Art of Tin Punching Workshop for Kids @ Wilton Historical Society

On January 11 from 11 am – 12:30 pm the Wilton Historical Society is offering a special workshop for kids focusing on the art of tin punching. The tin lanterns that illuminated front porches and parlors throughout Europe can be traced to at least the early 16th century. By the Colonial era, tin punching added a bit of variety to the traditional choices of tin lanterns fitted with panes of glass or cow horn.

Lanterns with those original types of panes could still be punched, but tinsmiths might bypass panes altogether if they made enough holes to let sufficient light shine through.”
Colonial Williamsburg website

Museum Educator Katherine Karlik will talk about tin punching, and about William and Edward Pattinson, brothers who settled in Connecticut around 1740 and established the first tin shop in America.

The workshop project is making a rectangular placard that can be used as a wall hanging, featuring a simple dot and dash design.
Children will help make their own snacks. This workshop is suggested for ages two – six.

Experience the Wolf Moon Institute for American Indian Studies, January 11

A walk in the winter woods with the educators of the Institute for American Indian Studies on 38 Curtis Road in Washington Connecticut is an ideal way to celebrate the first full moon of 2020. This walk will begin at 7:30 p.m. on January 11 and traverse the beautifully wooded trails on the grounds of the Institute. This event is free for Museum Members and $5 for non-members.

A full moon occurs every 27 days and this particular full moon is the Wolf Moon that just happens to coincide with an eclipse, the first of six to happen this year. The shadow of this penumbral lunar eclipse (only visible in Alaska, Greenland, and parts of northern and eastern Canada) will give the moon a tea-stained color for a few hours. Astronomers estimate the moon will peak around 7:30 p.m. The winter sky is also bright with constellations, especially Orion’s belt so be sure to bring your binoculars or telescope.

Many Native American communities call the January full moon the Wolf Moon because wolves are heard more often at this time of year. It was thought that they howled because they are defending their territory and locating pack members to go hunting. Other traditional names for the January full moon include the Cold Moon, the Old Moon, and the Great Spirit Moon.

A highlight of the walk will be to learn about the phenomena that people in the Eastern Woodlands have been experiencing for thousands of years. After this walk, you will look up at the full moon with a new appreciation of it and, new knowledge that has been passed down through the centuries. The woodland walk ends at the newly restored and built 16th-century Algonkian village where a warm fire and hot chocolate will greet hikers.

About The Institute for American Indian Studies
Located on 15 acres of woodland acres the Institute For American Indian Studies preserves and educates through archeology, research, exhibitions, and programs. They have the 16th c. Algonquian Village, Award-Winning Wigwam Escape, and a museum with temporary and permanent displays of authentic artifacts from prehistory to the present that allows visitors to foster a new understanding of the world and the history and culture of Native Americans. The Institute for American Indian Studies is located on 38 Curtis Road, Washington, CT.

See Majestic Eagles @ Shepaug Reservoir in Southbury

An outdoor buffet in winter may not sound tempting to most of us, but to our national bird, the regal American bald eagle, it is a rare treat. When fishing grounds in their homes further north freeze over, these graceful birds make an annual journey to the Shepaug Dam on the Housatonic River in Southbury, in Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills.

They favor this spot because the turbulent waters of the dam not only prevent freezing but push fish to the surface, easy pickings for eagles who can swoop down and feast on their favorite dish. Thrilling to see in full flight, the majestic bald eagle can measure 34 to 43 inches in length with a wingspan of six to seven and a half feet.

Their flight speed is between 36 to 44 miles per hour. Everyone is invited to view these fascinating winter guests at the Eagle Observation Area near the Shepaug Housatonic Hydroelectric Station. An organized eagle watch takes place every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through March 12.

Admission is free but since space is limited reservations are required; group and individual reservations are accepted. In addition to eagle viewing, the CT Audubon will host birds of Prey show on Saturdays throughout the viewing season. This year for the first time reservations can be made on-line

The shelter, maintained by FirstLight Power Resources, is located 1000 feet from the river, affording safety for the eagles while providing an excellent vantage point. High powered telescopes are set up on tripods for visitors. Knowledgeable Audubon volunteers are on hand to assist in spotting and answer questions about the birds.

The volunteers maintain a helpful website, with information about eagles and recent visitor statistics. Reservations can be made on this site. Nearly 148,000 people have visited the observation area since it was opened to the public in 1986. On an average day in past years, six or seven eagles were sighted, but lucky viewers on the best days in the past have spotted as many as 15 to 21 eagles in action. Chances are best on cold clear days when the surfaces of most other rivers and ponds have frozen. Visitors are advised to dress warmly in layers and to allow plenty of time to wait for the eagle action to begin.

New Canaan Nature Center’s Owl Walk

The New Canaan Nature Center is hosting an owl moon night hike on January 11 with the  FULL moon as your guide. Staff is on hand and will lead the exploration into as participants explore the magic in the woods & unravel the mysteries of our nocturnal neighbors-the owls!

Get ready to discover how owls use their keen senses to navigate at night and learn how they can hunt in the dark. For the super adventurous, make sure to  “give a hoot”  to try your luck at some owl call-ins to see if you can bring our feathered friends in closer for observation.

Spaces are limited for this popular night hike & advanced registration is strongly advised;
Members: $10/person  and Non-members: $15/person. For more information click here

Lime Rock Gift Deals through January 2, 2020

If you are a fan of Lime Rock Park, in the heart of the Litchfield Hills, make sure you check out their website by January 2, 2020, for their special holiday pricing.

Tickets for the 2020 Majors are now on sale. Save up to 40 percent on weekend passes and race day tickets and get ready to rev up your 2020. Purchase your tickets online and print them at home to stuff the stocking or add them to a gift basket from the Lime Rock Park Store.

Tickets offered include the touring car festival featuring TC America and Pirelli GT4 America on May 8-9, the Memorial Day Classic featuring Trans Am, SVRA and the Sunday Royals Car Show on May 22-25, the New England Regionals on June 12-13 and the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship and Michelin Pilot Challenge July 17-18. A fall favorite, the Historic Festival 38 and Sunday in the Park Concours on Sept. 4-7 is also being offered.

For ticket information

Great Trains Exhibit Wilton

The Wilton Historical Society’s annual Great Trains exhibit features many layouts and a wide range of makes and gauges of model trains traversing scenic local landscapes. There are many different model train layouts winding through tiny towns with a variety of different kinds of buildings, tunnels, and even a working Ferris wheel! The display enchants visitors of all ages with lots of buttons to push and knowledgeable “train engineers” on hand to “talk trains.”

New this year – model trains are toot, toot, tooting upstairs in the Toy Loft, which is filled with the favorite toys of yesteryear. In a special train room for the youngest guests, Thomas the Tank Engine and Brio trains are ready for hands-on fun.

The trains are open Wednesday to Saturday from 10:00 – 4:00, and Sundays 12:00 – 4:00. The Great Trains Holiday Show will through Monday, January 21, 2019. Admission is free for members of the Society; $5 per non-member child and $10 for non-member adults.

Find out details at or phone 203-762-7257.