The 15 Best Holiday and Christmas Events and Activities for Connecticut Kids

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

Kids might say presents are the best part of the holidays, but we parents know that special experiences like seeing amazing Christmas lights, visiting Santa, and going to The Nutcracker are the stuff of lasting holiday memories. In 2021, take-in holiday drive-thru light displays in Wallingford, meet goats dressed up like reindeer at the farm, or head to The Christmas Town Festival in Bethlehem or Lantern Light Village in Mystic. Here are some of the best Christmas and 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 plan more holiday activities with our Connecticut Holiday Fun Guide.

Best Christmas Lights and Decorations in Connecticut

1. Fantasy of Lights—New Haven

Fantasy of Lights is an annual tradition in the Elm City, and open mid-November until after Christmas. 

2. Magic of Lights—Wallingford 

Complete with a Blizzard Tunnel, this 1-mile drive through holiday light experience uses the latest LED technology and digital animals. 

Christmas light displays Wonderland at Roseville

Be amazed at the over-the-top wonderful Christmas decorations in Roseville. Photo courtesy of Wonderland at Roseville/Facebook

3. Wonderland at Roseville—Fairfield

People flock to Roseville Terrace every year to see the amazing lights put up by a family.

4. Annual Gingerbread House Festival—South Windsor

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

5. Carl Bozenski's Christmas Village—Torrington

The Christmas Village is a sparkling, holiday event for all with a huge holiday display with Santa always in attendance. 

6. Holiday Light Fantasia—Hartford

Hartford's own sparkling, twinkling light display in Goodwin Park is a much-loved 2-mile drive thru wonderland.

Best Holiday and Christmas Festivals in Connecticut

7. Greenwich Reindeer Festival—Greenwich

See live reindeer (perhaps flying?) at the Greenwich Reindeer Festival. Visitors can have their photo taken with Santa, meet the reindeer, and check out Santa's Workshop. 

8. A Christmas Town Festival—Bethlehem

Enjoy the Christmas Town Festival in the little town of Bethlehem in Connecticut, December 3 and 4. There will be outdoor performances, tree lighting, photos with Santa, children's crafts, a scavenger hunt, and more.

Experience Christmas playtime on the third floor of the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum. Photo by Alex Rosenfeld Photography

Best Christmas Things To Do in Connecticut 

9. Santa's Trolley Winter Wonderland—East Haven

Skip the trains, and 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, beginning November 26.

10. Angevine Farm—Warren

There are so many places to tree shop, but Angevine offers trees in a slew of different sizes with different price points. For 2021, tree reservations are required.

11. 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 family-friendly exhibit created by train artist Steve Cryan.

12. Christmas Playtime at the Mansion—Norwalk

Learn all about the children who played on the third floor of this Norwalk Mansion, which was filled with toys and dolls and even featured a theater where they may have performed. This year's displays the museum's doll and toy collection. The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is currently in the running for Best Historic Holiday Home Tour by USA Today 10Best.

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

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

13. Reindeer Goat Photos—Southington

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

14. Lantern Light Village—Seaport 

Take a lantern-lit walk around Mystic Seaport, which transforms itself during the festive season. Enjoy live music, horse-and-carriage rides, fire pits, and a visit from Santa himself. 

15. The Nutcracker—Ridgefield 

The Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance presents The Nutcracker at the Ridgefield Playhouse. Watch Clara's magical adventure through lands where sugar plums dance and flowers waltz.

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