Holiday Traditions Come to Life at Christmas by Candlelight

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Old Sturbridge Village’s annual holiday celebration features festive musical performances, family activities and food:

Evenings December 5-7, 12-14, and 19-21

Like a Christmas card come to life, holiday decorations and twinkling lights will transform the recreated 19th-century New England village into a winter wonderland for Old Sturbridge Village’s highly anticipated Christmas by Candlelight.  Now in its 12th year, Christmas by Candlelight has become a tradition for thousands of families and couples from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and even New York.

This year guests can stroll through the decorated, historic village; listen to carolers and local choirs sing Christmas classics; take a horse-drawn winter sleigh ride (weather permitting); enjoy the warmth from a crackling bonfire and fireplaces; and even visit with Old Saint Nick.  On Friday and Saturday nights, guests are invited to make reservations and enjoy a holiday dinner in the Oliver Wight Tavern (additional cost).

Christmas by Candlelight – sponsored this year by Fallon Health – will take place from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings Dec. 5-7, 12-14 and 19-21. The Museum Gift Shop and Oliver Wight Tavern will be open for holiday shopping and dining during Christmas by Candlelight. Admission to Christmas by Candlelight is $15 for adults and children and $13 for Old Sturbridge Village members. Tickets may be purchased in advance with reduced admission for Friday and Sunday evenings available online through Nov. 29. For details, advance tickets and dinner reservations, visit

“Old Sturbridge Village continues to bring people together for unique, hands-on experiences that enrich our perspectives on life and holiday tradition,” said Patrick Hughes, President and CEO of Fallon Health. “As a community-focused organization, the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful, family-fun tradition is particularly meaningful to us, and just one small way that we can show our gratitude for the outstanding support we’ve received over the years from the community.”

Christmas by Candlelight is an escape from the frenzy of the modern Christmas season, giving guests a chance to enjoy the old-fashioned spirit of the holidays and learn just how today’s favorite traditions first began. Young and old will learn the origins of the Christmas tree, mistletoe, Yule logs and poinsettias from the Village’s costumed historians. Guests can also make Christmas keepsakes while learning about the history of Christmas cards, and craft a tin ornament while learning how Christmas tree decorations came to be.

Christmas by Candlelight musical performances will include a wide range of professional, student and community musicians including Full Gael Celtic Christmas, Worcester Men of Song, Quintebrass, Boston Jazz Voices, Geoff Brown and Tev Stevig Acoustic Christmas, Northampton Woodwind Quartet, Jacques Ave Five, Vocal Revolution, Treblesome, Eva and Dave Brown, Broadmoor Chamber Singers, Elm Street Handbells, the Old Sturbridge Village Singers, and a number of town bands and regional fife and drum corps. Student musicians from Worcester State University and a number of area high schools will also perform. A schedule of guest performers is below, but for up-to-date information go to

Christmas by Candlelight activities for kids include Punch and Judy puppet shows; holiday readings from Christmas classics including ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer and How the Grinch Stole Christmas; the Bob Olson’s Holiday Magic Show; and of course, sharing holiday wish lists with Santa Claus.

Returning this year is the annual Gingerbread House Contest – where visitors can vote for their favorites among dozens of hand-crafted entries – a model train display, a miniature New England Christmas village, and a must-see nativity.

About Old Sturbridge Village
Old Sturbridge Village, the largest outdoor history museum in the Northeast, depicts a rural New England town of the 1830s.  Each year, more than 250,000 visitors interact with costumed historians, experience up-close demonstrations of early American trades, and meet heritage breed farm animals.  Situated on 250 scenic acres, the Village includes more than 40 historic buildings – including homes, meetinghouses, trade shops, working farms and three water-powered mills – restaurants, shops and the Old Sturbridge Inn and Reeder Family Lodges.

Located just off the Massachusetts Turnpike and Routes I-84 and 20 in Sturbridge, Mass., Old Sturbridge Village is open year-round, but days and hours vary seasonally. Beginning December 2 through December 25, the Village will be closed during the day, and instead will be open for Christmas by Candlelight on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m. Dec. 5-7, Dec. 12-14 and Dec. 19-21.

The Village will return to a daytime schedule for its popular school vacation week activities Dec. 26, 2014 through Jan. 4, 2015.  Daily admission during this week is: $24 for adults; $22 for seniors; $8 for children ages 3-17; and children 2 and under are admitted free. Each admission includes free parking and a free second-day visit within 10 days. For details, visit or call 800-SEE-1830.

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