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November 23, 2022

Deals, events planned to boost shopping in downtown New Haven

Photo | Contributed

The Shops at Yale has announced a festive line-up of events and promotions, from strolling yuletide carolers and pop-up arts and crafts activities to ice-carving demonstrations, to kick off the 2022 holiday shopping season in downtown New Haven.

According to Erin Shanley, marketing coordinator for Yale University Properties, the events are a treat for visitors and local small businesses alike.

“What makes our events so special is that we’re bringing people directly to our merchants,” Shanley said. “Children can meet Santa and Mrs. Claus on weekends inside B Natural Kitchen, Claire’s Corner Copia or The Yale Bookstore, and our free hot cocoa and free parking with purchase incentive really encourages people to shop.”

According to Shanley, an ice carving competition and an a cappella concert will take place right in the heart of the Broadway shopping district. She said it is the “perfect occasion” for guests to finish up their holiday shopping while enjoying performances and family-friendly activities. 

“Every year, our businesses are incredibly appreciative of the boost in sales that they receive from our holiday events and promotions, and we’re thrilled to be able to support them in such an impactful way,” Shanley said.

Here are a few of the planned attractions:

Small Business Saturday Pop-Up: Nov. 26, 12 to 4 p.m., 1042 Chapel St. (next to Union League Café) Indoor craft activities for children, hot apple cider, fresh popcorn, giveaways, gift card raffles, an ice carving demonstration, Yuletide Carolers and more. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at B Natural Kitchen, 260 College St. from 1 to 3 pm. Free and open to the public.

Storytelling and Selfies with Santa and Mrs. Claus: Saturdays Nov. 26 and Dec. 3, 1 to 3 p.m., B Natural Kitchen, 260 College St., Saturdays, Dec. 10 and 17, 1 to 3 p.m., Claire’s Corner Copia, 1000 Chapel St.; Sundays, Nov. 27, Dec. 4, 11 and 18, 1 to 3 p.m. at Barnes & Noble/The Yale Bookstore, 77 Broadway. Santa and Mrs. Claus will read stories and take photos with families. Free and open to the public with free snacks.

Chapel Street Ice-Carving Demonstrations: Saturdays, Nov. 26 (Elm City Elf), Dec. 3 (Snowman), 10 (holiday bear) and 17 (reindeer), 1 to 3 p.m., in front of Üni-Home Life, 1046 Chapel St. A professional ice carver will be transforming two, 300-pound blocks of ice into holiday-themed works of art. 

Strolling Connecticut Yuletide Carolers: Saturdays, Nov. 26, Dec. 3, 10 and 17, 12 to 3 p.m., Chapel Street Historic District; Sundays, Nov. 27, Dec. 4, 11 and 18, 12 to 3 p.m., Broadway shopping district.

Chapel Street Open House: Holiday Edition: Thursday, Dec. 8, 4:30 to 7 p.m., Chapel Street: Complimentary food and wine tastings, trunk shows, opportunities to meet business owners and their local vendors/suppliers and more. Free and open to the public. Free parking at the 150 York Street Garage from 4 to 8 p.m. with a validation stamp at More Amour Boutique during the event. Must be 21 or older with proper ID to sample wine or alcohol. RSVP is requested at

Toy & Coat Drive with United Way of Greater New Haven and Holiday Jazz: Saturday, Dec. 10, 12 to 4 p.m., Broadway Island, 56 Broadway: Donate new toys (ages 0-3) and new coats (all ages) to benefit neighbors in need this holiday season while enjoying seasonal jazz music from the New Haven Underground Jazz Band and magician Amazing Andy. Those who can’t make the event can drop off new, unwrapped toys Nov. 25 to Dec. 11 at Union League Café, dwell New Haven, L.L.Bean, Barnes & Noble/The Yale Bookstore, Katahdin Furniture, Walker-Loden or the Yale University Police Department.

Ice-Carving Competition & A Cappella Concert: Sunday, Dec. 11, 12 to 4 p.m., Broadway Island, 56 Broadway. Six professional ice-carvers from all over New England will each transform 900 pounds of ice into a sculpture. Attendees can vote for their favorites and be entered to win $50 gift cards. Performances by Yale University a cappella groups Redhot & Blue of Yale, Proof of the Pudding, Doox of Yale, Yale Alley Cats, Whim 'n Rhythm, Something Extra, The Spizzwinks of Yale University and Whiffenpoofs will be featured. Free and open to the public. The City of New Haven Parking Authority offers free metered parking on Sundays throughout New Haven, and free parking will be available at the 150 York Street Garage with a validation stamp at the event.

Andy Wolf Holiday Tubulation Series: Friday, Nov. 25, 1 to 4 p.m., Chapel Street and Broadway Island; Saturdays, Nov. 26, Dec. 3 and 17, 1 to 4 p.m. on Broadway Island; Sundays, Nov. 27, Dec. 4, 11 and 18, 1 to 4 p.m., Chapel Street: Enjoy the festive sounds of horn and tuba duos. Free cupcake or hot cocoa with purchase in the Whitney-Audubon District.

Other events and offers include: 

Nov. 25 to Dec. 24, Willoughby’s Coffee & Tea, 258 Church St. and Katalina’s Bakery, 74 Whitney Ave. are offering a free hot cocoa or free cupcake with same day receipt of $25 or more from participating retailers at The Shops at Yale

Roaming Carolers in the Whitney-Audubon District, Saturdays, Nov. 26, Dec. 3, 10 and 17, 12 to 3 p.m.

Nov. 25 to Dec. 24, Atticus Bookstore Cafe, 1082 Chapel St: Free hot cocoa with  same-day paper receipt for $50 or more from participating retailers at The Shops at Yale.

Nov. 25 to Dec. 24, Free 2-Hour Parking with Purchase, 56 Broadway and 255 Crown St.: Free 2-hour parking with a same-day purchase of $50 or more from any retailer or restaurant at The Shops at Yale.

For more information, visit

Return of the Holiday Shopping Passport

Market New Haven Inc. kicks off its third annual Holiday Shopping Passport: Nov. 26-Dec. 18. The promotion encourages folks to shop local for the holiday season. Shoppers who spend $50 or more at any three participating independent downtown retailers are entered to win one of three $300 gift cards.

Participating retailers include Strange Ways, Bark & Vine and four new women/minority owned shops; MINIPNG, Soap-edi, More Amour Boutique and Üni-Home Life. For a full list of participating retailers and official rules and regulations, visit

Bruno Baggetta, director for Market New Haven, Inc., lauded the annual promotion. 

“The holiday season is a crucial time to support local business and uplift the working members of our community,” Baggetta said. “Shopping local provides a more personalized gifting experience, a reprieve from the dreaded holiday shipping fiascos, and a variety of retailers, old and new, ready to help craft the perfect gift. This holiday season, fill your stockings with New Haven.”

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