Holiday tours

East Haddam - posted Nov, 21 2012

EAST HADDAM- The famed “Castle” at Gillette Castle State Park in East Haddam will be opened for a weekend series of holiday tours and special events between Thanksgiving and Christmas...and the overall theme will be one of William Gillette’s personal favorites: trains. He liked them well enough to construct a 3.2 mile railway, complete with a steam and an electric locomotive with a train of cars that could carry up to 28 friends around his 184-acre estate back in the 1920’s. Though the tracks have long been replaced with hiking paths, his restored electric locomotive, a selection of the rail cars, and numerous photos and film images remain to testify to his cheerful, eccentric passion. The open dates are Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 16 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The event is a program sponsored by the Connecticut State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. In addition to the train-related displays, the castle’s interior will be decorated with festive holiday finery for its tours, and outside there will be a bonfire and free cider and hot chocolate as weather permits. Castle tours are $6 for ages 13 and over, $2 for ages 6 through 12, and ages 5 and under are free. The estate’s parklands are open to the public without charge year-round. For questions, contact the park at 860-526-2336 or email

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