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Savvy Shopper Tips and deals for Connecticut shoppers
A Christmas Town Festival In Bethlehem

Connecticut's Christmas town, Bethlehem, kicks off the holiday season Friday and Saturday, Dec. 4 and 5, with a festival on the green featuring strolling carolers, tree lighting, kids' activities and more. (Bring your holiday cards for a special Bethlehem postmark.) Hours are 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Information:

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Small-Gift Shopping And Mall Alternatives For The Weekend

Not into joining the Black Friday mall crush? Check out these alternatives.

>>Redscroll Records will have its ninth annual Blackout at Sunriase sale on Friday, Nov. 27, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 28, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 29, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event features used CDs for $1, 20 percent to 40 percent off used records and 15 percent off new items.

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Free Holiday Vocal Workshop

Get your pipes ready for holiday caroling at Arts Center East’s free “vocal tune-up” workshop on Thursday from 7 to 8 p.m. The all-ages session includes musical activities, singing basics and singing a group number. Registration: Arts Center East is at 709 Hartford Turnpike in Vernon. 860-871-8222.

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Free Admission At Historic Houses

Not into Black Friday shopping? Do some time traveling instead. Historic houses and museums in Chester, Deep River and Essex are offering free admission on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 27 and 28. The Essex Historical Society’s Pratt House, 19 West Ave. in Essex, will be open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day.

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Community Day at New Britain Museum of American Art

Newington, Wethersfield, and Glastonbury residents get free admission to Community Day at The New Britain Museum of American Art on Saturday, Dec. 5. The family event features an open art studio where visitors can create self-portraits, guided tours of trees and holiday decor and holiday cookies and hot chocolate in the Moser Library. ID is required for free admission.

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Free Thanksgiving Coffee at Cumbies

Stop by Cumberland Farms anytime on Thanksgiving Day for a cup of coffee on the house. The chain is offering customers a choice of any size hot or iced Farmhouse Blend or Bold brew; tea, peppermint hot chocolate or cappuccino, no purchase necessary. Information:

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