Holiday Shows That Aren't The Nutcracker: A Christmas Carol, Rudolph, and More

Let's face it -- tutus and tights aren't everyone's favorite way of celebrating the holiday season, but for many families, attending a musical or theatrical performance is a beloved tradition. If your loved ones are seeking a break from sugar plum fairies and an army of mice, we have a few suggestions for festive productions lighting up the stage at a venue near you.

If, however, you have a budding ballerina in your midst and Clara's story is on your "must see" list, don't worry: we also have you covered for performances of The Nutcracker. Additionally, the Mommy Poppins Holiday Guide has many more suggestions for your family this holiday season, including places to visit with Santa

Moana: A New Disney Princess for Our Multicultural World

The heroine of Disney's new animated feature Moana may be the daughter of her Polynesian tribe's chief, but don't go calling her a princess. When her partner in adventure, the demigod Maui, snarkily insists that, "If you wear a dress and have an animal sidekick, you’re a princess,” Moana challenges his preconceived notion—as she does throughout the movie. Yes, from a marketing point of view, she's the latest in a long line of Disney royalty. Yet her character defies and redefines that role. She's a powerful, self-possessed young woman of color who battles climate change and doesn't need a man to save her. In fact, there's zero romance in this film; it's not even mentioned. Instead, she spends most of the flick bickering and bonding with Maui, who acts as a kind of goofy, surrogate big brother on their mission to save Moana's imperiled island homeland.

But while the film's feminist and multicultural elements make Moana feel decidedly 21st century, story-wise it follows the studio's tried-and-true formula of a princess—make that future chieftain—on a dangerous (but inevitably successful) quest. Just how scary is it? We've got the scoop, plus whether it's worth splurging to see her escapades in 3D.

Family Friendly Museums in the Hartford Area

Run through a lifesize whale, milk a pretend cow, build your own rocket, or learn about carousels at one of these interesting Connecticut museums in the Hartford area. Kids of all ages will love visiting these educational places where they are certain to learn all sorts of new fun facts. Exhibits change, so make sure to check each location's website before trekking out to make sure they have something your little one will enjoy. For loads more museum resources in Connecticut check out our Museum Guide.

Thanksgiving Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Trots, Holiday Lights, and Santa

All of us here at Mommy Poppins CT wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving. May you enjoy the company of family and friends and have safe and easy travels if you are on the road this holiday weekend. 

After the turkey and stuffing are but a distant and delicious memory, we've got plenty of activities to keep you busy including holiday lights, outdoor fun, and a chance to visit with Santa in Greenwich, Willimantic, Niantic, and more. If you have visitors in town, we have a full run down of ideas to get everyone out of the house in Fairfield County. We've also got suggestions for upcoming holiday shows and Santa activities in Hartford County that you won't want to miss.

Enjoy the holiday weekend! 

Our Visit to Fantasy of Lights in New Haven County

Every year, as the days grow shorter and the holidays approach, Easter Seals Goodwill Industries weaves a little magic at Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven. For over twenty years, they have turned this seaside park into a holiday wonderland that is sure to thrill everyone young and old. So load up your family and head to the shore for a festival of holiday cheer. And when your done, check out some more places to have Holiday Fun in our Guide.

Thanksgiving Week Picks for CT Kids: Light Shows, Crafts, and Inflatable Fun, November 21-25, 2016

Whether you're hosting, dining out or traveling this Thanksgiving, it's a challenging week to keep the kiddos entertained. We've scoured our events calendar for the best family activities to help us all enjoy our time together. Holiday light season is getting under way, and we have two terrific events worth checking out this week: the Festival of Silver Lights, which kicks off in Meriden on Tuesday, and the Hawleyville Fire Department's Holiday Show, which opens its season on Thanksgiving Day. Stop by Pump It Up in Norwalk for a Thanksgiving-themed jump that will wear out even the most energetic of children (and as a special bonus, admission is discounted with food donations for the local food bank).

 We're thankful to have you with us here at Mommy Poppins. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest so that you won't miss out on any fun this busy holiday season. Happy Thanksgiving!

Top 25 Santa Activities in Connecticut

Shopping mall Santas have been de rigueur since store owner James Edgar donned a red suit and snowy beard to entertain children in 1890, and the tradition is alive and well in malls across Connecticut, including Stamford Town Center, Danbury Fair, and Westfarms.

But if you're looking to mix it up with a Santa outing that's a little bit different, we have rounded up our 25 favorite Santa activities across the state. Some events are free and require no preregistration, but many of those that do require advanced tickets are VERY popular and can sell out early, so you'll want to buy tickets as soon as possible. Don't forget to check our Holiday Fun Guide and events calendar often for more holiday happenings!

Viewer Guide to the Parade Spectacular in Stamford

You may have heard of that other Thanksgiving Day Parade.  You know, the one that you have to get up at the crack of dawn, wait for hours in the street, and spend your Thanksgiving smooshed against strangers trying to catch a glimpse at floats as they work their way down Broadway.  Lucky for us Nutmeggers, we have the UBS Parade Spectacular that has all of the fun with none of the hassle.  For as long as I have lived in Fairfield County, the Parade Spectacular marks the beginning of the holiday season. Featuring 16 giant balloons, marching bands, fantastic floats, clowns, and a special visit from Santa, the Stamford parade is recognized as one of the best in the country. 

From where to park, to some insider tips, this guide provides you with all the information you need to make the Parade Spectacular a highlight of your family’s holiday season. For more seasonal activities, check out our November Go List

Where to Find Santa in Hartford County

There's a chill in the air, and the trees are growing bare, which can only mean one thing--the holidays are right around the corner. I don't know about your kids, but mine aren't satisfied until they've held court with the man in the red suit each year. Luckily Santa books a full schedule of appearances all over Hartford County so you're sure to catch him before the season ends. Whether you want to skate with him, have your photo taken with him, or sit down to a pancake breakfast with him, we've got you covered. 

Weekend Fun: Turkeys, Santa, UBS Parade November 19-20

It's Thanksgiving week! That most special of holidays where we take time to give thanks for what we have. Family, friends, good food and a roof over our heads. What else do we need? Fun family weekend activities of course! Do you have a kid that's sure to be on the Nice List? Santa has arrived and you can meet him in Stamford, Danbury or Bristol. Want to get a little exercise in before beginning your holiday indulgence? Get moving at one of these turkey runs and trots. Make sure you subscribe to our weekly newsletters and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest so that you won't miss any of the fun! As always, our event calendar is updated with the latest activities. Our top suggestions for fun this weekend are broken out below. Enjoy!


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