I love the holidays—the music, the lights, and perfect strangers wishing me a merry day and a happy new year. Did I mention the food? Well, I love that too. In fact, there is only one thing I can think of that is frustrating about the holidays—knowing which stores are open and closed around town.
So I've done some research to help you all navigate around town on Christmas Eve and Christmas.
Government Offices and Banks
Town Hall is closed until Monday. The Tolland Public Library is closed Christmas Eve and Christmas, but it will re-open for its normal hours on Saturday, Dec. 26, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
The Tolland Post Office closes at noon on Christmas Eve. They will not be open on Christmas. An area post office that is open later on Christmas Eve is at 111 Sheldon Rd. in Manchester. It closes at 4 p.m.
All banks will be closed on Christmas. Banks in town close early on Christmas Eve. The abbreviated hours at New Alliance Bank are 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Workers' Federal Credit Union is open 9 am- 2 p.m. Rockville Bank is also open 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
For many of us, holiday meals require dressing up. If you've left it until the last minute to pick up your dry cleaning, Tolland Dry Cleaners is open Dec. 24, 7 a.m.–4 p.m.
Need some last-minute flowers to help decorate the Christmas table? The Wildflowers of Tolland is open on Christmas Eve, 9 am – 2pm. It closed on Christmas.
Need to Gas Up?
Many of us will be driving out of town for the holidays. If you haven't filled up your car before a long drive, it will help to know which gas stations are going to be open over the holidays. The Citgo at 128 Merrow Rd. is open on Christmas Eve, 7 a.m.-8 p.m. It is closed on Christmas.
Tolland Quick Stop, at 404 Merrow Rd., is open for its normal hours on both Christmas Eve and Christmas. Its hours on Friday are 5 a.m.-10 p.m., and on Sat., 5 a.m.-8 p.m.
Tolland Mobil, which promises to be open 24 hours a day, holds true through the holidays. Not only can you get gas there, you can also buy milk and orange juice there if you are in a bind.
Food, Glorious Food
If you need groceries for your holiday feast, you probably want make sure you have all your ingredients by the evening before Christmas.
Big Y at 33 Fieldstone Commons is open Christmas Eve, 7 a.m.-6 p.m. It is closed on Christmas day.
The Country Butcher, which sells specialty food items for the holidays has abbreviated hours the day before Christmas. They will be open 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Nature's Grocer, which straddles the Tolland-Vernon line at 81 East Street, Vernon Rockville, is a natural food store, specializing in organic and gluten-free foods. So if you're running low on almond milk or gluten-free flours, make sure you stop by between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Dec. 24.
Fortunately, if all you need are some of the bare necessities, like orange juice, milk and eggs, there are other places that will be there for you.
Like Tolland Mobil, 7-Eleven promises to be open 24 hours, and they deliver on both Christmas Eve and Christmas. In addition to eggs, milk, and other convenience items, the store also has a Redbox movie machine out front if you find yourself wanting a movie to watch with the family.
Restaurants and Holiday Spirits
Zest Unique Dining and Catering, at 167 Tolland Stage Road, is open for lunch, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. only on Christmas Eve. It is closed on Christmas.
For a nice, pizza pie before digging into cooking and eating the holiday feast, Papa T's is open Dec. 24, 7 a.m.-2 p.m. So buy your pizza early—you can always warm it up later and enjoy it through Christmas, when the restaurant will be closed.
If you're looking for a low-key Christmas, or if you've cooked the turkey too long and burned the stuffing, you're in luck. There is one full-seating dining establishment that will have normal business hours both Christmas Eve and Christmas. Head over to South Pacific Restaurant in Fieldstone Commons, which serves up delicious Asian cuisine. It will be open 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. on both days. If you have a big party, please call ahead.
Tavern House Grill serves as both a restaurant and gathering place for those who just want to enjoy a drink with friends. On Christmas Eve, its hours are 11 a.m. through closing on Sat. at 1 a.m. It will also be open on Christmas, 5 p.m.-closing.
American Eagle Saloon & Café, nearby at 15 River Rd in Willington, is also open Christmas Eve, 11 a.m.-closing. People can also head down there on Christmas from 3 p.m. to closing.
Odds and Ends
Finally, here are some other places in town about which residents may be interested.
Anyone who wants to get a workout on Christmas Eve at Star Hill Family Athletic Center will have to get up early. Its hours are 4:30 a.m. to noon. There will be no group fitness classes. The center will be closed on Christmas Day.
Cardio Express, which is normally open 24 hours during the week, will be closing at 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve. It will be closed until Sunday, Dec. 26, when its hours are 7 a.m.-5 p.m. It will re-open at midnight, when it will resume its 24-hour schedule for the week.
So, yes, fitness fiends, even you can take a day off.
Birch Mountain Pottery will also be open Christmas Eve from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Wherever you go, whatever you do, Tolland Patch wishes you a fun and safe holiday weekend!