Top Places to see Santa

December 2, 2011 9:00 AM

Photo Credit: Mary Fischer

By Mary Fischer

I can remember how much I looked forward to visiting Santa Claus as a child, and now that I’m the mother of a five-year-old, I experience the same feelings of excitement when I see his eyes light up at his first glance of Old Saint Nick each year. Most people take their kids to local malls to visit Santa, but there are some other great venues that are much more festive. Here are some of the best places in and around Connecticut to see Santa!
12 2 family and pets see santa boy Top Places to see Santa

Photo Credit: Mary Fischer

Yankee Candle Company Flagship Store
25 Greenfield Rd.
South Deerfield, MA 01373
(877) 636- 7707
Santa arrives November 26th
Santa Hours:Open every day 10am-6pm

If you are looking for a truly magical visit with Santa that your child will never forget, then you absolutely have to visit the Yankee Candle Flagship Store in South Deerfield, MA. The store is about an hour to an hour and a half drive from pretty much everywhere in the greater Hartford area. It is well worth the trip, because the Santa Claus at Yankee Candle may just be the real deal!

A visit to Santa’s Workshop at the Yankee Candle Flagship Store is much different than sitting on his lap at a traditional mall. While waiting in line to see him, “Mrs. Claus” comes by to talk to your child, and asks what his favorite toys are, etc. Right before your child’s turn to see Santa, Mrs. Claus whispers your child’s name in Santa’s ear, and lets him in on whatever sort of toys your child is into. Santa then greets your child by name, and looks at him and “guesses” what he wants for Christmas. When we visited the Yankee Santa with my son last year, he got a huge smile on his face when Santa actually knew him by name! This Santa also sits and talks to your child for around five minutes, which is something that mall Santas just don’t have time to do.

Tip: If you don’t want to wait in line, arrive at Santa’s Workshop as soon as it opens in the morning. We went at that time and were the second people in line! We also spent the day at Yankee Candle, and enjoyed a fabulous lunch at their on-site restaurant, Chandler’s, after visiting Santa.

12 2 family and pets see santa crowd Top Places to see Santa

Photo Credit: Mary Fischer

Mystic Boat Parade
Mystic River Park
Mystic, CT 06355
Mystic Chamber phone: (860) 572-9578
Date:November 26th, 2011
Santa Arrives by Tugboat: TBA (last year’s arrival was 2 p.m.)

Plenty of kids have seen Santa Claus at their local mall, but I’ll bet they’ve never seen him arrive by tugboat! On November 26th, 2011, Santa will float down the river and arrive at the Mystic River Park via tugboat. Crowds gather every year to greet him at the dock, and kids are invited to meet Santa after and tell him what sorts of goodies they hope to find under the tree on Christmas morning.

12 2 family and pets see santa tractor Top Places to see Santa

Photo Credit: Mary Fischer

Ellington Winterfest/Torchlight Parade
Ellington Town Green
Ellington, CT 06029
Town of Ellington (860) 870-3100
Date: December 3rd, 2011

Ellington, Connecticut is the epitome of farm country in the state, so it’s only fitting for Santa to ride around on a tractor during their annual Torch Light parade and Winterfest! Kids love seeing Santa ride down main street waving from the back of a John Deere. Children can also meet Santa face to face at the Winterfest tree lighting ceremony earlier in the evening.

95446181 Top Places to see Santa

Breakfast With Santa at the Bushnell
166 Capitol Ave.
Hartford, CT 06106
Town of Ellington (860) 987-6000
Dates and Times: December 3rd, 2011, 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.
Ticket Prices: Children $20, Adults, $22

Breakfast with Santa at the Bushnell is a wonderful way to get the whole family together for a meet and greet with Mr. and Mrs. Claus and some of their elves! In addition to a great breakfast and taking pictures with Santa, kids will enjoy crafts, caroling, and storytelling. Children are encouraged to bring their Christmas lists to share with Santa as well.

Mary Fischer lives in Ellington, CT with her 5-year old son and husband of almost 8 years. She is the owner and author of a popular parenting blog, called The Mommyologist, where she features articles all about the changes in life that go along with being a parent.

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