Do You Know It’s Christmas? Pretty Soon Hartford!

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What’s a holiday without a couple of landmark traditions. And here they come this weekend so let the holiday season begin!

Of course, Hartford’s Winterfest at Bushnell Park i sunderway and that holiday favorite, “A Christmas Carol,” has opened at Hartford Stage. But there’s more, much more.

On Friday, the Wadsworth Atheneum’s 39th Annual Festival of Trees and Traditions officially opens, once again offering galleries full of trees, wreaths, centerpieces and more. The annual event, one of the city’s most well-known holiday events coordinated by the atheneum Women’s Committee, also includes daily entertainment, children’s activities and special programs for the family. Visitors also have the opportunity to purchase one-of-a-kind trees and decorations created by community organizations and Hartford artists. The exhibit runs through Dec. 9 and kicks off with a “Night of Illumination” preview party Thursday at 6 p.m. For information go to (please note: December 1-2, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders can celebrate the holiday season with free admission to the Bruce Museum, New Britain Museum of American Art and Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art)

Also on Thursday, the American Heart Assn. will hold its 10th anniversary “Go Red for Women” reception at the Hoffman Audi Showroom, 700 Connecticut Blvd., East Hartford beginning at 6 p.m. Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman will give welcoming remarks.

On Friday,  the Children’s Law Center of Connecticut will holds its annual holiday  fundraiser, “Imagine 2012″  at Hartford Golf Club. The evening, which benefits the non-profit, includes cocktails, light dinner and auctions.  For more information go to

On Saturday at 8 p.m.,  The CT Forum will host “Vision & Brilliance,” a panel discussion at the Bushnell focusing on technology, science, design and the future. Moderated by NPR’s John Dankosky,  panel members are astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, comics cult figure Neil Gaiman, and designer Neri Oxman. for ticket information go to

The holiday feel also continues Saturday at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme where the annual “The Magic of Christmas, a holiday tradition” tree and art display opens and continues through Jan. 6. Centerpiece for the display is Miss Florence’s  Artist Tree featuring over 130 painted palettes from artists across the country. Go to for information.

Also on Dec. 1, the Bushnell will host its annual Breakfast with Santa event. Breakfast, carolers, crafts, pictures with Santa, visits with the elves and Mrs. Claus and more will be featured. go to for information.

On Dec. 2, American composer and musician Tim Janis will perform at a Christmas concert benefiting  Tabor House, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the chapel of the Sisters of St. Joseph Convent at 27 Park Road , West Hartford. Janis is coming to Ct from performances at Carnegie Hall and is well-known for his altruism and charitable work for nuns. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.

 The Friends of  the Mark Twain House & Museum holds its annual Holiday House Tour Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Five  homes in Hartford and West Hartford, along with Mark Twain’s 19-room home on Farmington Avenue in Hartford, will be opened for viewing.

Each historic home will be decorated for the holidays and will feature live music and floral arrangements.

Advance tickets are $30 each and also can be purchased at The Mark Twain House or by calling 860-280-3130. Tickets will be $35 each on the day of the tour.   Proceeds from the tour will benefit the continued restoration, preservation, and education programs of The Mark Twain House & Museum, which is a National Historic Landmark.

Go to for ticket information.



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