Once again, we answer that perennial question: What's happening for the holidays? Here's a list to get you started on thinking about how to fill all that extra time until New Year's Eve. Check back for updates.
96.5 All Star Christmas: Dec. 7, Toyota Oakdale Theatre, 95 S. Turnpike Road, Wallingford. Featuring Fall Out Boy, Bleachers, Arizona. Reserved tickets: $75, $45, $35. 7:30 p.m. oakdale.com.
Holiday Harp Concert: Dec. 7, New England Carousel Museum, Bristol. Harpist Cate Mahoney and special guests perform. Included with general admission. 6:30-7:30 p.m., with a wine and cheese reception at 6. 860-585-511.
Artful Living: Joys of the Christmas Season: Dec. 8-10 and 15-17, Parmelee Homestead, Killingworth. Feast on four courses of traditional holiday fare while listening to Christmas songs. Friday and Saturday, 6 p.m. seating; Sunday, 4 p.m. seating. $55 per person (includes meal and entertainment. ArtfulLivingCT.com.
Linda Eder's Holiday Show: Dec. 8, Ridgefield Playhouse. $57. 8 p.m. 203-438-5795, ridgefieldplayhouse.org.
Christmas on Minnechaug Mountain: Dec. 8, Buckingham Congregational Church, 16 Cricket Lane, Glastonbury. Amy Gallatin guitarist Roger Williams, along with the Blackstone Valley Bluegrass band and vocalist Karen Lincoln Wilbur. 7:30 p.m. (doors open 6:45). $15 or $5 children under 12. 860-633-7992.
Hartford Gay Men's Chorus: From Tinseltown to Times Square: A Holiday Adventure: Dec. 8-9-10, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford. Songs from favorite stage shows and movies. Friday and Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 3 p.m. $35 to $45. hartfordgaymenschorus.com
Farmington Valley Symphony Orchestra: Holiday pops concerts Dec. 9, 3 p.m., at Farmington High School and on Dec. 16, 3 p.m. at Eno Memorial Hall, Simsbury. $18 online; $20 at the door. Children under 12 are free. fvso.com.
The Hartford Symphony Orchestra presents December Dreams, Dec. 8 to 10 at the Belding Theater at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford. Performances are Saturday and Sunday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. hartfordsymphony.org.
A Celtic Family Christmas: Dec. 9, Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts, UConn, Storrs. Natalie MacMaster, Donnell Leahy and their children tell the story of the night before Christmas. 8 p.m. $30 to $45. jorgensen.uconn.edu.
Con Brio Choral Society's Christmas Concerts: Dec. 9 and 10, Christ the King Church, Old Lyme. Saturday at 8 p.m.; Sunday at 3 p.m. $30; $15 students. conbrio.org, 860-526-5399.
Pentatonix: Dec. 9 and 10, Mohegan Sun Arena. The acapella group sings their twists on holiday classics. $45 and $65. 7 p.m. mohegansun.com
Christmas with The Celts: Dec. 10, Ridgefield Playhouse. 8 p.m. $47.50. 203-438-5795, ridgefieldplayhouse.org.
CT Gay Men's Chorus: Twinkle: A Celestial Celebration: Dec. 10, Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, Old Saybrook. 4 p.m. $30. thekate.org, 877-503-1286.
Sing in the Season! Holiday Concert with Marissa Famiglietti: Dec. 10, Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury. Operatic soprano will be joined by baritone Shae Apland and pianist David Kendall. 3 p.m., $20 to $35. mattmuseum.org, 203-753-0381.
Cirque Musica Holiday: Dec. 12, 7 p.m., Webster Bank Arena, Bridgeport. Cast of Cirque Musica with holiday songs performed by Greater Bridgeport Symphony. Call for tickets. WebsterBankArena.com, 800-745-3000.
Old Lyme Town Band: Dec. 14, Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, Old Saybrook. Holiday favorites 7 p.m. $7, $5 children. thekate.org, 877-503-1286.
Slambovian Circus of Dreams: A Very Slambovian Christmas: Dec. 15, Fairfield Theatre Company. Traditional Christmas songs with a twist. 7:30 pm. $28. fairfieldtheatre.org, 203-259-1036.
Melissa Etheridge: Merry Christmas, Baby: Dec. 15, Garde Arts Center, New London. Kirsten Maxwell opens. 8 p.m. $58 to $278. gardearts.org, 860-444-7373.
Kenny Rogers: The Gambler's Last Deal Christmas & Hits: Dec. 15, Toyota Oakdale Theatre 95 S. Turnpike Road, Wallingford. With Special Guest Linda Davis. 7:30 p.m. $75, $45, $35 (plus fees). oakdale.com, 800-745-3000.
A Celtic Christmas with The Tartan Terrors: Dec. 16, The Palace Danbury. A blend of Celtic Christmas music, dance and comedy. 2 and 8 p.m. $30. thepalacedanbury.com, 203-794-9944.
Holiday Cirque Spectacular: Dec. 16, The Bushnell, Mortensen Hall, Hartford. Music of the holidays performed by the HSO, set to acrobatic feats by members of the renowned Cirque de la Symphonie. 2 and 7 p.m. $27-$78. bushnell.org, 860-987-5900.
CitySingers of Hartford: Circle of Joy!: Dec. 16 and 17, First Church of Christ West Hartford Center. 4 p.m. Donations accepted. citysingers.org, 860-233-9605.
96.5 All Star Christmas: Backstreet Boys, Fergie, Max: Dec. 16, Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville. Reserved Tickets: $75, $60, $50 (plus fees). 8 p.m. mohegansun.com, 800-734-3000.
A Broadway Holiday Show: Dec. 16-17, Fairfield Theatre Company. The New Paradigm Theatre Company presents dancers, singers, instrumentalists and Ms. Clauz. 8 p.m., $35. fairfieldtheatre.org, 203-259-1036.
Aaron Neville Christmas: Dec. 17, Fairfield Theatre Company. Holiday songs and old favorites. 8 p.m., $68. fairfieldtheatre.org, 203-259-1036.
Part I & Hallelujah Chorus: Dec. 9, Basilica of St. John the Evangelist, Stamford. Stamford Symphony, conducted by Ted Sperling, and the MasterVoices. 8 p.m. $25 to $55. stamfordsymphony.org.
The Danbury Concert Chorus with members of Danbury Symphony Orchestra: Dec. 17, First Congregational Church Danbury. Special guest conductor James Blachly. 4 p.m. Donations accepted. danburymusiccentre.org
Sing or Listen: Dec. 17, Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, Old Saybrook. Sponsored by Cappella Cantorum. Singers rehearse 3:30 p.m. in sections. Open to all, featuring professional soloists. 4 p.m. $10. thekate.org, 877-503-1286.
The Hartford Chorale and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra: Dec. 20, Belding Theater, The Bushnell, Hartford. Richard Coffey, conductor. 7:30 p.m. $25-$60. hartfordchorale.org.
Greater Hartford Community Sing: Jan. 7, Center Church (First Church of Christ) in Downtown Hartford. All area Messiah singers welcome. Bring your own score; scores available to borrow. Singers arrive between 3 and 3:30 p.m. 4 p.m. Free. Reception follows. centerchurchhartford.org, 860-249-5631.
Albano's Nutcracker: Nov. 25 at 3 p.m., Middletown Performing Arts Center at Middletown High School. Miku Kawamura, prima ballerina from Japan, portrays the Sugar Plum Fairy, partnered by Eric Carnes, international premier danseur, portraying the Prince. Also Dec. 2 and 3 at 3 p.m. at Welte Theater, CCSU New Britain. $25 for children, $30 adults (albanoballet.org) And four performances at Mohegan Sun: Dec. 8 and 9 at 7 p.m.; Dec. 10, Sunday at 1 and 7 p.m. $32-$38 adults; $26-$32 children. ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000.
Mystic Ballet's Nutmeg Spectacular: Dec. 2-3, 9-10, and 16-17, 325 Mistuxet Ave., Stonington. Flying Santas, waltzing snowflakes in a winter blizzard, a magical mid-air 3D laser show. Tickets start at $38. mysticballet.org
Connecticut Concert Ballet: Dec. 9 and 10, Manchester High School's Bailey Auditorium. Saturday performances feature live music by the Manchester Symphony Orchestra. Noon and 4 p.m. both days. At the door: $28, $18 children/students, $38 preferred front and center. ctconcertballet.org
Eastern Connecticut Ballet: Dec. 9 and 10, Garde Arts Center, New London. Featuring Sara Mearns and Jared Angle of the NYC Ballet and the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra. 1:30 p.m. each day, with 7 p.m. performance Saturday. $22 to $49. gardearts.org, 860-444-7373.
Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory: Dec. 9-10, Warner Theatre, Torrington. 2 p.m. each day, also 7 p.m. Saturday. $24-$44. warnertheatre.org, 860-489-7180.
CONNetic Dance's The Nutcracker Suite and Spicy: Dec. 15-17, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Aetna Theater, Hartford. A rousing, toe-tapping, spin on the classical ballet, fusing ballet, tap, jazz, ballroom and hip-hop techniques. Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m. and Sunday, 2 p.m. Audience members encouraged to wear Ugly Christmas Sweaters to Sunday's matinee, which will feature a live music opening and visit by Santa. $40. conneticdance.com, 860-251-9194.
Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance: Dec. 15 through 17, Ridgefield Playhouse. $25 adults, $20 children. Friday, 6 p.m.; Saturday, 2 and 6 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. 203-438-5795, ridgefieldplayhouse.org
Woodbury Ballet: Dec. 16, Palace Theater, Waterbury. 4 p.m. $33-$53. palacetheaterct.org
New Haven Ballet: Dec. 16-17, Shubert Theater, New Haven. newhavenballet.org
Nutmeg Ballet: Dec. 16 and 17, Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, Belding Theater, Hartford.12:30 and 4:30 p.m. both days. $38-$60. bushnell.org, 860-987-5900.
Connecticut Ballet: Dec. 16 and 17, Palace Theatre, 61 Atlantic St., Stamford. Dec. 16, 2 and 6 p.m. and Dec. 17, 1 and 5 p.m. $75-$40 (plus surcharges). 203-325-4466, palacestamford.org.
Ballet Theatre Company: Dec. 14 through 17, Hoffman Auditorium, University of St. Joseph, West Hartford. Thursday, 6:30 p.m.;, Friday7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 1 and 7 p.m.; Sunday, 1 and 4:30 p.m. $25-$35. ballettheatrecompany.tix.com.
The Hip Hop Nutcracker: Dec. 17, The Bushnell, Mortensen Hall, Hartford. With guest MC Kurtis Blow. A holiday mash-up for the entire family, The Hip Hop Nutcracker, a contemporary re-imagination of Tchaikovsky's timeless music. 4 p.m. $20-$70. bushnell.org, 860-987-5900
A Connecticut Christmas Carol: Through Dec. 24 The Terris Theatre, Chester. Wednesdays, 2 and 7:30 p.m.; Thursdays 7:30 p.m. (select dates at 2 p.m.); Fridays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 3 and 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. (select dates at 6:30 p.m.). Single tickets start at $49. goodspeed.org, 860-873-8668.
A Christmas Story: The Musical: Nov. 24 through 26, The Bushnell, Mortensen Hall, Hartford. Based on the perennial holiday movie favorite, the story takes place in 1940s Indiana, where a bespectacled boy named Ralphie wants only one thing for Christmas: an Official Red Ryder Carbine‐Action 200‐shot Range Model Air Rifle. Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 2 and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 1 and 6:30 p.m. bushnell.org
A Christmas Carol — A Ghost Story of Christmas: Nov. 24 through Dec. 30, Hartford Stage. Now entering its 20th season, with performances this year the show (overseen by Hartford Stage artistic associate Rachel Alderman) will introduce several new cast members in central roles, including a whole new Scrooge, Michael Preston. hartfordstage.org.
The Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris: Castle Craig Players presents the show Dec. 1 through 3 at Farmington Valley Stage Company, 4 Market St, Collinsville. fvstage.org; and Dec. 7 through 10, at Almira F. Stephan Memorial Playhouse, 59 West Main St, Meriden. Visit castlecraig.org for tickets.
Christmas on the Rocks: Nov. 28 through Dec. 23, TheaterWorks, Hartford. An offbeat collection of twisted holiday tales by John Cariani, Jeffrey Hatcher, Jenn Harris & Matt Wilkas, Jacques Lamarre, Theresa Rebeck and Edwin Sanchez. Tuesday through Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 4 and 8 p.m.; Sunday, 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. $30-$65. theaterworkshartford.org
School For Elves: Dec. 1-17, Milford Center for the Arts. Presented by Pantochino Productions Inc., this musical tells the story of Yule School, where newly recruited elves learn, work and play while assisting Santa Claus. $20 online or $22 door. Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 2. pantochino.com.
Sister's Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi's Gold: Dec. 5 through 17, Long Wharf Theatre, Stage II, New Haven. Nonie Newton-Riley will return in her role of Sister. $29. Tuesday, 7 p.m.; Wednesday, 2 and 7 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 3 and 8 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m. longwharf.org or 203-787-4282.
The Gift: Dec. 8-9, Charter Oak Cultural Center, Hartford. Studio 860 presents annual performance of urban holiday tale of two families told through music, movement and dance. 7 p.m. $20 at door, $15 online. charteroakcenter.org, 860-310-2580.
The Game's Afoot, or Holmes for the Holiday: Dec. 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, Warner Theatre, Torrington. Christmas-themed Sherlock Holmes mystery, set in the Connecticut castle of "Holmes" portrayer William Gillette. Written by Ken Ludwig. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. Call for tickets. warnertheatre.org, 860-489-7180.
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical: Dec. 8 through 10, Shubert Theater, New Haven. Friday 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m., 1 and 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Call for tickets. shubert.com
Mama D's Christmas Stocking: Dec. 15, 16, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30. Playhouse on Park, West Hartford. stop/time Dance Theater presents holiday burlesque show. Not for children. 8 p.m. $25. playhouseonpark.org, 860-523-5900.
A Christmas Carol: Dec. 16, Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, Old Saybrook. Musical version of Dickens classic. 1 p.m. $12 to $20. thekate.org, 877-503-1286.
A SEA TEA HOLIDAY
An Improvised Christmas Carol: Dec. 7 to 17 Thursdays to Sundays, Sea Tea Improv, Hartford. Retelling of Christmas classic, combining audience suggestions with improvisers' improvising. 8 p.m. $15, $10 children.
Bah Humbug! A Holiday Sketch Show: Dec. 9, Sea Tea Improv, Hartford. Spoof of holiday classic TV shows, books and movies. 10 p.m. $10.
Whose Holiday Is It Anyway?: Dec. 17, Sea Tea Improv, Hartford. Holiday-oriented improv with audience participation. 7 p.m. $10.
An Improvised Holiday Musical & Variety Show!: Dec. 20, Sea Tea Improv, Hartford. Audience decides what comic improvisers will do. 8 p.m. $10.
An Improvised Hallmark Movie: Romantic holiday story, improvised by comedians. Dec. 21, Sea Tea Improv, Hartford. $10. 7 p.m. seateaimprov.com.
"Santa's Flight Academy": Through Dec. 24, Westfarms Mall, Center Court, Farmington. Each child becomes a member of the flight crew and visits with Santa, plus: Receives a personalized Cadet Badge; tries on a virtual flight suit; learns how to operate the sleigh; and dances under magical lights and snowfall. Visitors are encouraged to create official flight crew badges online, or through the mobile app. Badges can also be created on site at Santa's Flight Academy kiosks. Santa's Express Lane passes, allowing families to reserve a time block and avoid lengthy lines, may be purchased at santasfastpass.com. Info: shopwestfarms.com.
Santa Special: Nov. 24-26, Dec. 2-3, 9-10, 16-17 and 23, Essex Steam Train and Riverboat. Santa and Mrs. Claus visit each child aboard festive railway cars adorned with vintage decorations. $24 coach tickets; $40 first class car (with individual armchair seats, cash beverage service). essexsteamtrain.com, 800-377-3987.
Santa In the Fishing Village: Dec. 2-3, 9-10 and 16-17, Maritime Aquarium, Norwalk. Visit Santa Claus aboard a festive fishing boat as the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk adds a bonus holiday exhibit to "fish" you a Merry Christmas. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. $22.95 adults; $20.95 (ages 13-17) and seniors (65 and older); $15.95 ages 3-12. Members and kids 2 and under free. maritimeaquarium.org
Brunch with Santa and Mrs. Claus: Dec. 3, 10, 16 and 17, Lyman Orchards Homestead, Middlefield. A buffet-style brunch and private meeting with Santa & Mrs. Claus in the Homestead's Library. A professional photographer will take complimentary family photos. Seatings at 10 and 11:30 a.m., 1 and 2:30 p.m. $6.95-$37.95; ages 2 and under are free. Prepaid reservations are required: 860-349-6043.
Breakfast With Santa: Dec. 9, 10, 16 and 17, Flamig Farm, West Simsbury. Includes a farm breakfast; visit with Santa, Mrs. Claus, Elves, Frosty the Snowman and The Grinch; Santa will give every child a gift; a ride out to Farm fields and "Reindeer Land" on a holiday-decorated trolley; free visit to the Petting Zoo including photo opportunities with Dominic the Donkey. Seatings start at 8:30 a.m. $30; children one and under are free. 860-658-5070.
Breakfast With Santa: Dec. 9, The Bushnell, Hartford. Take a photo with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Enjoy breakfast, carolers, crafts and more. Call for time and tickets. bushnell.org, 860-987-5900.
Brunch With Santa: Dec. 10, Water's Edge Resort and Spa, Westbrook. Brunch 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; CT Yuletide Carolers 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Visit with Santa 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. $38; $22 children. watersedgeresortandspa.com, 860-399-5901.
Santa's Workshop: Dec. 13 through 23, Wickham Park, Manchester. Visit with Santa and his elves; refreshments with Mrs. Claus.Free. Bring non-perishable food items to be donated to area food pantries. 3 to 6 p.m. weekdays; 1 to 5 p.m. weekends. wickhampark.org
Breakfast With Santa: Dec. 17, Maneeley's Grand Ballroom, South Windsor. Breakfast, Christmas music, crafts and a complimentary picture with Santa. Admission for all children 12 years old and under is an unwrapped toy, which will be donated to the homeless shelters of greater Hartford. $12 paid in advance. Seats are limited. Tickets are not refundable. 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. 860-528-6622; eventbrite.com
Holiday Light Fantasia: Nov. 23 through Jan. 1: Goodwin Park, Hartford. The 2-mile show transforms Goodwin Park into a drive-through wonderland of holiday spirit with a collection of over 1 million lights. Sunday through Thursday, 5 to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 5 to 10 p.m. Open Christmas Eve, Christmas night, New Year's Eve and Day. $15 car (up to 10 passengers); $25 limousine; $50 mini bus (up to 30 passengers). A benefit for the Channel 3 Kids Camp. Bring the little ones to visit Santa (Fridays 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays 5 to 8 p.m.).
Festival of Silver Lights: A display of 350,000 twinkling, white lights is open nightly through Jan. 1 from 5 p.m. to midnight in Meriden's Hubbard Park. Free. 203-630-4259 and meridenct.gov.
Fantasy of Lights: This holiday display lights up New Haven's Lighthouse Point Park with more than 100,000 bulbs beginning through Dec. 31. A pair of 3D glasses enhances the more than 60 animated light displays, which blink to a radio broadcast. Hours are Sunday to Thursday 5 to 9 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday 5 to 10 p.m. Vehicles are $10, a minibus is $25, large buses $50. 203-777-2000 and eastersealsgoodwill.org
The Chabad Jewish Center hosts these Hanukkah events, featuring menorah lightings, latkes, hot cider, raffles, music and dancing: Dec. 12 at the Enfield Square Mall; Dec. 13 at the Glastonbury Fountain Green; Dec. 14 at the Colchester Town Green; Dec. 18 at the Tolland Town Green, and Dec. 19 at Ellington Arbor Park. chabader.com
Festival of Trees and Traditions: Dec. 1-10, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford. Annual fundraising event featuring trees and wreaths made by members of the Atheneum community. Admission is a $3 surcharged on top of regular admission to Atheneum. thewadsworth.org.
Deck the Walls: Nov. 10 through Jan. 5, Lyme Art Association Old Lyme. More than 200 original works of art by member artists will be on display and priced to sell as holiday gifts. Hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. lymeartassociation.org, 860-434-7802.
Magic of Christmas: Dec. 1 to 31 at Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme. Miss Florence's Artist Trees, for which more than 200 local artists have painted a small palette to be used as an ornament, will fill the museum. The Florence Griswold House will be decorated to evoke a 1910 Christmas. Also, Christmas tea events. Admission to museum is $10, $9 seniors, $8 students, free 12 and younger. Admission for teas costs extra. flogris.org, 860-434-5542.
Three Centuries of Christmas: Dec. 9 to Jan. 7, Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum, Wethersfield. Vintage holiday decorations throughout historic house museum. Preview Party Dec. 8, 5 to 8 p.m. $35. Candlelight Tours Dec. 15-16 5 to 8 p.m. Daytime tours Dec. 9 to Jan. 7 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. except Sundays (from 1 to 4 p.m.). Tours cost $12. webb-deane-stevens.org, 860-529-0612
Sounds of the Season: Dec. 9, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford. Family event focuses on holiday traditions from around the world. With live musical performances. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free. thewadsworth.org.
It's a Wonderful Life: Dec. 9, Mark Twain House & Museum, Hartford. Live radio play performance, adapted from the classic Christmas film. 2 and 7 p.m. $12, 8 children. marktwainhouse.org, 860-247-0998.
A "Lilac Girls" Polish Christmas: Dec. 10, Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden, Bethlehem. Rooms decorated in Polish holiday tradition, with Polish beverages and desserts. Event celebrates the holidays and the work of social philanthropist Caroline Ferriday. Martha Hall Kelly, who wrote book about Ferriday, will sign copies of her book "Lilac Girls." Tour sessions begin at 1 and 1:30 pm. $35, to be purchased by Dec. 4. ctlandmarks.org, 860-247-8996.
Ugly Sweater Party: Dec. 15, New Britain Museum of American Art. "Museum After Dark" event. Wear the ugliest holiday sweater you can find. Music by DJ Afropanther. 7 to 10 p.m. $30. nbmaa.org, 860-229-0257.
Winterfest Hartford: Nov. 24 to 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.
Holiday Train Show: Steve Cryan's famous, family-friendly train show, with a operational 26-foot model train layout, returns for its 24th year to the Connecticut River Museum in Essex through Feb. 19. Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Included in museum admission. 860-767-8269 and ctrivermuseum.org
Lantern Light Tours: Mystic runs its 2017 season of Lantern Light Tours from Nov. 24 to Dec. 23. The 70-minute progressive play is set on Christmas Eve 1876. This year, the story is "The Spirit of the Holiday: A Christmas Ghost Story." The evening includes a men's athletic contest, a circle dance, a visit with Santa, a horse and carriage ride, a Victorian spiritualist and a scene on board a historic vessel. Performances, which begin at 5 p.m. and leave every 15 minutes, are Nov. 24 and 25, Dec. 1 to 2, 8 to 9, 15 to 17 and 22 to 23. $32, $26 members, $25 children ages 5 to 17, $19 child members. Not recommended for children 4 and younger. mysticseaport.org.
Holiday on Main Street Middletown: Nov. 24 and 25, Nov. 30, and Dec. 2, 9 and 16, Middletown. Variety of entertainment every week ranging from free horse and wagon rides to Santa Claus. holidayonmain.com
Shark-Diving Santa: Nov. 25 and 26 and most Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays in December. (No dives Dec. 24 and25). Also daily Dec. 26-31. Maritime Aquarium, Norwalk. Santa will strap on his custom scuba outfit and enter the aquarium's 110,000-gallon "Ocean Beyond the Sound" exhibit, which is home to 7-foot sharks. He'll swim up to the exhibit window and pose with children. 12:15 and 2:15 p.m. Included with admission: $22.95 adults; $20.95 (ages 13-17) and seniors (65 and older); $15.95 ages 3-12. maritimeaquarium.org
Connecticut Trolley Museum's Winterfest And Tunnel of Lights: Nov. 24 through Dec. 23, and again Dec. 26 through 30, East Windsor. $12, $11 seniors (62 and older), $10 ages 4-12, $3 age 3 and under; museum members half off. 5 to 9 p.m. Nov 24-26, Dec. 1 -3, Dec. 8-10, Dec 15-17 and Dec 22- 23. Also Dec. 26 -30 from 5 to 9 p.m. for school vacation break. ct-trolley.org
Christmas By Candlelight: Dec. 2-3, 8-10, 15-17 and 21-23, Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, Mass. Evening holiday celebration with historic decorations and costumed historians, strolling carolers, nativity, gingerbread house contest, tree lighting, outdoor marketplace, North Pole Village, "Night Before Christmas" storybook, talking Christmas tree and Santa and Mrs. Claus. $28, $14 ages 4 to 12, free for 3 and younger. Discounts for tickets bought before Dec. 1. osvchristmas.org.
Ugly Sweater Run: Dec. 9. A 5K starting at 11 p.m. at Bushnell Park in Hartford. Hundreds wearing their ugliest attire are expected at the start line, which will include massive inflatables, photo stations, games and holiday music. Post-run goodies include a Kahlúa cocktail,and other holiday goodies. Awards for Best Ugly Sweater, Best Kids Sweater, Best Pet Attire and Best Real/Fake Mustache/Beard $45 in advance: bib pickup is Dec. 8 from 2 to 7 p.m. at Fleet Feet Sports in West Hartford. Registration and rules at theuglysweaterrun.com
Hartford Blooms Christmas Tour: Dec. 9, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Leave from 550 Farmington Ave., Hartford (Tangiers); visit the Governor's Residence, decorated for the holidays with musical groups performing; visit two historic churches, with knowledgeable guides (stained glass windows, architecture, history); tour on Pratt Street; lunch on own; shopping with a downtown Hartford twist, with items only found in downtown Hartford. Return to Tangiers. $20 (with checks made out to Hartford Blooms/K of C, 140 Farmington Avenue, Hartford CT 06105). Include phone number and email address. 860-296-6128, firstname.lastname@example.org