Dec 3-10: Laptop Giveaway, Harvard Musical, Train Show, Open Studios, Santa Parades / Fireworks / Caroling, Day of the Ninja
12/03/09 by Johnny Monsarrat
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The Week in Weird
|Romance in the Austin Era @ Gore Place||12/4 – 12/19||Metro West|
|The event of the week is a breath of fresh non-Xmas air at Gore Place, the historical mansion. They’re doing a special “scandal tour” all about what made for 18th and 19th century scandals in the time where you couldn’t show a little ankle. It’s close to the only non-Xmas thing happening this week.
52 Gore Street, Waltham, MA.781-894-2798. more
|Wheel Questions Video Blitz & Laptop Giveaway||11/21 – 12/5||South Shore|
|It’s the last few days for my big video project. Nearly 200 videos are up, take a look! People ask questions about life, and I answer. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, it really reveals people’s innermost thoughts and concerns. Click to subscribe to the blog and enter the contest to win. The last day will be this Friday or Saturday.
Edaville Railroad, Various. more
|Harvard Med School Second Year Show||12/3 – 12/5||Boston Metro|
|Every year the second year students at the Harvard Medical School put on a musical comedy show to raise money. I’ve been and it’s fantastic. Since it’s a fundraiser, everyone is invited!
Roxbury Community College, Boston, MA. more
|New England Model Train Expo||12/5||Metro West|
|I’ve never been but this train show is surely worth a visit.
Best Western Hotel, Marlborough, MA. more
|NorthBEAST National Poetry Slam||12/4 – 12/5||New Hampshire|
|There’s a regional competition to support poets and the best team will go to a national competition. Oddly the poetry reading is pretty fantastic, like a one-person theatre show. Not dry like you’d fear.
Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester, NH. more
|Nikkomo is the closest thing in Native American culture to the celebration of Christmas. Come see it for yourself and bring a small gift. They’ll have music, ethnic gifts for sale, and traditional foods. 1-4pm.
Tomaquag Museum, 390 Summit Rd, Exeter, RI.401-539-7213. more
|Day of the Ninja||12/5||Boston Metro|
|Competing with Talk Like a Pirate Day is the “Day of the Ninja” on December 5th. Dress and talk tough, ninja style. This local martial arts shop will have a “special class”. Call for details. I do get a sense that this is their regular class and they aren’t doing anything special for the day. But if you want some tips on how to be a real ninja, this beginner’s class looks like fun.
Boston Martial Arts Center, 161 Harvard Avenue, Suite 4E, Boston, MA.617-789-5524. more
|Fort Point’s Holiday Sale (Open Studios)||12/4 – 12/6||Boston Metro|
|What is possibly Boston’s best artist community has their annual open studios this weekend. Walk around South Boston and meet the actual artists in their private homes and work studios.
Boston, MA. more
|Hyde Park Open Studios||12/5 – 12/6||Boston Metro|
|Even further south, Hyde Park is also having an open studios event. 12-5pm.
1476 River Street, Boston, MA. more
|Charlestown Open Studios||12/5 – 12/6||Boston Metro|
|And yet another. Please buy from us is their main artistic theme.
Charlestown, MA. more
|Gorse Mill Open Studios @ Needham||12/4 – 12/6||Metro West|
|And more artists yearning for artistic freedom. And sales.
Needham, MA. more
|Union Square Winter Craft Market||12/5||Boston Metro|
|Taking a chance on the weather, here’s an outdoor market with some singing. 11am-4pm.
Union Square, Somerville, MA. more
|MassArt Annual Holiday Sale||12/7 – 12/12||Boston Metro|
|Student art sales are a great way to find a creative holiday bargain. This one’s at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. 10am-7pm.
Tower Building Lobby, 621 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA.617-879-7710. more
|Skating Rink Opening at Charles Hotel (Part 1)||12/6||Boston Metro|
|OK, it’s true. The ice skating rink opening has been postponed until Dec 13. But they’re still having a “welcome tent” on Dec 6th, with Santa and live music.
Charles Hotel, Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA. more
|Davis Square Midnight Madness Shopping Event||12/3||Boston Metro|
|There are a ton of regions that are holding commerical sales this season. Why not choose Davis Square? As far as I can tell, there’s no real ‘event’ except that the shops will be open late, but there may be some free food and music.
Davis Square, Somerville, MA. more
|Hot Chocolate Run in Northampton||12/5||Western Mass|
|There are numerous charity walks and runs, but this one caught my attention because they’re serving 2,500 cups of hot chocolate. It’s a 2 mile walk and a 5 mile run.
Downtown Northampton, 38 Gothic Street, Northampton, MA. more
|New England International Auto Show||12/2 – 12/6||Boston Metro|
|Most auto events in New England focus on the past, but if you want to see the cars of the future, here’s where to go.
Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Boston, MA, Boston, MA. more
|Pearl Harbor Day at Battleship Cove||12/7||Southern Mass|
|Finally, this event is small, but it’s a great excuse to visit Battleship Cove and see a real WWII battleship, submarine, and there’s a carousel, too.
Fall River, MA. more
Ho Ho Holidays
|Ring-in Christmas Concert (Handbells)||12/4||Boston Metro|
|Now on to the Christmas themed events. You can’t stop it, might as well enjoy it! I love handbells. Here’s a concert.
Old South Church, 645 Boylston Street, Boston, MA. more
|Christmas in Salem House Tour||12/4 – 12/6||North Shore|
|Declaring that Salem has more than just Halloween, these history buffs will give you tours of local historic homes, all dressed up for the holidays.
Hamilton Hall, 9 Chestnut Street, Salem, MA. more
|Annual Conway, NH Village Festival, Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony||12/5||New Hampshire|
|Now on to the “Santa” events, starting with the parades and caroling. This one has a parade and Santa, but with ice skating and professional ice skate performances. Plus free admission to the movie “Wall-E”.
Conway, NH. more
|Concord Holiday Parade & Tree Lighting||12/6||Metro West|
|This one in Concord is going up top also, since it seems to also be fairly non-commercial. 4:45-6pm. Parade, tree lighting, Santa will arrive by fire engine, and they’ll have carolers and hot chocolate. The parade starts at Dunkin Donuts on Sudbury Road and ends at town common.
Visitors Center, 58 Main St., Concord, MA.978-369-3120. more
|Plymouth, NH Hometown Holiday Parade||12/5||New Hampshire|
|Even better than a parade — fireworks! They’ll have 36 parade units throwing candy and parading down Green Street, around the rotary, and to South Main Street. Santa will arrive on a fire truck, and afterwards they’ll have soups and Santa events at the Senior Center. Parade at 5pm, then fireworks at 5:45pm on the Holderness-Plymouth bridge.
Plymouth, NH.603-536-2890. more
|Annual Holidays on the Green & Caroling @ Plymouth||12/5||South Shore|
|Free. “Reindog Parade”, where dogs are dressed up in costume. Santa, caroling, and petting zoo.
The Pinehills, 33 Summerhouse Drive, Plymouth, MA. more
|Easton Lions Reindog Parade||12/5 – 12/6||South Shore|
|Here’s another reindog parade event.
Easton, MA. more
|Santa Arrives in Salem||12/4||North Shore|
|I guess this event has been postponed to Dec 4. They will have carolers (possibly participatory?). Santa will descend ‘off’ the Hawthorne Hotel. In a reversal of the traditional Santa gift-giving role, then Santa will lead everyone to a place they can spend money.
Salem, MA. more
|Amesbury Santa Parade & Tree Lighting||12/5||Northern Mass|
|And another parade. (Parades beat plain tree lightings!) 3:30pm.
Amesbury, MA. more
|Festival of Trees or Portsmouth Illuminated Holiday Parade & Tree Lighting||12/5||New Hampshire|
|Another parade in Portsmouth, NH.
Urban Forestry Center, 45 Elwyn Road, Portsmouth, NH.603-610-5510. more
|Holiday Carol Sing, Tree Lighting, Parade @ Falmouth||12/4 – 12/6||Cape Cod|
Nobska Lighthouse, Nobska Road, Woods Hole, MA.508-548-8500. more
|Tree Lighting & Caroling @ Brighton Main Streets||12/7||Boston Metro|
|Caroling, Santa arrives in a fire truck, and a tree lighting. Even though the website is old, I called to confirm this is really happening.
Brighton, MA. more
|Sutton Chain of Lights||12/5||Worcester|
|Not closest to Boston, but possibly the best, are some big events in small towns. Here they have a parade, caroling, and tree lighting with Santa, followed by a roast beef dinner!
Sutton, MA. more
|Maynard’s Annual Christmas Parade||12/6||Metro West|
|2pm. From the Clocktower Place parking lot, down Main St loop through the downtown streets.
Maynard, MA.(978) 265-4668. more
|Pembroke Tree Lighting||12/6||South Shore|
|Here’s a creative one — tethered balloon rides and hay rides are part of this tree lighting event! And you can roast marshmallow over an open fire. Santa arrives by fire engine.
Pembroke, MA.781.294.4800. more
|Macy’s Enchanted Trolley Tour & Tree Lightings||12/4 – 12/6||Boston Metro|
|Do you not live near Copley Square or Boston Common? The mayor and Santa and “Macy’s Store Characters” will be driving around town in a trolley doing little 30 minute tree lightings & kids stuff, in 15 different Boston areas. Stand outside like you’re waiting for the bus. A bus full of elves that you can’t step onto.
Various, Boston, MA. more
|Bazaar Bizarre||12/6||Boston Metro|
|This one’s another pure merchant event. But an off-beat arts & crafts one.
Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA. more
|Lexington Holiday Festival Night||12/4||Metro West|
|So basically, this is also a merchant event where stores stay open late. But Santa’s coming around 6:30 for the tree lighting! 4-9pm.
Lexington, MA. more
|Haverhill Annual Christmas Stroll||12/4||Northern Mass|
|This one’s also a straightforward merchant event, with Santa. Free “train rides” whatever that means? Santa arrives by horse-drawn sleigh.
Haverhill, MA. more
|Essex Holiday Festival||12/3 – 12/5||North Shore|
|Santa’s coming and they’ll have carolers too! (But is it participatory?).
Essex, MA. more
|Rockport Santa Arrival & Tree Lighting||12/5||North Shore|
|Santa arrives by boat!
Rockport, MA. more
|Swedish Christmas Fair and Holiday Celebration||12/5||Boston Metro|
|Do they have Christmas in Sweden? I thought that was just for us Americans. Well, we can be inclusive, I guess. They’ll have “Lucia processions” wearing candles on the heads. Sounds dangerous. 10am-4pm.
Cyclorama, Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA. more
|Annual Marblehead Christmas Walk||12/3 – 12/6||North Shore|
|Tree lighting, gingerbread house display, Santa arrives by lobster boat, and tour local rich people homes. They also have a ‘walk parade’ that may not be a parade?
Marblehead, MA. more
|Annual Christmas Stroll Weekend, Nantucket||12/4 – 12/6||Southern Mass|
|If you happen to be on Nantucket Island, this one’s worth a shot. Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive to the island via Coast Guard and ride up Main Street in a horse-drawn carriage. Carolers in Victorian costumes, bell ringers and other musicians.
Nantucket Island.508-228-1700. more
|New Bedford Downtown Holiday Stroll||12/5 – 12/6||Southern Mass|
|Although Santa will attend, look also for the Grinch. Maybe they’ll fight. Free hot chocolate!
New Bedford, MA. more
|Holiday Open House at Old South Meeting House||12/5 – 12/6||Boston Metro|
|One of Boston’s tourist destinations is free this weekend, with caroling and other presentations.
Boston, MA. more
|USS Constitution Tree Decorating & Lighting||12/6||Boston Metro|
|The USS Constitution is the oldest active duty ship in the nation, from the 19th century, and they will have a tree lighting ceremony. I am sorry to say that I attended their July ’08 celebration and the military mindset of entertainment is essentially grim faces and schoolkids playing music badly. So… probably skip this one. They will fire the ship cannons though.
Bldg 5 Charlestown Navy Yard, Charlestown, MA. more
|Grafton Celebrates the Holidays||12/6||Metro West|
|Merchant event with open houses at various businesses. Then Santa comes, ice sculptures, petting zoo, and tree lighting. And free mini-golf (in December??).
Grafton, MA.508-839-5335 x156. more
|Federal Hill Christmas Stroll||12/6||Rhode Island|
|Free snacks, a horse drawn ride, and a tree lighting.
Atwells Avenue, Providence, RI. more
|Gingerbread House Workshops @ Verrill Farm||12/6 – 12/12||Metro West|
|For $35, you can build your own gingerbread house.
11 Wheeler Road, Concord, MA.978-369-4494. more
|Holidays at Heritage Museum||11/27 – 12/13||Cape Cod|
|This one is not to be missed. The Heritage Museum & Gardens have an expansive grounds with lighted paths for walking, with an auto museum, an arts museum, an outdoor maze, and a lot more. This event is free. Take photos with Santa in an old Model T car. Crafts and live music, too.
67 Grove Street, Sandwich, MA.508-888-3300. more
|Victorian Christmas Feast @ Astors’ Beechwood Mansion||12/4 – 12/18||Rhode Island|
|Also re-enacted is this 19th century holiday feast at one of Newport’s mansions. Fridays @ 7pm. Reserve in advance.
Astors’ Beechwood Mansion, 580 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI. more
|Mrs. Gore’s Holiday Tea & Tours||12/4 – 12/19||Metro West|
|Holiday events, ok let’s get real, Christmas events are dominating the events calendar now. As usual I list things from most interesting to least. To start, this is a re-enactment of “tea time” from the Victorian era at this old historical home of former Massachusetts Governor Gore.
Gore Place, 52 Gore Street, Waltham, MA.781-894-2798. more
|Harvard Square Holiday Crafts Fair||11/28 – 12/23||Boston Metro|
|Here’s one that looks promising: a church selling goods. I seem to recall that made Jesus angry. Whatever, they’re Unitarians!
Church at corner of Church St & Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA. more
|The Nutcracker||11/27 – 12/27||Boston Metro|
|And… It’s The Nutcracker. If you’re ever going to check out ballet (I haven’t), this would probably be it.
Opera House, Boston, MA. more
|The Eight: Reindeer Monologues||12/5 – 12/13||North Shore|
|Finally a holiday event from which kids are BANNED.
Salem Athenaeum, 337 Essex Street, Salem, MA.(978) 790-8546. more