Courtesy of Yale Bands

As December descends on campus, The Shops at Yale are hosting dozens of holiday-themed events and extravaganzas before the academic term ends. From ice carving to horses to yuletide music, students looking for holiday-spirited events may look no further than Broadway and Chapel Streets.

The majority of holiday events will take place on weekends throughout December, beginning on the first day of the month. Each Sunday, artists will sculpt ice carvings in front of Wave Gallery on 1046 Chapel St. — beside Arethusa — and Yuletide Carolers will roam throughout Broadway and Chapel Streets. Attendees can also take part in free horse and carriage rides if they spend $30 or more at any store on Sundays.

The festivities began during Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, with ice carvings, free cider and popcorn and carolers gracing the streets.

“There were so many people here on Friday,” said Jessica French, a sales associate at Wave Gallery. “It was a lot of fun and such a nice day. The sculptures always gather a crowd and bring lots of people downtown. We had great sales in our store that day. It just feels like a small community.”

French said that Wave Gallery will give out free homemade chocolate samples, including vegan chocolate, this upcoming Saturday.

So far, ice sculptors have carved a teddy bear and an elf but also plan to carve sculptures of the nutcracker, Handsome Dan and more in the next few weeks. An ice sculpting competition will take place on Dec. 8, where eight ice carvers will look to carve 900 pounds of ice from 12-4 p.m. that day, according to the Shops at Yale website.

During the Dec. 8 competition, a capella groups at Yale and around the state will perform. These groups will include the Yale Alley Cats, Something Extra, Whim ’n Rhythm, The New Blue, Proof of the Pudding, Out of the Blue, the Yale Slavic Chorus, Southern Connecticut State University’s NOTEorious and the Guilford Carolers.

For those looking for hands-on activities, free craft activities — which range from creating snow globe ornaments to holiday lights — will take place at Hull’s Art Supply on each Saturday until Dec. 29. The Yale Bookstore will also offer complimentary crafts on Sundays and free face painting on the Saturdays leading up to the Christmas holiday.

“We will have demos every Saturday where we’ll try out our products and make crafts, such as cards,” said Steven Duchesne, an employee at Hull’s Art Supply. “They are free for everyone and are for all ages.”

Downtown NHV, an umbrella group representing the downtown shopping district, is also hosting its first annual New Haven Night Market on Dec. 7, featuring local food and crafts in a street festival setting on Orange Street.

Finally, the city will host the annual New Haven Tree Lighting Ceremony on the New Haven Green on Thursday evening. Always a joyous, family-friendly event, attendees can enjoy access to a ferris wheel, food and an appearance from Santa Claus.

Multiple students interviewed by the News said they while they were previously unaware of the holiday events, they now hoped to attend some.

“I hadn’t heard about these events, but they sound really cute and exciting. I’d love to find out more details,” said Brian Reyes ’21.

New Haven was founded in 1638.

Helena Lyng-Olsen |