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Connecticut Offers Winter Wonders and Holiday Charm

HARTFORD, Conn., Nov. 20, 2018 – Embrace the cold weather this winter and holiday season in Connecticut, where an adrenaline-pumping adventure, cozy bed and breakfast, holiday festival and fireside meal are never too far apart.  

“Winter is a great time to escape to Connecticut, and it’s just a short trip from major Northeast cities,” said Randy Fiveash, director, Connecticut Office of Tourism. “Connecticut’s small towns are brimming with extra New England charm; there are ample outdoor adventures and festivals; and, plenty of ways to get out of the cold, too.”

For winter travel ideas, packages and more than 15 getaway itineraries, visitors can go to:

Here are just a few ways to make the most of the season in Connecticut:

Discover Charming Small Towns

Connecticut’s small towns come alive during the holiday season with festive decorations and lights, making them perfect destinations for an idyllic winter escape. Towns with extra holiday cheer include:

  • Bethlehem, which hosts a town-wide Christmas Festival and one of the world’s largest crèche scenes.
  • Essex, where visitors can board the Essex Steam Train for special holiday-themed rides and stay the night at the historic Griswold Inn.
  • Mystic, home to the Mystic Seaport Museum’s Lantern Light Tours and the boutique hotel, Spicer Mansion.
  • Greenwich, where visitors can see the Holiday Miniatures show at the Bruce Museum before settling in at the Homestead Inn.
  • Putnam, home to the Fire & Ice Winter Valentine’s Festival, one of the largest ice-block competitions in the U.S.
  • Wethersfield, with quaint shops and the Silas W. Robbins House Bed & Breakfast, which will serve as the backdrop for an upcoming Hallmark Channel movie, “Christmas on Honeysuckle Lane.”

Relieve Cabin Fever

There are countless ways to enjoy the great outdoors this season, including cutting down a Christmas tree at a local farm, hitting the slopes at ski and snowboard areas, taking a horse-drawn sleigh ride, or even ice climbing. Come February and March, visit a local sugarhouse or maple festival, or embark on an eagle-watching cruise.

Take in the Holiday Lights

Many of Connecticut’s towns and attractions offer spectacular light displays. A few must-see displays include Holiday Lights at Lake Compounce in Bristol, which has a light show every half hour set to music; Holiday Light Fantasia at Goodwin Park in Hartford, a two-mile, drive-through wonderland; and, Festival of Silver Lights in Meriden’s Hubbard Park, with over 200 figures and buildings decorated. 

Travel Back in Time

Connecticut’s historic house museums make for great indoor excursions on winter days. Most of the museums offer guided tours, including some that are holiday-themed, including Magnificent Holiday Tours at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion in Norwalk and Wheeler House in Westport, Hill-Stead for the Holidays in Farmington, and Magic of Christmas at Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme.

Warm Up

Many stops on the Connecticut Wine, Beer and Spirits trails are open year-round and feature special wintertime experiences. Visitors to Sunset Meadow Vineyards in Goshen, for example, can enjoy a roaring fireplace, wine and chocolate pairings, and hot mulled wine all season long. Or, stay warm by visiting one of Connecticut’s world-renowned museums, theaters or indoor adventure centers.

Book an Off-Season Getaway

Winter beach getaways offer the best of both worlds: reduced rates or packages at some of Connecticut’s premier accommodations, and less crowds at neighboring attractions and restaurants. A few shoreline towns great for a winter escape include Old Saybrook, Guilford and Norwalk.

For more Connecticut travel ideas, visit FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.


About the Connecticut Office of Tourism

The Connecticut Office of Tourism, a division of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), is dedicated to enhancing the economic growth of Connecticut’s tourism industry. Together with its many state and industry partners, the Office of Tourism works to bolster the state’s reputation as a destination that offers a diverse mix of activities and attractions, all in close proximity to each other – from the exciting and relaxing to the historic and innovative to the culture and nature-focused. For more information, visit





Emily Pangakis

Adams & Knight

860-676-2300 x 129


Randy Fiveash

Director, Connecticut Office of Tourism