The E List

An Excruciatingly Opinionated Guide to the Shoreline

November 24, 2014

Holiday Favorites on the Shoreline

Pictured: The Magic of Christmas Palette Tree at The Florence Griswold Museum

There’s nothing like a Holiday Tea or an afternoon spent browsing Maynard’s Christmas Shop (only open from Thanksgiving through Christmas) to get me in the mood for decking the halls!

Here are a few of my favorite things to do on the Shoreline during the holidays:

Holiday Teas:

Florence Griswold Museum Christmastime Teas, Tuesdays thru Saturdays at 3pm. Scones, tea sandwiches and cookies with Miss Florence’s Tea. $35 includes museum admission and 10% off at the Museum Store.

Lyman Allyn Art Museum: celebrate the wonderment of the holiday season at one of their children’s tea parties! Enjoy tea and cupcakes, tour the Catch the Butterflies installation, design and paint your own 3-d butterfly, and complete a scavenger hunt.   $12.00

Bee & Thistle Inn offers Afternoon Tea, Thursday through Saturday, beginning December 4th from 12 – 2:30 for $35. Enjoy savory and sweet goodies and tea of your choice while enjoying the Inn’s over -the-top holiday decor!

Savvy Tea is offering Holiday Afternoon Tea in their new tearoom in Madison, every Saturday through December at 2pm.  $40.00

We always have our The E List Holiday Party over tea at The Bee (below)!


Holiday Shops:

Florence Griswold Museum Shop is all stocked up with ornaments, children’s toys, books, jewelry and gifts for the holidays. This year, visit Crafted by Hand In CT, a handmade market, on 11/29.

Chester Holiday Market: The Chester Farmers’ Market resumes on Sundays during December.

Artistry at the Guilford Art Center – Over 300 fine American crafters, artisans and jewelers are featured at this celebrated annual sale, open through January … Save the date for Jewelry and Champagne on 12/4 from 5 – 8pm. Enjoy a sparkling glass while you shop!

Hillstead Museum: 25 artists and crafters bring their best to this two day sale,  12/6 and 12/7.

Saybrook Country Barn: the holiday shop is a must-stop for the holidays for gifts and trimmings, PLUS if you can’t swag it yourself, the shop offers design services for home or business.

Sparkle at the Lyman Allyn Museum: this lovely holiday boutique features some of my favorite designers and retailers including J. McLaughlin, Three Islands, Trellis Home, Weekend Kitchen, Amelie Michel and more. Preview Party on 12/5, shop all day on 12/6.

Hygienic Art Gallery presents Art = Gift,  11/22 – 1/3. Dozens of local artists’ work for sale at reasonable prices with gift-giving in mind.

Wesleyan Potters Annual Exhibit and Sale:  This is a must-see for ceramics lovers: 11/28 thru 12/14, 10am – 6pm and Friday evenings from 6 – 9pm , with live music and refreshments.


Looking for a little inspiration for decking the halls? Here are some favorite shops for everything from decorations to ribbons to greens.

Saybrook Country Barn is a feast of inspiration for the holidays, with room after room of ornaments, trees, swags, centerpieces, candles and gifts.

Madison Flower Shop, for trees, swags, greenery, centerpieces and an enormous selection of ribbons and ornaments.

R. J. Vickers Herbery, Chester for handmade, one-of-a-kind wreaths, topiary, ribbon and dried herbs and flowers.

Maynards Greenhouse, a fantasy land of fairy dust and holiday trimmings inside, and trees, roping, wreaths and greens outside.



Get in the holiday mood with these upcoming events:

Lantern Light Tours at Mystic Seaport through 12/27

The Nutcracker performed by the Eastern CT Ballet at The Garde, 12/13 and 12/14

Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn at The Goodspeed, through 12/28

The Bells of Dublin Part II, The Carol of the Bells at The Ivoryton, 12/11 – 12/21

A Christmas Carol at the Shubert, 11/28 – 11/30

The Magic of Christmas at Florence Griswold Museum, 12/5 – 1/4

Essex Trees in the Rigging Community Carol Sing and Boat Parade on 11/30

Shubert Holiday Open House, a free day of family fun: arts and crafts, face painting, pictures with Santa, 12/13

George Flynn Classical Concerts presents The Whiffenpoofs on 12/14 in Clinton

A Christmas Carol at The Kate, Old Saybrook on 12/20

Cappella Cantorum Messiah Singalong on 12/21 at The Kate

Breakfast with Santa at Mystic Aquarium, 12/13

Mystic Seaport Community Carol Sing on 12/21

Holiday Carnival at Olde Mistick Village on 12/6

Con Brio Christmas Concerts at Christ The King Church, Old Lyme on 12/12 at 8pm and 12/14 at 3pm


Holiday strolls in Shoreline villages feature Santa visits, sleigh rides, caroling, tree lightings and special events in the shops. Here are some dates:

Niantic on 11/29

Essex  on 12/6

Madison on 12/4

Deep River on 12/6 

Old Saybrook on 12/5

Chester on 12/5

Deep River on 12/6 

Ivoryton Illuminations on 12/6



tags: christmas, holiday events, holiday strolls,

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