150 Church Street, Torrington, CT
2017 Update: Open from December 10 – 23, 2017 from 1 – 8:30 PM; December 24, 2017 from 9 AM – 12 PM
Christmas is only a few days away but there is still time to visit Santa, Mrs. Claus and their reindeer at the Christmas Village in Torrington, CT. This FREE family-friendly holiday activity made the list of 50 holiday activities for families in CT. The Christmas Village has been a holiday tradition for generations.
Santa’s Christmas Village has been on my radar as a CT holiday activity since the twins’ first Christmas three years ago. With my husband off from work all week, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to finally check this place out.
The gates open at 1 pm and we were there on time (a small miracle for my family!). My intention was to get there when the gates opened to cut down on our wait time. Apparently everyone else also had the same idea because there was a significant line when we arrived. We ended up waiting in line for 2+ hours to see Santa.
TIP: The line is only to visit with Santa. If you choose to skip the line, you can head toward the back of the building to meet Mrs. Claus, see the toy shop, and reindeer with no wait time. You would just be skipping Santa.
While in line, I spoke to the Torrington police officer who was the security for the event. She said that the first person in line that day arrived at 11 am, so they still ended up waiting 2 hours. She also said that the line can extend much further down the road and it can be a wait time of up to 4 hours.
TIP: Try going a few weeks before Christmas or at an off time. I heard a friend who only waited 20 minutes around dinner time two weeks before Christmas.
There is free hot chocolate available (donations are welcome) and a fire pit to keep you warm while in line. It wasn’t terribly cold the day we went, but Chris still brought the girls back to the car (while I stayed in line) for a few minutes to warm up. Otherwise the girls just played along the side and kept warm running around.
TIP: Be prepared for the cold and bored kids! Bring along blankets, hand warmers, snacks, and entertainment. I even saw a few kids bundled up with their snow pants! I thought that was a great idea.
They grouped people in parties around 15 people to go in and see Santa. Ironically, Mandy from Out and About Mom was in our group.
When it was our turn to move ahead we had to lift the stroller up a few steps. We then waited a few minutes in a waiting area before seeing Santa. While in that area I had to take Andrew out of his stroller since strollers weren’t allowed in Santa’s den.
Santa’s den was exactly as you would imagine it. It had a roaring fire, a giant Christmas tree with presents underneath, and a jolly Santa in the corner. The room was lined in toys and sparkly garland.
We have already seen Santa this season at the Frozen Ice Palace but I was really excited to get a picture of Santa holding Andrew in his new elf costume. I’ll do anything for a perfect picture!
I knew that the girls would be too scared to sit on Santa’s lap so I didn’t push it. Kindly Santa gave each child a toy. They all got a stuffed Beanie Baby, but I also saw Barbie’s, Wiffle Bats/Balls, and basketball hoops.
After visiting with Santa we went to see Mrs. Claus who gave each child a candy cane. We stopped to take a picture with her too.
We picked up our stroller (that was moved outside) before heading over to the toy shop. Inside there were two elves busy making toys. This room was covered in toys. It even had a small train that immediately grabbed everyone’s attention. My girls loved this room so much that we looped in and out three times!
Outside there were several different displays including a nativity scene, carolers, and a sleigh.
No Christmas Village would be complete without live reindeer. I had no idea that Rudolph was a white reindeer!
On our way out we noticed a group of students had gathered to play Christmas music for the crowd still waiting to visit Santa.
We had a wonderful time at the Santa Claus Christmas Village. I can see why, despite the wait, families return to see Santa year after year.
Our adventure in Torrrington was not over yet. We decided to do a little last minute Christmas shopping before heading over to The Christmas House (258 Main Street Torrington, CT). The Christmas House is an incredible sight. It is a house covered in Christmas lights and even has an indoor display that includes over 500 animated dolls, a Christmas village, and trains.
We parked the car in a nearby parking lot and got out to see the light display. We weren’t able to go inside because we had the stroller and it had already been a long day. We did get to enjoy the lights on the outside of house.
Torrington, CT has two great Christmas activities to enjoy. I’m so glad that we went to visit the Santa Claus Christmas Village and The Christmas House.