For each of the past 37 years, the Mystic Seaport has ushered in the holidays with lantern tours that continue to capture the holiday spirit in Connecticut.
This year’s tour is called “The Nut-Cracker Sweets” and is set on Christmas Eve in 1876. Inspired by The Nutcracker, the play consists of six scenes including a horse-drawn carriage ride, a whimsical tavern dance, a scene aboard a historic vessel, and a visit with old St. Nick himself. Written by local playwright Anna Maria Trusky, the performance is sure to please children and adults alike; gorgeous period costumes, lush scenery, and authentic dialogue will transport you back in time to a simpler version of Christmas.
The tours begin at 5pm and leave every 15 minutes, lasting for a total of 70 minutes. Participants cover about a half mile on foot, over cobblestone, wood planking, grass, and gravel, so comfortable shoes and winter clothing is recommended. Tours are limited to 16 people each to optimize the experience for everyone, so if you’re traveling with a group be sure to buy tickets in advance.
Perfect for a romantic date night or family Christmas fun, the lantern tours are sure to put you and your loved ones in the holiday spirit. Before or after the tour, be sure to stick around and check out the many other attractions that the city offers, including the Mystic Seaport and Aquarium and Olde Mistick Village.
If you’d like to make an overnight or weekend trip out of your visit to Mystic, you can purchase package deals through the Whaler’s Inn. A 2-person package for 1 night begins at $259 and includes a hotel room, lunch, and tickets to the lantern tour; for 2 nights, the price is $449.
When: Performance date from November 25–December 23; Tours begin at 5pm and leave every 15 minutes.
Where: Tours depart from the Sanger Visitors Reception Center, 47 Greenmanville Avenue (Rte. 27), Mystic.
Cost: $32 for adults, $25 for youth (ages 5–17); Children 4 and under receive free admission. The tour is not recommended for children under 4 years old.