With the holidays right upon us, it’s important to make the most of every merry moment the season has to offer. While you may think that once the presents are unwrapped and the cookies are eaten all holiday-related town opportunities are over, the truth is there are plenty of ways to keep the spirit and celebration of the season alive.
From special ongoing events and exhibits, like holiday train shows and historic tours, to festive musical concerts and classic performances, here are some local seasonal attractions continuing past Christmas Day that you won’t want to miss.
Who says the joyous celebrations have to stop? A variety of festivals grace communities all over Connecticut with their lively and inviting atmospheres. One in particular that should be visited when the craziness of Christmas Day has settled is the third annual Gingerbread Festival in Kent. The event, which is organized by the Chamber of Commerce, features gingerbread houses created and displayed by more than 40 businesses in the center of town. It’s the perfect way to show community pride and shop locally, while also savoring the sweet taste of the holiday season. Our company is one of the festival’s main sponsors, and would love for you to stop by to show your love and support for the season. All houses will be displayed through January 5th. Another type of festival celebration is set to take place in Ridgefield on December 28th, where the well-known American reggae rapper and alternative rock musician known for his Jewish musical themes, Matisyahu, will take the stage on his Festival of Light tour.
Exhibits and Displays
All budding environmentalists will love this recycling-inspired holiday display running through January 1st at Mystic Aquarium. “Washed Ashore Weekends” invites guests to experience a wonderland of festive holiday décor made from recycled material and other discovered shoreline treasures. Children can even contribute to the display themselves by signing up for the holiday workshop. Opportunities to meet Santa while sipping free hot chocolate, and enjoy a 4D version of the Polar Express are also available. Over in Old Lyme, visitors of the Florence Griswold Museum can continue spreading holiday cheer by sharing in “The Magic of Christmas” holiday tree art display. In this beautiful exhibition, which runs through January 5th, over 150 noted artists from across the country have donated painted palettes to Miss Florence’s Artist Tree, a unique museum holiday icon. Looking for more art? The Lyme Art Association offers an annual holiday show and sale with over 200 works of art of all kinds. Click here for more information. Holiday train exhibits are also common throughout many areas of Connecticut. If you live on the shoreline, be sure to stop by the Holiday Train Show, which is available through February 17th. The Great Trains Holiday Exhibit in Wilton transforms the Wilton Historical Society’s 18th and 19th century buildings into a train-lovers delight with eight interactive train layouts winding through tiny towns complete with many kinds of buildings, tunnels and even two Ferris wheels.
Any history buff will love the Mystic Lantern Light Tour, where visitors step back in time to Christmas Eve 1876 for a guided tour through Greenmanville. The tour is meant to be as authentic as possible, even featuring a traditional tavern dance and horse-drawn carriage ride, all while surrounded by hundreds of beautiful, glowing lanterns. Final tours are on December 27th, so be sure to add this delightful community event to your post-Christmas list. Experience even more of an old-time Christmas at the Wethersfield Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum’s “Three Centuries of Christmas” tour. A candlelit tour through the museum’s three historic houses illuminates guests with fascinating details about American history, and how the holiday season has changed over the past 300 years.
Concerts and Shows
After all the excitement leading up to the holiday season, it’s time for you to finally sit back and relax. The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk will be showing The Polar Express in its theatre through January 1st. Gather the family, uncover the mysteries of the ocean and finish the day with the holiday IMAX experience of a lifetime. If you prefer a live performance, “A Christmas Carol” will be playing through December 28th in Hartford, while Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” comes to life in New Haven’s Shubert Theatre, with performances ending January 4th.
For a complete list of local holiday activities continuing after Christmas Day, click here.
Wishing you all a happy and healthy holiday season!