Holiday Tidings & Santa Sightings Last Updated: November 2020

Fun-filled Connecticut events brimming with holiday cheer at this special time of year!

Fun Festivities

Christmas Playtime at the Mansion
November 11-January 3 / Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, Norwalk
This exhibit recreates those playful times during the Victorian era. The first floor of the Mansion features Christmas trees decorated with period-appropriate ornaments, a dining table adorned with dazzling antique silver and china, several playful dolls and toy vignettes.

27th Annual Holiday Train Show
November 24-February 14 / Connecticut River Museum, Essex
A true locomotive extravaganza and a perfect outing for train fans of all ages, this year's show brings a 26-foot model train layout with more trains, new scenery, and lots of surprises. Challeneg yourself to an I-SPY scavenger hunt for objects hidden throughout the displays and exhibit gallery.  

10th Annual Gingerbread House Festival
November 27-January 3 / The Promenade Shops at Evergreen Walk, South Windsor
The Friends of Wood Memorial Library & Museum are excited that their annual Gingerbread House Festival will be coming back for its 10th year. Providing a safe and enjoyable holiday event for the whole family. Celebrate “A Picture Perfect Holiday” this year as gingerbread houses create colorful and creative holiday window displays all through-out Evergreen Walk.

Northern Lights
November 28-December 26 / Mystic Aquarium
Outdoor pathways are transformed into the land where the aurora borealis shines, leading visitors through a mesmerizing journey. Stunning light displays dance to music as magical scenes come to life with glowing Arctic animals. 

Candlelight Tours: Christmas in Connecticut
December 5 / Stanley-Whitman House
Join the festivities of the season in a holiday tour of the 1720 historic house, decorated for the holidays.

Essex Clipper Holiday Dinner Train
November 28-December 20 / Essex Steam Train
Enjoy a specially selected 4-course holiday meal served in beautifully decorated 1920s Pullman dining cars. You will feel the warmth of the holidays surround you.

Holiday Dazzle Light Parade
November 29 /Town of Putnam
Enjoy this family-friendly and fun holiday tradition with more than 100 floats, music and lights to kick-off the holiday season in brilliant style.

Torchlight Parade
December 5 / Town of Windsor
The Torchlight parade of more than 20 large brightly lit vehicles and marchers proceed through the town center with lots of holiday lights, music and fanciful decorations!

Holiday Champagne Stroll
November 27-28 / Town of Kent
The town of Kent hosts to more than 25 distinctive shops set to serve delicious champagnes and other bubblies, poured alongside special promotions, exclusive sales, and a few special events.

Lantern Light Village
December 4-5, 11-12, 18-19
Enter the Village with a dazzling light display, followed by live music, horse and carriage rides, fire pits, crafts, games, and a visit from St. Nicolas.

Santa Sightings

Santa Comes to Town
November 27 / Town of Putnam
Bring the entire family in welcoming the holiday season.

Santa Arrives by Tugboat & Holiday Lighted Boat Parade
November 28 / Town of Mystic
Santa Claus is coming to town and so is Mystic’s Holiday Lighted Boat Parade in historic downtown Mystic.

Festival of Silver Lights
November 25-January 4 / Hubbard Park, Meriden
Illumination of more than 350,000 twinkling, white lights. There are over 200 figures and buildings that are decorated with the lights in this spectacular display. 

Holiday Light Fantasia
November 26-January 3 / Goodwin Park, Hartford
The two-mile show transforms Goodwin Park into a drive-through wonderland of holiday spirit with a beautiful collection of over 1 million lights.  Whimsical holiday scenes, familiar characters and local tributes shine bright in larger-than-life lighted scenes and 200 individual displays. 

Santa's Trolley
November 27-December 20 / The Shore Line Trolley Museum, East Haven
Take a ride into the past at The Shore Line Trolley Museum and have your children visit with Santa! Inspect our antique trolleys decorated for the holidays. Enjoy a complimentary cookie and hot chocolate. Check out the model train layout. Bring the whole family and the camera! All children receive a small gift from Santa. You don’t want to miss getting a picture of your little ones with Santa.

Winterfest & the Tunnel of Lights
November 27-December 27 / Connecticut Trolley Museum, East Windsor
Celebrating its 41st operating year of family holiday tradition, halls are decked both inside and outside with over 15,000 light bulbs. Outside, closed trolley cars transport jolly guests down a tunnel of lights as they sing traditional Christmas carols.

Greenwich Reindeer Festival
November 27-December 22 / Sam Bridge Nursery & Greenhouse
The Greenwich Reindeer Festival features Santa's three Reindeer this year, Dasher, Dancer and Vixen, while Santa will be staying at the North Pole this year. Pick out your Christmas tree, holiday plantings and you won't want to miss the Christmas Shop for festive, fun, unique holiday gifts.

39th Annual Santa's Workshop
December 13-23 / Wickham Park, Manchester
Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, elves making toys, set in a log cabin with decorations and music, and a fire in the great stone fireplace.

Music, Theater & Performing Arts

All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914
December 2-20 / Playhouse on Park
A remarkable true story from the Western Front. Relive the astounding moment in history; in a silence amid the combat, a soldier steps into no man’s land singing Silent Night. Thus, begins an extraordinary night of camaraderie between the Allied troops and German soldiers. They lay down their arms to celebrate the holiday, share food and drink, play soccer, and sing carols.

Nutcracker Suite and Spicy
December 11 / Wadsworth Atheneum
A unique and entertaining twist on the classical ballet, presented vitually by CONNectic Dance.

The Magic of Christmas with Jim Brickman
December 18 / The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts
Brickman brings the sounds and spirit of the season with carols, classics, and original songs making fans feel as though they are a part of a real-life Christmas card.

A Slightly Wicked Holiday Show
December 19 / Ridgefield Playhouse
Broadway is coming to the Ridgefield Playhouse with a performance of your favorite holiday tunes and songs from Wicked during this socially distance show.