Dec 3-10: Laptop Giveaway, Harvard Musical, Train Show, Open Studios, Santa Parades / Fireworks / Caroling, Day of the Ninja

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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 12/5 Rhode Island
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

Also Fun
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

Recurring Events
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


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