Holiday cheer is upon us in Connecticut! Get in the holiday spirit by getting out and experiencing some of the brilliant holiday lights festivals and displays around the state. Enjoy a festive, magical, memorable and safe outing sure to delight audiences of all ages.
Just be sure to check with each location before venturing out as hours may change due to COVID-19.
Start a Family Tradition
A holiday experience for people of all ages. Enjoy Magic of Lights in Wallingford, from the comfort of your own car as you wind through the sparkling path. At every turn, the magical route is overflowing with spectacular light displays that bring your favorite holiday themes and characters to life.
Winter Holiday Lights
Downtown Stamford boasts more than 300,000 holidays lights adorning on trees in the parks and main street during this year’s Winter Holiday Lights.
Holiday Light Spectacular
This year, Olde Mistick Village will be transformed into a holiday wonderland. Explore the Holiday Light Spectacular with a half a million lights illuminating the campus while you shop and dine safely.
Small Town Holiday Cheer
On Friday evening, December 4, enjoy the walkable streets of Collinsville which are lit with luminaries for horse drawn carriage rides, a “Champagne Walk,” and tree lighting. Saturday, December 5, is filled with family-friendly fun with horse drawn carriage rides, craft fair, story time with Mrs. Claus, face painting, meet Santa Clause, magician shows and much more during Christmas in Collinsville.
In Windsor on December 5, enjoy a fun evening of holiday festivities during the annual Torchlight Parade. More than 20 decorated vehicles and marchers stroll down the town center with all its lights, music and fanciful decorations.
Ride Along with Santa and Santa’s Reindeer
Take a ride into the past on antique trolleys decorated for the holidays at the Shore Line Trolley Museum’s Santa’s Trolley! Kids will love the cookies and hot chocolate, not to mention the model train layout. In the evening, the museum transforms itself into a wonderland of festive holiday lights. Many of the trolleys, buildings and site in the yard area are decorated for the holidays adding a wonderful soft glow reminding you of Christmas past.
The Connecticut Trolley Museum in East Windsor is offering “Winterfest & Tunnel of Lights,” a trolley ride that carries visitors into the festive season! Beginning November 27 and running through December 27, visitors can ride the open “electric sleigh” through the “Tunnel of Lights” accompanied by motormen singing traditional Christmas carols.
Board the Essex Steam Train for a journey through a whimsical evergreen and candy cane forest during a memorable family-style breakfast or lunch at the holiday adventure, Reindeer on the Rails.
Let There Be More Lights!
- Other popular festivals of lights happening in the state include the must-do “Holiday Light Fantasia” in Goodwin Park in Hartford, open nightly from Thanksgiving Day to New Year’s Day. Drive through two miles of lighted animations that celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, New Year’s and Three Kings Day. On your whimsical and fantastic journey, you’ll see a wonderland of more than one million lights!
- Celebrate the season at Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven where you can drive through “Fantasy of Lights,” an enchanting land of spectacular, sparkling light displays. Be dazzled by more than 100,000 lights while seeing more than 60 attractions that include animated and LED light displays!
- The Festival of Silver Lights in Meriden’s Hubbard Park is a spectacular display with 350,000 white lights and 300 lighted characters throughout the park. There is no cost to drive through the park and enjoy the many displays in trees, on the ponds and nestled in the park’s natural habitat.
- On December 10-13, see Santa and his elves from the comfort of your car during Santa Lights Up the Lake. See the lights, displays and character as you drive around Indian Lake in Bristol.
Dine Among the Lights
If you want to steep in holiday spirit while enjoying a fantastic meal surrounded by over-the-top holiday décor creativity, then make a reservation at Cava Restaurant in Southington. Using 150,000 lights and many thousands of ornaments, each room is consumed with a different, artfully executed theme that is as beautiful as it is magical.
In order to keep the community extra safe this year, many virtual holiday events are popping up all over the state! From online festivals to holiday concerts and shopping markets, here are a few virtual events to add to your list:
- Virtual Greenwich Holiday Stroll (Dec. 1-24)
- “Comfort & Joy at Home 2020” Virtual Tour with Jim Brickman (Dec. 12)
- High Hopes Virtual Holiday Market (Nov. 15 -28)
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