Daily activities for kids and the family are abound in Fairfield County! Whether you want to spend the day with your children at a zoo, a museum, or just outdoors, we've got it all here. Want to see what's going on next weekend or when you have those few days off? Check out the NY Metro Parents' calendar!
The Great Jack O' Lantern Blaze - Van Cortlandt Manor
November 11, 2012 - Croton-on-Hudson
The tri-state area's biggest Halloween event returns for 22 nights. Meander through an 18th-Century riverside landscape and discover a breathtaking display - more than 5,000 individually hand-carved, illuminated Jack O' Lanterns! Tens of thousands of visitors saw last year's sold out Blaze. The elaborate walk-through event features original, atmospheric music, sound effects, and synchronized lighting. Stroll through the Tunnel O' Pumpkin Love, and emerge to the incredible sight of a gourd-filled Jack-in-the-Box springing up and bouncing around. Flying pumpkin ghosts soar above the lantern-lit path. All admissions are by timed ticket only, which must be purchased in advance at hudsonvalley.org or by calling 914-366-6900 (phone prices include $2/ticket surcharge).
Harvest Hay Rides - Beardsley Zoo
November 11, 2012 - Bridgeport
Enjoy a hayride on weekends in October and November.
Disney's Phineas and Ferb: The Best LIVE Tour Ever! - XL Center
November 11, 2012 - Hartford
Phineas and Ferb take audiences on a wild adventure as Phineas, Ferb and the entire tri-state area gang spend their final day of summer creating the greatest invention ever. For tickets go to ticketmaster.com.
Benefit for Operation Hope with Kristen Graves, Brian Dolzani & Glenn Roth - First Church Congregational of Fairfield
November 11, 2012 - Fairfield
Kristen, a singer/songwriter with a commanding voice, is joined by Brian Dolzani and guitarist, Glenn Roth for this benefit performance to provide funding for Operation Hope. Operation Hope provides basic needs for food and shelter, as well as offering long-term solutions to hunger and homelessness, including affordable housing, life skills training and personalized clinical support that allows individuals and families to experience transformative change.
Family Art Project: Print the Palisades - Wave Hill
November 11, 2012 - Bronx
Spot the glowing leaves across the river and sketch the shapes and sizes of leaves and trees outdoors. Using the eye-popping colors of fall foliage, make bright and vibrant collage prints.
Forest Weekends - New York Botanical Garden
November 11, 2012 - Bronx
Explore the Thain Family Forest, the largest remaining tract of old-growth forest in New York City, and immerse yourself in tand gardening demonstrations, guided tours, and more; check the website for the full schedule.
The Civil War Doctor's Wife - Fairfield Museum and History Center
November 11, 2012 - Fairfield
Children in 4th Graders and older learn about Mary Ann Lewis Bronson, who watched over the household in Connecticut as her husband of 5 weeks, Dr. George Bronson, marched off to war with the 11th Connecticut Volunteer Regiment. Now, 150 years later, George and Mary Ann's story comes to life as their great, great, granddaughter, Mary Lou Pavlik, assumes the role of her ancestor and namesake. "Mary Ann" shares her opinions and observations of the War from a Northern lady's point of view and relates her husband's harrowing experiences through original letters. Register online for this event.
Rudolph and the Reindeer Games - Downtown Cabaret Theatre
November 11, 2012 - Bridgeport
The 73rd annual Reindeer Games features familiar names, characters along with music and dance. Santa's North Pole Team is hoping the odds are in their favor for the Games. Rudy, the young, new contestant who's a "chip off the old buck," looks like he may "sleigh" the competition, but five-time Champion Donner isn't giving up his title without a fight.
Sunday Explorers Drop-In Programming - Stamford Museum & Nature Center
Through November 25, 2012 - Stamford
Every Sunday, the education staff offers a hands-on, interactive exploration of the Museum's many favorite features. Each week focuses on a different topic and includes self-guided and staff-led activities which run throughout the time period. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Free with gate admission. September 9-November 25, 2012. No class October 21.
Big Food: Health, Culture and the Evolution of Eating - Yale Peabody Museum
Through November 28, 2012 - New Haven
In this multi-media exhibit, visitors explore the challenge of fulfilling our nutritional and physical needs.
Elements of Peace - Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery - Fairfield University
Through December 09, 2012 - Fairfield 06824
Mankind's universal and elusive quest for peace is the inspiration for artist Marlene Siff in this exhibition displaying 47 recent paintings, works on paper, sculpture, mobiles and maquettes of large multi-dimensional constructions, and features works that range from vivid explosions of color to subtle white meditative paintings.
23rd Annual Trees of Hope Holiday Spectacular - Maritime Center
Through December 09, 2012 - New Haven
What began with a dozen trees at the Governor’s Mansion has flourished into a nine-day display of over 100 decorated trees, wreaths and holiday baskets lining the halls of the Maritime Center in New Haven. Trees ranging from 4 to 8 feet in height are donated and decorated in themes and often in memory of loved ones. The event is free to the public and there will be a raffle with tickets priced at $1.December 9th the silent auction will end at 1pm and the raffle will be drawn at 2pm. Revenue generated from Trees of Hope directly benefits The Ronald McDonald House which shelters families with children seeking treatment for life-threatening illnesses.
Julliette Tehrani presents 'Impressions Near and Afar' - Stamford Art Association
Through December 16, 2012 - Stamford
London-born of Persian heritage and with extensive travels throughout her life, Juliette brings an international perspective to her paintings. November 11-December 16, 2012.
Toddler Adventure Open Gym - Westport Weston Family Y
Through December 21, 2012 - Westport
Children ages 6 months-4 years can crawl, roll, jump and explore. Children must participate with parent or caregiver. No membership required. Monday-Friday through December 21.
Nature Explore Classroom - Bartlett Arboretum
Through December 31, 2012 - Stamford
Children are invited to spend unhurried hours exploring the
natural world in a fun and safe environment. The outdoor classroom includes areas for art, music and movement, climbing and crawling, building, and playing. Additionally, the Bartlett features the best of what Connecticut's native landscape has to offer including wetlands and boardwalks, woodland walking trails, varied wildlife, and native habitats. February 6-December 31, 2012.
Recovery in Action - Barnum Museum
Through December 31, 2012 - Bridgeport
The museum is now partially reopened two days a week while reparations are made on the museum which was hit by a tornado in 2010. A unique exhibition, Recovery in Action, will be presented on Thursdays and Fridays in the People's United Bank Gallery. Visitors gain insight into the complexities of a disaster recovery in a museum setting. The museum's collection of unique artifacts, including Tom Thumb's miniature carriages and P.T. Barnum's ornate furniture, will be among the many items on view.
Africa: From the Desert to the Sea - Maritime Aquarium
Through January 01, 2013 - Norwalk
Learn about the importance of habitat preservation and conservation while observing such exotic African species as the air-breathing lungfish and electric catfish that use bioelectric radar to sense surroundings and zap their food.
Traveling Exhibition: Strange Matter - Connecticut Science Center
Through January 01, 2013 - Hartford
Examine the always amazing and sometimes bizarre world of modern materials, providing a glimpse of where the future of materials research might take us in this 6,000 square-foot interactive exhibit.
Native Voices: New England Tribal Families - Stepping Stones Museum
Through January 06, 2013 - Norwalk
This exhibit is an introduction to Native Americans living in New England today. By visiting five different communities from northern to southern New England, visitors learn about Native American traditions and how modern families balance contemporary life with preservation of important cultural identities through stories and songs.
Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney - Hudson River Museum
Through January 13, 2013 - Yonkers
In 100 books, Jerry Pinkney has turned his artist's eye and hand to the story - a classic, a folktale, a fable - and readers all over the world saw something new, something they wanted to read and to remember. Pinkney is the master of the American picture book. More than 120 watercolor illustrations by the artist, who lives in Westchester, will be on view in the first major overview of his career as a designer and illustrator in "Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney." The exhibition follows his 2010 award of the Randolph Caldecott Medal for "The Lion and the Mouse." The Hudson River Museum is the only New York showing for this exhibition on national tour, organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Pinkney has found it interesting to trace how the chapters of his life have knitted themselves into his art, touching on the cultural themes of the African-American experience. He uncovers, again and again, the energy in a small moment that surprisingly can change a life or turn an event in history. Most recently in his almost wordless adaptation of the Aesop fable, "The Lion and The Mouse," two creatures on a faraway African plain choose not the hard chase and bloody battle but, instead, exchange kindnesses. Fascinated with wildlife, Pinkney, in many books including "The Brer Rabbit" in "The Last Tales of Uncle Remus" shows us the human qualities of an animal as he shows us the animal in its natural setting. Pinkney, Philadelphia born and bred, and now a long-time New Yorker, has illustrated children's books since 1964, but it was not an easy path. Blacks were not expected to be able to forge careers in the art field. Trained as a commercial artist at a vocational school, he persisted and won a scholarship to the Philadelphia College of Art where his work took on the shading and detail for which he is now renowned, and he where he began to use color to convey mood and emotion. He has most often worked on children's books that celebrate multiculturalism and African-American heritage, as he took on the task of reshaping the perceptions of the stereotypes of blacks. He designed the first nine stamps of the US Postal Service's Black Heritage series. Art critics will look at the color of Pinkney's illustrations, the scarlet curve of Little Red Riding Hood's cloak, the golden blade of grass on the Serengeti plane. Sociologists will look at Pinkney the little boy, who without a visit to a museum or an art class, drew at home on the back of wallpaper samples. What the viewer will see though, in "The Art of Jerry Pinkney" is his wish: "It has always been my intent for my work to continue to breathe after publication. My hope is that (museum visitors) will believe that Jerry Pinkney cares deeply for people, making art, and visual storytelling." The exhibition includes a 96-page illustrated catalog that provides new scholarship into Pinkney's work in essays by the exhibition's co-curator Stephanie Haboush Plunkett, Dr. Gerald L. Early, and others. On view through January 13, 2013.
Sea Rex: Journey to a Prehistoric World - IMAX Theater, Maritime Aquarium
Through January 17, 2013 - Norwalk
Explore an underwater universe inhabited by such creatures as Liopleurodon and long-necked Elasmosaurss, enormous animals that were ruling the seas before dinosaurs conquered the earth. Encounter the gigantic Shonisaurus, the T-Rex of the sea. Through January 17, 2013.
To the Arctic - IMAX Theater, Maritime Aquarium
Through January 17, 2013 - Norwalk
The changing climate of the earth has effected people and animals that call the Artic home. See the impact on polar bears, a migrating herd of caribou and walruses. Meryl Streep narrates. Through January 17, 2013.
Born to Be Wild - Maritime Aquarium
Through January 17, 2013 - Norwalk
Academy-Award winner Morgan Freeman lends his voice to this film which follows orphaned baby orangutans and elephants, and the people who rescue and raise them for eventual release back into the wild. Through January 17, 2013.
'Ice Age' to the Digital Age: The 3D Animation Art of Blue Sky Studios - Katonah Museum of Art
Through January 20, 2013 - Katonah
This unique interactive exhibition looks at the imaginative work of Greenwich, Connecticut-based Blue Sky Studios, a leader in the animation industry for over 20 years. Creator of such blockbuster films as the "Ice Age" series, "Robots," and "Rio," the studio prides itself on technical innovation, while retaining a strong narrative heart. '"Ice Age" to the Digital Age' will guide visitors through Blue Sky's entire process of creating computer-animated films: from initial concepts, storyboards, character design, background art, and three-dimensional modeling, to the highly technical work of animation, rigging, materials, lighting, special effects, and sound. In addition to final movie clips, the exhibition will feature rarely-seen original concept drawings, sculptural models, props, and digital stills. Interactive stations will allow visitors to sketch a scene or manipulate computer-generated images to better understand the innovative technology that brings the films to life. Katonah resident Chris Wedge, a co-founder of Blue Sky in 1987, believes that the secret to the studio's success is in its inventive process. In his view, the art challenges technology and technology inspires the art. The Museum will be turning all the galleries, including the Learning Center, over to this exhibit. There will be gallery talks with Blue Sky co-founder Chris Wedge and "Ice Age: Continental Drift" directors Steve Martino and Mike Thurmeier, as well as a calendar of programming in partnership with the Jacob Burns Film Center. Details about these programs are available at katonahmuseum.org. The exhibition will be on view from Sunday, September 16, 2012 through January 20, 2013.
2012 Festival of Lighthouses Contest - Maritime Aquarium
Through January 21, 2013 - Norwalk
The Maritime Aquarium is decorated for the holidays with 24 hand-crafted lighthouses. Visitors can follow these homemade beacons through the galleries and cast a vote for their favorite. The builder of the lighthouse with the most votes will receive $1,500 at an awards ceremony on Jan. 25.
A PERSISTENT PASSION: The Art of Lora Eberly Ballou, 1870-1976 Places in a One Hundred Six Year Life - Old Town Hall Museum
Through January 31, 2013 - Stamford
A first time solo exhibition introducing the art and celebrating the life of Lora Eberly Ballou featuring a collection of over 30 floral arrangements and landscape oil paintings; an assemblage of personal effects; and a historical timeline documenting her 106 year life. September 27-January 31, 2013.
Promise of Freedom: The Emancipation Proclamation - Fairfield Museum and History Center
Through February 24, 2013 - Fairfield
Exhibit and programs commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and its significance over time, featuring Abraham Lincoln's signed copy, rare slavery artifacts, prints, political cartoons and more.
Pajama Program - Office of the Superintendent - Bridgeport Public Schools
Through March 30, 2013 - Bridgeport
Help a child stay warm and cozy by donating new pajamas and/or a book. Pajama Program is a 501(3)c not-for-profit organization providing new pajamas and books to children many of whom are waiting to be adopted.
Manolo Valdes Monumental Sculptures - The New York Botanical Garden
Through May 26, 2013 - Bronx
Drawing inspiration from the natural landscape of the Botanical Garden, seven towering sculptures by acclaimed Spanish artist Manolo Valdes showcase the relationship between art and nature.
Sensory Bounce - BounceU
Through September 28, 2013 - Stratford
This is a program for children and adults with sensory integration dysfunction, autism, and other disabilities with a sensory component. Teachers work on balance and coordination, auditory and tactile sensitivity, strength building, motor coordination, cooperative play, turn-taking, and social and verbal skills.