This Connecticut Mom’s 2017 Guide to the Holidays!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! This Connecticut Mom’s Holiday 2017 Guide is pretty extensive! So, grab your note pad, some hot cocoa and start making some plans! 

Where can I take photographs with Santa?

Where else can I find Santa?

Want to have Breakfast or Dinner with Santa? Please note most of these require reservations and sell out QUICKLY!!

  • Munchkin Morning with Santa at Mystic Aquarium  – December 1 – 8 30 – 10 a.m. For children ages 2 to 5, come enjoy crafts and activities, visits with Santa and photos. Aquarium will be available for viewing before opening.  The cost for non-members is $35 for adults, $20 for children. Admission included. Reservations Required. Read our Review !
  • Breakfast with Santa at Look Park Garden House  – December 2 at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Enjoy a delicious breakfast with Santa. Adults are $11, Children 2-12 are $9. Reservations requiredRead our Review!
  • Brunch with Santa & Mrs. Claus at Lyman Homestead – December 3, 10, 16 and 16. Enjoy a buffet style brunch with Santa and Mrs. Claus, followed by a special meeting with Santa and complimentary photos. Tickets are $37.95 for adults, $19.95for ages 6 to 12, and $6.95 for ages 3 to 6 (2 and under are free). Prepaid reservations required.
  • Breakfast with Santa at the Sheraton Springfield– December 3 and December 10 at 10 a.m. Enjoy Santa’s Elves Breakfast buffet, photos with Santa, candy canes and free passes to the Festival of Trees at Tower Square! Admission is $18.95 for adults, $9.99 for ages 4 to 12 and free for children under 3. Reservations required.
  • Breakfast with Santa at Mystic Aquarium  – December 9 – 8 to 9:30 a.m. Bring your family and friends to a magical morning at the aquarium with Santa! Aquarium will be available for viewing before opening. Tickets Required. The cost is $20.95 for ages 11 and up; $15.95 for ages 10 and under. Reservations RequiredRead our Review !
  • Breakfast with Santa at The Bushnell – December 9. A breakfast buffet with Santa and Mrs. Claus! There will be carolers, crafts and more! For tickets, please call the box office before December 8.
  • Pancake Breakfast with Santa at the South Windsor Fire Department–   December 9 from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Enjoy a breakfast with a special guest! Santa will also be available for pictures. No reservations. Free. Donations accepted.
  • Pizza, Penguins and Santa at Mystic Aquarium – December 9 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Enjoy pizza, French fries, chicken tenders and dessert; plus you’ll get to take photos with Santa and see the African penguins during a special dinner time appearance! Advanced registration required. Tickets are $24.95 for ages 11 and up; $20.95 for ages 10 and under. Read our Review !
  • Breakfast with Santa at Holcomb Farm in West Granby – December 9 at 8 a.m. or 10 a.m. Enjoy breakfast on the Farm, holiday crafts and photos with Santa! Tickets are $9 for adults and $6 for kids age s 2 to 12. Please purchase tickets online.
  • Tower Square’s Breakfast with Santa in SpringfieldDecember 9 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Enjoy breakfast, photos with Santa, special visits from the Grinch, a magic show, crafts, face painting and more! Admission is $10 per person (children under 2 are free). Must pre-register by December 6!
  • Snack with Santa at The Lodge at Crandall Park in Tolland – December 9 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sponsored by the Tolland Community Women, Snack with Santa includes a visit with Santa (including a 4 by 6 photo), crafts, storytime with Mrs. Claus, cocoa and cookies! Tickets are $15 per child (under 1 year free; $25 family max).
  • Brunch with Santa at A Villa Louisa  – December 10 from 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Enjoy an all you can eat buffet. Santa will be handing out goody bags and visiting with the kids. Tickets are $24.95 for adults, $12.95 for kids 10 and under. Reservations Required.
  • Brunch with Santa at Crestview Country Club in Agawam – December 10 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Enjoy a great brunch while the kids enjoy time with Santa! Adults are $19.95; children ages 4 to 12 are $9.95 and children under 3 are free! Don’t forget your camera! Call to make reservations!
  • Cookies & Pictures with Santa at ShopRite EnfieldDecember 14 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Come take your photo with Santa and Mrs. Claus! Cookies and milk will be served. Cost is $8 per child. Pre-registration is required.
  • Breakfast with Santa at Scantic Valley YMCA in Wilbraham, Massachusetts – December 16 from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.  There will be seating at 8:30 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. Adult s and children are $8 (members) or $12 (non-members). Children under 2 are free. Please make your reservations by calling the Welcome Center.
  • Breakfast with Santa at Maneeley’s Grand Ballroom in South WindsorDecember 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Enjoy a breakfast buffet, crafts and visits with Santa. Pictures with Santa are available and you will receive a free 4 by 6 photo with Santa! Admission for children 12 years and under is an unwrapped toy. Adult admission is $12, paid in advance. Seating is limited and available on a first come, first serve basis. Call to reserve.
  • Breakfast with Santa at The Collegian Court in Chicopee, Massachusetts  – December 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. There are two seatings at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Enjoy a buffet breakfast and a picture with Santa! Admission is $15.99 for adults and $6.99 for kids. Call to reserve!
  • Breakfast with Santa at Grill 37 in Pomfret – December 17 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Enjoy a breakfast buffet and picture with Santa! Adults are $15; Children 12 and under are $10. Reservations suggested.

Here are some sensory-friendly activities throughout the area during this Holiday Season!

Do you enjoy the holidays of yesteryear? Then you will love these old-time classics!

  • Lantern Light Tours at Mystic Seaport  – November 24 to December 23 (Friday through Sunday). See website for dates. Tours begin at 5 p.m. and leave every 15 minutes. Enjoy a performance of The Nutcracker Sweets. This is a 70 minute progressive performance that covers a half mile of uneven terrain and will require walking or standing for the majority of the performance. Performances are appropriate for all ages, but not recommended for children under 4. Tickets are $33 for adults, $26 for ages 5 to 17 and free for under  4. Tickets can be purchased online.
  • Christmas by Candlelight at Sturbridge Village  – December 2-3, 8-10, 15-17, and 21-23, from 3 p.m. – 8 p.m.  Enjoy roasted chestnuts, music, dance, a sleigh ride and a visit from Santa Claus! Ticket prices vary by days, and can be purchased online.

Are you a fan of the theatre? These are perfect for you!

  • A Christmas Carol at Hartford StageNovember 24 to December 30. See website for dates and times. Enjoy a classic on stage. Recommended for ages 8 and up. Tickets start at $25.
  • Special Events at The Bushnell – Catch the following shows during December: A Christmas Story The Musical from November 24 to November 26; A Charlie Brown Christmas from December 1 to December 3;  The Nutcracker from December 16 to December 17; Holiday Cirque Spectacular on December 16; The Hip Hop Nutcracker with Guest MC Kurtis Blow on December 17; and Messiah on December 20. Tickets are available online.

If you have a train-obsessed child like I do, then this is your list. Please note many of these events require reservations/pre-purchase of tickets.

  • Northern Lights and Santa Express at The Railroad Museum of New England– November 24 to December 23. Please see website for dates and times. Enjoy a train ride with Santa, carol sing-alongs and more. Tickets are available online for purchase.  Prices vary depending on seating.
  • Winterfest and the Tunnel of Lights at the Connecticut Trolley Museum  – November 24 to December 30. Please see website for dates and times. Ride an open or closed car through the Tunnel of Lights, and then enjoy cocoa and listen to music afterwards in the visitor center. Tickets are $12 for adults, $11 for seniors, $10 for ages 2-12 and $3 for children under 2. Read our Review!
  • Santa’s Trolley Winter Wonderland at The Shore Line Trolley Museum – November 24 to December 17. Please see website for dates and times. Take a ride into the past and visit with Santa! Enjoy complimentary cookies and hot chocolate! All children will receive a small gift from Santa. Tickets can be purchased at the door or online. General Admission is $10; Children 2 and under are free.
  • Holiday Express Train Show at Fairfield Museum and History Center – December 1 – January 7, 2018. See website for hours. Model trains will be displayed around elaborate holiday scenery. Admission $5 Adults, $ 3 for ages 6-22, age 5 and under are free.
  • Santa’s Railyard at Danbury Rail Road Museum  – December 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17. See website for hours. Enjoy a vintage train ride to Santa’s Toyland! Admission is $12 per person for ages 2 and up (under 24 months – free) and includes a train ride, free gift for each child, a visit with Santa and more! Tickets are available online for purchase.
  •  Santa’s Trains at Look Park  – December 8 – 23, open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. December 24, open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Come visit Santa and spend some time watching the holiday inspired model trains make their way through village settings. Free. Read our Review!

Need a little thrill this holiday season? These amusement parks are open during the holidays!

  •  Holiday Lights at Lake Compounce – November 24 to December 30. See their website for days and times. The park will be covered in lights and spectacular light shows every half hour set to music. A selection of rides will be open. Tickets are available online and start at $15.99 for adults and $11.99 for children (3 and under are free). There are discounts for advanced purchases.
  • Holiday in the Park at Six Flags New England – November 24 to January 1. See website for days and hours.  Six Flags is celebrating the holidays for the first time ever! Enjoy the usual rides along with special events at Kringle Lane, Polar Playland and Jingle Bell Junction, along with shows and entertainment! Daily Admission starts at $42.99. Read our Review!
  • Christmas Festival of Lights at Edaville Family Theme Park in Carver, MassachusettsNow through December 31. See their website for hours and dates. Enjoy thousands of lights as they twinkle throughout the park! All rides (including Thomasland) are open during the winter hours, and of course, you can take as many rides as you’d like aboard Thomas the train! A must visit for your little ones, especially those that love Thomas the Train! Admission starts at $34.  Read our Review!

If you are looking to enjoy some beautiful Christmas lights and decorations, this list will help!

  • Fantasy of Lights at Lighthouse Point Park, New Haven  – Now through January 1, 2018. Open Sunday –Thursday from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.,  and Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Over 100,000 lights brighten the sky, while you enjoy a scenic drive through this winter wonderland! Admission is $10 per car load.
  • Festival of Silver Lights at Hubbard Park in Meriden– Now through January 1, 2018.  Open daily at 5 p.m. Enjoy this amazing display with over 350,000 twinkling white lights adorning 200 figures and buildings. 
  • Bright Nights at Forest Park  – November 22 to January 1 (see website for times, as they vary by date). Drive around Forest Park and enjoy the many different light displays and light shows.  Make sure to stop along the way for the carousel, Santa’s Train, photo ops, horse-drawn carriage rides, and other special attractions. Admission for vehicles is $18 during the week, and $21 for Friday through Sunday, and holidays. See website for discount coupons or visit Big Y for advanced tickets. 
  • Holiday Light Fantasia at Goodwin Park in Hartford–  November 23 to January 1, 2017. Open Sunday through Thursday from  5 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturdays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.. Admission is $15 per car.
  •  Winter Wonderland at Look Park – November 24 to January 1, 2017. Enjoy a light display as you drive through the park. No vehicle entry fee after 4 p.m. However, a donation is appreciated upon exit. Read our Review!
  • Festival of Lights at Mystic Aquarium  – December 8. From 5 p.m. until 9:30 p.m., 4,000 luminaries will light the walkways of Olde Mistick Village, Mystic Aquarium and the surrounding area. Stroll along, enjoy the lights, shopping, decorations, live music, carolers, jugglers and more. Santa will make an appearance at the Aquarium for pictures. Admission is free with a non-perishable food item per guest.

Like looking at trees too? Here are some great Festival of Trees!

  • Festival of Trees at Tower Square in Springfield  – November 24 – December 10. Open Wednesday through Sunday (see website as times vary by day). Come visit this amazing display of decorated Christmas trees, sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of Springfield. Trees have been donated by local sponsors and are available for you to win by raffle (includes all the trimmings and gifts beneath). Admission is $5 for adults, children 12 and under are free. Raffle tickets are 25 for $10.
  • Melha Shrine Feztival of Trees at Melha Shriners in Springfield – November 24 – December 3. Open Friday through Sunday (see their website for hours). Enjoy a feztival of trees and even enter a raffle to win one! There will also be a craft fair, food and entertainment!
  • A Treemendous Holiday Celebration at Enfield Square Mall– November 24- December 10.  Open Thursdays and Fridays from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Enjoy beautifully decorated trees donated by sponsors. Try your luck at winning a tree with all the gifts and trimmings. Children can also enjoy a special holiday craft. Free Admission. Read our Review!
  • 44th Annual Festival of Trees & Traditions at the Wadsworth in Hartford– December 1 – December 10. Public viewing hours of the trees is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. *except for Monday, December 4 and Tuesday December 5 when the museum is closed. Community members, artists and organizations decorate holiday trees and wreaths to be displayed in the galleries throughout the week. All items are for sale, and profits help fund the museum’s special exhibitions, educational programs, and operating expenses. Admission is $3 for members and Hartford residents; $18 for adults; $15 for seniors; $8 for students and $3 for children under 17. 

Want to chop down your own Christmas tree this year? Here’s a few places that offer that!

  • Barbourtown Tree Farm: 225 Barbourtown Road, N. Canton. You pick the tree, they cut it for you!
  • Coward Farm: 150 College Highway, Southwick, Massachusetts.  Gift Shop
  • Dzen Tree Farm: 215 Barber Hill Road, South Windsor. Trees cost: $50. Saw provided. Farm also features reindeer, wreaths, and a snack bar.
  • Dzen’s Sadd’s Mill Tree Farm: 187 Windsorville Road, Ellington. Saws provided. Farm also features a gift shop on site. 
  • Geer Tree Farm: 137 Norman Road, Griswold.  Saws provided.  On weekends, you’ll find food trucks with pizza, popcorn, snacks and more!
  • Hickory Ridge Tree Farm: 108 South River Road, Coventry. Hand saws provided.
  • Karabin Farms: 894 Andrews Street Southington. Trees cost $60. Saws provided.
  • Jones Family Farms, 606 Walnut Tree Hill Road, Shelton.  Trees rang from $50 to $99 (with some elf trees as low as $25, and the largest trees up to $175). Handsaws provided but during busy times, you may wish to bring your own.
  • Markowski Farms 216 Babbs Road, West Suffield. Trees cost $45. Farm also features tractor rides and horse rides. 
  • Red Hill Christmas Tree Farm: 37 South Main Street,  East Windsor
  • Rose’s Berry Farm:  295 Matson Hill Road, South Glastonbury. Trees cost $55. Saws provided. Farm also features a gift shop. 
  • Silver Bell Farm: 305 Silver Street, Monson, Massachusetts. Most trees cost $45. Farm store, indoor and outdoor kid’s activities, horse drawn wagon and sleigh rides, Santa visits and more!

For even more ideas, check this out!

Christmas is in the air in Connecticut! Here are a few towns spreading Christmas cheer!

  • Holidays on Main Street in Middletown – Beginning on November 24, 4 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. and continuing on Saturdays until December 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Enjoy a variety of entertainment every week ranging from free horse and wagon rides to Santa Claus; shopping and more!
  • Simsbury Celebrates in Downtown Simsbury  – November 25 starting at 4 p.m. Hopmeadow Street is transformed into a walking mall of entertainment. There will be a gingerbread house exhibit, a meet and greet with Nemo and Dory, strolling costume characters, music, face painting, photo booths, pictures with Santa, and fireworks.
  • Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration and Carol Sing at Salmon Brook Park in Granby – November 30 at 6:30 p.m. Enjoy a holiday sing-along, tree lighting, pictures with Santa, free hot chocolate and cookies and lots of entertainment! Donations of a non-perishable food item will be collected.
  • West Hartford Holiday Stroll at Blue Back Square and West Hartford Center  – December 1 from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Stroll along Blue Back Square and enjoy a special tree lighting, live music, visits with Santa, strolling Victorian carolers, face painting, and more!
  •  Lamplight Stroll in Downtown Milford  – December 1 from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Stroll down Broad Street, enjoy the shops , live entertainment , horse-drawn carriage rides, visits from Santa and more !
  • Town of Vernon Winterfest at Central Park– December 1 at 6:15 p.m. Enjoy a torchlight parade, tree lighting, snowflake lighting on Tower, Wreath Lighting on Town Hall, carol singing and the re-opening of Santa’s House! Light refreshments will be served. 
  • Holiday Stroll in Downtown RidgefieldDecember 1 -2. There will be horse drawn carriages, musical performances, children’s shows, ice sculpting, trunk shows, sale and much more!
  • Holiday Stroll in Downtown New Canaan – December 1, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and December 2, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Enjoy this family favorite as Downtown New Canaan transforms into something out of a Dickens’ storybook. Santa will arrive on Friday, the trees will light up, carolers will sing and the stores will stay open late. Saturday will include pictures with Santa, characters roaming the streets, live entertainment and much more!
  • Christmas Town Festival in Bethlehem– December 1 from 5 p.m. -10 p.m. and December 2 from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Enjoy train rides, caroling, bake sale, craft fair and visits with Santa on Friday night. On Saturday, Santa will again be visiting, along with the bake sale, concerts, craft fair, horse-drawn carriage rides and more! Free admission.
  • East Hartford Holiday Fest– December 1-4. Enjoy four days of nearly 30 events throughout  town including concerts, craft fairs, book readings, and community meals. Most events are free and open to the public. View the calendar of events online.
  • Ellington’s 13th Annual Winterfest and Tree Lighting Ceremony  – December 2 from 3:45 p.m. to 7 p.m. Enjoy the lighting of the tree, a parade, concerts, food and photo opportunities with Santa and his friends. 
  • Winter Welcome in Downtown Mansfield– December 2, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Enjoy a full day of shopping, singing, story times, crafts, visits with Santa and much more!
  • Christmas in the Villlage in South Meriden– December 2, 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Enjoy horse drawn carriage rides, pictures with Santa, music, kids’ activities, a bonfire, giveaways, games, food for sale and more! The event is free and everyone is welcome. Please bring a canned food donation or a lightly used book, and you’ll have a chance to win a prize from the special raffle. 
  • Torchlight Parade & Carol Sing in Enfield – December 3 at 6 p.m. The parade will start at Enfield Street School and end at the Town Green. The Carol Sing will begin at 7 p.m. in front of the Town Gazebo along with the tree lighting and Santa’s arrival. 
  • 5th Annual Easthampton Holiday Whobalation at Millside Park in Easthampton, Massachusetts – December 3 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Enjoy music and caroling, free hot cocoa, and holiday cheer! Make sure to arrive early for parking. Patrons please bring a NEW unwrapped toy to be donated (under $10).
  •  Holidays on Main in Wethersfield  – December 7 from 5 pm. to 9 p.m. This special evening includes the tree lighting ceremony, caroling, Santa visits at the Firehouse, live entertainment, horse and wagon rides at Heirloom Market, and much more!
  • Christmas Village in TorringtonFrom December 10 to December 24. Hours are 1 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily, with shorter hours from 9 a.m. until noon on Christmas Eve. Come out and enjoy this holiday tradition!

Many town libraries are also getting in the holiday spirit and are offering several events this season!

In Canton:

  • PJ Storytime: Visit with Santa- December 13 at 6:30 p.m. Children ages 3 and up will enjoy this special night with stories, songs, a short movie, a craft, a very special snack and a special visit with Santa Claus! Register online to ensure a spot!

In  Enfield:

  • Drop & Shop – December 2 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Three hours of games and crafts for the children while parents can run holiday errands! Ages 5 to 12 only. Space is limited. Register as soon as possible!
  • ­Festival of Trees – December 14 at 6:30 pm. Join the library for the opening reception of their gallery of handmade trees. Meet Jingles the Elf on the Shelf, enjoy the music of Enfield High School music ensembles, a story and more. There will also be and light refreshments. Drop-in.
  • Holiday Card Making December 20 at 3:30  p.m. Create holiday cards to send to someone special. Ages 5 and up. Drop-in.

In Rockville:

  • Community Tree Festival– December 2 – 16. Visit the library and view the beautiful table top trees, up for auction.
  • Trim the Tree Story Hour December 6 at 10:30 a.m. Children ages 2 to 4 are invited to attend a holiday story hour. There will time to decorate the tree in the Children’s Room, music and stories, and a tasty treat! Drop in.
  • RHS Carolers Concert– December 3 at 1 p.m.  Enjoy the beautiful singing of the RHS carolers, and light refreshments.

In Stafford:

  • Santa Visits! December 11 at 6 p.m. Bring your children to the library to meet Santa Claus! Don’t forget your camera so you can take their picture. Call to register.

In  Suffield :

  • Polar Express: A Story Time December 5 at 6:30 p.m. and December 6 at 10:30 p.m. For children ages 3 to 5. Enjoy a special one hour program and travel to the North Pole in a train, drink hot cocoa, make a craft, meet Santa and hear the story The Polar Express. Registration is limited and open ONLY to Suffield Residents.  Register online or by calling the library. 
  • Decorate a Gingerbread House (Second Baptist Church)December 9 at 10:30 a.m. Decorate an assembled Gingerbread house. All candy and edible items will be provided. For ages 5 and up. Registration is limited and open ONLY to Suffield Residents. Register online or by calling the library.  

In Windsor Locks:

  • Santa Visits the Library – December 2 at 10:30a.m. Santa will be here to greet the children and professional photos will be offered (One 4 by 6 print: $2) First Come, First Serve. Drop-in.  No Registration Required. 

Chanukah Celebrations are everywhere too!

  • Chanukah Workshop at Lowe’s in Springfield– December 10, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. The Chabad Hebrew School invites the public to a pre-Chanukah workshop at Lowe’s to create a brand new menorah! All paticipants will get to take home their menorah. This event is free. Information for RSVP’ing can be found on the Facebook event page. 
  • Hanukkah Painting Party in SouthburyDecember 10 at 3 p.m. Join the fun at this Hanukkah Painting Party led by the Giggling Pig and hosted by the PJ Library! Dress for a mess! Suggested donation is $8 per child. RSVP, space is limited. 
  • Menorah Lighting Court Square in Springfield– December 12 at 3:15 p.m.. Join the Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy at this community lighting ceremony on Court Square. There will be latkes, cocoa and dreidels. 
  • Menorah on the Green in MilfordDecember 12 at 5:30 p.m. Light the Menorah and enjoy a laser light show! A party will follow indoors at Coldwell Banker on the Green. 
  • Chanukah at the Enfield Square MallDecember 12 at 6 p.m. Enjoy warm latkes, hot cider, a free raffle, music, dancing and more!
  • Chanukah on the Glastonbury Center GreenDecember 13 at 6:30 p.m. Enjoy warm latkes, hot cider, a free raffle, music, dancing and more!
  • Ridgefield CommUNITY Menorah Lighting – December 13 at 6:30 p.m. Join the festivities with the lighting of the public Menorah on Main Street. There will be live music, dancing, prizes for all children, hot latkes and donuts. This even is FREE and open to the entire Ridgefield Community.
  • Chanukah on the Colchester Town GreenDecember 14 at 6 p.m. Enjoy warm latkes, hot cider, a free raffle, music, dancing and more!
  • Chanukah on the Tolland Town GreenDecember 18 at 6 p.m. Enjoy warm latkes, hot cider, a free raffle, music, dancing and more!

Still looking for more to do? Here are a few more events!

  • Holiday Happenings and the Lighting of the Quadrangle at the Springfield Museums– November 24 starting at 10 a.m. Enjoy a full day of crafts and activities, art exhibits, visits with the Grinch, sing-a-long and more. All indoor activities are included with admission. The Lighting of the Quadrangle begins at 5 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Enjoy appearances by Santa Claus and the Grinch, rides on the train, music and more!
  • Gingerbread House Festival at Wood Memorial Library & Museum – November 24 to December 10. Open Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Come see the different gingerbread creations; and on certain days, you may even find musical performances, local author and story time events, even visits from Santa, Mrs. Claus and other storybook characters! Free and Open to the Public.
  • Holiday Events in Downtown New Haven at The Shops at Yale – November 24 to December 24. Celebrate the holiday season with ice carving competitions and demonstrations, free horse and carriage rides, story time with Santa and Dreidel Man, Yuletide Carolers, and more! All events are free to the public.
  •  Winterfest Hartford at Bushnell Park– Opening November 24. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Christmas Eve and Christmas Day: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.). Enjoy free ice skating and skate rentals. On select days, the Bushnell Park will also offer $1 Carousel rides.
  • Candy Cane Hunt at Hebron Lions Fairgrounds – December 1 at 6 p.m. Sponsored by the MOMS Club of Hebron-Columbia and Andover. Bundle up, grab your flashlight and join in for some holiday fun! There will be four age groups for hunting. Bring your own flashlight and bags to collect candy canes! Please RSVP on Facebook.
  •  Holiday Market at Holyoke Merry-Go-Round – December 1 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and December 2 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Enjoy visits with Santa on Saturday; and entertainment, children’s activities, food trucks and more both days. Read our Review! 
  • Countdown to Christmas at The Springfield Museums– December 2, 9 and 16, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Enjoy a full day of exhibits, BINGO, meet and greet with the Grinch and Santa, and fun in Playland. Included with museum admission.
  • Holiday Carnival at Olde Mistick Village in MysticDecember 2 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Stroll the Village and vote for your favorite decorated wreath, enjoy live music, performers, gifts and more! Kids can stop by Santa’s Workshop from Noon to 4 p.m. to do a little shopping too!
  • Winter Wonderland at Ray of Light Farm in East HaddamDecember 2 and December 9 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Enjoy tractor drawn wagon rides, caroling at the campfire, hot chocolate and hot dog and chili bar. Santa will also be stopping in! $8 per person (children under 2 and adults over 80 are free).
  • Community HoliDay at New Britain Museum of American ArtDecember 10 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Museum will offer free admission all day. Enjoy drop in art activities, enjoy performances by The Ballet Theatre Company, and close the day with a performance by Whitechapel Handbell Choir. 
  • Santa’s Farm Workshop at Indian Rock Nature Preserve in BristolDecember 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Take the holiday hay wagon to Santa’s house for a photo with Santa. Enjoy the indoor hall of decorated Christmas trees, send letters to Santa and enjoy a live animal exhibit. There will be a bake sale, a gift shop and holiday craft center. Admission is $8 per person (children one and under are free).

Have a Wonderful Holiday Season everyone!  

*Did I miss something? Some events that were already sold out at the time I created this list were purposely left off.  But if you know a great event that should be included, let me know! 

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