Friday, December 29, 2017

Full Moon Snowshoe Hikes in Litchfield and Morris

What better way to start off 2018 than with a winter full moon hike in the Litchfield Hills...and, this is not just any hike, it is one with snowshoes organized by Sportsmen in Litchfield.  In recent years, snowshoeing has become a popular recreational sport. An Outdoor Industry Association report released in January 2014 estimated snowshoeing participation grew more than 40 percent in the previous five years.

With winter in full swing, snowshoeing is an outdoor activity that can be done in virtually all types of weather. Snowshoes distribute a person's weight over a wider area, making for easier travel over ice and snow.

Sportsmen in Litchfield is offering three snowshoe full moon hike expeditions. The first one takes place on January 1 from 6 pm - 9 pm. The hike meanders subtly up Apple Hill, where hikers will  catch a beautiful view of Bantam Lake and the surrounding hills under the Super Moon!! A great hike for veteran and new snowshoe enthusiasts!! The meeting point for this hike is at the Apple Hill Trail Head @ the intersection Marsh Point Road and East Shore Road in Morris @ 6pm. Following the hike participants will enjoy a cozy camp fire, snacks & libations!

On January 31 from 6 pm to 9 pm another hike will take place with a hike around Camp Columbia that was  established by Columbia University for their School of Surveying. The hallmark of the park is the 75-foot-high observation tower built in 1942 by members of Columbia University’s Class of 1906. The tower is the only remaining structure on 591 acre property. We will hike through the remains of the camp, which some note to be haunted, where we hope to catch a beautiful view of the Super Moon!! A great hike for history buffs and  veteran and new snowshoe enthusiasts!! 

Following the hike we will enjoy a cozy camp fire, snacks & libations! The meeting point to start this hike is the Camp Columbia Parking area off Rte. 109 in Morris @ 6 pm.

The final hike of the season takes place on March 1 at 6 pm. at the Litchfield Town Beach. To reserve your spot and snowshoes contact 860-567-3167 or email

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Annual 12th Night Celebration at the David Humphreys House, January 7, 2018

Mark your calendars and plan to join the fun on January 7, 2018, from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Derby Historical Society as they mark the end of the Christmas season with their annual "Twelfth Night Celebration" at the David Humphreys House. This event features tours of the 17th century David Humphreys House by costumed docents. You'll take a trip back to an earlier time in American history when touring this beautifully preserved colonial home.

Try the mulled cider and punch alongside the buffet. Partake in samples of some items which would have been served in this house during the American Revolution. There will also be modern-day baked goods to enjoy.
Colonial skills such as spinning and weaving will be displayed. Before you leave, be sure to visit the Gift Shop, it will be open during this event. This year there will be a Dickens Reading at 3 pm.
For more information call 203 735 1908 or visit Limited parking is available in back of the house. Additional on-street parking is available on Elm Street (on the same side as the Humphreys House) and nearby Thomas Street.
Admission prices for 12th Night: $5.00 per adult/ $3.00 per senior citizen and child under 8 years old. 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

New Milford's Annual Train Display through Dec. 31

Visit the Railroad Station in New Milford  Thursdays through Sundays, December 21st - 31st, for a special annual event:  electric model trains running through model villages  . . . and you may take a turn running them!  

In addition to the trains, there is a  holiday art exhibit on display.  Artwork includes original oil, acrylic, watercolor, and pastel paintings, as well as fine art photography, woodturning, sculpture, art glass, and jewelry.  Give the gift of art.  Prices range widely for a beautiful selection of unique one-of-a-kind hand crafted gifts.
Gallery 25 at New Milford Art Depot is a co-op style gallery exhibiting some of the best local fine art and artisan creations.  The gallery is staffed by member artists and is affiliated with the New Milford Commission on the Arts. 
 This new, spacious center of creativity is located at the historic Railroad Station, 11 Railroad St. New Milford CT.  Hours are Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, noon to 5 PM* and by appointment. (*please note Friday and Saturday noon – 8PM holiday hours through Dec. 31).  Admission is free.  Ample parking is available.  For more information please call 860-355-6009 or  

Friday, December 22, 2017

Illumination @ the Center for Contemporary Printmaking

The Center for Contemporary Printmaking's new exhibition that runs through Jan. 7, 2018 is called Illumination, which is the theme for CCP's members show.

The accumulation and spread of human knowledge is deeply indebted to the labor of print and paper artists. It is their work, which allows concepts and ideas to be inscribed, transcribed and preserved into a physical manifestation.
Printed materials were cherished objects and the artists who created them not only preserved their illuminating wisdom, but also shed their artistic light on the pages. Illumination originally meant specifically the addition of gold or silver painting but grew to mean any hand addition, marginalia, or embellishment added to the page. For Illumination, members will respond to these traditions and ideas; perhaps through telling a new story, by adding the illuminating light of metal leaf, jewel bright ink or an exploration of light.
The Gallery is located on 299 West Ave. in Mathews Park in Norwalk and is open Tuesday 9am–9pm · Wednesday–Saturday 9am–5pm · Sunday 12pm–5pm and is  closed Mondays.
The image is Frances Ashforth, 2016 Members Exhibit 1st prize winner, will have an exhibition in the Lithography Studio.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A Connecticut Christmas - Classic New England Style

Before you know it, the holidays will be here. A Connecticut photographer has just the right thing to put on your gift list, a beautiful coffee table book called “A Connecticut Christmas.” The book is available at 

Caryn B. Davis of Chester, spent two years running around the state during Christmas time capturing just the right images. The book has some 400 photos for you to see. Christmas time in Connecticut is the stuff of books and movies, because it is just so beautiful here.
This photographic holiday journey celebrates the holiday in grand classic New England style. Images depict traditions, beauty, and the spirit of the season from beautifully decorated country inns and classic village greens to spectacular private homes and festivals that take place celebrating the season throughout the state of Connecticut. Essays that accompany the images explain the traditions and festivities that take place during this magical time of year.

About the author:
Caryn B. Davis began her career in the visual arts thirty years ago as a cameraperson, editor, and producer of documentaries. She has been a professional photographer since 2000, specializing in architectural photography.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

American Abstraction: The Print Revival of the 1960s and ‘70s @ The Bruce Museum

The Bruce Museum located on One Museum Drive in Greenwich is hosting a new art exhibition through March 1 that highlights the fact that  the early 1960s marked a significant turning point in American printmaking: the rise of communal studios provided new avenues for creative and technical exchanges between artists. Since the early 1940s, when Stanley William Hayter transplanted his Atelier 17 from Paris to New York, American artists were becoming familiar with a wide range of printmaking techniques. By the latter twentieth century, printmakers such as Tatyana Grossman, founder of ULAE (Universal Limited Art Editions), and June Wayne, who founded the Tamarind Workshop in Los Angeles, greatly enlarged and successfully marketed the printmaking enterprise.

These new-style printmakers began to take on some of the responsibilities of publishers and dealers, helping to streamline the production and distribution of artists’ prints. Artists formerly rooted in the solitary studio practices of Abstract Expressionist painting began to collaborate regularly with master printmakers (some, like Robert Motherwell, even going as far as to establish their own workshops).  In California, the emergence of collaborative presses helped to rescue lithography from virtual extinction—which in turn made abstract prints readily available to American collectors.

The works in American Abstraction: The Print Revival of the 1960s and '70s, most of which are drawn from the splendid gift of Judith and Stephen Wertheimer to the Bruce Museum, include prints produced by Ernest de Soto of The Collectors Press Lithography Workshop and Irwin Hollander of Hollander’s Workshop. From vibrant biomorphic forms and primitive marks to lively calligraphic gestures and bold color-field patterning, the works in American Abstraction suggest the evolution of abstract art in printmaking during two exciting decades of the post-war moment. 

Monday, December 18, 2017

Shen Yun @ Palace Theatre in Waterbury Dec. 22-23

Shen Yun, a global sensation returns to the Palace Theatre in Waterbury located on 100 East Main Street with a brand new production. Watch glorious legends and heavenly realms spring to life through classical Chinese dance. See dazzling costumes and powerful flips fill the stage with color and energy. And let the orchestra's exquisite melodies, the singers' soaring voices, and the dynamically animated backdrops uplift your spirit and transport you to another world.

Through the universal language of music and dance, Shen Yun weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales, taking you on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture. Its stunning beauty and tremendous energy leave audiences uplifted and inspired.
A Shen Yun performance features the world's foremost classically trained dancers, a unique orchestra blending East and West, and dazzling animated backdrops—together creating one spectacular performance. Experience the world of China's divine culture at the Palace Theater.
Performances are on December 22 at 7:30 pm and at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 pm on December 23. Tickets are available online.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Holiday Express: Opening Night! at Fairfield Museum and History Center

A long awaited tradition in Fairfield County, the Holiday Express is opening on December 1, 2017 and running through January 7, 2018 at the Fairfield Museum and History Center located on 370 Beach Road in Fairfield. This year features even more tracks and set-ups where the trains can zip around and weave their magical spell. Kids and adults alike will delight in the magic of the train show.

A Fairfield Museum holiday tradition! Kids and adults alike will delight in the magic of this wondrous display of model trains winding around a spectacularly decorated tree and through beautiful holiday scenery. Holiday Express Schedule is Weekends:  December 1 –  January 7: 10am - 4pm and Weekdays: Monday - Thurs. 10 am - 1 pm., NEW! Open late on Fridays, 10am – 7pm, Monday, December 26 – 28, 10am – 4pm. December 29  10am – 7pm Closed on Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

On December 1, gather with your family and countdown as the town of Fairfield lights the 90-foot tall Norway spruce, the tallest living tree that gets lit at Christmas time in Connecticut. It was one of three trees donated by the Daughters of the American Revolution in December 1918.Choirs begin at 5:55 PM and Santa arrives at 7:00 PM.  Also, on December 1 is opening Night Discounted Admission: $3, free for children 5 and under or 4 for $10. Be one of the first to see the Holiday Express Train Show! Visitors delight in the magic of the model trains winding around a winter wonderland beautiful holiday scenery. This year visitors will enjoy a craft activity, cider and cookies!

Check the website for special family fun events held throughout the month of December. 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Trixie Strauss Christmas Bird Count @ Sharon Audubon

Each year,  the Sharon Audubon Center located at 325 Cornwall Bridge Rd. invites small groups of birders to venture out for the sole purpose of counting birds. This free event, known as the Trixie Strauss Christmas Bird Count, occurs on Sunday, December 17th from 12:01 am to midnight. Our count area is a 15-mile circle with its center at Hotchkiss School, thus taking in some of the good birding areas in Sharon, Salisbury, Falls Village, Amenia and Northeast. Teams from all over the state and all over the country take part in Christmas Bird Count, and all of the numbers are compiled and reported to help better understand flock formations and migrations.

You don't have to be a great birder to enjoy Christmas Bird Count. And, if it's cold outside, you don't even have to get out of the car! "Feeder watchers" are also always appreciated. If you would like to participate, but would rather not leave the comforts of your home, you can choose to count the birds at your bird feeders, even if only for one hour. Your numbers can then be given to our compiler Zach Adams right after the count and they will be included in the overall Christmas Bird Count report. Forms for the bird feeder count can be picked up at the Sharon Audubon Center on Route 4 in Sharon, CT. You can also call the Audubon Center to find out who the "area captains" are so you can contact them to learn meeting places and times throughout the day.
At approximately 5:00 pm, the teams congregate at the Sharon Audubon Center to turn in their data, enjoy some snacks, and determine who has the best hold on "bragging rights" for the day's finds. Even if you can't join us in the field, you are welcome to join us at the Center to hear the results. We ask anyone who lives in the surrounding towns to fill up your bird feeders to help with our counts! Please contact the Center at (860) 364-0520 if you would like more information on the Trixie Strauss Christmas Bird Count.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Gifts @ The Zoo and Breakfast with Frosty

Frosty the Snowman was a popular song written in 1950 and became an overnight classic by being adapted to a popular television special. The song of Frosty recounts the fictional tale of a snowman that is magically brought to life through a black top hat that a group of children place atop his head. Although Frosty enjoys frolicking and romping throughout town with the children who constructed him, the sun becomes too much for him to bear and Frosty is forced to leave town, promising his friends that he will return.

On December 9,10,16,17,23: The Beardsley Zoo is getting into the holiday spirit by offering a special "Breakfast with Frosty & Friends" that will take place from, 9 a.m. - 10 am. Families are invited to join Frosty and his friends for breakfast at Connecticut's only Zoo. Reservations are required and can be made by calling Amanda Bolanos at (203) 394-6574. The cost of this special event that includes Zoo admission and breakfast is $10 per person for Zoo members and $15 per person for non-members.

As the holidays are approaching fast if you are looking for something unique you might consider picking up an unusual and thoughtful gift from the Beardsley Zoo for everyone on your list!
Membership to Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo for example can be enjoyed year-round. Your loved one gets free admission to the Zoo and free or discounted admission to over 150 zoos and aquariums nationwide. Membership also includes ZooBucks, carousel rides & guest passes! Contact Amanda Bolanos at 203-394-6574 for more information.
If you are looking for a more permanent gift, consider purchasing and engraving a Zoo Brick for someone special. Bricks will be displayed at the Zoo's Front Gate for all to see! Contact Emily Bobowick at 203-394-6569 for more information.
If you have a real animal lover on your list, consider a gift of Animal Sponsorship. With this gift, you will receive a Sponsorship Certificate, Fact Sheet & Photograph of your sponsored animal that you can visit at the Zoo.
If you are seeking something different, don't forget to check out the gift shop at the Zoo. The Beardsley Zoo's fabulous gift shop offers everything from children's games and handmade jewelry to clothing and animal-themed Christmas ornaments. You'll be amazed at the wide selection of gifts for him and her and for the little ones, too!
Give a Zoo Birthday Party -- Party like an animal and make your loved one's wishes come true by gifting a party at the Zoo! Connecticut's only zoo is available on Saturdays and Sundays year round for birthday parties. Make a lasting impression with a Zoo animal guest, a critter craft, and a ride on our colorful carousel! Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo is a fun and exciting place for any child's birthday party. To learn more, call (203) 332 4243 or email for more information!

About Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo
Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo celebrates its 90th birthday in 2012 and is closer than you think! Connecticut's only zoo features 300 animals representing primarily North and South American species. Visitors won't want to miss our Amur (Siberian) tigers, Brazilian ocelot, Red wolves, and Golden Lion tamarins. Other highlights include our South American rainforest with free-flight aviary, the prairie dog exhibit with "pop-up" viewing areas, the New England Farmyard with goats, cows, pigs, sheep, and other barnyard critters, plus the Grasslands trail featuring bison, pronghorn, deer, and more. Visitors can grab a bite at the Peacock Café, eat in the Picnic Grove, and enjoy a ride on our colorful carousel. For more information, visit

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Kent Gingerbread Festival

The sweet scents will tease your sense of smell as you enter the quaint village of Kent CT. The rolling pins are spinning and creative minds of all ages are working hard to create dozens of  Gingerbread Houses. Ovens are filled to capacity and working overtime to get ready for the ANNUAL KENT GINGERBREAD FESTIVAL brunning through December 31.

Gingerbread Houses of all shapes and sizes will be on display in many of Kent's beautifully decorated shop windows until December 31. As you approach Kent you will find yourself in what looks like a movie set of the perfect little New England town, twinkling lights will guide you through the unique one of a kind shops. What an enjoyable way to do your holiday shopping.
Lots of places feature colorful gingerbread houses for the holidays, but Kent, CT goes a step further. The whole town will take place in this sugary sweet celebration. Everyone is invited to follow the Gingerbread Walk through town to view imaginative and ingenious gingerbread delights. Visitors can enjoy the displays as they navigate the gingerbread map and solve the NEW mysterious riddle the Ginger Girls have cooked up this year. At the end, visitors  vote for their favorite creations. Displays are guaranteed to delight all ages!
 Should you be hungry after your Gingerbread Walk there are many temptations that will lure you, from a chocolate shop and baked goods to delicious culinary delights in one of Kent's many restaurants & cafés. In addition to gingerbread displays, Kent will have special holiday events every weekend, from the Annual Kent Holiday Champagne Stroll, wine tastings and even Pancakes with Santa to an old time horse-drawn carriage ride through town and a Messiah sing-along. For more holiday information a visit

Monday, December 11, 2017

Shark Diving Santa @ Maritime Aquarium Norwalk

Santa Claus will be taking a bold step in December to help The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk demonstrate that sharks are not naughty, but nice.

 Twice each day on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays in December, Santa will strap on scuba gear and enter the Aquarium’s 110,000-gallon “Ocean Beyond the Sound” exhibit, which is home to 7-foot sand tiger and lemon sharks.
 It’s all part of The Maritime Aquarium’s regular dive program, intended to demonstrate that sharks aren’t the blood-thirsty killers of myth.  Visitors to the popular Connecticut family attraction can see – and talk with – divers swimming with the sharks on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 12:15 & 2:15 p.m.
 Workload permitting, Santa is expected to participate in each dive in December. Watch the Aquarium’s website – – to confirm dates when Santa can pull himself away from the North Pole and exchange his snow boots for swim fins.
At this time of year, parents tell their children that Santa could be watching them at any time and from anywhere – but no kid expects to find Santa keeping an eye on them from inside a shark tank!!  Bring your camera because Santa is always happy to swim over and get close to the exhibit window to pose for a unique picture with your kids.
 Viewing the Santa shark dives will be free with Aquarium admission.  

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Christmas at the Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum

The Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum, 192 Main Street, Torrington, is once again decorated for the Christmas season.  During the Christmas season, the house takes on a special ambiance as trees, lights, and various Christmas decorations sparkle against the richly embellished interior of this historic home.  During the Christmas season, guided tours of the first floor will be available to visitors.  Tours will be available beginning on Saturday, December 9th and ending on Saturday, December 30th.  Hours are Thursdays through Sundays, 12-4, last tour is at 3:30.  Admission is $10 for adults;  FREE to Torrington Historical Society members.  Children 12 and under are free.  The house museum will be closed December 25th.

At Christmas, the house takes on a particularly festive look.  This year, the woodwork and richly embellished interior will be accented with touches of white, poinsettias, wreaths and several Christmas trees.  The rooms on the first floor will be decorated with an array of Christmas trees and greenery.  One of the many trees will feature antique ornaments from a private collection while others will be decorated with vintage ornaments from the Society’s collection and antique toys from the Society’s collection will also be on view.  In addition, the dining room table will be set for Christmas dinner with the fine china, crystal, silverware, and linens that belonged to Gertrude Fyler Hotchkiss.

One of Connecticut’s best house museums, the Hotchkiss-Fyler House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  A tour of this house provides visitors with a rare opportunity to view an historic home as it was when last occupied.  Built in 1900, the Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum was home to the Hotchkiss and Fyler families for more than half a century until 1956 when it was bequeathed to the Torrington Historical Society by Gertrude Fyler Hotchkiss.  The interior features impressive woodwork, painted and stenciled walls, original furnishings and collections of fine and decorative arts. 

The Torrington Historical Society always welcomes new members.  Join now and your tour is free!   For more information, call (860) 482-8260 or visit

Friday, December 8, 2017

Meet the North American Porcupine @ White Memorial Conservation Center

North American Porcupines are large, solitary rodents commonly found in New England including Connecticut.  Although they are elusive and mostly nocturnal, they can be found perched in the top of a tree during the day.  They tend to den in tree cavities and under logs.  They have thick, muscular tails that are six to twelve inches long. Underneath the tail are stiff bristles which aid them in climbing trees.

Porcupines are herbivores.  A typical diet consists of twigs, leaves, buds, nuts, seeds and green plants.  Wintertime food includes pine needles and bark.  A porcupine typically has 20,000 to 30,000 quills which cover most of its body.  These quills are sharp and range from one to three inches in length.  Contrary to popular belief, they cannot shoot their quills from a distance.
Find out more from CT DEEP Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator Gerri Griswold and an non-releasable Quill Pig for an hour long program at White Memorial Conservation Center located on 80 Whitehall Road in Litchfield.  She will address the natural history of one of Connecticut’s most fascinating species and the world’s third largest rodent! 2:00 p.m., A. B. Ceder Room.  This program is free.  

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Westport's festive annual House Tour

This year marks the 31st Holiday House Tour which has become a highly anticipated December tradition for many visitors and residents alike.  This year's holiday house tour is taking place on December 10 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature seven historic houses with festive seasonal décor. Five of the homes are Designated Historic Landmarks. 

Each home was carefully selected for its architectural merit and interesting stories. All of these wonderful historic houses have been adapted to 21st-century living and are sure to enchant you with inspiring decorating ideas and nostalgic holiday cheer!
Some highlights include:
• a circa 1800 barn that was adaptively re-purposed into a charming residence, the Eliphalet Sturges/George Hand Wright house that was originally built in 1764 as a simple two-room farmhouse and extensively remodeled in the Colonial Revival Style by the Dean of Westport Artists George Hand Wright in 1910, "Duck Haven" a house and cottage on the Saugatuck River adjacent to the historic low-tide crossing point
• the David Judah House, circa 1760, that has gone through a meticulous restoration by its current owner, who preserved every nail, piece of timber and window
• a circa 1840 Italianate house whose current owners uncovered an original back staircase hidden by 20th-century renovations
• a reproduction Saltbox c 1966 designed and built by well-known architect George White, which won a Historic Preservation Award this year.
• Westport's first one-room schoolhouse west of the Saugatuck River, that includes a large collection of signed prints by abstract artist Frank Stella
Tickets are $50 for members and $60 for non-members in advance; Tickets are $70 on the day of the tour. Pre-order tickets in advance online

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

A Polish Christmas with Martha Hall Kelly at the Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden

Visit the Bellamy-Ferriday House Museum on Sunday, December 10th for a special day celebrating the holidays and the work of social philanthropist Caroline Ferriday, the inspiration for New York Times bestselling author Martha Hall Kelly's novel Lilac Girls at the Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden.

Experience the Hay, Caroline's beloved Connecticut home, staged in the traditional Polish fashion as inspired by her house guests. Rooms will also sport beautiful arrangements by Floral Designer Melissa Beard, owner and head designer at Floral Design by Melissa in Newtown, CT. Learn about Advent and Polish Christmas traditions, including holiday delicacies and customs. Meet Martha Hall Kelly in Caroline's kitchen and have her sign your copy of Lilac Girls. Tour sessions begin at 1 and 1:30 pm. Greenery will be available for sale to benefit the Bellamy Ferriday House & Garden.
Then, carol your way to Memorial Hall to enjoy a Polish beverage and desserts followed by an author presentation with a question and answer session. Martha will discuss Lilac Girls, including her research process, and where she took artistic license. Get insight into Martha's next book about Caroline and her mother Eliza.
Tickets are $35/$25 for CTL Members; limited availability. Purchase tickets by Monday, December 4th by visiting or calling 860.247.8996 x 23. All proceeds benefit the Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden.
Lilac Girls is based on the true story of Caroline Ferriday and the Ravensbrück Concentration Camp survivors known as lapin (rabbits), whom Caroline championed. This acclaimed debut novel, also available on audiobook, reveals a story of love, redemption and terrible secrets that were hidden for decades. For more information on Martha Hall Kelly and her work, visit
The Bellamy-Ferriday House and Garden is located at 9 Main Street North, Bethlehem, CT. It is open for tours May through October. For hours and more information, visit ; ; or call 203. 266.7596.
About Connecticut Landmarks
Connecticut Landmarks' mission is to inspire interest and encourage learning about the American past by preserving selected historic properties, collections and stories and presenting programs that meaningfully engage the public and our communities.