academy $20 per adult, $10 ages 11-16, children under 10 are free. 7pm – Midnight: Brass Ring Cabaret Ages 18 and up. $20 per person. Special for day and evening together is $35. Come to Brass Ring on Saturday and Your Minicon, a local science fiction convention, on Sunday with a combined weekend package price only $45! Carousel Museum, Bristol.

11am – 3pm: Creative Classes Open House Stop in on January 9th, from 11am-3pm for Open House. Meet our talented instructors and sign up to take a class. Save 50% when you sign up on January 9th. Michael’s locations.

12pm: Join us for a Maximized Living Makeover! How many times have you tried to change things? How many years have passed, and with them, your dreams of a healthy and vibrant life? Most disease is preventable, yet only eight percent of people achieve their (mostly health-related) resolutions. Make sure you are one of them. It’s imperative that you make this year different. Bring your friends, and together you will: replace your aggravation with motivation, learn why your resolutions keep duping you, and how to conquer self-limiting beliefs. Get the plan, challenge, and support you need, so that by this time next year you won’t still be saying “next year it’ll be different.” Free. Talcott Family Chiropractic, Farmington.

4 – 10pm: Acoustic Music Stop in between 4-7pm to hear Samantha and Dave, the voices of Bad Penny, as they sing acoustic rock hits before the band joins them. Bad Penny is a variety dance band playing all your favorite dance tunes from the 80’s, including Journey and The Police. You will also hear a good mix of current rock hits thrown in as well! Ski Sundown, Planstville.

6 – 8pm: Camp Shalom Summer in Winter Social Free and open to both current and prospective Camp families. Includes: gym activities, special film festival of videos from the summer, DJ, refreshment. The first 100 registrants for Summer 2016 will receive a special backpack! JCC; Zachs Campus, Hartford.

5:30 – 9pm: Parent’s Night Out Join us for tons of the fun!  Open gym, games, pizza, and a big screen movie!  Don’t forget to bring a pillow and a blanket to cuddle up with during the movie. For children 4 years and older (children need not be currently enrolled). Cost: $30 per child. The Gymnastics Training Center, Simsbury.

6 – 9pm: Explore the Night Walk Miss Judy invites you to bring your friends and family for a fun night of learning about the great outdoors. The general format includes an inside introduction to the evening program, an outside walk, a warm fire with Smores or something baked in the fire, a short walk outside to check the night sky, and of course family socializing with other night explorers. Dress in layers for the weather conditions that day it can get very cold on these winter nights. Because of unknown winter conditions, the Winter Exploration outside walk format will vary based on snow and ice conditions during January and February. Hopefully we can include some snowshoeing and ice skating each evening. The Welcoming Spring program in March will have us exploring the wetlands and forest for the sounds of spring peepers and wood frogs along with glimpses of early spring plants. Registration is required 3 days before the date of the event. $25 per non-member family. Winding Trails, Farmington.

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7pm: Wolf Pack vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers Red Out T-Shirt Giveaway: We’re going to red out the rink! The first 5000 fans will receive a red Wolf Pack T-shirt. Presented by CT-DOT. XL Center, Hartford.

7pm and 10pm: Comedy Night Linda Belt, is a New Jersey native, she moved to CT in 1987 where she became a suburban pillar of the community attending PTO meetings and baseball games. Linda became very tired holding up that pillar and instead holds her own as a professional stand up comic. Her humor touches on the absurdities of modern life and explores marriage, sex, parenting and social mores, in other words: any subject she feels like discussing! Eddie Clark, old enough to remember the sixties yet young enough to enjoy the new millennium, Eddie Clark is still one of the hardest working comics on the circuit today. His quick wit and funny stories, combined with his masterful characters, are a hit with audiences all over. This former Carson Long Military Institute graduate, U.S. Marine, Mount Vernon N.Y. police officer and security officer for the U.S. State Dept. was born in Jamaica, Queens, NY and raised in the city of Mount Vernon, NY, where he developed his ability to induce laughter from total strangers. Eddie’s humor is a blend of personal experiences and everyday life. Whether talking about moving from the projects to a middle class neighborhood, being a police officer setting up a speed trap, acid reflux or why you can’t win an argument with a woman, Eddie brings his vast experiences to all his performances. 90 minutes of laughs! Doors open 30 minutes prior to the show. $15 reserved seating. BYOB. Playhouse on Park, West Hartford.

7:30pm: Coffee House Concert Amy Gallatin and Stillwaters offer a toe-tapping acoustic blend of country music and bluegrass, with soaring harmonies and red-hot picking. Admission to this latest in the Center’s Coffee House Series is $15 for CT Audubon Society members and $20 for non-members, with children under 12 half-price. Please call the Audubon Society at 860-633-8402 to reserve your seats. The Connecticut Audubon Society Center, Glastonbury.

Saturday, January 9 – Sunday, January 10:

Saturday from 10am – 5pm and Sunday from 10am – 4pm: Papermania Plus Considered the largest show of its kind in the Northeast, boasts quality dealers from throughout the east coast and Canada with collectibles around from A-Z: movie star posters, concert posters, post cards, photography, rare books, stamps, sheet music, tins, vintage valentines, world war ephemera, social and political items, news print, zodiac signs and much more! XL Center, Hartford.

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11am – 5pm: Connecticut Bridal Show With a proven format of combining fashion shows with a huge vendor presence, our bridal shows offer couples the unique opportunity to shop for every facet of their wedding needs in one location. What a time saver for busy working people, to find everything they need in one weekend and at one bridal show! And not just one, but several of each bridal product or service, providing a wide variety of styles and prices to suit every taste and budget. Meet Heidi Elnora, wedding dress designer and TLC’s star of “Bride By Design” on Saturday and Sunday from 11am-3pm. $12 per person. Connecticut Convention Center. Hartford.

1:30 – 3:30pm: Family Walk This winter join Miss Judy for a fun weekend afternoon of learning something new about the great outdoors. The program format is an indoor introduction about the days topic followed by a hands-on outdoor activity to try out what you learned. Dress in layers so you can be comfortable for the indoor introduction and to be warm enough for the outdoor activity. Saturday programs include an Introduction to Ice Fishing in January for those that are curious about the sport. Sunday programs include Winter Tracking in January to discover whose making those trails in the snow. $10 per non-member family. Winding Trails, Farmington.

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

Sunday, January 10:

9:45 – 10:30am: Babies & Bagels If you are a new parent and would like to meet other parents and their children, join us in the Family Room for a play date and get-together. We want to hear what kind of things you are looking to do with your baby, and we would love to tell you what we offer. Free and open to the community. JCC; Zachs Campus, West Hartford.

11am – 12pm (Ages 5 – 9) and 12 – 1pm (Ages 9 – 14): Cheerleading Workshop Ever wanted to learn how tough cheerleading really is? It’s not just about the pom poms and can-can kicks! These days, some colleges offer scholarships for cheerleading up to almost $10,000 a year! This sport develops your child into a well-rounded individual who learns the value of teamwork and the meaning to work towards a common goal. Come to Imagine Studio to learn the basics of cheerleading, taught by former Conard High School Cheerleading Captain, Cassidy Kotyla. We will do everything from cheers, jumps, dances, motions, and maybe even some stunting! Ages 5-14 welcome! Please wear comfortable work out clothes and bring clean sneakers and a water bottle.

12 – 3pm: Sifryat Pijama B’America Story Time Bring the family and listen to stories in Hebrew followed by fun activities for different ages! RSVP. Sifryat Pijama is the Hebrew equivalent to PJ Library. JCC; Zacks Campus, West Hartford.

12:30 – 3:30pm: Shadow Boxes with Sarah Segovia It’s the perfect time of year for a family art afternoon! Join mosaic and stained glass artist Sarah Segovia to create miniature shadow boxes encrusted in a glittering mosaic of your own design. Sarah will guide all ages through the mosaic process, from planning a design to filling it in with a myriad of colorful stained glass pieces. In three short hours, everyone will go home with a unique shadow box to fill with a small photograph or other treasure. Pre-registration is required. $20 non-member. New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain.

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3pm: Wolf Pack vs. Albany Devils XL Center, Hartford.

3 – 4pm: Drumming Circle Join Early Childhood Center music teacher Susan Kirschner-Robinson for drumming, chants, dance, and songs. This active music class uses shakers, rhythm sticks, and drums. Register with Member Services, 860-236-4571, by January 7. $5 per family in advance and $10 at the door. JCC; Zacks Campus, West Hartford.

3:30 – 4:30pm: Kids Yoga Yoga is not just for grown-ups! Give your little yogi a taste of all that yoga has to offer — fitness, fun, self-soothing, relaxation and more. Yoga is not just for grown-ups! Give your little yogi a taste of all that yoga has to offer — fitness, fun, self-soothing, relaxation and more. Ages 4 and up. Single Session: $10 per child in advance online, $12 at the desk. Journey of Yoga, Simsbury.

Monday, January 11:

6:30 – 8:30pm: Free Paper Crafting Class Surprise your Valentine with a sweet, stylish and surprisingly simple accordion card. Michael’s locations.

7:30pm: A Conversation with Paul Watson and Dan O’Brien Dr. Harold I. Schwartz, Psychiatrist-in-Chief at Hartford Hospital’s The Institute for Living, will join Paul Watson and Dan O’Brien for an in-depth discussion surrounding The Body of an American. The Institute for Living is nationally-recognized for treating trauma, including combat-related PTSD. Dr. Schwartz is a past president of the Connecticut Psychiatric Society where he has served as legislative chair for 20 years. Dr. Schwartz is a Fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. Free. Hartford Stage, Hartford.

Tuesday, January 12 – Wednesday, January 13:

6 – 9pm: Auditions: The Vagina Monologues Auditioners are asked to bring a selection from The Vagina Monologues to read. Monologue material will be available at the audition for those who need it. There will be four mandatory rehearsals (full-cast) January 20, 21, 27, and 28 and one tech and one dress rehearsal on February 3-4. Performances are at 7 pm on February 5-6. Charter Oak Cultural Center, Hartford.

Tuesday, January 12 – Thursday, January 17:

Tuesday – Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday – Saturday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm and Sunday at 1pm and 6:30pm: Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella is the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical from the creators of The Sound of Music and South Pacific that’s delighting audiences with its contemporary take on the classic tale. This lush production features an incredible orchestra, jaw-dropping transformations and all the moments you love—the pumpkin, the glass slipper, the masked ball and more—plus some surprising new twists! Be transported back to your childhood as you rediscover some of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s most beloved songs, including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible” and “Ten Minutes Ago,” in this hilarious and romantic Broadway experience for anyone who’s ever had a wish, a dream… or a really great pair of shoes. Runtime 2 hours and 30 minutes. The Bushnell, William H. Mortensen Hall, Hartford.

Tuesday, January 12:

6pm: Into East Africa Acclaimed Wildlife Photographer Paul Fusco will thrill the audience with beautiful scenes of the land and wildlife of East Africa. Paul visited Serengeti National Park, Ndutu, and the Ngorongoro Crater, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in Tanzania. He also will offer a discussion on some of the important conservation issues facing wildlife in East Africa. Free. Sessions Woods WMA, Burlington.

6:30 – 8:30pm: Free Jewelry Class Build your jewelry-making skills with this charming three-tiered necklace project. Michael’s locations.

Wednesday, January 13 – Sunday, January 17:

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Wednesday – Saturday at 7pm, Saturday at 11am and 3pm and Sunday at 1pm and 4:30pm: Disney on Ice Let’s Celebrate It’s one colossal party on ice, with all your favorite Disney friends at Disney On Ice presents Let’s Celebrate! Presented by YoKids Organic Yogurt. Join Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald and Goofy as they celebrate a Very Merry Unbirthday Party with Alice and the Mad Hatter; a Royal Valentine’s Day Ball with your favorite Disney Princesses, including Cinderella, Ariel, Belle and Tiana; a Hawaiian luau with Lilo & Stitch; a whole new world with Jasmine and Aladdin; a winter wonderland with Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear; a Halloween haunt with the Disney villains and more in a magical medley of holidays, celebrations and festivities from around the globe. Come join the celebration you’ve been waiting for when Disney On Ice presents Let’s Celebrate! skates into Hartford! XL Center, Hartford.

Wednesday, January 13:

10 – 10:30am: A Trip to South America Listen to Spanish music and stories while learning about the animals and art of the region. Discover the Cave of Hands in Argentina, the folk art of Panama and the Butterflies of Brazil. Create your own artwork based on your discoveries. Ages 2-3. Reoccurs on 1/20. Lutz Children’s Museum, Manchester.

11 – 11:45am: The Art of South America Take a trip to South America! You will see artifacts, hear music, and listen to some folk tales from the region. Explore artwork and create your own masterpiece based on this vibrant culture. Ages 3-5. Reoccurs on 1/20. Lutz Children’s Museum, Manchester.

12 – 1pm: Stowe Salons at Lunch: Racism as a follow-up to The Connecticut Forum event on the same topic. The event will feature video highlights from the December 3 Connecticut Forum which featured Morris Dees, civil rights advocate and co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center; Antonio Villaraigosa, former mayor of Los Angeles; Wes Moore, social justice advocate and author of The Other Wes Moore; and Jessica Williams, Daily Show correspondent, actress and comedian, in conversation with Michele Norris, NPR Host and Special Correspondent. Topics discussed at the Forum included institutional racism, white privilege, mass incarceration, and the Black Lives Matter movement. The Salon will continue the conversation to discuss ways to move conversation into action. Share your perspective and ideas for creating positive change in our city, state and nation. A great opportunity to network with other change makers. Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, Hartford.

5:45pm: No Excuse Moms Workout Class Join us for a free Mommy and Me (baby, child, kid, teen) workout class. YMCA, Plainville.

5:30pm: Olmsted and America’s Urban Parks Walk in the footsteps of Frederick Law Olmsted, Hartford native, visionary urban planner and landscape architect, and learn more about the man who shaped our nation’s parks, including Hartford’s Keney Park and Elizabeth Park. Olmsted and America’s Urban Parks examines the formation of America’s first great city parks in the late 19th century through Olmsted’s enigmatic eyes. Donald Poland, urban geographer and Olmsted expert, will briefly discuss Olmsted’s connection to Riverfront Recapture before the film, in addition to leading a post-screening discussion. Admission includes pre-screening reception with hors d’oeuvres, beer, Connecticut wine, and soft drinks. Pre-screening Reception: 5:30pm, Movie: 6:30pm. Two complimentary beverages are included with each ticket. Featured wines will represent each film’s locale. Spotlight Theatres, Hartford.

4 – 4:45pm: The Art of South America Take a brief trip to South America. Look at maps and artifacts from the region. Listen to music and folk tales from a few of the countries there. Discover the Cave of Hands in Argentina, the folk art of Panama, and the Butterflies of Brazil. Create your own artwork based on your discoveries. Ages 5-10. Reoccurs on 1/20. Lutz Children’s Museum, Manchester.

5:30 – 7pm: Farmington Business After Hours Scene Art Bar is an alternative to the traditional bar scene – a paint and sip studio offering a relaxed and fun night out. Their painting parties combine a step-by-step painting class, music, beer and wine, offering a festive, fun and stress-free atmosphere. Paint nights offer a new destination for Date Night, Girls’ Night Out, Moms’ Night Off or come on your own and meet new friends! No artistic experience is required! Culteavo Tea Shop in Unionville is a local gourmet tea shop offering over 100 kinds of loose-leaf tea, including black, green, oolong and white teas, as well as herbal infusions and tea blends. They also offer made-to-order deli sandwiches and fine pastries to satisfy your sweet tooth. They recently launched their brand new collection of designer tea tins, perfect for giving as a gift or as a keepsake! Chambers members are free, non-members are $25.

7pm: I Blame Dennis Hopper: And Other Stories from a Life Lived In and Out of the Movies” with author and actress Illeana Douglas In 1969 Illeana Douglas’ parents saw the film Easy Rider and were transformed. Taking Dennis Hopper’s words, “That’s what it’s all about man” to heart, they abandoned their comfortable upper middle class life and gave Illeana a childhood filled with hippies, goats, free spirits, and free love. Illeana writes, “Since it was all out of my control, I began to think of my life as a movie, with a Dennis Hopper-like father at the center of it.” I Blame Dennis Hopper is a testament to the power of art and the tenacity of passion. It is a rollicking, funny, at times tender exploration of the way movies can change our lives. With crackling humor and a full heart, Douglas describes how a good Liza Minnelli impression helped her land her first gig and how Rudy Valley taught her the meaning of being a show biz trouper. From her first experience being on set with her grandfather and mentor-two-time Academy Award-winning actor Melvyn Douglas-to the moment she was discovered by Martin Scorsese for her blood-curdling scream and cast in her first film, to starring in movies alongside Robert DeNiro, Nicole Kidman, and Ethan Hawke, to becoming an award-winning writer, director and producer in her own right, I Blame Dennis Hopper is an irresistible love letter to movies and filmmaking. Writing from the perspective of the ultimate show business fan, Douglas packs each page with hilarious anecdotes, bizarre coincidences, and fateful meetings that seem, well, right out of a plot of a movie. I Blame Dennis Hopper is the story of one woman’s experience in show business, but it is also a genuine reminder of why we all love the movies: for the glitz, the glamor, the sweat, passion, humor, and escape they offer us all. Free. Mark Twain House, Hartford.

7pm: Freshly Squeezed Because everyone loves a juicy conversation. Hartford boasts a small, nimble, personal, participatory forum. “Freshly Squeezed with Colin McEnroe,” hosted at Watkinson School, offers great debates and discussions you can dive into. Parents, community leaders, educators—everyone who cares about the challenges we’re facing these days—will love the opportunity to think and talk together.  And all of the profits benefit the education programs of three shining Hartford institutions: Billings Forge, Hartford Stage and the Mark Twain House. What’s So Funny About Connecticut? Some people would say “nothing,” but we’re not so sure Connecticut deserves its reputation for humorlessness. In the bleak midwinter, we think you might need a dose of laughter, so we’re rounding up comedians, writers and improv performers to help you develop your own comic instincts, especially regarding the place you live. Tickets are $20 each or buy the series for a total of $40. Ticket holders enjoy a complimentary pre-show light meal on Watkinson’s campus prepared by Chef Jon Birney. All events are held in the Foisie Family Amphitheater at Watkinson School. Seating is very limited and general admission, so order today.

Thursday, January 14:

11 – 11:45am: Arts & Crafts for Preschoolers Come join us for a fun filled creative class that will stir your preschooler’s imaginations. Every week your child will enjoy an hour of creative arts and crafts projects that they will be able to take home and show off to the entire family. Ages 3-5. Non-members $30 per child. Reoccurs until 2/4. Winding Trails, Farmington.

4 – 4:45pm: Young Scientists Join us to explore the mysteries of biology! We are about to dive into science and ask questions about the world around us. Using the steps of the scientific method we will answer questions like: how do plants grow? How do animals stay warm outside in winter months? We will explore these questions and many more in Young Scientists! Ages 5-10. Reoccurs until 2/4. Lutz Children’s Museum, Manchester.

6pm: From Earth to the Universe This stunning, 30-minute voyage through time and space conveys, through an arresting combination of sights and sounds, the Universe revealed to us by science. Reoccurs on Thursday, 1/21 and 2/25. Glastonbury Planetarium, Glastonbury.

6:30 – 8:30pm: Family Ice Fishing Clinic This DEEP sponsored clinic is taught by state certified volunteer instructors through the Connecticut Aquatic Resources Education (CARE) Program. It is designed to introduce you to the wintertime sport of ice fishing. All those who attend are invited to join the DEEP at their Annual Family Ice Fishing Derby on Coventry Lake, January 30th. The Derby is only open to those who attend an Ice Fishing class and is free. All ages-children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult. Gideon Welles School, Glastonbury.

7pm: After War: What Happens Next In a first-time collaboration, three of Hartford’s cultural institutions are joining together to present a conversation on a subject that affects us all: WAR. Writers will discuss the aftermath of US entanglements from Iraq to Afghanistan to Somalia, and the consequences that reverberate both abroad and at home, in the political landscapes of recovering countries, and in the psyches of returning soldiers. The panelists include Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post journalist David Finkle, author of The Good Soldiers and Thank You For Your Service; acclaimed poet and playwright Dan O’Brien, author of War Reporter and Hartford Stage’s production of Body of an American, winner of the Horton Foote Prize for Outstanding New American Play; and U.K. author Emma Sky, who wrote The Unraveling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq and has been named an Officer of the British Empire. WNPR reporter Lucy Nalpathanchil will moderate an engaging and incisive conversation on the impact war has had on these writers, their work, our nation, and our world. Free. Mark Twain House, Hartford.

7 – 9pm: PJ Library Parents Nite Out Schedule that babysitter and enjoy a night out with other PJ Library parents. Get to know other PJ parents over a glass of wine, and paint your own wine glass. Art Truck Studio, Glastonbury.

Be sure to check out more fun things to on our activities page. These are usually fun activities that reoccur each week or month – we just don’t want to cloud up this page with redundancy – but these are some awesome things to do too.