December 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 23, 27, 28, 29, and 30, 2020
Times: Open 3:00 - 8:00 pm. In order to focus on the evening holiday events, Old Sturbridge Village will be closed during the day all of December 2020
Cost: Check back in October for Details
In the Village
Christmas by Candlelight at Old Sturbridge Village is an evening filled with New England holiday traditions, live musical performances, storytelling, horse-drawn rides, a roaring bonfire, and strolls around the decorated Village Common. Do not miss the nightly tree lighting and the ever-popular gingerbread house contest!
Take a few moments away from the hustle and bustle of the activities surrounding the common to stroll the Christmas Tree Trail and to reflect on the holiday season. Out on the trail, you’ll enjoy a roaring bonfire, cocoa and cookies, music, and of course, 50 sparkling trees. At the end of the trail, write a special Christmas Wish at our Christmas Wish Bridge! You will make heart-warming holiday memories with your friends and family.
Highlights of Christmas by Candlelight Include:
Old Sturbridge Village's town common decorated for the holidays
The Village Common and the buildings around it are transformed into a magical, picturesque nod to Christmases past. Decorations feature twinkling lights, glowing candles, fresh evergreen garlands and wreaths, and a 40 foot Village Christmas tree. Rooms in the Salem Towne House show Christmas decorations like that of the 1830s, 1850s, and 1870s. The Parsonage decorations are inspired by A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Explore these buildings and more during your visit.
Music is a key part of the holiday season. Throughout Christmas by Candlelight, Victorian carolers will stroll around the Village Common singing traditional carols and guest choirs and bands will perform in the Center Meetinghouse.
Check back at a later date for a list of 2020 acts!
North Pole Village
Gallery Row at Old Sturbridge Village will be transformed into North Pole Village, a place of bustling activities for adults and kids alike!
- Stroll through a giant The Night Before Christmas storybook – illustrated by Charles Santore – as you make your way to meet Santa and his elves
- Meet Tinsel the Talking Christmas Tree
- View the expanded model train display constructed by the Worcester Model Railroaders. This year, the display will feature some trains from the movie Joy.
- Warm up and indulge your sweet tooth at the Bake Shop. Purchase Christmas cookies, hot cider, hot chocolate, and other sweets.
- For an additional fee, dip a Christmas candle
The miniature nativity is a favorite Christmas by Candlelight tradition. The intrinsic details are an awe-inspiring and moving sight to see for both children and adults alike. The nativity scene displayed at Christmas by Candlelight depicts the different parts of the Biblical narrative, all the way from the annunciation to the shepherds watching their flocks by night. The scene is a unique hybrid of an Italianate motif and early 19th-century New England themes. The current display has well over 500 individual pieces made out of carved and painted Styrofoam. You can view this spectacular scene in the Friends Meeting House during Christmas by Candlelight at Old Sturbridge Village
To learn more about how the nativity scene came to Christmas by Candlelight, click here.
Holiday Traditions Recreated
Learn about cherished holiday traditions, including roasting chestnuts, yule logs, mistletoe, and more! Also, be sure to check out demonstrations of period holiday baking and cider mulling, as well as tin-making, pottery, and 19th-century printing.
A Roaring Bonfire
Warm up and relax by the large bonfire on the center common. Carolers will periodically sing favorite carols nearby.
Gingerbread House Contest
The annual Gingerbread House Contest is one of the most popular events at Christmas by Candlelight! Create and register your own gingerbread house in one of several categories or simply view the creative handiwork of others when you visit the Village during Christmas by Candlelight. Judges pick the category winners (see below) and visitors vote for the “Best in Show.”
2019 Category Winners:
Best in Show Winner:
Check back in October to register for the 2020 contest!
Readings of Classic Stories
Enjoy readings of classic stories such as The Night Before Christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and A Visit from Saint Nicholas. There will also be readings of “The Nativity Gospel of Saint Luke” and “The Nativity Gospel of Saint Matthew.”
Wagon or Sleigh rides (weather permitting)
Enjoy a horse-drawn wagon or sleigh ride (depending on the weather) around the Village Common.
Check back in October for details about Christmas by Candlelight 2020!
$28 for adults, $14 for youth ages 4-17 (children 3 and under are free). Discounts that apply to Standard Daytime Admission to NOT apply to Christmas by Candlelight.
Groups of 30 or more adults can take advantage of the group rate of $20/person.
Groups must book in advance through our Sales Team by contacting 508-347-0290, 800-733-1830, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if it snows?
Old Sturbridge Village rarely closes due to weather but if a snow storm does hit and makes travel hazardous, the Village will close for however long as necessary. Any notice of the museum closing due to weather will be posted on the Old Sturbridge Village Facebook page, Twitter, and the main website (on this page and the homepage). If you cannot attend on the date you originally intended on visiting, you may apply your ticket to a later date.
Standard tickets are good for any one of the following 2019 dates: December 6, 8, 13, 15, 20, 22, 27, or 29. In other words, they can be used any one Friday or Sunday of Christmas by Candlelight.
Prime tickets are good for any one date of Christmas by Candlelight, 2019: December 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28 or 29
If you have pre-purchased standard tickets at the early-bird rates but are ultimately only able to come on a Saturday night, you will need to pay the difference in price upon arrival. No exceptions will be made and the difference will be based on the price of purchasing tickets for a Saturday night ticket at the door.
Are there discounts for Christmas by Candlelight tickets?
As they say, the early bird gets the worm! We offer an early bird discount on standard tickets each year. Check back in October for details.
Discounts that apply to daytime museum admission do NOT apply to Christmas by Candlelight.
What food options will be available during Christmas by Candlelight?
Old Sturbridge Village offers both full-meal dining experiences and opportunities to purchase sweets, warm drinks, and other snacks during Christmas by Candlelight. Check back in October for more details!
Where do I park?
Free parking is available in the main parking lot at Old Sturbridge Village.
Who should I contact if someone in my party has special needs or a question?
Contact Old Sturbridge Village’s Visitor Center at 800-733-1830.
What should I wear?
While many Christmas by Candlelight activities take place indoors, there is plenty of walking outside between buildings. We suggest dressing in layers appropriate for the weather.
Is Old Sturbridge Village open during the day?
In order to focus on the evening holiday events, Old Sturbridge Village will be closed during the day in December 2020.
Who should I contact if I have a question that isn't listed here?
You can email the general information email at email@example.com
What time do particular performances and events happen during Christmas by Candlelight?
Check back at a later date to download date-specific map guides with performance/activity schedules.
Old Sturbridge Village offers two sit down dining experiences during Christmas by Candlelight. Reservations are required.
Christmas by Candlelight attendees can also purchase sweets, warm drinks, and other snacks at designated locations in the Village.
A Brunch with Santa is also available on select Sundays in December. Reservations are required.
Check back in October for more details!
Consider extending your stay after attending Christmas by Candlelight and enjoy a restful night’s stay at the Old Sturbridge Inn & Reeder Family Lodges – recipient of Trip Advisor’s 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018 Certificate of Excellence Award.