Holidays in New Haven
New Haven has many family friendly events during the holiday season including the City's annual Tree Lighting, musical performances, artisan and craft fairs, and much more! Don't forget to shop local this holiday season! Downtown stores are open late every Thursday and Info New Haven is offering free hot popcorn and cider, courtesy of Elm City Market!
The Celebration of American Crafts is an annual exhibition and sale of fine, contemporary crafts sponsored by Creative Arts Workshop. The exhibition is held in CAW's handsome two-story Hilles Gallery.Over 300 artists from across America are featured, representing the finest in glass, ceramics, jewelry, wearable and decorative fiber, handcrafted furniture and much more.
Charles Dickens’ story of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge—who discovers the true meaning of Christmas with the help of Tiny Tim and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future—captures all the warmth, goodwill, and musical memories of the holiday season. Performed by a spirited ensemble cast of actors, singers and dancers, A Christmas Carol features two dozen traditional Christmas carols including “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “The Holly and the Ivy,” “Here We Come A Wassailing” “Away In A Manger” and “O Come, O Come Immanuel.”
Holiday Windows | November 29 - December
The shops at Yale and Paier College of Art will create an artful winter wonderland along Chapel Street with delicate, white paper sculptures in storefronts for the holiday season. A group of more than fifteen students and professors from Paier College of Art will demonstrate their display skills as they design sculptures using paper and glue to create a series of unique installations. The students and professors will split into teams and work directly with owners and managers to design sculptures that complement the merchandise or menu offered in each business. The artists will work under the direction of Vladimir Shpitalnik, who received his MFA from Yale University’s School of Drama in Design and currently teaches at Paier College of Art. Paier College of Art, founded by Yale University Alumnus Edward T. Paier, will unveil the windows on Small Business Saturday at the shops at Yale.
Elm City Elf | City-Wide | November 30 – December 23
"Elm City Elf” is a hybrid promotion of Willy Wonka's Golden Ticket and the popular Elf on the Shelf craze. For 24 days leading into Christmas, Elf dolls will be placed in one store and/or restaurant per day throughout the city. Each day a photo will be posted of the Elf "shopping" or "dining" via Twitter & Facebook. Consumers following Elm City Elf need to determine where the Elf is, physically locate the Elf and turn it for a prize. The consumer will get to keep the Elf along with the prize. Once the Elf is redeemed we will post a photo of the winner in the store with the Elf. This promotion is sponsored by: Economic Development Corporation of New Haven Market New Haven & The shops at Yale.
New Haven Tree Lighting | New Haven Green|Thursday, December 5 from 4-8pm (rain date of Friday, December 6)
The New Haven Tree Lighting, a free family event kicks off the holiday season in the downtown area. The annual celebration takes place on the city's historic Green and features live performances and horse drawn carriage rides. Children can visit with Santa, hop on the carousel or Alpine Safari (mechanical animals), and enjoy holiday crafts. Additional performances by students and teachers from Neighborhood Music School launch "Performathon," the school's four-day marathon of performances in support of financial aid for its students. Presented by the Department of Arts, Culture & Tourism, and Department of Parks, Recreation and Trees. Sponsored by Peoples United Bank.
Project Storefronts invites everyone to shop locally this season at its annual Holiday Mart. Located at Lipgloss Crisis (756 Chapel Street), the Holiday Mart features artwork, handcrafted jewelry, home décor, vintage clothing, and more. Check their website HERE for a list for a list of special events, including art workshops, live music, and a chance to meet Santa. The Holiday Mart is open December 5th through the 22nd on Thursdays & Fridays from 11am - 6pm, and Saturdays & Sundays from noon - 5pm.
Town Green District | Holiday Hospitality Station
Be sure to stop by the Town Green District’s Holiday Hospitality Station every Thursday in December where friendly staffers will be serving freshly popped popcorn and hot apple cider between 6pm and 8pm. INFO New Haven, 1000 Chapel Street. Town Green has also partnered with University Properties to provide holiday cheer in the form of strolling carolers and musicians.
The Shops at Yale | Yuletide Carolers
Connecticut Yuletide Carolers will perform at The Shops at Yale on Thursdays in December from 5pm-8pm along Chapel Street and Broadway. Dec. 5, Dec. 12, Dec. 19. The traditionally garbed Victorian Carolers will fill the winter air with the bright sounds of the season, bringing holiday cheer to young and old alike.
Cookies On9 | Friday, December 6 | 6-8PM | New Haven’s Historic 9th Square
Enjoy an evening of strolling through New Haven’s Historic 9th Square while gathering over a dozen festive treats from participating businesses. Proceeds from the cookie crawl supports the “Neighbors in Need” dinner hosted by Gateway Community College Foundation. Cookies are baked by Gateway CC Culinary Department. Tickets are $25
The Shops at Yale | Strolling Santa
Strolling Santa will walk Chapel Street and Broadway at the shops at Yale on Saturdays in December from 2pm-6pm. Dec. 7, Dec. 14, Dec. 21
Sleigh-rides and Santa
Enjoy a horse and carriage ride around New Haven's historic downtown Green Saturdays in December. The free rides are scheduled for 12pm-4pm and are provided by the Department of Arts, Culture & Tourism; Department of Parks, Recreation & Trees; Department of Transportation, Traffic and Parking; and Town Green Special Services District.
Wreaths of Hope | December 7 - 15
For 24 years, the Ronald McDonald House of Connecticut and the greater New Haven community have partnered together to raise funds for the children and families staying at RMHCT through Trees and Wreaths of Hope. What began with a dozen trees at the Governor’s Mansion has flourished into a display of over 100 decorated trees, wreaths and holiday baskets lining the halls of the Maritime Center in New Haven.
This holiday classic is performed by the students of New Haven Ballet and features the New Haven Ballet Orchestra, conducted by Richard Gard. The performance includes guest artists Maria Kowroski, Principal Dancer with New York City Ballet and Charles Askegard, Former Principal Dancer with New York City Ballet.