Downtown in December: Free parking, shopping shuttle, and more

‘Tis the season this December to enjoy culture, shopping, and holiday celebrations in downtown New Haven.

Those who come to the city to see the renovated and expanded Yale University Art Gallery (officially reopening Dec. 12) or the lighting of the Christmas tree on the Green (on Dec. 6) can also take advantage of an array of shopper-friendly services sponsored by the shops at Yale. These include free parking and a holiday shuttle service on weekends, and extended holiday hours at Chapel Street shops on Thursdays. Individuals and families can also enjoy music by strolling carolers, and have their pictures taken with Santa.

“We encourage everyone to support New Haven’s local merchants by doing your holiday shopping downtown,” said Lauren Zucker, associate vice president and director of New Haven affairs. 

For more information about the following, visit the shops at Yale Events page.

Free weekend parking

During the holidays, the shops at Yale will give free parking on weekends for up to six hours to shoppers who park in the Broadway Center Lot and who present a same-day receipt of $15 or more for either shopping or dining from one of the shops at Yale.

In addition, Town Green Special Services District and the City of New Haven’s Department of Transportation, Traffic, and Parking are providing two hours of free parking in select shopping areas every Saturday in December.

Parking meters in selected areas will be covered with Town Green meter bags 8 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturdays.  Dates and locations for this promotion are as follows:

• Dec. 1: Chapel Street from Temple to York streets

• Dec. 8:  Elm Street from Church to State streets; Chapel Street from Orange to State streets; Orange Street from Chapel to George streets.

• Dec. 15: Whitney Avenue from Wall to Trumbull streets

• Dec. 21: Chapel Street from York to Howe streets

• Dec. 28:  One block of meters per shopping district will be bagged.

Regular meter time limits apply. Handicapped meters will not be covered, but parking enforcement officers will honor the holiday parking reprieve on the selected streets.

Complimentary weekend shopping shuttle service

A free shuttle service between Chapel Street and Broadway will run 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on Dec. 8-9 and 15-16. The shuttle stops at InfoNewHaven (corner of Chapel and College), the Yale Art Gallery, and Yale Bookstore.

Extended hours on Chapel Street

On Thursdays through Dec. 20, Chapel Street stores will be open until 8 p.m. Shoppers can enjoy free cider and popcorn at InfoNewHaven 5:30-8 p.m. those evenings.

Yuletide carolers

There will be music in the streets — specifically Broadway and Chapel streets — by carolers on Thursdays-Saturdays, Dec. 6-8 and 13-15. Performers will include Something Extra and the Yale Gospel Choir, and a Guilford High School quartet.

Picture with Santa

Santa fans can have their photos taken with the jolly old elf at the Yale Bookstore, 77 Broadway, on Dec. 1-2, 8-9, and 15-16. There is a $10 fee per photo.

For information about downtown merchants and restaurants, visit the shops at Yale website.