Our gift to you: Holiday happenings in Connecticut

Courant staff

Sometimes it’s hard to remember amid all the hustle and bustle, but the holidays are supposed to be fun.

So whether it’s your favorite “Christmas Carol” or “Nutcracker,” a gingerbread-house or train-show exhibit, or just a free spin around the ice rink during Winterfest in Bushnell Park, try to fit in one or more of these holiday treats.

Music

Legends in Concert Holiday Show: Through Dec. 31. Impressionists perform as deceased celebrities Elvis Presley, David Bowie, Michael Jackson, George Michael, The Blues Brothers and Whitney Houston. Foxwoods Grand Theater, 350 Trolley Line Blvd., Mashantucket. $35 and $45. Tuesday at 2 and 8 p.m., Wednesday to Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 7 p.m. 800-FOXWOODS, foxwoods.com.

Old Lyme Town Band: Dec. 12. Concert of holiday favorites. $7, $5 12 and younger. 7 p.m. Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, 300 Main St. in Old Saybrook. thekate.org

The children’s choir Chorus Angelicus presents its 28th annual concert series “Christmas Angelicus” on Dec 14 to 16 and Dec. 21 and 22. Old and new arrangements of carols and seasonal songs will be craftily executed by the voices of Chorus Angelicus & Gaudeamus, along with traditional carols for the audience to sing along with. Concert dates and locations are Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m. at St Michael’s Church, Litchfield; Dec. 15 at 4 p.m. at Collinsville Congregational Church; Dec. 16 at 4 p.m. at Salisbury Congregational Church; Dec. 21 at 7:30 p.m.at Patrick-St. Anthony Church, Hartford; and Dec. 22 at 4 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church, Torrington.

96-5 All Star Christmas: Dec. 14. With Backstreet Boys, Gavin DeGraw and AJR. $50-$75, plus fees. 8 p.m. Mohegan Sun Arena. ticketmaster.com

Laurie Berkner Solo Holiday Show: Dec. 15. Concert by children’s musician. $25 to $75. 11 a.m. Garde Arts Center, 325 State St. in New London. gardearts.org

Nick Fradiani and Nick Fradiani Sr. — Father and Son Christmas Tour: Dec. 15. The “American Idol” winner and his dad. $24 to $44. 8 p.m. Infinity Hall, 32 Front St. in Hartford. 866-666-6306, infinityhall.com

Joys of the Season - Bach to Pops! Dec. 15. Mendelssohn Choir of Connecticut, under direction of Carole Ann Maxwell, with the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra, presents Bach's Magnificat. Dancers from the New England Academy of Dance will be accompanied as they perform Tchaikovsky's Waltz of the Snowflakes. Also, on the program are Bizet's Farandole from L'Arlesienne, Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on Greensleeves. Christmas and Chanukah favorites and Handel's Hallelujah chorus. $25-$50. 5 p.m. Norwalk Concert Hall, 125 East Ave. 203-956-6771, norwalksymphony.org

David Archuleta: Dec. 18. The “American Idol” singer performs favorites and songs from his new Christmas album. $35 to $160. 8 p.m. Fairfield Theatre Company, 70 Sanford St. fairfieldtheatre.org

Sultans of String Christmas Caravan: Dec. 20. String quintet playing holiday favorites. $24-$39. 8 p.m. Infinity Hall, 29 Greenwoods Road W, Norfolk. 866-666-6306, infinityhall.com.

Parties and bar crawls

12 Bars of Christmas pub crawl: Dec. 15 at Foxwoods. Starts at 6 p.m. Locations include the Great Cedar Concourse, Centrale FoxTower, Guy Fieri's Kitchen + Bar, Hard Rock Café, High Rollers Luxury Lanes, Junior's, Il Gesto in Tanger Outlets, Live @ Atrium Bar & Lounge, Play Bar, Scorpion Bar, Shrine, Spin Bar, Sports Bar at Race Book, Stony Creek Brewery, the Sugar Factory and the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Lounge. Ugly sweater competition, food, drinks, DJ and dancing. $10. foxwoods.com

Ugly Sweater Party: Dec. 21. Museum After Dark cocktail party with holiday karaoke and pictures with Santa. Guests encouraged to wear ugly Christmas sweaters. $30, $20 members. 8 to 11 p.m. New Britain Museum of American Art, 56 Lexington St. nbmaa.org

Santa — (CONN)ecticut: Dec. 22. Santa will be taking photos with everybody, whether Naughty or Nice; Southington's Sexiest Santas behind the bar all night; DJ at 9 p.m.; photo booth; prizes for best Santa Con costume. 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. 75 Center, Southington. 75center.com

Theater

The Christmas Elf 2: Through Dec. 29. Children’s show about an elf who saves Christmas. $19.75 to $23.75. Saturdays at noon and 2:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Downtown Cabaret Theatre, 263 Golden Hill St. in Bridgeport. dtcab.com.

A Civil War Christmas: Dec. 15. Hartford students perform scenes from Paula Vogel’s “A Civil War Christmas,” a musical that looks at Christmastime in 1964 for a slave, a confederate soldier and President and First Lady Lincoln. Free. 7 to 9 p.m. Charter Oak Cultural Center, 21 Charter Oak Ave., Hartford. charteroakcenter.org

A Christmas Carol — A Ghost Story of Christmas: Through Dec. 29. Hartford Stage’s telling of the Dickens tale. $25-$90. Fri. at 7:30 p.m., Sat. at 2 and 7:30 p.m., Sun at 2 p.m., plus Dec. 23 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 26 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 27 at 7:30 p.m. Sensory-friendly performance Dec. 1 at 2 p.m. 50 Church St., Hartford. 860-527-5151, hartfordstage.org.

Christmas on the Rocks:Through Dec. 23. TheaterWorks’ anthology of one-acts by contemporary playwrights, each featuring a Christmas story icon (from Tiny Tim to Hermie the Elf) drowning their sorrows in a bar. $45-$70. Tuesday to Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 4 and 8 p.m., Sunday at 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. 860-527-7838, theaterworkshartford.org.

Glitz: The Little Miss Christmas Pageant Musical: Return of Pantochino Productions’ pageant-based holiday show. Recommended for ages 8 and older. Through Dec. 22. Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. $22. Milford Arts Council, 40 Railroad Ave. South, Milford. 203-937-6206, milfordarts.org.

A Christmas Carol — The Musical: Center Stage does the Alan Menken-scored musical version. Through Dec. 16. Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m., plus Thursday Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. $15-$30. Center Stage Shelton, 54 Grove St., Shelton. 203-924-4368, centerstageshelton.org

A Connecticut Christmas Carol: Through Dec. 30. LJ Fecho and Michael O’Flaherty’s local-interest musical adaptation of the Dickens story, with appearances by Mark Twain, P.T. Barnum and Harriet Beecher Stowe. $49-$60. Wednesday at 2 and 7:30 p.m., Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 and 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 and 6:30 p.m. Goodspeed Musicals’ Norma Terris Theatre, 33 North Main St., Chester. 860-873-8668, goodspeed.org.

A Christmas Story: Through Dec. 16. Stage show based on classic holiday film from 1983 about a boy who wants a BB gun. $16 to $20. Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. Bradley Playhouse, 30 Front St. in Putnam. thebradleyplayhouse.org

Elf the Musical: The stage musical based on the holiday comedy movie. Dec. 1-16. 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. $26, $23 students/seniors. Landmark Community Theatre, 158 Main St., Thomaston. 860-283-8558, landmarkcommunitytheatre.org.

An Improvised Christmas Carol: Dec. 6 to 16. Comedic retelling of the classic Charles Dickens story, using audience suggestions. $18, $10 children younger than 16. The matinees are family friendly. Dec. 6, 7, 8, 13, 14 and 15 at 8 p.m., Dec. 9 and 16 at 2 p.m. Sea Tea Comedy Theater, 15 Asylum St. in Hartford. seateaimprov.com

Christmas Eve at Earlene’s Diner: Dec. 7 to 19. Comedy about small-town holiday cheer. $37-$55. Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. Seven Angels Theatre, 1 Plank Road, Waterbury. sevenangels.org.

A Charlie Brown Christmas: Dec. 15, 16. Live version of classic holiday TV special. Tickets start at $9. 1 and 4 p.m. Warner Theatre, 68 Main St. in Torrington. warnertheatre.org.

Cirque Dreams Holidaze: Dec. 14 to 16. Acrobats, aerialists and other circus acts with a holiday theme. $29-$99; “Platinum” tickets $147.50. Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Oakdale, 95 S. Turnpike Road in Wallingford. 203-265-1501, oakdale.com.

A Broadway Holiday Show: Dec. 15 and 16. New Paradigm Theatre with dancers, singers, instrumentalists and Ms Clauz. $35. Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Fairfield Theatre Center, 70 Sanford St. fairfieldtheatre.org

Hark! The Harold Angels Sing — A 100% Made Up Christmas Musical: Dec. 19. Improv comedy show to benefit Mental Health CT. 8 p.m. $15. Sea Tea Comedy Theater, 15 Asylum St., Hartford. seateaimprov.com.

Christmas With the Stars: Dec. 20. Las Vegas impressionist brothers The Edwards Twins impersonate Streisand, Cher, Elvis and others. $55. 7:30 p.m. Seven Angels Theatre, 1 Plank Road in Waterbury. 203-757-4676, sevenangels.org.

Dickens’ Christmas Carol: Dec. 21. Storyteller Jonathan Kruk’s reading of the classic holiday story. $22. 7:30 p.m. Bradley Playhouse, 30 Front St. in Putnam. thebradleyplayhouse.org

Nutcrackers

Ballet Theatre Company: Dec. 13 to 16. Thursday at 6:30 p.m., Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 1 and 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 1 and 4:30 p.m. $20 to $35. Hoffman Auditorium, 1678 Asylum Ave. on the University of St. Joseph campus in West Hartford. 860-570-0440, dancebtc.org

Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance: Dec. 14 to 16. Friday at 6 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 6 p.m., Sunday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 East Ridge Road, Ridgefield. $25, $20 children. 203-438-5795, ridgefieldplayhouse.org

Read: Handel's 'Messiah' A new dance tradition from Ballet Hartford »

Hartt School Community Division: Dec. 14 to 16. Dec. 14, 7:30 p.m., Dec. 15, 2 and 7:30 p.m., Dec. 16, 2 p.m. $15-$30. Millard Auditorium, University of Hartford, West Hartford. hartford.edu/nutcracker

Hartford City Ballet Youth Ensemble: Dec. 15 2 p.m. $20 general admission; $10 children, students and seniors. Jewish Community Center, 335 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford. hcbnutcracker.brownpapertickets.com

Woodbury Ballet: Dec. 15. $33 to $53. 4 p.m. The Palace, 100 East Main St., Waterbury. 203-346-2000, palacetheaterct.org.

Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory: Dec. 15 and 16. Cameo roles performed by children from Torrington School of Ballet. $24 to $44. Saturday, 2 and 7 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m. Warner Theatre, 68 Main St. in Torrington. At the Bushnell in Hartford Dec. 8 and 9 12:30 and 4:30 p.m. nutmegconservatory.org/nutcracker

Connecticut Dance Theatre’s community-based production of Clara and the Nutcracker: Dec. 20-22. Thrusday at 10 a.m., Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7 p.m. $25, $2 students/seniors. Thomaston Opera House, 158 Main St., Thomaston. 860-283-8558, connecticutdancetheatre.org

CONNetic Dance performs its “Nutcracker Suite & Spicy” Dec. 21 to 23. A spin on the classical ballet choreographed and directed by Carolyn Paine and performed by CONNetic Dance. Audiences encouraged to wear Ugly Christmas Sweaters to Sunday’s matinee, which will feature a live music opening and special visit by Santa. $40. Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.; Sunday at 2 p.m. Aetna Theater at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford. conneticdance.com

Handel's MESSIAH

Voce and Voce Chamber Orchestra: Dec 15 and 16. Voce, soloists and Voce Chamber Orchestra. Performance will include all of Part I of “Messiah,” closing with “Hallelujah Chorus.” $35-$50. Dec. 15, 7 p.m., St. Alban's Episcopal Church, Simsbury and Dec. 16, 4 p.m., Asylum Hill Congregational Church, Hartford. voceinc.org

Santa Sightings

Santa's Flight Academy: Through Dec. 24. Photo-with-Santa packages $26.99 to $49.99. Sundays, 11 a.m to 6 p.m. and Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving Day. Westfarms mall, Farmington. shopwestfarms.com/santaphotos

Winterfest: Through Dec. 30. Tunnel of lights and Santa Claus. $10, $9 seniors, $7 age 4 to 12, younger than 4 free. 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Connecticut Trolley Museum, 58 North Road in East Windsor. facebook.com

Greenwich Reindeer Festival & Santa’s Village: Through Dec. 24. Santa, Dancer, Dasher and Prancer at “the North Pole on North Street.” Photos with Santa, Winter Wonderland Carousel and North Pole Polar Express Train. Rides on the carousel and train are $4 per ride or $40 for a family package of 12 rides. Photos with Santa, train and carousel rides: weekdays noon to 6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Reindeer feedings: weekdays 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Reindeer will depart on Dec. 22, but Santa will remain for photos. Sam Bridge Nursery & Greenhouses, 437 North St. in Greenwich. 203-531-3047, greenwichreindeerfestival.com

Shark-Diving Santa: Through Dec. 30. Santa joins a diving team to swim with sharks in the 110,000-gallon shark tank, to dispel myths about sharks. Free with aquarium admission, which is $24.95, $22.95 seniors, $17.95 children. Nov. 23 to 25, then most Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 12:15 and 2:15 p.m. Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, 10 N. Water St. Check website to confirm dates: maritimeaquarium.org.

Brunch with Santa: Dec. 15, 16, 22 and 23. Buffet-style brunch prepared in the Homestead kitchen, private meeting with Santa & Mrs. Claus in the Homestead's Library and complimentary family photos with Santa & Mrs. Claus. $39.95; $19.95 ages 7 to 12; $6.95 ages 3 to 6; 2 and younger free. Seatings at 10 a.m., 11:30, 1 p.m. and 2:30. Lyman Orchards, Middlefield. Pre-paid reservations required: 860-308-1657

Santa's Brunch: Dec. 16. Brunch and visit with Santa. A holiday market will take place with more than 50 vendors. Reservations required. $19.95, $14.95 children 12 and younger. Fire at the Ridge in Middlefield. 860-852-5444, FireatTheRidge.com

Santa’s Workshop: Dec. 12 to 23. Santa visits and snacks with Mrs. Claus. Free with one nonperishable food item to be donated to area food pantries. Weekdays 3 to 6 p.m., weekends 1 to 5 p.m. Wickham Park, 1329 West Middle Turnpike in Manchester. wickhampark.org

Wood Acres Farm’s Breakfast with Santa: Dec. 15 and 16. All-you-can-eat pancake and sausage breakfast, visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and a “horse drawn” hayride or sleigh ride. $20, $16 children, free for ages 3 and younger. Dec. 15 seatings at 8:30, 10 and 11:30 a.m.; Dec. 16 at 9 and 10:30 a.m. 68 Griffin Road in Terryville. 860-583-8670, info@woodacresfarm.com

Breakfast With Santa and Friends: Dec. 15 and 16 and 22 and 23. $30, 2 and younger free. Call for times. Flamig Farm, 7 Shingle Mill Road in West Simsbury. 860-658-5070.

Brunch with Santa: Dec. 16. $35.95, $16.95 children, 3 and younger free. 11 a.m. (sold out) and 1:30 p.m. Saint Clements Castle, 1931 Portland Cobalt Road in Portland. stclementsevents.com/shop-6

Art Smart: Museums and exhibits in Connecticut »

Lights

Fantasy of Lights: Through Dec. 31. Drive-through holiday light display. Proceeds benefit Goodwill of Southern New England. $10 car or family van, $25 mini-bus, $50 full-size bus. Sunday to Thursday 5 to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday 5 to 10 p.m. Lighthouse Point Park, 2 Lighthouse Road in New Haven. facebook.com/FantasyofLightsCT

Holiday Light Fantasia: Through Jan. 1. Drive-through light show. $15 car, $25 limousine. $50 minibus, $100 full bus. Sunday to Thursday 5 to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 5 to 10 p.m. Goodwin Park, 1130 Maple Ave. in Hartford. holidaylightfantasia.org

Holiday Lights at Lake Compounce: Through Dec. 23. Thousands of lights, light shows, music and family rides. $14.99. Fridays 5 to 9 p.m., weekends 4 to 9 p.m. Lake Compounce, 822 Lake Ave. in Bristol. lakecompounce.com.

Festival of Silver Lights: Through Jan. 1. Holiday display at Hubbard Park and Castle Craig with more than 200 figures and buildings decorated with 350,000 white lights. Free. 1000 W. Main St., Meriden. 203-630-4259

Museums

25th Annual Holiday Train Show: Through Feb. 18. Train artist Steve Cryan offers trains, new scenery and lots of surprises in the fully operational 26-foot model train layout. Includes I SPY scavenger hunts for objects hidden within the settings and an expanded American Flyer and Lionel train layout designed for toddler-size viewing. $6 to $10; free for age 5 and younger. Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Connecticut River Museum, Essex. 860-767-8269, ctrivermuseum.org

Gingerbread Lane: Through Jan. 27. Gingerbread village with 340 houses. $14.75, $13.75 children and seniors. Tuesday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Children’s Museum, 950 Trout Brook Drive in West Hartford. thechildrensmuseumct.org.

Deck the Walls: Through Jan. 4. Lyme Art Association’s annual holiday exhibit with more than 200 original artworks on show and for sale. All sales from Nov. 30 to Dec. 1 are tax free. 90 Lyme St. in Old Lyme. Admission is free. lymeartassociation.org.

A Storybook Holiday: Through Dec. 16. Holiday tours of the Osborne Homestead Museum, which is decorated to represent the most popular children’s tales in Western literature, from “Aesop’s Fables” to “The Snow Queen.” Free, donations accepted. Thursday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; twilight tours offered Fridays 4 to 7 p.m. 500 Hawthorne Ave., Derby. 203-734-2513 or susan.d.robinson@ct.gov.

Lantern Light Tours: Finding Your Place: Through Dec. 23. Ninety-minute guided tour set on Christmas Eve in 1876, with five seasonal scenes. $33, $26 youth, 3 and younger free. Tours depart every 15 minutes from 5 to 10 p.m. Nov. 24, Dec. 1, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 23, and 5 to 8:45 p.m. Nov. 23 and 30 and Dec. 7. Mystic Seaport Museum. Tours depart from the Sanger Visitors Reception Center, 47 Greenmanville Ave. (Route 27) in Mystic. Advance registration required. mysticseaport.org.

Winterfest with Rudolph and Friends: Saturdays and Sundays to Dec. 30. Take a photo with Rudolph and Bumble, then see the two star in “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 4-D.” $26.99-$36.99. Kids 2 and under free. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mystic Aquarium. mysticaquarium.org

Magic of Christmas: Through Dec. 30. Annual event featuring Miss Florence’s Artist Trees, with ornaments made of small palettes painted by local artists, holiday teas and decorations museumwide. $10, $9 seniors, $8 students, free 12 and younger. Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. Florence Griswold Museum, 96 Lyme St. in Old Lyme. flogris.org

Movies

The Polar Express: Through Dec. 23. Animated 2004 adventure about a train to the North Pole. In IMAX. $11.50, $10.50 seniors, $9.50 children ages 3 to 12. Weekends at 5 p.m., 9 a.m. Dec. 15, 16 and 23 and 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 22. Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, 10 N. Water St. maritimeaquarium.org.

White Christmas: Dec. 12. Bing Crosby-Bob Hope comedy musical holiday classic. Price varies by theater. 2 and 7 p.m. Venues: fathomevents.com

A Very Nutty Christmas: Dec. 15. Theatrical premiere of Lifetime holiday movie starring Melissa Joan Hart and Barry Watson, with filmmakers present. $18. 8 p.m. Garde Arts Center, 325 State St. in New London. gardearts.org

A Christmas Carol: Dec. 20. Alastair Sim 1951 film version of Charles Dickens holiday classic. Free. 6 p.m. Yale Center for British Art, 1080 Chapel St. in New Haven. britishart.yale.edu

Christmas in Connecticut: Dec. 27. Barbara Stanwyck holiday classic about a fraudulent food writer who must host a war hero. Free with museum admission. 1 p.m. New Britain Museum of American Art, 56 Lexington St. nbmaa.org

Joyeux Noel: Dec. 30. French-language story about a cease-fire on Christmas Eve during World War I. $10, $9 seniors and students, $7 members. 2 p.m. Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, 29 Atheneum Square North in Hartford. thewadsworth.org

Etc.

Winterfest Hartford: Through Jan. 7, with free skating on the rink in Bushnell Park, free skate rentals, lessons and classes, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. most days (closed at 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day; and open from 2 p.m. to midnight on New Year's Eve as part of the First Night celebration). At the other end of the park, the carousel offers $1 rides on weekends. winterfesthartford.com

North Pole Express: Through Dec. 28. Live musical performance of “The Night Before Christmas” during a 90-minute ride on the Essex Steam Train. $66.50, $76.50 Friday and Saturday for first-class, $35.50m $45.50 Friday and Saturday for coach class, online sales only. Ages 1 and younger can sit on laps. Departures start at 5 p.m. weekdays, 3 p.m. weekends and holidays. essexsteamtrain.com.

Holidays With Friends at Gillette’s Castle: Weekends only, through Dec. 23. Former estate of actor William Gillette will be decorated for the holidays. Outdoor entertainment includes bonfires, carolers, musicians. Live performances at 2 p.m. on weekends. Children’s scavenger hunt. William and Helen Gillette, as portrayed by actors, will greet guests on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons. Santa and Mrs. Claus may make a few appearances. $6, $2 ages 6 to 12; free for ages 5 and younger. Fridays, 4 to 8:30 p.m. (last ticket sold at 8 p.m.) and Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (last ticket sold at 3:30 p.m.). Pre-purchase tickets at reserveamerica.com.

Holidays at MGM Springfield: Ice rink will be open until March 3, Monday to Thursday 2 to 9 p.m., Friday 2 to 10 p.m., Saturday noon to 10 p.m., Sunday noon to 9 p.m. $12, $8 for kids, veterans, active-duty military and first responders, with $5 for skate rental. One MGM Way, Springfield. mgmspringfield.com.

Northern Lights Limited and Santa Express: Through Dec. 23. Christmas-themed train rides, each one hour and 20 minutes. Santa Express (daytime) is $45 first class, $20 coach. Northern Lights (nighttime) is $55 for first-class, $30 for coach. 12, 2:15, 5 and 7:15 p.m. Railroad Museum of New England at Thomaston Station, 242 E. Main St. rmne.org

Gingerbread House Workshop for Kids: Dec. 15, 16, 22 and 23. Royal icing, sprinkles, decorations, sugars, gumdrops, peppermints, sprinkles, cookies. $19.99. 10 a.m. and noon. Lyman Orchards in Middlefield. Pre-paid reservations are required: 860-308-1657, lymanorchards.com

Christmas by Candlelight: Dec. 14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22, 23. “North Pole Village," with Santa, a walk through a super-sized "The Night Before Christmas" storybook, a model railroad display, strolling carolers, horse-drawn sleighs, gingerbread houses and a Christmas craft workshop. $28; $14 ages 4 to 12; free for children 3 and younger. Thursday, Friday and Sunday tickets purchased before Nov. 22 by members receive 25 percent off, nonmembers 15 percent off. 3 to 8 p.m. Old Sturbridge Village, 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road in Sturbridge, Mass. osv.org/cbc.

Flurry Zone, an Indoor Snow Experience: Through Dec. 31. A snow machine will produce a squall every hour on the hour. Free with aquarium admission, which is $24.95, $22.95 seniors, $17.95 children. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, 10 N. Water St. maritimeaquarium.org.

Stafford Winterfest: Dec. 15, rain date Dec. 16. Parade of lights, holiday music, performances, visits with Santa, live Nativity, bonfire, thousands of luminaria. Free. Fest starts at 3 p.m., parade steps off at 4 p.m. Downtown Stafford. facebook.com

Gingerbread House Festival: Peace On Earth: Through Dec. 15. More than 150 gingerbread houses and creations created by regional artists, pastry chefs, children and the community. Occasional music, storytimes, crafts, a visit from Santa and a gift shop. Free, donations appreciated. Thursdays and Fridays 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wood Memorial Library & Museum, 783 Main St., South Windsor. woodmemoriallibrary.org

Do you have an event our readers should know about? You can submit details at ctnow.com/events and email kuse@courant.com, aellis@courant.com and lbukowinski@ctnow.com at least 10 days before the date of your event. And high-resolution jpegs help us to get the word out.

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