All of us here at Mommy Poppins CT wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving. May you enjoy the company of family and friends and have safe and easy travels if you are on the road this holiday weekend.
After the turkey and stuffing are but a distant and delicious memory, we've got plenty of activities to keep you busy including holiday lights, outdoor fun, and a chance to visit with Santa in Greenwich, Bethel, Niantic, and more. As always, you can find our recommendations for kids of all ages in our event calendar, which is updated frequently this busy time of year. Make sure that you subscribe to our weekly newsletters and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram so that you won't miss out on any fun.
Enjoy the holiday weekend!
Holiday Lights at Lake Compounce – Bristol
The park will be decked out with light shows set to music every half hour. A selection of kid-friendly family rides will be open and Santa will be in attendance to greet guests. Until December 18th.
Reindeer Festival and Santa's Workshop – Greenwich
Santa and his reindeer will be back in town for this annual festival that continues through Christmas Eve. For the opening day party on Friday, there will be face painting, balloon artists, treats, and more. Photo packages are available for purchase. Through December 24.
Blue Slope Horse Drawn Carriage Rides – Franklin
This working dairy farm invites you to visit for a carriage ride this weekend! Ornament making and caroling is also on the docket. Friday-Sunday; preregistration strongly recommended as space is limited.
Field Days at Mystic Seaport – Mystic
Everyone will want out of the house the day after Thanksgiving! Bring the whole family over to have fun playing 19th-century games. The Seaport is a lovely place to take out-of-town visitors. Friday-Saturday.
Gingerbread Festival in South Windsor – South Windsor
Wood Memorial Library turns into the dream neighborhood of sweetness; covered with unique gingerbread houses. You'll see all shapes and sizes in New England's largest gingerbread house display. The festival shop will be selling crafts, baked goods, pet toys, and more. Free. Runs through December 10th.
Thursday, November 23
Holiday Light Fantasia – Hartford
It's the opening night for this beloved annual tradition that takes place in Hartford's Goodwin Park. Enjoy more than 1,000,000 lights on your drive through two miles of holiday displays.
Rowayton Turkey Trot – Rowayton
Check out the picturesque town of Rowayton with a traditional 5K or a leisurely 1-mile walk/run.
Thanksgiving Trebuchet – Wilton
Head over to Ambler Farm to check out the trebuchet, nicknamed the "Pumpkin Warrior", in action. Registration not required. Free; food donations encouraged.
All Thursday Events
Friday, November 24
Jump and Shop – Norwalk
Looking to hit those Black Friday sales? Drop your kids off at Pump It Up, where they can jump to their hearts' content while you head out to make a dent in your holiday shopping. There are two separate sessions at 9:00 am and noon. Preregistration recommended.
Day After Thanksgiving Movies – Wilton
Still in a turkey and stuffing related coma? Rouse yourself and head to Wilton Library where they will be screening not one but two box office hits for free.
Winterfest – Bethel
Enjoy horse drawn carriage rides, hot cocoa, crafts, and a visit from the Jolly Old Elf himself. Most activities are free.
All Friday Events
Saturday, November 25
Thanksgiving Weekend Waddle – New Canaan
All ages are welcome for fun family hikes and activities, including a free tour of the animal care facility. Free; donations encouraged.
Simsbury Celebrates – Simsbury
Downtown Simsbury will turn into a winter wonderland. Ride the train, hear caroling, see ice sculpting demonstrations, watch acrobats, and more. The night culminates with a firework display. Free.
Run Santa Run – New Milford
Burn off the turkey! This fun, annual family 5K race returns to Harrybrooke Park; includes a fun run for kids as well. Santa hats encouraged.
Niantic Holiday Stroll – Niantic
Celebrate the holidays in quaint Niantic Village. There will be music, activities, hot cider and cocoa, and more. Santa will arrive via fire truck where soon after the town tree will be lit. Free.
All Saturday Events
Sunday, November 26
New England Ballet Company's Sugar Plum Party – Stratford
Young children in particular will enjoy this abbreviated version of the "Nutcracker Suite." After the performance, kids will have a chance to meet the performers and take pictures. (Note: this event has a new location in Stratford this year.)
Sensory Friendly Santa – Danbury
Danbury Fair Mall is setting aside a special time for kids to visit with Santa when lights, sounds, and crowds will be low. Preregistration required.
Trees in the Rigging Community Carol Sing and Boat Parade – Essex
Get in the holiday spirit with this lantern-lit carol stroll down Main Street as a parade of antique cars, Fife and Drum Corps, and boats dressed in holiday lights will travel down the CT River. Bring your own flashlight or lantern and meet Santa and his elves on the lawn of the CT River Museum. Free.
Wagon Rides with Santa – Orange
Built in the 1790s, Maple View Farm has all the charm of the olden days but can be enjoyed today in modern times. Reservations required.
All Sunday Events
Photo: Courtesy of Melissa Wilson