33 Things to Do in Connecticut This December Last Updated: December 2020
Looking for something to do in Connecticut in December? Even with all the COVID-19 safety restrictions, there is still so much to see and do — and you can be sure businesses are working hard to keep you safe. Whether you want something active or relaxing, cultural or nature-oriented, historic or trendy, Connecticut's got you covered. Here are some highlights for December.
Just be sure to check with each location before venturing out, as hours may differ due to COVID-19.
For even more ideas, check out CTvisit.com, where you can search by type of activity under the DO navigation tab, or browse articles full of ideas under the IDEAS tab.
1. Shred the slopes. Break out your skis, snowboards, and tubes for some downhill thrills at Mohawk Mountain Ski Area in Cornwall, Mount Southington Ski Area in Southington, Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort in Middlefield, and Ski Sundown in New Hartford.
2. Get your steps in. Don’t let the cold keep you from being active. Warm up your muscles on any one of Connecticut’s hiking trails.
4. Go cross-country. Swap the downhill runs for a peaceful glide through nature when cross-country skiing at White Memorial Conservation Center Museum in Litchfield and Winding Trails Cross Country Ski Center in Farmington.
Arts & Culture
6. Appreciate the arts. Let the arts move and inspire you. Check out art exhibitions at New Britain Museum of American Art, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, or even view art outside by exploring the Scultpure Trail at Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London or visiting these photo-worthy outdoor murals.
8. Make holiday ornaments. Get crafty Christmas-style and attend an ornament making workshop at the Guilford Art Center in Guilford.
9. Practice your aim. If you want to try something new, challenge your friends, or just unleash some built-up stress, try your hand at axe throwing at Montana Nights Axe Throwing in Newington or Blue Ox Axe Throwing in Bridgeport.
10. Explore haunted history. Learn about Connecticut's holiday hauntings at the Ghosts of Christmas Past tours in Mystic or attend the virtual talk The Spirit of Christmas Past: Four Centuries of Christmas in New England, put on by the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum. At the same museum, experience displays of a classic Victorian Christmas all month long.
Food and Drink Adventures
12. Dine fireside. There are dozens of fireside dining options in Connecticut where you can toast the cold days and nights hearthside. From pubs and shoreline inns to fine dining, warm up to these destinations.
13. Put your pinkies up at tea. Rid yourself of the winter cold with a hot cup of tea at Alice in the Village in Mystic.
15. Support local restaurants with takeout. If you're in the mood to stay in and stay cozy, take a load off by ordering takeout or delivery — it'll help your favorite spots stay in business too. Want to add some extra flair? Try these take-home libations from all across the state.
16. Pick-your-own tree. Bring your axe, put on your heaviest layers and head to Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree Farm in East Hampton, Lou's Christmas Tree Farm in Orange, and Yurechko Tree Farm in Griswold to chop down this year’s perfect tree.
17. Watch virtual holiday shows. Gather your household members to see "Eleanor's Very Merry Christmas Wish - The Musical" put on by the Shubert Theater, or watch a virtual puppet performace of "The Gingerbread Man."
18. See Santa. Take socially distanced pictures with the man in red this year at Wickham Park’s 39th Annual Santa's Workshop. Or see Santa and his elves, lights, displays and other character from the comfort and safety of your own car at Santa Lights Up the Lake: A Drive Through. You can even hear Santa talking to you and your children on your car radio!
19. And don't forget the reindeer! At the 12th Annual Greenwich Reindeer Festival, Santa may not be making an appearance this year, but you can still see Dasher, Dancer and Vixen! Pick out your Christmas tree, holiday plantings and you won't want to miss the Christmas Shop for festive, fun, unique holiday gifts. Or at Reindeer on the Rails, kids will don their festive Reindeer Antlers (a gift from Rudolph himself!), piece together a fun Christmas craft ornament, and write a letter to Santa to be stamped and mailed at The Reindeer Express Post Office — all while aboard a train!
20. Challenge yourself. Test your skills and your nerve indoors at the Thrillz High Flying Adventure Park in Danbury, or break a sweat testing your problem-solving skills at Adventure Rooms in Middletown.
21. Drive through the lights. Look at thousands of dazzling holiday lights, right from your car, at the Hartford’s Holiday Light Fantasia, Magic of Lights in Wallingford, the 26th Annual Fantasy of Lights in New Haven, Deck the Jeeps and Trucks Holiday Light Drive-Through in Hebron, or the Festival of Silver Lights in Meriden.
22. Go on a wagon ride. Round up the kids and embark on a festive holiday wagon ride, pulled by horses. Bring a blanket and hot cocoa as you enjoy scenic views of the Blue Slope Country Museum.
23. Walk in a winter wonderland. Stroll through communities cross the state transforming their shops and streets into magical winter towns. Check out Olde Mistick Village’s Holiday Lights Spectacular and Mystic Seaport Museum's Lantern Light Village, the Christmas Village in Torrington, or the Winter Wonderland Walk at Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo.
24. See a Santa shadow performance. Experience a family-friendly, outdoor event where you'll watch as Santa flies through the skies over Stonington Borough.
Rest and Relaxation
25. Hear holiday tunes. Sit back and enjoy a virtual concert with Grammy-nominated songwriter and piano sensation Jim Brickman. You can even order signed CDs and more to be sent right to your home!
27. Find some small-town holiday spirit. Discover Connecticut’s winter charm when you stroll, shop, dine, or stay in one of its picturesque towns.
29. Go holiday shopping. Connecticut has plenty of outdoor malls such as Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets, The Promenade Shops at Evergreen Walk, and Shoppes at Farmington Valley, where you can find the perfect presents for your family and friends. For even more thoughtful and unique gifts, try shopping local.
30. Hallmark hotspots. You’ll feel like you’re falling in love all over again when you visit the magical small towns that Hallmark and Lifetime movie lovebirds have walked through on-screen during the holidays.
31. Take a winter retreat. Essex, Madison, and Greenwich are just a few of Connecticut’s historic and charming towns that offer the perfect winter getaway for you and that special someone.
32. Eat dinner on a train. Board a vintage locomotive together and enjoy a four-course meal on the Essex Clipper Holiday Dinner Train.
33. Snap wintry photos together. Plan a romantic road trip to these Instagram-worthy winter spots and capture a few sweet moments in the stunning scenery.