Today's Idea
Friday, December 6, 2019

Opening of Christmas by Candlelight

If you’re longing for the holidays the way they were in days of old, you might want to think about visiting Old Sturbridge Village, the largest outdoor history museum in the Northeast, where it’s always the 1830s. Their spectacular Christmas by Candlelight starts December 6.


Old Sturbridge Village goes all out for the holidays, closing up entirely for five days in early December to prepare, then closing until 3 pm on Candlelight days to give full attention to the evening holiday events. The town common is fully decorated for the holidays, there are recreated holiday traditions, readings of classic stories, carolers and regular musical performances, even sleigh rides (if the weather permits.)  This year, there’s an all new Christmas Tree Trail that leads you to a roaring bonfire where you can enjoy cocoa and cookies, with 50 sparkling trees to admire while you’re at it. Did we mention there’s a North Pole Village where kids can meet Santa and his elves? There is – along with plenty else we’re forgetting.


Christmas by Candlelight runs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from December 6-29, 3 to 8 pm (plus one Monday, December 23.) Tickets are $28 for adults, $14 for ages 4-17 (children 3 and under are free). By the way, Old Sturbridge Village is unique in maintaining hotels close to the property – the Old Sturbridge Inn (the romantic 1789 Oliver Wright House, which has 10 rooms) and the Reeder Family Lodges (29 rooms, more spacious and modern.) They’re not the easiest to book in the holiday season, as you would expect, but it’s worth considering – if not for this year, for the next!  


Another by-the-way note for candlelight lovers: the 40th anniversary of Mystic Seaport’s Lantern Light Tours is this year, with 70-minute shows inspired by Dickens’ A Christmas Carol that weave their way through the waterfront village, which is dressed to feel like Christmas, 1876. It’s just as magical as it sounds, but tickets sell fast. Shows are every 15 minutes from 5-8:30 pm on December 6, but the show runs December 7, 13-15, 20-22 as well. For all the details, visit