What To Do The First Weekend Of Spring

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Hartford Courant Java columnist MaryEllen Fillo talks about what’s going on in greater Hartford for the first weekend of spring.

See below for additional information or visit courant.com/java to read more from Fillo’s blog.

It’s practically official, winter is over and spring has arrived. And it’s time to seriously get out of the house Hartford! And the spring choices include:

The highly regarded Jewish Film Fest opens March 20 at Front Street’s Spotlight Theatres. The festival features 23 thrillers, romantic comedies, shorts and documentaries from 13 countries in five venues over 10 days. The 2014 series opens with “The Jewish Cardinal” and an opening night dinner gala at the Hartford theater. The series continues through March 30. For more information go here.

To get the weekend off to a good start, you can also head over to Hartford’s Real Art Ways for its monthly Creative Cocktail Hour from 6 to 10 p.m. on March 20.  The evening features the opening of two new exhibits and a recycled art workshop with Trashion Fashion. More information is here.

While we officially say goodbye to  hot chocolate season, you can enjoy the treat another way on March 21 at the Bushnell. The program titled” Hot Chocolate Soul” includes music, comedy and poetry with a live Karl Browne’s Smooth Improvisation. More information is here.

What better way to welcome spring than with some spring clean-up, fix-up inspiration when it comes to your home. Get a big boost of that energy by heading over to The Spring Home Show at the XL Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 21 to 23. The show features over 300 exhibits all aimed at giving you ideas when it comes to home improvement.  For information go here.

Now that the weather if getting a bit nicer, time to put that body in motion and support several good causes in Hartford . Get a jump-start by heading over to XL Center atrium where the Downtown Hartford YMCA will host its 4th annual  ”Mission in Motion” event March 22 from 8:30 to  1 p.m. The event supports the YMCA’s Annual Campaign, Read to Succeed, Live Strong and Footlights Performing Arts Program.  Teams secure sponsors and spend time on a bank on stationary bicycles to raise money. Find out more  here.

Love Italian? You must get over to the Wadsworth Atheneum for its Italian Film Weekend.

On March 21,  there will be a reception at 6 p.m at Peppercorn’s Grill followed by a screening of ” I Am Love” at 7 p.m. On March 22, at 5 p.m. it’s “Big Night,” followed by a five-course Italian dinner at the museum cafe.

On March 23, explore “Views of Italy” in a docent-guided tour of the museum’s collection followed by a screening of “Mid-August Lunch.” For more information go here.

Get in a spring kind of mood by thinking pink and head over to the Hill-Stead Museum on March 23 from 2 to 4 p.m

Guests are invited to celebrate French artist Edgar Degas and his famous painting “Dancers in Pink,” part of Hill-Stead collection,  at this family-friendly event. It will feature a performance by the Albano Ballet dancers and a tour of the museum. Light refreshments will be served. there will also be a special art activity mural project as part of the event. To find out more go here.

For more information, visit www.courant.com/java

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