Things to Do in Connecticut this Holiday Season Last Updated: November 2023

Looking for something to do in Connecticut this holiday season? When you want to feel festive, Connecticut's got you covered... all season long. Here are some highlights.

Get in the Spirit

Hallmark declared Connecticut the "Christmas Capitol of New England" — so there's no better place to get in the holiday spirit than Connecticut. Find glittering light displays, Santa sightings, festive Christmas townsHanukkah happenings, and more. Check out our top holiday guides below.

Arts and Culture

1. 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.

2. Rock around the Christmas trees. Admire artistically designed, classic Christmas trees at events by the Florence Griswold Museum and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.

3. Hear Christmas concerts. Enjoy the sounds of your favorite holiday tunes and gorgeous classic arrangements at concerts like "Million Dollar Quartet Christmas", Jim Brickman: A Joyful ChristmasConnecticut Master Chorale Annual Holiday Prelude Concert, and Holiday Pops.

4. Deck your halls. Make your own holiday wreath at the Westport Museum for History and Culture's Holiday Wreath Workshop.

5. Go classic for Christmas. Explore holiday traditions of the past at the 17th Annual Candlelight Tours at the Stanley-Whitman House and A Charles Dickens' Christmas at Lyman Orchards.

6. Attend the ballet. See timeless ballet performances like New England Ballet Theatre presents: The Fantastic Toyshop or The Nutcracker at the Warner Theatre or the Shubert.

7.Go caroling. Spread holiday cheer. Join in singing your favorite seasonal songs at Mystic’s Community Carol Sing.

8. Paint and hang. Bring holiday cheer to canvas or wine glasses when you paint them with festive scenes, sip hot cocoa, sing along to pop holiday favorites, and jingle and mingle at the Christmas Pick N' Paint Party.

Family Fun

9. 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.

10. Walk in a winter wonderland. Stroll through communities across the state transforming their shops and streets into magical winter towns. Check out Olde Mistick Village’s Holiday Lights Spectacular, the Bethlehem Christmas Town Festival, or Glow Gardens in Hartford.

11. Love the lights. Look at thousands of dazzling holiday lights right from your car at Magic of Lights in East Hartford, Fantasy of Lights in New Haven, or Lights in Motion in Hebron. And find more here.

12. Attend Hanukkah happenings. Celebrate the Jewish "festival of lights" with menorah lightings and other festivities.

13. Ride the rails with Santa. Hang with Old Saint Nick aboard the Santa Express at the Railroad Museum of New England in Thomaston and the Snow Clipper at the Danbury Railway Museum.

14. See Santa. Spot (or even meet) Santa Claus at exciting events like the 15th Annual Greenwich Reindeer Festival & Santa's Workshop, Olde Mistick Village's Holiday Carnival and Santa in the Village, Story Hour with Santa at Delamar West Hartford, and Heights & Lights: Rappelling Santa and Tree Lighting. Or even meet Mrs. Claus at Cookies & Storytime with Mrs. Claus at Madison Beach Hotel.

Food and Drink Adventures

15. Stash up on sweets. The holidays were made for cookies, brownies, cupcakes, and more. Swing by top notch bakeries like Sift Bake ShopScratch BakingMozzicato DePasquale Bakery & Pastry ShopSoleil BakeryLuAnn’s Bakery, or these great spots for your sweet seasonal fix.

16. Sip and sprinkle. Decorate giant house-made gingerbread cookies while sipping wine at Madison Beach Hotel.

17. Dine among the lights. Enjoy dinner surrounded by majorly decked out displays of lights and trees — all with creative themes — at Cava.

18. Crawl the pubs. Sleigh the night! Head out to 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!

19. Have brunch with Santa. Devour breakfast favorites and hang out with the jolly old elf himself at Saybrook Point Resort & MarinaWater’s Edge Resort, Delamar West Hartford, and Hilton Mystic.

Active Adventure

20. Discover skiing is believing. Head to Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort for downhill thrills and Lifted Spirits: A Winter Wonderland Experience including Santa visits, live music, and snowy slopes.

21. Run, run, Rudolph. Lace up your sneakers and participate in holiday road races like the Blue Back Mitten Run and Santa's 3.5 Mile Run

22. Celebrate the lively way. Plan a unique holiday outing with coworkers, family, friends. Go axe throwing, try indoor ropes courses, bounce at trampoline parks, get active at indoor sports centers, or try any of these indoor adventure destinations.

Rest and Relaxation

23.Stroll a holiday market. Spend a leisurely day feeling festive when you explore holiday markets like Ellington Farmers Winter Market, the Holiday Pop Up Shop at Lyman Orchards, The Christmas Market in New Haven, the Chester Holiday Market, and Winterfair in Hartford.

24. Shop then detox. After a long day of holiday shopping, treat yourself to a treatment at one of Connecticut’s top spas — and unwrap relaxation.

25. Unwind in coffee shops. Take a load off and sample seasonal holiday flavors while lounging at coffee shops in Connecticut.

26. Make shopping simple. Stress less about what to get everyone on your list. Instead of something that comes in a box, buy the gift of an experience instead!

Romantic Escapes

27. 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.

28. See 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.

29. 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.

30. Go on a sleigh ride. Grab your date and embark on a romantic, festive sleigh ride pulled by horses.

31. Visit festive towns. Stroll hand in hand through some of the state’s most spirited holiday towns.