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15 Can’t-Miss Mystic, CT Events

With the year flying by, we wanted to make sure you didn’t miss out on these classic Mystic, CT events. Come make more memories in Mystic, Connecticut.

Mystic, CT Event Favorites

Mystic Outdoor Art Festival, Downtown Mystic
August 12-13, 2017
The oldest festival of its kind in the Northeast, the Mystic Outdoor Art Festival attracts more than 85,000 people from New England to downtown Mystic for this juried art show featuring 250 artists and artisans.

Downtown Mystic Sidewalk Sale
August 18-20, 2017
Shop and save in Downtown Mystic all weekend long.

Mystic Eats, Downtown Mystic
September 8-10, 2017
Come and sample some great menu selections from over 30 of Mystic’s premier eateries at this riverside food festival.

Garlic Festival, Olde Mistick Village
September 16-17, 2017
Over 50 farmers, vendors, bakers and restaurants fill the Village with garlic-themed treats, music and family-friendly activities.

Mystic Pirate Invasion, Downtown Mystic
September 29-October 1, 2017
Be warned! Pirates are heading to Mystic for a weekend of plundering. A great family-friendly event held throughout Downtown Mystic.

Mystic River Oyster Festival, Mystic Seaport
October 1, 2017
Oyster farmers, environmental groups, and food service providers celebrate history on the half shell at Mystic Seaport. The festival will include historical demos, fun activities for the family, and the opportunity to taste oysters prepared by local restaurants and Coastal Gourmet.

Chowder Days, Mystic Seaport
October 7-9, 2017
A weekend to celebrate this New England culinary favorite.

Nautical Nightmares, Mystic Seaport
October 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28 and 29, 2017
Similar to the Museum’s popular Lantern Light Tours, Nautical Nightmares is a theatrical performance where the visitor is led on a tour of the Museum grounds to take in a creepy, Halloween-themed story in a series of scenes. For ages 12 and older.

Halloween Trick or Treat, Olde Mistick Village
October 31, 2017
A trick or treat right across the street. The shops at Olde Mistick Village will be waiting for all the little ghouls and goblins.

Lantern Light Tours, Mystic Seaport
November 24-25, December 1-2, 8-9, 15-17, and 22-23, 2017
Visitors experience a progressive play with a holiday theme set on Christmas Eve 1876 in Greenmanville, CT. The Museum’s historic village and vessels provide the set for a heart-warming story as performed by a cast of actors from around the region. Lantern Light Tours have been a New England Holiday tradition at Mystic Seaport for more than 30 years.

Santa Arrives by Tugboat, Downtown Mystic
November 25, 2017
Take part in the thrill as Santa Claus arrives in Mystic on a tugboat. Precisely at 2pm, Santa will arrive at Mystic River Park where he and his elf will greet the crowds and listen to all the children’s holiday wishes.

Mystic Tree Lighting & Holiday Lighted Boat Parade, Downtown Mystic
November 25, 2017
An annual Mystic tradition. Santa and company light the downtown Mystic tree and then standby to watch the spectacular boat parade down the Mystic River.

Holiday Stroll & Luminaria, Downtown Mystic
December 5, 2017
Stroll the streets of Downtown Mystic and listen to the carolers rejoice in the holiday spirit. The streets will be lined with hundreds of luminaries. Merchants will keep their shops open late so everyone can get a head start on their holiday shopping while enjoying hot cider and cookies in the shops.

Festival of Lights, Olde Mistick Village
December 8, 2017
Walk through a winter wonderland when over 4,000 luminaries light the walkways of Olde Mistick Village and Mystic Aquarium.

Community Carol Sing, Mystic Seaport
December 17, 2017
A Mystic tradition for over five decades, several thousand people gather every year to sing their favorite holiday carols on the McGraw Quadrangle. Admission is a canned or preserved food item to be donated to the local Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center food drive.

Click here to make Hojos – Mystic your place to stay in Mystic!

Mystic named “Best Small Town” in Connecticut

Thrillist recently named Mystic the “Best Small Town” in Connecticut! Not familiar with our home town? Here’s what you’ll find here.

Downtown Mystic.

Nestled along the Mystic River, downtown Mystic exudes New England charm. The historic Bascule Bridge is a sight to see when it rises (40 minutes after every hour during the summer) to let boats pass. The streets are lined with nearly 60 restaurants, eateries, boutiques and shops.

History alive.

Mystic Seaport — known as The Museum of America and the Sea — is the United State’s leading maritime museum. Visitors can explore American maritime history first-hand as they climb aboard historic tall ships, stroll through a re-created 19th-century coastal village, take a voyage on the Mystic River or watch a working preservation shipyard in action. The Museum also boats the world’s last wooden whaleship, the Charles W. Morgan.

Sea everything.

A favorite for many of our guests! The Mystic Aquarium offers unforgettable animal encounters and hands-on fun for people of all ages. Sea lion shows, beluga whales, touch tanks and African penguins make it a special place, while exhibits make it one-of-a-kind.

Our neighbors.

Located across from Hojos, Olde Mistick Village allows visitors to stroll down beautiful lanes and enjoy shopping in distinctive buildings designed to represent an 18th-century colonial New England village. The shopping destination has 50 unique shops, eateries and a luxury movie theater and is know for their signature food festivals and holiday events. Did we mention the German beer garden? They have a German beer garden.

Get out on the Water

Historic ships, cruises, charters, sailing or kayaking – Mystic offers many boating adventures. In addition to the historic vessels at Mystic Seaport, Mystic is home to the Argia, an 81-foot schooner that sails from May to mid-October and is available for public sails and sunset cruises. ( Kayaks are also available as are historic boat tours of the Mystic River.

Click here to make Hojos – Mystic your place to stay in Mystic!

Mystic’s St. Patrick’s Celebrations!

Mystic Irish Parade - Downtown Mystic CT

From the 5K road race, to the Mystic Irish Parade, to the pints, you can find your pot o’ gold in Mystic, Connecticut, during our St. Patrick’s celebrations. Now St. Patrick’s Day is officially Friday, March 17, but Mystic’s making that day just the starting point for a weekend of shenanigans.

Running for the Gold

The festivities kick off on Saturday, March 18, with the Mystic Irish 5K. May the luck of the Irish be with you as you run this certified race course! The course starts and ends in Downtown Mystic (only a 5 minute drive from Hojos) and follows the Mystic River. The race winners not only get bragging rights, but also get to march in the Parade the following day! Click here for more race details. (We’ll be cheering you on!)

Everybody Loves an Irish Parade

This is only the 14th year for the Mystic Irish Parade, but boy, this baby has grown. Do you see the crowd in the above photo? That’s how many people come to the parade, times a lot. This year’s parade is scheduled for Sunday, March 19, at 1 p.m. The route starts at Mystic Seaport and ends in Downtown Mystic. (Click here parade route map.) We recommend getting your viewing spot early!

Celebrate with a Pint or Two

Downtown Mystic has two Irish pubs in town, the Harp & Hound on Pearl Street and John’s Mystic River Tavern on Cottrell Street for those looking for a pint after the Parade. If you don’t want to stick with the Irish theme, there’s many other restaurants with drink and dining specials that day, or you can come back to Hojos and try our neighbor across the street at Olde Mistick Village: Jealous Monk, a European-style social hall and beer garden featuring 32 draft beers.

Click here to make Hojos – Mystic your Irish Parade place to stay!

Photo courtesy of the Eastern Regional Tourism District/Mystic Country


SeaChange Exhibit at the Mystic Seaport

SeaChange Exhibit at the Mystic Seaport

SeaChange, the inaugural exhibit in the Collins Gallery in the new Thompson Exhibition Building, presents a range of striking, surprising, and unusual objects drawn from the rich collections of Mystic Seaport. Each is a survivor of the past that speaks to a notable transformation—in material, technology, the sea itself, or the broader American culture over the past 200 years.

A special grouping of these intriguing artifacts are on display for the first time, alongside other Museum visitors’ favorites, all presented in a new setting with surprising stories. Together, they give glimpses into people’s lives in different places and times, from scientific surveyors charting the Atlantic coast on the eve of the American Revolution to western merchants trading for silk and tea in 1850s China, from Arctic explorers to laborers harvesting bird guano off Peru for American farmers. The stories of transformation they relate continue to impact our lives and our experiences with the sea.

In keeping with the bold design, clean lines, and natural materials of the Thompson Building, the exhibit design uses large, free-standing abstract structures evocative of sails or icebergs to frame each central artifact, taking advantage of the soaring heights in the Collins Gallery. The overall effect is visually stunning, an inviting space that entices visitors to contemplate, discover, discuss—and return to the exhibit.

SeaChange extends the sensory approach beyond the visual. The custom-created interactives will give people the chance to peer inside a 1740s English ship model, test the principles behind dazzling World War I ship camouflage, and zoom-in to see the tiny carved cuts on modern miniature figureheads. A range of public programs will complement the gallery experience and further explore the “sea change” that links stories from around the world to our own.

Enjoy this exhibit as well as the surrounding Mystic area when you stay at the Mystic Howard Johnson.  For more information on the exhibit visit

Click here to book your Mystic, CT stay!

Holiday Magic at the Mystic Seaport

Holiday Magic at the Mystic Seaport

The presents are unwrapped and the kids are home for a week. What to do? Stay at the Mystic Howard Johnson and visit Mystic Seaport for Holiday Magic! Explore the Museum’s 19th-century seafaring village, historic vessels, and maritime exhibits. Take part in special activities throughout the week, including:

  • Explore the winter sky under the planetarium dome
  • Learn simple magic tricks at our Abracadabra Magic Workshop
  • Watch as historical magician E.A. Davis performs an authentic 19th-century magic show
  • Take a special “Family Christmas at Sea” tour aboard the Charles W. Morgan
  • Create a holiday keepsake
  • Visit the Children’s Museum for holiday storytime and a craft workshop

For more information visit 

To book your stay click here!

Mystic Festival of Lights

Mystic Festival Lights

December 9, 2016
5 to 9:30pm

Walk through the Mystic Festival of Lights winter wonderland from dusk until 9:30pm when over 6,000 luminaries light the walkway of Olde Mistick Village and the surrounding area. This is a family friendly event with FREE parking and admission. Come stroll 23 acres and enjoy holiday decorations and festivities. Find a gift for that special someone in over 40 unique stores, dine in one of several restaurants, or catch a movie at our luxury cinema. 

There will be complimentary refreshments in the Meeting House as you listen to Ragtime Too! perform holiday songs in a variety of musical styles. Outdoor entertainment will include Fly-by-Night Comedy Jugglers and the Festive Brass Ensemble who will perform in the Gazebo. Carolers from Ledyard and Stonington High Schools and Tyl Middle School will be singing holiday classics as they roam the village. Santa & Mrs. Claus will see children of all ages from 6pm-8pm in front of Sophia’s Magical Christmas located near the Village Green. 

Mystic Aquarium will also have activities this night. Please see their website for details. 

Exit 90 off I95

Mystic Holiday Stroll and Luminary

Mystic Holiday Stroll

Tuesday, December 6th
6pm to 9pm

This year, two of Mystic’s most beloved holiday traditions are being combined for a memorable evening the whole family can enjoy!

The fun will begin at 6:00pm when carolers go a-wassailing through the streets and the shops serve cookies, hot cocoa and other holiday treats for shoppers who come to enjoy the festivities. Enjoy the festive sounds of Union Baptist Bell Choir, Mystic Noank Community Brass Choir, Pine Point Chamber Choir, Mystic River Chorale and the Ledyard High School Carolers. You might even catch a sax playing Santa roaming around! Local pirate troupe Free Men of the Sea will be strolling around performing sea shanties as well. To add to the ambience, the streets and Mystic River Park will be lined with hundreds of beautiful luminaria to light your way through town.

The shops will stay open until 9:00pm so you can take your time browsing the great sales and looking for the perfect gifts for those on your holiday shopping list. Oh, and be sure to take a peek into all the shop windows—Mystic Ballet dancers will be dressed up as characters from The Nutcracker at several locations throughout town.

While you’re shopping, be sure to stop by the Mystic Museum of Art. The gallery will be open so you can check out their annual Holiday Gift Show featuring a wonderful selection of locally made works of art, crafts, jewelry, soaps and more.

Mystic Restaurant Week 2016

Mystic Restaurant Week 2016

November 7th – 13th

Mystic Restaurant Week returns this month! Participating Mystic restaurants will be offering special menus at special prices for lunch and dinner, so get out and revisit your favorites or try some new restaurants.

Reservations are strongly recommended, so book your tables early!

Participating Restaurants:

Ancient Mariner – RW Menus – (860) 536-5200

Anthony J’s Bistro – RW Menu – (860) 536.0448

Bravo Bravo – RW Menus – (860) 536-3228

Breakwater –  RW Menus – (860) 415-8123

Captain Daniel Packer Inne – RW Menus – (860) 536-3555

Chapter One  –  RW Menus – (860) 245-4123

Engine Room – RW Menus – (860) 415-8117 –  Make Reservations

Frank’s Gourmet Grille – RW Special – (860) 415-4666

Go Fish – RW Menus – (860) 536-2662 – Make Reservations

Harbour House at Inn at Mystic – RW Menu – (860) 536-8140 – Make Reservations

Jealous Monk  –  RW Menu – (860) 536-6665

Latitude 41 – RW Menus – (860) 572.5303 Make Reservations

Mango’s Wood-Fired Pizza – RW Menu – (860) 572-0600

MBAR  –  RW Menu – (860) 245-4123

Mezza Mediterranean – RW Menu – (860) 415-4656

Mystic Diner – RW Menu Coming Soon – (860) 415.4625

Oyster Club – RW Menu – (860) 415-9266 – Make Reservations

Pink Basil – RW Menus – (860) 245-4470

The Mystic Boathouse – RW Menus – (860) 572-1180

The Irons at Hilton Mystic – RW Menus – (860) 572-0731

Steak Loft – RW Menus – (860) 536-2661

Halloween Trick-or-Treat at Olde Mistick Village

Monday, October 31st
4 to 6pm

Calling all ghosts, goblins, princesses, superheroes and everything in between! A Olde Mistick Village Halloween tradition continues. The shops will welcome costumed characters with yummy candy and you can choose which shop keepers look the spookiest! Free to attend!

10th Anniversary of Run/Walk for the Penguins!

Mystic Aquarium’s Annual Run/Walk for the Penguins

Let’s celebrate the 10th anniversary of Mystic Aquarium’s Annual Run/Walk for the Penguins on Saturday, October 15 with record-setting fundraising!

Every step you take during the 5k run or two-mile walk helps benefit the endangered African penguin. Every dollar that you raise helps Mystic Aquarium fulfill their mission!

Since the alarming figures of African penguin population decline were published in 2010, Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited institutions, like Mystic Aquarium, have spent more than $300,000 on African penguin field conservation. The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) is recognized internationally as a leader in the field of seabird rehabilitation, treating in excess of 2,400 injured, sick and oiled seabirds annually.

Despite the tremendous efforts of organizations like SANCCCOB and AZA Member institutions, the species is still declining at an alarming rate.

How do we help?

In partnership with our South African partner, SANCCOB, Mystic Aquarium strives to protect this species by participating in the annual Chick Rearing/Bolstering project assisting abandoned, weak chicks and rearing chicks from eggs.

Additionally, Mystic Aquarium is proud to be a Project Coordinator in the vitally important AZA African penguin Species Survival Plan (SSP) Sustainability Project as part of AZA’s SAFE (Saving Animals from Extinction) collaborative approach to conservation. Mystic is also a collaborator in other SAFE projects that includes disaster response, health monitoring and rehabilitation, public engagement and artificial nest development.

How Can You Help?

You, too, can be part of this collaborative effort by joining us for the 10th Annual Run/Walk for the Penguins. Put your best foot forward in your fundraising efforts and help support Mystic Aquarium’s mission to protect our ocean planet and its inhabitants-like the endangered African penguin.

On-line registration is now open. If you plan to participate in the run/walk, please complete your registration first and then make a statement with your unique fundraising page!

Any questions, please contact Lydia Shell at or 860-572-5955 x518.

To show our gratitude for your participation, all registrants receive free Aquarium admission on race day and top fundraisers receive unique prizes!

Join us for this fun and worthwhile event and then stay the day! Enjoy light refreshments at “race central” followed by a fun-filled day at the Aquarium – including a chance to watch our penguins do a short ‘race’ in the Marine Theater.

Walk participants are welcome to bring strollers and dogs during this family-friendly event.

Click here to register!