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

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If you have not traveled to faraway locales, or are not on the road visiting far-flung relatives this weekend, you will find there are plenty of activities to keep you busy.

One such tradition is the boat parade along Stamford Harbor, which has been gathering boaters, spectators, toys for those in need, (and, this year, motorcyclists) to kick off the season in style. You can get all the information here, including the root and places from which to watch.

There’s music too, with a concert, “Strings for Newtown,” set to take place Sunday, Dec. 1, at Newtown Congregational Church. David Sanborn will be at Fairfield Theatre Co., where you can find other acts performing, too. Trace Adkins, brings “The Christmas Show” to the Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford on Saturday.

Some other holiday traditions kick off this weekend. For instance, “The Polar Express” returns to the IMAX Theater at the Maritime Aquarium Norwalk. “Grand Holiday” returns to the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum. Newtown will be the scene on Sunday of the longstanding Holiday Festival all along Main Street. You can get the details here. The Fantasy of Lights in New Haven returns. Santa will make a visit to the Sherman Green in Fairfield on Saturday. (While in Fairfield, you can check out the Pequot Library book sale). Holiday Happenings are in full swing at the Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk.

There are plenty of opportunities to be entertained with live theater, too. Christopher Durang’s “Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge,” opens Friday at the Westport Community Theatre stage. You can see more classic renditions of the tale, too. From now through December, the Hartford Stage will present “A Christmas Carol.” Or, see the version by the Nebraska Theatre Caravan at the Shubert Theater in New Haven this weekend. Santa’s Crazy Christmas Special is an interactive experience, all taking place at the Bijou Theatre in Bridgeport.

Of course, the weekend after Thanksgiving has become a shopping extravaganza for many. In addition to the Small Business Saturday initiative (and many, many sales in retailers large and small), a number of festivals and expositions are being scheduled to provide shoppers with holiday merchandise. For instance, you may want to check out the Handcrafted Holiday Expo in Danbury. You have holiday happenings abounding in downtown Greenwich. Made in Bridgeport is hosting some pop-up shops for area artists. The Trumbull Holiday Craft Festival is set to take place at Grace Episcopal Church hall, 5958 Main St., on Saturday. Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo will be having its third annual Animal Art Show and Sale.

Christina Hennessy

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