The Best Places to See Christmas Lights in Connecticut

It’s not the Holidays until you visit one of the many Holiday Lights displays around Connecticut. It’s definitely tempting to spend the colder days bundled up inside but visiting these light displays is a great way to get into the holiday spirit while spending time with loved ones. Whether you are looking for a family-themed night, a romantic night, or a night out with friends, check out these favorite Connecticut locations for the best festive holiday light displays your family will love.

Many of these light displays are available through the first of the new year.

Best Places to See Christmas Lights in Connecticut

Note: This information may not reflect the current year. Please verify with each location that they are still offering these holiday light displays.

Fantasy of Lights at Lighthouse Park

New Haven

Fantasy of Lights, displayed by Goodwill of Southern New England, has become a holiday custom for hundreds of families every year. This drive-through park has bright and colorful LED light displays that illuminates Lighthouse Point Park for the holiday season.

Drive through New Haven’s Lighthouse Point Park and enjoy over 60 animated light displays! All proceeds benefit Easter Seals Goodwill Industries.

Festival of Lights Old Mystic

Olde Mistick Village, Mystic

Experience the magic of the holiday season at the Olde Mistick Village. Come stroll through walkways brilliantly lit by thousands of luminaries. With live entertainment and complimentary treats in the Meeting House, there’s something for the whole family to enjoy. Wander through walkways brightly lit by thousands of luminaries. Shops are open late and there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Holiday Light Fantasia

Goodwin Park, Hartford

Holiday Light Fantasia, Connecticut’s must-see family light show, is back for the holiday season! A beautiful collection of over one million lights is located along a two-mile drive through Goodwin Park.  Imaginative holiday sights, familiar characters, and local tributes shine bright in more than 200 displays.

Children can visit Santa on Friday and Saturday evenings from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., free with show admission. The lighted animations celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s, and Three Kings Day.

Winterfest & the Tunnel of Lights

Connecticut Trolley Museum, East Windsor

Winterfest and the “Tunnel of Lights” halls are decked both inside and outside with over 15,000 bulbs. Inside the Visitor Center is a Winter Wonderland where Santa meets and greets the kids in a historic caboose.  Various model train layouts, both large and small, are located in the main hall, along with full-scale trolleys.  Hot cocoa and warm snacks are also available to purchase.

Outside, enclosed trolley cars take jolly guests down a tunnel of lights while singing traditional Christmas Carols with the trolley car operators.  If you prefer an open-air view of the “Tunnel of Lights,” one open sleigh car is lit up entirely with holiday lights.

Start a family tradition of coming for a trolley ride during the holiday season. Whether you ride a closed car or brave the cold to ride the open “electric sleigh”, we promise you a good time and one that you’ll remember for years. Make sure you bring blankets and dress warmly.

Northern Lights Limited

Railroad Museum of New England, Thomaston

Embark on an enchanted journey to celebrate the Holiday season. Leaving just before nightfall, passengers on the Northern Lights Limited encounter the magic of the holiday season as they journey to pick up Santa and Mrs. Claus. Once aboard the train, Santa and Mrs. Claus take turns visiting all the good girls and boys and Santa’s Elves keep everyone entertained with their cheerful dancing and singing. Each child will receive a gift from Santa’s toy satchel.

The Northern Lights Limited is an evening train, similar to the daytime Santa Express trains, but with some added touch. Leaving under the cover of nightfall, experience the magic as the lights inside and out of each car are lit, illuminating the entire train in a soft, cheerful glow.

Holiday Lights at Lake Compounce

Lake Compounce Theme Park, Bristol

It’s not the Holiday’s until you visit Holiday Lights! The park will be covered in hundreds of thousands spectacular of glimmering lights. One of New England’s most joyful celebration returns for another season. Watch the light-up of the 100-foot Christmas Tree and experience the holiday light show in sync with beloved and classic holiday tunes. Sip hot cocoa as you meander through a winter wonderland.

For some classic amusement park fun accompanied by a spellbinding light display, the festive activities at Lake Compounce Theme Park include a remarkable light show every half hour at the main gate, featuring tens of thousands of twinkling lights that are set to holiday music.

The train is transformed into the North Pole Railway and operated by a very special train conductor with a magical holiday story to tell. There are strolling carolers, ice carvings, and festive entertainment including plenty of holiday characters.

Holiday Dazzle Light Parade Putnam

Town of Putnam

Shimmering lights and glittering floats will illuminate this fun and free holiday parade with lights galore to welcome in the holiday season in grand style. There are more than 100 lighted floats, jeeps, trucks, dogs, motorcycles, payloaders and more.

The parade starts at Grove Street, heads down South Main Street, right onto Route 44, right onto Kennedy Drive, and right onto Providence Street (Route 171), ending on Route 44 by the Owen Tarr Ball Fields.

Festival of Silver Lights at Hubbard Park

Hubbard Park, Meriden

Illumination of more than 350,000 twinkling, white lights and more than 200 characters throughout the park. There are displays of critters on the ponds and nestled in the trees and it’s free. You can even get out of the car and walk around.

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