Mostly Free and Fun Things to do in CT with Kids This Weekend December 1-2: Tree Lightings, Santas, Gingerbread and Gifts

Are yours real or fake? In my house, real.

Most Americans prefer the real thing too. Over 30 million live Christmas trees were purchased last year. This is three times more than fake ones, according to a National Christmas Tree Association/Harris Interactive poll. In the 1930's, the Addish Brush Company created the modern-day artificial variety, based on the toilet brushes they manufactured. That image makes me pine for the real thing. 

Connecticut has many farms where you can cut your own or buy pre-cut trees. We've done the homework, so check out our posts on Christmas Tree Farms in Hartford County, Fairfield County and Litchfield County.

More Cut-Your-Own Christmas Tree Farms in Fairfield County, CT

Growing up, there were four kids in our family, and little could ice the bickering like freezing temps, hot cocoa and pursuit of the perfect tree.  It was one of the best family outings of the year.  There are several Christmas tree farms in Fairfield County, large and small, and the owners have equally fond memories of the many families who come back to them year after year.

Mostly Free and Fun Things to do With Kids in CT Thanksgiving Weekend: Reindeer, Skating and Turkey Trots

Thanksgiving is the only holiday that I don't host at my home for our extended family.  This makes it the most laid back of holidays in my household.  Instead of spending hours cooking and cleaning the house I get to simply enjoy spending time with my husband and children. During dinner we like to go around the table and state what we are grateful for. It's a nice family tradition that brings gratitude to the forefront. Speaking of gratitude, we here at Mommy Poppins CT would like our readers and sponsors to know that we are grateful for all of your support for our site. We strive to provide great content for you each week that in turn helps you to create wonderful experiences with your families. This weekend is no exception...

Things to Do Over Thanksgiving Break (Hartford County)

After all the hectic Thanksgiving festivities come to an end and the extended family leaves, settle down and spend some time relaxing with the kids during the rest of your holiday break. There are many activities going on around town that can help to keep you all entertained after the cooking, cleaning and chaos has ceased here in Hartford County.

Small Business Saturday in Litchfield County - Shop these Toy Stores and Children's Boutiques

For some of us, shopping on Black Friday has about as much appeal as jumping into a lake in December*. Small Business Saturday, on November 24th this year, is much more my speed. Keeping things local, supporting our small businesses and all that they do for our communities is a good thing to do. I don't know about you, but I just feel better when I shop local which in turn is a little gift for me. Supporting my neighbors and helping our environment while getting holiday shopping done? Score! Plus, the small businesses in my area have lots of cool, unusual and creative gifts not to mention beautiful little villages to stroll about in. There are some great children's boutiques and toy stores in Litchfield County that will have their doors wide open for you this Saturday. Oh, and if you noticed the asterisk next to "jumping into the lake in December" you can do just that this year at Lake Waramaug on December 2nd during the Polar Plunge event. Sounds like a fun new (and chilly) family tradition to me! Read on for a listing of boutiques and shops that you can support in Litchfield County on Small Business Saturday (as well as every other day of the year).

Celebrating Thanksgiving in and around New Haven, CT

With the last of our Tootsie Pops headed out the door from Halloween, we are looking ahead to Thanksgiving.  The New Haven area has a variety of interesting, fun and kid-friendly holiday events…so we’ll be hopping on the Merritt Parkway and heading to New Haven for some Thanksgiving fun!

Things to do in CT with Kids This Veteran's Day Weekend, November 10-12: Puppets, Storytelling and Saluting Our Veterans

In November many of us reflect upon the things that we are thankful for.  Always topping my list are my children, husband, family and friends.  This year, more than ever, I am thankful for things we sometimes take for granted. Electricity, running water, plentiful food, my home, warm clothing and an overall sense of safety and security.  In the wake of Hurricane Sandy there are many who have lost these things.  The stories about those affected offer reminders of how lucky my family is and has provided opportunities for me to help my children understand how fortunate they are, to teach them about gratitude and to instill in them the importance of helping others.  At the young ages of 4 and 7, they were able to help  make brown bag lunches this weekend to be delivered to those in New York affected by the storm.

If you are wondering how your family can help those affected by Hurricane Sandy, many local organizations are collecting donations.  Once Upon A Child in Danbury is collecting baby items, first aid supplies and other items.  Mommy Poppins CT has organized a donation drive at Three Monkeys and Me in Kent. We are collecting diapers, non--perishable food, blankets, camping items, flashlights/batteries and coats for delivery this Sunday.  Visit the links for a complete list of items and drop off instructions.  The American Red Cross is accepting monetary donations on their website and blood donations at the Fairfield County Blood Donation Center.  The Connecticut Food Bank has launched a "Hurricane Sandy Virtual Food Drive" to respond to the rapidly growing need for food donations. 

Post Hurricane Sandy Outings that are Open and Running in Fairfield County, CT

Oh, Sandy...what a week!  Much of Fairfield County is struggling with no power, limited resources and road access, and perhaps, most difficult of all, NO SCHOOL!!!!  With 5 days of no school down, and most likely several more to follow, my kids - and I - are starting to climb the walls.  

Now that we can safely leave our immediate neighborhood, we'll be hitting some of our favorite spots.  Below I've listed some parks, playgrounds and museums that are open, as well as some that have closed until they are restored to full operations. Our hearts go out to those who have lost more than power and a few trees in this storm. Life goes on and we hope that this list can provide a semblance of normalcy for those who are in desperate need of it.

Mostly Free and Fun Things to do in CT with Kids This Weekend November 3-4: Santas, Scarecrows & Parades

Many CT families are dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. We at Mommy Poppins wish our readers a smooth recovery and power restored quickly. Towns such as New Haven, West Haven, East Haven, Fairfield, Orange and Milford have delayed trick-or-treating until November 7. 

If you are able to get out of the house this weekend, we have some activities that will lift your spirits and give your kids a fun diversion. Just be sure to call before you go to make sure the event hasn't been canceled. While out and about be very careful of downed power lines and loose tree limbs.

Halloween Costume Parties, Carnivals and other Fun Events in Hartford County, CT

Hopefully Frankenstorm Sandy passes through without a re-enactment of last year’s Halloween power outages and trick-or-treating cancelations. There are so many fun Halloween festivities going on that we have our fingers crossed the weather doesn’t interrupt our plans this holiday. If you haven’t checked out any of the local Haunted Houses be sure to celebrate this year with one of these kid-friendly Halloween events in Hartford County.

The Family Wellness Center in New Britain is having a Halloween costume party Wednesday, October 31 from 10 am-12 pm. There will be Halloween themed games, activities and treats.

Saturday October 27, Blue Back Square in West Hartford will be hosting a Pumpkin Carnival & Halloween Stroll. Head over to the Whole Foods from 9:30-10:30 am for live music, giveaways, photo ops, games, and meet costumed characters. Then from 10:30-11:30 there will be a parade through Blue Back Square and West Hartford Center with trick-or-treating at participating merchants, opportunity to climb aboard a fire truck and more!


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