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Gillette Castle State Park Connecticut

Gillette Castle State Park | Holiday Festival of Trains | Connecticut Events


Gillette Castle State Park is located in East Haddam, Connecticut, on the banks of the Connecticut River.  This year Gillette Castle will be open weekends only & decorated for the holiday season. The theme this year is the celebration of William Gillette’s love of trains.

Gillette Castle Holiday Event

William Gillette, an actor, was best known for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes. In 1914 he built a magnificent stone castle, along with a personal railroad on his estate.  At that time, the cost was estimated to be over $1 Million.

A favorite tradition is to take our family to visit Gillette Castle during the Holiday Season.  In the past we’ve taken our daughters and niece when they were younger to enjoy the caroling and sleigh rides.

This year we took the grandchildren.  My grandson who’s 4 years old is fascinated with trains!  Several rooms on the second floor had fully operating vintage train sets.

Each room in the stone castle was decorated for the Christmas season with wreaths, garland, candles and Christmas trees. It was breathtaking to see!

Tour Guides and Museum Docents were on hand to answer any questions.

You can still see the remains of the railroad overlooking the Connecticut River. The original train was at one time relocated to Lake Compounce.

From the patio area, we were able to look out over the Connecticut River and see the Chester-Hadlyme Ferry which is docked for the winter. The Chester-Hadlyme Ferry is one of the oldest continuously operating ferries in the United States.

After touring the castle, we enjoyed hot chocolate and hot cider next to a roaring bonfire on the grounds.

There also is a Gift Shop, Snack Shop and picnic area on the grounds.

If you’re looking for a daytrip, fun things to do in Connecticut with the kids or grandchildren over the Holiday Season or traveling on a trip to New England, be sure to check out Gillette Castle State Park. Be sure to bring your camera!

For More Information:

Festival of Trains
11/24/2012 Through 12/16/2012
10:00am to 3:30pm WEEKENDS ONLY
Gillette Castle State Park
67 River Road
East Haddam, CT 06423
Accessibility:    Handicap access – first floor only

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About Moomettes

New England blogger, Grandmom from Connecticut and author of Frugal New England Kitchen where she writes about food, recipes, coupons, crafts, home decor, Grandparents and Grandchildren, Family Stories and helpful hints from the hearth of a Yankee New England Kitchen. Also find her at the multi-generational Moomettes Magnificents where she writes about family, travel, crafts, photography and reviews. ***Products and/or companies featured on Frugal New England Kitchen may have provided product samples and/or compensation for consideration. All opinions are my own. Posts may contain affiliate links. See also Disclosure***