Conn. (WTNH) — Tree lightings, Christmas plays, ice skating events, and holiday celebrations. Welcome to December in Connecticut.
It’s December, which means it’s almost time for Connecticut to turn into the picturesque New England winter wonderland. Amid the cold weather, there’s still plenty to do this month to get out and enjoy both outdoor adventures and indoor, cozy activities.
We’ve rounded up a list of the best ways to celebrate this holiday season.
Nothing screams the holidays like a tree lighting! Nearly every town across the state is hosting its own tree lighting, while businesses, churches, and restaurants will celebrate with their own display. Here’s just a few places you can catch a tree lighting to kick-off the month.
- Branford | Branford Town Center: 1205 Main St.
- Bridgeport | 1469 Reservoir Ave.
- Bridgewater | Bridgewater Congregational Church: 10 Clapboard Rd.
- Cheshire | Bartlem Park: 520 S. Main St.
- Colchester | Hop Culture Farms & Brew Co: 144 Cato Corner Rd.
- Danbury | Stew Leonard’s: 99 Federal Rd., Danbury
- East Hartford | Town Green: 1021 Main St.
- Guilford | North Guilford Congregational Church: 159 Ledge Hill Rd.
- Haddam | Haddam Neck Covenant Church: 17 Haddam Neck Rd., East Hampton
- Lebanon | Jonathan Trumbull Library: 580 Exeter Rd.
- Madison | Town Green: 8 Meeting House Ln.
- Middlefield | Middlefield Volunteer Fire Company: 406 Jackson Hill Rd.
- Milford | Gazebo on the Green: S. Broad St.
- New Britain | 66 W Main St.
- New Haven | New Haven Green: 250 Temple St.
- New Milford | Village Green: 10 Main St.
- North Branford | 290 Forest Rd., Northford
- Oxford | Town Hall: 462 Oxford Rd.
- Plainfield | Town Hall: 8 Community Ave.
- Plymouth | The First Congregational Church of Plymouth: 10 Park St.
- Sandy Hook | 102 Church Hill Rd.
- Shelton | Veteran’s Memorial Park: 38 Canal St.
- Stamford | 1 Landmark Sq.
- Stonington | Wadawanuck Square: 22 High St.
- Stratford | Two Roads Brewing Company: 1700 Stratford Ave.
- Suffield | Town Green: 83 Mountain Rd. W
- Waterbury | Town Green: W Main St.
There’s nothing quite like walking through a display of lights at night. Catch these special light displays at festivals, parks, museums, and even amusement parks across the state.
- American Lanterns Festival | Lyman Orchards: 32 Reeds Gap Rd., Middlefield
- Fantasy of Lights | Light House Point Park: 2 Lighthouse Rd., New Haven
- Festival of Lights | Mystic Aquarium: 55 Coogan Blvd., Mystic
- Glow Gardens | Conn. Convention Center: 100 Columbus Blvd., Hartford
- Holiday Lights | Lake Compounce: 185 Enterprise Dr., Southington
- Holiday Wish | Stamford Town Center: 100 Greyrock Pl., Stamford
- Festival of the Silver Lights | Hubbard Park: 999 W. Main St., Meriden
- Lantern Light Village | Mystic Seaport Museum: 75 Greenmanville Ave., Mystic
- Light the Lights Winter Festival | 268 Main St., Danbury
- Magic of Lights | Rentschler Field: 615 Silver Ln., East Hartford
- New Holiday Stroll | Mill River Park: 1050 Washington Blvd., Stamford
- Winterfest & Tunnel of Lights | CT Trolley Museum: 58 North Rd., East Windsor
- Woodbury Christmas Festival | 25 Quassuk Rd., Woodbury
Grab your coat, helmet, and ice skates as the weather cools down and hit one of these rinks or ponds in Connecticut. The best part? They’re all family-friendly, offering a winter activity for all age groups.
- Beaverbrook Linear Park | 1860 Reservoir, Wethersfield
- Bushnell Park | 99 Trinity St., Hartford
- Eastbury Pond | 39 Fisher Hill Rd., Glastonbury
- Gorham’s Pond | 512 Post Rd., Darien
- Gould Manor Park | 655 Holland Hill Rd., Fairfield
- Osbornedale State Park | Chatfield St., Derby
- Owen Fish Park | 1443 Stratfield Rd., Fairfield
- Redding Community Center | 37 Lonetown Rd., Redding
- Simsbury Farms | 100 Old Farms Rd., Simsbury
- Steven & Alexandra Cohen Ice Skating Center | Mill River Park: 1050 Washington Blvd., Stamford
- Westport PAL Rink | 260 Compo Rd. South, Westport
- Winding Trails | 50 Winding Trails, Farmington
- Whalen Pond | 3 Broadview Rd., Brookfield
- Wright’s Pond | 261 Old Grassy Hill Rd., Orange
Christmas will be celebrated all month long with various shows across the state. Whether you’re into theater performances, musicals, EDM, or even punk, we’ve got you covered.
- A Christmas Carol | The Repertory Theatre: 23 Norden St., New Britain
- A Charles Dickens Christmas | Playhouse on Park: 244 Park Ave., West Hartford
- Christmas Carol – A New Musical | Milford Arts Council: 40 Railroad Ave. S, Milford
- Christmas on the Rocks | TheaterWorks Hartford: 233 Pearl St., Hartford
- Cirque Dreams Celebration | Mohegan Sun: 1 Mohegan Sun Blvd., Uncasville
- Mannheim Steamroller Christmas | William H. Mortensen Hall: 166 Capitol Ave., Hartford
- Pentatonix: A Christmas Spectacular | Mohegan Sun: 1 Mohegan Sun Blvd., Uncasville
- Punxmas 2022 | The Cellar on Treadwell: 295 Treadwell St., Hamden
Hanukkah Menorah Lightings
Hanukkah will commence with special menorah lightings. See which communities will join together to celebrate lighting the first of eight candles on December 18.
- Darien | The Post Road Shopping Center: 436 Boston Post Rd.
- Litchfield | 69 West St.
- New Milford | New Milford Hospital: 21 Elm St.
- Sharon | Sharon Hospital: 50 Hospital Rd.
- Stamford | Latham Park: 269 Bedford St.
- Stratford | Town Hall Green: 2725 Main St.
- Torrington | Charlotte Hungerford Hospital | 540 Litchfield St.
- Waterbury | Town Green: West Main Street
| Light Up the BLVD: Columbia Blvd
- West Haven | West Haven Green: 355 Main St.
- Wolcott | Center Road
African-American culture is celebrated each year during Kwanzaa from December 26 to January 1. During the week, communities will come together to celebrate unity, creativity, and faith. Learn about the celebration and attend one of the events in Connecticut in December.
- Kwanzaa: A Stamford Celebration | Stamford Government Center: 888 Washington Blvd., Stamford
- Kwanzaa Author Visit and Storytime | Russell Library: 123 Broad St., Middletown
- Kwanzaa Celebration | UConn H. Fred Simons African American Cultural Center: 2110 Hillside Rd., Storrs
- Kwanzaa Cooking Class | Global Local Gourmet: 1253 Whitney Ave., Hamden
- The LIT Kwanzaa Celebration | virtual via YouTube
- The Harp and the Holidays | E.C. Scranton Memorial Library: 801 Boston Post Rd., Madison
- Winter Wonderland | Rockwell Park: 238 Jacobs St., Bristol
Visits with Santa
Santa will be on a roll this month, spreading holiday cheer to children across the state. See where you can meet Santa – and Mrs. Claus – all month long. At certain events, you can enjoy some cookies, eat pancakes, and take selfies with Santa!
- A Magical Visit with Santa | Mel’s Downtown Creamery: 32 Norwich Ave., Colchester
- Carl Bozenski’s Christmas Village | 150 Church St., Torrington
- Cookies & Cocoa with Santa | Riverfront Community Center: 300 Welles St., Glastonbury
- Christmas Stories with Mrs. Claus | 187 Rt. 66 E., Columbia
- Pancake Breakfast with Santa | Prince of Peace Lutheran Church: 119 Junction Rd., Brookfield
- Pet Photos with Santa | CT Post Mall: 1201 Boston Post Rd., Milford
- Santa’s Workshop | Wickham Park: 1329 Middle Tpke. W, Manchester
- Santa at the Air Museum | New England Air Museum: 36 Perimeter Rd., Windsor Locks
- Selfies with Santa | The SoNo Collection: 100 N Water St., Norwalk
Indoor & Outdoor Activities
Looking for something else? There are hundreds of holiday events in December, taking place both outdoors and indoors. Enjoy craft fairs, carnivals, markets, and festivals, as well as parties, outdoor strolls, and special experiences.
- Barn Christmas Party | KB Equestrian Riding & Training Academy: 2076 Durham Rd., Madison
- Christmas in the Village | Patriots Park: 124 Lake St., Coventry
- Connecticut Christmas Trail Experience | Naugatuck Environment Center: 6 Rubber Ave., Naugatuck
- Holiday Carnival | 27 Coogan Blvd., Mystic
- Holiday Craft Fair | Woodmont Borough Hall: 128 Kings Hwy., Milford
- Holiday Market & Festival | All Saint’s Catholic School: 139 W Rocks Rd., Norwalk
- Holiday Stroll 2022 | Mill River Park: 1050 Washington Blvd., Stamford
- Meriden YuleFest Market | 24 Colony St., Meriden
- North Pole Express | 1 Railroad Ave., Essex
- Redding Artisan Holiday Fair | John Read Middle School: 486 Redding Rd., Redding
- Santa’s Run | Glastonbury High School: 330 Hubbard St., Glastonbury
- Stonington Christmas Fair | The Velvet Mill: 22 Bayview Rd., Stonington
- Ugly Sweater Bash | Stony Creek Brewery: 5 Indian Beck Ave., Branford
- Ye Olde Christmas Faire | First Congregational Church: 1 Church St., Deep River