Light Up the Season in Mystic Country Last Updated: August 2023
Join the month-long celebration of holiday light displays, parades and general merriment throughout Mystic Country leading up to Christmas Day, with many running into the new year. Here is a list of suggested festive events and activities for all who are seeking to embrace the merry and bright of the season this year!
The Stonington Village’s Annual Stroll and Borough A-Glow
Join the Stonington Village at the Wadawanuck Square on Friday, December 2, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. for a town tree lighting ceremony, including community carol singers and a special visit by Santa. Immediately following the ceremony will be the annual holiday stroll down Water Street, where merchants will keep their shops open late for an exciting “Best Dressed Holiday Window” for the Borough A-Glow contest and welcoming jolly visitors. This event is free and open to all!
The Town of Norwich’s Winterfest Parade
Come on down to the Rose City for their first ever holiday light parade on Friday, December 9 at 6 p.m. The Downtown Norwich Historic District hosts this event with the theme of “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” Town businesses and organizations will light the inner-city streets with decorated floats and vehicles to spread cheer.
The Town of Griswold’s Snowflake Parade
Griswold is celebrating their 25th anniversary of the Snowflake Parade this year. Join them for this annual event on Sunday, December 4, beginning at 4:45 p.m.; the parade route will commence at Griswold Middle School, lead through Slater Avenue, Main Street, and Ashland Street, and end at Veterans Memorial Park. Mr. and Mrs. Clause will also make a grand appearance following the parade at 6 p.m.
Manchester’s Christmas Lights Drive-By Fundraiser
Come support the World-Wide Lighthouse Missions, Inc., of Manchester, Connecticut, and their Christmas Programs by stopping by in your car, SUV, or truck, on Monday, December 5 from 5-7 p.m. at 117 Hamilton Drive. The organization will be passing out sweet candy canes and snickerdoodle treats before entry into an awe-inspiring display of Christmas lights and decorations. The non-profit is asking for monetary donations for their continued efforts and can't wait to see locals to celebrate this holiday season.
The Festival of Lights at Olde Mystic Village
Local favorite, the Olde Mystic Village, will host a stroll through its many pathways of luminaries amongst dozens of its beloved shops on Friday, December 9, from 4-9 p.m. Featuring live entertainment and complimentary treats that can be found in the Meeting House, there’s sure to be something for everyone in the whole family to enjoy!
The Town of Niantic’s Light Parade
Niantic’s 34th annual light parade is scheduled for Saturday, December 10 and will begin at 6 p.m. at the corner of Columbus Avenue, proceed down Main Street (Route 156) to Pennsylvania Avenue (Route 161), and end on Grand Street. Public parking will be available at the Municipal parking lot on Hope Street, the Town Hall on Pennsylvania Avenue, Cini Park on Main Street (under the bridge), Methodist Street, and the Niantic Center School on West Main Street. Before and after the parade, be sure to stop by the nearby restaurants, holiday shops, or even catch an afternoon matinee beforehand at the cinema. The town of Niantic looks forward to welcoming guests for this all-day affair!
Woodstock, CT’s Third Annual Winter Festival
Woodstock’s Third Annual Winter Festival will take place on December 10. A wide variety of the town’s businesses will be present to offer kids activities, promotions, refreshments, and more! The full event will be happening from 1-5 p.m.; the day will kick off with a Christmas Run at 9 a.m., featuring vendors during the mid-day, then special event passport stamping and wreath raffle drawings will be held at 5 p.m. (which all day, participants can pick up a passport and map at any of the participating businesses or the town hall for a chance to win special prizes), and lastly end with a lovely tree lighting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. presented by the Woodstock American Legion Benson-Flugel Post 111.
The Town of Brooklyn’s Holiday Lighting Contest
Pass through this scenic town of Brooklyn and admire an array of residential houses and local businesses adorned with home and lawn lighting displays. Take a drive with family and friends and choose your favorites; the town judging will take place during the week of December 12-16, so winners are TBA, but all who are participating are worth viewing!
Hay Burr Inn Equine Rescue & Sanctuary’s Holiday Trail of Lights
Visit Hay Burr Inn of Plainfield, on select nights to tour a fantastic half-mile long woodland, holiday light trail and visit with the rescue’s precious horses and donkeys. During this time of year, volunteers gather to set up and showcase their deeply cared for animals; therefore, the non-profit asks allfor donations in lieu of an admission fee, and all proceeds go towards the care and upkeep of their rescues. If you’re looking for a great outdoor walk-through spot and believe in not only the magic of the season-but in fostering second chances, Hay Burr Inn’s event is surely one for you. All events will take place from 5-8 p.m. on December 18 and 29, 2022, and January 7, 2023.
Stonington’s Lobster Trap Tree Light Display
If you’ve been on Instagram lately, you’ve likely seen this viral holiday sensation, which has been awing taking locals and visitors alike. Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce’s second annual Lobster Trap Tree display opened up to the public the weekend after Thanksgiving and will be open each day at dawn and light every night between 4:30 and 9:30 p.m.. until early January. Comprised of 420 total buoys (gifted from business and community members sponsors, decorated by local artists and community children, dedicated to commercial fisherman of the area, and placed in memoriams), this display is certainly worth the visit – and a photo or two! Parking can be found on the town fisherman docks on high street, various streets, at the Dodson’s Boat Yard, and at The Point (beyond the lighthouse).
Olde Mistick Village’s Holiday Lights Spectacular
The Holiday Lights Spectacular returns to Olde Mistick Village and will run from November 18 through the end of January 2023. Over a half-million lights adorn the village square of shops and restaurants for families and holiday enthusiasts to enjoy. Stroll around the village with your leashed pet even after stores and restaurants are closed. Parking is free too! Come one, come all and take in over a half-million lights at the largest holiday light display in southern New England!