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Photo by Wesley Bunnell

(Photo by Wesley Bunnell )

Where to See Santa on the Shoreline

Published Nov 22, 2017 • Last Updated 09:11 am, November 28, 2017

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Santa is going to be a busy man for the next month...

Saturday, Nov. 25

Angels & Elves Christmas Fair: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. St. John's Catholic School, 42 Maynard Rd., Old Saybrook. Features local crafts, penny cup auction, quilt raffle, and Santa. Breakfast and lunch available. Free admission. For info, call 860-304-3420.

Annual Tree Lighting: 1 to 5 p.m. East Haven Town Green. Presented by East Haven Chamber of Commerce and the Town of East Haven. Features hot cocoa, cookie decorating, s'mores, obstacle course, kiddie train and hay rides, bike raffle, and entertainment by Joseph Melillo Middle School Chorus and Band, and The Dance Connection. Santa will visit at 2 p.m. and the lighting of the tree is at 5 p.m. Free admission. For info, call 203-467-4305 or visit

Mystic's Holiday Lighted Boat Parade: Parade begins at 6:20 p.m.; Santa arrives to Mystic River Park at 2 p.m. by tugboat; Christmas tree lighting at 6 p.m. Boats parade down Mystic River and return to Mystic River Park. For info, visit

Annual Tree Lighting and Parade: 6 p.m. Parade leaves from Branford High School at 6 p.m. Tree lighting immediately follows on the Branford Town Green. Rain date: Sunday, Nov. 26. For info, call 203-488-8304 or visit

Sunday, Nov. 26

Trees in the Rigging Community Carol Sing & Boat Parade: 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Lantern-lit carol stroll down Main St. starts at Essex Town Hall, 29 West Ave., at 4:30 p.m. and ends at the Connecticut River Museum. Features Sailing Masters of 1812 Fife and Drum Corps and antique cars. Bring lanterns or flashlights. Decorated boats will parade down the Connecticut River. Santa and his elves will visit with children on the lawn in front of the museum. Presented by the Connecticut River Museum, Essex Board of Trade, and Essex Historical Society. For info, visit

Thursday, Nov. 30

New Haven Tree Lighting: 4 to 8 p.m. Features petting zoo, carnival ride, visit with Santa, refreshments, live entertainment, and more. For info, visit

Friday, Dec. 1

Madison Tree Lighting: 6 p.m. Madison Green. For info, visit

Friday, Dec. 1 to Sunday, Dec. 3

St. Lawrence Christmas Fair: Friday, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to noon. Saint Lawrence Church, 7 Hemlock Dr., Killingworth. Features a silent auction, gifts and gift baskets, basket raffle, and evergreen decorations. On Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m., children can get their photo taken with Santa and there will be an antique fire engine. Food includes homemade pies, soup, hot dogs, pizza, meatball grinders, and more. For info, contact 860-663-2576 or, or visit

Saturday, Dec. 2

Breakfast with Santa: 8 to 11 a.m. Westbrook Fire House, 18 South Main St. Features plain and chocolate chip pancakes, sausage, juice, coffee, and tea. Cost: $8 for adults; $5 for seniors and children 12 and younger; $3 for a 4x6 photo with Santa in a framed card. Hosted by Westbrook High School Project Graduation. For info, call 860-989-6591.

Ye Olde English Christmas Faire: 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Deep River Congregational Church, 1 Church St. Features unique gifts and baskets filled with surprises; home baked pies, cakes, and sweets; knitted and crocheted items; toys and games for children; and photos with Santa. Country Kitchen will have seafood bisque, chili, and fresh-made loaves of bread to take home. The Reindeer Restaurant will offer light lunch and snacks. For info, contact 860-526-5045 or, or visit

Christmas Fair: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. First Church of Christ, 55 Church Rd., Clinton. Features homemade cookies, local craft vendors, a children's shopping room, Christmas tag sale, tea cup auction, quilt raffle, luncheon, and a visit from Santa from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free admission. For info, call 860-669-5735 or visit

Christmas Fair: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Christ and the Epiphany Church, 39 Park Pl., East Haven. Features Santa, Connecticut-made craft items, fresh floral arrangements and wreaths, homemade canned goods, baked goodies, jewelry, books, seasonal treasures in the Christmas Room and Good Shepherd Thrift Shop, and a raffle for a gift basket, gift certificate, and lottery ticket raffles. Hot meals available. Free admission. For info, call 203-467-2310 or visit

Winter Wonderland: Tree Lighting & Holiday Open House: 4:30 to 6 p.m. Water's Edge Resort and Spa, 1525 Boston Post Rd., Westbrook. Features pictures with Santa, tree lighting, cookie decorating, Christmas carolers, letters to Santa, complimentary Christmas cookies and brownies, hot cider, hot cocoa, and coffee. Free. For info, call 860-399-5901 or visit

Ivoryton Illuminations: 5 to 8 p.m. Features carol signing; free visits with Santa; and special events at Blue Hound Cookery and Taproom, Copper Beech Inn, Elephant Crossing, iCRV Radio, Ivoryton Fire House, Ivoryton Inn, Ivoryton Library, Ivoryton Playhouse, Ivoryton Tavern and Café, and Six Summit Gallery. Presented by Ivoryton Village Alliance.

Saturday, Dec. 2 to Sunday, Dec. 10

28th Annual Trees of Hope: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Maritime Center, 555 Long Wharf Dr., New Haven. Features over 130 decorated trees, wreaths, and other holiday arrangements donated by the community to be raffled off on the last day. Also includes a holiday boutique, as well as live musical performances and visits from Santa on the weekends. Free. Raffle tickets sold for $1 each. Proceeds benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Connecticut. For info, visit

Sunday, Dec. 3

Scholarship Pancake Breakfast with Santa: 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. St. Frances Cabrini Church, 57 Pond Hill Rd., North Haven. Breakfast includes pancakes, sausage, bacon, coffee, tea, and orange juice. Cost: $8; free for children 3 years and younger. Proceeds benefit the Lodge's scholarships to local high school seniors. All of Santa's village children's activities, and pictures with Santa, Mrs. Claus, and Elves, are free. Hosted by the North Haven Sons and Daughters of Italy Lodge 2805. For info, contact 203-234-0215 or, or visit

Christmas in Clinton: 1 to 8 p.m. throughout Clinton center. The town's major Christmas event, with activities for kids, musical performances, food vendors, and more. For info and a full listing of the day's events, visit

Santa Visits & Holiday Festival: 2 to 4 p.m. Downtown Madison. Features caroling by DHHS Encore, free cocoa and hayrides, storytelling, visits from Santa, and more. Santa arrives at Café Allegra by horse-drawn carriage at 2 p.m. Children can visit Santa from 2 to 4 p.m. For info, visit

Tree Lighting: 2 to 5 p.m. North Haven Town Green. Features Minotti Music, Santa's workshop, cookie decorating, refreshments, face painting, and more.

Westbrook Parade and Tree Lighting: 4 to 6 p.m. Westbrook Town Green. Features ice carving, a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, carol singing, crafts, performances, s'mores, bonfire, refreshments, and more. Free. For info, visit

Saturday, Dec. 9

Deep River Holiday Stroll: 10 a.m. Features winter 5K run. For info, visit

Sunday, Dec. 10

Brunch with Santa: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Water's Edge Resort and Spa, 1525 Boston Post Rd., Westbrook. Visit with Santa and performance by Connecticut Yuletide Carolers from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cost: $38 for adults; $22 for children under 12; free for children under 5. For info, call 860-399-5901 or visit

Sundays, Dec. 10 and Dec. 17

Santa Present Delivery to Your Door in a Firetruck: 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Cost: $25; cash or check. Participants will be contacted with more info when date gets closer. Offered by North Madison Fire and Madison Hose Co. No. 1. For info, visit


Holiday Light Fantasia: Runs Nov. 23 to Jan. 1. Open Sunday to Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. and Friday to Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m. Goodwin Park, 1130 Maple Ave., Hartford. Visit Santa on Fridays from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 5 to 8 p.m. Cost: $15 for cars of up to 10 passengers; $25 for limousines; $50 for mini buses of up to 30 passengers; $100 for full-size buses. For info, visit

Santa's Trolley Winter Wonderland: 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 24, 25, and 26; and Dec. 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, and 17. Shore Line Trolley Museum, 17 River St., East Haven. Last trolley leaves at 7 p.m. Cost: $10 per person. Tickets available online and at the door. For info, visit

Santa Special: Runs Nov. 24 to 26; Dec. 2 to 3; Dec. 9 to 10; Dec. 16 to 17; and Dec. 23. Essex Steam Train and Riverboat, 1 Railroad Ave. Cost: $24 for coach tickets; $40 for first class car. For info, visit

Story Time with Santa and Jewish Storytelling: Sundays, Nov. 26, and Dec. 3, 10, 17, and 24 from 2 to 3 p.m. Claire's Corner Copia, 1000 Chapel St., New Haven. Includes cookies and milk. Selfies with Santa is from 3 to 4 p.m. No Jewish storytelling on Nov. 26. For info, visit


How to Contact Santa

Letters to Santa: Nov. 24 to Dec. 15. Children can write a letter to Santa and he will write a letter in return. Letters can be dropped off in the North Pole Mailbox at the North Haven Recreation Center with a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Letters will not be accepted after Dec. 15.

Holly Day Christmas Faire: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2. Winthrop Baptist Church, 444 Winthrop Rd., Deep River. Features handcrafted ornaments and gifts, Christmas greens, a gingerbread creation contest, baked goods and candies, a Christmas-themed white elephant sale, brief tours and a history discussion about the church, and a small craft for kids and a Santa letter writing station. Lunch will be available. Free. For info, call 860-526-5241 or visit

Letters to Santa: Through Dec. 11. Fill out children's information at Old Saybrook Parks and Recreation, 308 Main St., and they will send it to the North Pole for Santa to write a letter to the child. Cost: $2. Deadline is Dec. 11. For info, visit

Santa Hotline: 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 12 to Thursday, Dec. 14. Branford Recreation Department, 46 Church St. Children can talk to Santa Claus. Free. Space is limited. Early registration encouraged. For info or registration forms, visit

North Pole Hotline: Santa, Mrs. Claus, and Christmas elves will make calls on Wednesday, Dec. 13 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Only first 50 applicants will receive calls. For info or an application, visit

Write to Santa: Letters due by Friday, Dec. 15. Children can write letters to Santa and he will write a personalized letter back. Letters with children's name and address should be sent to: Santa Claus, c/o General Delivery, North Pole, Branford, CT, 06405.

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