<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - Dining, shopping and nightlife]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/entertainment/the-scene http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.comen-usThu, 08 Dec 2016 01:14:37 -0500Thu, 08 Dec 2016 01:14:37 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Target Reissues Menorah Recall Over Fire Hazard Concerns]]> Wed, 07 Dec 2016 12:55:26 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/menorah11.jpg

With Hanukkah several weeks away, Target is reminding customers it has recalled thousands of menorahs because they post a fire hazard.

The clear acrylic menorahs, sold in Target stores nationwide from October 2015 through December 2015 for about $20, can melt when the candles burn, Target says. The company said it has received eight reports of the menorahs melting, including three reports of fire. No property damage or injuries were reported.

The 2,600 menorahs were originally recalled in May, but if customers still have them, they should toss them before the holiday or return them to Target for a full refund. 

Photo Credit: Target]]>
<![CDATA[Report Lists 'Best Places' for New Year's Eve]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 18:13:16 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/205*120/SanFranciscoNYE-AP_578741301497.jpg

A new report from the personal-finance site WalletHub lists the top destinations in the United States to celebrate New Year's Eve.  The report says the best city to ring in 2017 is Orlando followed by San Francisco and Atlanta.

The site ranked the top 100 most populated cities in 20 metrics, including the average price of an NYE party ticket to the current weather forecast for December 31.  WalletHub also factored in safety and accessibility along with food and entertainment options into its rankings.

New York came in at 38 on the list because of the high cost of attending many NYE events in the Big Apple.  Boston was 19. 

The most popular actual travel destinations for New Year's Eve are Orlando, New York City and Honolulu, according to the site.

WalletHub says 77 percent of Americans will celebrate the holiday in some fashion, with many people enjoying large, organized events. 

Here are the top 40 "best cities" to celebrate Dec. 31, 2016 according to the list in the report:

1. Orlando, FL

2. San Francisco, CA

3. Atlanta, GA

4. Denver, CO

5. Buffalo, NY

6. Cincinnati, OH

7. Miami, FL

8. St. Louis, MO

9. Pittsburgh, PA

10. Las Vegas, NV

11. Washington, DC

12. Minneapolis, MN

13. Tampa, FL

14. New Orleans, LA

15. Seattle, WA

16. Scottsdale, AZ

17. San Diego, CA

18. Sacramento, CA

19. Boston, MA

20. Honolulu, HI

21. Birmingham, AL

22. Omaha, NE

23. Virginia Beach, VA

24. Madison, WI

25. Lincoln, NE

26. Portland, OR

27. Los Angeles, CA

28. Chicago, IL

29. Irvine, CA

30. Cleveland, OH

31. Philadelphia, PA

32. Baltimore, MD

33. Baton Rouge, LA

34. Santa Ana, CA

35. Norfolk, VA

36. Anaheim, CA

37. Louisville, KY

38. New York, NY

39. Colorado Springs, CO

40. Austin, TX

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Ballerina Misty Copeland Launches Dancewear Line ÉGAL]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 09:15:08 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-527358950.jpg

Ballerina Misty Copeland, who is known for breaking body stereotypes in the dance world, has launched her line of dancewear apparel.

The prima ballerina has often spoken publicly about her career-long struggle to find dancewear designed for women who have busts, hips and thighs. It from that void that Copeland says ÉGAL Dance was born.

ÉGAL Dance features designs inspired by Copeland's personal style and a desire to provide dancewear that is "truly supportive, appealing and flattering to a variety of body types."

"The ÉGAL woman is looking for high-performance, functional dancewear that is fashionable, durable and most importantly, helps them to achieve their movement goals," says Copeland. "We have shared our garments with both professional and recreational dancers, and early feedback has shown that dancers from dance forms including ballet, modern, contemporary, jazz, and Broadway, have an overwhelming need for this type of leotard."

ÉGAL Dance's initial launch is comprised of the brand's capsule collection including leotards, crop tops, a skirt and a warm-up tunic. Copeland's dancewear line is available exclusively online at www.egaldance.com.

Copeland made history last year as the first African-American woman promoted to principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre.

Reaching the pinnacle of success as a dancer was only the beginning. The world-renowned ballerina has been able to forge a career outside the dance world with her trailblazing accomplishments, a rare feat for someone from the dance world. In addition to various endorsement deals and TV appearances, the 33-year-old has published two New York Times best-selling books, was the subject of a documentary, appeared on Broadway, named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people and was recently honored with her own Barbie doll.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Santa's North Pole Home Listed on Zillow]]> Wed, 30 Nov 2016 21:31:27 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/p_f_Outside_024.jpg Popular real estate marketplace company Zillow added a new property listing to their website just in time for the holidays -- Santa Claus' North Pole house. Maison Krin is described as a "toy-lover's paradise nestled on 25 idyllic acres at the North Pole -- perfect for spirited reindeer games." The company priced the home using "comparable homes in remote locations" and "applying a Santa premium," they said in a press release.

Photo Credit: Zillow]]>
<![CDATA[Napoleon Dynamite and Pedro Reunite for Burger King Ad]]> Wed, 30 Nov 2016 19:25:46 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/212*120/nd51120735.jpg

Napoleon Dynamite and Pedro are back…for Burger King, that is.

Jon Heder and Efren Ramirez reunited for a commercial for Burger King’s limited-time offering of cheesy tots.

The commerical plays off of Napoleon's love for the cafeteria side dish in the movie. 

"Whoa, are those cheesy tots?” Heder as Napoleon asks Ramirez, before requesting to try one.

He then takes a handful of tots, including one out of Ramirez’s hand, for himself.

“Dang it, those are good,” Heder says.

“Fans have been craving the return of Cheesy Tots for some time now,” Burger King president, North America Alex Macedo said in a statement. “So we wanted to give loyalists a holiday surprise after we heard so many of their requests. Now they’ll be able to warm up to these cozy cheese and potato bites this holiday season.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[$2 Gets You a Free Wendy's Frosty With Each Visit in 2017]]> Sun, 04 Dec 2016 19:52:09 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-52821036.jpg

Next year just got a whole lot sweeter.

Wendy's is providing customers with key chains that will get them a free frosty with their purchases until the year's end

For just $2, customers that are participating Wendy's National Frosty Key Tag Program can flash their key chain to cashiers and get a free Jr. Frosty next year with our purchases.

Last week, Wendy's tweeted that for just $2, customers can enroll in the program for 2017.

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Wendy's charity affiliate, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption was selling the tags on its website but have sold out. 

"Due to overwhelming popularity, the 2017 Frosty Key Tags are sold out!" the site reads.

However, Wendy's tweet last week encourages customers to still come and buy a $2 tag at their nearest location.

Anyone interested in purchasing a key tag by the end of 2016 can do so at their local Wendy's. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[New Britain 'Christmas House' Decorated One Last Time]]> Tue, 29 Nov 2016 17:56:36 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/rita+christmas+house_1200.jpg

It's the end of an era on Lexington Street in New Britain.

2016 will be the final year for the Christmas lights at Rita Giancola's house, according to her granddaughter, Michelle. Rita passed away in August.

"We decided to do it for one last year for the community and for us as well. We wanted to put it out there that this is it. And she wanted us to do it, so we had to," Michelle said.

Even though Rita had been putting up her Christmas display for years, it wasn't always an open house.

"There were people peaking in her windows, so then in 1978 she decided to open it to the public and it just took off from there," said Michelle.

Rita's family tradition grew, delighting generations of people, young and old alike.

"She, I could imagine right now, is smiling so big up there and feeling all the joy that she herself was spreading to everybody else. And I know that she is now looking down and feeling it and smiling huge," said Michelle.

While this may be the final year for actual lights, the light that Rita was for her community will shine long into the future.

"She was doing this all the way up until the end. She was going to plan on doing it still if she was still with us. She was going to still try to get up on those ladders and do as much as she could," Michelle said.

The open house on Lexington Street will be the week of December 16 through 23 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. each night. Admission is a non-perishable food item. Rita's family will also be lighting the outside as often as they can during the Christmas season.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Black Friday Store Hours]]> Fri, 25 Nov 2016 12:08:49 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-72639925.png

Stores throughout Connecticut opened early the Friday after Thanksgiving. Most stores are planning to stay open late for the popular shopping holiday known as Black Friday.

Some stores encouraged their shoppers to instead enjoy the time off from work to be outdoors.

Here's when a number of popular stores will be open.  Local mall hours are below as well.

It’s important to note that hours may vary by store or location so please check to confirm the hours of the store that you plan to visit.

Stores Open on Thanksgiving

Best Buy

Best Buy will open on Thanksgiving at 5 p.m. and stay open until 1 a.m. on Friday. It then will reopen at 8 a.m. Friday. Hours may vary by store. 

Dick's Sporting Goods

Dick's Sporting Goods will open on Thanksgiving at 6 p.m. and stay open until 2 a.m. Friday. It then will reopen Friday at 5 a.m. until 2 p.m. Hours may vary by store.


JCPenney opens at 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and remains open until 5 p.m. Friday. Hours may vary by store.


KMart will open at 7 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and remain open with doorbusters ending at 2 p.m. on Black Friday. Hours may vary by store.


Kohl’s opens at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and remains open overnight. Doorbusters will end at 1 p.m. on Friday. Hours may vary by store.


Macy’s will open at 5 p.m. Thursday through 2 a.m. Friday. It will reopen Friday at 6 a.m. with doorbusters ending at 1 p.m. Hours may vary by store.


Michaels will be open at 6 p.m. Thursday and remain open until midnight. It will reopen Friday at 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. Hours may vary by store.


Modell’s opens on Thanksgiving at 6 p.m. with doorbusters lasting through Friday at 2 p.m. Hours may vary by store.

Old Navy

Old Navy will open at 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and remain open through midnight on Black Friday. Hours may vary by store.


Sears will open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving and remain open until midnight. It will reopen on Black Friday at 5 a.m. Hours may vary by store.


Target will open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving and remain open through Black Friday, until 10 p.m., 11 p.m. or midnight, depending on the store.


Toys"R"Us will open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and remain open through 11 p.m. on Black Friday. Hours may vary by store.

Ulta Beauty

Ulta Beauty will open on Thanksgiving at 6 p.m. and remain open until 2 a.m. It will reopen on Black Friday at 6 a.m. Hours may vary by store.


Walmart will open on Thanksgiving at 6 p.m. Hours may vary by store.


Stores Closed on Black Friday


REI will be closed on Black Friday as they promote their #OptOutside campaign, which encourages people to forgo the stores and get outside instead.


Local Mall and Outlet Center Hours


Westfarms will open on Thanksgiving at 6 p.m. and remain open until midnight.  It will reopen on Black Friday at 7 a.m. until 10 p.m.

Connecticut Post

The Connecticut Post Mall be closed on Thanksgiving.  It will reopen on Friday at 5 a.m. and remain open until 10 p.m.

Brass Mill Mall

The Brass Mill Mall will open on Thanksgiving at 6 p.m. and remain open until midnight.  It will reopen on Black Friday at 6 a.m. until 10 p.m.

The Promenade Shops at Evergreen Walk

The Promenade Shops at Evergreen Walk will be closed on Thursday but will be open on Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Tanger Outlets at Foxwoods

The Tanger Outlets at Foxwoods will open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving and remain open until 11 p.m. on Black Friday.

The Shoppes at Farmington Valley

The Shoppes at Farmington Valley will be closed on Thanksgiving Day but reopen on Black Friday from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The Shoppes at Buckland Hills

Check with the individual store for hours.  Some stores will be opening Thanksgiving evening but others will be closed for Thanksgiving.  Hours vary on Black Friday.

Westfield Meriden

The Brass Mill Mall will open on Thanksgiving at 6 p.m. and remain open until midnight.  It will reopen on Black Friday at 6 a.m. until 10 p.m.

Enfield Square

The Enfield Square Mall will open on Thanksgiving at 6 p.m. and remain open until 10 p.m. on Friday.

Crystal Mall

Waterford's Crystal Mall will open on Thanskgiving from 6 p.m. until 1 a.m.  The mall will then close for a few hours and reopen from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Black Friday.

Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets

The Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets will be open on Thanksgiving from 6 p.m. until 2 a.m.  The stores there will be open Black Friday from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m.

Danbury Fair

The Danbury Fair Mall will be open on Thanksgiving from 6 p.m. until midnight.  The mall will reopen on Black Friday from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Candace Bushnell’s Roxbury Home Goes on the Market]]> Thu, 17 Nov 2016 15:23:55 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Candace+Bushnell+compound+Roxbury.jpg

The woman who wrote “Sex and the City” and created the beloved characters Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda is selling her home in Litchfield County.

Klemm Real Estate has just listed Candace Bushnell’s mini-estate in Roxbury for $1.365 million.

The three-bedroom Victorian house built in 1890 is on three acres and includes a guest and pool house, outdoor shower, four garage bays, a barn and gardens.

“One of the jewels of Roxbury in a coveted location has been the home of two major people: Harrison Salisbury and Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell. A great opportunity for a buyer,” Carolyn Klemm, founder of Klemm Real Estate said in a statement.

Bushnell is also author of The Carrie Diaries, One Fifth Avenue, Lipstick Jungle, Trading Up and Four Blondes. 

“Classically charming country perfection, will take your breathe away, combining antique chic with current, recreation, flowers, trees, birds and bees,” said Maria Taylor, of Klemm Real Estate who is also representing the seller.

Photo Credit: Klemm Real Estate]]>
<![CDATA[Lego Kidsfest Comes to Hartford]]> Thu, 17 Nov 2016 13:56:41 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Lego_Kidsfest_Comes_to_Hartford_1200x675_811540547601.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Classic Oreo Cookies Are Now a Candy Bar]]> Tue, 15 Nov 2016 14:49:41 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/milka-oreo-big-crunch-chocolate-candy-bar-today-161114.jpg

Oreo, the chocolate cookie with white icing, is taking its classic taste to candy shelves.

The brand's first candy bar, a Milka Oreo Big Crunch Chocolate Bar, was released Monday and is available at some retailers nationwide, including Wal-Mart, Kroger, ShopRite and Albertsons, according to a company statement.

It features a layer of crunchy Oreo cookies between two layers of rich vanilla creme, coated in European Milka chocolate candy, according to Oreo's website

“Milka Oreo Chocolate Candy Bars are a natural progression for Oreo,especially with Mondelēz International’s global leadership position in chocolate and Milka being the No. 1 chocolate candy in Europe," said spokesperson Samantha Greenwood.

"The combination of these two global powerhouse brands – both of which are known for their delicious taste – has led to a product line that is unique and truly differentiated in the U.S. chocolate candy category.”

Milka Oreo Chocolate Candy Bar will debut in January 2017. It boasts vanilla cream studded with bits of chocolate Oreo cookies, then coated in Milka milk chocolate. Also, an Oreo Choco-Mix Snack Mix Bag will also be available next year.

Photo Credit: Nathan Congleton / TODAY
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<![CDATA[New Kids on the Block to Tour With Paula Abdul, Boyz II Men]]> Wed, 16 Nov 2016 10:39:52 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP253752335652.jpg

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New Kids on the Block are kicking off another tour starting next spring, and tickets will go on sale this week. The Boston-based 80s boy band will be joined by fellow throwback stars Paula Abdul and Boyz II Men.

"We're bringing happy back," Donnie Wahlberg said on NBC's "Today" show.

The tour, which starts May 12 in Columbus, Ohio, will have a Boston show at Fenway Park on July 8.

Other states the tour will hit: Michigan, Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri, Minnesota, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Washington, D.C.  

Tickets go on sale Nov. 19, but Block Nation Fan-Club Members and American Express card members can get advance tickets starting Wednesday at 10 a.m.

Below is the full concert tour schedule:

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Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Santa Flight Academy Opens at Westfarms]]> Mon, 21 Nov 2016 18:16:39 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/santa+flight+academy.jpg

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Election Day Freebies and Deals]]> Tue, 08 Nov 2016 13:07:43 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/voting-booths-generic.jpg

Americans head to the polls on Tuesday and can come away with more than an "I Voted" sticker. National brands will offer Election Day freebies and deals. Check out some of the specials.

Krispy Kreme
Show your "I Voted" sticker at participating locations and get one free doughnut of your choice. 

Customers with the 7-Eleven mobile app can get a free coffee of any size at participating stores.

California Tortilla
After casting your vote, enjoy free chips and queso with any purchase at California Tortilla. All you need to say is one of the secret passwords: "I vote for queso," "Make queso great again" or "I'm with Queso."

Bob Evans
The restaurant is offering 30 percent off any dine-in or carryout order after 2 p.m. Get the special coupon here.

Great American Cookies
Show your "I Voted" sticker at participating shops and get one free cookie.

World of Beer
The tavern wants voters to "come together over a pint of common good." Mention the offer to your server on Nov. 8 and receive your first beer for $1.

Need a ride to the polls? Uber has an in-app feature that helps you find your polling place and lets you request a ride to the location. First-time customers can use the promo code VOTETODAY for $20 off the first ride.

In an effort to #DRIVEtheVOTE, more than 7,000 Zipcar vehicles are free for members to use from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesday. The cars are available in hundreds of cities, towns and college campuses and can be reserved on Zipcar's website or mobile app.

Gold's Gym
Work off Election Day stress with free entry to your local Gold's Gym. Bring your valid "I Voted" sticker on Nov. 8.

Stock up on candidate figurines, campaign buttons and more. Until Nov. 9, bid on patriotic items in eBay's Cast Your Vote 2016 event.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Taco Bell Giving Out Free Tacos Wednesday Thanks to World Series ]]> Wed, 02 Nov 2016 10:23:47 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/taco-bell-doritos.jpg

If you’re in the mood for a free taco this afternoon, you’re in luck. And you have the Cleveland Indians to thank for it.

As part of their “Steal a Base, Steal a Taco” campaign during the World Series, Taco Bell is offering customers a free Doritos Locos Taco from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, while supplies last.

The fast food giant said they would offer the free treat if someone stole a base during the first two games of this year’s Fall Classic between the Indians and the Chicago Cubs. When Cleveland’s Francisco Lindor came up with a stolen base in Game One, everyone became a winner.

It’s the sixth time the company has done this promotion in conjunction with Major League Baseball. Taco Bell has also given away free tacos during the NBA Finals when the visiting team won a game.

No purchase is required, but Taco Bell says it will deny service to anyone they believe is double dipping for the snack.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Twins' Adorable Age Discovery]]> Wed, 02 Nov 2016 20:49:54 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/twins+older+youtube.jpg

A pair of adorable twin sisters from New Jersey delighted in learning that being identical meant they get to look alike — but their reactions quickly diverged when they learned one inevitably had to be the older twin.

The parents of 3-year-old Ava and Alexis, from West Orange, posted video on YouTube last week showing the conversation the girls' mother had with them about what it meant to be a twin. 

"Lexi, what do you think being identical twins means?" the girls' mother Ami is heard asking.

"Adordable!" Alexis replies. 

The girls hug each other as Ava explains that it means they have the same birthday. 

"It also means you look alike," their mother tells them, and the sisters look closely at each other and grin as they confirm that they indeed resemble each other. 

But when their mother tells them that Ava is one minute older, Alexis promptly starts crying.

"But I want to be older!" Alexis says.

"I'm just one minute older," Ava tells her mournful sister, grabbing her chin as she tries to comfort her. "I'm just one minute older, that's it." 

But the tables quickly turn when the girls realize that Alexis is actually the taller twin, by about a half-inch.

"I'm bigger than Ava!" Alexis announced proudly as Ava begins to cry.

Then it's Alexis' turn to hug her sister. 

Ava and Alexis' mother Ami told NBC 4 New York the girls have always been very competitive but that they're also "naturally very affectionate with each other." 

The twins were born six weeks early, weighing 3 pounds, 9 ounces and 3 pounds, 6 ounces, according to their parents. Since they came home at around four pounds, life for dad Justin and mom Ami has been "chaotic but wonderful." 

The family loves going to the park and the playgrounds, and they especially enjoy the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange.

Photo Credit: YouTube.com/JKMcClure
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<![CDATA[Obamas Host Last White House Halloween]]> Tue, 01 Nov 2016 15:51:39 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/103116+White+House+Halloween.jpg

The president and first lady hosted their final Halloween party at the White House Monday afternoon.

The first couple welcomed students from D.C., Virginia and Maryland schools, as well as children of military families, to trick-or-treat at the South Portico of the White House.

More than 4,000 people were expected at this year’s Halloween festivities, according to a statement from the Office of the First Lady.

For this year's theme, the White House and surrounding grounds were transformed into A Storybook Journey, which included decorations and performances inspired by classic tales such as "Mother Goose," "Peter Pan," "Alice in Wonderland," "The Wizard of Oz" and "Peter Rabbit."

Students from the Joy of Motion Dance Center led a flash mob to Michael Jackson's "Thriller." The Obamas joined in from the sidelines, showing off their own "Thriller" moves. 

The president handed out White House Hershey's Kisses while the first lady handed out cookies.

In addition, an assortment of treats were also provided, including White House M&Ms, fruit bars, kettle corn, and Bo and Sunny baseball cards.

"Because you being up all night with a sugar rush is exactly what your parents want," Obama joked. 

The president took mock offense to one trick-or-treater's President Obama costume, which included silver spray-painted hair.

"Is this supposed to be me?" Obama asked. "Man, I'm not that gray yet." 

Want to add some White House style to your own Halloween party? The official White House Halloween press release included the "official" White House Halloween cookie recipe:

  • 1 lb. sugar
  • 2 lbs. butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 lbs. all-purpose flour

Mix the butter and sugar till soft and well beaten. Then add eggs, vanilla, salt and half the flour. Beat on slow speed till mixed, then add the rest of the flour and mix until incorporated.

Push flat onto a cookie sheet and refrigerate overnight. Roll out to one quarter inch thick and cut out cookie shapes with cookie cutter.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 14 minutes and allow to cool.

Photo Credit: Mark Wilson, Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Best 'Today' Halloween Costumes]]> Mon, 31 Oct 2016 10:16:22 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/kathie-lee-and-hoda-as-regis-and-kathie-lee-tease-today-161031-sm.jpg From iconic figures from the 1990s, to "Star Wars" characters, to the royal wedding, to classic TV shows like "SNL," "Today" show hosts have paid tribute to a wide range of pop culture personas through their Halloween costumes. Click to see some of the best.

Photo Credit: TODAY]]>
<![CDATA[XTina, Magician and Dragon: Celebs Get in Halloween Spirit]]> Tue, 01 Nov 2016 07:19:26 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/halloween_2016.jpg

Celebrities are known for their wild and daring Halloween costumes, and so far this year, they haven't disappointed. 

Over the weekend, many celebs carried on the annual tradition of dressing up and sharing photos on social media of their elaborate, sometimes spooky and occasionally controversial creations.

Take a look at their costume ideas below: 

Katy Perry, Hillary Rodham Clinton

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Kylie Jenner, Christina Aguilera (XTina)

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Beyonce, Salt-N-Pepa

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Kourtney Kardashian, witch

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Lauren Conrad, circus performer

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Hilary Duff, whose costume drew some criticism...

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Especially when standing beside her boyfriend, Jason Walsh.

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Shakira, magician

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Mariah Carey: The singer is dressed as She Devil, holding her son Moroccan, sporting a Mario costume. Carey's ex-husband, Nick Cannon, is dressed as Luigi. He holds daughter Monroe who's wearing a princess costume.

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Joseph Gordon Levitt: Bloody country singer

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Beyonce and Jay Z: Barbie and Ken

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DJ Pauly D, dragon, and Aubrey O'Day, angel

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Tara Reid, Greek goddess

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But it may be John Legend and Chrissy Teigen's baby daughter Luna who taks top prize for the cutest Halloween costume. Teigen has proven that baby Luna has no shortage of adorable Halloween getup. 

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<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut Unveils Barn Yard Outdoor Studio]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 13:56:45 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/pavilion+barn+yard_1200.jpg

NBC Connecticut unveiled our new Barn Yard Outdoor Studio on Thursday.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Connecting You to Joy]]> Mon, 28 Nov 2016 13:13:53 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Fantasy-of-lights.jpg

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Mayor Goes On Tweetstorm After 'Walking Dead' Premiere]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 13:54:25 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/walking+dead.jpg

A Connecticut mayor who is a huge fan of The Walking Dead and is particularly upset about last night's shocking reveal.

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton of took to Twitter after the deaths of beloved characters Abraham and Glenn on the popular AMC series on Sunday night. He jokingly declared that his public schools would have a 90-minute delay to mourn the passing of the two fictional characters.

The popular zombie apocalypse series has been known to kill off main characters and the beginning to the newest season was no different. Fans were left on the edge of their seat after last season's finale where nobody was sure who would be killed in a tense cliffhanger scene.

Like most of The Walking Dead episodes, the killing of these characters was gruesome and left nothing to the imagination.

Boughton was not pleased with the brutal murder of his favorite zombie-killers and called for a memorial service in their honor (that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump would attend.)

The students in the Danbury School District might not be pleased with a tweet about cancelling Halloween to process these untimely deaths. Even the most hardcore Walking Dead fan might recover before the trick-or-treating begins next week.

Photo Credit: File
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<![CDATA[Botanical Garden Glows Orange for Halloween]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 11:58:48 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Denvers_Botanical_Garden_Glows_Orange_for_Halloween_1200x675_790853187746.jpg Halloween is on display at Denver's botanical garden.]]> <![CDATA[Get Ready for Girl Scout Cookie Cereals, Starting Next Year]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 19:46:02 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/girl+scouts+cookie+cereal.jpg

Attention all Thin Mints fanatics: Two flavors of Girl Scout Cookies are coming to cereal boxes this winter.

General Mills is teaming up with the Girl Scouts to launch limited edition Girl Scout cookie cereals, the company says.

Thin Mints and Caramel Crunch (you know them as Samoas, in cookie form) are the featured cereal flavors. Starting in January 2017, the Girl Scout cookie cereals will be available nationwide, according to General Mills spokesman Mike Siemienas. 

It will come out as the Girl Scouts mark 100 years of selling their world famous cookies in 2017. 

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From the Girls Scouts website: "It started in 1917 when Girl Scouts in Muskogee, Oklahoma, did what Girl Scouts everywhere always do. They had a great idea. The girls of Mistletoe Troop hit upon the clever idea to fund their projects by selling cookies they made themselves in their kitchens at home."

Over a million girls have sold the signature cookies to help teach empowerment and life skills. 

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Photo Credit: General Mills
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<![CDATA[Happy Howl-oween: Pet Costumes Rule!]]> Sun, 30 Oct 2016 12:44:01 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/PetCostumes-147696710644900001.jpg Halloween is just around the corner, and this year Americans are getting the whole family involved...including their pets.]]> <![CDATA[M&M's Are Getting a New Filling]]> Tue, 18 Oct 2016 14:09:11 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-452614600mandm.jpg

Your sweet tooth is in for a treat. Mars Chocolate has announced that M&M’s are getting a new filling — caramel.

A video on the M&M's Twitter account said caramel M&M's, with a deep blue package, will be available in May. 

CNN Money reported that it’s the first time the company is using caramel as a permanent filling. M&M has a history of trying out different flavors, and occasionally a new filling, such as peanuts, or pretzels. But a caramel center is very different.

"Caramel is extremely trendy," Vice-President of Research and Development of Mars Chocolate Hank Izzo told CNN. "It's a $2.2 billion flavor segment and the fastest growing segment in food right now. We want to be part of this category."

Izzo also told the news agency it's still getting the manufacturing process ready — hence the monthslong wait.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA[Garage Door's Toothy Halloween Get-Up Goes Viral]]> Mon, 31 Oct 2016 06:41:48 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-5612846171.jpg

This year, people and pets aren't the only ones getting dressed up for Halloween.

An Ohio woman's video showing her "monster house" decoration has gone mega-viral, with at least 23 million people in under a week watching a garage door adorned with teeth open and close. Complete with eyes on top, the effect is of a massive, fanged, car-eating monster — surely the most fearsome garage on the block.

The video was posted by Facebook user Amanda Destro Pierson, who says in the video's description she's a face painter. In a different video, also posted in Cleveland, she says she works as a product designer at a craft company and that she's hard at work getting a "monster house" kit ready for sales for next Halloween.

The idea appears to be a hit already, at least judging by some of the thousands of comments on Pierson's video that say "let's do this" or "I need this!"

In the meantime, the sudden popularity seems to have caught Pierson by surprise.

"Thank you guys so much for the overwhelming response," Pierson says in one of the videos. "Who would have known that my garage would be so popular?"

Photo Credit: Getty Images/EyeEm
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<![CDATA[Many Ways to Celebrate National Dessert Day in Connecticut]]> Fri, 14 Oct 2016 10:55:13 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/whoopie+pies+1200.jpg

National Dessert Day is just one more excuse to savor your favorite sweet treat.

A.C. Petersen is a favorite in West Hartford. The sundaes come with freshly made whipped cream and do not disappoint. Try the peanut butter cup sundae, the turtle sundae, the doughboy sundae or one of several others. If you have a smaller appetite, try a cone, an ice cream soda or a root beer float. The Old Lyme location is closed for the season.

Ashley’s has been making ice cream for 30 years and has five locations --- Hamden, New Haven, Branford, Guilford and Madison. The list of flavors is extensive and includes standard favorites, as well as Strawberry with Oreo, Reverse Chocolate Chip, Bourbon Brown Sugar and many others. Enjoy ice cream, frozen yogurt, an ice cream cake, shakes and drinks and pies made with ice cream or yogurt. 

Cake Gypsy’s motto is “making the world a sweeter place by spreading happiness and joy” and the Canton shop does that with custom-designed birthday cakes, wedding cakes, sculpted cakes and gourmet cupcakes. 

The cupcake menu will have you salivating for the Nutella, Caramel Apple, Signature Red Velvet, the Samoa or many others. 

Collins Creamery in Enfield serves 20 flavors of ice cream and you can enjoy a cup or a cone, a sundae, milkshake, root beer float or one of many other offerings. You can also bring home a pint, quart, half gallon or six-pack of ice cream sandwiches. 

If you love chocolate – and who doesn’t? – then Munson’s is probably already one of your favorite places. The boxed chocolates, fudge, truffles, chocolate bark and other treats are all delicious. 

There are stores in Bolton, West Simsbury, Newington, Olde Mystic Village, Orange, South Windsor and Glastonbury, as well as at Westfarms and Foxwoods.

At Mozzicato, you can get a towering tray of cookies, cakes for any occasion, gelato and pastries. There are locations in Hartford, Plainville and Wallingford. 

Praline's has been a favorite in Connecticut for 25 years. The corporate offices are in Wallingford and there are shops in Berlin, Centerbrook/Essex, at Bella'Gio Restaurant in Cheshire, Buckland Mall in Manchester, Meriden Mall, CT Post Mall in Milford, Plainville, Rocky Hill, Southington, at Trumbull Mall, as well as in Wallingford and West Hartford.

Praline's has many flavors to choose from, including Donnatella -- hazelnut spread with chocolate bits. Other offerings include graham cracker smacker, lemon pie, grapenut, nightmare and more. In addition to ice cream, you can get yogurt, ices, sorbets, sherberys and no-fat ice cream.

NoRa serves up cupcake flavor combination you’d never dream of but you will definitely love.

The Banofee is a shortbread crusted banana Heath Bar cake, vanilla whipped cream frosting, chopped Heath Bar pieces. The Irish Car Bomb is a favorite, the Milky Way will not disappoint and there is even an Arnold Palmer cupcake. That’s just the beginning. NoRa has locations In Middletown and West Hartford.

SoNo Baking Company in South Norwalk, Darien and Westport makes chocolate ganache cake, coconut cake, red velvet and more. And the pastry menu includes pies, tarts, cupcakes, eclairs, tiramisu and more. 

Taste by Spellbound in Avon will have you spellbound, especially if you try the truffles. 

Miriam Hope’s web-based truffle business has grown into a storefront with a menu that also includes cupcakes, macaroons, cookies, pies and more.

UConn Dairy Bar is the “sweetest course on campus,” and has been a Best of Connecticut choice several times over. 

What’s your favorite dessert or place for dessert? Comment here or Tweet us with the hashtag #NationalDessertDay

Photo Credit: Submitted]]>
<![CDATA[Great Places for Leaf Peeping]]> Thu, 06 Oct 2016 11:49:07 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Great_Places_for_Leaf_Peeping_1200x675_780510787769.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Restaurant Week Returns in New Haven]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 16:39:05 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/fork+generic.jpg

Restaurant week is coming back to New Haven.

From October 30 through November 4, several New Haven restaurants will offer a price-fixed menu.

Diners will be given the choice of three-course meals at lunch for $20.16 or $34 for dinner. The prices do not include beverage, tax, or gratuity.

Organizers suggest making reservations ahead of time for this popular event.

New Haven Mayor Toni Harp and some of the Restaurant Week organizers will release more details at a news conference on Tuesday.

<![CDATA[Food to Indulge on at the Big E]]> Wed, 21 Sep 2016 14:16:46 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/Big+E+Maine+Potato.JPG

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Take a Photo Tour of West Avon Road Home]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 15:18:57 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/West+Avon+Road+House.jpg NBC Connecticut's Kerri-Lee Mayland got a tour of a well-known home on West Avon Road in Avon.

Photo Credit: Kerri-Lee Mayland]]>
<![CDATA[Small State Great Beer Festival Hosts Sellout Crowd]]> Sun, 18 Sep 2016 12:59:08 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Small-state-great-beer.jpg

With a sellout crowd, some 4,000 people lined up for samples at the first Small State Great Beer Festival in Hartford.

“I had a feeling it was going to be crowded. I did not think it was going to be this crowded at all,” says Kristen Evans of Vernon.

“It’s been fun. We’ve had some good beers,” says Tiffany Settino of Manchester.

Some 30 breweries from around the state were pouring their best for a thirsty crowd.

“Definitely a lot of young people,” says John Floyd of Hartford.

That’s just who festival organizers had hoped would show up.

The goal was event-goers would leave realizing things are improving downtown, but it takes people fighting for change.

“It really starts with an idea and then it’s the collective community of businesses and patrons together saying I want to be a part of this. I want to make this happen,” says Kyle Tripp, the event’s director of operations.

Area businesses supported the cause.

Some believe a one night investment could lead to future returns.

“It is important to bring people back in, you know, not just to come in and work. But come in and have fun,” says Rich Clemens, Black-Eyed Sally’s general manager.

Some who kicked back say they now call Hartford home, having left the suburbs.

“Our generation is much more cosmopolitan and wants to get things going in the city,” says Jen Palladino of Hartford.

“I’d like to encourage them to do more stuff like this. If they do, I think it will attract more young people and more people to kind of live down here,” says Tim Callahan of Hartford.

Organizers say they hope to make this an annual event.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[The Best of NYC Fashion Week 2016]]> Mon, 19 Sep 2016 11:33:41 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-603544622_master.jpg New York City's fall fashion week brings together models, celebrities and fans of fashion as top designers unveil their latest creations.

Photo Credit: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Yummy Cream Puffs Are a Popular Treat at Big E]]> Thu, 15 Sep 2016 13:00:32 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Yummy_Cream_Puffs_Are_a_Popular_Treat_at_Big_E_1200x675_766039107678.jpg ]]> <![CDATA['Small State Great Beer' Festival 2016]]> Thu, 15 Sep 2016 16:33:23 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Craft+beer.PNG

The first-ever "Small State Great Beer" festival is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 17. It will be held at Constitution Plaza in downtown Hartford from 5-9pm.

More than 30 breweries will be sharing samples of their beers at the event.

In addition to the beverages, three musical acts will be performing as well. Food trucks will be on site as well as other local vendors.

The event is 21+ and will be held rain or shine.

Tickets are available by visiting www.smallstategreatbeer.com.

NBC Connecticut is the media sponsor of the "Small State Great Beer" festival.

<![CDATA[Celebrate Connecticut Day at the Big E]]> Wed, 21 Sep 2016 12:34:29 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Connecticut+Building+at+the+Big+E.JPG

Today is Connecticut Day at the Big E and there are some new additions to the Connecticut building this year, including a Connecticut Craft Beer Garden and two chowderfests. 

The new Connecticut Craft Beer Garden will feature beers from several Connecticut breweries, including Two Roads Brewing Company, City Steam Brewery, Broad Brook Brewing and Stony Creek Beer. 

Visitors who are 21 or older can stop by the tent daily to buy beer to drink at the Big E. 

Those who prefer wine can visit the Connecticut Farm Wineries booth for samples and to purchase bottles to take home. 

There will also be a mini-"Chowdafest" on Sunday, Sept. 25 on the front lawn of the Connecticut Building, where you can get chowders, soups and bisques from Connecticut restaurants. 

All of the participating restaurants, which are members of the newly formed Chowda Trail, will compete in the New England Chowdafest on Oct. 2 in Westport. 

In all, more than 60 Connecticut exhibitors will take part during the 17-days of the Big E, including barbeque restaurants, llama farms, hand-rolled cigars, Connecticut-grown apples and more.  

Connecticut Day will be on Wednesday, Sept. 21 and the day-long celebration will include a parade, live entertainment, impersonators and more. 

The Connecticut Building, which is part of the Avenue of States, will be open daily until Oct. 2, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

If the food is a big reason you go to the Big E, you're in for a treat. There are some new additions this year. 

New food locations include the Wurst Haus, by the Student Prince, with Bavarian pretzels, Munich Corn Dogs, the “German Giant” --  an 18-inch bratwurst -- and fried Camembert on Commonwealth Avenue.
The Deep South Company will serve po’ boys, chicken ‘n waffles, fried green tomatoes, the Mauufuletta sandwich BBQ and southern-style cocktails in the former Italian Pavilion.
New foods to try include a mint and peanut butter soft serve ice cream, Navajo Indian Tacos served folded in fried dough, funnel cake fries, chocolate and bacon-covered fries, blueberry pierogi sundae, maple waffle breakfast sandwich, sweet potato dessert fries, a centennial frozen banana, deep friend mac and cheese balls, 

New food locations include the Wurst Haus, by the Student Prince, with Bavarian pretzels, Munich Corn Dogs, the “German Giant” --  an 18-inch bratwurst -- and fried Camembert on Commonwealth Avenue.

The Deep South Company will serve po’ boys, chicken ‘n waffles, fried green tomatoes, the Mauufuletta sandwich BBQ and southern-style cocktails in the former Italian Pavilion.

New foods to try include a mint and peanut butter soft serve ice cream, Navajo Indian Tacos served folded in fried dough, funnel cake fries, chocolate and bacon-covered fries, blueberry pierogi sundae, maple waffle breakfast sandwich, sweet potato dessert fries, a centennial frozen banana, deep friend mac and cheese balls, 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[2 Connecticut Roller Coasters Ranked Among Best in U.S.]]> Wed, 14 Sep 2016 13:42:11 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Wooden+Warrior+1200.jpg

Two of the best wooden roller coasters in the country can be found at amusement parks in Connecticut.

The Golden Ticket award winners were announced over the weekend and Boulder Dash at Lake Compounce was rated the best of the wooden roller coasters in the United States. 

The Wooden Warrior at Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury also made the top 50 list. It came in 46th. 

Boulder Dash, which opened in 2000, and is one of the most popular attractions at America’s oldest continually operating theme park and it’s been the top wooden roller coaster for several years.

Wooden Warrior opened at Quassy in 2011 and park staff members are proud of the accomplishment.

“We’re certainly delighted that Wooden Warrior continues to be among this stellar list of rides,” Quassy President Eric Anderson said in a statement. “This year a number of huge new coasters were introduced around the world, and for Wooden Warrior to remain among the top 50 is astonishing!”

Photo Credit: Quassy ]]>
<![CDATA[Smithsonian Celebrates 'Star Trek's' 50th Anniversary]]> Mon, 12 Sep 2016 06:09:30 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Star+Trek+Model+at+Smithsonian.jpg

Fifty years ago, millions of Americans were glued to their TV sets for what would be a transformative glimpse into the future: The original “Star Trek” series debuted on NBC Sept. 8, 1966. In honor of the show, which led to six more series and 13 movies, the Smithsonian is celebrating science fiction becoming science fact.

"Space, the final frontier," and “the Enterprise” are two of the best known elements of our television history. Now they're attracting crowds at the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum.

In 1966, if you wanted to have a spaceship in your TV show or movie, you had to physically build one and film it. The 11-foot long studio model of the USS Enterprise is the centerpiece of the Smithsonian's three-day celebration of the original series. The museum got the model in 1974, five years after NBC canceled the show. For a new permanent exhibit, it's been refurbished and rewired.

"I think it's an important part of connecting the popular culture enthusiasm around space flight to the actual artifacts of space flight," Smithsonian space history custodian Margaret Weitekamp said.

The museum is screening the first episode, "The Man Trap," Thursday for a capacity crowd with a discussion to follow.

Friday night will feature a Smithsonian documentary called "Building Star Trek" and another film by the son the late Leonard Nimoy called "For the Love of Spock."

Despite the jokes non-Trekkies make about the TV franchise, “Star Trek” made an undeniable mark on many parts of our history.

"’Star Trek’ is an optimistic view of the future," local attorney Charles Hildebrandt said.

He is part of a group working to build the Museum of Science Fiction in the D.C. area. 

Scenes, like an interracial kiss in 1968, were “Star Trek's” bold and covert way of helping Americans face their demons, Hildebrandt said.

"Allowed them to talk about and discuss and confront the Vietnam War, racism, sexism, all these issues that most other entertainment can't even discuss," he said.

"Nichelle Nichols, who is the African-American actress who played Lt. Uhura in the original series, was actually recruited by NASA to recruit astronaut candidates when they wanted more women, more African-Americans, more Asian-Americans," Weitekamp said.

“Star Trek” also inspired things we now see in the real world. What Capt. Kirk called a communicator then, Motorola called the first flip phone in 1996 and revolutionized how we communicate.

"There are really a lot of things from automatic doors that you walk through at the grocery store to the iPad that you can look up your information on that really have some connections to ‘Star Trek,’" Weitekamp said.

Get more details on the Smithsonian’s celebration here

Syfy, an NBC Universal channel, is airing three “Star Trek” movies Thursday evening.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>