Christmas/Holiday Show opens at Merwinsville Hotel Thanksgiving Weekend 

Getting into the holiday spirit is easy once someone walks through the doors of the Merwinsville Hotel’s annual Christmas Show. The festivities begin Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 29 to Dec. 1 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and continue the following weekend, Dec. 6 to 8.

Walking through hundreds of nutcrackers or watching the model train go through a miniature Dickens Village immediately puts a smile on most visitors’ faces. The Hotel is magically transformed for the holidays, adorned with decorations and featuring an amazing holiday collection that also includes Worlds Fair miniatures and Santa Claus collections.

The person behind this transformation is Georgann Bensh, who organizes the Christmas/Holiday Show. Over three decades ago, she began collecting her festive holiday decorations, such as the village buildings, which now number more than 100, that she shares with hotel visitors.

“I try to make it different and every year it is slightly changed,” Bensh said recently as she began unpacking and setting up the items.

For those looking for special, one-of-a-kind gifts, there will also be photography, fine artwork, holiday crafts, jewelry and ornaments available for purchase. Some of the area’s most talented artists take advantage of the shows offered at the Hotel to sell their work and support the ongoing restoration underway in the 176-year-old building. A portion of all sales benefits the Hotel.

The Hotel will be again be open for two long weekends for the holiday show, beginning on Black Friday. Hours are Nov. 29, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the same hours the following weekend, Dec. 6 to 8.

Baked goods from Mrs. Claus’ bakery will provide a delectable selection of baked goods to purchase or enjoy some home-made soup for lunch. Bensh is usually creating made to order hot chocolate in the ticket room.

Story-time will be offered each Saturday at 11 a.m. with free penny candy and hot chocolate.

Admission is free. This year Hotel members with a “sponsor” membership (or higher) will receive a discount on art purchased.

The Merwinsville Hotel is located at 1 Brown’s Forge Road in Gaylordsville, CT, only 15 minutes from Kent, Sherman, New Milford and the Harlem Valley/Wingdale Railroad Station. For further information, call 860-350-4443 or visit