Holiday events in Connecticut

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The holiday season in Connecticut is a beautiful time of year! Looking for something to do with firneds and family? Take a look at the list compiled by Visit Connecticut on what you can do!


First Night in Hartford 

Many locations Hartford, CT

Hartford’s premiere New Year’s Eve party. A family-friendly, multicultural, artistically unique, alcohol free New Year’s experience with countless professional musicians, artists, performance groups and exhibits that inspire thousands of people of all ages to attend each year. Two spectacular fireworks shows in Bushnell Park at 6 p.m. and midnight. See schedule of entertainment. Buy your wristband
Time: 2 p.m.-midnight
Admission: Adults, $12; children ages 3-15, $3
Telephone: 860- 727-0050

First Night in Westport

Jesup Green Westport, CT

You can walk to all the venues in the downtown area to enjoy tons of venues for children of all ages, and fireworks.
Toquet Hall is open until 10 p.m. with great entertainment.
Pyrotechnic display is at 10 p.m. from a barge in the river.
Time: 4-10 p.m.
Admission: Buttons before Dec. 15, $10; after Dec. 15, $15; children age 2 and younger, free
Telephone: 203-341-1041

New Years Day will be here before you know it, so while sitting enjoying your Thanksgiving Day meal with friends and family ask them what they are doing to kick-off the New Year. We are offering at least a dozen First Day Hikes around the state in CT State Parks & Forests…Gillette Castle, Goodwin, Machimoodus, Mansfield Hollow, Osbornedale, Peoples, Scantic River, Sleeping Giant and more being added!! And even if you are not lucky enough to be in CT, First Day Hikes will be happening in all 50 states, Stay tuned for details.


Downtown Cabaret Theatre, 263 Golden Hill Street Bridgeport, CT
Can you imagine? Not everyone wants Christmas to arrive this year. How is that possible? A smart clever meets some toys who are worried that they might be replaced in this new musical that finds the hopeful spirit in the holidays.
During every performance, young guests will be invited to name the Christmas elf. Children’s Theatre Productions shows approximately run 75-80 minutes with a 10-minute intermission.
Time: Curtain times vary; see event website
Admission: $19-$23

Santa Special 2017 Train Rides – Essex, CT

Nov 24, 2017 – Dec 23, 2017

Essex Steam Train, 1 Railroad Avenue Essex, CT
All aboard the Santa Special for a one-of-a-kind, daytime holiday experience. Relax with family and friends aboard festive railway cars adorned with vintage decorations. Rudolph and Pablo the Penguin will be on board to spread holiday cheer. Each child receives a small holiday gift from Santa’s elves. Dates: November 24-26; December 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 23. Some dates are already sold out.
Time: 9:30, 10, 11, 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1 p.m.
Admission: $24-$40
Connecticut Trolley Museum, 58 North Road (Route 140) East Windsor, CT
Start a family tradition of taking a trolley ride during the holidays. Join your motormen in singing Christmas carols as the trolley travels through the Tunnel of Lights. The Visitors Center is transformed into a Winter Wonderland of model trains, decorations, hot cocoa, and entertainment. Pose for a picture with Santa inside one of the historic trolleys. Dates: November 24-26, December 1-3, 8-10, 15-17 and 22- 23.
Time: 5-9 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $12; seniors over age 62, $11; children ages 4-12, $10; children age 3 and younger, $3
Telephone: 860-627-6540
Mystic Aquarium, 55 Coogan Blvd. Mystic, CT
Meet Rudolph and his pal Bumble at Mystic Aquarium. Take a photo with Rudolph and Bumble for your holiday cards and see Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 4-D. Mix Christmas entertainment with views belugas, seals and sea lions.
Time: Weekends, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admission: Adults. $40; seniors (age 60 and older), $32; youth age 13-17, $31; children age 3-12, $27
Telephone: 860-572-5955
Butler-McCook House, 396 Main Street Hartford, CT
Families learn about Bushido-The Samurai Code while making and decorating hats inspired by the Samurai armor collection. Then join the Grand Procession! Wear your hat and make a New Year’s resolution to live by the Samurai code. Enjoy a tour of the festively decorated Butler-McCook House and celebrate New Year’s Eve with the McCooks!
Time: Noon- 5:30 p.m.
Admission: Free with First Night button
Telephone: 860-522-1806


Mystic Seaport, 75 Greenmanville Avenue Mystic, CT
Guests enter a coastal New England village in older times – Christmas of 1876, and they are led by a costumed villager through six scenes of the village with a story. For 2017, the story is “The Spirit of the Holiday: A Christmas Ghost Story.” The story moves through five scenes showcasing some unexpected holiday traditions and a little help from a Victorian spiritualist.
Each Lantern Light Tour is a 70-minute progressive performance that covers approximately half a mile of uneven terrain (including cobblestone, wood planking, grass, gravel, and stairs) and is performed in all weather conditions. Audience members walk or stand for the majority of the performance. appropriate for all ages, though not recommended for children under age 4. Dates: November 24-25, December 1-2, 8-9, 15-17, and 22-23.
Time: Tours begin at 5 p.m. and depart every 15 minutes
Admission: Adults, $32; youth ages 5-17, $25
Telephone: 860-572-5331


Holiday Train Show 2017 – Essex,, CT

Nov 17, 2017 – Jan 17, 2018

Connecticut River Museum 67 Main Street, Essex, CT
This fully operational 26-foot model train layout, created by train artist Steve Cryan, features more trains, new scenery, and lots of surprises. Visitors are challenged to find a scavenger list of various objects hidden within the settings. Young kids can get hands-on at an American Flyer and Lionel Train layout designed for toddler size viewing. The exhibit is a true locomotive extravaganza and a perfect outing for train fans.
Time: Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admission: General, $10; seniors, $8; students, $7; children, age 6-12, $6
Florence Griswold Museum, 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT
Visitors can enjoy Miss Florence’s Artist Trees, designer Fantasy Trees, and the Florence Griswold House decorated for a 1910 Christmas. Christmastime Teas, special events for families, hands-on crafts for children and adults, and wonderful items in The Shop are sure to bring holiday cheer!
Time: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 1-5 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $10; seniors, $9; students, $8; children under age 12, free


St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 36 New Canaan Road Wilton, CT
Music on the Hill presents the Festival Chorus and Jubilate Ringers handbell choir in a traditional Christmas concert, with artistic directors Ellen Dickinson and David H. Connell. This popular concert features seasonal selections for handbells and for chorus, as well as favorite carols sung by all with the magnificent St. Matthew’s organ.
Time: 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Admission: $20-$25/door; children and students, free
Telephone: 203-529-3133
Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 East Ridge Road Ridgefield, CT
This a capella quintet brings you standards you love like “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” to a funky rendition of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” to Christmas originals.
Time: 8 p.m.
Admission: $47
Telephone: 203-438-5795
Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 East Ridge Road Ridgefield, CT
The Oak Ridge Boys perform their timeless hits – including “Elvira,” “Bobbie Sue” and “American Made” along with favorite Christmas songs from their six bestselling Christmas CDs.
Time: 8 p.m.
Admission: $85
Telephone: 203-438-5795
Dec 31, 2017 – Dec 31, 2017360
Amity Rd Woodbridge, CT
Bring in the New Year with a splash! Join us for swimming, crafts, snacks. and playscape!
Time: 1 p.m.- 4 p.m.
Admission: $5 per child, $15 family max

Black and White Ball: NYE 2018 – Mystic, CT

Dec 31, 2017 – Dec 31, 2017

Mystic Aquarium, 55 Coogan Blvd., Mystic, CT
Usher in the New Year enjoying the classic elegance of the Black and White Ball at Mystic Aquarium. Don your best black/white attire and kick up your heels to live entertainment by Nancy Paolino & The Black Tie Band. For guests age 21 and older. Hosted by Ocean Blue Catering and Mystic Aquarium.
Time: 8 p.m.-1 a.m.
Admission: $125
Infinity Hall Norfolk, 20 Greenwoods Road W Norfolk, CT
Greet the new year with two of our favorites here in Norfolk. Great musicians, incredible song writing, and a celebration to bring in the New Year. Included in your Mezzanine ticket is a full dinner and a show package. Grab tickets now and reserve your spot today.
Time: Doors open to the Music Hall for dinner at 7 p.m.; Atlas Gray at 9 p.m.; Adam Ezra at 11 p.m.; Champagne toast at midnight
Admission: Show, $49 – $169; New Year’s Eve dinner, $59; gratuity and beverage extra
Infinity Hall Hartford, 32 Front Street Hartford, CT
What more do you have to say other than “What Is Hip?” It’s a tradition here in Hartford, CT……Tower of Power NYE at Infinity Hall. Can’t wait! Mezzanine level tickets include a three-course dinner. Early show: bistro opens at 4 p.m.; Music Hall opens at 5 p.m.; music by Brian Dunne at 5:45 p.m.; Tower of Power at 7 p.m.. Late show: Doors open 9:30 p.m.; Tower of Power at 11 p.m.
Time: Two shows, and 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.
Admission: $74-$195


Christmas on the Rocks 2017 – Hartford, CT

Nov 28, 2017 – Dec 23, 2017

TheaterWorks at City Arts on Pearl, 233 Pearl Street Hartford, CT

It’s Christmas Eve in a rundown local bar. Expecting a silent night, the bartender finds himself mixing drinks for a parade of surprising guests – children from your favorite Christmas specials and movies – now all grown up. In this wacky parody, unexpected Christmas tales surface, welcome or not. Show times and tickets.
Time: Curtain times vary; see event website
Telephone: 860-527-7838
Terris Theatre, Goodspeed Opera House, 33 North Main Street Chester, CT

CT Storytellers in Connecticut history come alive to tell this Christmas tale. Actor William Gillette leaves his castle on the Connecticut River to adapt Charles Dickens’s holiday classic in the 1920s. Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe and P.T. Barnum appearances in spirit form opposite Gillette’s Scrooge in twist on a family favorite.

Custom-created for Goodspeed Opera House, this unique creation has entirely original music,.
Time: Curtain times vary; see event website
Hartford Stage, 50 Church Street Hartford, CT
The magic of Charles Dickens’s heart-warming classic returns. Come spend some time with Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, Ebenezer Scrooge, Jacob Marley and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future.Recommended for ages 8 and older.
Time: Curtain times vary; see event website
Admission: $25, $42, $63, $79, and $90; student seats are $15 off full price.
325 Mistuxet Avenue Stonington, CT
The classic tale, wonderfully told. Dates: December 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17.
Time: Curtain times vary; see event website. Choose a date and time options will open
Admission: $32-$48
Telephone: 860-536-3671
Wadsworth Atheneum, 600 Main Street Hartford, CT
A contemporary twist on the holiday classic, featuring a fusion of athletic dance forms including tap, jazz, and hip hop. This event takes place in the museum’s Aetna Theater; please enter via Avery Door.
Time: Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m.
Admission: $50
Telephone: 860-251-9194

“The Nutcracker” – Ridgefield, CT

Dec 15, 2017 – Dec 17, 2017

Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 East Ridge Road Ridgefield, CT
Enjoy a beautiful holiday tradition in a magical land where sugar plums dance, flowers waltz to tell the classic tale of a young girl and her Nutcracker prince.
Time: December 15 at 6 p.m.; December 16 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.; and December 17 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $25; children, $20
Telephone: 203-438-5795

Artistry: American Craft Shopping for the Holidays – Guilford, CT

Nov 2, 2017 – Dec 31, 2017

Guilford Art Center, 411 Church Street Guilford, CT

One-of-a-kind, handmade crafts by artisans from across America will be featured, including ceramics, glass, jewelry, fiber, ornaments, accessories, toys, specialty foods, leather goods and more. Personal shoppers are available for advice. A registry makes gift selection easy.
Time: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; and Sunday, noon-5 p.m.
Telephone: 203-453-5947
More information on what you can do in Connecticut this holiday season and all year round at Visit Connecticut.