Holiday Happenings in Mystic Country Last Updated: December 2021
The holiday season is in full swing here in Mystic Country and we are delighted that many of our favorite annual events and traditions are back this year. Most of these events are free and outdoors, so there is plenty of room for social distancing and safety while still getting merry and jolly. Happy holidays!
Rejoice! The festivities have returned to Olde Mistick Village this year. The Holiday Lights Spectacular is the largest holiday lights display in southern New England with over half a million lights showcased throughout the village. This festive event runs through January 2022.
On December 10, from 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m. is the annual Festival of Lights, a long-term tradition at Olde Mistick Village where visitors can stroll the walkways as they are brilliantly lit by thousands of luminaries. On December 11, meet Santa in the Olde Mistick Village Meeting House from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
At Mystic Seaport Museum, the Lantern Light Village takes place on select dates from December 10 through December 22, from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. This outdoor free-roaming experience is designed to exemplify the differences between the modern and 19th century holiday seasons. Take a journey through time as you seamlessly transition between the holidays you experience today and the holidays of the past. Enjoy festive lighting displays, live music, horse and carriage rides, fire pits, a visitation from St. Nicholas, and more including holiday-themed stories, crafts, and games.
The centerpiece of Stonington’s holiday cheer this year is their very first lobster trap tree. Decked out in twinkling lights and beautifully-painted buoys by local artists and Stonington families, the lobster trap tree makes for a very Instagrammable backdrop and is definitely worth checking out. It opens at dawn and will be lit every night until 10 p.m. until the end of January 2022.
All month long the town is also hosting a Find the Buoy Holiday Scavenger Hunt. Participants can win a week of half-day camp at New England Science and Sailing (NESS) or a wreath courtesy of the Stonington Historical Society, decorated with gift cards from participating Borough shops and restaurants worth more than $700. For details on how to enter, click here.
The City of New London will be hosting an array of diverse and multicultural holiday events this year as part of their “Merry Days and Jolly Nights” series. On December 11, there will be a Live Nativity with real animals at Parade Plaza, from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. December 18, the streets of downtown New London will be abuzz with festive holiday music, so take a stroll and get in the spirit! From December 26 until January 1, children can pick up a free Kwanzaa activity book at select downtown businesses, and on January 6 there will be a Three Kings Celebration where children can visit three live kings.
Looking for the perfect holiday gift? The Hygienic Art’s annual Holiday Art Show runs through December 24 and features handcrafted, affordable art by local and regional artists!
The Niantic Light Parade, one of New England’s largest and brightest holiday light parade is back for its 33rd year after a brief Covid hiatus in 2020. The parade takes place December 11, from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Earlier that day, runners can partake in the Niantic Jingle Bell 5K at McCook Point Park.