There's a chill in the air, and the trees are growing bare, which can only mean one thing--the holidays are right around the corner. I don't know about your kids, but mine aren't satisfied until they've held court with the man in the red suit each year. Luckily Santa books a full schedule of appearances all over Hartford County so you're sure to catch him before the season ends. Whether you want to skate with him, have your photo taken with him, or sit down to a pancake breakfast with him, we've got you covered.
New England Carousel Museum, Bristol
November 26, 3:00-5:00 pm
Bring your letters to Santa and his elf at the Carousel Museum in Bristol. Admission is free, and kids can enjoy crafts, games, and have their photo taken with Santa.
Holiday Stroll in Blue Black Square, West Hartford
December 1, 5:00-7:30 pm
Blue Black Square transforms into a winter wonderland to kick off the holiday season. Enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides, a tree lighting ceremony, and of course, a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus. While you fill your children's imaginations with visions of wonder, fill your Christmas list with special discounts at Blue Black Square retailers. Children who visit with Santa receive a free gift, and there will be delicious treats to sample along the way.
Flamig Farm Breakfast with Santa, West Simsbury
December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, & 18
Join Santa and Mrs. Claus, the elves, Frosty the Snowman, and the Grinch for a hearty farm breakfast at Flamig Farm this holiday season. Take a trolley ride out to reindeer country, visit the petting zoo, and create warm memories to last a lifetime. If your little ones are anxious about meeting The Grinch, there is a no Grinch breakfast on December 3 at 8:30 am. Breakfast seatings are every hour from 8:30 to 11:30 am. Tickets are $25 per person, children age one and under are free. All ticket purchases are non-refundable and are available through their website.
Wickham Park, Manchester
Parents who want to give their children a chance to experience a truly uncommercialized encounter with Santa can head over to Wickham Park in Manchester for their annual Santa's Workshop. Kids can mingle with elves, share refreshments with Mrs. Claus, and of course meet and greet the man in red himself. The event is free of charge, though non-perishable food items are being collected for area food pantries. Santa's Workshop is open weekdays from 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm and weekends from 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm.
Breakfast with Santa, Canton
December 9, 9:30-11:00 am
Jingle on down to the Canton Community Center for breakfast with Santa. The menu includes pancakes, sausages, fruit, muffins, juice, milk, coffee, tea, and hot cocoa. Enjoy arts and crafts, holiday music, and a special performance by T-Bone, a Connecticut musician who has been nicknamed "America's Pied Piper." Tickets are available online. Early bird rates apply for tickets purchased before November 17.
Breakfast with Santa, South Windsor
December 17, 8:30-11:30 am
Santa sure does love breakfast! Join him in the grand ballroom at Maneely's for music, crafts, photos, and of course a delicious breakfast spread. Every child receives a 4x6 photo with the man himself. Admission for adults is $10, kids are asked to bring one unwrapped toy to be donated to the homeless shelters of Greater Hartford.
Photos with Santa at Westfarms Mall, Farmington
Of course, what would a modern holiday be without a mall Santa--for those that like the crisp structure of a formal portrait, Santa will, of course, be appearing at Westfarms Mall in Farmington for the holiday season. Check their website for hours and pricing information, dress your kiddos up in their holiday best, and cross your fingers they don't run screaming this year.
Photo Credit: Jayne MacIntyre