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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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July 2017

With summer just around the corner, Linda Mazzeo and other members of the ECAD team are busy planning all the fun activities for the kids, age 9-13, who will attend the annual Summer Camp at the...

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Cost: $45 & $250 per person

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St. John's Church
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Litchfield History Museum
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Telephone: 860-567-4501
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Sharon Playhouse puts on the play Far Away, by  Caryl Churchill. Joan has just seen something she shouldn’t have. Far from home, she hears screams in the night. She’s...

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Sharon Playhouse
49 Amenia Road
Sharon, CT  06069
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With summer just around the corner, Linda Mazzeo and other members of the ECAD team are busy planning all the fun activities for the kids, age 9-13, who will attend the annual Summer Camp at the...

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ECAD Campus
149 Newfield Road
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View map »


Sponsor: ECAD, Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities
Telephone: (917) 664-8092
Contact Name: Patricia Robert
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The Smithy Loft Gallery is pleased to announce the premier exhibit of recent paintings by the New York City based contemporary abstract artist Steven Miller. This exhibit will be on view through...

Cost: Free

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The Smithy
10 Main Street
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Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Susan Newbury
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Instructor Cheryl Ann Gordon The Silo Cooking School is excited to host a 5-day Chopped Challenge for kids ages 10-15! Students will be teamed up and tasked with using baskets of mystery...

Cost: $240 per child

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The Silo
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
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Sponsor: The Silo
Telephone: 860-355-0300
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Liliana Kleid considers her work a celebration of life and nature, often changing courses along the way. It is her goal to honor the magical moments nature offers by using color, composition, and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
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Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
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With summer just around the corner, Linda Mazzeo and other members of the ECAD team are busy planning all the fun activities for the kids, age 9-13, who will attend the annual Summer Camp at the...

Cost: $195.00 PER WEEK

Where:
ECAD Campus
149 Newfield Road
Winsted, CT  06790
View map »


Sponsor: ECAD, Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities
Telephone: (917) 664-8092
Contact Name: Patricia Robert
Website »

More information

The Smithy Loft Gallery is pleased to announce the premier exhibit of recent paintings by the New York City based contemporary abstract artist Steven Miller. This exhibit will be on view through...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Smithy
10 Main Street
New Preston, CT  06777
View map »


Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Susan Newbury
Website »

More information

Liliana Kleid considers her work a celebration of life and nature, often changing courses along the way. It is her goal to honor the magical moments nature offers by using color, composition, 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

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce Charlie Hewitt.  Heart of Gold, a mixed media exhibition featuring paintings, works-on-paper, ceramics and sculpture.  The show will open...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
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View map »


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
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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

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With summer just around the corner, Linda Mazzeo and other members of the ECAD team are busy planning all the fun activities for the kids, age 9-13, who will attend the annual Summer Camp at the...

Cost: $195.00 PER WEEK

Where:
ECAD Campus
149 Newfield Road
Winsted, CT  06790
View map »


Sponsor: ECAD, Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities
Telephone: (917) 664-8092
Contact Name: Patricia Robert
Website »

More information

The Smithy Loft Gallery is pleased to announce the premier exhibit of recent paintings by the New York City based contemporary abstract artist Steven Miller. This exhibit will be on view through...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Smithy
10 Main Street
New Preston, CT  06777
View map »


Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Susan Newbury
Website »

More information

Liliana Kleid considers her work a celebration of life and nature, often changing courses along the way. It is her goal to honor the magical moments nature offers by using color, composition, 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

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce Charlie Hewitt.  Heart of Gold, a mixed media exhibition featuring paintings, works-on-paper, ceramics and sculpture.  The show will open...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


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

Show More...
Show Less...

With summer just around the corner, Linda Mazzeo and other members of the ECAD team are busy planning all the fun activities for the kids, age 9-13, who will attend the annual Summer Camp at the...

Cost: $195.00 PER WEEK

Where:
ECAD Campus
149 Newfield Road
Winsted, CT  06790
View map »


Sponsor: ECAD, Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities
Telephone: (917) 664-8092
Contact Name: Patricia Robert
Website »

More information

The Smithy Loft Gallery is pleased to announce the premier exhibit of recent paintings by the New York City based contemporary abstract artist Steven Miller. This exhibit will be on view through...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Smithy
10 Main Street
New Preston, CT  06777
View map »


Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Susan Newbury
Website »

More information

Liliana Kleid considers her work a celebration of life and nature, often changing courses along the way. It is her goal to honor the magical moments nature offers by using color, composition, 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

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce Charlie Hewitt.  Heart of Gold, a mixed media exhibition featuring paintings, works-on-paper, ceramics and sculpture.  The show will open...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


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

The Bridge Healing Arts Center Hosts an open house for practitioners of the healing arts to explore Connecticut’s first synergistic wellness community. Providers will now be able to refer...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bridge Healing Arts Center
304 Main Street
Farmington, CT  06032
View map »


Sponsor: Bridge Healing Arts Center
Telephone: 860-710-5504
Contact Name: Vera Halina
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

With summer just around the corner, Linda Mazzeo and other members of the ECAD team are busy planning all the fun activities for the kids, age 9-13, who will attend the annual Summer Camp at the...

Cost: $195.00 PER WEEK

Where:
ECAD Campus
149 Newfield Road
Winsted, CT  06790
View map »


Sponsor: ECAD, Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities
Telephone: (917) 664-8092
Contact Name: Patricia Robert
Website »

More information

The Smithy Loft Gallery is pleased to announce the premier exhibit of recent paintings by the New York City based contemporary abstract artist Steven Miller. This exhibit will be on view through...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Smithy
10 Main Street
New Preston, CT  06777
View map »


Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Susan Newbury
Website »

More information

Liliana Kleid considers her work a celebration of life and nature, often changing courses along the way. It is her goal to honor the magical moments nature offers by using color, composition, 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

Sponsored by the Greater New Milford Chamber of Commerce and held on the magnificent village Green, Village Fair Days is the largest annual event in New Milford and draws thousands of visitors...

Cost: Free admission

Where:
New Milford Village Green
24 Bank St
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce Charlie Hewitt.  Heart of Gold, a mixed media exhibition featuring paintings, works-on-paper, ceramics and sculpture.  The show will open...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


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

July 28 at 7:00 pm and July 29 at 12:00 pm in the Studio Theatre. The Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory will present an eclectic performance of classical and contemporary dance repertoire performed...

Cost: $33.00

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


Sponsor: Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

With summer just around the corner, Linda Mazzeo and other members of the ECAD team are busy planning all the fun activities for the kids, age 9-13, who will attend the annual Summer Camp at the...

Cost: $195.00 PER WEEK

Where:
ECAD Campus
149 Newfield Road
Winsted, CT  06790
View map »


Sponsor: ECAD, Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities
Telephone: (917) 664-8092
Contact Name: Patricia Robert
Website »

More information

Heather Scofield’s “Sans Walls” Exhibit Opens July 29 in Gunn Memorial Library Stairwell Gallery Reception July 29 – 12 to 2pm A dazzling new collection of New...

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

The Smithy Loft Gallery is pleased to announce the premier exhibit of recent paintings by the New York City based contemporary abstract artist Steven Miller. This exhibit will be on view through...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Smithy
10 Main Street
New Preston, CT  06777
View map »


Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Susan Newbury
Website »

More information

Join us for a celebration of Goshen's great farms and farmers for a free tour. Explore and learn about the diverse and unique farms that call Goshen home.

Cost: Free

Where:
Goshen Farms
Goshen, CT


Website »

More information

Vincent Giarrano: Recent Paintings Solo Show On view: July 26-August 9 The Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens Opening Celebration: Saturday, July 29 at 4pm-7pm  

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens
One Green Hill
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Telephone: 216-650-0923
Contact Name: Katie Morley
Website »

More information

On Saturday July 29th  the Torrington Historical Society will host a jazz concert and fundraiser with the Litchfield Jazz Camp Faculty All Stars on the grounds of the Hotchkiss-Fyler House...

Cost: $20

Where:
Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum
192 Main Street
Torrington, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

With the opening night gala scheduled for Saturday, July 29 at 7:30 pm and running for 4 weeks through August 20th, Clay & Wattles Theater Company is pleased to present the much beloved musical...

Cost: Group rates available

Where:
The Gary The Olivia Theater
249 Flanders Road
On the grounds of the Abbey of Regina Laudis
Bethlehem, CT
View map »


Sponsor: Clay & Wattles Theater Company
Telephone: 203-273-5669
Contact Name: Sally Camm
Website »

More information

Liliana Kleid considers her work a celebration of life and nature, often changing courses along the way. It is her goal to honor the magical moments nature offers by using color, composition, 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

Sponsored by the Greater New Milford Chamber of Commerce and held on the magnificent village Green, Village Fair Days is the largest annual event in New Milford and draws thousands of visitors...

Cost: Free admission

Where:
New Milford Village Green
24 Bank St
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce Charlie Hewitt.  Heart of Gold, a mixed media exhibition featuring paintings, works-on-paper, ceramics and sculpture.  The show will open...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


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

July 28 at 7:00 pm and July 29 at 12:00 pm in the Studio Theatre. The Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory will present an eclectic performance of classical and contemporary dance repertoire performed...

Cost: $33.00

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


Sponsor: Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory
Website »

More information

Original Music and Lyrics by Richard M. Sherman & Robert B. Sherman Book by Julian Fellowes New Songs and Additional Music and Lyrics by Anthony Drewe & George Stiles Co-Created by...

Cost: $22+

Where:
Main Stage - Warner Theatre
68 Main St
Torrington, CT  06790
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Telephone: (860) 489-7180
Contact Name: Warner Theatre
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July 29, August 4 & 5 at 8 pm and July 30 & August 6 at 2 pm. The Warner Stage Company will present one of the most popular Disney movies of all time as a practically perfect musical on the...

Cost: $19.00 - $30.00

Where:
Nancy Marine Studio Theatre
82 Main St
Torrington, CT  06790
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Sponsor: Torrington Savings Bank
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One of the most popular Disney movies of all time, Mary Poppins is capturing hearts as a practically perfect musical! Shows at 2 pm and 8 pm. 

Cost: Varies

Where:
Warner Theatre
68 Main St
Torrington, CT  06790
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