Mostly Free and Fun Things to do in CT with Kids This Weekend December 15-16; Santa, Lights & Hanukkah Nights
I have such fond memories of my childhood playing dreidel, lighting the menorah and eating latkes during Hanukkah. Yet, I didn't grow up in a Jewish household. I was fortunate to have many friends who shared their traditions with me.
This is the perfect time of year to expose your children to holiday diversity, so they can have an appreciation for others. The World Holiday Song and Dance in New Britain showcases music and dance from different cultures.
It is also a great time to show them the value of giving to those less fortunate. Our posts on Volunteer Opportunities in Fairfield, Litchfield and Hartford Counties have some simple ideas. Bring an unwrapped toy to donate at the Meyer Fairfield Holiday 5K Run/Walk. Your kids will love to help you shop!
We've rounded up lots of holiday fun events and activities in our Holiday Fun Guide. The Festival of Lights ends this weekend, but there are several events around the state. If you are in the Hartford County area we've done a round up of Hanukkah events this week. The Stamford JCC will host a Chanukah Roller Skating Party and Crafts. Join B'nai Israel in Bridgeport for a Family Chanukah Celebration for Shabbat service followed by dinner and menorah lighting. West Hartford's Emanuel Synagogue will dedicate their new Early Childhood Center at Latkes & Lollypops. Dinner, crafts, activities and music also included in the fun.
Only two weekends left to see Kris Kringle, so check out our posts on Where to Meet Santa Claus in Fairfield County and Hartford County. He'll be taking photos at the Yale Bookstore this weekend. There are several dining opportunities as well; Breakfast with Santa at Wood Acres Farm in Terryville, Litchfield Inn, Mystic Aquarium, and My Place Restaurant in Newtown. The Beardsley Zoo features Breakfast with Frosty and Friends.
Santa, music, magic and a doll/teddy bear high tea are part of the Holiday Open House at Norwalk's Lockwood-Mathews Mansion. This stunning museum is a national registered historic landmark. Washington's Holiday in the Depot will have a treelighting, Santa's arrival, Clifford the Big Red Dog and other family fun. New Preston's Winter Stroll will feature 15,000 lights as you shop along listening to carolers and enjoying treats. Kent Volunteer Fire Department hosts the Parade of Lights, a sight you won't want to miss. Kent will also have horse-drawn carriage rides, festive shopping and refreshments, music, cookie decorating and photos with Santa.
Come view a holiday train exhibit at Brookfield Historical Society's Open House. Enjoy music, Santa and sweets while you discover the museum's victorian toys and antique music boxes. Celebrate a Victorian holiday in style at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center/Mark Twain House Olde Fashioned Christmas. Take a carriage ride, listen to choral music and enjoy the homes' elaborate decor. This free, family event will also have a visit from St. Nick. It is the last weekend to see the beautiful Gillette Castle decorated for the holidays in East Haddam. This medival fortress oozes history and your kids will love exploring the inside.
Burn off the holiday energy and excitement at the Let's Play Expo at Hartford's XL Center. Scavenger hunts, mini-golf, trampolines, Archery Tag, glow-in-the-dark dancing and Santa will be on hand.
Enjoy the festive weekend!