Horse Drawn wagon on a snowy day

December 3-5, 10-12, 17-19, 23, and 27-30

Times: The Village is open 3:00 - 8:00 pm on December 3, 5, 10, 12, 27-30; The Village is open 1:00 - 8:00 pm on December 4, 11, 17-19, 23

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Experience old cherished traditions and create new ones as you celebrate the season during Christmas by Candlelight at Old Sturbridge Village! Explore the beautifully decorated Village, stroll through the peaceful Christmas Tree Trail, watch demonstrations of classic Christmas projects, enjoy live music and storytelling, and so much more.

Please review our COVID-19 Safety Policies here before your visit.

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Highlights include:

Take in the Sights of Christmas

Enjoy the sights of Christmas throughout the Village as you explore our 200-acre campus decorated for the season. Wander down the Christmas Tree Trail and through the Christmas Wish Bridge. Take a ride on the horse-drawn carry-all. Enjoy a nightly tree lighting ceremony. View an intricate 500+ piece miniature nativity scene and a model train display. Warm up by the bonfire. Visit with Santa Claus. You can even see recreated Christmas decor from the 1830s, 1850s, and 1870s in the Salem Towne House! There’s Christmas magic at every corner!

See Holiday Traditions Recreated

Watch demonstrations of classic Christmas projects like making woolen ornaments, knitting Christmas stockings, making marzipan, Christmas baking, punching tin lanterns, making pottery, and more!  Several simple take-home craft kits will be available to pick up during the program and directions for some other DIY projects and recipes will be posted online at a later date. You can also see hearth cooking in the Bixby House where they will be preparing the Cratchit Christmas dinner!

A woman cooks a Christmas dinner by candlelight

Enjoy Stories and Live Music

Every night of Christmas by Candlelight, listen to live festive music by both costumed interpreters and outside guests. More details will be available at a later date. Catch a magic show with Magician Bob Olson. Enjoy readings of classic stories such as The Night Before ChristmasRudolph the Red-Nosed ReindeerHow 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.”

Explore the History of Christmas Traditions

The holiday traditions that so many cherish today were once unknown to New Englanders. In fact, most early 19th-century rural New Englanders did not celebrate Christmas. Despite the rarity of Christmas celebrations in early 19th-century New England, some traditions began to take hold as the century progressed. Most of today’s traditional carols date to the 19th century. While many cultures worldwide have had a figure that resembles the modern Santa Claus, many date the current American version to 1823 when a New York newspaper included a poem called “A Visit from Saint Nicholas.” Though Christmas trees have a complex backstory, they grew in popularity in the English-speaking world after 1841, when England’s Queen Victoria and Prince Albert put up a Christmas tree. Learn more about the history behind these and many other cherished holiday traditions as you explore the Village.

An 1870s Christmas dining room setup

Gingerbread House Contest

The Gingerbread House Contest is an annual tradition 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 and visitors vote for the “Best in Show.”

A virtual Gingerbread House Exhibit will also be up soon!

You can also view the Virtual 2020 Gingerbread House Contest for some creative inspiration here.

Holiday Shopping

Find unique souvenirs, gifts, and more at the Village during Christmas by Candlelight! Be sure to stop by the Miner Grant Store or the Holiday Market and Café for an assortment of Village-made redware pottery and tin products, Christmas decor, craft kits, and so much more. Plus, save the date for the following special shopping events:

Members-Only Double Discount Days | December 3rd-5th | Learn more here.

Hector Fox and the Giant Quest Book Signing | December 17th and 18th | 5:30 – 7:30 pm | Learn more here.

Village-made tinware

Food & Drink

A variety of snacks, sweet treats, meals, and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase throughout the Village campus. The Bullard Tavern Indoor Cafe area will feature satisfying favorites like Yankee Pot Roast, turkey with stuffing, baked mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, salads, and desserts. The Bullard outside concession will have hearty soups and stews, a couple of hot sandwich options, and a variety of hot and cold, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Snacks, sweet treats (including our famous cookies!), and beverages will also be available near the Blacksmith Shop and in the Village Cafe before you enter the Village. Be sure to check out our specialty holiday cocktails, the Grinch (Midori, Vodka, Pineapple Juice, Sour Mix) or Santa’s Sleigh (Whiskey, Vermouth, Grenadine, Pomegranate Syrup)!

Please note, we check IDs for ALL guests who wish to purchase alcoholic beverages, so please bring a valid, government-issued photo ID with you!

Christmas DIY Crafts & Receipts (Recipes)

Check Out Projects You Can Do At Home!

Purchase Tickets

A large lit Christmas Tree outside the Center Meetinghouse at duskTickets must be purchased in advance for this popular program! Please note that discounts that apply to standard daytime admission do NOT apply to Christmas by Candlelight.

Pricing November 27 – December 30 (All Early Bird Discounts Ended)
Adult: $28
Youth (4-17): $14
Children 3 and under: FREE

To purchase tickets, click on your preferred date below. If you have questions not answered in the FAQ below, please email visitorcenter@osv.org.

Friday, December 3, 2021 | 3:00 - 8:00 pm

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Saturday, December 4, 2021 | 1:00 - 8:00 pm | SOLD OUT

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Click here to purchase tickets for the 1:00 arrival block SOLD OUT

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Sunday, December 5, 2021 | 3:00 - 8:00 pm

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Click here to purchase tickets for the 3:00 arrival block SOLD OUT

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Friday, December 10, 2021 | 3:00 - 8:00 pm

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Saturday, December 11, 2021 | 1:00 - 8:00 pm | SOLD OUT

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Click here to purchase tickets for the 1:00 arrival block SOLD OUT

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Sunday, December 12, 2021 | 3:00 - 8:00 pm

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Friday, December 17, 2021 | 1:00 - 8:00 pm

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Saturday, December 18, 2021 | 1:00 - 8:00 pm | SOLD OUT

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Click here to purchase tickets for the 1:00 arrival block SOLD OUT

Click here to purchase tickets for the 2:00 arrival block SOLD OUT

Click here to purchase tickets for the 3:00 arrival block SOLD OUT

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Sunday, December 19, 2021 | 1:00 - 8:00 pm

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Thursday, December 23, 2021 | 1:00 - 8:00 pm

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Monday, December 27, 2021 | 3:00 - 8:00 pm

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Tuesday, December 28, 2021 | 3:00 - 8:00 pm

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Wednesday, December 29, 2021 | 3:00 - 8:00 pm

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Thursday, December 30, 2021 | 3:00 - 8:00 pm

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COVID-19 Safety Policies:

  • As a site that welcomes visitors of all ages—including many children—and encourages conversation with our costumed interpreters, we ask all visitors to follow our current mask policy:
    • Masks are required in all indoor spaces.
    • Masks are optional outdoors. Please consider putting on a mask when you are close to staff or other visitors.
  • Hand sanitizing stations are available upon entry and exit of the Visitor Center as well as throughout the grounds.
  • Old Sturbridge Village cannot loan strollers to visitors at this time. Wheelchairs are still available for loan on a first-come-first-served basis.
  • Please read the signs posted which will indicate one-way traffic and other helpful reminders.

Please note that Village programming and COVID-19 policies are subject to change without notice as the situation demands. Old Sturbridge Village is committed to providing a safe environment and asks for your help in making this a great experience for everyone.


Frequently Asked Questions

A costumed historian wearing a mask making marzipan

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, Instagram, and the main website (on this page and the homepage). Ticket purchasers will also receive an email message. Every attempt will be made to reschedule you for a future date.

Are there any discounts for Christmas by Candlelight tickets?

Discounts that apply to standard daytime admission do NOT apply to Christmas by Candlelight. The only discounts on Christmas by Candlelight tickets are the early-bird discounts.

November 2 – 8 (Members Exclusive – Members SAVE 20%!)
Member Adult: $22.40
Member Youth (4-17): $11.20
Not a member? Join today

November 9 – 26 (Non-Members SAVE 10%! Members SAVE 20%)
Non-member Adult: $25.20
Non-member Youth (4-17): $12.60
Member Adult: $22.40
Member Youth (4-17): $11.20

November 27 – December 30 (All Discounts Ended)
Adult: $28
Youth (4-17): $14
Children 3 and under: FREE

What food options will be available during Christmas by Candlelight?

A variety of food and beverage options will be available for purchase throughout the Village campus.

Please note, we check IDs for ALL guests who wish to purchase alcoholic beverages, so please bring a valid, government-issued photo ID with you! Menus are subject to change due to ingredient availability. 

Bullard Tavern Cafe (Indoors)

Bullard Tavern Outside Concession Stand

Blacksmith Hut Concession Stand

You can also stop by the Holiday Market and Café outside the Visitor Center for a variety of hot and cold beverages and sweet treats!

Where do I park?

Free parking is available in the main parking lot at Old Sturbridge Village. If using a GPS to get to the Village, please use the address “29 Stallion Hill Road” in Sturbridge, MA.

What if I or a member of my party becomes ill and cannot visit on the day we intended?

Please stay home if you, or someone in your party, is ill. If you are unable to visit on the day you purchased your ticket for, you may email visitorcenter@osv.org or call 508-347-0213 to reschedule your ticket. Rescheduling is subject to availability. Tickets are nonrefundable.

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 or visitorcenter@osv.org.

What should I wear?

Please dress appropriately for the weather. We also suggest wearing comfortable shoes, as there is plenty of walking.

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 2021.

Are dogs allowed?

While service dogs are always permitted, pets are not allowed.

What is the Village's policy regarding photography?

Photography in Old Sturbridge Village is permitted for personal use only. Tripods and selfie-sticks are not permitted.

Please note that visitors may be photographed, videotaped, or otherwise recorded while in the museum. While in the Village, you grant the museum permission to use photographs and/or audiovisual recordings in which you appear for archival, documentary, publicity, advertising, or other purposes.

Is there anything else I should know before visiting for the first time?

Old Sturbridge Village is an outdoor, living history museum and learning resource that invites all visitors to find meaning, pleasure, relevance, and inspiration in the exploration of New England’s past. It is a nonprofit, educational museum that is open year-round. The centerpiece of the museum is a re-created rural New England town of the 1830s set on more than 200 acres of historical landscape, encompassing a Center Village, Mills Area, and Countryside.

When you visit Old Sturbridge Village, you will see costumed historians (sometimes called “interpreters”) throughout the Village, working in trade shops, on the farm, or cooking in front of a fire. Even though they wear clothing like people wore in the 1830s, they are just like you, but they know a lot about New England history. They are not acting as a character or pretending to be a person from the past. They speak in the present tense and can help you compare life in the 1800s to life in the 21st century. Don’t be afraid to ask them lots of questions! They will help to enrich your experience of the past.

During Christmas by Candlelight, our costumed historians do things that are very different from the activities they do throughout the rest of the year – but there are still demonstrations of activities like tin work, hearth cooking, pottery, and more. While early 19th-century New Englanders typically did not celebrate Christmas, our costumed historians know a lot about the evolution of Christmas celebrations in this region.

Is lodging available?

The Old Sturbridge Inn & Reeder Family Lodges are closed at this time. There are many other delightful accommodations in Sturbridge and the surrounding area that we hope you will check out, including three that are also business partners of Old Sturbridge Village:

View of the Common and meetinghouse in winter