The Holiday Season, Connecticut-Style Last Updated: November 2023

Starting with the day after Thanksgiving and going straight through to New Year’s, the Christmas season in Connecticut is packed with holiday activities, celebrations and every kind of tradition. We’ve pulled together a few of the events and happenings for 2023 here. But new items are being added to our This Weekend and Events pages every single week so be sure to check back often!

Previous Next

Show Your Holiday Spirit

You know it’s Christmas when the lights go up all over town. From professional displays to neighborhood light shows, there are so many places to visit if you want to get into the spirit of the season of light. Start with the Hartford’s Glow Gardens and for more family fun travel to Magic of Lights in East Hartford, or the Fantasy of Lights in New Haven. For classic Christmas décor, visit the Florence Griswold Museum’s Holiday Magic or the Festival of Trees and Traditions at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. Click Learn More for additional ideas!

Previous Next

Celebrate at Shows & Festivals

Connecticut Christmas season ramps up with all kinds of annual celebrations, some of which are only a day or a weekend, while others last well into December. Experience the Greenwich Reindeer Festival & Santa's Workshop. Check out the Christmas Village in Torrington, Annual Santa's Workshop in Manchester, or partake in Olde Mistick Village's annual Holiday Lights Spectacular.  Click Learn More to search for the most up-to-date event listings!

Previous Next

Find the Perfect Christmas Tree

Connecticut is full of Christmas tree farms that stretch to every corner of the state. Many offer tractor and sleigh rides, hot cocoa, wreaths and even Santa sightings. Try Allen Hill Farm in Brooklyn, Jones Family Farm in Shelton, Winterberry Farm in Killingworth, Charlie Brown’s in East Hampton or Hickory Ridge Tree Farm in Coventry. Find more farms, plus tree cutting tips by clicking Learn More.

Previous Next

Shop for Unique Gifts

From outlets and malls to boutiques and artisan galleries, you’ll find all kinds of places to shop for unique Christmas gifts in Connecticut. There are craft bazaars and open studios, too. The Shops at Yale in New Haven are just one of the places you can go for great shopping, dining and holiday celebrations all season long — find more holiday shopping spots here. And since it's extra important to support Connecticut businesses this year, we’ve even got ideas for you on where to purchase Connecticut made products, too!

Previous Next

Make Tracks with Santa Claus

In Connecticut, Santa Claus makes his way around the state early, and he is a particular fan of train travel… and sometimes boats! Book your tickets early to see him on Santa's Trolley in East Haven or the Santa Express at the Railroad Museum of New England in Thomaston.  And find cheer aboard Winterfest & the Tunnel of Lights at the Connecticut Trolley Museum in East Windsor. Don’t miss Santa's Walking Wonderland in Bristol, or find more ways to see Santa here. Click Learn More to find other places to visit for the holidays in December.

Previous Next

See the Stage All Aglow

Grab your tickets to festive holiday shows like A Christmas Carol at the Hartford Stage, Elf at the Warner Theatre, A Magical Cirque Christmas at the Garde Arts Center, All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 presented by the Goshen Players, and Christmas on the Rocks at TheaterWorks Hartford. Or see timeless ballet performances like New England Ballet Theatre presents: The Fantastic Toyshop or The Nutcracker at the Warner Theatre or the Shubert

Find more about Connecticut theater here.

Previous Next

Toast to the Season

Grab your group and head to boozy holiday events like Foxwood's Big Little Holiday Party and Boozy BrunchMix & Mingle at Mohegan, and holiday bar crawls like the Stamford and New Haven Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl, Willimantic’s Jingle Bars Pub Crawl, and the Magic of Middletown Pub Crawl. And don't miss Miracle at Riley's: a pop up Christmas bar!

Previous Next

Celebrate Hanukkah

Attend Menorah lightings, Shabbat services, craft workshops, and more this season to celebrate the Jewish “festival of lights". Find events for the whole family here.

Previous Next

Visit “Christmas Town” in Bethlehem

Celebrate the holiday in “Christmas Town” at the Bethlehem Christmas Town Festival on the first weekend in December. And don’t forget to have your holiday cards stamped at the Bethlehem Post Office!

Looking for still more ways to get in the Christmas spirit? Visit these other holiday towns!