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Embrace Winter

Get your winter on—outside



Apoplectic weather forecasts, high fuel bills, frozen pipes, and that bane of New England existence: the “wintry mix.” Yes, it’s pretty to watch as snow softly falls on farms and fields. But after a few weeks of slippery roads and blocked driveways, a certain winter weariness sets in. 

That’s the wrong attitude. 

You can’t fight the weather, and complaining about it won’t make it go away, as Jen Cherosnick, owner of Sportsmen’s, an outdoor-equipment store in Bantam, points out, “We live in an area that is beautiful in all seasons. Thriving in it means learning to enjoy it.”

I learned about winter immersion many years ago when I began a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, living, walking, and sleeping outside—in January. In recent winters, I’ve made it a habit to be outside every day, no matter the conditions. Here’s the lowdown: Snow is fun. The right warm clothes make all the difference. And the combination of exercise, invigorating cold, and the beauty of a winter wonderland is a recipe for instant attitude adjustment. 

Litchfield County has an abundance of winter opportunities: White Memorial Foundation, Bantam Lake, ski areas, the Appalachian Trail, and more. To help you thrive in winter, we’ve selected some activities—from adrenaline-pumping sports to soul-soothing walks in the woods. 

Start with the classics: skiing and snowboarding. Litchfield has three ski areas to choose from—Mohawk Mountain, Ski Sundown, and Woodbury—along with close-by ski areas just over the border in nearby Berkshire County: Catamount (with the steepest slope in the Berkshires), Ski Butternut (with tubing for little kids), and Otis Ridge (a tiny, family-friendly area for beginners). If you’re a beginner, splurge on a lesson; an experienced instructor can shorten the learning curve and reduce the fear factor. If you have the luxury of making your own schedule, ski on weekdays. You can ski multiple runs without crossing another skier’s tracks. 

If sliding downhill in constant negotiation with gravity doesn’t strike you as fun, try cross-country skiing. It’s slower, less frightening, and more vigorous exercise—with no lift lines and less expense. Golf courses are good places to learn the basics: the diagonal stride (for forward motion) and getting up from a fall (inevitable). Woodbury Ski Area has six kilometers of cross-country trails (and equipment rentals). For a little more challenge, head for the county’s favorite cross-country destination: White Memorial Foundation in Litchfield. The state’s largest natural sanctuary, with 4,000 acres of uplands and wetlands, has 35 miles of trails suitable for hiking, bird-watching, snow-shoeing, and cross-country skiing. 

If you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to fly across a snowy mountain, you can watch ski jumping up close and personal at Salisbury Winter Sports Association’s annual Jumpfest, February 12 to 14, in Salisbury. There’s also a Friday-night chili cook-off, human-dogsled races, ice carving, bonfires, and an annual “snowball” dance. SWSA also hosts the junior national ski-jumping competition February 23 to 27, 2016

Back on firm, if slippery, ground, ice skating is another classic winter sport. There’s something bracing about skating in the great outdoors. Bantam Lake, on the Bantam-Morris town line, is an “awesome skating lake,” says Cherosnick, the sports-store owner. “It’s the biggest natural lake in Connecticut, and you can skate the whole thing—although you’ll have to share it with ice fishermen, iceboats, and snow-shoers.” 

Looking for some wheeled thrills? Fat bikes are a new way to access the backcountry. Also known as wide-tire bikes, fat bikes have over-sized tires and wider forks that chew up unstable terrain. They’ve been used for winter trail riding and racing in sub-arctic Alaska on the Iditarod Trail, so a Connecticut winter should be a ride in the park. You can put a fat bike through its paces at White Memorial Foundation and Bantam Lake

If you’re happier with your feet solidly on the ground, winter hiking is possible, even with three or four inches of snow. You’ll need warm, ankle-high boots and gaiters to keep the snow out. In slick conditions, wear instep crampons or “creepers” (mini-spikes that strap onto the soles of your boots), and use ski poles for balance. The Appalachian Trail runs up the western edge of the northern two-thirds of the county, and the well-marked path is easy to follow, even in snow. 

When the snow gets too deep for walking, try snowshoeing. Lucinda Vermeulen, proprietor of Kenver, Ltd., an outfitter in South Egremont, Massachusetts, near the Appalachian Trail in Salisbury, explains: “Today’s snowshoes are lightweight and flexible for a close-to-just-plain-walking experience. The binding technology allows for easy adjusting and releasing in the cold. Add a pair of Nordic poles and your workout increases along with your stability and speed. Your everyday snow boots work just fine.”

Children’s snowshoes run about $40 to $70 a pair; adults’ range from $100 to $250. If you want to try before you buy, Sportsmen’s, in Bantam, offers guided winter snowshoeing (as well as hiking), and rents snowshoes for $20 a day. 

Don’t forget to reward yourself after your adventure. Have a pile of dry wood ready, light a fire, and warm up with some classic winter fare: grilled cheese, onion soup, a hearty winter stew, and hot chocolate—with marshmallows.


Warming trends

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” It’s a saying I learned in Iceland, and it was well worth taking it home to the Berkshires. Jen Cherosnick, owner of Sportsmen’s, an outfitter in Bantam, adds some cogent advice: “Hats and socks. You can’t have fun if you’re cold.”  

Θ Wear layers so you can adjust your clothing if you get hot from exertion or cold from standing still. 

Θ Synthetics are your friends. So is wool. But avoid cotton. Search-and-rescue workers call it “dead man’s clothing” because it holds moisture close to your skin.  

Θ Wear a hat. Much of your body heat is lost through your head.

Θ Wear gloves and a neck gaiter (not a scarf, especially if you are doing anything fast and active like sledding, snow-mobiling, skiing, fat-biking, or tubing).  

Θ Take chemical toe and hand warmers just in case:  breaking open a packet provides emergency warmth for several hours. 

Θ Staying hydrated is one of the commandments of winter hiking. You might not be aware of thirst in cold weather, but start the day with a hot drink in an insulated water bottle.  And bring snacks.

Θ If you’ll be driving on side roads to get to a favorite hiking spot, be sure your car is snow-ready: Four wheel or all-wheel drive are the gold standard, but snow tires with studs will help a front-wheel drive. Keep a shovel, battery charge cables, a bucket of road salt or sand, and extra warm clothing in your car, and stay aware of where cell phone coverage is and isn’t available.

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April 2017

“Twenty Two North” Exhibit by Rick Schatzberg Opens April 15th at Gunn Memorial Stairwell Gallery CONTACT: Sharon Morrissey/Gunn Memorial Library gunnstaff@biblio.org From the...

Cost: No Charge

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Gunn Memorial Library
Telephone: 860-868-7586
Contact Name: Sharon Morrissey
Website »

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SingOut! CT, Connecticut's Premier Glee Group for Young Voices, returns for a Spring Extravaganza to welcome the beauty of the season. Led by Artistic Director, Alecia Evans, talented boys...

Cost: Free and open to the public.

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington , CT  06793
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Website »

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Music on the Hill presents 12 pro voices performing music of Bach, Buxtehude, Monteverdi, and Charpentier in a celebration of Easter gone Baroque. Artistic director Ellen...

Cost: $20 in advance; $25 at the door; students, free.

Where:
Wilton Presbyterian Church
48 New Canaan Road
Wilton, CT  06897
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Sponsor: Music on the Hill
Telephone: 203-529-3133
Contact Name: Music on the Hill
Website »

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Regarded as one of the key figures of 19th century literary realism, Henry James’s work is valued for his psychological and moral realism, his masterful creation of character, and his assured...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
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Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
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WHAT: "End of the Rainbow," a play with music by Peter Quilter. It's December 1968 and Judy Garland is about to make her comeback...again. In a London hotel room, with both her new...

Cost: $30-$55

Where:
Music Theatre of Connecticut
509 Westport Ave
Norwalk, CT  06851
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Sponsor: Music Theatre of Connecticut
Telephone: 203-454-3883
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Sports and recreation are universal experiences. Whether we make it to the big leagues or never leave our backyards, these activities play important roles in our lives. They help us form...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
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Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
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The Litchfield Historical Society is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit Thoughts, Words, and Deeds: Exploring the Litchfield Female Academy, on view April 22 through November 27, 2017...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

Sports and recreation are universal experiences. Whether we make it to the big leagues or never leave our backyards, these activities play important roles in our lives. They help us form...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06059
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

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The Litchfield Historical Society is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit Thoughts, Words, and Deeds: Exploring the Litchfield Female Academy, on view April 22 through November 27, 2017...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

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Marcey Hladik is a native of Litchfield who started painting as an adult, taking her first lessons in oil painting from her mother-in-law, Edith Hladik, an accomplished artist and teacher. Since...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St.
Litchfield, CT  06759
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Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
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“Twenty Two North” Exhibit by Rick Schatzberg Opens April 15th at Gunn Memorial Stairwell Gallery CONTACT: Sharon Morrissey/Gunn Memorial Library gunnstaff@biblio.org From the...

Cost: No Charge

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Gunn Memorial Library
Telephone: 860-868-7586
Contact Name: Sharon Morrissey
Website »

More information

Facilitated by Cameron Bove, Monday Scholars is a weekly series that meets in the library’s Jamie Gagarin Community Room. The series combines the best of online learning with the best of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St.
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

Marcey Hladik is a native of Litchfield who started painting as an adult, taking her first lessons in oil painting from her mother-in-law, Edith Hladik, an accomplished artist and teacher. Since...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St.
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

“Twenty Two North” Exhibit by Rick Schatzberg Opens April 15th at Gunn Memorial Stairwell Gallery CONTACT: Sharon Morrissey/Gunn Memorial Library gunnstaff@biblio.org From the...

Cost: No Charge

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Gunn Memorial Library
Telephone: 860-868-7586
Contact Name: Sharon Morrissey
Website »

More information

The State of Connecticut, in conjunction with the Oliver Wolcott Library, will present this free, two-hour lecture presentation. No insurance sales will take place. Anyone who is between 40 and 65...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

Connecting with Balance is a 12 week program focusing on using movement and dance to maintain and improve dynamic balance. Participants will work with Pilobolus Teaching Artists on creating...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Litchfield Community Center
421 Bantam Road
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Telephone: 860-567-8302
Contact Name: Litchfield Community Center
Website »

More information

Sports and recreation are universal experiences. Whether we make it to the big leagues or never leave our backyards, these activities play important roles in our lives. They help us form...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

The Litchfield Historical Society is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit Thoughts, Words, and Deeds: Exploring the Litchfield Female Academy, on view April 22 through November 27, 2017...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

Marcey Hladik is a native of Litchfield who started painting as an adult, taking her first lessons in oil painting from her mother-in-law, Edith Hladik, an accomplished artist and teacher. Since...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St.
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

“Twenty Two North” Exhibit by Rick Schatzberg Opens April 15th at Gunn Memorial Stairwell Gallery CONTACT: Sharon Morrissey/Gunn Memorial Library gunnstaff@biblio.org From the...

Cost: No Charge

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Gunn Memorial Library
Telephone: 860-868-7586
Contact Name: Sharon Morrissey
Website »

More information

Sports and recreation are universal experiences. Whether we make it to the big leagues or never leave our backyards, these activities play important roles in our lives. They help us form...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

Marcey Hladik is a native of Litchfield who started painting as an adult, taking her first lessons in oil painting from her mother-in-law, Edith Hladik, an accomplished artist and teacher. Since...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St.
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

 Chef John Ferrucci, as seen on “Celebrity Chef Show” cable channel 5 returns to teach you some professional secrets.  This course will teach cooking techniques, sanitation and menu...

Cost: $140.00 pp

Where:
Litchfield Community Center
421 Bantam Road
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Telephone: 860-567-8302
Contact Name: Litchfield Community Center
Website »

More information

The Litchfield Historical Society is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit Thoughts, Words, and Deeds: Exploring the Litchfield Female Academy, on view April 22 through November 27, 2017...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

“Twenty Two North” Exhibit by Rick Schatzberg Opens April 15th at Gunn Memorial Stairwell Gallery CONTACT: Sharon Morrissey/Gunn Memorial Library gunnstaff@biblio.org From the...

Cost: No Charge

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Gunn Memorial Library
Telephone: 860-868-7586
Contact Name: Sharon Morrissey
Website »

More information

Carvel®… America’s Freshest Ice Cream® is kicking off ice cream season by celebrating their annual Free Cone Day next Thursday, April 27, from 3-8 p.m. EST Guests who visit...

Cost: Free

Where:
Carvel Nationwide
, CT


Sponsor: Carvel®
Website »

More information

Sports and recreation are universal experiences. Whether we make it to the big leagues or never leave our backyards, these activities play important roles in our lives. They help us form...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

The Wars of the Roosevelts: The Ruthless Rise of American’s Greatest Political Family presents a provocative, thoroughly modern revisionist biographical history of one of America’s greatest and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

The Litchfield Historical Society is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit Thoughts, Words, and Deeds: Exploring the Litchfield Female Academy, on view April 22 through November 27, 2017...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

Singer and actress Deborah Anne Goss takes us on a tour of the Victorian Era with song & story. Hear the era illuminated with poignant ballads, stirring anthems, and humorous ditties sung in...

Cost: $5.00 donation at door

Where:
Litchfield Community Center
421 Bantam Road
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Telephone: 860-567-8302
Contact Name: Litchfield Community Center
Website »

More information

Marcey Hladik is a native of Litchfield who started painting as an adult, taking her first lessons in oil painting from her mother-in-law, Edith Hladik, an accomplished artist and teacher. Since...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St.
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

“Twenty Two North” Exhibit by Rick Schatzberg Opens April 15th at Gunn Memorial Stairwell Gallery CONTACT: Sharon Morrissey/Gunn Memorial Library gunnstaff@biblio.org From the...

Cost: No Charge

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Gunn Memorial Library
Telephone: 860-868-7586
Contact Name: Sharon Morrissey
Website »

More information

Celebrate spring and opening day at Hollister House Garden. The early garden is gentle with only a hint of the exuberance to come later in the season. Come join us as we welcome a new season in...

Cost: $5

Where:
Hollister House Garden
300 Nettleton Hollow Road
Wastington, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Hollister House Garden
Telephone: 860-868-2200
Contact Name: Pamela Moffett
Website »

More information

Sports and recreation are universal experiences. Whether we make it to the big leagues or never leave our backyards, these activities play important roles in our lives. They help us form...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

Enjoy a light lunch, music and dancing.  This month: music by “Survivor Swing Band”.    Pre-registration is required.

Cost: $7.00 pp

Where:
Litchfield Community Center
421 Bantam Road
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Telephone: 860-567-8302
Contact Name: Litchfield Community Center
Website »

More information

The Litchfield Historical Society is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit Thoughts, Words, and Deeds: Exploring the Litchfield Female Academy, on view April 22 through November 27, 2017...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

Marcey Hladik is a native of Litchfield who started painting as an adult, taking her first lessons in oil painting from her mother-in-law, Edith Hladik, an accomplished artist and teacher. Since...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St.
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

“Twenty Two North” Exhibit by Rick Schatzberg Opens April 15th at Gunn Memorial Stairwell Gallery CONTACT: Sharon Morrissey/Gunn Memorial Library gunnstaff@biblio.org From the...

Cost: No Charge

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Gunn Memorial Library
Telephone: 860-868-7586
Contact Name: Sharon Morrissey
Website »

More information

Celebrate spring and opening day at Hollister House Garden. The early garden is gentle with only a hint of the exuberance to come later in the season. Come join us as we welcome a new season in...

Cost: $5

Where:
Hollister House Garden
300 Nettleton Hollow Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Hollister House Garden
Telephone: 860-868-2200
Contact Name: Pamela Moffett
Website »

More information

19th Annual Harmony for Hunger Concert Second Congregational Church, Winsted   The Music Committee of the Second Congregational Church of Winsted, 800 Main Street, Winsted is hosting...

Cost: $10 Adults, $5 Children, $20 Family

Where:
Second Congregational Church
800 Main Street
Winsted, CT  06098
View map »


Sponsor: Second Congregational Church
Telephone: 860-379-4766
Contact Name: Carol Tomassetti
Website »

More information

The annual gala hosted by nonprofit Ability Beyond raises funds to support programs for those with disabilities in Connecticut and New York. The black-tie evening will feature both...

Cost: $250

Where:
The Amber Room Colonnade
1 Stacey Road
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »


Sponsor: Ability Beyond
Telephone: 203-826-3019
Contact Name: Meaghan Gilmore
Website »

More information

Sports and recreation are universal experiences. Whether we make it to the big leagues or never leave our backyards, these activities play important roles in our lives. They help us form...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

The Litchfield Historical Society is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit Thoughts, Words, and Deeds: Exploring the Litchfield Female Academy, on view April 22 through November 27, 2017...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

Coming to the Nancy Marine Studio Theatre... In this unique adaptation of the beloved musical from Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Getting to Know” series, this delightful version...

Cost: $15.50.

Where:
Nancy Marine Studio Theatre - Warner Theatre
82 Main St
Torrington, CT  06790
View map »


Sponsor: Lufkin Family Foundation
Telephone: (860) 489-7180
Contact Name: Warner Theatre
Website »

More information

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