Family fun in Fairfield and Westchester counties

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Jackie Shannon ’18

The town of Greenwich and the surrounding Fairfield and Westchester County towns offer a variety of activities fit for all ages during the holiday season. Sacred Heart Greenwich families looking to buy last minute gifts or simply share holiday cheer can explore the local commercial districts and enjoy the festive ambience.
Sacred Heart Greenwich will host festivities for the whole family at the annual Come Home for Christmas event Sunday, December 4 from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. There will be a mass at 11 a.m. followed by brunch and gingerbread house decorating from 12:15 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. It costs $60 to decorate a gingerbread house and Sacred Heart suggests registering online beforehand. From 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., there will be a Christmas Boutique in the Athletic Center featuring local vendors selling upscale gifts. Photos with Santa will take place from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the McLaughlin Gallery.

Jackie Shannon '18
Jackie Shannon ’18

The Eighth Annual Greenwich Holiday Stroll will take place Saturday, December 3 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sunday, December 4 from 12 p.m. until 5 p.m. Over 120 companies will offer refreshments and discounts. There will be horse-drawn carriage rides, food trucks, entertainment tents, and live music throughout downtown Greenwich, according to greenwichreindeerfestival.com.
The Westchester Mall also offers shoppers the opportunity to take photos with Santa for $10 every day before Christmas. Additionally, Mariposa, the cafe at Neiman Marcus located inside the mall, will host a breakfast with Santa at 8:30 a.m. on December 4. The price of the breakfast for children 12 and under is $30 and $40 for adults. Mariposa advises families to make reservations beforehand, according to simon.com.
The non-profit organization Dress for Success is partnering with Lord and Taylor in Stamford, Connecticut to offer a “Fun Girls Night Out” December 7. Makeup demonstrations, spa treatments, and personal shopping consultations will be readily available for all guests at the Stamford event. That evening, Lord and Taylor is also presenting a variety of runway shows, a disc jockey, refreshments, and discounts to guests in attendance. Tickets for the event are $40, and guests will receive gift bags and discounts. Attendees who choose to donate a lightly-used purse to Dress for Success Mid-Fairfield County will receive 20 percent discount off the purchase price of a new handbag at Lord and Taylor, according to fungirlsnightout.com.
Courtesy of imdb.com
Courtesy of imdb.com

The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, Connecticut welcomes families to attend a “Polar Express Pajama Party,” an event that follows the theme of the Christmas movie The Polar Express. This event will take place December 10, 11, 17, and 18. The aquarium encourages viewers to arrive at 9 a.m. to drink hot chocolate and take pictures with a costumed character from The Polar Express. Guests who arrive at the event’s start time will also learn about how animals stay warm in the winter. The featured movie, The Polar Express, will play at 10 a.m. and will conclude at noon each day. Admission costs $17 for adults and $15 for children between the ages of three and 12, according to maritimeaquarium.org.
Additionally, the Maritime Aquarium invites children and adults alike to watch Santa dive with the sharks in their 110,000 gallon tank. The aquarium will host this activity at 12:15 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. on most Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays leading up to December 22. Viewing is free with admission, but the aquarium advises visitors to call beforehand to confirm that Santa will be diving the date and time they plan to attend.
For interested theatergoers looking to experience the performing arts this holiday season, there are a variety of performances available throughout Fairfield County. The Westport Country Playhouse offers four viewings of the Ballet Etudes Company’s performance of The Nutcracker. The shows will begin at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. December 10 and 11. Tickets for The Nutcracker range from $20 to $40, according to westportplayhouse.org.
In addition, the Connecticut Ballet is performing The Nutcracker at The Palace Theatre in Stamford, Connecticut at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday, December 17 and at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday, December 18. Admission ranges from $40 to $75 depending on seating choice. Both theaters recommend that audience members purchase tickets before attending either the Westport or Stamford shows, according to palacestamford.org
SoNo Holiday Bazaar at 1 North Water Street in South Norwalk will sell unique holiday gifts every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday until December 23. In addition to shopping, the Holiday Bazaar also features live disc jockeys and giveaways. At the boutique, shoppers can purchase skin care products, gifts, clothing, accessories, and food. This is the second year that this pop-up boutique is taking place. The SoNo Holiday Bazaar will be open from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, according to sonoholidaybazaar.com.
The Greenwich Reindeer Festival takes place at Sam Bridge Nursery and Greenhouses daily until December 24. Attendees can take photos with Santa Mondays through Fridays from noon until 6 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m until 6 p.m, and Christmas Eve from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Reindeer feeding times are Monday through Saturday at 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. There will be carnival rides every day, including a carousel and a train ride.
– Jackie Shannon, Staff Writer