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Holiday Lights at Lake Compounce in Connecticut

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6 years ago, we decided to spend Christmas at home in Connecticut. Just Jason, me and the kids. If you have followed this blog at all, I’m sure you have gathered that I have a very large family, so the choice to spend Christmas at home was a new one. It terrified me at first, but Jason was really wanting a quieter holiday. (I never want a quiet day ever!) So I made up my mind that we were going to have the best Christmas ever and soak up every morsel of fun to be had.

Our first foray into Christmas in Connecticut, was to take the kids to Lake Compounce for their Holiday Lights event. Lake Compounce is the oldest, continuously operating amusement park in the United States. Holiday Lights is an event that takes place on the weekends in December featuring thousands of lights, Christmas music, 14 rides, cookie decorating, craft making, Santa, and lots of places to warm up. My kids loved it so much it has become a regular December activity.

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Buy tickets here

This attraction is definitely geared toward younger kids. Most of the rides available are in the kiddie section. However, there are plenty of things to keep older kids busy and happy.

Train ride-

This is always our first stop of the night, because lines get long later. The train ride is a 15 minute loop around the water park. There are lights and lighted figures all along the route. Christmas music plays through the speakers, and the wind makes your cheeks rosy!

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14 rides are open for Holiday Lights. Most are located in the kiddie area but you will find the carousel open. Kids older than 9 or 10 will also enjoy the bumper cars and American Flyers.

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Hot chocolate

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When you enter the park you will see signs for commemorative mugs everywhere. We always get one for every family member because it entitles you to unlimited hot chocolate through the evening. My boys go through 5-7 cups each and they compete with each other to see who can drink the most!

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Balloon animals

The same balloon artist comes every year, and is one of the best I have ever seen. You will find the line for balloon animals in the cafe. You can grab a bite to eat and warm up while your kids stand in line. The line moves fairly quickly, and it is well worth the time.


Santa comes to Lake Compounce Holiday Lights every year. This is a great Santa to see, as the line is never too long, and he is a great looking Santa. After your kids see Santa they can decorate cookies in the same buillding.

Light shows

There are two major light shows at Lake Compounce, one is at the entrance and one is by the dinosaur display. Christmas music is played and the lights are coordinated to flash with the music. The enormous tree at the entrance even lights up with the music.

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There are tons of different crafts for kids spread out over the park. Most cost a small fee. My boys especially like making their own snow globes.  Also be on the lookout for letters to Santa and cookie decorating.


Try to find all the 12 days of Christmas lights, you will find a couple on the train ride, but the rest are spread throughout the park.

It does get cold in Connecticut in December. Bundle up and stop at one of the many outdoor fires to get warm. There are also plenty of buildings to duck into to warm up. To keep little toes warm and toasty, I highly recommend these boots. 

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Discounts and coupons for Holiday Lights at Lake Compounce

There are coupons and discounts available each year through Groupon, Living Social and on the Lake Compounce site. You will need to buy your tickets ahead of time to get the discount, but it will save you a few dollars per ticket!


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Holiday Lights at Lake Compounce Connecticut. America's oldest amusement park puts on a beautiful display at Chrstmas. Join in on the fun with rides, Santa and light shows. #lakecompounce #connecticutchristmas #ctchristmas #holidaylightsHoliday Lights at Lake Compounce Connecticut. America's oldest amusement park puts on a beautiful display at Chrstmas. Join in on the fun with rides, Santa and light shows. #lakecompounce #connecticutchristmas #ctchristmas #holidaylights



  1. Jackie S.
    November 27, 2018 / 3:12 am

    Love seeing how Christmas is celebrated in different parts of the U.S. The unlimited hot chocolate sounds lovely (although I might get too much of a sugar high from drinking too much).

    • travelswiththecrew
      November 27, 2018 / 5:34 am

      It is a bit of a sugar high!

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