Matt and I are officially heading home to Connecticut for the holidays this week, and we have a long list of things we plan to do in Connecticut to get in our holiday cheer. We’ve been looking forward to this trip since October, Matt actually hasn’t been back to Connecticut since August due to work; soooo he’s planning on crunching a lot of activities in for the week he’s home.
Now, while Matt hasn’t seen Connecticut in a while, I was just there last week and I know for a fact that it is decked out to the T, in holiday decor and festivities. Matt was ecstatic to see our town all decked out via my Instagram stories; so we decided to really take time out of our day to plan out exactly what we want to see and do in Connecticut this holiday season. Whether you are a college student heading back to Connecticut for holiday break or visiting New England for Christmas, Matt and I are here and are going to help you plan the best holiday season yet.
I decided to break our Holiday to-do list down to yearly traditions along with day and evening events; to help prioritize our holiday festivities. I hope this list inspires you to take in as much holiday cheer as possible.
+ Holiday Light Fantasia / Hartford, CT
This is where my family and I head each holiday season to take in the lights. We usually go to First and Last Tavern in Hartford for dinner first and make our way to Holiday Light Fantasia after. It’s beautiful, over a million glittering lights transform Goodwin Park into a drive-through winter wonderland. We always have a bet that the first person to spot a Rudolph has to buy the Dunkin Donuts.
+ Winterfest Hartford / Hartford, CT
This is a go-to for Matt and I, year after year. Not only is it a tradition for us but it’s actually a Harford tradition in and of itself. I already stopped by The Bushnell Park Ice Rink early this month, see my visit in this Instagram post, but I can’t help but make another trip down to the rink with Matt. I’m going to try and visit closer to dusk so we can watch the holiday lights of the city, glow.
+ A Christmas Carole Play / The Hartford Stage, CT
Each year my family and I pile into the car and head out to watch The Christmas Carole at The Harford Stage. Now, while I’m not a huge fan of the play, this is 100% something you should see this holiday season in CT, and it’s an excuse to dress up and head downtown.
Day Time Festivities:
+ Holiday Ice Carving Competition / The Shops At Yale, CT
This event has been on my bucket list all season long. I’m planning on heading down to The Shops at Yale on Saturday, December 9th from 12:00 PM – 7:00 PM, to watch professional ice carvers transform 900lbs of ice into magical sculptures. Oh, and while you are down there make sure to get some holiday shopping in, they have the coolest stores.
+ Sleigh Ride at Foxglove Farm / Lyme, CT
Sleigh rides are actually my favorite New England holiday tradition, especially when jingle bells and snow is involved. So when the snow is just right, snuggle under a blanket in a horse-drawn sleigh and glide through the local hills of Lyme Connecticut with your mistletoe ready. If Matt and I go this year, we’ll probably leave the mistletoe at home and trade it in for our videographer, Tessie.
Night Time Festivities:
+ Lantern Light Tours / Mystic, CT
From now until December 24th, Mystic Seaport invites you to their holiday-themed Lantern Light Tours. Stop by for “The Spirit of the Holiday: A Christmas Ghost Story” tour, and be transported into a historical Christmas land, filled with characters and scenes that will fill your lungs with laughter and Christmas cheer. This event is a 70-minute tour includes a ride on a horse-drawn-carriage and moments of pure New England seasonal delight.
+ The Nutcracker at the Palace Theater / Stamford, CT
From December 16th to the 17th, make sure to grab tickets to Connecticut Ballet’s annual holiday Nutcracker performance in downtown Stamford! Fun fact about me, I was actually in this performance way back in 2004, as a mini baker. I always say it was a peak holiday moment for me but Matt and my siblings will never let me live it down.
Every night the Essex Steam Train becomes a stage filled with holiday cheer and Christmas delight. Walk through the different coaches to find live musical performances of The Night Before Christmas, sing-a-longs, hot chocolate, sugar cookies and even a chance to chat with Santa and Mrs. Claus. This event captures the quintessential elements of Christmas as you embark on your magical nighttime journey to the North Pole.
Okay, that wraps up my Things To Do in Connecticut This Holiday Season list. I made sure to list events and activities I go to and adore, however, I’d love to update the post and include some of your holiday festivities. So leave a comment below of a festive tradition and I’ll make sure to add it to the list. xx Aubrey
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