Art-Filled Holiday Events to Check Out this Weekend

CONNeticDance’s The Nutcracker Suite & Spicy, supported by the Greater Hartford Arts Council

There’s no other month in which Hartford shines more than during December, but Bushnell Park isn’t the only place that’s sparkling! From the Wadsworth’s Festival of Trees and Traditions (which wraps up this weekend) to Theaterworks’ hilarious and twisted production of “Christmas on the Rocks,” the arts are getting into the holiday spirit. Also on the list of must-see events is The Nutcracker, and there are several different productions to choose from this weekend. First on the list is the Nutcracker Suite & Spicy by CONNetic Dance, which offers a funny, contemporary take on the classic Nutcracker with infusions of break dancing. Prefer the more traditional version? Head over to the Bushnell for a Nutcracker performance by Nutmeg Ballet. The Hartt School has the best of both worlds with a classic version of The Nutcracker followed by a spoof on the classic with Nutty Nutcracker on Sunday. Regardless of which one you choose (or if you can attend all of the above!) you’ll definitely want to visit the Land of Sweets this season.

Here’s a roundup of some of the best arts and cultural events to do this weekend. Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below. Happy weekend!

When you see [UA] in the heading, it means the organization is supported by the contributions made to the Arts Council’s Annual United Arts Campaign. 


A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas [UA] 

When: Friday, December 12, 7:30PM (through December 28)

Where: Hartford Stage

The magic of Charles Dickens’ heart-warming classic returns for its 17th season. Spend some time with Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, Ebenezer Scrooge, Jacob Marley and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they bring A Christmas Carol to life on stage.

Admission: $25-$85.

Festival of Trees and Traditions [UA]

When: Friday, December 12 (through December 14)

Where: Wadsworth Atheneum

Discover the beautiful holiday trees and wreathes designed by community members, artists and organizations displayed throughout the galleries. All items are for sale, and profits help fund the museum’s special exhibitions, educational programs, and operating expenses.

Admission: $3-$13.

Christmas on the Rocks [UA]

When: Friday, December 12, 8PM (through December 21)

Where: Theaterworks, Hartford

Your favorite kids from Christmas stories are all grown up in this twisted holiday tale starring Tiny Tim, Charlie Brown, Cindy Lou Who, and more.

Admission: $40.

CONNetic Dance’s Nutcracker Suite & Spicy

When: Friday, December 12 (through December 14)

Where: The Aetna Theatre at The Wadsworth Atheneum

The Nutcracker Suite & Spicy is funny, creative choreography, accessible and enjoyable for all ages. It is a show as truly diverse as the city it hails from with diverse professional dancers from varied backgrounds performing diverse choreography from all forms of dance. “If you’re not into the classic version of The Nutcracker, this version will tickle your Sugar Plums” –

Admission: $30.

Liquid Lounge: Naughty or Nice

When: Friday, December 12, 6PM-10PM

Where: Connecticut Science Center

‘Tis the season, so join the CT Science Center for a special Naughty or Nice Holiday Liquid Lounge. Explore three floors of awesome hands-on exhibits, liquid delights, fabulous seasonal treats and amazing holiday décor.

Admission: 21+. $15-$18.


The Nutcracker [UA] 

When: Saturday, December 13, 12:30PM, 4PM (through December 14)

Where: The Bushnell

The Nutmeg Ballet’s Nutcracker returns to The Bushnell’s Robinson and Cole Family Series with times that the whole family can participate in. Enjoy yourself this yuletide season as you travel with young Clara to the enchanted Land of Sweets.


Vernon Chorale Holiday Concert

When: Saturday, December 13, 7:30PM

Where: Saint Bernard Catholic Church, Vernon

Enjoy this special musical event featuring seasonal selections, a carol sing with the audience and a special treat at the end not to be missed.

Admission: Suggested donation: $15.

Gingerbread Day [UA]

When: Saturday, December 13, 10AM, 1PM, 3PM

Where: Noah Webster House

Bring the kids for a day full of family fun! Build a gingerbread house, play, and hear holiday stories.

Admission: $13-$16.

Second Saturdays for Families: Festive Days [UA]

When: Saturday, December 13, 10AM-1PM

Where: Wadsworth Atheneum

Celebrate world holiday traditions and make ornaments inspired by Kwanzaa, Christmas, Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, and Three Kings Day.

Admission: Free during program.


An Evening of Opera Arias

When: Sunday, December 14, 7PM

Where: Beth-El, West Hartford

Enjoy an evening of opera featuring international opera stars, Ashley Kerr, soprano; Shirin Eskandari, mezzo soprano; John Bellemer, tenor and Chai Lun Yueh, baritone, will perform arias, duets and ensembles by Mozart, Verdi, Puccini, Bizet, Massenet and Korngold.  Joseph Ness, Artistic Director/Conductor conducts the Beth El Orchestra.

Admission: $15-$20 (free to children 12 & under). 

Hartt School Community Division’s The Nutcracker

When: Sunday, December 14, 2PM (through December 21)

Where: The Millard Auditorium at the University of Hartford

HCD’s fully staged production of Tchaikovsky’s time-honored classic returns this season with staging by Artistic Director Samantha Dunster that transports the audience to a magical world. It’s a wonderful opportunity to see young artists perform a full-length ballet laced with humor, bravery, and sensitivity. Tune in for Nutty Nutcracker, a hilarious spoof on The Nutcracker with all new outrageous material at 7PM.

Admission: $15-$30.

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