Guide To Connecticut’s Holiday Light Displays 2012

December 7, 2012 8:00 AM

(credit: Thinkstock)

holidaylightdisplay Guide To Connecticuts Holiday Light Displays 2012

(credit: Thinkstock)

Festivals of Light in Connecticut are so widespread that come December, just about every town has some official display. With so many major holidays celebrated around the same time, one doesn’t have to go far to find a tree lighting or a winter festival of some sort to attend. Here are a few of the many events that light up a dark winter’s night.
24th Annual Niantic Light Parade & Winterfest 2012
Main St.
Niantic, CT 06357
(860) 303-2264

Date: December 9, 2012

Disney doesn’t have much on Niantic when it comes to the town’s annual Light Parade and Winterfest. Tanya Patten, the organizer for the parade, said that this year the parade will once again be a special event full of surprises. Two families started this tradition and the Paul Kushing and John Wilson families never fail to put on a good show. A few highlights from years past include a pirate ship and a helicopter float. Every entry in the parade has to have lights and music. There are four categories that are judged and the winners take home a trophy and a top prize of a $500 check made out to the charity of their choice. The event starts at 5 p.m. and lasts for about an hour and a half.

Winterfest in Bushnell Park
Bushnell Park
Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 232-6710
Dates: Now through January 21, 2013

All through the month of December and all the way until January 21, 2013, Bushnell Park in Hartford will celebrate Winterfest with lights and ice skating. Bring the kids for a photo with Santa on weekends until December 23 at the Pumphouse from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. You can also ride the carousel on weekends until December 30 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you want to skate but don’t have your own pair, the park rents out equipment. There’s enough going on here to light up any attendee’s eyes.

Related: Top Toy Stores In Connecticut

Holiday Lights at Constitution Plaza
1 Constitution Plaza
Hartford, CT 06103
(860) 527-7011

Dates: Now through the first week in January, 2013

And then there were lights. For years, Constitution Plaza has had plenty of lights to thrill anyone touring Connecticut’s capital city of Hartford. This year is no different. Constitution Plaza will have an array of sparkling trees this year to add awe to the area. Enjoy this beautiful display throughout the weeks leading up to Christmas and continue the bright tour through the first week in January.

Holiday Light Fantasia
Goodwin Park
Hartford, CT 06114
(860) 956-3601

Dates: Now through January 6, 2013

You don’t have to worry about getting too cold when attending this light event. You can stay in your car and drive slowly through a few miles of light displays. Whatever your holiday following, lights add cheer to all holidays including Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and even New Year’s. Taking a ride through this fantasy drive is an experience young and old will both appreciate. Light Fantasia costs $12 per car and operates from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturdays through January 6.

Fantasy of Lights
Lighthouse Point Park
2 Lighthouse Road
New Haven, CT 06512
(203) 777-2000
Dates: Now through December, 2012

Another popular drive-through park is located in New Haven. Here you will find all kinds of displays for the holidays and the lights are LED energy savers. Cars and family vans can drive through for $10 to enjoy the show at their leisure. The hours are also 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturdays through the holidays. Call for more information.

Related: 2012 Connecticut Holiday Theater Preview

Joanne Greco Rochman is the arts editor of The Fairfield County Review, a columnist, critic, feature story writer and English professor. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Republican-American and Hersam-Acorn Publications. Her work can be found at

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