Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Annual Thanksgiving Weekend Stamford Parade of Lights


Once you've got all your holiday shopping done, head down to the Stamford Harbor Parade of Lights! Kick off the holiday season by decorating your boat and joining the fun.

The parade begins at 6pm with an after party and awards ceremony at Crab Shell. WABC-TV's Dr. Bill Evans, LHD will be the ceremony's MC!



Please bring an unwrapped gift to donate to Toys For Tots. For more information click here. Will you be attending? Share with us on our Facebook page.

Photos courtesy of Stamford Boat Parade

Monday, November 25, 2013

Holiday Shopping in Stamford!

Thanksgiving sales, Black Friday Deals, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday - all in the next few days. If you are one of those with a black belt in Black Friday shopping, listen up! This year, some retailers are opening their doors even earlier - starting as early as 8pm on Thanksgiving Day!

See our list below for some places around Stamford to hit for all your holiday shopping needs:

The Stamford Town Center:
Shop at Stamford Town Center on Black Friday beginning at 7am. Select retailers will open as early as 8pm on Thanksgiving Day. For special deals click here and for hours see below:
Thanksgiving Day, 8pm Openings: Macy's, Armani Exchange, As Seen On TV, Charlotte Russe, Foot Locker, GAP, Great Wraps, Gusnova Gelato(8pm -12am), Journeys, Temptation, Victoria's Secret
Black Friday, 12am Openings: American Eagle, Claire's, Express, H&M, Starbucks, The Children's Place
Want to avoid the holiday shopping mega-crowds altogether? Look for Cyber Monday deals on December 2nd or visit your local mom and pop retailers on Small Business Saturday on November 30th!

Do you participate in any of these major shopping days? If so, where do you find the best deals? Share with us on our Facebook page!

DIY Thanksgiving Table Decor

Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? Make a lasting impression on your guests with an elegant yet easy-to-make Thanksgiving centerpiece. From natural elements to candle displays, these centerpieces are sure to highlight your holiday table!

Pumpkin Votive Holders - These seasonal pumpkin candle holders are a nice alternative to jack-o-lanterns. Click here for instructions on how to make them.

Cork board Leaf Trivets - Super quick to make, trace a leaf design onto a square piece of cork board (available at most office-supply stores) with permanent marker. Place cork board on a cutting mat and cut along the outline with a craft knife - turn over to display.

Earthy Touches - Forage for centerpiece materials like twigs, leaves, pine cones, can be found in your own backyard! Scatter across the table for a surprising alternative to flowers - add some candles for a cozy feeling.

Autumn Florals - Gather some autumn colored flowers and arrange with some candles in a vase, or wooden box, for a simple and elegant centerpiece.

Giving Thanks - Trace out each letter of 'Giving Thanks' on paper and fill in accordingly. Wrap each piece of paper around a candle holder and line them down the center of your table before supper time.
Share your centerpiece decor with us on our Facebook page! 

Friday, November 22, 2013

The 20th Annual UBS Parade Spectacular This Sunday!


Don't miss out - The UBS Parade Spectacular is happening THIS Sunday, November 24 at 12 noon - rain, wind, snow, or shine!
Last year the spectacle attracted roughly 200,000 attendees and is expecting even more this year. In addition to large helium balloons, there once again will be marching bands from the tri-state area, as well as dancers and actors.  The Chicago Boyz Acrobatic Team, featured on America's Got Talent, will also be performing!
The parade will begin at Summer and Hoyt Streets in Stamford at noon. There are public restrooms along the route. For more information visit CT Post.
Photo Sources: CT Post & Hey Stamford

Friday, November 15, 2013

Happy Hour in Stamford!


Happy Friday! Start your weekend off right with Happy Hour at one of our favorite Stamford spots:
  • Bar Russo: Beat the Clock, Happy Hour from 5pm - 7pm. Play starts at 5pm and ends at 7pm sharp! The price you pay depends on the time you place your order - ex: order at 5:30pm you pay $5.30, order at $6 you pay $6, and so on. Click here for more info.
  • Barcelona Stamford: Wine Time Happy House from 4:30 - 6:30pm with $5 wines and complimentary tapas from 5-7pm.
  • Half Full Brewery - Friday Night Open House: Come down to the Brewery from 5:30 - 8:30 pm, for $15 you get yourself in the door armed with a Half Full branded recycled plastic pint glass. THE TAPS WILL BE OPEN. It's that simple! While you are here, try your hand at bags, life-size jenga, draw on our chalkboard wall, or just enjoy some great conversation over great beers.
  • Monster B's Stamford: From 4 - 7pm enjoy $2 off all drafts,  $4 house wine,  $5 well drinks,  $3 Fireball shots.
  • SBC Stamford: Enjoy $2 House-brewed Pints, $2.50 Domestic, $3 Smirnoff Drinks, $5 Smirnoff Martinis, $5 Plate of Wings, $5 Cheese Pizza from 3:30 - 6:30pm.
 Cheers to a great weekend!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Memorable Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving

 
Thanksgiving is around the corner and there are so many ways to celebrate around Connecticut. Right here in Stamford, see one of the largest helium balloon parades in the country at Connecticut's annual Thanksgiving parade, UBS Parade Spectacular on November 24th! Or come by the day prior to watch the balloons inflate!


Looking for a more active Thanksgiving? Sign up for the annual Harbor Point Turkey Trot! It's a FREE, timed event, open to ALL - joggers and walkers are welcome! Located at the Coastal Gardens in Stamford, on November 28th. Click here for more information.

And for those who prefer a mini getaway for the holiday - CTVisit.com offers these great suggestions perfect for friends and family:

  • Explore the charming town of Essex. Stay at the historic Griswold Inn, located on the banks of the Connecticut River. Your family will fall in love with this extraordinary inn and its delightful town filled with wonderful shops along Main Street. Plus, take advantage of the Inn’s Holiday Head Start deal, where you can stay in one of their guest rooms from Sun. – Thurs. for just $130!
  • Does your ideal Thanksgiving include you not cooking this year? The Inn at Middletown’s Home Away from Home deal takes care of everything for you. In addition to overnight accommodations and breakfast in the morning, you’ll enjoy a Thanksgiving Dinner prepared by their award-winning chef in the Inn’s colonial-style Tavern at the Armory restaurant.
  • Thanksgiving in Mystic! Celebrate Thanksgiving in Mystic, where your kids will fall in love with the aquatic creatures at Mystic Aquarium and can experience the days of seafaring yore at Mystic Seaport.Take advantage of the holiday special at Whaler’s Inn – located in the heart of historic downtown Mystic – and get a complimentary dinner if you stay one night (from Sunday through Friday) and $50 off if you stay two nights. And of course, while you’re in the area, don’t forget to visit Olde Mistick Village for a one-of-a-kind shopping and dining experience that the whole family can enjoy – Santa and Mrs. Claus are even in town on Nov. 29 – 30!
 Do you have suggestions for celebrating Thanksgiving in Connecticut? We'd love to hear from you on our Facebook page!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Volunteering in Fairfield County

Looking to get more involved in the community? How about volunteering this holiday season!
We want to make sure our residents and other community members have the opportunity to give back this season. We've rounded up some great volunteering opportunities and organizations for anyone who is interested!

Neighbors Link - Stamford
Cause: Provides a comprehensive resource center for recent immigrants in the Stamford area.
Volunteer Opportunities:

  • Friday November 22nd and Friday December 20th: volunteers are needed to help with Holiday Family Nights. Volunteers will help with set-up, serving and clean-up for these festive meals that are open to the community.  
  • Volunteers can also help by conducting small gift drives among their friends or in their clubs, to collect new children’s books and new warm hats, scarves and gloves for adults. These gifts will be distributed at the December 20th Family night.
  • In addition, there is always need for tutors for our year-round ESL programs. ESL classes are offered mornings and evenings, and training is provided to all volunteers.
For information on volunteering and donating please click here or contact Cathleen Stone, Program Manager: 203-674-8585 ext. 106 or Cathleen.Stone@NeighborsLinkStamford.org

Person to Person - Darien & Norwalk
Cause: Responds to individuals and families who lack the basic necessities or resources to improve their lives.
Volunteer Opportunities:

  • Friday, November 22, Noon — 3pm in Darien, Food Drive. Help sort and organize more than 5,000 pounds of donated non-perishable food.
  • Monday, November 25 & Tuesday, November 26, 9am – 4pm in Norwalk, Thanksgiving Turkeys. Help distribute turkeys and Thanksgiving meal fixings to 500 families.
  • Wednesday, December 11, 9am — 2pm, Toy Store Set Up. Help set-up holiday pop-up shop; decorate, move and organize toys and books at a local toy store.
  • Thursday, December 12, 9am — 4pm OR Friday, December 13, 9am — 7pm OR Saturday, December 14, 9am — 1pm in Darien, Toy Store Shifts Available. Help clients shop for toys, books and board games for their children; wrap gifts, entertain children, clean-up.
  • Monday, December 16 & Tuesday, December 17 at the NEON gymnasium in Norwalk, Gift of Giving. Decorate gymnasium with holiday décor for Gift of Giving program where families receive holiday gifts for their children.
  • Wednesday, December 18 at the NEON gymnasium in Norwalk. Take down Gift of Giving decorations.
For information on volunteering and donating please click here or contact Janet King, Director of Volunteers: 203-655-0048 or janetking@p2pHelps.org
Homes With Hope - Westport - one time volunteers welcome!
Cause: A local grassroots response to the tragedy of homelessness.
Volunteer Opportunities:
  • Opportunities are available at the Gillespie Center all year.
  • During the holiday season, the organization needs people to provide nightly meals to the 30 to 35 people who show up at the Community Kitchen. Food donations are needed for the Food Pantry that provides over 3,000 bags of groceries each year to needy neighbors. There are also opportunities to help organize the Pantry.
For information on volunteering and donating please click here or contact Jeff Wieser (jwieser@hwhct.org) and Rob Lockhart (rlockhart@whwct.org) or Robynne Quinn (rquinn@hwhct.org)

Operation Hope - Fairfield
Cause: To make free enterprise work for everyone.
Volunteer Opportunities:
Thanksgiving:

  • Volunteers can conduct a food drive to stock the pantry shelves and deliver to the Food Pantry located at 636 Old Post Road in Fairfield
  • Sponsor a “Thanksgiving basket and turkey” for our neighbors who might otherwise go without. Deliver to our Food Pantry by November 21st
  • Prepare a Thanksgiving Day meal item for our Community Thanksgiving Meal and deliver to the Community Kitchen located at 50 Nichols Street in Fairfield by November 28th
  • “Make a Meal” throughout the holiday season to be served to our hungry neighbors at the Community Kitchen
December Holidays:
  • Sponsor an individual or family for the “Hope for the Holidays” gift giving program, now through December 9th. 
  • Volunteer to assist with the onsite receiving and organizing gifts during the “Hope for the Holidays” program. 
  • Sponsor a Food Drive for the December holidays and deliver to the Food Pantry.   
  • People are hungry throughout the month of December, not just on the holidays! Call and sponsor a meal or portion of a meal to be served at the Community Kitchen.
For information on volunteering and donating please click here or contact Donna Schmidt at 203-292-5588; dschmidt@operationhopect.org
If you know of any volunteering opportunities please do not hesitate to share with us on our Facebook page! Big thanks to ilovefc.com for outlining these great opportunities.