By SHERIDAN CYR
Holiday Lights at Lake Compounce has officially opened for the season, covering the park with hundreds of thousands of glimmering lights. The attraction is open every Friday through Sunday until the end of December with tons of attractions for all ages.
““We had a great opening weekend,” said Lake Compounce marketing director Sara Frias. “Being the weekend after Thanksgiving, we saw our guests visiting with extended families made up of many generations, enjoying the season and making memories together.”
Fifteen family favorite rides are open, weather-depending, and food trucks will serve up some delicious treats. The park is home to the largest Christmas tree in the state, towering at 100 feet tall.
Festival-goers can ride the North Pole Railway, listen in on story time with Mrs. Claus, watch a skilled ice carver create beautiful sculptures, get a photo with Santa himself, decorate cookies, write letters to Santa and much more. The park’s gift shops are also open and offering an array holiday gifts.
The Salvation Army kicked off their collecting season at the Holiday Lights opening on Nov. 24, ringing in the holidays with entertainment provided by a children’s choir, a brass band and the Salvation Army Mascot.
New this year, Lake Compounce is hosting a special Dinner with Santa on Dec. 2, 9, 16 and 23 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale for $29.99 for adults, $23.99 for children ages four to 10 and free for children age three and under. The ticket includes a photo with Santa and admission to the Holiday Lights.
Holiday Lights will also hold a pet-friendly night (cats and dogs only) on Sunday, Dec. 17. Bring a can of dog or cat food to save $5 off of adult admission. The park requires pet owners to sign a release before entering the property, which can be found on their website under lakecompounce.com/holidaylights.
Tickets for Holiday Lights are available online or upon arrival at the park: $15.99 for adults, $11.99 for children ages four to 10, $11.99 for seniors age 60 and up, and free for children ages three and under. Admission to Holiday Lights is free with a 2017 or 2018 diamond or platinum season pass.
Holiday Lights will be open from 5 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 1, 8, 16, 22, 28, 29 and 30. They will be open from 4 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17 and 23.
Lake Compounce is also bringing back the All Season Dining Pass for 2018. All season passholders will have the option to add the Dining Pass to their season pass. It entitles guests to receive two meals and a snack each day they visit during the summer.
The park recently announced that there will no longer be free soda for all guests, however Diamond and Platinum season passholders will still receive this amenity. They will also receive perks including bring a buddy free days, early waterpark admission days, discounts on food and retail purchases and more.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Cyr, email her at SCyr@SouthingtonObserver.com.
Photos by JANELLE MORELLI