How to Spot Santa & other free holiday events in town!

How to Spot Santa & other free holiday events in town!

We are so lucky to live in an area with an abundance of holiday spirit. And given our unique seaside location, we get some amazing nautical twists on our holiday events. Like what, you might ask? How about Santa arriving by tugboat or a tree made entirely out of lobster traps. Read on for a list of some of our favorite holiday activities to do with kids in Stonington, Mystic, & Westerly.

The big favorite for many families is watching Santa arrive to Mystic River Park by tugboat the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I mean, who needs a sleigh when you’ve got the coolest ride in town??? This year Santa will arrive Saturday, November 26 at 2:00 pm in downtown Mystic at Mystic River Park. But the fun doesn’t stop there. Grab an early dinner or do some holiday shopping, and return to the park at 6:00 pm for the lighting of the Christmas tree. Immediately following the tree lighting is the annual Lighted Boat Parade starting at 6:15pm. If you haven’t watched the parade before, you’re in for a treat. Dozens of boats will travel the Mystic River decked out in lights and other holiday decorations to the delight of spectators lining both sides of the Mystic River. The decorated boats are judged and prizes are awarded in multiple categories.

A newer event to our area, which made a huge splash last year, is the Lobster Trap Tree at Stonington Town Docks in the borough (see pics above). Promising to be bigger and better than last year, the tree made national and international news and drew crowds from all over. This year the tree will be decorated with lights and 420 lobster buoys painted by local artists, schoolchildren, our local fishing fleet, and more. The Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place on Saturday, November 26th at 4:30pm. And with Bluebird Day just 2 blocks away, we will be open until 6:00pm so you can conveniently shop before or after they light her up! It’s Small Business Saturday so you will find sales and specials at many of the shops and restaurants along Water Street and a great way to support local businesses this holiday season. Following the lighting ceremony, the Lobster Trap Tree will be open for viewing and pictures from dawn until 9:30pm daily through early January.

Can’t make the Lobster Trap Tree Lighting? Then come down Friday, December 2nd for the Holiday Stroll and Tree Lighting in Stonington Borough. Santa and his carolers will help light the tree in Library Square at 5:30pm, then stroll down Water Street to visit the stores that will be open late for shoppers. Check out the decked out windows that are competing in the Borough-A-Glow competition for best decorated window. Stop at Bluebird Day for our “Letter to Santa” station and sweet treats for the kiddos! Then grab dinner at one of our fabulous local restaurants.

Need even more festive outdoor fun? Visit the Olde Mistick Village and neighboring Mystic Aquarium on Friday, December 9th for the Festival of Lights from 4:00-9:00pm. Walk the grounds illuminated by glowing luminarias and take pictures with their lighted decorations scattered though out the village. Or head to Downtown Westerly for their Light Parade on Sunday, December 11th at 6:00pm. With so many amazing ways to get outdoors and enjoy the holiday season it’s hard to pick just one.

All of these outdoor events can be chilly for your little ones. At Bluebird Day we’ve got just the right cozy jackets and beanies to keep you kiddos warm and stylish while they celebrate the season. A few favorites from Rylee + Cru include the Quilted Longline Jacket for girls, the Long Quilted Coat in Navy for boys, or go for the unisex styling of the Shearling Chore Jacket in Dusty Blue. Although, my son’s favorite that he won’t stop wearing is the super cool BX Bomber from Appaman. Part hoodie, part bomber jacket, and totally cozy! We’ve also got great hats in stock from Rylee + Cru, Appaman, Tiny Whales and more. I’m partial to the Tiny Whales Beanies, especially in the Camp Print for boys or girls. Or for true over the top style, try the a Beret in Soft Rose for the little fashionista in your life!

Upcoming Events:

Santa arrives by Tugboat – Mystic River Park – Saturday, November 26th @ 2:00pm

Lobster Trap Tree Lighting – Stonington Town Docks – Saturday, November 26th @ 4:30pm

Lighted Boat Parade – Downtown Mystic – Saturday, November 26th @ 6:00pm

Stonington Borough Holiday Stroll – Friday, December 2nd @ 5:30pm

Festival of Lights – Olde Mistick Village & Mystic Aquarium – Friday, December 9th 4:00-9:00pm

Westerly Light Parade – Downtown Westerly, RI – Sunday, December 11th 6:00pm