This year, celebrate the holidays with your family at one of Winterfest Hartford’s many events. Whether you’re interested in seeing a play or a concert, going ice skating or enjoying holiday lights, Winterfest Hartford, a season-long winter celebration put together by the iQuilt Plan, has something for everyone to enjoy. Here are our top ten events at Winterfest Hartford that you can’t miss! For a full calendar of events, click here.
1. Holiday Shows at The Bushnell
This Winterfest, The Bushnell is hosting a variety of performances for the whole family. Kicking off the holiday season is Breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus on December 3, featuring breakfast, crafts, carolers, and more. The Bushnell will also be presenting several stage performances, including a production of Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, featuring a special performance adapted to serve the needs of audience members on the autism spectrum or with sensory sensitivities, and “Holiday Cirque Spectacular!”, showcasing the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, aerialists, contortionists, and more! For a full list of shows, showtimes, and ticket prices, visit The Bushnell’s website.
2. Free Ice Skating at Bushnell Park
The Winterfest Hartford rink, located next to the Pump House in Bushnell Park is open for free ice skating and skate rentals from November 25, 2016 to January 8, 2017. The rink is open daily from 11 am to 8 pm (12 pm-4 pm on Christmas and Christmas Eve, and 12 pm-12 am on New Year’s Eve). Free skating classes will be offered from 10 am-11 am on December 3, 10, 17, and 31. Visit Winterfest Hartford online for more details.
3. Family Fun at the Connecticut Science Center
Connecticut Science Center’s Holiday Carnival is being held December 3-4! Families can enjoy a 3D showing of The Polar Express and take a ride around the plaza on the Roaming Railroad. Gingerbread Man, Buddy the Elf and his Elf Carolers, and Jack Frost will make special appearances, plus children can learn holiday-themed science with Olaf and Elsa from Disney’s Frozen! The Connecticut Science Center is offering $2 off admission for anyone who brings a new hat, gloves, or mittens to donate. For more information about the event, please visit the Connecticut Science Center’s website.
Click here to learn more about the Connecticut Science Center
4. HartBeat Ensemble’s Ebeneeza: A Hartford Holiday Carol
Ebeneeza is a modern-day retelling of the Charles Dickens classic, ‘A Christmas Carol.’ It takes place in Hartford, weaving in the history of the city as it tells the story of Ebeneeza, a rich elderly woman who has become cold hearted. The production transports the audience to Ebeneeza’s childhood home on Front Street during the Great Depression, through the Civil Right’s Movements of the 60’s in the North End of Hartford, to the Greater Hartford suburbs of the 80’s, and finally into a frightening possible future. Please visit their website for more information.
5. A Christmas Carol at Hartford Stage
After enjoying HartBeat Ensemble’s modern-day retelling, step back in time and visit Dickens’ classic in it’s original glory! The show is running throughout the month of December and is perfect for all ages. On December 3, Hartford Stage is presenting a special ‘Sensory-Friendly’ performance adapted to serve the needs of audience members on the autism spectrum or with sensory sensitivities. For a full list of dates, as well as ticket prices, please visit Hartford Stage’s website.
Drive through this spectacular 2-mile, 200-display light show celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s, and Three Kings Day. Your ticket purchase benefits Channel 3 Kids Camp, a camp in Connecticut that makes it possible for kids to attend regardless of their family’s financial resources. For full hours and ticket prices, please visit their website.
For even more family fun holiday events, check out our Top 3 Holiday Adventures in Connecticut post!
Infinity Hall is ushering in the Christmas season on Thursday, December 15 with a Christmas Carol show, sung by the talented Celts. The Celts blend traditional Christmas music with carols from Ireland and Scotland, including some that have never been heard by modern ears! For more information about the show please visit Infinity Hall online.
8. 36th Annual Holiday House Tour at the Mark Twain House and Museum
Visit the Mark Twain House on December 4 to experience the Connecticut landmark all decked out for the holidays! Enjoy a tour of the 19-room home as well as live music. This year celebrates the return of the famed Mahogany Suite, which has been closed for over a decade. Also, the restored portion of Mark Twain’s Carriage House will also be open for the first time ever! Visit Mark Twain House online for more details.
Come cheer on your favorite riders! Riverside Park is the official venue for USA Cycling’s 2017 Cyclocross Nationals on January 3 through 8. Cyclocross is a series of laps around a track via bicycle and often requires obstacles that the riders must navigate through and around. This event highlights Riverfront Recapture’s non-profit goals, the regional cycling community, and the city of Hartford.
10. Theaterworks‘ Production of Christmas on the Rocks
What are the kids from your favorite holiday stories up to today? Find out as Christmas on the Rocks takes you to a local rundown bar on Christmas Eve where a bartender finds himself mixing drinks for a parade of surprising guests – children from your favorite Christmas specials and movies – now all grown up! For more information, visit Theaterworks online.
Which Winterfest Hartford events are you planning on attending with your friends and family? Let us know in the comments below!