Out and about: Things to see and places to be this weekend


Get ready to have your fill of entertainment on this weekend before Thanksgiving, from the balloons hovering over Stamford to the sounds of Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky lingering in Woolsey Hall. And that’s just the start.

Indeed, the giant helium balloons that draw hundreds of thousands to the UBS Parade Spectacular are back again this year when the parade kicks off at noon in downtown Stamford. Such a holiday tradition may inspire a desire to check out some other events, too, such as the Christmas Tree Festival in Ridgefield, the Holiday Fair at Bessemer Center of the United Church of Christ in Bridgeport (2200 North Ave. in Bridgeport, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday), the craft fairs at Greenwich’s Diamond Hill United Methodist Church and First Congregational Church of Greenwich, the Festival of Trees in Danbury, the Holiday Gift Fair at the Fairfield Grace United Methodist Church in Fairfield, the Christmas Bazaar in Milford, the Holiday Arts and Crafts Show in New Milford, the Brookfield Craft Center in Brookfield, the Heirloom Arts Theatre flea market in Danbury, the Festival of Lighthouses in Norwalk, the Holiday Gift Show in Rowayton and the Cookie Express – and the Pumpkin and Holly Fair – in Shelton.

Or, make time for music on a weekend that features LeAnn Rimes in Ridgefield, the Priests in Waterbury, Ellis Paul in Piermont, N.Y., Suzanne Sheridan in Westport, New York City Swing in Bridgeport, Abel in Danbury, Western Connecticut State Unversity musical groups, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in Fairfield, New Haven Symphony in New Haven, the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra in Greenwich,  Ed Xiques Quartet in Bethel, the New World Chorus in Stamford, the Yamato Japanese drummers in Purchase, N.Y., the 2013 Heida Hermanns International Piano Competition in Westport, the Connecticut Master Chorale in Danbury. And, Robert Randolph and The Family Band at the Capitol Theatre.

Many events are planned for the youngest consumers of entertainment, too. Visit the Ridgefield Playhouse to catch Eric Carle’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” as told through puppets. Or, head to the Hyatt in Greenwich to enjoy an Enchanted Forest. It is in Greenwich that you also will find the latest installment in the Curiosity Concert series. Teens will gather at the teen center in Greenwich to raise funds and party. And, budding artists will spend some time at the Greenwich Arts Council learning about sculpture. The Stratford Library will host “Jedi Readers Unite” at Barnes and Noble, 1375 Boston Post Road, Milford, on Friday. Costumes encourage. Another sci-fi event for the family occurs on Saturday at the Fairfield Public Library, during “Doctor Who Day.”

Hanukkah events are planned as well, considering the holiday falls on Thanksgiving this year, Greenwich Reform Synagogue will host a holiday celebration with a menorah lighting and other and fun at St. Catherine of Siena Church. Greenwich’s Temple Sholom also will host a party. There will be a Hanukkah concert in Ridgefield.

Art happens this weekend in many shapes and sizes. Stamford’s Franklin Street Works will celebrate its second anniversary with a party and fundraiser on Saturday night, the same night two exhibitions will open at the adjacent Stamford Art Association. At the nearby UConn Stamford art gallery, “Geoffrey Stein: A Decade of Portraits,” will enter its final week of display. The “Chuck Close: About Face” exhibition opens at the Westport Arts Center. A new exhibition opens at the Watershed Gallery in Ridgefield.

Shows open this weekend, too. “Mamma Mia!” arrives at the Shubert and “Fences” comes to Long Wharf. “You Can’t Take It With You” and “Fiddler on the Roof” play at Curtain Call. White Christmas continues at the Westchester Broadway Theatre. A Ten-Minute Play Festival can be seen in Danbury. Johnny Rizzo will be at the Bijou Theatre,

If you like a good story, you can head to Bethel or Rowayton to celebrate Tellabration 2013 on Saturday night. You also can find some books to read at the Nutmeg Book Festival in New Milford. The Wilton Library begins its holiday book sale this weekend, too.

And if you want to do good and have a good time, you could always make your way to Danbury where the Filipino-American Association of Western Connecticut will hold a fundraiser for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan.

Until next time …



Christina Hennessy