Catch a glimpse of Santa at Christmas Village. Photo courtesy of The City of Torrington, CT
Catch a glimpse of Santa at Christmas Village. Photo courtesy of The City of Torrington, CT

Best Holiday and Christmas Events and Activities for Connecticut Kids in 2020

Kids might say presents are the best part of the holidays, but we parents know that special experiences are the stuff of lasting Christmas memories. Across Connecticut, plenty of towns and businesses are planning (and in some cases, reimagining) holiday and Christmas events and activities to combine safe social distancing with festive family fun. New for 2020, you can hit drive-thru holiday light displays in Bristol and Wallingford, walk through a Winter Wonderland at the zoo, or take a reindeer-guided train ride. Here are some of the holiday happenings we are putting on our calendars this year.

For an extra-special day trip or weekend getaway in November or December, see our list of 25 Must-Do Christmas Events and Activities in New England with Kids, and keep tabs on our Connecticut Holiday Fun Guide for top toy lists, Elf on the Shelf ideas, and more activities to do with kids around the state.

Note that due to the fluctuating nature of COVID-19, events could be changed or canceled at any time, so be sure to check with the venue itself before heading out. While we are trying to promote safer activities that occur outdoors or with social distancing guidelines in place, please keep your family and others safe by always wearing a mask and maintaining appropriate distance. If you arrive at an event that appears too crowded, try using the “nearby” search feature on our events calendar to find something else to do.

Best Christmas Lights and Decorations in Connecticut in 2020

Bundle up in the car and take a drive through Fantasy of Lights—New Haven
Fantasy of Lights is an annual tradition in the Elm City, and open mid-November until after Christmas. 

Behold the Magic of Lights—Wallingford 
Complete with a Blizzard Tunnel, this one mile drive through holiday light experience uses the latest LED technology and digital animalts. 

Christmas light displays Wonderland at Roseville

Photo courtesy of Wonderland at Roseville/Facebook

Be amazed by the amazingly decorated Wonderland at Roseville—Fairfield
People flock to Roseville Terrace every year to see the amazing lights put up by a family.

See the absolute best Gingerbread exhibit in the state—South Windsor
A teeny, tiny library just over the river is the annual location of two floors of gingerbread creations. Beautiful decorations surround an adorable shop with homemade goodies.

Do not miss the Christmas Village put on by the Bozenski's—Torrington
A huge holiday display with Santa always in attendance, the Christmas Village is a sparkling, holiday event for all.

Drive through the much-loved Holiday Light Fantasia—Hartford
Hartford's own sparkling, twinkling light display in Goodwin Park.

Take a ride through Santa's Village - Bristol 
Santa Lights up the Lake this year at the Indian Rock Nature Center. You can see Santa and his elves hard at work from the comfort of your own car. 

Best Holiday and Christmas Festivals in Connecticut in 2020

See live reindeer (perhaps flying?) at the Greenwich Reindeer Festival—Greenwich
Santa is staying busy at the North Pole, but his reindeer are back at the Greenwich Reindeer Festival and Santa's Village. 

Take a trip to Bethlehem...Connecticut, style—Bethlehem
Enjoy the Christmas Town Festival in a little town in Connecticut, December 4 and 5. There will be outdoor performances, tree lighting, safe photos with Santa, and more.

Christmas Playtime at the Mansion. Photo by Alex Rosenfeld Photography

Best Holiday Experiences for Connecticut Kids in 2020

Skip the trains, and try a trolley at the Santa's Trolley Winter Wonderland—East Haven
Starting on December 1, ride a historic trolley decorated for the season and spend some time with Santa as you go. No reservations are needed, and the trolley comes every 20 minutes.

Go pick out an amazing Christmas tree at Angevine FarmWarren
There are so many places to tree shop, but Angevine offers trees in a slew of different sizes with different price points.

Annual Holiday Train Show at the Connecticut River Museum - Essex 
This annual Train Show is always full of wonder. There are more trains, more scenery, and lots of new surprises at this annual family-friendly exhibit created by train artist Steve Cryan.

Learn about holiday traditions at a beautifully decorated mansion—Norwalk
Learn all about the children who played on the third floor of the Mansion, which was filled with toys and dolls and even featured a theater where they may have performed. This year's Christmas Playtime at the Mansion displays the museum's doll and toy collection. 

Celebrate the Season at the Hill-Stead Museum 
For 2020, Hell-Stead is reimagining The Nutcracker. Enjoy a costumed exhibition, dance performances, and more at the Holiday Through the Tulle exhibit. 

Walk through a Winter Wonderland --Bridgeport 
See and walk through festive vignettes at the Beardsley Zoo's Winter Wonderland.

Strike a pose with a goat for this year's holiday card. Photo courtesy of Bradley Mountain Farm

Strike a pose with a goat for this year's holiday card. Photo courtesy of Bradley Mountain Farm

Take a one-of-a-kind family holiday photo - Southington 
The photogenic goats at Bradley Mountain farm are ready—with bells on! The goats are all dressed up to pull Santa's sleigh. 

Take a lantern-lit walk around Mystic Seaport 
Mystic Seaport transforms itself into a Lantern Light Village this season. Enjoy live music, horse-and-carriage rides, fire pits, and a visit from Santa himself. 

Ride with Rudolph - Essex 
New for 2020, Reindeer on the Rails is a holiday adventure that features a journey through a whimsical evergreen and candy cane forest. 

Watch The Nutcracker on a big screen - Ridgefield 
Watch the Nutcacker on the big screen at the Ridgefield Playhouse. Watch Clara's magical adventure through lands where sugar plums dance and flowers waltz.

Fantasy of Lights
2 Lighthouse Point Road Lighthouse Point Park
New Haven, CT 06512

The Klein
910 Fairfield Ave
Bridgeport, CT 06605

Connecticut Trolley Mueum
58 North Rd
East Windsor,, CT 06088

Shoreline Trolley Museum
17 River Street
East Haven, CT 06512

Essex Steam Train
One Railroad Avenue
Essex, 06426

Winterfest at the Bushnell
Trinity Street
Hartford, CT 06106

Lake Compounce Theme Park
186 Enterprise Drive
Bristol, CT 06010

Wood Library and Museum
783 Main Street
South Windsor, CT 06074

Shubert Theater
247 College Street
New Haven, CT

Angevine Farm
40 Angevine Road
Warren, CT 06754

The Bushnell Center for Perf Arts
166 Capitol Ave 166 Capitol Ave
Hartford, CT 06106

Lakewood-Matthews Mansion2
299 West Avenue
Norwalk, CT 06850

Holiday Light Fantasia Goodwin Park
1130 Maple Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106

Indian Rock Nature Preserve
501 Wolcott Road (Rte 69)
Bristol, CT 06010

St. Clement's Castle & Marina
1931 Portland-Cobalt Rd
Portland, CT 06480

Ridgefield Play House
80 east ridge rd
Ridgefield, CT 06877

Henry Whitfied State Museum
248 Old Whitfield Street
Guilford, CT 06437

Torrington Christmas House
258 Main Street
Torrington, CT 06790

Lachat Town Farm
106 Godfrey Road West
Weston, CT 06883

Milford Arts, The MAC
40 Railroad Avenue South Former Train Depot
Milford, CT 06460

Sam Bridge Nurseries
437 North Street
Greenwich, CT 06807

New Haven Green
New Haven, CT
Holiday Cards for Kids
Norwalk Historical Society Museum - 7:00 AM
94th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC - 9:00 AM
Frank Stella’s Stars, A Survey
Aldrich Museum - 12:00 PM
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides