This Week in New Haven (December 25 – 31)

“The most wonderful time of the year,” as the late crooner Andy Williams described it, is almost over. Some final ways to enjoy it: 

Monday, December 25 – Christmas
As indoor spaces fill with gratitude, outdoor spaces fill with solitude. Between exchanging gifts and eating too much, find a little time to head outside and take it in.

If solitude isn’t your thing, Congregation Mishkan Israel (785 Ridge Rd, Hamden; 203-288-3877) is hosting its yearly December 25 concert featuring klezmer big band Nu Haven Kepelye along with “Cantor Giglio and an ensemble of CMI and community musicians.” Tickets cost $7 for teens and adults, $5 for seniors and children and $20 for families of four or more; “attendees are also asked to bring non-perishable food items for donation to a local food pantry.”

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Tuesday, December 26
While school is on break, the New Haven Free Public Library system is helping pick up the slack. At the Ives Main Library (133 Elm St, New Haven; 203-946-8130), the teen area has a crafts station stocked with materials for “everything from origami to painting” today through Friday starting at 10 a.m., with various other activities including daily 1 p.m. holiday film screenings. Fair Haven Branch (182 Grand Ave, New Haven; 203-946-8115) has a “stay ’n’ play” session—“stories, songs and playtime for children up to four years old with a caregiver”—today at 10:30 a.m., as other branches host similar sessions throughout the week. Stetson Branch Library (200 Dixwell Ave, New Haven; 203-946-6786) is hitting the books, offering free advance appointments with “a professional tutor experienced in math, reading, writing, college essays and SAT prep” today through Friday from 2 to 6 p.m., while Mitchell Branch Library (37 Harrison St, New Haven; 203-946-8117) has youth-oriented programming at 4 p.m. today (a “Lego Club” meeting), tomorrow (a screening of Cars 3) and Thursday (a “maker space event!”).

Wednesday, December 27
A new year is coming up, and the Yale Bookstore (77 Broadway, New Haven; 203-777-8440) is helping people plan ahead with this week’s free Wednesday Craft Night. Starting at 7 p.m. and harnessing the art of collage, “We’ll be making vision boards to reflect our goals for 2018,” organizers say.

Thursday, December 28
Longtime SNL vocalist Christine Ohlman and her band Rebel Montez are coming to Cafe Nine (250 State St, New Haven; 203-789-8281) for a “super-festive ‘5th Day Of Xmas’ holiday show.” The George Baker Band and its “unique gumbo of R&B and jazz” opens at 8 p.m., before the “queen of blue-eyed rock ’n’ soul” presides. $15, or $12 in advance.

Friday, December 29
Embarking from the Lake Wintergreen parking lot (412 Main St, Hamden) at 10 a.m., New Haven’s department of Parks, Recreation & Trees is leading a hike of West Rock Ridge’s blue trail loop, including “some of the best views in the area.” Traversing trails “rated moderate to difficult,” the hike is restricted to those ages 12 and up, and “all youth must be accompanied by an adult.” To register, which is required, email ranger Joe Milone at jmilone@newhavenct.gov.

Saturday, December 30
At Stetson Branch Library (200 Dixwell Ave, New Haven; 203-946-6786) from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., SPORT Academy, a youth-oriented chess program that aims to teach more than chess, hosts its weekly session of “Life Skills on 64 Squares.” As organizers say, “Youth from the age of 5 can come and sit at a game of chess and begin their process of mastering the game of life.” Free.

Described by hip hop magazine XXL as “a long-haired kid from Connecticut” who’s “been crafting some of the best new music on the internet,” Felly—who’s racked up more than 20 million plays on Spotify in part by mixing Millennial concerns, reggae tics and different riffs on the laid-back “Migos,” or triplet, flow—performs a 9 p.m. holiday set at Toad’s Place (300 York St, New Haven; 203-624-8623). Tickets cost $30 or $25 in advance.

Sunday, December 31 – New Year’s Eve
Last year, split between an events article and a follow-up, we highlighted 22 things to do on New Year’s Eve. This year we’re giving the night a single treatment, in our next edition. Throw on some 2018 novelty glasses and keep your eyes peeled!

Written and photographed by Dan Mims. Image depicts detail of the Christmas tree on the New Haven Green. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events.

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Dan has worked for a couple of major media companies, but he likes Daily Nutmeg best. As DN’s editor, he writes, photographs, edits and otherwise shepherds ideas into fully realized feature stories, helped very much by a small team of dedicated contributors.

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