Disclaimer: Due to COVID-19 concerns, many events might be canceled, postponed, or changed into limited versions, sometimes at very short notice. Please check with event organizers directly for the latest updates (view the "External Resources" section below).
Historical towns and villages of Connecticut serve a perfect backdrop for a family Christmas photo. Fill up on holiday cheer and Christmas spirit by experiencing some of the best light displays in New England. Visit New Haven, Lake Compounce and Goodwin Park to enjoy the most festive lights in the state.
Fantasy of Lights at Lighthouse Point Park, New Haven (November 20–December 31, 2020)
Fantasy of Lights at the Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven has been a holiday tradition for thousands of families in Southern New England for over twenty years. The dazzling nighttime drive-through display supports easter seals as well as educational, employment, social, and recreational programs for people with disabilities and other challenges. The illuminated Lighthouse Point Park looks magical with over 60 animated displays and 100,000 lights. Most displays have eco-friendly LED bulbs. To take the experience to the next level, you can rent a pair of 3D glasses.
Magic of Lights at the Toyota Oakdale Theatre, Wallingford (November 13, 2020–January 2, 2021)
The Magic of Lights is a mesmerizing 1-mile (1.6-km) drive-through holiday lights display at the Toyota Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford. The route features holiday-themed light displays. Countless LED lights and digital animations like drive-through Blizzard Tunnel, 12 Days of Christmas, and The Night Before Christmas are worth the drive to Wallingford. There will also be a photo op with Santa in the Xfinity Room on the nights from Thursday to Sunday.
Holiday Light Fantasia in Goodwin Park, Hartford (November 26, 2020–January 3, 2021)
Holiday Light Fantasia is a much-awaited holiday attraction at Greater Hartford. The spectacular two-mile show transforms Goodwin Park into a drive-through wonderland. A bright and beautiful collection of over one million lights illuminates the course. Visitors can enjoy whimsical holiday scenes, favorite characters, and local tributes. There are a few larger-than-life lighted scenes and 200 individual displays. Lighted animations are dedicated to Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years, and Three Kings Day.
Winterfest and the Tunnel of Lights at Connecticut Trolley Museum, East Windsor (November 27–December 30, 2020)
A festive trolley ride during the holiday season is a must-have experience in Connecticut. Hop on "electric sleigh" and join the motormen in singing traditional Christmas carols. Enjoy the festive illumination as the trolley makes its way through the Tunnel of Lights. Trolley Museum Visitors Center transforms into a Winter Wonderland with model trains, decorations galore, hot cocoa, and Christmas entertainment.
Holiday Lights at Lake Compounce, Bristol (canceled in 2020)
Lake Compounce Family Theme Park in Bristol transforms into a fairytale land when covered by over a million spectacular, shimmering lights. The holiday season in the park offers excellent entertainment for all ages. There is a spectacular light show every half hour, accompanied by your favorite holiday music. Kids and adults can decorate cookies, build a gingerbread house, and write a letter to Santa. Ride the North Pole Railway or sing along to classic Christmas carols. Kiddie Land gathers children to listen to stories told by Mrs. Claus, and finally, you can visit the Winter Wonderland Starlight Theatre to tell Santa your Christmas wish.