Nov 02, 2023

7 Quaint Connecticut Towns Perfect To Visit During Christmas

Magical Christmas towns in Connecticut are filled with holiday season joy and wonder. Take a train ride to Santa's Workshop, visit with friendly reindeer, enjoy an art-filled competition, and soak up all the pretty twinkle lights. Experience a town square gathering, festive sing-a-longs, horse-drawn carriage rides, and other classic traditional Christmas events.

Whether you are driving or walking, get out and enjoy stunning holiday décor while soaking up some holiday spirit. Enjoy a romantic outing or bring the grandkids. Either way, the main streets of these charming cities and towns will enliven your seasonal celebration. The Connecticut Christmas towns highlighted here are listed in no particular order.

The historic seaport village of Mystic celebrates in a Hallmark Christmas movie style. This charming village is like a Norman Rockwell painting, especially if you time it for when the snow falls on a crisp winter night.

The Mystic Seaport Museum, home to the Lantern Light Village, is the centerpoint of Mystic's Christmas celebration. Guests embark on a lovely holiday stroll through a Christmas timeline, enjoying a journey from the best of holidays past to current-day traditions. With the festive lights, Christmas music, carriage rides, and more, you can't help but be filled with the Christmas spirit.

New this year, the museum is enchanting guests with ghost stories. Their original Yuletide Spirits performance is a family-friendly interactive event full of spirit-filled excitement and exploration.

A quaint and charming spot, Olde Mystic Village is home to shops, restaurants, a town green, and the Festival of Lights.

Along the winding paths and walkways, twinkling lights will put even the most grumpy Scrooge in a festive mood. Enjoy live, family-friendly entertainment, treats at the Village Meeting House, and bountiful Christmas joy.

The tradition of taking a drive to see Christmas lights takes on extravagance when set on the stage across the city of Milford.

Milford Holiday Lights coordinates the most elaborately wonderful twinkle light displays of holiday cheer. Homes decorated beyond your imagination have passengers continually oohing and aahing over the lawn displays. On their website, you will find a list of entries, a map pinpointing your holiday light viewing, and a link to vote for your favorite display.

With more than 10 different categories, you will have a difficult time choosing your favorite. Categories like The Polar Express, The Clark W. Griswold, Santa's Little Helper, and other favorites will thrill everyone from wide-eyed youngsters to wisened Christmas revelers.

Ivoryton is a village in Essex listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For over a decade, Ivoryton Illuminations has kicked off the holiday season with no less than 500,000 lights across Ivoryton Village. Take a stroll through the village and immerse yourself in the yuletide spirit. These lights are twinkling throughout the month of December.

The Ivoryton Playhouse presentation of Winter Wonderettes showcases a musical extravaganza and portrays an annual Christmas party circa 1968. Four friends and some audience participation take you back in time to when work parties were a holiday staple.

There is something magical about experiencing a local theater group where you can watch talented actors in a small theater setting. It is a pleasure to enjoy their musical and thespian gifts.

The Connecticut Trolly Museum has presented the Winterfest and the Tunnel of Lights for more than 4 decades, and this year is shaping up to be the best ever. The traditional 15,000 lights will twinkle for your entertainment as always. Additionally, trolly riders and visitor center guests will see holiday-inspired, holographic video clips enhancing the technically-inspired seasonal experience.

The trolly cars, including one open sleigh car, wind through the Tunnel of Lights enchanting riders with nostalgic holiday scenes. Everyone joins in on a jolly carol sing-along — it's the ultimate Christmas season adventure. Be sure to explore the scenic train layouts decked out in winter wonderland finest at the visitor center.

Everyone loves Santa's reindeer! In Greenwich, they celebrate these playful four-legged sleigh pullers with their own festival: the Greenwich Reindeer Festival & Santa's Workshop.

The grandkids will love a photo opp with Santa, a Christmas tradition like no other. For some added fun, meet and greet three of Santa's reindeer. Reindeer are goofy and fun-loving by nature, and this trio is sure to delight animal lovers young and not-so-young.

You can also enjoy the Santa's Workshop display; perfect entertainment while you wait your turn with Santa Claus. Color a seasonal photo at the reindeer coloring station. Munchkins can also write a letter to Santa asking for that special gift. Get your best names ready and enter the Name the Baby Girl Reindeer Contest. Finally, you can enter the Win a Mercedes-Benz Kids Pedal Car raffle.

If you have a four-legged fur baby or grandpuppy, they are also welcome to have their photo with Santa. Visit during non-peak hours (Monday–Friday) and get your own doggy gift bag compliments of Cornell University Veterinary Specialists. Grab your reindeer ears and let the fun photos commence.

The artistic community in Old Lyme is anchored by the Florence Griswold Museum. This year, the museum presents an enchanting Holiday Magic 2022 event. The theme this year is a decorating contest in the Griswold boardinghouse where the entrants are artists from the historic Lyme Art Colony. The fabled contestants are required to use found objects and traditional holiday decorations.

The fictitious story thread is woven by a wizened artist. "We are going to have a little artistic Christmastime competition, but instead of windows, we’ll decorate the mantels over the fireplaces in Miss Florence's boarding house. We can use stuff from our studios and perhaps a few things from the shops. One mantel per artist. What do you say?" Nothing like a good, old-fashioned competition to bring out all the glitz and glamor.

In addition to the mantel decorating displays, 250 painted palettes trim artist trees. Not to be forgotten, traditional decorations and fantasy trees make the entire house sparkle with Christmas's past.

The Railroad Museum of New England is host to the Northern Lights Limited Christmas train ride. Enjoy a great belly laugh with a jolly elf bedecked in colorful Christmas garb engaging all the riders with Christmas carols. Sing all the fan favorites as the train rides the rails on its way to pick up Santa and Mrs. Claus at Santa's Workshop. The magical glow of Christmas lights adds to the mystery of rumbling down the track at night as little guests become giddy with excitement.

Santa and Mrs. Claus take turns visiting each child and deliver a special pre-Christmas gift from Santa. A cadre of elves keeps everyone joyfully entertained as the train chugs along the tracks. A ride on a Christmas train is a memorable experience for everyone.

Across Connecticut, you will find a variety of wonderful Christmas experiences that make you feel like you are in a New England postcard. Whether you attend a tree lighting event, holiday bazaar, or Christmas past strolls, embracing the spirit of the holidays will bring you unending joy. So dawn your best ugly sweater, grab a mug of hot chocolate, and visit one of these picturesque Connecticut towns.

Pro Tip: Many of these experiences require pre-booking and sell out quickly. Check their websites for up-to-the-minute information about dates and times.

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