White Memorial’s Special Holiday Shopping & Events Weekend

The White Memorial Conservation Center is the place to be this weekend if you’re looking for a “hidden gem” holiday experience that includes “insider” shopping and magical events for the family.


White Memorial shopping: Richard Heys bowl
A bowl by Richard Heys

The After-Hours Holiday Sip & Shop takes place in the small but charming gift shop at the Nature Museum from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday (Dec. 1).

Holiday shoppers will receive a 10 percent discount on purchases of things made by hand by 15 local artists and artisans – as they enjoy mulled cider and holiday treats in the decorated museum and shop.

The discount is nice but it’s the charm and quality of what these folks create that gives this event “hidden gem” status.

For example, one of the featured consignors is Richard Heys, a master woodturner who creates stunning bowls, vessels, and more, many of them with wood from trees that have fallen in White Memorial preserves.

White Memorial Executive Director Lukas Hyder is also a woodturner, and Forest Manager Mike Berry is presenting his woodworking.

“This is a small way of expressing our thanks to them for helping to make our shop as unique as it is,” White Memorial said.

Here’s what you’ll find at this special holiday shopping event:

Ben Faraci – Chainsaw Carvings

Leo Kulinski – Photography Books

Mike Berry – Woodworking

Lukas Hyder – Woodturning

John Grabowski – Bird Feeders

Richard Heys – Woodturning

Paul Kmiotek – Prints and Cards

Tom and Darlene Stansfield – Walking sticks and Crochet goods

Marcey Hladik – Original Watercolors

Amanda Surveski Wildlife Art – Prints, cards, stickers and more

Heidi Loomis – Nature shadow boxes

Kristin Gallagher – Pottery

Carol Hart – Notepads

Ronnie Kryjack – Baby Bibs

Paul Carrier -Prints and cards

Holiday Magic for Families

White Memorial Snow Queen performanceWhite Memorial’s Snow Queen” afternoon of programming Saturday (Dec. 2) will be a joy for the whole family.

Artist and puppeteer Robin McCahill returns to the Carriage House at White Memorial for one performance of the Hans Christian Anderson tale of friends lost and found, visits to distant lands, travels through changing seasons, and encounters with strange and exotic characters, White Memorial explains in its calendar listing, noting that McCahill’s whimsical troupe of hand-felted marionettes tells the story.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be visiting from 1 to 3 p.m. They will escort guests to the Mott-Van Winkle classroom in their chauffeured wagon. While Santa receives guests in the classroom, Mrs. Claus will lead a carol sing around the bonfire. Cookies and cups of hot chocolate sweeten the day.

The wagon rides end at 3 p.m., when the “Snow Queen” performance begins in the Carriage House.

Also on Saturday there will be a Museum Open House from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the Gift Shop is open for holiday shopping.

Admission to the “Snow Queen” afternoon is a donation of warm socks, mittens, gloves, or hats of any size or color and a non-perishable food item for the pantry at FISH (Friends in Service to Humanity), Torrington CT. (The  program is made possible in its entirety by an anonymous donor.)

Those planning to attend must call White Memorial and make a reservation at 860-567-0857, or register online: Snow Queen Registration.

 Also Don’t Miss …

… the December 30 morning hike to Little Pond Boardwalk with Gerri Griswold.

Here’s the listing on the Guided Hikes page, where you can register:

Let’s ring in 2023 together on an early morning hike to our beloved Boardwalk! Wear your finest party hat! We’ll supply the sparklers and a glass of cheer at the end of our walk! 9:00 a.m., Meet in the A. B. Ceder Room. The walk is free, but donations will be accepted to help defray the Conservation Center’s programming expenses.