Events INSIDER: Dec 3-10, 2013

Giveaways & Features
Win: Becky’s New Car
When a wealthy suitor presumes she is a widow, she finds herself leading a double life that quickly accelerates out of her control. I have two pairs of tickets for this. Email to win! Win: Becky's New CarThe Lyric Stage, 140 Clarendon Street, Copley Square, Boston, MA, .
Win: A Christmas Carol
Win: Two pairs of tickets for the 12/6 show! Email to win! here is no place is better to see A Christmas Carol than the North Shore Music Theatre. Last year we gave it 5 stars! T. Win: A Christmas CarolNorth Shore Music Theatre Beverly, MA, .
Win: Not Jenny
Win: a pair of tickets for the 12/11 7:30 PM showing of Not Jenny. E-mail to win! Win: Not JennyBoston Center for the Arts Boston, MA, .
Johnny’s Picks
Frog Pond Opening Day and Skate Performance
There’s an ice skating rink on Frog Pond in Boston Common that is refrigerated and open in warm or cold weather from this week through March. For opening day, they bring professional ice skaters to perform, the Mayor will give a speech, and skating for the day is free! It’s a wonderful event — highly recommended! 6pm. Frog Pond Opening Day and Skate PerformanceBoston Common Boston, MA, .
Lightwaves Opening and After Party
This art installation uses Plankton – the thing Whales eat, along with video projection and more to create incredible light displays. Wild. This an annual holiday light show in the Greenway is accompanied by two works by Boston CyberArts! It opens at 6 and then there’s an after party at 7pm at the Long Wharf Hotel. 6pm-7pm Rain date: 12/12. Lightwaves Opening and After PartyBoston Harbor Islands Pavilion (between State St. & Atlantic Ave.) Boston, MA, .
ICA First Fridays: 80s Night
Cowabunga! Calling all fans of Don Johnson, David Bowie, neon pinks, and pastel blues! To celebrate their exhibit on ’80s art, the Institute for Contemporary Art is hosting a two-floor ’80s dance party with a photo booth, video presentation, live music, and tours. 80s attire encouraged, but keep that ‘Members Only’ jacket in mothballs – please. That thing was always dag. ICA First Fridays: 80s NightInstitute for Contemporary Art Boston, MA, .
Humanist Hub Grand Opening Preview Event
Calling all Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics, there’s a new place to converse, socialize, and ponder the world, The brand new Humanist Hub opens December 8th. Even better? It’s at Harvard, so everyone’s probably really smart! Or make ‘Dem Apples’ jokes all the time. Either way, great stuff! Humanist Hub Grand Opening Preview EventHumanist Community at Harvard, 30 JFK Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge, MA, .
Science on Screen: Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Who Framed Roger Rabbit merged Disney and Warner Brothers, and live action and animation so perfectly that it’s a fantastically entertaining film AND fascinating behind-the-scenes production story. Learn a little bit about this spectacular film, and the laws of cartoon physics at the Coolidge Corner Theater. 7:00 pm. Science on Screen: Who Framed Roger RabbitCoolidge Corner Theatre Brookline, MA, .
New England Model Train Expo
Grown-ups still need toys! Check out these model trains for perhaps the biggest event of this type of the year. More than 200 dealer tables, Santa Claus, and plenty of displays. Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 10am-4pm. New England Model Train ExpoBest Western Royal Plaza Trade Center Marlborough, MA, .
Free Star Parties
Ever since ‘Star Trek’ went all action movie, it’s upto regular folks to endear the joys of our nebulous, fabulous, possibly infinite universe to the masses, and this event is a great way to do so. Look through a telescope and learn about the stars from a real astronomer! Note that these events are generally cancelled if the weather is cloudy. 2012’s times were: 7:30-10pm, but the site lists no specific 2013 hours. Call ahead! Free Star PartiesMoose Hill Sharon, MA, .
Pearl Harbor Day at Battleship Cove
On a more somber note, this week we remember those who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor. A small and dignified ceremony will be performed on the Battleship Massachusetts at 12:55pm, the exact time of the strike. Pearl Harbor Day at Battleship CoveBattleship Cove Fall River, MA, .
Navy Christmas
Eat like World War II’s American heroes did, in the galley of the USS Massachusetts, with a Turkey Dinner made from the same recipe seamen of the 1940s used. All this needs is a little Bette Midler and Bob Hope to set the mood. While the website doesn’t list a time (military or otherwise), you can call call 508-678-1100 x 101 for info and reservations. Navy ChristmasBattleship Cove Fall River, MA, .
Get the 2013 New England Guide
Mention my website to friends and get my 2013 New England Guide, with 1,200 off-beat destinations including dinosaur footprints, zoos, ziplines, where to go stargazing, and where to find an indoor water park in December! Get the 2013 New England Guide All Over, , .
Find 16 New England Regions on Twitter
Hey! I’ve split my Twitter feed into 17 regions so that you can REALLY get just the events close to home, or pick what you like. Please check it out and add me to a ‘Twitter list’ too (google it). Find 16 New England Regions on Twitter All Over, , .
Review: John Singer Sargent Watercolors
Watercolors: we all learned them in kindergarten. Maybe that’s where John Singer Sargent mastered them? Review: John Singer Sargent WatercolorsMuseum of Fine Arts Boston, MA, .
Ho Ho Holidays
BLINK! At Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Talk about Xmas bombardment! The lights will be on through January 5th but the fun gets going on November 23rd with all day fun with various musical and dance performances. 12pm for 11/23 day long event, lights will be on every night after through 1/5. BLINK! At Faneuil Hall MarketplaceFaneuil Hall Boston, MA, .
Boston Common Holiday Lighting
This tree lighting ceremony is a lot more than just flicking a switch on! Performers include (not quire) New Kid on The Block Joey McIntyre, American Idol alum Erica Van Pelt, The Blue Man Group, and a Nova Scotia’s ‘Squid Precision Drumming’ ensemble. 6pm-8pm. Boston Common Holiday LightingBoston Common Boston, MA, .
Holiday Lighting Ceremony
Newton’s Holiday tree lighting begins with a 4pm sing-a-long (someone ask for ‘Freebird’, please!), and culminates with a tree lighting. Admission is a non-perishable food item. If you ask me I’d bring something spicy. Like chili. Spice up some one’s life, ya know? 4pm. Holiday Lighting CeremonyNewton City Hall, War Memorial Auditorium Newton, MA, .
Tree Lighting Pre-Show at Frog Pond Skating Rink
The cool thing about figure skating is that it combines gymnastics, dance, fast speeds, and sharp objects. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a triple Axel and double sow-cow in person. 5pm. Tree Lighting Pre-Show at Frog Pond Skating RinkBoston Common Boston, MA, .
Holiday Open House
Confession time: I am unsure what *exactly* a Victorian Christmas entails, so I asked, and the word of the day is ‘elaborate’. Thus Longfellow House’s Victorian Christmas, featuring crafts, seasonal refreshments, and carols, is likely quite the extravagant adventure. 4pm-7pm. Holiday Open House?Longfellow House, 105 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA, .
A Christmas Carol at Faneuil Hall
It’s not Christmas without Scrooge! Be he Bill Murray, Captain Picard, or Michael Caine, the story of a grouchy man who is visited by three ghosts, and finds appreciation for his world and fellow man, can warm the coldest soul – also, this one has singing! 7pm. A Christmas Carol at Faneuil HallFaneuil Hall 1 Faneuil Hall Square Boston, MA, .
Old South Meeting House Holiday Open House
This festival is a good excuse to visit this historic museum if you’ve never been. It’s not as good an excuse as their Boston Tea Party re-enactment next month, though. 2013 10am-4pm. Old South Meeting House Holiday Open HouseOld South Meeting House 310 Washington Street Boston, MA, .
Lexington Holiday Festival Night
Basically, this is a merchant event where stores stay open late. But Santa’s coming to Depot Square 6:30 for a tree lighting, and there are ‘holiday pops’ concerts at 4pm and 8pm. 4-9pm. Lexington Holiday Festival NightLexington Town Center Lexington, MA, .
Boston Santacon
This raucous event is basically a Santa-themed flash mob and bar crawl. Starts at noon and ends at last call, I suppose! Boston SantaconStart at Faneuil Hall (Purple Shamrock) Boston, MA, .
Swedish Yuletide
They wear candles on their heads! This Scandinavian holiday festival, the largest of its kind in New England, is sponsored by IKEA and Volvo. No, really! 10am-4pm. Swedish YuletideBoston Center for the Arts Boston, MA, .
Le March de Nol
Yes, more holiday-themed food and shopping. But it’s all lovely French things. The only french sentence I know is Bonjour! Je suis le nouveau pingouin dans la ville. Which is ‘Hi! I’m the new Penguin in town!’ Try it out in Boston and get many, many, many looks. Some impressed, most confused. Worth going. 10am-5pm. Le March de NolThe Boston French Cultural Center Boston, MA, .
Red Sox Natives Holiday Party
Celebrate the early Christmas gift of a Red Sox World Series win at The Bleacher Bar, where they’ll be decorating a Holiday tree, serving free appetizers to early arrivers, and taking donations to support the Run to Home Base program, which helps veterans with PTSD. 12pm-4pm. Red Sox Natives Holiday PartyThe Bleacher Bar, Fenway Park 82 Lansdowne St Boston, MA, .
Santa Comes to Roslindale and Train show
Holiday train show you say? Santa arriving in elegant style you say? A railroad museum you say? If my dad knew how to work a computer, or what social media was, or what I do for a living, he’d be begging me to go to this thing. I should probably tell him about it. You tell your friends too, this looks cool! 11am-3pm. Santa Comes to Roslindale and Train showThe Bay State Model Railroad Museum Roslindale, MA, .
Singalong Messiah!
These folks in JP claim that theirs is the only uncut performance of Messiah this season. 4pm. Singalong Messiah! Boston, MA, .
Burlington Tree Lighting at the Town Common
Christmas music, Christmas trees, Christmas lights, Santa, Frosty, Candy canes, and childlike joy at Burlington, MA’s tree lighting. 4pm. Burlington Tree Lighting at the Town CommonTown Hall Burlington, MA, .
Boston North End Christmas Parade and Santa Helicopter Arrival
Nothing kicks off a holiday parade like an arrival by Santa via helicopter. Italians do things big and often times with olive oil. Cannolis to follow? They better. This event has clowns, ‘T.V characters’, and free candy! It’s dedicated to the memory James Pallotta, who had a hand in helping with the Red Sox / Jimmy Fallon flick ‘Fever Pitch’. 1pm. Boston North End Christmas Parade and Santa Helicopter ArrivalNorth End Park Boston, MA, .
Holiday Tea with Best American Short Stories
Tea with B.A. Shapiro, award-winning author of ‘The Art Forger’ and Margaret Burchenal, the Curator of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. $45, which is pretty much a standard price for high tea at a fancy hotel. 2pm. Holiday Tea with Best American Short StoriesWomen’s National Book Association, Boston Chapter, P.O. Box 230449, Astor Station Boston, MA, .
USS Constitution Tree Lighting
The 19th century war ship the USS Constitution, also known as Old Iron-sides, is the oldest active duty ship in the nation… And they have an annual tree lighting ceremony! Why show up outside some city hall and watch them flick a switch, when you could watch the USS Constitution crew fire the cannons?! Beforehand, there is a period-themed open house at the Commander’s house. 1-4:30pm. Take public transit, parking is limited. USS Constitution Tree LightingBldg 5 Charlestown Navy Yard Charlestown, MA, .
Brighton Center Tree Lighting
Oldies 103, hot cocoa, cookies, participatory caroling, tree lighting, and Santa on a fire truck. 6pm. Brighton Center Tree LightingBrighton Center Boston, MA, .
Sweetback Sisters Country Christmas Sing-Along
This country fusion act is another great-looking show at Club Passim this week. 8pm. Sweetback Sisters Country Christmas Sing-Along Cambridge, MA, .
Boston Common Tree Lighting
Boston Common’s pond has ice skating all winter, including New Years Eve from 6pm. Boston Common Tree LightingThe Frog Pond Boston, MA, .
Holiday Open House
seasonal refreshments in the Longfellow Carriage House, crafts for kids of all ages, and the house will be decorated in the manner of a Victorian Christmas. 4-7pm. Holiday Open HouseLongfellow House-Washington’s HQ NHS Cambridge, MA, .
Santa Paws & Grinch Photos
Do police dogs need a bulletproof vest? I suppose that depends on how likely a police dog is to be shot. What do I google to learn that? Well, this Santa Claus fundraiser helps dogs that (maybe) need it. Santa Paws & Grinch PhotosCanton, Lakeville, Medway Canton, MA, .
Gingerbread House Classes
This has a chef, A CHEF – who went to school for years, teaching you to make Gingerbread houses. That’s like Tom Brady teaching 4th grade gym class, folks. If you (or your kid) have a fastidious eye for art, cooking, confections, and architecture *and* won’t eat the dang thing the moment you get home, this may be the one of the coolest craft events in town. 9am. Gingerbread House ClassesZebra’s Bistro Medfield, MA, .
A Christmas Carol at the Wayside Inn
‘No space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused’, and you definately don’t want to miss out on the chance to watch an authentic, Victorian era production of ‘A Christmas Carol’ using Mr. Dicken’s original script and stage direction. No Muppets here! There’s also a second, shorter, more musically oriented version for kids. 2pm and 7pm
. A Christmas Carol at the Wayside InnLongfellow’s Wayside Inn Sudbury, MA, .
Holiday House Tour
Check out a number of elaborately decorated Victorian era homes in Concord, MA 2013 : 11:00 AM. Holiday House TourConcord Museum Concord, MA, .
Messiah Sing
I think people just like these things so that they can belt out the ‘Hallelujah!’ part that everyone knows. It’s like the high-brow equivalent of ‘Fiiiive gooolden rings!’ Anyway, a rehearsal takes place Friday and then the ‘show’ happens Sunday, 3-6pm. Messiah SingChurch Sudbury, MA, .
Dover Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony
Another standard town tree-lighting event. Dover Holiday Tree Lighting CeremonyDover Town Hall Dover, MA, .
Christmas Tours at the Gables
Holiday Tours in Salem are always fun, it’s such an eerie place. This tour takes you through the holiday decorated House of Seven Gables and provides a brief history of how Christmas has changed through the years. Aside: I got stuck in this house’s secret passage once and it almost became the House of Seven gables and a chubby 8th grader who should walk sideways through tight corners. 10am-5pm. Christmas Tours at the GablesThe House of the Seven Gables Salem, MA, .
Essex Holiday Festival
Essex is a good place to attend a holiday event if you like antiques and seafood restaurants. Santa’s coming by boat for breakfast, storytelling and caroling. (But is it participatory?) Ooh! They have a bell choir, too. And they light a ‘Memory Tree’ to honor lost loved ones — that’s really touching! 6:30pm. Essex Holiday FestivalAll Over Essex, MA, .
Marblehead Christmas Walk
Tree lighting, gingerbread house display, Santa arrives by lobster boat, and tour local rich people homes. The packed calendar includes singing sea shanties and lighting the ‘lobster trap’ Christmas tree. Check out the website for an extremely detailed schedule of events. 5-8pm, Lighting: 7pm. Marblehead Christmas WalkDowntown Marblehead Marblehead, MA, .
Christmas at Gordon: Bell Lighting
A bonfire, make your own s’mores (is that the correct spelling?), carols, hayrides, and hot cocoa make a trip to Gordon College a quality Holiday experience. 7pm. Christmas at Gordon: Bell LightingGordon College Wenham, MA, .
Christmas-by- the- Sea
Another merchant event with Santa and a tree lighting. I’d hit up other Cape Ann events before this one, to be honest. The only thing in Manchester-by-the-Sea is a really cool bookstore. 2013:4pm. Christmas-by- the- SeaDowntown Manchester by the Sea, MA, .
Christmas in Salem
The real main event of ‘Christmas in Salem’ are the spice tastings at The Picklepot. How does one taste a spice? do you ask for a smidge of saffron? A dollop of dill? a ration of rosemary? A morsel of mustard? Pinch of parsley? I’ll stop. Anyway, when you’ve had your fill of fennel, you can check out the carolers (possibly participatory?) and 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. 5pm-8pm. Christmas in SalemDowntown Salem, MA, .
Christmas in Salem House Tour
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. And inevitably, the tour ends where you can spend money. (Eyeroll.) Merry Giftmas! 10:30am – 4:30pm. Christmas in Salem House TourHamilton Hall Salem, MA, .
Greening of the Great House: Crane Estate Holiday Open House
Visiting Castle Hill at any time of the year is a great opportunity — I’ve been and highly recommend its glorious view of the ocean. It’s an old and beautiful mansion. They’ll have a wood turning demonstration, crafts, and live jazz music, but basically the ‘event’ here is to get to walk around the wonderful grounds. 12-4pm. Greening of the Great House: Crane Estate Holiday Open HouseCastle Hill Ipswich, MA, .
Tomseen Foley’s Celtic Christmas
A Celtic (with a hard K, not the Basketball team) Christmas recreates the ‘joy and innocence’ of Christmas eve with steel guitar, flutes, Kathleen Keane, a world renowned Irish Fiddler and holiday stories. Sounds like story time for grownups if you ask me, and I love me a good story, and love it more when there’s music involved. 8pm. Tomseen Foley's Celtic ChristmasThe Larcom Theatre Beverly, MA, .
Rockport Santa Arrival and Tree Lighting
Santa arrives by lobster boat. I mean, um, ‘LOBSTAH boat!’ Then a parade on a fire engine, carols, tree lighting, and concert! I’d give ya more but the link on the website links to another site that links back to the first one. 3:45pm. Rockport Santa Arrival and Tree LightingBradley Wharf on Bearskin Neck, and Dock Square Rockport, MA, .
Haverhill Annual Christmas Stroll
This one’s also a straightforward merchant event but is supplemented with street entertainers, and Reindeer games! Actual reindeer games! The long-standing mystery is finally solved. 5-8pm. Haverhill Annual Christmas StrollEssex, Washington & Wingate Streets Haverhill, MA, .
ICS North Pole Express
Wanna see what a sea of elves looks like? Hop aboard the ICS North Pole Express on Dec. 7th, and find out. You’ll meet Santa, and hear a rendition of ‘The Night Before Christmas’… On The Polar Express. Hey, at least it’s different! Trains start at 11:35am. ICS North Pole ExpressNewburyport Commuter Rail Station Newburyport, MA, .
Christmas Holiday Gallery Stroll
If you’re looking for a holiday stroll, Rockport is a quaint, seaside place to do it, and Santa arrives via Lobster Boat. Lots of other great towns are nearby and it’s close to Boston! 12pm-4pm. Christmas Holiday Gallery StrollBearskin Neck Rockport, MA, .
Olde World Christmas at Plimoth Grist Mill
Travel back to the simple times before electricity, modern medicine, and telecommunications via Plimouth Plantation’s Olde World Christmas, with real Sugar Plums! I’ve never had one before! Fridays and Saturdays, December 6 & 7, 13 & 14, 20 & 21 4 to 8 p.m. Olde World Christmas at Plimoth Grist MillPlimoth Grist Mill Plymouth, MA, .
Christmas in the Square – Hingham
This one seems to be heavy on shopping and children’s amusements, but then again, taking a hayride to a GAP or a Gamestop could be fun in an absurd kind of way. 6pm. Christmas in the Square - HinghamDowntown Hingham, MA, .
Holidays on the Green
Free ‘Reindog Parade’, where dogs are dressed up in costume as Reindeer. Cute overload. Earlier in the day there’s pancakes with Santa, and caroling, and a petting zoo throughout the day, too. Lots of other holiday events are happening at Pine Hills, too! 8am-5pm. Holidays on the GreenThe Pinehills Plymouth, MA, .
Family Breakfast with Santa!
Woah! Look at that menu! Have breakfast with Santa and eat like a king! Eggs, bacon, sausage, waffles, pancakes, yogurt, granola, home fries, and assorted breakfast pastries. Dibs on the cheese danish. Seriously, I will fight Santa and an army of elves for a cheese danish. 10am-12pm. Family Breakfast with Santa!Plimoth Plantation, PO Box 1620 Plymouth, MA, .
Pembroke Tree Lighting
Here’s a creative one! You can roast marshmallow over an open fire, there will be hay rides, participatory caroling, local historians, and Santa comes in on a fire truck for the tree lighting. 2-5pm. Pembroke Tree LightingPembroke Town Green Pembroke, MA, .
The Polar Express at Edaville USA
One of several Polar Express-themed train rides opens this weekend. It’s just a regular train ride where you wear pajamas, drink hot chocolate, and hear a reading and singing. Click for our review! The Polar Express at Edaville USAEdaville USA Carver, MA, .
Nantucket Noel
The 40th anniversary of this event features ‘..Crisp sea air spiced with wood smoke drifting through a historic village’s cobblestoned streetslined with glittering trees and brightly lit shops while, in the distance,church bells chime familiar carols’ – I don’t know who’s writing Nantucket’s event copy, but they deserve a cookie or award. I want to be there *now*. Santa arrives via Coast Guard boat, is accompanied by the town Crier (Yes, they have a town crier in Nantucket), to historic Jared Coffin House. From there he’ll meet eager kids while the adults can check out the capoeira demonstration (what?) or partake in the Victorian costume contest. Fantastic. Simply fantastic. 10am-5pm. Nantucket NoelTop of Main Street Nantucket, MA, .
Santa’s Farm Follies
Santa, Mrs. Claus, and Grinch (who is the original Grumpy Cat) come to Achusnet, a town that is surprisingly sprawling and very easy to get lost in, bring hot cocoa, hayrides, and facepainting with them. 10am-4pm. Santa's Farm Follies Acushnet, MA, .
New Bedford Downtown Holiday Stroll
Antique fire trucks rides, a candlelight tour, and Santa. ‘Stroll the streets, shop the stores’… That pretty much says it all. This is a merchant event. Again, Merry Giftmas! 12pm. New Bedford Downtown Holiday StrollDowntown New Bedford, MA, .
Lights On – Taunton Christmas Celebration
A giant Santa Claus on a giant, 100th anniversary cake in Taunton! It’s huge…and scablable if you’re adventurous and don’t mind geting arrested.This is a real festival and a Bristol county tradition. Hay rides, Mrs. Claus, participatory caroling, and 20 different performance sites, some of which will surely be outdoors. 12PM. Lights On - Taunton Christmas Celebration Taunton, MA, .
Easton Lions Reindog Parade
Dawww puppppy. Here’s another ‘reindog’ parade event. You dress up your dog and hope it’s not traumatizing. For the record the population of *actual* deer in Easton is very high and they seem to love crossing the road in the middle of a foggy night. 12pm-1pm. Easton Lions Reindog ParadeEaston Lions Club, P.O. Box 1032 Easton, MA, .
Holidays at the WAM
WAM, the Worcester Art Museum, isn’t kidding around. Expanded Cafe Hours, seasonal decorations, changing programming for the kiddies, if you’ve never been, now’s the time to go, and and if you have, why not check out what changed! Holidays at the WAMWorcester Art Museum Worcester, MA, .
Christmas by Candlelight at Old Sturbridge Village
‘an enchanted evening of gingerbread, roasted chestnuts, music, dance, and a sleigh ride’ – Someone should write a song about that! It sounds delightful. Running throughout this month are special holiday evenings authentic to early New England in Old Sturbridge Village. Whether you want to take the kids or have a romantic dinner, there’s lots of stuff to see (and do – including ye olden games!). 4pm – 9pm. Christmas by Candlelight at Old Sturbridge VillageOld Sturbridge Village Sturbridge, MA, .
Worcester Tree Lighting and Caroling
Tree lighting and performance. You would think ‘ho hum’, but when you toss in free ice skating at the Common Oval, you got yourself something a little special. 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM. Worcester Tree Lighting and CarolingWorcester Common, Behind City Hall Worcester, MA, .
Sutton Chain of Lights
Forget the festival, Here’s a chain of Lights. Not closest to Boston, but possibly the best. Some big events happen in small towns and this is the kick off for whole chain of holiday events. 10am-4pm. Sutton Chain of LightsVarious Locations Sutton, MA, .
Grafton Celebrates the Holidays
This one’s very merchant-y, with gingerbread houses, tree lighting, caroling, and a variety of in-store merchant events. But they provide a schedule and map so you can easily find what you like. 3pm. Grafton Celebrates the HolidaysGrafton Public Library Grafton, MA, .
Springfield’s Festival of Trees
A ‘festival of trees’ that features quite a lot of trees – some would say a forest, all decorated and donated by folks eager to support the cause. 11am -3pm. Springfield's Festival of TreesTower Square, 1500 Main Street, Springfield, MA, .
Caroling on the Green at West Springfield
What’s better than an Elvis impersonator? An Elvis, Bobby Darin, Garth Brooks, Chubby Checker, and Toby Keith impersonator singing Christmas carols. Have Mercy! If you ask me, this is THE Caroling event of the season. 5:45pm. Caroling on the Green at West SpringfieldElm Street Gazebo Springfield, MA, .
Court Square Holiday Lighting Ceremony
Five dollar horse-drawn carriage rides, a ‘Peace on Earth’ themed Holiday parade, and a tree lighting by Mayor Springfield mayor Joe Quimby, I mean…Ted Byrd, who will say some words. Looks like Byrd’s the word. 5pm – 7:30pm. Court Square Holiday Lighting CeremonyCourt Square Historic District Springfield, MA, .
Yuletide at Storrowton Village
Here’s a fine choice for re-enactment enthusiasts, history buffs, and antiquarians: Tours of 18th and 19th century buildings decorated for the holidays. Lots of old-fashioned festivities for kids, too. 10am-4pm. Yuletide at Storrowton VillageStorrowton Village Springfield, MA, .
Festival of Trees at Berkshire Museum
Hundreds. HUNDREDS of Christmas trees in Pittsfield, MA. 5:30 – 7:30pm. Festival of Trees at Berkshire MuseumBerkshire Museum Pittsfield, MA, .
Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas
Nice! This event is recreating a Norman Rockwell painting with authentic cars and era-authentic decoration! Once that blows your mind, head to West Stockbridge and go caroling on a ‘luminaria walk’ — carrying lanterns, I hope, not those crazy Swedish candle hats — and all kinds of Santa events styled like a Dickens village, with horse-drawn carriage rides, caroling, and a concert. Stockbridge Main Street at ChristmasMain St. Stockbridge, MA, .
Glassblowers Christmas
See the beauty of hundreds of glass ornaments all the way through christmas. Ornaments are a great way to honor memories and this event could be a great way to make some new ones! Glassblowers ChristmasSandwich Glass Museum Sandwich, MA, .
Gardens Aglow Celebration of Lights
Santa on a train, Santa on a boat, Santa in a sleigh, and now, Santa in a Ford Model T at the Heritage Museums and Gardens. A vintage carousel adds entertainment value, as does live music and dance performances. Also the crafts and decorating you’d come to expect from such events are present and accounted for. 5-9pm. Gardens Aglow Celebration of LightsHeritage Museums and Gardens Sandwich, MA, .
Sandwich Carol Sing
Sandwhich has a proverbial deli’s worth of Holiday events, but this one is all about the music – then fill your tummy with tasty cookies and cider, then carol your heart out. 6pm. Sandwich Carol SingSandwich Center -Church, 136 Main St, Sandwich, MA, .
Falmouth Christmas Parade
Falmouth hosts Southeastern Massachusetts’ largest holiday parade, with floats, animals, hopefully free candy, and an appearance by the big red guy with the white beard himself, Santa Claus. 12pm. Falmouth Christmas ParadeMain Street Falmouth, MA, .
Carol Sing in Sandwich Center
Sing along to Christmas classics followed by hot cider and cookies at the Dan’l Webster Inn and Spa. Rain date 12/8. 7pm. Carol Sing in Sandwich CenterFirst Church of Christ 136 Main St Sandwich, MA, .
Falmouth Holidays by the Sea Weekend
There’s an entire weekend of events in Falmouth, including participatory caroling, a parade, a tree lighting, and Santa’s arrival by boat – I guess the sleigh gets crummy gas mileage. Falmouth Holidays by the Sea WeekendNobska Lighthouse, Nobska Road Falmouth, MA, .
Holly Folly
This GLBT Holiday festival’s got a Santa speedo run, Ptown’s gay men’s chorus, drag Bingo, and Boston’s Gay Men Chorus. G,L,B,T, or not, this sounds like an absolute blast if you want a little silly with your Holiday cheer. Holly Folly Provincetown, MA, .
Mashpee Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade
I love parades! This one has community floats and seems real, not overly commercial. 5:30pm. Mashpee Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade Mashpee, MA, .
Hyannis Village Christmas Stroll and Boat Parade
Holy cow! If you have children, this is the holiday fair to attend this weekend. TONS of crafts and workshops, Santa, carriage and trolley rides, face paintings, cookies, a petting zoo; you name it. 10am-6pm. Hyannis Village Christmas Stroll and Boat ParadeMain Street Hyannis, MA, .
Yarmouth Port Christmas Stroll Open House
Decorations, treats, and a friendly atmosphere will hopefully endear you toward supporting local business during this Holiday stroll in Yarmouth, MA prior to their 5pm tree lighting. 12-4pm. Yarmouth Port Christmas Stroll Open HouseEdward Gorey House Yarmouth Port, MA, .
Country Christmas Open House
‘Country Christmas’ is almost always a code word for rustic decorations and delicious treats. This one has jams and mulled cider, along with a gift shop with all manner of jellies and relishes. If you or someone you know is an HGTV fanatic, this could be a fun adventure. 10am-4pm. Country Christmas Open HouseGreen Briar Nature Center & Jam Kitchen, 6 Discovery Hill Rd, Sandwich, MA, .
The Gift of Lights
I’m not a Christian, but I do love these Xmas nighttime attractions of lights. This is one of the largest displays of holiday lights in New England. The Gift of Lights Loudon, NH, .
Christmastime at Santa’s Village
This is where Christmas memories that last a lifetime are made. They have 14 different rides including a carousel and bumper cars. This year they’ve added a 3-D movie. Christmastime at Santa's Village Jefferson, NH, .
Santa’s Holiday Express at Conway Scenic Railroad
Another Holiday train, this time offering cookies, pictures, hot chocolate, Santa, and elves. Conway railroad is a New England institution, and if you’ve never been, maybe a little ho-ho-holiday fun could be just the excuse! 2013:11:30am. Santa's Holiday Express at Conway Scenic RailroadConway Scenic Railroad, 38 Norcross Circle, North Conway, NH, .
Santa Express Trains at Hobo Railroad
The Hobo railroad is national treasure, with foilage trains being something like the leaf peeping superbowl. The holiday train is decorated for the season, and Santa and his elves are onboard for the ride, too. 1pm. Santa Express Trains at Hobo RailroadHobo RR 64 Railroad St. Lincoln, NH, .
Polar Express
This event seems pretty adamant about the fact they’re the first ever ‘Polar Express’, that they’re really going to the North Pole, and when you get there, the main character from ‘The Polar Express’ will read the book about his Christmas journey to passengers in a special North Pole theater. Wild. I appreciate the dedication – and so does everyone else, judging by the limited ticket availability. Polar ExpressJackson Village Jackson, NH, .
Antrim Festival of Trees
Over 100 holiday trees, wreaths and displays grace our stately library for the season. Antrim Festival of TreesJames A. Tuttle Library Antrim, NH, .
Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth & Candlelight Stroll
Vintage Trolleys, vintage lighting techniques (candles), vintage holiday cheer, a parade, tree lighting, and a candle light stroll with vintage Christmas carols, vintage transport (horses!), vintage craftsmen (a Tinsmith!), makes Portsmith NH’s Vintage Christmas the most post-modern event of the Holiday Season. 1:30-10:30pm. Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth & Candlelight StrollVarious Locations Portsmouth, NH, .
Midnight Merriment and Join-in Caroling
And here’s another thinly veiled ‘stores stay open late’ event. Merry Giftmas! 5:30pm-12am. Midnight Merriment and Join-in CarolingDowntown Concord, NH, .
Christmas in the Village at Remick Museum
Tamworth is pretty far north, but if you’re heading up to the White Mountains for skiing, you’ll find wagon rides, storytelling, kids activities, and a bonfire at this museum event. 1-4pm. Christmas in the Village at Remick MuseumRemick Museum Tamworth, NH, .
Plymouth Holiday Parade and Fireworks
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. Saturday, parade at 5pm and fireworks, then Sunday 1-3pm, ‘Skate with Santa’! Plymouth Holiday Parade and FireworksAll Over Plymouth, NH, .
Messiah Sing at Portsmouth Music Hall
Do you think Christmas caroling is serious business? Do you give death stares to anyone who chimes in with a ‘Batman Smells, Robin laid and egg’? Then this is for you. Show off your pipes by caroling your heart out with people who also want to carol their hearts out. 7:30pm. $16.25. Messiah Sing at Portsmouth Music HallThe Music Hall Portsmouth, NH, .
Wolfeboro Festival of Trees
60 uniquely decorated Christmas trees on two floors at the Wolfboro Wright museum, along with samples of local restaurant’s ‘best fare’. All you need to get me anywhere is that last part! Wolfeboro Festival of TreesWolfeboro Festival of Trees, Wright Museum Wolfeboro, NH, .
Portsmouth Illuminated Holiday Parade & Tree Lighting
Portsmouth, NH brings you yet another Holiday tree lighting, light parade, marching band, and all the fixings. This one ends at a playground, so if you ever wanted to see a parade as a resting bird does, get to the jungle-gym early. Also bring food for the less fortunate, and a toy for a tot, if you’re so inclined. And you should be. 6pm. Portsmouth Illuminated Holiday Parade & Tree LightingIslington Street to Market Square Portsmouth, NH, .
Christmas at Canterbury
Here’s a day of holiday cheer, Shaker style, with a silent film event with live organ accompaniment. I bet their shop is stocked with lots of Simple Gifts and baked goods – get it? Shake and bake? I’ll go now. 3pm-8pm. Christmas at Canterbury Canterbury, NH, .
Tilton Holiday Parade
Tilton, NH’s Holiday parade flyer looks like a random note, but promises hot cocoa, light refreshments, a Santa visit, the aforementioned parade, and free pictures. Just be sure to bring small, unmarked bills just in case. Tilton Holiday ParadeMain Street, Tilton, NH, .
Holiday Tree Festival at Settlers’ Green
North Conway, NH takes the time to remind us Santa is busy this time of year (obviously, he’s making…over a hundred personal appearences this week!), but he’s making time for this Tree Festival where professional tree decorators compete for fabulous cash and prizes. If you’re a little tired of trees, you can hit the powder at the mini snow-tubing park, nibble on a Candy Cane, or take a wagon ride with the big guy himself. 11am-3pm. Holiday Tree Festival at Settlers' GreenSettlers’ Green Outlet Village North Conway, NH, .
Hampstead NH Christmas Parade
Another holiday parade. This one begins at 2pm and its theme is the oddly specific ‘Christmas in 1938’. Hampstead NH Christmas ParadeMain Street Hampstead, NH, .
Spirit of New Hampshire Christmas Parade and The Ghostbusters
This is the largest float parade in New Hampshire, but is there a root beer float? 4pm. Spirit of New Hampshire Christmas Parade and The GhostbustersElm Street Manchester, NH, .
TubaChristmas – NH
Here’s another Totally Tubular Tuba event! See the website for other events all over New Hampshire, and the rest of New England. TubaChristmas - NHAll Over Keene, NH, .
Exeter, NH Holiday Parade
This is primarily a children’s event, although the website boasts that it’s bigger and better than ever. The good news: Candy must be handed, not thrown. No ‘Hunger Games’ scrum for edible stuff in Needham, no sir. 5pm-7pm. Exeter, NH Holiday ParadePortsmouth Ave, Water St Exeter, NH, .
Hampton, NH Christmas Parade
Hampton’s NH’s holiday parade’s theme is…’Vintage Hampton Christmas Parade’. I miss the bad puns. So…Check out what Vintage Hampton is all about on 12/7. 1pm. Hampton, NH Christmas ParadeLafayette Rd (Rte1) Hampton, NH, .
Conway Village Festival, Parade, Tree Lighting
This one has a parade and Santa, but with ice skating and professional ice skate performances. Conway Village Festival, Parade, Tree Lighting Conway, NH, .
Rochester, NH Holiay Parade
Frisbie Memorial Hospital sponsors this Holiday tree lighting, which is the most joyful name for such a place since the Gesundheit! Institute. Mayor Thomas ‘TJ’ Jean reads a story, lights the tree, Santa stops by, there’s dancing and caroling (no mention of free cider or cocoa..) and friends and family of those serving overseas are encouraged to play an ornament on the soon-to-be lit Christmas tree. Seems like a well meaning event. Check it out! 5:30-6:30
. Rochester, NH Holiay ParadeDowntown Rochester Rochester, NH, .
Christmas at the Newport Mansions
These mansions are beautiful, especially when they’re decked out in lights and thousands of decorations. Admission to all three decorated mansions is $28 for adults and $9 for kids 6 and older. Christmas at the Newport MansionsVarious Places Newport, RI, .
Wickford Festival of Lights
This tree lighting actually kicks off an entire weekend’s worth of events that includes breakfast with Santa, hay rides with Santa, a live nativity (Do you get a S.A.G card for that?), and a Holley Jolley Trolley ride which is as delightfully alliterative as it gets! 6pm. Wickford Festival of LightsWickford Village North Kingstown, RI, .
Pawtucket Winter Wonderland
What would *you* ask an 18 foot tall talking Frosty The Snowman? I’d ask him if he wanted a free hot cocoa, then drink mine in front of him while cackling in glee at the delicious treat he could never have. After that I’d take a ride on their historical Carousal, and squeeze myself into their miniature train while giving the big frosty dude a raspberry. He knows what he did. He knows. 4-8pm. Pawtucket Winter WonderlandPawtucket Winter Wonderland, P O Box 2411 Pawtucket, RI, .
Santacon (Newport, RI)
Santacon is a nontraditional, nonreligious, and nonsensical gathering of folks dressed as Santa for no reason.’ – That line fills me with Holiday cheer and makes me smile, and here’s Rhode Island’s opportunity to descend upon a string of local watering holes in red velvet hats. 12pm. Santacon (Newport, RI)Washington Square Park Newport, RI, .
Bowen’s Wharf Christmas Tree Lighting
Frosty the snowman, participatory caroling, and Mr. & Mrs. Claus arrive for a tree lighting. Low key, like a baritone. 4pm-6pm. Bowen's Wharf Christmas Tree Lighting Newport, RI, .
Christmas at the Castle
North Kingstown, RI, brings us ‘The History of the Christmas Carol’ via it’s Christmas at the Castle event, along with seeing Smith’s Castle decorated to the nines with Holiday things! Educational and visually stimulating, like my 8th grade Health Teacher. Christmas at the CastleSmith’s Castle North Kingstown, RI, .
Christmas in Kingston / Holiday Fair
‘Everyone you know will treasure gifts created by Fayerweather Craft Guild artisans.’ Says the official website. Who am I to argue with such confidence? There’s free refreshments to sweeten the deal, too. No time listed, but e-mail for info. Christmas in Kingston / Holiday Fair Kingston, RI, .
Jingle Bell Run
I am unsure if this Jingle Bell run forces every runner to wear actual Jingle Bells, but it should. They should also be forced to run in tune, and be docked several seconds every time they’re not. Actually that’s a Stephen King story, ‘The Long Walk’. 11am. Jingle Bell RunNarragansett Town Beach Narragansett, RI, .
Oy Oy Oy
Everyone Loves Latkes Party
This event hands out free latkes (A latke is a potato pancake, from Jewish Eastern Europe) in Harvard Square, and has over a half dozen local restaurants offering creative condiments and…nuances to the classic potato pancake – which is great if you’re sick of all that cocoa and apple cider!. Last year they had dancing to klezmer music, too. 1-3pm. Everyone Loves Latkes PartyCrema Cafe Cambridge, MA, .
Also Fun
Higgins Armory is Closing
The Higgins Armory is closing at the end of 2013! Come explore the weapons, suits of armor, and learn old-timey combat from re-enactors. Higgins Armory is Closing Worcester, MA, .
Wonderland: 2013 Artists’ Market
These artists don’t just want to show off their crafts, they want you to buy some of their work that is probably winter or christmas themed! They promise unique finds that will dazzle and amaze so check it out for yourself and see if they’re right. I’m pretty sure this will be outdoors in the sculpture park. 10am-5:30pm. Wonderland: 2013 Artists' MarketDeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum Lincoln, MA, .
Bold Enough to Fail
Failing is the sour that makes success sweet. ‘Bold Enough to Fail: Empowering Success through Adversity’ seeks to energize those of us who have tried and tried and tried and maybe haven’t quite broken through the brick wall to success. There’s speakers, social activities, and workshops This could be salve for the student-loan stymied soul. Ticket includes appetizers, desserts and an open bar! 7PM – 10PM. Bold Enough to FailMicrosoft NERD Center, 1 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA, .
America’s Test Kitchen
America’s Test Kitchen’ is sort of Julia Child for culinarily challenged – they make things simple, and now, they’re answering questions at Harvard while promoting The America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook. I need this. I burn cold cereal, and though Al Dente was a weatherman until a week ago. 4pm. America's Test KitchenThe Brattle Theatre Cambridge, MA, .
Winter Open Studios
Does homemade chili and art mix? I don’t know. But I DO like Chili, and I DO like art, and maybe you do, too. If so, check out this art studio exhibit. Just try not to touch anything. 12-6pm. Winter Open StudiosWashington Street Art Center, 321D Washington Street, Somerville, MA, .
Charlestown Open Studios
And yet another. ‘Please Buy from Us’ is their main artistic theme. Merry Giftmas! 11am-5pm. Charlestown Open StudiosStoveFactory Gallery Charlestown, MA, .
Get your picture taken with Rags the Santa-Cat
I don’t usually feature stuff like this and encourage you to shop, but I do support great local businesses like The Garment District! There’s a Santa cat, and while you’re there from 12-3pm, look into their Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest! Get your picture taken with Rags the Santa-CatThe Garment District Cambridge, MA, .
Harvard Book Store Winter Warehouse Sale
I almost never list shopping events, but I’m happy to encourage you to buy books and to support one of Boston’s best local businesses. The HBS warehouse sale is not to be missed, whether you’re looking for a bestseller, a coffee table book for a Christmas present, or a scholarly title. 10am-6pm. Harvard Book Store Winter Warehouse Sale Somerville, MA, .
Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Literature
Picture book themed Christmas trees highlight this Children’s literary wonderland that starts Nov. 27th in Concord, Ma. Family Trees: A Celebration of Children's LiteratureConcord Museum Concord, MA, .
Free First Wednesdays
DeCordova’s sculpture park and museum offers free admission the first Wednesday of every Month. I took a gander at some of these creations, and they gotta be seen in person to be truly appreciated. 10am – 4pm. Free First WednesdaysdeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, 51 Sandy Pond Road Lincoln, MA, .
Gorse Mill Open Studios at Needham
You won’t stroll anywhere in this open studios, which is in one building, but they’ll have glass blowing and pottery demonstrations! Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 12-5pm. Gorse Mill Open Studios at Needham Needham, MA, .
1820s Holiday House Tour
The Old Manse is a historic home that’s fun to visit anytime, but with costumed re-enactors, it becomes an even more entertaining way to learn more about history! 1pm and 3pm tours. 1820s Holiday House Tour Concord, MA, .
ARTfull Explorations
This ARTfull event inspires you via ‘floatilla’ a gorgeous, watercraft-focused wall drawing, then challenges participates to make their own floating creations using arts and crafts. Great for families with kids who like building things with legos and blocks. 1-3 pm. ARTfull ExplorationsDeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum Lincoln, MA, .
Country Christmas
A festive Farmhouse style dinner, Captain Enoch Remick House tour filled with lots of hot cocoa and cookies. 5:30-8pm. Country Christmas Tamworth, NH, .
Sunapee Harbor Magic and Looney Plunge
It’s dry here in Boston but there’s plenty of snow in the mountains of New Hampshire, and ski season has begun. Perhaps going up to New Hampshire for some skiing and a dip in the lake would suit you, if you are insane. 1pm-4pm. Sunapee Harbor Magic and Looney PlungeLake Sunapee at the Harbor Sunapee, NH, .
Winter Celebration
While the museum itself is small, it’s worth stopping by for this festival, especially if you’re traveling up to the White Mountains for skiing. Lots of games for kids, and you really haven’t lived until you’ve had an authentic fry bread. 10am-4pm. Winter CelebrationMt. Kearsarge Indian Museum Warner, NH, .
Wenham Museum’s Gingerbread Contest
This is a gingerbread house contest, with all kinds of surprisingly large and intricate displays, including one with model trains. I’ve been to the Wenham Museum and it’s one of these New England-y places in the middle of nowhere with a world class attitude and is really worth a visit. 10am-4pm. Wenham Museum's Gingerbread ContestWenham Museum Wenham, MA, .
Annual Holiday Open House
In Peabody, there will be a number of historical demonstrations, children’s amusements, and an art auction for the grown-ups. No, Garfunkle is not up for bids. 1-4pm. Annual Holiday Open HousePeabody Historical Society Peabody, MA, .
Nikkomo is the closest thing in Native American culture to the celebration of Thanksgiving or Christmas. Come see it for yourself, and bring a small gift for the less fortunate. They’ll have music, ethnic gifts for sale, and traditional foods. 10am-2pm. NikkomoTomaquag Museum Exeter, RI, .
Open Studio Day at Shady Lea Mill
Just in time for Holiday shopping, Shady Lea Mill’s artists open their studios to the public to gander, marvel, and purchase all manner of crafted goodies from glass blowers, guitar makers, goldsmiths, and collagists. I don’t know what that last one is. I’d google it but I like surprises. 12pm-5pm. Open Studio Day at Shady Lea Mill North Kingstown, RI, .
Review: Edaville’s Christmas Festival of Lights
All Holiday season long you can head to Edaville USA to see their light display. This might be a great thing to check out after you visit their Polar Express adventure. Plus, you get to see beautiful lights from a warm, dry train now that is ideal! Review: Edaville's Christmas Festival of LightsEdaville USA Carver, MA, .
Review: Bright Nights in Springfield
Bright Nights appears to be a drive-through safari, but instead of wild animals, you’re checking out thousands of Holiday lights. And if the website is to be believed, there’s a ‘Dr. Seuss’ land. 11/27 is opening night, and offers over half off admission. Review: Bright Nights in SpringfieldForest Park Springfield, MA, .
Hot Chocolate Run in Northampton
There are too many charity walks and runs for me to list them all, but this one caught my attention because they’re serving 2,500 cups of hot chocolate, or 200+ gallons of mouth scorching chocolate goodness.. It’s a 2 mile walk and a 5 mile run. 9:30am walk, 10am run. Hot Chocolate Run in NorthamptonDowntown Northampton Northampton, MA, .
Arabian Nights
Based on One Thousand and One Nights, a collection of folk tales from the Middle East and Asia, Arabian Nights is rich with suspense, romance and hilarity @ stories irresistible for all ages, At its heart is the power of the imagination to heal, inspire, and transform. Arabian NightsCentral Square Theater Cambridge, MA, .
From White Plains
Take an in depth look at the pasts of four male individuals – some straight, some gay, all of whom have past demons they need to face before moving forward in life. the play also becomes a thoughtful meditation on pride, shame, and the dynamics of love and sexual identity. From White PlainsChelsea Theatre Works, 189 Winnisimmet St., Chelsea, MA, .
The Slutcracker
Here’s your last chance to catch this hugely popular holiday burlesque show this year! The SlutcrackerThe Somerville Theatre Somerville, MA, .
The Chronic Single’s Handbook
An original comedy by Randy Ross about a never-married hypochondriac who takes a trip around the world looking for the woman of his dreams, putting a creative spin on the ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ formula or taking a wild journey to find yourself – for hopeless romantics this could be chicken soup for the lovelorne soul. 7pm. The Chronic Single's HandbookHostelling-International Boston Boston, MA, .
Fiddle Super group Childsplay
What’s the difference between a Violin and a Fiddle? Pizazz. Watch ‘Childsplay’, a group with over a dozen fiddlers, play their hearts out at the National Heritage Museum in Lexington. Rumor has it this show is incredible, and tickets go quick, I’d check them out sooner rather than later. 7:30pm. Fiddle Super group ChildsplayNational Heritage Museum Lexington, MA, .
Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol
Win: 2 pairs of tickets to ‘Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol’ presented by the Anthem Theater. E-mail to win! Charles Dickens' A Christmas CarolBoston Center for the Arts Boston, MA, .
Festivus of Comedy
Improv comedy is great. If you’ve liked ‘Who’s Line is it Anyway?’, definately give this a gander – it has a ‘festivus for the rest of us’ theme, too – so prepare for an airing of grievences, and awkward compliment themed stylings. 3pm – 9:30pm(ish). Festivus of ComedyDavis Square Theater Somerville, MA, .
An Intimate Evening with Art Garfunkel
John C. Reily – I mean Art Garfunkle regales audiences with songs, poetry, spoken word prose, and takes questions from the audience for a special two night engagement. Only balcony seats remain, so get to ticket buying. Also, someone ask him about that hair. That fabulous, fabulous hair. 7pm. An Intimate Evening with Art GarfunkelThe Regent Theatre Arlington, MA, .
New England Ringers Handbell Concert – Berklee College of Music
I’ve never seen a real bellringers concert. This one is at Berklee College of Music – a real breeding ground for talent! And more concerts all across New England — see the website. 7:30pm. New England Ringers Handbell Concert - Berklee College of MusicBerklee College of Music 136 Massachusetts Ave. Boston, MA, .
A Far Cry performs at the ISG
We’ve featured A Far Cry before, and that’s because they’re awesome and unusual. They’re playing a John Cage- heavy program tonight at the ISG, where they are the chamber orchestra in residence. 1:30pm. A Far Cry performs at the ISGIsabella Stewart Gardner Museum Boston, MA, .
Also Handel’s Messiah with Boston Baroque
This one starts at 3pm. Tix range from $5-$45. Also Handel's Messiah with Boston BaroqueTrinity Church Boston, MA, .
The Dark Ground Show
It appears there’s a show called ‘The Dark Ground Show’ occurring this day at ‘Store 54’ – a book store with a performance space. I have no idea what this is, or what it’s about, so…if you’re into surprises, check it out! The Dark Ground ShowStore 54, located at 16 Harvard Avenue, Allston, MA, .
Miracle on 34th Street
When Kris Kringle agrees to serve as a last-minute replacement for Santa in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, he is so convincing that he is offered a job as the Santa for Macy’s Department store. Miracle on 34th StreetStoneham Theatre Stoneham, MA, .
The Chronic Singles Handbook with Randy Ross
Join HI-Boston for an exclusive performance with a nationally acclaimed comedian. The Chronic Singles Handbook with Randy RossCommunity Room, HI-Boston, 19 Stuart Street, Boston, MA, .
Stella and Lou by Bruce Graham
Win two tickets to this play about world-weary bargoers. There are 2 pairs of tickets available to win for the 12/8 performance at 7PM! Email to win. Just don’t shot shout out ‘Shots! Shots!’ inbetween acts. 7:30pm. Stella and Lou by Bruce Graham Lowell, MA, .
Fantasy of Lights
Another light spectacle to start off the Holiday season. This one is cool because they give you 3-D glasses so you can better appreciate the lights. Fantasy of LightsLighthouse Point Park New Haven, CT, .
Gingerbread House Festival
This is a tease. FREE admission to an entire festival of totally-not-allowed-to-eat Gingerbread houses, New England’s biggest, in fact. I mean, I can just nab that there Gum Drop mailbox. No one will miss it, right? Right…? Thru December 15th, 2pm. Gingerbread House FestivalWood Memorial Library and Museum South Windsor, CT, .
Lantern Light Tours
I don’t know what a tavern dance is, but I love it. Take a historical lantern light tour with Victorian era costumes and hundreds of lanterns, plus the promise of surprises along the way. Mystic, CT gets all the cool stuff. Santa on a tugboat, now this. 5pm. Lantern Light ToursMystic Seaport 75 Greenmanville Ave Mystic, CT, .
Holiday Movies and Mimosas at Criterion Cinemas
White Christmas’, ‘A Christmas Story’, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ and…’The Sound of Music’ (okay…) are playing this month at Bowtie Cinemas in New Haven CT. Wait? CT? That’s really far away from me! Ooohhhhhh…Fuuuuu….dge! Holiday Movies and Mimosas at Criterion Cinemas New Haven, CT, .
Nook Farm Book Talk: ‘A Mark Twain Christmas’
Mark Twain doesn’t strike as much of a ‘Holiday Cheer’ guy, but Author Carlo DeVito will likely prove me wrong with his ‘A Mark Twain Christmas’ book reading and signing. The Mark Twain house is killing it this month with more cool events than the Winter Olympics. 5pm. Nook Farm Book Talk: 'A Mark Twain Christmas'The Mark Twain House & Museum Hartford, CT, .
Benefit Evening of Dinner and Comedy to support CityCenter’s First Night Danbury
A gourmet meal where the entertainment literally keeps their mouth shut? That’s just cruel. This charity event features ventriloquist Kenny Warren, and a feast of Goat Cheese Croquettes, Shrimp Scampi, Filet Mignon or Fresh Grilled Salmon, along with wine, for $68 dollars that goes to support Danbury’s ‘First Night’. Could be quite the evening! 7pm. Benefit Evening of Dinner and Comedy to support CityCenter's First Night DanburyTwo Steps Downtown Grille, 5 Ives St., Danbury, CT, .
Christmas Tree Lighting and Holiday Express Train Show
Free.Glow.Necklaces. Fairfield, CT drops the Holiday tree lighting mic at 7pm, then picks it up with elaborate, holiday themed, model train displays (including antique ones). The model trains are on display all month, but this event is their opening celebration. 7pm. Christmas Tree Lighting and Holiday Express Train Show Fairfield, CT, .
Festival of St. Lucia
Here’s a Saint Lucia festival, a traditional Swedish Christmas celebration. This one looks pretty religious, though, so if that isn’t your thing, you might be better off staying home and watching Fanny and Alexander. (Nothing says Christmas cheer like an uplifting Bergman film, right?!) 5pm and 8pm performances. Festival of St. Lucia Hartford, CT, .
Firelight Festival
The Firelight Festival features real fire light by way of a BYOM (Marshmallow) bonfire! There’s warm drinks, a reading of ”Twas The Night Before Christmas’, and the opportunity to craft a ‘natural’ holiday ornament, which if my pre-school experience is any indication, likely includes a pine cone. 4pm-8pm. Firelight FestivalHenry Whitfield State Museum Guilford, CT, .
LEGO KidsFest
I still have all my Lego’s in two big crates containing half-built spaceships, makeshift light-sabers, and a million memories. Those plastic bricks are the building blocks of a world of possibility and imagination, and LEGO KidsFest kicks it up quite a few notches, with interactive exhibits and incredible, large-scale Lego models. Just pick up after yourself. Ever step on one of those suckers? Youch! LEGO KidsFestConnecticut Convention Center Hartford, CT, .
Milford Lamplight Stroll
A Holiday event with an eye toward warming your hearts with free refreshments, and eeking dollars out of your wallet via fabulous deals and local business specials. Some folks dig this kind of thing, in which case, have at it, there’s even a gift basket giveaway! 5pm-9pm. Milford Lamplight StrollDowntown Milford Milford, CT, .
Frosty’s Big Night Out
Holiday BFFs Frosty The Snowman and Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer return to Danielson, CT for caroling, socializing, and cheer. 5:45pm. Frosty's Big Night OutDavis Park, Downtown Danielson Danielson, CT, .
THE MOuTH with Chion Wolf: I Fought The Law
The MOuTh is an NPR tradition, and features stories of triumph, tragedy, humanity, and everything in between, and this event, hosted by Chion Wolf will highlight run-ins with the law. As a former speech and debator, these kinds of events are powerful and intensely entertaining. If you wish stand up comedy was a little more serious, and got five dollars buring a hole in your sofa, I’d check it out. 7pm. THE MOuTH with Chion Wolf: I Fought The LawThe Mark Twain House & Museum Hartford, CT, .
Stonington Borough Holiday Stroll
Wadawanuck Square is an actual name for an actual place. Really. Its Holiday celebration’s got free cocoa and cider, along with wagon rides, open stores, and a tree lighting! Come for the celebration, stay to see how many different ways folks pronounce Wadawanuck. No time listed, Wadawanucks up with that? Call 860-572-9578 for info. Stonington Borough Holiday StrollWadawanuck Square Stonington, CT, .
Do you like gaming? So do these people! At least some of them are live role-playing games,which is sort of a improvisational theatre in which the audience is all the other actors, but also sort of like a bunch of grown-ups playing make-believe. AnonyConSheraton Hotel Stamford, CT, .
Groton Lights Parade
A night parade with firetrucks, decorated floats, marching bands, music, and an educational Rock n’ Roll show (Wha?) ensure that if you live anywhere near Groton, CT you’re not sleeping that night, so you might as well go and enjoy yourself. It’ll be fun. Honest. 5pm. Groton Lights ParadeDowntown Groton Groton, CT, .
Winter Faire
Crafts. Collectibles. Products. This Bolton, CT event’s flyer keeps it short, sweet, and mysterious, not unlike a half eaten candy bar under the sofa. 10-3pm. Winter FaireBolton Center School,108 Notch Road , Bolton, CT, .
The Society for Creative Anachronism’s Bergental/BBM Yule
Who says you can’t relive the past?! The Society for Creative Anachronism is a club for people who like to re-enact how history was, or maybe should have been, with caroling, sparring, fencing, dancing, games, and kids activities. Oh, and merchants, of course. 9am-9pm. The Society for Creative Anachronism's Bergental/BBM YuleHSC Community Center New Britain, CT, .
Christmas Lights Spectacular
This family home is going pro with amazing Christmas lights, carolers, and free cookies and cocoa. Check out similar displays on my Xmas Lights list! 4-7pm. Christmas Lights SpectacularWolf Hollow Lane Killingworth, CT, .
Holiday Culinary Walking Tour
This is genius. Eat a little, walk a little, eat a little, walk a little. Sample 9 of New Haven, CT’s restaurants while taking a leisurely 1.5 mile walk. Burn calories, then ingest them. This is gonna catch on, mark my words you’ll see a treadmill at your local McDonalds soon. 10:45am. Holiday Culinary Walking TourDowntown New Haven, CT, .
A radio version of ‘It’s a wonderful life’ with a LIVE Foley artist is too good to pass up. ‘Its a Wonderful Life’ is a flick that resonates with you more and more the older you get, as reality and personal dreams tend to intersect in unwanted ways with increasing frequency. Seeing it live, via the radio play format could make George Bailey’s yearning to change the world for the better, and his nearly endless optimism all the more special. 2pm and 7pm. IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A Live Radio PlayMark Twain House & Museum Hartford, CT, .
TubaChristmas – CT
Every thing’s better with a Tuba, and the proliferation of Tuba events proves that… See the website for all locations. 2pm. TubaChristmas - CTOld Saybrook High School Old Saybrook, CT, .
33rd annual Friends of The Mark Twain House and Museum Annual Holiday House Tour
Tour the houses of American treasures Mark Twain and Katharine Hepburn, along with other notable Hartford Connecticut luminaries thanks to the Mark Twain house and Museum. For the record, if Mark Twain and Katharine Hepburn had a baby, it’d be the coolest freakin’ kid ever, writing American classics with one hand, while the other pilots a rickety raft down a harrowing white water rapids course cracking wise. Hold on, I have a screenplay to write. 11am-8pm. 33rd annual Friends of The Mark Twain House and Museum Annual Holiday House Tourvarious locations Hartford, CT, .
Heights and Lights, Rappelling Santa
Santa moonlights as a spelunker. he’s rappelling down a 22-story building! Then offering unspecified ‘activities’ for kids. (Unspecified activities are ALWAYS the best!) And a tree lighting with singing. 5pm. Heights and Lights, Rappelling Santa Stamford, CT, .
Mystic Stroll
Another quality event from Mystic! Stroll through the village, take in the caroling, and revel in the holiday joy of a bygone era. 6pm. Mystic StrollHistoric Downtown Mystic Mystic, CT, .
Holiday Lights
Music is great. Light is great. Music in tune with blinking Christmas Lights is sublime. Lake Compounce puts on such a show every half hour this holiday season, along with covering the whole park with lights and holiday displays. Some rides will be open too. 5-9pm. Holiday LightsLake Compounce Family Theme Park Bristol, CT, .
Santa’s Trolley
Santa on a trolley! I mean, Santa’s always been a ‘green’ cat anyway. His sleigh uses no fossil fuel for example. Hopefully someone informs Mr. Claus that the Shore Line Trolley is actually a musuem, and not a valid form of transportation. The good news: With him stationary, you can visit, get a photo with Santa and your kids, AND your gets get a toy out of it, too. 10:30am – 7pm. Santa's TrolleyThe Shore Line Trolley Museum East Haven, CT, .
Winterfest Hartford
Hartford features free skating and free skate rentals for a month, plus professional skating shows every Friday and Saturday, 6-7pm. (Until recently, this event was known as the Hartford Festival of Light.). Winterfest HartfordBushnell Park Hartford, CT, .
Winter Wonderland
A ‘Winter Wonderland’ with a pasta dinner, ‘surprise’ visit from Santa (blew that one, didn’t ya, Fairfield?), ice cream, and… a magician!? Sign me up! I loves me some magic. I keep trying to pull coins out of my ears but all I get are these pesky cobwebs. 5-7pm. Winter WonderlandBurr Homestead Fairfield, CT, .
Christmas Town Festival
The event map and schedule for this Bethlehem, CT event is ‘coming soon’. It better hurry up, the event is less than a week away! Christmas Town Festival Bethlehem, CT, .
East Lyme Light Parade & Winterfest
It’s a Brawl for the ages. In one corner, Chili – with beans and sauce and spices, and its tummy warming properties, vs. New England favorite Clam Chowder, with its creamy taste, and savory clam bits. Who wins this battle of the titans? Visitors to East Lyme, CT’s Winterfest, which has a Chili / Chowder cook off *AND* Magicians AND ice sculptures. This event is after my own heart. 2pm. East Lyme Light Parade & WinterfestLiberty Green, Niantic Village East Lyme, CT, .
Olde Mistick Village Holiday Carnival
Mystic Village is a living history/re-enactment attraction, like Plimoth Plantation. They run a number of holiday events, and they’ll have a one day carnival with street performers, hayrides, a stilt-walking Santa, and a bunch more! All just a 2 hour drive from Boston. 1pm, see schedule for specific performances. 2013: 1pm. Olde Mistick Village Holiday CarnivalOlde Mistick Village Mystic, CT, .
Polar Express
Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, take your kids on Maine’s Polar Express. Hot Chocolate, Santa Claus, a good cause (see what I did there?), and a reading of the caldecott winning ‘The Polar Express’ ensure an adventure to remember. Multiple times available 4pm. Polar ExpressMaine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company & Museum Portland, ME, .
Light up the Holidays
Rick Charette and the Bubblegum band performs at this holiday tree lighting. Is his band made of bubblegum? Probably not, but don’t you want to see for yourself? 5:30 pm. Light up the HolidaysPortland’s Downtown District. 549 Congress Street Portland, ME, .
Festival of Trees at the Dyer Library and Saco Museum
I assure you Maine’s ‘Festival of Trees’ has very little (probably nothing) to do with that annual Phish concert they have there. Instead it’s dozens of professionally decorated trees, a month-long drawing contest, music, and free hot cocoa. 5pm. Festival of Trees at the Dyer Library and Saco MuseumSaco Museum, 371 Main St., Saco, ME, .
Country Christmas in Bethel
County Christmas in Bethel, ME has a living nativity. How does that work? Is there a script? Do they live the fifteen minutes before Christmas over and over again? An endless loop of receiving Gold, Frankensense, and Mir? If that ponderment doesn’t saw you, how does live music, horse-drawn wagon rides, and a Christmas tree lighting, suit you? Country Christmas in BethelBethel Inn Conference Center Bethel, ME, .
Christmas at Victoria Mansion
Tasty treats, a heated back porch, and a tour of a glorious mansion make this event a highlight for the architect in us all. 6pm. Christmas at Victoria MansionVictoria Mansion Portland, ME, .
Festival of Lights
A ‘Winter Wonderland’ parade with judges and everything followed by a tree lighting, a visit with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and then snacks and crafts for kids. You should know I literally stuck my neck out for you on this one. The whole PDF is sideways. 5-6:30pm. Festival of LightsMain St. Bridgton, ME, .
Yuletide Tree lighting
The Belfast Bay Fiddlers provide the soundtrack to Stockton Spring’s Yuletide tree lighting, with an Ugly sweater contest, sleigh rides, and wagon rides. 1:00Pm – 6:00Pm. Yuletide Tree lightingFrench’s Point Stockton Springs, ME, .
Kennebunkport Christmas Prelude
The Kennebunkport Prelude takes place this weekend and also the following two. This is a good one for a couple who want a quiet, Christmassy weekend getaway. It’s a beautiful town, but there’s nothing to do here but eat, buy useless trinkets, relax, and enjoy each other’s company. Well, there’s a historic Trolley ride on the 6th, but it’s Mister Rogers or bust with that kind of thing. Kennebunkport Christmas PreludeMain Street Kennebunkport, ME, .
Skowhegan Holiday Stroll
Skowhegan’s Holiday stroll comes with a Google Map! It also has cheap movies (Arthur Christmas), a bon fire, a parade, a petting zoo, cookie decorating, glitter tattoos, hip-hop dance classes, a Reader’s Theater, a bike giveaway and ‘Yummy snacks’ . I like how it’s not *all* Christmas-related activities, and the idea of a free hip-hop dance lesson, or glitter tattoo, is more appealing to me than it probably should be. 8am – 7pm (when the parade starts). Skowhegan Holiday StrollDowntown Skowhegan, ME, .
First Friday Art Walk
I guess a ‘Red Trouser Show’ isn’t what I thought it was. It’s actually part of this bombastic sounding Holiday ‘art walk’ with acrobats, performers, tumbling, and local artisans. Check it out! 6pm and 7pm. First Friday Art WalkPortland Arts District Portland, ME, .
Annual Harbor Lights Festival
Lighted boat parade, Santa, free horse-drawn wagon rides, participatory caroling, civil war exhibit, and ‘live nativity’. Boothbay Harbor is a cool town, but if you’re coming from Boston, this is a hike! You’d have to make a weekend out of it. events from 9am-8pm. Annual Harbor Lights FestivalDowntown Boothbay Harbor Boothbay Harbor, ME, .
Sparkle Weekend
Here’s a cool slate of events. You have a classic comedy ‘Radio Hour’ where classic routines of the 40s, 50s, and 60s will be performed, then a light show where 30,000 lights are synced to classic Christmas tunes (What? no WHAM?), a free screening of the Mo-cap classic The Polar Express, free wagon rides, and naturally, a visit by Santa Claus. 10am – 7pm. Sparkle WeekendFreeport Village Freeport, ME, .
Christmas By The Sea – Camden
Lobster, sleigh bells Ho ho ho? Ho hum. Just your traditional Christmas tree lighting with a parade. Christmas By The Sea - CamdenAll Over Camden, ME, .
Chester Greenwood Day Parade & Celebration
Sweet and savory combine in Farmington, ME with a Gingerbread House contest and Chili challenge. In fact, the entire ‘Chester Greenwood’ day looks to be a blast. Baton twirling, streamers, a polar bear plunge, ‘big girl dances’, crafts, ice fishing, sledding, a snowball fight, fun run, caroling – toss in a parade that’s not directly tied to Christmas things (‘Winter activities in Maine’) and I’m about ready to organize a road trip. Aside: Curious who Chester Greenwood is? He invented the earmuffs – there’s even an earmuff fashion show!. That’s the most ‘Maine’ thing I’ve ever heard. 9am-6pm. Chester Greenwood Day Parade & CelebrationMain St. Farmington, ME, .
Farmington Rotary Club’s Annual Festival of Trees
Farmington’s Festival of Trees. There’s…trees. Not much info on the website, but I believe it rolls into the Chester Greenfield day festivities, which are awesome. Also to my surprise a rotary club isn’t a group of people really, *really* in favor of round-a-bouts. Also (also) to my surprise, the Farmington town chair is named Tom Sawyer. Neat! Farmington Rotary Club's Annual Festival of TreesUniversity of Maine Farmington, ME, .
Holiday Bazaar at Sugarloaf
A Holiday Bazaar at a ski resort poses a great holiday shopping opportunity, and a great setup for a horror film. In this case it’s probably the former. Probably. Holiday Bazaar at SugarloafSugarloaf Mountain Carrabassett Valley, ME, .
Holiday Light Parade
Yet another night parade, it appears Mr. Potato head will be there. Random. 6pm. Holiday Light ParadeNorth Street to the University of Maine Presque Isle, ME, .
Saco Spirit Holiday Fest & Parade of Lights
Lots of community floats at this parade. That’s always a good sign. (Merchants tend to reign back on the awesomeness of their events, wanting to Scrooge out a little profit.) Holiday events from 1pm-6pm; parade at 5:00pm. Saco Spirit Holiday Fest & Parade of LightsMain Street Saco, ME, .
Christmas at the Mason House
An old house with candles, authentic for the era decorations, and refreshments. If you like your Holiday with a (very) retro flare, this could be for you. 3:30-6:30pm. Christmas at the Mason HouseMason House Bethel, ME, .
Christmas by the Sea Celebration
A holiday festival with arts, crafts, AND wine and cheese tasting? Hickory Farms is gonna be so jealous. 2-6pm. Christmas by the Sea Celebration Ogunquit, ME, .
Christmas By The Sea – Ogunquit
Another great travel option! In addition to all the holiday events you might expect, it’s close and there are a lot of good restaurants and antique shops to visit along a weekend long scavenger hunt, and wine and sweets tastings. I hope there’s peanut brittle! Ogunquit is also, of course, very LGBT friendly. Thumbs up! 2pm-8pm depending on the day. Christmas By The Sea - Ogunquit Ogunquit, ME, .
Santacon (Portland, ME)
There’s a street parade for Santas in Maine, too. 4pm-12:30am. Santacon (Portland, ME)Pat’s Pizza Portland, ME, .
Demo Days at Sugarloaf
If you’re a skier, this is a great! Demo top of the line equipment, talk to representatives from all the major ski equipment producers for only $5, then go back to your own skis and feel inferior while knowing the greatness that’s out there. However, the hours for this event are elusive. Get there early! Stay late! Demo Days at SugarloafSugarloaf Carrabassett Valley, ME, .
York’s Holiday Season Festival of Lights Parade
Woah. Festival of Gingerbread houses, a Holiday film festival, and painting with Santa at a place called…Naked Plates are just a few of the wholly unique activities that make York, ME’s Holiday festival, well, unique! York is a good choice for travel since it’s relatively easy to get to, is close to other cool places in Maine, and has lots to offer tourists. York's Holiday Season Festival of Lights ParadeYork Village York, ME, .
Christmas in the Valley Parade, first Sunday
Oh (ginger)snap! Another Holiday Parade where there must be a winner! Floats will be judged on how well they depict the ‘Winter Wonderland’ theme. I assume a Game of Thrones float wouldn’t go over like a red wedding after Labor Day. 10am-6pm. Christmas in the Valley Parade, first SundayWaldo Street Rumford, ME, .
Annual Christmas by the Sea at Old Orchard Beach
Another parade where Frosty and Rudolph get top billing over Santa and Mrs. Claus on a fire engine. Someone better call their agent! 1pm. This one’s pretty close to Boston, less than a 2-hour drive. Annual Christmas by the Sea at Old Orchard BeachOld Orchard Street Old Orchard Beach, ME, .
19th Century Christmas at Norlands
Another 18th century Holiday festival, this time with crafts, parlor games (Liars Dice? I hope there’s Liars Dice!) and the opportunity to bring home a bag of time-traveling cookies for five dollars. The Norlands’ historical center recently lost its Barn in a fire, so if you’re feeling charitable, patronize them early and often. It’d be a Mitzvah. 11am-8pm. 19th Century Christmas at Norlands Livermore, ME, .
Santa Sunday at Sunday River
Santas. Santas everywhere and as far as the eye can see. Dress as Santa and receive a free lift ticket! The rules on the website go into great detail about what constitutes a Santa, and are worth taking a look at for the yucks alone. 7:30am. Santa Sunday at Sunday RiverSunday River Ski Resort Newry, ME, .
Running of the Bells
A holiday run for even the least athletic among us, this one mile holiday fun run / walk / trot encourages attaching bells to every possible article of clothing you can. Trophies to be awarded for not for the best runners, but the best costumes. Too bad they didn’t do that in sophomore year Gym class. 6:30pm. Running of the Bells Saint Albans, VT, .
Town of Jay Tree Lighting and Holiday Caroling
This annual tree lighting ceremony is automatically cooler than all the other ones because last year’s was followed by a MOONLIT HIKE! Gotta love Vermont. 6:00pm-7:00pm. Town of Jay Tree Lighting and Holiday CarolingJay Town Hall Jay, VT, .
Vermont International Festival
Uh oh, Essex Junction’s International festival is offering of all sorts of ethnic cuisines, which code for my belt size will grow three sizes that day. Honestly I can’t wait. There’s also a celebration of international dance, culture, and crafting to partake in while not mowing down on that awaze tibs, naan, and Pho. I hope with all my heart there’s Pho. Vermont International FestivalChamplain Valley Exposition, Route 15/Pearl Street Essex Junction, VT, .
Waterbury Holiday Stroll
Holiday strolls are great for couples or hopeful couples. Waterbury’s Shiny lights, cold weather, arts and crafts, free coffee, cider, and donuts, and live music will warm even the most cynical of soul. Heck, lets send Randy Ross! Waterbury Holiday StrollDowntown Waterbury, VT, .
Christmas in Weston
This festival has it all: Music, food, crafts, a scavenger hunt, gingerbread house making, Santa, sleigh and wagon rides, art exhibitions, historical home tours Looks like this one was a Top Ten Winter events winner two years in a row for a reason. Excellent option if you’re looking to get out of the city this weekend! 2013:. Christmas in WestonWeston Village Weston, VT, .
Burklyn Arts Craft Fair
Pottery, glass blower, basket weavers, AND a nationally renowned clown make this Lyndonville, VT a sight to see. Bonus points if you show up in a tiny little car and have 15 people jump out of it. 10am-4pm. Burklyn Arts Craft FairSt. Johnsbury School, Route 2, 257 Western Avenue, Lyndonville, VT, .
Christmas at Billings Farm (weekends)
Learn how Christmas was celebrated in late 19th century Woodstock in the farmhouse and linger in the cozy kitchen as treats are baked in the woodstove. Holiday programs and making historic ornaments. Don’t miss a winter visit to the farm. 10am-3pm. Christmas at Billings Farm (weekends)Billings Farm & Museum Woodstock, VT, .
River of Light Lantern Parade
This ‘Creatures Under the Sea’ themed lantern parade is the kind of thing you see in Disney movies like ‘Tangled’ or the recent ‘Thor: The Dark World’ dozens of lanterns on the river, illuminating and reflecting off the water is the kind of visual you need to see to believe. 5pm. River of Light Lantern ParadeDowntown Waterbury, VT, .
Traditional Christmas in Stowe
How *do* they make Candy Canes? They never covered that one in Willie Wonka, did they? Thankfully, Stowe Vermont’s Traditional Christmas celebration will show you that, along with Santa on a Wagon (what, no boat?), the grand opening of an Ice Arena, caroling, free hay rides, and cookie making. Now *that’s* a Holiday celebration. 9:30am-8pm. Traditional Christmas in StoweStowe Vibrancy Stowe, VT, .
Manchester Merriment
Normally I’d ignore an event so far away, but this time the Santa parade is a tractor parade! Horse and wagon rides, live music. Because it’s 6 weeks long, there is plenty of time to plan a trip there! You can even travel by tractor and get there in time! Manchester MerrimentAll Over Manchester, VT, .
Lights of Christmas
A monument lighting with another live Navitiy on 11/29 in Vermont. I wonder how you audition for that gig? Lights of ChristmasJoseph Smith Birthplace Memorial Royalton, VT, .
Holiday Lights & Santa Events
 Holiday Light Displays & Santa Events – click map above to set region Tue 12/3 Wed 12/4 Thu 12/5 Fri 12/6 Sat 12/7 Sun 12/8 Mon 12/9 Tue 12/10
Stone Zoo’s ZoolightsBoston, MA

Daily 5-9pm. ZooLights promises to dazzle visitors of all ages this holiday season. Enter a winter wonderland of tree-lined paths lit by thousands of twinkling lights. Stroll through festively decorated Yukon Creek, home to bald eagles, North American porcupines, reindeer and arctic foxes. Meet Stone Zoo’s reindeer up close during nightly photo opportunities.* Visit with Santa, who awaits your arrival in Santa’s Castle. Jolly Old St. Nick will be available for photos through Dec. 23. After visiting with Santa, enter a magical holiday world filled with fairy tale characters and dancing plush animals.
149 Pond Street, 617-541-5466. more
Holiday Landscapes – The Lights at Gudzevich ResidenceStoneham, MA

It’s a private home but a really expansive lights display, with lights that flash in rhythm to music broadcast over an FM transmitter.
83 Franklin St more
The Sachs Family Light DisplayBellingham, MA

Just a private home, but they play music over FM radio. Tune in to 101.7 FM to “listen!
21 Mann Street, (617) 595-7167. more
A “New England Soldier’s” Christmas at Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard HouseConcord, MA

This event includes re-enactors portraying historical characters found in “Little Women”. Reservations suggested. December 7th, 14th, & 21st: 10:00am-4:30pm. December 8nd, 15th, & 22nd: 1:00pm-4:30pm.
399 Lexington Road, 978.369.4118 x106. more
Millis WonderlandMillis, MA

This is a private home, not a commercial “attraction”, but good. Slowest nights are Tuesday-Thursday. 6-10pm.
60 Causeway Street more
Enchanted Village at Jordan’s FurnitureAvon, MA

Free! It’s a 1958 Jordan Marsh display that’s been restored to health by Jordan’s Furniture. Website is unclear for how long the display goes. Santa will be on hand every day; see the website for specific times.
Jordan’s Furniture, 100 Stockwell Dr more
Edaville Railroad’s Christmas Festival of LightsCarver, MA

The biggest and best “holiday lights” display in New England is quite non-religious, with Santa letting kids sit on his lap but also plenty of generic fare like Frosty the Snowman and a tip of the hat to Hannukah. They have a train ride, ferris wheel, carousel, and other rides, with 7 million lights. Tons of fun even for adults! Begins as early as November 22! Whoa. 2012: Mon-Fri 4-9pm, Sat-Sun 2-9pm.
Pine Street, 508-866-8190. more
La Salette Shrine Festival of LightsAttleboro, MA

5-9pm. Very religious: it’s a shrine. But I’ve been and it was nice anyway. Over 300,000 lights covering 10 acres. Trolley rides Fri-Sun.
947 Park Street, 508-222-5410. more
Holiday ZOObileeNew Bedford, MA

11-4pm Dec 7th, 14th and 21st. And many daytime visits by Santa, see Web site. Precise range of Xmas lights unknown, but here is their operating schedule.
425 Hawthorn Street, (508) 991-6178. more
Visit with Santa at Smolak FarmsNorth Andover, MA

Lots of different holiday events throughout the season, from a Roaming Railroad train and hayrides with Santa, to cookie decorating and crafts and a Santa’s workshop. Many family-oriented things to choose from. Tree lighting is November 24th this year. 2012.
Smolak Farms, 315 South Bradford St, 978-682-6332. more
Leicester ChristmasLeicester, MA

Over 50,000 lights and 53 inflatables. Santa is there on Saturdays! Nightly from 4:30pm-9pm.
Waite Street more
Christmas by Candlelight at Old Sturbridge VillageSturbridge, MA

2013. Participatory caroling, Father Christmas, sleigh rides, magic shows, and more at my favorite re-enactment museum — an entire village of old-timey actors and buildings! 4-9pm. Ticket prices range from $10-$15 for non-members.
1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, 800-733-1830. more
A Christmas Journey at the Worcester EcotariumWorcester, MA

Trips at 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30pm. Elves help you board the The Polar Express train ride, and afterwards there’s Santa and cookies. Note that tickets for this event do not include EcoTarium admission, which must be purchased separately.
222 Harrington Way, 508-929-2700. more
Springfield’s Bright Night at Forest ParkSpringfield, MA

Sunday to Thursday- 5pm to 9pm. Friday, Saturday and Holidays- 5pm to 11pm 550,000 lights. Great! 2nd best to Edaville. Check out the Springfield Museums or zoo (open during school holidays in Dec) while you’re there.
Rt 83, 413-733-3800. more
Heritage Museum Gardens AglowSandwich, MA

2013. 1 million lights. Toast marshmallows. Carousel. Santa in a Model T Ford. New this year, the Hidden Hollow is open to visitors. Music. 5-9pm.
67 Grove Street, 508-888-3300. more
Cape Codder Enchanted VillageHyannis, MA

2013. 100,000 lights with caroling and Santa on Fri-Sat 5:30-8:30pm, Sun 5-7pm. The holiday events end on December 23rd, but the lights will remain on display until January 2nd.
1225 Iyannough Road, 855-861-4370. more
Christmas at the Newport MansionsNewport, RI

2013. The Breakers, The Elms, and Marble House will be decorated in period detail for the holidays and open daily for tours. On Christmas Eve, the last tour begins at 4pm. Houses are closed for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Various locations more
That Crazy Christmas HouseCoventry, RI

Over 63,000 lights and 64 computerized displays. Tune in to 107.5. Every night until Christmas: Mon-Thu 5pm – 9:30pm, Fri-Sat 5-10pm, Christmas Eve: 5pm-2am, and Christmas Night: 5pm-12am.
9 Blue Spruce Drive more
The Picozzi Family ChristmasWarwick, RI

2013. Another private home light display. Tune in to 97.1 FM to “listen” to the display. Donations will be accepted for the Make a Wish Foundation. They do cancel for inclement weather, so check the website before you go.
75 Gristmill Rd more
Head Family ChristmasRumford, RI

Mon-Thu: 5-9pm, Fri-Sat: 5-9:30pm, Sun: 5- 9pm. Just a private home, but a big one! Collecting donations to benefit the Make a Wish Foundation.
Merchant Street more
Wickford Village Festival of LightsNorth Kingstown, RI

2013. A real grab-bag of holiday events throughout this brief festival: Santa’s arrival, a town tree lighting, hayrides with Santa, an ongoing live Nativity scene, an elf parade, and more. Dec 5 -6pm, Dec 6- 5:30-8:15pm, Dec 7 – 8am-4pm. Dec 8- 12:30-4pm.
Wickford Village, 877-295-7200. more
Pawtucket Winter WonderlandPawtucket, RI

See 400 decorated Christmas trees, twenty Victorian buildings, and a talking snowman, and enjoy free visits and photos with Santa, train rides, hay rides, carousel rides, food court, and entertainment. Free admission and parking. 4-8pm.
Slater Park, Armistice Blvd, 401-728-0500 x251. more
Gift of Lights at New Hampshire Motor SpeedwayLoudon, NH

4:30pm-9pm daily. Drive more than two miles in your car past 2.5 million lights in 400 displays. Santa’s Village, costumed characters, free s’mores, arctic village.
1122 Route 106 North, 765-664-3918. more
Christmastime at Santa’s VillageJefferson, NH

Lights display, Santa, reindeer, rides. Friday Nov 29, 11am-7pm. Plus all Saturdays and Sundays from Dec 1st to 22nd. Saturdays 11am-7pm. Sundays 11am-6pm.
Route 2, 603-586-4445. more
Mousseau and RoyHudson, NH

Just a private home, but a big one! Mon – Sun: 4:30 pm – 10:00 pm.
75 Pelham Street more
Santa’s Holiday ExpressNorth Conway, NH

This is a more generic train ride- it’s just got Santa, elves, and hot chocolate.
38 Norcross Circle, 603-356-5251. more
Christmas Lights at La Salette Shrine & CenterEnfield, NH

Opening weekend Nov 30-Dec 1, 5-9pm. Nightly Dec 6-Dec 31 5-9pm. 45,000 evening lights spread across 30 acres. .
410 NH Route 4A, 603-632-7087. more
Lighted Winter Wonderland & Santas Big Party at Charmingfare FarmCandia, NH

Sat 7 & Sun 8, Thur 12, Fri 13, Sat 14 & Sun 15, Thur 19 – Tues 24th (Christmas Eve). Various Check-In Times 5pm – 9pm. Thousands of lights, a 30-minute horse drawn night ride. Live reindeer, Santa, costumed characters. Petting zoo. Evenings.
774 High Street, 603-483-5623. more
Christmas at CanterburyCanterbury, NH

December 7th and 14th. 3-8pm. Candlelight strollthrough the Village, watching an old-time magic show, riding in a horse drawn wagon, and watching a silent film with live organ accompaniment by Peter Krasinski. The event will also include music performances, story telling, craft demonstrations and activities, cookie decorating, hot chocolate and cider, chats with Village characters like Dr. Seth Miller, 19th century physician and more. Attendees have the option of having dinner at The Shaker Table, where reservations are required, or enjoying lighter fare at the Shaker Box Lunch & Farm Stand.
288 Shaker Road, 603-783-9511. more
Candlelight Stroll at Strawbery BankePortsmouth, NH

Strawbery Banke is a re-enactment museum focusing on the 18th century. This event features live music, a bonfire, participatory caroling, performances on period instruments, Masonry, hundreds of candles, a gingerbread house contest, and more. Sounds really great! 2013: Saturdays 5-9pm, Sundays 4-8pm.
Marcy Street, 603-422-7514. more
Horse and Wagon Rides at the Rocks EstateBethlehem, NH

Free horse-drawn wagon rides are reserved for package customers up until Sunday at noon, and open to the general public after. Reservations are strongly encouraged. Basically a marketing ploy to get you to buy a tree.
The Rocks Estate, 4 Christmas Lane, 603-444-6228. more
Holiday Light FantasiaHartford, CT

You drive through this one. Sun-Thu 5-9pm, Fri-Sat 5-10pm. $12 per car, $25 per limousine… Wait, what? That’s a thing that happens?!
1130 Maple Ave, 860-742-2267. more
Fantasy of LightsNew Haven, CT

Sunday to Thursday- 5:00-9:00 pm, Friday to Saturday- 5:00-10:00 pm.
Light House Point Park, 2 Lighthouse Road, 203-777-2000. more
That House in MilfordMilford, CT

5:00 to 9:30 Sunday through Thursday and 5:00 to 10:00 Friday and Saturday. Also 5:00 to 10:00 on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Years Day.
75 Meadows End Road more
Lincoln LightsOrange, CT

The lights will be on Monday-Thursday 5:30pm-9:30pm, Friday-Saturday 5:30pm-10:30pm and Sunday 5:30 pm-9:30 pm. This year they’ll also be collecting donations for the Red Cross to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Holiday Lights at Lake CompounceBristol, CT

The park will be covered in lights, thousands of bulbs Spectacular light shows every half hour set to music. A selection of children’s and family rides will be open. Find all “12 Days of Christmas” – 12 light displays throughout the park. Meet Santa! Fridays: 5pm to 9 pm, Saturdays: 4 pm to 9 pm.
822 Lake Avenue, Bristol, CT 06010, 860-583-3300. more
WinterFest at Connecticut Trolley MuseumEast Windsor, CT

Trolley ride through holiday lights, sing-along carols and meet Santa. Friday-Sunday 5-9pm. After December 25th: 6-pm.
58 North Road, 860-627-6540. more
A Grand Holiday at the Mansion- From Victorian to ModernNorwalk, CT

A Victorian mansion, where there are holiday displays throughout the house with period rooms decorated to show the changing traditions from the 1850s-1890s. Tours Wednesday-Sunday, 1pm-3pm.
295 West Avenue more
Lantern Light ToursMystic, CT

This is a walk through a re-enactment museum portraying Christmas eve 1876! Wow!! 5pm to 8pm. Tours fill up; register in advance.
Mystic Seaport, 860-572-5365. more
Holiday Santa Trains/Northern Lights LimitedThomaston, CT

Santa visits ALL December train rides! Just pick your date. There is also a special “Northern Lights Limited to Santa’s Train Workshop” trip. Dates are as follows: Saturday, November 30 at 5 &7 PM, Sunday, December 1 at 5 PM, Saturdays & Sundays, December 7-22 at 5 & 7 PM.
242 E Main Street more
Lights On LovleyPlantsville, CT

Drive up and tune your radio to 96.1FM. Sunday-Thursday 5-10pm and Friday-Saturday 5-11pm.
14 Lovley Dr more
Limington LightsLimington, ME

30,000 lights and an 18ft “Mega Tree.” Nightly from 4:30pm-10pm.
5 Coventry Drive more
The Nubble LighthouseYork, ME

The famous Nubble lighthouse is lit up for Christmas on November 30th starting at 5pm. Shuttles running from Ellis Park at Short Sands Beach from 3:00pm to 7:00pm.
11 Sohier Park Road more
KringlevilleWaterville, ME

Visit Santa. Kicks off with Parade of Lights.
Downtown more
Waitsfield’s Grand IlluminationWaitsfield, VT

Begins daily at dusk. The whole town lights up, including the oldest, still-functioning covered bridge in VT.
Townwide more
Rutland Area Christmas and Holiday Lights TourWallingford, VT

A heated bus will take you on a two-hour tour of the area to show you all the best lights. Tours leave Rutland at 4:30, 6:30, and 8:30 each evening in December and are $15 per person. Reservations are necessary.
2788 South Main Street Rt. 7 more
Christmas at the FarmWoodstock, VT

Various events are scattered throughout the month of December, all focusing on Vermont’s 19the century heritage. Think crafts, food, and sleigh rides.
Billings Farm, Route 12 & River Road, 802.457.2355. more