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Celebrate the Winter Holidays at Two Connecticut State Park Museums - Visit Gillette Castle and Osborne Homestead Museum for Holiday Flair

(HARTFORD) — The winter holiday season is upon us, and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is celebrating with the festive transformation of two of its historic buildings: Gillette Castle in East Haddam and Osborne Homestead Museum in Derby. Enjoy the wonderous atmosphere created by special decorations that help set the tone for holiday cheer.

Gillette Castle is the former home of William Gillette, most famous for his acting role portraying Sherlock Holmes. The Friends of Gillette Castle State Park helped decorate the castle as part of its Holidays in the Parks program. The Friends also coordinate with other state park friends’ groups, local community organizations, and businesses to volunteer in the decorating. The castle welcomes visitors on Thanksgiving weekend from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Friday, November 24th through Sunday November 26th, and Saturday and Sunday every following weekend through December 17, 2023.

Entrance fees to visit the castle are:

  • Adult (13+ years) $6.00;
  • Youth (6-12 years) $2.00;
  • 5 years and under are free.

As visitor capacity in this historic structure is limited, visitors are encouraged to make reservations through Reserve America

( ) prior to visiting. The grounds of the Gillette Castle State Park remain open daily, year-round, from 8 a.m. until sunset.

A Holiday in the City theme winds its way throughout the historic home of Mrs. Francis Osborne Kellogg. Local garden clubs and other community groups volunteered to decorate the Osborne Homestead Museum for the holiday season in homage to the myriad cities Mrs. Kellogg visited during her lifetime.

For more than three decades, the Homestead Museum has welcomed visitors to enjoy the holiday decorations in this beautiful Victorian house on the grounds of the Kellogg Estate inside Osbornedale State Park. Come to this hidden gem in Derby to enjoy some of the cities around the nation and the world. Experience the cities’ holiday décor and flair, all without getting on a plane. Tours begin Friday November 24th and will continue through Sunday, November 26th. Tours continue Thursdays – Sundays until December 16, 2023. Twilight Tours are offered the first three Fridays in December - December 1, 8, and 15, 2023, from 4– 7 p.m. Groups or other reservations can be made by calling 203-734-2513. Walk-ins and donations are welcome.

Established in 1913, the mission of the Connecticut State Park System is to provide natural resource based public recreational and educational opportunities through a system of state park and forest recreation areas, environmental centers and nature centers which provide an understanding of, access to, and enjoyment of the state’s historic, cultural and natural resources.

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DEEP Communications