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    in New Haven On a Tight Budget

How to Have a Fabulous Holiday Season
in New Haven On a Tight Budget


New Haven is bustling with excitement and activity this holiday season. With so much to do and see over the next few weeks, you’ll have plenty to keep you busy – and in budget. Music, food, lights, and more, there’s something for everyone in the Elm City.

If you’re ready to get your holiday spirit on, here are plenty of ideas to put on your radar:

holiday season in new haven

Fantasy of Lights

The Fantasy of Lights is a New Haven tradition at Lighthouse Point Park and would be a favorite of Clark Griswold! The park is full of festive holiday lights to view as you drive through the park. 2022 marks the 28th year of this light extravaganza that benefits Goodwill of Southern New England. It’s open through December 31st. Check out information on hours and admission on their website.

Holiday Extravaganza at The Lyman Center

The New Haven Symphony Orchestra is getting ready for the Holiday Extravaganza at The Lyman Center on the Southern Connecticut State University campus. This year the traditional event includes guests from the Fairfield County Children’s Choir and holiday music from The Nutcracker, Polar Express, The Grinch, Twas the Night Before Christmas, and Home Alone, along with classic carols like Stille Nacht and Deck the Halls.

Alasdair Neale is the conductor and music director and Myles Trip will serve as narrator. Ticket prices range from $15-$69 and kids under 18 are free with the purchase of an adult ticket.

fantasy of lights new haven

Shared Holiday Party

Looking to have a holiday party but don’t want to deal with prep and mess in your apartment? The Shared Holiday Party at Amarante’s Sea Cliff is the perfect solution. The festivities kick off at 6:30 p.m. on December 15th. Grab a group of friends and head to Amarante’s for food, drinks, and entertainment. It’s a great way to get together without dealing with the holiday hassles. For more information on menus and booking, go to their website.

Storytelling and Selfies with Santa & Mrs. Claus

Who doesn’t want to hear a story and get a selfie with Santa and Mrs. Claus? Head down to The Shops at Yale to hear stories and take some pictures. Events are coming up on Saturday, December 17th from 1-3 pm at Claire’s Corner Copia on Chapel Street and on December 18th from 1-3 p.m. at Barnes & Noble/The Yale Bookstore on Broadway. The event is free and even includes snacks! It doesn’t get much better than that!

Storytelling and Selfies with Santa & Mrs. Claus

Chapel Street Ice Carving Demonstrations

Have you ever seen a professional ice carver at work? Head down to Chapel Street’s Historic District on December 17th from 1-3 p.m. to check it out. Demonstrations will be taking place in front of Uni-Home Life. The week’s project is a reindeer, so don’t miss it!

Strolling Connecticut Yuletide Carolers

It’s not Christmas time without some carolers. Festive carolers will be performing in the Broadway and Chapel Historic Districts. Head down to the Chapel Street Historic District on December 17th between 12-3 p.m. and the Broadway Shopping District on December 18th between 12-3pm as well. There will be plenty of great holiday music and some great photo ops too!

Chapel Street Ice Carving Demonstrations

Elm City Big Band Holiday Show

Check out the Elm City Big Band Holiday Show on December 23rd at 9 p.m. at Cafe Nine. The Elm City Big Band is a 17-piece jazz group that is made up of some of Connecticut’s top jazz musicians and music educators. Hear instrumentals and songs from the jazz era through today. Tickets for the event are $20. 

Ring in the New Year with They Might be Giants

New Year’s Eve will be rockin’ at The College Street Music Hall with They Might be Giants. Hear the band’s greatest hits plus some surprises! The concert kicks off at 9 p.m. Ticket prices range from $45-$55. For more info, check out their website.

There really is something for everyone! Where are we going to meet you this season? Happy Holidays!

elm city big band holiday show