Playtime at the Palace – Stamford Center for the Arts

A brand new series featuring bubbles, puppets, slapstick, and more, Playtime at the Palace will continue to delight children of all ages in March and April at Stamford’s Palace Theatre. From Puppet Playground to Story Pirates, entertainers will charm families with up-close-and-personal performances on Sunday afternoons. All shows start at 3 PM and last approximately one hour.

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On March 9, for example the program is Story Pirates (Adults: $20; Children under 12: $15) Stories by kids, for kids! Story Pirates will delight and surprise with puppets, catchy songs and outrageous sketches, all the while motivating kids to pick up a pencil and write down their own fantastic adventures. Story topics run the gamut, from kung fu ninja babies fighting crime to cats flying and tickle-monsters who rule the world.

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The Silent Slapstick (All tickets: $10) program is scheduled for March 30 and is sure to have your kids laughing themselves silly! This program features uproarious ’20s comedy films, presented with a live pianist! Lincoln Center’s famous silent film accompanist/historian Ben Model will present 3 short slapstick silent comedies making this an ideal opportunity to introduce youngsters to inventive visual humor. This program will be presented in the Palace Cinema.

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The P.i.E. Puppets in Education (All tickets: $15) will perform on April 6. This program will show your children how to put on their very own puppet show! The Monkey Boys team will teach them how to create a show with their own stuffed animals and learn how to create puppets through simple construction techniques! Some of these will be used in a short show at the end of the class.

Tickets may be purchased online at www.scalive.org or charged by phone with major credit cards by calling The Palace Box Office at 203-325-4466. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Palace Theatre box office in downtown Stamford, open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The 2013-2014 season is made possible by Palace Theatre’s Season Sponsors Seaboard Properties, Inc. and the Whittingham Family.

For area information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

About the Palace Theatre

The vision of the Palace Theatre is to be the regional arts center for exciting entertainment that enhances and enriches the cultural, educational, economic, and social life of the community. The Palace strives to achieve this vision by demonstrating integrity in all work and relationships, providing service and quality in all activities, fostering and promoting diversity of thought, ideas and culture, providing stewardship for the Stamford Arts community, emphasizing outreach in our community, and offering creativity in all endeavors.

Halloween Naturally…..

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On October 27, Bridgeport’s Beardsley Zoo located on 1875 Noble Ave., is hosting a spooktacular afternoon that includes harvest hayrides and many other seasonal enjoyments from 12:00pm – 3:00pm. Special scarecrows are guaranteed to delight and fright all visitors to the Zoo adding a ghoulish flair. Make sure you are on hand to congratulate the winner of this years scarecrow contest…a perfect photo opportunity. Best of all, if you’re under 12, in costume, and are accompanied by a paying adult, you get in to the Zoo for FREE! http://beardsleyzoo.org

Stamford’s Heckscher Farm
Stamford’s Heckscher Farm

Stamford’s Heckscher Farm, at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center on 39 Scofieldtown Rd., is hosting the annual ICK Fest on October 27 from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Children of all ages are invited to don their Halloween costume and head up to Heckscher Farm to trick or treat with their favorite farm friends! Be sure to grab a map and head off in search of different “treats” at the trick or treating stations around Heckscher Farm. See what Dakota the Clydesdale, the farm’s calves Moose and Monty, and the farms new little piglets have to offer. Then, celebrate all things creepy and crawly at the annual “Ick Fest” at the Overbrook Nature Center building where you can visit with the center’s snakes, tarantulas, lizards, worms and other animals! Don’t miss the slime table! Activities of the day include making bats and spiders and even a photo opportunity with one of the center’s snakes. Don’t forget your treat bag. Members: FREE| Non-Members: FREE with gate admission. http://stamfordmuseum.org

RR Museum of New England
RR Museum of New England

All Aboard

Once again this year, the festively decorated Railroad Museum of New England in Thomaston is scheduling Halloween Weekend train rides on its vintage trains on Saturday, Oct. 26 and Sunday, Oct. 27 at Noon and 2:00 PM from Thomaston Station. Take a ride to the Pumpkin Patch aboard the Naugatuck Railroad, costumes welcome! During the ride, you may stretch your legs and choose your pumpkin in the Naugy’s own pumpkin patch, one per child as long as the supply lasts. Re-board the train for a fun and scenic one hour and 15 minute train ride that runs along the Naugatuck River south to Waterbury and north to spectacular Thomaston Dam amid splendid fall foliage across the Litchfield Hills. (860-283-7245; www.rmne.org.

Small Town Fun

The 20th Annual Halloween on the Green in Danbury will take place on Saturday, October 26 from 2 pm to 4pm with a Costume Parade scheduled for 3:30 pm. Prizes will be awarded for Most Original, Scariest, Cutest and Funniest get-ups. Children will have their own costume parade and games. There will be a special goody bad for the first 500 costumed children. (203-792-1711; www.citycenterdanbury.com).

The New Cannan Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the annual Halloween Parade, on October 27 at 12 -noon rain or shine. Kids are invited to meet at 12 p.m, in the Park Street Parking Lot where goodie bags will be given out at this free event until they run out! At 1 p.m. children are invited to participate in the 32nd. Annual Halloween Parade that loops down Elm Street to Main Street and back. Vehicular traffic is closed for this fun-filled event.

Plymouth Lit up!
Plymouth Lit up!

On October 26, Rain date Oct. 27, Plymouth is holding a PumpkinFest on the Green, 10 Park Street from 4 to 7 p.m. Bring your carved jack-o-lantern to enter the carving contest prizes will be awarded. At 6 p.m. all the pumpkins will be lit for a spectacular display. Other event activities include face painting, live music, lantern tours of the old burying ground and a costume parade led by a bagpiper.

Everyone is invited to join the 37th Annual Kent Pumpkin Run on October 27th. The festivities begin with a Kids Fun Run at 11:15 AM followed by the 5 mile run / walk at noon. The spectator friendly certified course starts and finishes at Kent Green in front of Town Hall. Festivities include music, refreshments (including Billy’s famous Pumpkin Soup!), face painting, Halloween fun and much more.

Perfect Pairs at The Palace

The Palace - photo: Happyhaha
The Palace – photo: Happyhaha

Some of the most entertaining acts in history have been “Perfect Pairs” – Abbott & Costello, Martin & Lewis, Lucy & Desi. This Fall the Courtyard by Marriott presents “Broadway/Cabaret/Jazz Series: Perfect Pairs at The Palace.” Perfect Pairs will feature the very best dynamic duos in Broadway, Cabaret and Jazz performing in an intimate setting on the HARMAN Stage on four evenings throughout the fall and winter. This series is made possible through the generosity of Presenting Sponsor Courtyard by Marriott.

This unique series, where the performers and audience both occupy the stage, is the result of the passion and hard work of Palace Theatre Board Member Lynn DiMenna. “Lynn has been working quite diligently to bring this series to fruition for almost four years now,” said Executive Director, Michael E. Moran, Jr. “Combining Broadway, Cabaret and Jazz and seating the audience on the stage with the performers will make for four extraordinary and intimate events.”

“I wanted to launch the series with something a little special,” said DiMenna, a cabaret performer herself. “Pairing some of the best entertainers in the different genres brings something unexpected and exciting to the mix that I think our audiences will love!”

Saturday, September 7, 2013 – 8 p.m.
JUDY CARMICHAEL & STEVE ROSS
Grammy nominated pianist Judy Carmichael, one of the world’s leading interpreters of stride piano and swing, and Steve Ross, who the New York Times calls “Crown Prince of New York Cabaret,” team up for an unforgettable evening.

Friday, October 18, 2013 – 8 p.m.
CHRISTINE PEDI & JOHNNY RODGERS
October’s evening features musical theater singer, comedienne and Drama Desk nominated Christine Pedi, and internationally-celebrated singer-songwriter, pianist, Broadway star, and recording artist Johnny Rodgers, who is described by Stephen Holden (The New York Times) as an entertainer “that can’t be found anywhere else” with “fused elements of Billy Joel, Peter Allen and Johnny Mercer.”

Wednesday, November 13, 2013 – 8 p.m.
CYRILLE AIMÉE & FREDDY COLE
In November, old world jazz and standards meets the next generation – Cyrille Aimée, an unstoppable, undeniable talent in the modern age of jazz and whose unique vocal stylings reflect her culturally rich background of Dominican rhythm and the incredible swing of the French gypsies, teams up with Freddy Cole (Nat “King” Cole’s brother) whose vocals – suave, elegant, formidable, and articulate – are among the most respected in jazz today.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 – 8 p.m.
MARILYN MAYE & HOUSTON PERSON
The series goes out with a bang when Cabaret legend Marilyn Maye returns to the HARMAN Stage with world renowned tenor saxophonist Houston Person mixing the best in Broadway, Cabaret and Jazz.

Tickets for the Broadway/Cabaret/Jazz Series can be purchased as single tickets and partial subscriptions at www.SCAlive.org or charged by phone with major credit cards by calling the Palace Box Office at 203-325-4466. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Palace Theatre box office on 61 Atlantic Ave. in downtown Stamford, CT. The box office is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The 2013-2014 season is made possible by Palace Theatre’s Season Sponsors Seaboard Properties, Inc. and the Whittingham Family. For area information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com.

About the Palace Theatre
The vision of the Palace Theatre is to be the regional arts center for exciting entertainment that enhances and enriches the cultural, educational, economic, and social life of the community. The Palace strives to achieve this vision by demonstrating integrity in all work and relationships, providing service and quality in all activities, fostering and promoting diversity of thought, ideas and culture, providing stewardship for the Stamford Arts community, emphasizing outreach in our community, and offering creativity in all endeavors. Major funding is provided by the Department of Economic & Community Development and the Office of the Arts. Programs made possible in part by the Fairfield County Community Foundation.

SEA ADVENTURES CELEBRATE SUMMER IN CONNECTICUT’S FAIRFIELD COUNTY

Hoist the sails on a tall ship. Explore an island. Trawl for lobsters and sea stars. Watch the sunset at sea.

Refreshing summer adventures at sea are a great way to celebrate summer along the Long Island shore in Western Connecticut’s Fairfield County. There’s something for maritime explorers of all ages.

Tall Ship Tactics

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Soundwaters, an environmental education organization in Stamford dedicated to protecting the waters of Long Island Sound, invites the public to set sail aboard their 80-foot, three-masted schooner Soundwaters most weekends through September. Afternoon sails from 3p.m. to 5 p.m. are ideal for families, with passengers invited to help raise the sails and to examine first hand the aquatic life that lives beneath the waves. Educators teach participants about the quality of the water, and how to test it.

Relaxing and romantic two-hour early evening sunset cruises are better suited to adults, who are invited to bring their own picnic dinners and beverages on board. Afternoon sails are $30 for adults, $20 for children; sunset cruises are $30 for all ages.

The Soundwaters is located on 333 Ludlow Street in the Stamford Harbor Park Marina just off of I-95. Information, schedules and reservations are available at www.soundwaters.org or by phoning 203-406-3335.

Deep Sea Secrets

Oceanic Research Vessel
Oceanic Research Vessel

Educators at the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk show and tell what goes on from the water’s surface to the bottom of the sea for passengers on the aquarium’s 29-passenger research vessel. Oceanic. Crewmembers drop the nets and passengers haul them laden with treasures for close-up views. The haul may include plankton from the surface and a variety of creatures from the muddy bottom, perhaps fish, crabs, lobsters, sea stars and other little-seen creatures. The catch is important since the observations are recorded as part of the on-going Long Island Sound Biodiversity Data Project. Cruises lasting two-and-a-half hours go out every day at 1 p.m. in July and August and on Saturdays at 1 p.m. in September and October. Cruises are $20.50 per person. Children must measure 42 inches to sail. For reservations, phone 203-852-0700, ext. 2206, during regular business hours; or email reservations@maritimeaquarium.org.

Island Adventures

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Board the Norwalk Seaport Association’s 49-foot catamaran C.J. Toth for a salty 45-minute escape to Sheffield Island. Passengers enjoy a special day of picnicking, tours of a historic lighthouse, shell hunting, and walks to view the colorful sea birds sheltered in the marshes and sandy shores of the Stewart B. McKinney Wildlife Refuge.

Vistas of Long Island Sound from the 44-foot lighthouse tower are among the island’s highlights. On a clear day, the views reach to the distant skyline of New York City.

Trips to Sheffield Island will run weekends through September 29 with boats leaving at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 3:30pm. Return trips are at 1:15 p.m., 4:15 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. Weekday trips at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. are also available through Labor Day, and the fare is $22 for adults, $12 under age12,

Clambake cruises depart at 6 p.m. every Thursday evening to September 26, returning at 10 p.m. They are a true New England dining experience in a festive tented pavilion on the lighthouse lawn. The menu includes clams, mussels, corn on the cob, and a choice of lobster, fish, steak, or chicken. Roundtrip cruise and dinner is $65 to $79 per person, depending on entrée. Tours of the lighthouse are included with dinners.

Special theme weekends include Pirates Weekend July 13, 14 and July 20,21 and Haunted Lighthouse August 10, 11. Early bird watchers can board special bird-watching cruises at 8 a.m. on July 6 and August 3. For details and tickets www.seaport.org or phone 203-838-9444.

For information about nearby events and a free copy of UNWIND, a full-color,
152-page booklet detailing what to do and see, and where to stay, shop and dine in
Western Connecticut, contact the Western Connecticut Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968,
Litchfield, CT 06759, (860) 567-4506, or visit their web site at www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com.

Free Family Halloween Event Features a Hay Maze Oct. 29 and Oct. 30 At Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens

The Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens at 151 Brookdale Road in Stamford becomes home to a huge hay maze, fun activities for kids and other Halloween happenings on Saturday, October 29, 2011 and Sunday October 30, 2011 from 12 p.m.- 4 p.m.

The event, AMAZEing Halloween, also features free admission to The Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens and its new Outdoor Explore Classroom, as well as the “Monster Mash” costume parade at 1pm and 3pm, face-painting, magicians, pumpkin carving, and many other kid-friendly activities.

“We wanted to showcase our grounds at a free Halloween event to let people see how wonderful the property looks in the fall” said Peter Saverine, Bartlett Arboretum’s Executive Director of Operations. “We’re excited about the hay maze and we’ll have lots to do for kids and their families.

With the recent opening of our new Silver Educational Center and its outdoor complement, the new Nature Explore Classroom, we are sure the Bartlett Arboretum will become a must-visit location for families to learn about nature together.”

The event is FREE and open to the public. It is being held in partnership with Stamford Recreation Services and supports the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County. Families are encouraged to bring any non-perishable items they would like to donate to help others in our community.

Register at http://stamfordhalloween.eventbrite.com for your child or children to receive a free Halloween goody bag on the day of the event.

About The Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens:

The Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens is located at 151 Brookdale Road in Stamford, CT and is a natural preserve like no other in this region. The property features 91 acres of irreplaceable open space highlighting the best of what Connecticut’s

Native landscape has to offer: magnificent award-winning Champion trees, charming gardens, wildflower meadows, red maple wetlands and boardwalks, woodland walking trails, varied wildlife and native habitats. A wonderful getaway from the hustle and bustle of daily life, it serves as a leading recreational and educational resource for area residents and visitors of all ages. For weekend gardeners to budding young botanists, the Bartlett offers a place to relax, learn and play. The mission of the Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens is to inspire the community to explore, examine, understand and appreciate the natural history of the botanical world and its place in our lives. It is open to the public 365 days a year. Children under 12 are always free, adult entry is $6. Individual, family, and senior memberships are available for free access year round and discounts to programs, special events and local merchants. Visit www.bartlettarboretum.org or call 203-322-6971 for more information.

Photo Credit: P. Pogo

CELBRATE THE FALL HARVEST AT STAMFORD MUSEUM AND NATURE CENTER OCT. 15 AND 16

The crisp days of fall are a glorious time of year in Connecticut and part of our New England Heritage. What better way to celebrate the fall than to visit the Stamford Museum and Nature Center www.stamfordmuseum.org this weekend for the Harvest Festival. The fair is located on 39 Scofieldtown Rd. in Stamford and takes place on October 15 and 16 from 11 am to 3 pm.

Kids will enjoy hayrides, apple cider demonstrations, a scarecrow contest, pumpkin carving, llama trekking, farm animal demonstrations and many other fun activities.

As Halloween is just around the corner, children are encouraged to wear a costume and participate in the Harvest Festival parade led by a special guest! Many other activities will keep families busy including an apple slingshot, corn husk dolls, live music, face painting, farm tool demonstrations, cauldron-cooked corn, storytelling, and children’s crafts.

A special highlight of this year’s harvest festival includes the chance to meet the newest members of Heckscher Farm – two female guinea hogs. Families are invited to help name these two new residents during Harvest Festival Weekend. Visitors can make suggestions for the piglets’ names as part of Stamford Museum and Nature Center’s “Name Our Pigs” Challenge. The people who suggest the winning names will receive free admission for four to the Maple Sugar Weekend (in March 2012) and Spring on the Farm Weekend (in May 2012) at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center.