Looking for something to do in Connecticut in December? Whether you want something active, relaxing, cultural, or nature-oriented, we have you covered. Learn more!
1. Shred the slopes. Break out your skis, snowboards, and tubes for some downhill thrills at Mohawk Mountain Ski Area in Cornwall, Mount Southington Ski Area in Southington, Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort in Middlefield, and Ski Sundown in New Hartford.
2. Get your steps in. Don’t let the cold keep you from being active. Warm up your muscles on any one of Connecticut’s hiking trails. If you’re feeling competitive, participate in Run for a Claus at Hot Rod Cafe in New London.
3. Enjoy ice skating. Sharpen your blades and practice your balance at the International Skating Center of Connecticut in Simsbury. If you want to learn, stop by Bushnell Park for the 10th Annual Winterfest Hartford for free lessons and rentals.
4. Go cross-country. Swap the downhill runs for a peaceful glide through nature when cross-country skiing at White Memorial Conservation Center Museum in Litchfield and Winding Trails Cross Country Ski Center in Farmington.
5. Break the ice. Visit a local bait shop before cutting the ice to fish for bass, pike, and perch at Bantam Lake or Lake Waramaug. Or for the extra adventurous, try your hand at ice climbing with Ragged Mountain Guides.
Arts & Culture
6. Appreciate the arts. Let the arts move and inspire you. Check out special exhibitions “Collecting Reimagined” at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich and “Britain in the World: A Display of the Collections” at the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven.
8. See the stage. Connecticut’s theater season is in full swing. This month, don’t miss “A Christmas Carol” at the Warner Theater in Torrington and “Pride and Prejudice” at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven.
9. Become a blacksmith. Warm up by the fires of a forge when you attend blacksmithing and bladesmithing workshops and lessons at the Guilford Art Center in Guilford.
10. Get crafty. Surprise your loved ones with a handcrafted gift this season after you visit Greenleaf Pottery’s 44th Annual Holiday Open Studio.
11. Practice your aim. If you want to try something new, challenge your friends, or just unleash some built-up stress, try your hand at axe throwing at Montana Nights Axe Throwing in Newington or Blue Ox Axe Throwing in Bridgeport.
12. Crown Miss America. Be in the audience as Miss America 2020 is chosen at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville. The competition will also feature two preliminary rounds and a special Tribute Show for Miss America 2019, Nia Franklin.
13. Visit a holiday market. Stop by the Holiday Maker’s Market at the New Britain Museum of American Art during peak gift-giving season. And check out these other towns with holiday and winter markets!
Food and Drink Adventures
15. Dine fireside. There are dozens of fireside dining options in Connecticut where you can toast the cold days and nights hearthside. From pubs and shoreline inns to fine dining, warm up to these destinations.
16. Put your pinkies up at tea. Rid yourself of the winter cold with a hot cup of tea at Sundial Gardens & Tea Shop in Higganum and Alice in the Village in Mystic. In Cromwell, visit Tea Roses Tea Room to enjoy Afternoon Tea on a three-tiered tray.
17. Get into gingerbread. Applaud the designs of tasty towns made of gingerbread at the Wood Memorial Library & Museum’s 9th Annual Gingerbread House Festival. Want to take one home to call your own? Head to the Annual Gingerbread Village and Christmas Bazaar in Middlebury.
18. Make it a hat trick. Hockey season is in full swing! Grab your seats and watch some impressive stickhandling by the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Webster Bank Arena, the Connecticut Whale at the Danbury Ice Arena, and the Hartford Wolf Pack at the XL Center.
19. 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.
21. Travel with Santa. Hop aboard Santa’s Trolley at The Shore Line Trolley Museum in East Haven, the Santa Express at the Railroad Museum of New England in Thomaston, or Rudolph’s Holiday Cruise on Lady Katherine Cruises in Middletown for a chance to eat and take pictures with the man in red.
22. Challenge yourself. Test your skills and your nerve indoors at the Thrillz High Flying Adventure Park in Danbury, or break a sweat testing your problem-solving skills at Adventure Rooms in Middletown.
23. Take in trains, trains, and more trains. Admire model trains traveling through tiny towns at the Wilton Historical Society’s Great Train Show, or check out a tribute to the Transcontinental Railroad with “Toys, Trains and Magnificent Trees: Illuminating Christmas at the Mansion” at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum in Norwalk. At night, board a locomotive-powered sleigh for a magical journey on the North Pole Express at the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat.
24. Follow the lights. Look at thousands of dazzling holiday lights at the Holiday Light Fantasia in Hartford, the Niantic Light Parade, or on a trip through the “Tunnel of Lights” at the Connecticut Trolley Museum in East Windsor.
25. Party in your pajamas. Throw on your comfiest sleepwear and head to the Connecticut Science Center in Hartford December 13 and 14 for a Polar Pajama Party, where you can make crafts, decorate cookies, play games, and more.
26. Walk in a winter wonderland. Stroll through communities cross the state transforming their shops and streets into magical winter towns. Check out the Bethlehem Christmas Town Festival and Newtown’s 34th Annual Holiday Festival.
27. History with a twist. Find out what Christmas was like back in 1876 when you embark on a Lantern Light Tour at the Mystic Seaport Museum, and visit the lavishly decorated Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, and Osborndale House Museum in Derby for more winter magic.
28. Welcome the solstice. Learn about the Earth’s trip around the sun, make some crafts, drink some cider, and enjoy tunes as you celebrate the Winter Solstice at Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center in Ansonia and the Eleanor Buck Wolf Nature Center in Wethersfield.
29. A season of firsts. Head to Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort in Middlefield for their 1st annual New England Winter Festival. Guests can meet St. Nick, enjoy live entertainment, and indulge in tasty treats from food trucks and local businesses.
Rest and Relaxation
30. Hear holiday tunes. Experience the beautiful sounds of the holidays with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra at The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, and at the Boston Pops Holiday Concert at the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts.
32. Find some small-town holiday spirit. Discover Connecticut’s winter charm when you stroll, shop, dine, or stay in one of its picturesque towns.
33. Pamper yourself. Take a break from the mess and stress of the holidays and enjoy a “Holiday Cheer” package from Sanno Spa at Saybrook Point Inn Marina and Spa in Old Saybrook.
34. Go holiday shopping. Connecticut has plenty of indoor and outdoor malls where you can find the perfect presents for your family and friends. For even more thoughtful and unique gifts, try shopping local.
36. 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.
37. 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.
38. Find a new date spot. Whether you’re going on a first date or celebrating a special occasion, some of the best date spots in Connecticut are right around the corner.