30 Ways to Get Into the Spirit
From neighborhood strolls to seasonal concerts to live reindeer on the Avenue, when it comes to holiday time, there's no place like home
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Light It Up!
Town Hall Tree Lighting Ceremony
This annual tradition dates back over half a century. Evolving from a Christian tradition to a more secular “Tree Lighting,” the event kicks off with a welcome by Recreation Supervisor Frank Gabriele; and the first selectman will offer a holiday message to the multigenerational crowd this cheery event draws. The young set will be thrilled to find Santa, Mrs. Claus, Rudolph and Frosty offering free candy canes and mechanical reindeer rides. As always, the Greenwich High School Chamber Singers will entertain with holiday melodies. Chocolate chip cookies and cider will be served.
Date & Time: December 2, 3:45 to 4:30 p.m.
Place: Town Hall, 101 Field Point Road
First Light Festival, Old Greenwich
For seventeen years, the Old Greenwich Merchant’s Association has organized this fun night of extended shopping hours, horse-drawn carriage rides, carols and much more. Each store offers something different, from wine tasting at Sam’s Package Store to free roses at the flower shop. Kids will scope out the hot cocoa, face painting, magic shows and, of course, Santa! “Last year’s First Light was extra special,” says Richard Fulton, owner of Chilly Bear. “We honored all town departments that protected Greenwich during Hurricane Sandy.” This year we also feature Family Centers’ fundraising event in Binney Park with the lighting of thousands of luminaries. Luminary kits will be sold in stores in advance.
Date & Time: December 7, 6 to 9 p.m.
Place: Sound Beach Avenue & Arcadia Road
Shopping with Heart
Breast Cancer Alliance Holiday Boutique
In its fifteenth year, this event offers shoppers the opportunity to do their holiday shopping, find great gifts for friends and family, and feel good about spending—
15 percent goes to the Breast Cancer Alliance. Over forty vendors attend, including Stella & Dot, Glory Cashmere, Bellin House Portraits, Peaceable Hill Paperie, Stanton Sweets and East End Foodies.
Dates & Times: December 3, 6 to 9 p.m.; December 4, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Place: Greenwich Country Club, 19 Doubling Road
Information: 203-861-0014, breastcanceralliance.org
Antiquarius Holiday Boutique
The Holiday Boutique, benefitting the Historical Society, moves to a new venue this year at Christ Church Parish Hall. Shoppers will enjoy exploring the wares of new vendors and perennial favorites, offering “a fabulous array of one-of-a-kind gifts.” On opening night, shoppers can enjoy a cash bar and passed hors d’oeuvres from Meli-Melo while shopping. Those seeking a historical outing mixed with holiday shopping can combine the Holiday House Tour on December 11 with a visit to the boutique. Meli-Melo box lunches can be ordered in advance for pick up at the Boutique.
Dates & Times: December 10, 6 to 8:30 p.m. and December 11, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Place: Christ Church Parish Hall, 254 East Putnam Avenue
Information: 203-869-6899, ext. 10; greenwichhistory.org; free admission; advance ordered box lunches, $25, available for pick-up from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Greening the Holiday Baskets of Greens for Inspirica
Volunteers at this annual outreach event arrange baskets of fresh evergreens to donate to Inspirica (formerly St. Luke’s Lifeworks) residents, who would not otherwise have holiday decorations. No talent or experience is needed, just bring “a big heart and help decorate. Your holiday will be enriched by your participation.” A light lunch will be served.
Date & Time: December 4, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Place: Garden Education Center, 130 Bible Street
Information: 203-869-9242, gecgreenwich.org; $20 donation requested