Top Things to Do with Kids in Fairfield County CT - December 2011

Find the top things to do this month with kids in the NYC area in our Calendar of Events

Looking for fun and low-cost things to do with kids in Fairfield County, Connecticut? We've hand-picked the best children's events from our December calendar, including the Holiday Express Train Show in Fairfield, a Winter Wonderland Festival in New Canaan, performances of "The Nutcracker" in Westport and Fairfield, more family-friendly holiday shows throughout the county, and Lantern Light Tours in nearby Mystic.
For even more upcoming family events in Fairfield County and the NYC area, see our full, searchable calendar of events.


Bedford CT Middle SchoolersThoroughly Modern Middle Schoolers

Hard-working 7th- and 8th-graders from Bedford Middle School prepare for their star turns in Thoroughly Modern Millie, a  mystery, a comedy, and a musical all wrapped up in one. It's 1922 and Millie sets out for New York City in search of a rich husband but faces a comic turn of events instead. The play won six Tony Awards including Best Musical during its Broadway run. Tickets can be purchased at the door or by emailing December 2 at 7:30pm; December 3 at 2pm and 7:30pm; December 4 at 2pm. $12; $10 children; free children younger than 3.

Bedford Middle School, 88 North Avenue, Wesport. 203-227-9318.



Holiday Express Train Show, Fairfield CTAll Aboard the Holiday Express

The annual Holiday Express Train Show at the Fairfield Museum and History Center is a festive display with tracks that wind around a town decorated for the holidays. A camera perched atop the train offers viewers a glimpse of what it would be like to actually be a passenger. The train show is made possible by the Fairfield-based Housatonic Model Railroad Club and the Connecticut G-Scalers Club. Details include classic and antique trains and modular dioramas. On display December 2 through January 2, 2012 (check the website for times). $5; $3 children 6-22; free children younger than 6.

The Fairfield Museum and History Center, 370 Beach Road, Fairfield. 203-259-1598.



The Nutcracker ballet, Westport CTEnchanting Holiday Ballet

One hundred local children, ages 6-18, dance The Nutcracker at Staples High School. This full-length production also features guest artists and professionals. Tickets can be purchased on the website. December 3, 3pm and 7pm; December 4 at 2pm. $25; $15 students and seniors.

Academy of Dance, Staples High School, 70 North Avenue, Westport. 203-226-9987.



Seussical the MusicalCat in the Hat and Friends

Dr. Seuss and his imagination have thrilled generations of children. His characters come to life on the stage in Seussical, presented by the Stamford All-School Musical, featuring performances by 100 students, ages 5-18, from 23 different Stamford schools. December 2 and 9-10 at 7:30pm; December 3 at 2pm; December 11 at 4pm. $15; $10 students and seniors.

Rippowam School, 381 High Ridge Road, Stamford. 203-977-6155.


Winter Wonderland Festival CTWalkin' in a Winter Wonderland

Horse-drawn hayrides, roasted chestnuts, and an electric train moving through a miniature version of a snowy downtown New Canaan are just a few of the seasonal activities planned for the Winter Wonderland Festival at the New Canaan Nature Center. The nature center is decorated to depict a nature-inspired winter wonderland, complete with handmade scenes of New Canaan in the winter. Santa Claus arrives at noon to meet and greet children and pets until 2:30pm. Other activities include holiday craft activities, storytelling, and singing. December 10, 11am-2:30pm. $10 per child; free for adults.

New Canaan Nature Center, 144 Oenoke Ridge, New Canaan. 203-966-9577.



Handsome and Gretel, No Strings Marionette CompanyA Fairytale Retold

In Handsome and Gretel, the No Strings Marionette Company serves up a rendition of this fairytale classic in which a cast of 15 hand-crafted marionettes leads the audience on a journey where the familiar meets the unexpected. Originally a tale of helpless abandoned children, this version sparkles with a more contemporary theme, where children learn to speak up for themselves. Will hero Handsome discover his true potential in time to rescue sister Gretel? Find out at one of the Historical Society's most beloved family events. December 10 at 2pm, 4pm, and 6pm.

Greenwich Historical Society, Vanderbilt Education Center, 39 Strickland Road, Cos Cob. 203-869-6899.



The Red ShoesSeeking Celia's Shoes

Set in 1860 London, The Red Shoes is an original musical that tells the story of newly orphaned Celia, who has the opportunity to leave Midley's Magnificent Music Hall for the Royal Ballet until her beloved red ballet slippers disappear. The cast of this production features students in grades eight through college. December 10 at 6:30pm; December 11 at 3pm. $12; $10 seniors and students; $7 children 16 and younger.

Crystal Theatre Center for the Performing Arts, Ben Franklin Theater, Bayview Avenue, South Norwalk. 203-847-4850.



A Visit to Santa's HouseA Visit to the North Pole Benefits High-Risk Families

During the 26th annual Visit to Santa's House, the Burr Homestead is transformed into the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Claus, who are on hand to meet visitors. Mrs. Claus bakes cookies in her kitchen. Other activities include arts and crafts, model trains, live entertainment, and appearances by Rudolph and Frosty. Proceeds from this event benefit the Thomas Merton House, a Bridgeport-based facility that provides high-risk families with food, clothing, and parental and educational support. December 10, 10am-4pm; December 11, 10am-2pm. $6; free children younger than 2.

Burr Homestead, 739 Old Post Road, Fairfield. 203-366-6350.



Mama Doni BandToe-Tapping Holiday Treats

The time-honored seasonal traditions of December are exemplified by trees, menorahs, Kinaras, lights, and food. And who doesn't love receiving dozens of family photo cards in the mail? But without a doubt, it's the holiday music, with tunes familiar to young and old alike, that gets everyone into the holiday spirit. Here are some performances you won't want to miss:

The only musical instruments in Rockapella Holiday are vocal chords. Five singers merge their voices to present a combination of jazz, rock, and hip-hop holiday tunes. December 9. 8pm. $42.50-$52.50.

Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 East Ridge Avenue, Ridgefield. 203-438-5795.

Broadway singers perform holiday and Broadway classics in Debbie Gravitte & Friends, featuring Tony Award-winner Debbie Gravitte. December 16. 8pm. $45.

Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 East Ridge Avenue, Ridgefield. 203-438-5795.

More singers from the stage are in The Broadway Boys, who pool their talent to sing your favorite holiday and show tunes. December 17 at 8pm; December 18 at 3pm. $30-$40.

Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court (off Route 1), Westport. 203-227-4177.

In Chanukah Fever! With Mama Doni & The Mama Doni Band, the group puts a Jewish spin on all kinds of musical styles including reggae, rock, disco, and Latin. December 17. 6:30pm. $15.

Mandell JCC, 335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford. 860-231-6316.

Music and humor are the hallmark of this contemporary adaptation of Babes in Toyland, presented by the American Family Theatre. The holiday classic has enhanced sets and new songs by award-winning playwright and composer Don Kersey. December 18. 1pm and 3pm. $15; $12 children.

Quick Center for the Arts, Fairfield University, 1073 North Benson Road, Fairfield. 203-254-4010.



The Nutcracker ballet, Fairfield CTA Thousand Toes

More than 100 students ages 6-17 perform in the Connecticut Dance School's The Nutcracker. Each year the production adds new elements of choreography, costumes, and scenery. December 11. 1pm and 4pm. $40; $25 seniors, students, and children.

Quick Center, Farifield University Campus, 1073 North Benson Road, Fairfield. 203-254-4010.



A Season of MiraclesThree Holidays, One Performance

Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa all share top billing in A Season of Miracles by the Pushcart Players. The show celebrates each holiday with music, humor, and magic. December 11. 1pm and 4pm. $15.

Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. 203-227-4177.



Lantern Light Tours in Mystic CTMiracle in Mystic

If you enjoy a good holiday yarn, head up to Mystic Seaport for its Lantern Light Tours. Travel back in time to the town of Greenmanville where the Cady family proves that miracles really do happen if you believe. December 2-3, 9-10, 16-18, 23, 26-27. 5pm. $30; $23 children.

Mystic Seaport, 75 Greenmanville Avenue, Mystic. 860-572-5331.