Mostly Free and Fun Things to do in CT With Kids This Weekend January 17-19: Ice Fishing, Family Theater, and MLK Day Events
Sometimes the cold weather can make a three-day weekend feel more like a grind than a pleasure. Luckily, we've uncovered a raft of things to do throughout Connecticut, whether you want to enjoy the great outdoors, experience some fantastic children's theater, or explore the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. For starters, check our recent Visit to the New England Carousel Museum in Bristol, our Weekend Getaway to Old Saybrook (where the Fire and Ice Festival takes place this Saturday), or our post on Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2015 for a complete list of celebrations across the state.
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Festival of Lighthouses at the Maritime Aquarium (Fairfield County)
If you haven't been to the Aquarium yet this winter, this is your last weekend to check out the remarkable “Festival of Lighthouses,” which includes 22 large model lighthouses, all made by local artists, students, and hobbyists. Aquarium visitors can enjoy the lighthouses that are set up throughout the aquarium and then vote for their favorite. Included with aquarium admission ($19.95, adults, $12.95, children (age 3-12), $17.95 youth (age 12-17). Until Monday, January 19th.
Family Fun Trio at Downtown Cabaret Children's Theatre (Fairfield County)
Not one, not two, but THREE popular tales for the price of one! Join the Downtown Cabaret Children's Theatre for the classic stories of Chicken Little, The Ugly Duckling, and The Three Pigs. These classic stories everyone knows and loves will excite and amaze you! Tickets start at $23. Saturday and Sunday.
Frozen Cookie Decorating Workshop (Fairfield County)
The adorable Green Moon art studio in Rowayton is hosting delicious fun at this Frozen-themed cookie decorating workshop. Each little artist will receive 6 oversized sugar cookies to dazzle and crystalize with icing and sprinkles. They will also design and decorate their very own cookie box, creating the perfect packaging to transport their inspired creations. $45 per child. Pre-registration required. Friday and Monday.
LEGO Workshop: Lights, Camera, Action (Fairfield County)
Make your own LEGO movie, as you learn and film stop action animation with LEGO® creations and mini figures. Members: $40 adult/child, $25 for each additional adult/child. Non-Members: $55 adult/child, $25 for each additional adult/child. Pre-registration required. Saturday and Sunday.
Martin Luther King Jr.'s Legacy of Environmental and Social Justice at the Peabody Museum (New Haven County)
The Yale Peabody Museum will open its doors once again in honor of Dr. King and his efforts to ensure environmental and social justice among all people. The weekend's activities will include world-class performances and educational activities for visitors of all ages. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. strove to raise awareness about urban environmental issues and public health concerns that disproportionately affect communities of color. While these issues by no means have disappeared in the last three decades, great strides have been made in many communities to bring such inequalities to light and to improve living and working conditions. Free. Sunday and Monday.
Disney On Ice Presents Treasure Trove (Hartford County)
This weekend your favorite Disney characters make the move to the XL Center. From princesses to pirates, boys and girls are guaranteed to have a blast when their favorite movies come to life on the ice. You'll see Peter Pan, Ariel, Alice in Wonderland, Captain Hook, Cinderella and many more! Wednesday-Sunday. $18 and up.
Saturday, January 17
Williams Sonoma Junior Chef Classes (Throughout CT)
Have a burger lover in your life? Check out the free Junior Chef class on building a better burger that will be held at Williams Sonoma locations on Saturday morning from 10-11 am. Connecticut locations include Stamford, Danbury, Farmington, and South Windsor. Pre-registration required. Free.
Hip Hop and Hand Drumming with Austin Dailey and John Marshall (Litchfield County)
Percussion instruments, fast-paced dance moves, and great music create an awesome afternoon. Austin Dailey brings his love of dance and the latest hip hop moves to the participants, who will be moving and grooving by the end of the day. John Marshall teaches the rhythmically fun counterpart of this afternoon with his ever-popular hand drumming workshop. Participants will explore different rhythms and styles of drumming on instruments from around the world! $35.
Family Art at the Aldrich (Fairfield County)
Join teaching artist Lucia Hierro for an exhibition-inspired winter workshop. From 10 am to 12 noon, children aged two to five are invited to play in the galleries, followed by storytime and art-making. From 1 to 3 pm, children aged six to ten are invited to engage in gallery games and hands-on art projects. All children must be accompanied by a caregiver, and both sessions include snacktime. Free with museum admission ($10 adults, children under 18 free).
Family Ice Fishing Class (Tolland County)
Certified DEEP Aquatic Resources Education instructors will teach students about ice fishing equipment, bait, techniques, terminology, rules and regulations as well as ethics and sportsmanship and where to fish and what they might catch. Pre-registration required. (Families will have a chance to put their new skills to use at the Family Ice Fishing Derby on January 31st.) Free.
Winter Movie Matinee at the Mystic Noank Library (New London County)
Stay warm and cozy inside while you catch up on the ongoing adventures of Hiccup and Toothless in How to Train Your Dragon 2. Showtime is at 3 pm. Free.
Sunday, January 18
New England Air Museum's Open Cockpit Day (Hartford County)
On Open Cockpit Sundays visitors are permitted to climb into the cockpits of up to 10 vintage aircraft which may include the WWII Republic P-47D Thunderbolt, the North American F-100A Super Sabre, the Lockheed F-104C Starfighter, several helicopters, and more! Yhe Museum also will feature a scale model display presented by the Western New England Chapter of the Wings and Wheels Model Club that includes hundreds of model airplanes, military vehicles, figures, ship and cars. Open Cockpit Sundays are held inside the Museum's three large, heated display hangars and a food vendor will be on site where visitors can purchase sandwiches, snacks and hot and cold drinks. Adults $12; children ages 4-11 $6.50; 3 and under free.
Harold and the Purple Crayon at the Ridgefield Playhouse (Fairfield County)
Enchantment, one of America’s most innovative producers of original theater works for children and families, has adapted the wonderful "Harold" stories for the stage. Using all the elements of its signature style, which combines life-size puppets, masks, magic and music, this production will delight and amaze you, from children starting at Harold’s age to grandparents – anyone, in fact, whose heart is young and adventurous.Tickets are $15 each.
Sunday Explorers at Stamford Museum and Nature Center (Fairfield County)
Winter is a great time to explore the SM&NC! Stop by Overbrook Nature Center for a self-guided craft, visit the animals, or join a program such as the popular "Science Spot." Different themes, animals, and science activities each week. Included with museum admission (adults $10, $5 children 4-17).
Monday, January 19
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Open House at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center (Hartford County)
The Stowe Center will open its doors free of charge in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Free tours will be offered all day, from 9:30 am to 5 pm. At noon, the Stowe Center joins the King Center and individuals and organizations from around the world to ring bells for peace. All are encouraged to ring their own bells—real or virtual—to show their commitment to nonviolence and peace. Free.
Winter Wonderland at Roaring Brook Nature Center (Hartford County)
Head to the Roaring Brook Nature Center for a guided hike through the woods at 11am, 1pm, or 3pm. Then check out the bear cave and learn about "Super Hibernators." See whose tracks we can find around the Nature Center and in the woods, and make a winter animal craft. Hike and crafts free with admission to the Nature Center. $6 adults; $4 children.
Peace, Love and Understanding at the Westport Historical Society (Fairfield County)
WHS will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a drop-off program for children in grades K-5 to learn about the civil rights leader and how he inspired Westporters to become involved in the battle for racial equality. The program will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will also include yoga instruction and dramatic role play. Pre-registration required. $45 for members; $55 for non-members.
Click here for a complete list of celebrations in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. across the state.
Have a wonderful weekend!
- A Visit to the New England Carousel Museum
- Weekend Getaway to Old Saybrook, Connecticut: History, Great Food and Fun for Train-Lovers
- Weekday Picks for Connecticut Kids: Grinch Festival, Elf Workshop, and Ice Palace November 30-December 4
- The Good Dinosaur: Parent Review of the New Disney Pixar Film