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Christmas & Holiday Events 2017

New England covered bridge at Christmas New England’s lively cities, snug towns, and snow-swept mountains are a perfect backdrop for Christmas and holiday celebrations and traditions. Come and enjoy classic favorites, like performances of “The Messiah” or “The Nutcracker, and local traditions, like the festive lighting of the Nubble Lighthouse in Maine. Lodgings offer plenty of ways to combine a holiday getaway with pastimes like skiing, shopping, or theater-hopping.

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All Ages

Trees in the Rigging 2017 Carol Sing & Boat Parade - Essex, CT

Nov 26, 2017 - Nov 26, 2017 Connecticut River Museum, 67 Main Street Essex, CT
Essex Ct Trees in the rigging parade Annual community carol sing and boat parade steps off at 4:30 p.m. at Essex Town Hall with a lantern-lit stroll down Main Street accompanied by the Sailing Master of 1812 Fife and Drum Corps and a parade of antique cars. The stroll ends at the Connecticut River Museum, where boats decorated with festive lights and holiday themes pass in review, then Santa arrives for visits with children. The best viewing is from the lawn of the Connecticut River Museum at the foot of Main Street.
Time: 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Admission: Free

Fairfield Christmas Tree Festival 2017 - Fairfield, CT

Nov 30, 2017 - Dec 3, 2017 Burr Homestead, 739 Old Post Road Fairfield, CT
Come enjoy a cup of hot cider while you stroll through the Burr Mansion and see rooms decorated by interior decorators and artists. Trees and one-of-a-kind live wreaths are for sale. The Holiday Boutique is full of festive gifts and ornaments. Bring the kids to visit Santa!
Holiday Preview Gala on November 30. Enjoy light fare, cocktails, and music by Michel Nischan under the tent. There will be a chance to win a piece of jewelry donated by Henry C, Reid & Sons Jewelers. 6:30-10 p.m. $150
Holiday Hip Hop on December 1. Come for dinner and watch Fairfield’s Double-Up Dance Studio perform cool hip hop. Centerpieces for sale. Guest appearance by Santa. Grab a cup of cocoa on your way to the Tree Lighting ceremony. 5- 7 p.m. Adults, $20; children, $10
Nutcracker Sweet Tea on December 2. Enjoy tea and sweets during a vignette performance “Nutcracker Suite.” Children will get to meet dancers from the New England Ballet Company. 2-4 p.m. $30/person
Time: Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: General Admission is adults, $10; children and seniors, $5

Home for the Holidays 2017 at the Phelps-Hatheway House & Garden - Suffield, CT

Dec 1, 2017 - Dec 3, 2017 Phelps-Hatheway House & Garden, 55 South Main Street (Route 75) Suffield, CT
Gorgeous rooms are staged in the theme of holiday anticipation, decorated by the Suffield Garden Club.
Opening Night Preview Party, Cocktails at Hatheway, on Friday, December 1 from 6 to 9 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres, wine, a champagne toast, and a silent auction. (tickets, $50- $100).
Weekend Tours are December 2 and 3, 1 to 4 p.m.. Enjoy tours of the festively decorated House, children's activities and light refreshments. (Adults, $15; children age 6-18, $10)
Teddy Bear Tea Party is December 2 at 11 a.m. and 1 pm. Christmas cookies and a tasty herbal tea will warm the heart and body, and a short story dedicated to the bear you love will finish our time together. (Adults, $10; children $5; family of four, $20). Reservations requested, call 860-668-0055
Time: See description above
Admission: See description above
Telephone: 860-247-8996

Festival of Trees & Traditions 2017 at Wadsworth Atheneum - Hartford, CT

Dec 1, 2017 - Dec 10, 2017 Wadsworth Atheneum, 600 Main Street Hartford, CT
During this event, holiday trees, wreaths and more decorated by area artists and others are displayed throughout Wadsworth Atheneum. Night of Illumination is November 30, and Hartford Symphony’s Jazz quartet will perform swing tunes and standards. Second Saturdays for Families is December 9, with lots of activities for the kids.
Five local performing arts groups will host installations throughout the museum: Hartford Stage’s A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas will offer a a stroll along London’s Victorian streets.
Connecticut Ballet will feature Nutcracker memorabilia and costumes. A collection of Nutcracker dolls will be part of the presentation.
Hartford Symphony’s display will evoke the holiday spirit with hand-crafted of musical instruments.
A pointe shoe tree standing seven feet high will be contributed by Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory, featuring Nutcracker-themed decorations.
TheaterWorks Rockin’ Christmas Tree is based on Hartford’s newest holiday tradition, Christmas on the Rocks.
Time: Adults: $18; seniors: $15; students: $8; youth age 17 and younger: $3
Admission: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; museum is closed December 4 and 5

Greenwich Holiday Stroll Weekend 2017 - Greenwich, CT

Dec 2, 2017 - Dec 3, 2017 437 North Street Greenwich, CT
This weekend will feature a live Nativity, horse-drawn carriage rides, live music and entertainment, ice sculpture demos, food trucks, letter-writing to Santa, retailers and restaurants offering promotions, and a visit with live reindeer, photos with Santa, and rides on the Winter Wonderland Carousel and the North Pole Polar Express Train.
Time: Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.' Sunday, noon-5 p.m.
Admission: Free Admission
Telephone: 203-531-3047

Children & Families

"Christmas Elf" - Bridgeport, CT

Nov 11, 2017 - Dec 28, 2017 Downtown Cabaret Theatre, 263 Golden Hill Street Bridgeport, CT
 Christmas Elf in Bridgeport CT Can you imagine? Not everyone wants Christmas to arrive this year. How is that possible? A smart clever meets some toys who are worried that they might be replaced in this new musical that finds the hopeful spirit in the holidays.
During every performance, young guests will be invited to name the Christmas elf. Children’s Theatre Productions shows approximately run 75-80 minutes with a 10-minute intermission.
Time: Curtain times vary; see event website
Admission: $19-$23

Santa Special 2017 Train Rides - Essex, CT

Nov 24, 2017 - Dec 23, 2017 Essex Steam Train, 1 Railroad Avenue Essex, CT
Ct essex santa special train rides All aboard the Santa Special for a one-of-a-kind, daytime holiday experience. Relax with family and friends aboard festive railway cars adorned with vintage decorations. Rudolph and Pablo the Penguin will be on board to spread holiday cheer. Each child receives a small holiday gift from Santa’s elves. Dates: November 24-26; December 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 23. Some dates are already sold out.
Time: 9:30, 10, 11, 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1 p.m.
Admission: $24-$40

Winterfest 2017 and Tunnel of Lights - East Windsor, CT

Nov 24, 2017 - Dec 23, 2017 Connecticut Trolley Museum, 58 North Road (Route 140) East Windsor, CT
Start a family tradition of taking a trolley ride during the holidays. Join your motormen in singing Christmas carols as the trolley travels through the Tunnel of Lights. The Visitors Center is transformed into a Winter Wonderland of model trains, decorations, hot cocoa, and entertainment. Pose for a picture with Santa inside one of the historic trolleys. Dates: November 24-26, December 1-3, 8-10, 15-17 and 22- 23.
Time: 5-9 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $12; seniors over age 62, $11; children ages 4-12, $10; children age 3 and younger, $3
Telephone: 860-627-6540

Winterfest with Rudolph & Friends at Mystic Aquarium - Mystic, CT

Dec 2, 2017 - Dec 31, 2017 Mystic Aquarium, 55 Coogan Blvd. Mystic, CT
Meet Rudolph and his pal Bumble at Mystic Aquarium. Take a photo with Rudolph and Bumble for your holiday cards and see Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 4-D. Mix Christmas entertainment with views belugas, seals and sea lions.
Time: Weekends, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admission: Adults. $40; seniors (age 60 and older), $32; youth age 13-17, $31; children age 3-12, $27
Telephone: 860-572-5955

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical” - New Haven, CT

Dec 8, 2017 - Dec 8, 2017 Shubert Theatre, 247 College Street New Haven, CT
Rudolph leaps onto the stage this holiday season. Don't miss this wonderful holiday tradition that speaks to the misfit in all of us.
Time: Friday, 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m., 1 and 4 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Admission: $39-$89
Telephone: 203-562-5666

Second Saturdays For Families: "Sounds of the Season" - Hartford, CT

Dec 9, 2017 - Dec 9, 2017 Wadsworth Atheneum, 600 Main Street Hartford, CT
Celebrate the sounds of the season during "Festival of Trees & Traditions." Learn about seasonal customs from around the world and enjoy live musical performances. Museum admission is free during Second Saturdays activities.
Time: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Admission: Free

Historic

Lantern Light Tours 2017 at Mystic Seaport - Mystic, CT

Nov 24, 2017 - Dec 23, 2017 Mystic Seaport, 75 Greenmanville Avenue Mystic, CT
Guests enter a coastal New England village in older times – Christmas of 1876, and they are led by a costumed villager through six scenes of the village with a story. For 2017, the story is “The Spirit of the Holiday: A Christmas Ghost Story.” The story moves through five scenes showcasing some unexpected holiday traditions and a little help from a Victorian spiritualist.
Each Lantern Light Tour is a 70-minute progressive performance that covers approximately half a mile of uneven terrain (including cobblestone, wood planking, grass, gravel, and stairs) and is performed in all weather conditions. Audience members walk or stand for the majority of the performance. appropriate for all ages, though not recommended for children under age 4. Dates: November 24-25, December 1-2, 8-9, 15-17, and 22-23.
Time: Tours begin at 5 p.m. and depart every 15 minutes
Admission: Adults, $32; youth ages 5-17, $25
Telephone: 860-572-5331

Home & Studio Tours

Holiday House Tour 2017 of Mark Twain House and Area Homes - Hardford, CT

Dec 3, 2017 - Dec 3, 2017 Mark Twain House and Wadsworth Atheneum Hardford, CT
The tour will feature Mark Twain's 25-room home at 351 Farmington Avenue in Hartford, the Wadsworth Atheneum’s Austin House at 130 Scarborough Street in Hartford and three private homes, which will be decorated according to their homeowners' holiday traditions. The Mark Twain House will be decorated for a late 19th-century Christmas. Tickets.
Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Admission: $30-$35
Telephone: 860-280-3130

Holiday House Tour 2017 - Greenwich, CT

Dec 6, 2017 - Dec 6, 2017 various homes Greenwich, CT
Representing many architectural and decor styles, these houses present an glimpse into the ways Greenwich residents live, gather and celebrate today. Ticketholders receive by mail a map of Greenwich showing the shuttle stops that will transport guests to each home. A luncheon at Greenwich Country Club is available from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Reservations are required for the tour and luncheon. Photography, and children under the age of 12 years are prohibited.
Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: $110
Telephone: 203-869-6899

A Polish Christmas with Martha Hall Kelly - Bethlehem, CT

Dec 10, 2017 - Dec 10, 2017 Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden, 9 Main Street North Bethlehem, CT
This day celebrates the holidays and the work of social philanthropist Caroline Ferriday, the inspiration for author Martha Hall Kelly’s novel “Lilac Girls.” See Ferriday’s beloved Connecticut home staged in the traditional Polish fashion. Learn about Advent and Polish Christmas traditions. “Lilac Girls” is based on the true story of Caroline Ferriday and the Ravensbrück concentration camp survivors whom she championed.
Time: 1-5 p.m. Tours begin at 1 and 1:30 p.m.
Admission: $35

Literary

Holidays at the Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe Homes 2017 - Hartford, CT

Dec 3, 2017 - Dec 3, 2017 Mark Twain House and Harriet Beecher Stowe Center Hartford, CT
Find your holiday spirit at the 19th-century homes of authors Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain. Tour the Stowe and Twain houses, decorated for the season. Visitors to the Mark Twain House will be greeted by actors describing the Clemens family Christmases and family lore. Enjoy free refreshments, holiday music, and arts and crafts activities. At 3 p.m., the Niantic Community Church Bell Choir will perform at the Mark Twain House.
Time: Noon-6 p.m. at the Stowe Center; 3-6 p.m. at The Mark Twain House
Admission: Regular admission fees apply; visit both homes and save $3.

Music

Trans-Siberian Orchestra - The Ghosts of Christmas Eve - Uncasville, CT

Nov 26, 2017 - Nov 26, 2017 Mohegan Sun Arena, 1 Mohegan Sun Blvd. Uncasville, CT
Trans-Siberian Orchestra was founded to be theatrical and ever-changing. TSO continues to thrill listeners with its Christmas shows.
Time: Two shows, at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Admission: $64, $54 & $44

John Tesh - Ridgefield, CT

Dec 1, 2017 - Dec 1, 2017 Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 East Ridge Road Ridgefield, CT
John Tesh will be serving up holiday favorites in his signature style when he brings his Grand Piano Christmas show.
Time: 8 p.m.
Admission: $65-$100
Telephone: 203-438-5795

The Blind Boys of Alabama with Preservation Hall Legacy Horns - New Haven, CT

Dec 2, 2017 - Dec 2, 2017 Shubert Theatre, 247 College Street New Haven, CT
This close-harmony group performs new songs and holiday favorites. The groups singing has been described as jubilee singing, a livelier breed of gospel music.
Time: 8 p.m.
Admission: $26-$50
Telephone: 203-562-5666

Boston Pops Holiday Tour 2017 - Storrs, CT

Dec 2, 2017 - Dec 2, 2017 Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts, 2132 Hillside Road Storrs, CT
Celebrate the Christmas season with “America’s orchestra,” the Boston Pops. Hear lots of Christmas music favorites. Join the audience sing-along; it’s a tradition.
Time: 8 p.m.
Admission: $65-$75

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis - Ledyard, CT

Dec 3, 2017 - Dec 3, 2017 Grand Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino, 39 Norwich-Westerly Road Ledyard, CT
The show features Mannheim Steamroller classics, along with multimedia effects. Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Tour is one of the longest running tours in the music industry.
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Admission: $50-$75

Melissa Etheridge - Ridgefield, CT

Dec 6, 2017 - Dec 6, 2017 Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 East Ridge Road Ridgefield, CT
Melissa Etheridge will be performing her fan favorites and holiday classics such as “Merry Christmas Baby,” Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” “O Night Divine” and more.
Time: 8 p.m.
Admission: $125
Telephone: 203-438-5795

Linda Eder - Ridgefield, CT

Dec 8, 2017 - Dec 8, 2017 Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 East Ridge Road Ridgefield, CT
Linda Eder will be backed by a choir and band to perform holiday standards, Broadway classics and some of her greatest hits.
Time: 8 p.m.
Admission: $57
Telephone: 203-438-5795

Hartford Gay Men's Chorus Holiday Concert 2017 - Hartford, CT

Dec 8, 2017 - Dec 8, 2017 Wadsworth Atheneum, 600 Main Street Hartford, CT
From Tinseltown to Times Square-A Holiday Adventure: The Hartford Gay Men’s Chorus presents its holiday concert. Admission to the Wadsworth Atheneum galleries, including Festival of Trees & Traditions, is not included with your ticket to this event. This event takes place in the museum’s Aetna Theater; please enter via Avery Door.
Time: 8 p.m.
Admission: $30-$45

Rockapella - Ridgefield, CT

Dec 17, 2017 - Dec 17, 2017 Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 East Ridge Road Ridgefield, CT
This a capella quintet brings you standards you love like “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” to a funky rendition of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” to Christmas originals.
Time: 8 p.m.
Admission: $47
Telephone: 203-438-5795

The Oak Ridge Boys Christmas Celebration 2017 - Ridgefield, CT

Dec 20, 2017 - Dec 20, 2017 Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 East Ridge Road Ridgefield, CT
The Oak Ridge Boys perform their timeless hits – including “Elvira,” “Bobbie Sue” and “American Made” along with favorite Christmas songs from their six bestselling Christmas CDs.
Time: 8 p.m.
Admission: $85
Telephone: 203-438-5795

Performing Arts, Theater, Dance

“The Santaland Diaries” by David Sedaris - New Haven, CT

Nov 24, 2017 - Nov 26, 2017 Shubert Theatre, 247 College Street New Haven, CT
This wickedly funny by humorist David Sedaris describes the inside story of the travails of a crabby young many forced to take on the job of Christmas elf at Macy's. Hear about elf training, bad Santas and abusive customers.
Time: Friday & Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 6 p.m.
Admission: $40
Telephone: 203-562-5666

Christmas on the Rocks 2017 - Hartford, CT

Nov 28, 2017 - Dec 23, 2017 TheaterWorks at City Arts on Pearl, 233 Pearl Street Hartford, CT
It's Christmas Eve in a rundown local bar. Expecting a silent night, the bartender finds himself mixing drinks for a parade of surprising guests - children from your favorite Christmas specials and movies - now all grown up. In this wacky parody, unexpected Christmas tales surface, welcome or not. Show times and tickets.
Time: Curtain times vary; see event website
Telephone: 860-527-7838

Shopping & Sales

Artistry: American Craft Shopping for the Holidays - Guilford, CT

Nov 2, 2017 - Dec 31, 2017 Guilford Art Center, 411 Church Street Guilford, CT
One-of-a-kind, handmade crafts by artisans from across America will be featured, including ceramics, glass, jewelry, fiber, ornaments, accessories, toys, specialty foods, leather goods and more. Personal shoppers are available for advice. A registry makes gift selection easy.
Time: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; and Sunday, noon-5 p.m.
Telephone: 203-453-5947

Theater

“A Connecticut Christmas Carol” - Chester, CT

Nov 17, 2017 - Dec 30, 2017 Terris Theatre, Goodspeed Opera House, 33 North Main Street Chester, CT CT
 171 Ct chester Connecticut christmas carol Storytellers in Connecticut history come alive to tell this Christmas tale. Actor William Gillette leaves his castle on the Connecticut River to adapt Charles Dickens’s holiday classic in the 1920s. Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe and P.T. Barnum appearances in spirit form opposite Gillette’s Scrooge in twist on a family favorite.
Custom-created for Goodspeed Opera House, this unique creation has entirely original music,.
Time: Curtain times vary; see event website

“A Christmas Story The Musical” - Hartford, CT

Nov 24, 2017 - Nov 26, 2017 Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, 166 Capitol Avenue Hartford, CT
 Christmas Story at the Bushnell in CT Based on the holiday movie, the story takes place in 1940s Indiana, where a boy named Ralphie wants only one thing for Christmas: an Official Red Ryder Carbine‐Action 200‐shot Range Model Air Rifle.
See the oddball obstacles that stand in his path in the family favorite. The Associated Press calls "A Christmas Story The Musical" “a joyous Christmas miracle,” while The New York Times wrote, “"You’d have to have a Grinch‐sized heart not to feel a smile spreading across your face."
Time: Consult event website

"A Christmas Carol" -- A Ghost Story of Christmas - Hartford, CT

Nov 24, 2017 - Dec 30, 2017 Hartford Stage, 50 Church Street Hartford, CT
The magic of Charles Dickens’s heart-warming classic returns. Come spend some time with Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, Ebenezer Scrooge, Jacob Marley and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future.Recommended for ages 8 and older.
Time: Curtain times vary; see event website
Admission: $25, $42, $63, $79, and $90; student seats are $15 off full price.

Nutcracker Spectacular 2017 with Mystic Ballet - Stonington, CT

Dec 2, 2017 - Dec 17, 2017 325 Mistuxet Avenue Stonington, CT
The classic tale, wonderfully told. Dates: December 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17.
Time: Curtain times vary; see event website. Choose a date and time options will open
Admission: $32-$48
Telephone: 860-536-3671

CONNetic Dance Presents "The Nutcracker Suite & Spicy" - Hartford, CT

Dec 15, 2017 - Dec 17, 2017 Wadsworth Atheneum, 600 Main Street Hartford, CT
A contemporary twist on the holiday classic, featuring a fusion of athletic dance forms including tap, jazz, and hip hop. This event takes place in the museum’s Aetna Theater; please enter via Avery Door.
Time: Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m.
Admission: $50
Telephone: 860-251-9194

“The Nutcracker” - Ridgefield, CT

Dec 15, 2017 - Dec 17, 2017 Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 East Ridge Road Ridgefield, CT
Enjoy a beautiful holiday tradition in a magical land where sugar plums dance, flowers waltz to tell the classic tale of a young girl and her Nutcracker prince.
Time: December 15 at 6 p.m.; December 16 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.; and December 17 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $25; children, $20
Telephone: 203-438-5795