Mystic Has Cheer to Spare

Mystic made Time’s Top 10 list of places to find the most holiday cheer

If you’re not feeling a whole lot of holiday cheer yet, or you are just looking for more, head to Mystic.

The seaside town made Time’s Top 10 list of places to find the most holiday cheer. Mystic is the second place with the most holiday cheer in the country, according to the magazine.

Why? The annual Lantern Light Tours, where you get to travel back in time to Christmas Eve 1876 in a moving play led by actors in period attire. It’s like a trip back in time to Dickens’ era, without the really bad air and typhoid fever.  

The tours run mostly Thursday through Sundays, starting at 5 p.m. and leaving every 15 minutes. This year, guests are asked to bring a donation of a non-perishable food item.

If you are hungry, you can finish the night with the 1876 Lantern Light Dinner Special at Seamen’s Inn.

Mystic is the only Connecticut town to make a list but two more in the region exude holiday spirit, or are decorated to feel that way.

Newport, R.I., with its multitude of mansions, is number 8.

New York made the cut at number 10. Is there any doubt why? Watch any Christmas movie and your likely to see the tree in Rockefeller Center, FAO Schwartz, the displays on 5th Avenue or any number of other very festive stuff in the city.

Number 1 is Leavenworth, Washington because of its version of a Bavarian village. It looks pretty, but that’s too far away for gingerbread and cocoa.     

We asked for your suggestions on festive places and Giulia Gouge, of the Greater New Haven Convention and Visitors Bureau, pointed out that New Haven is a pretty good place to be for the holidays too.  

The city stays open for Late Night Thursdays and the shops and cafes have joined the Yale Center for British Art, the Yale Art Gallery, the Creative Arts Workshop, Artspace and other galleries to offer extended hours each Thursday through Christmas, Gouge said.

Then, there is the taste of the holidays - roasted peanuts and fresh popcorn.

There are theaters showing classics and modern day interpretations. To get around, hop on the New Haven Trolley Line. Keep an eye open for Santa – he’ll make a few trolley loops around the Green.

New Haven would make our list of the state’s most festive places.

Are there more festive places in the state?  Let us know at

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