Events INSIDER: Dec 16-31

Giveaways & Features
Win: Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra: A New Year’s Eve Spectacular
The Ultra Sonic Rock Orchestra is about as bombastic as you imagine. Bright lights, crazy arrangements of classic rock tunes from Queen, Zeppelin, and many more. AND We have one pair of tickets to giveaway. Can you think of a better way to spend New Years? I didn’t think so. Email to win 9:30pm. Win: Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra: A New Year's Eve SpectacularRegent Theatre Arlington, 7 Medford Street, Arlington, MA, .
Johnny’s Picks
Boston Tea Party, Old South Meeting House
Happy Anniversary! It’s the 240th year since Bostonians introduced sea life to the wonders of Caffeine- or the Boston Tea Party for you history nuts. The event of the week is protesting British tax on tea! Nothing says, ‘Screw you guys,’ like turning the local harbor into a giant pot of Darjeeling, right? Re-enactors will lead you through an old towne meeting and then sort of role-play actually dumping the tea into the harbor (though you stay warm indoors). 6:30pm. Boston Tea Party, Old South Meeting HouseOld South Meeting House Boston, MA, .
Explore Jewish Boston by Foot on Christmas Day
I played ‘Lox’ for 24 points in Scrabble word the other day, and it got me excited for this event! Take a Christmas day walking tour of Boston with an eye toward Jewish history, culture, and achievement. 2:30pm with regular historic tours beforehand at 10am. Explore Jewish Boston by Foot on Christmas DayMilk St at Devonshire St Boston, MA, .
Die Hard on Xmas
Nothing to do on Christmas day eve? The Brattle’s open, and they’re showing the feel good holiday classic ‘Die Hard’. Yippie Ki Yay! 9:30pm. Die Hard on XmasThe Brattle Theatre Cambridge, MA, .
Boxborough Winter Solstice Sunrise
Watch the sun pour through two century old, possibly Native American in origin stone structures like that scene in ‘Raiders of The Lost Arc’. This one sounds really beautiful if you’re able to get up this early.They call the 20 minutes of the day when the sun rises and sets ‘magic hour’ in film and TV land, and you can experience it for yourself in Sudbury. 7-8am. Boxborough Winter Solstice SunriseHalf Moon Meadow Brook, Depot Rd Boxborough, MA, .
Boxing Day at the Old Manse
Calling all ex-pats and Anglophiles! In honor of the traditional British holiday, the Old Manse is hosting a a celebration of British culture, featuring plenty of tasty foodstuffs. Expect plenty of geeking out about The Tardis, Benedict Cumberbatch, and that dreamboat Idris Elba. AND they have Branston Pickle, which if the Internet is to be believed, is the tastiest thing since Vegemite. 12pm-6pm. Boxing Day at the Old ManseThe Old Manse Concord, MA, .
Solstice Stroll
You can’t beat a candlelight stroll through a park at sunset and s’mores and hot chocolate around a fire. RSVP. 4-6pm. Solstice StrollRavenswood Park Gloucester, MA, .
Winter Solstice Celebration
A non-denominational celebration of the shortest day of the year with Hot cocoa and a hike. Skis and / or snow shoes encouraged. 3 @ 5 p.m. Winter Solstice Celebration North Andover, MA, .
Solstice Sunset Celebration
4-6pm. Here’s another solstice celebration with ‘solstice stories’, a campfire, songs and hot chocolate. You can reserve snowshoes ahead or bring a sled, if there’s snow. You can bring a sled if there’s no snow, but you’d look a bit silly. Solstice Sunset CelebrationBartholomew’s Cobble Sheffield, MA, .
Winter Solstice Celebration at Stonehenge USA
I’m not one to judge, but this looks really silly in the best way. Silly in the ‘Let me braid my armpit hair’ way. Silly in the ‘Oh I made this herbal tea using a centuries old cauldron and secrets herbs only I know about’. This event takes place at America’s ‘Stonehenge’, new Age-y types will be holding a lengthy solstice ritual, and if you’re into this kind of thing, or aren’t and want to have a couple of yucks, this event could be a good way to spend your solstice Ouija Board optional. 12-3pm. Winter Solstice Celebration at Stonehenge USA Salem, NH, .
Welcome Winter Solstice
This nature hike also comes with a big ole bonfire, cider, cocoa, and cookies. This is free too. Though they would appreciate a non-perishable food item. 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Welcome Winter SolsticeArcadia Wildlife Sanctury Easthampton, MA, .
FLL Championship: RoboNautica
What’s better than Lego? Robots made of Lego!! This is the state championship for building machines that don’t do much, but more than you’d expect, and are super fun to watch. Movies, sculptures, Rube goldberg machines, robots, is there anything Lego can’t do?! I’m pretty sure it’s free. 7am. FLL Championship: RoboNauticaWorcester Polytechnic Institute, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, MA, .
Get the 2014 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 2014 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, , .
Oy Oy Oy
Matzoball Event
The deliciously punny Matzo-ball is the premiere Jewish singles event across the country. If this is as cool as it looks, I think I’m converting! Wowza! 9pm. Matzoball EventRoyale Nightclub Boston, MA, .
Ho Ho Holidays
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, .
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, .
Santa and Holiday Teas at Gore place
Tea with Santa. I guess the big guy would drink tea as opposed to coffee, and it’s nice of him to share his drink of choice with the masses. For 35 dollars you, yes *you* could sip with Santa. Santa and Holiday Teas at Gore placeGore Place Waltham, MA, .
Holiday Bell Ringing Concerts
There are bell-ringing concerts all over New England like this one in Boston. Check them out if you like your caroling a little more jingle-bell-i-fied. 5-6pm. Holiday Bell Ringing ConcertsVarious locations Boston, MA, .
A Holiday Musical Event at Gore Place
7:30pm. Classic Holiday music from three regions: Ireland, Scotland, and New England via The Moody Street String Band, who play so many different places across New England I think they’re Time Lords. 2013: 7:30pm. A Holiday Musical Event at Gore Place Waltham, MA, .
Caroling Mob: Loose Canon Chorale
My favorite Xmas Caroling group this week is coming up. I went one year and it was awesome! Fun, creative, harmonic, and not too religious. 4pm RSVP appreciated. Caroling Mob: Loose Canon ChoraleVarious places Jamaica Plain, MA, .
Vintage Christmas Show
The 5th annual ‘Vintage Holiday Film’ on 12/22 is the highlight of Harvard’s hodge-podge of a film festival curated to give you a break from the banality of the holidays. Most of these films are appropriate for children but not mind-numbing for adults- and really obscure to boot! 3pm. Vintage Christmas ShowHarvard Film Archive Cinematheque, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts Cambridge, MA, .
Christmas Caroling at Hayes Park
It looks like this will be outdoors and they’ll serve hot cider. Yum!! And the caroling is participatory. Just don’t carol with a mouth full of cider. Unless you’re a ventriloquist, that’s gross. 3pm. Christmas Caroling at Hayes ParkHayes Park, Warren Ave & W Canton St, Boston, MA, .
Free Holiday Handbell Concerts
What’s a handbell? Exactly what you think it is. In fact, there are lots of handbell concerts happening this month, but there are two opportunities to see one for free – this is one of them. 2pm. Free Holiday Handbell ConcertsHancock United Church of Christ Lexington, 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, .
A Christmas Carol
A Readers’ Theatre adaptation of ‘A Christmas Carol’ gives way to actual chestnuts roasting over an open fire and brass music. Readers’ Theatre is an interesting way to put on a show, as it normally includes a narrator and extra-textual elements. If you’re curious, check it out! 3pm, 6pm, or 7:30pm. A Christmas CarolChurch of the Transfiguration, Bay View Dr Orleans, 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, .
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 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, .
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, .
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, .
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, .
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, .
Holiday Lights at ‘The Farm’
HEAD to Chesterfield NEW HAMPSHIRE to look at THOUSANDS of holiday lights at ‘THE FARM’. Admission is FREE but cash and food donations are ACCEPTED and will go to a local FOOD PANTRY. Sorry, the website is just so enthusiastic I wanted to ensure I communicated that here, so I copied their pattern of capitalizing the fun words. Seriously though, this looks great! 6pm-9pm. Holiday Lights at 'The Farm'The Farm, Pond Brook Rd. Chesterfield, NH, .
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, .
Caroling with Julie Dougherty
Christmas Eve Caroling in the Hawthorne’s Grand Hall that doubles as a tavern, hosted by someone named Julie Dougherty. I don’t know she is, but I bet she knows all the words, so that’s good. 4-7pm. Caroling with Julie DoughertyHawthorne Hotel Grand Ballroom,18 Washington Square W Salem, MA, .
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, .
Christmas Boat Parade and Fireworks
I’ve seen boat parades before, and they are spectacular…and spectacularly slow. But the lights at night will be lovely, I don’t doubt, and they’re doing it 5 nights in a row, from 6:30-9pm. They’ll have fireworks on Sunday, the last night, too! Christmas Boat Parade and FireworksNewport Waterfront Newport, RI, .
Christmas in the Barnyard
This is a combination petting zoo and historical re-enactment museum where you are encouraged to ‘turn out the turkeys’ (?), hunt for eggs, brush cows, and eventually cook johnny cakes. Try to arrive at least five minutes early. 9-10:30am. Christmas in the BarnyardCoggeshall Farm Museum, 1 Colt Drive, Bristol, RI, .
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, .
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, .
Messiah Sing with Pilgrim Festival Chorus
Even the folks at OSV, one of the top tourist destinations in the state, is getting in on the Messiah action. Yes, you can sing along. 3-5pm. Messiah Sing with Pilgrim Festival ChorusChurch of the Pilgrimage Plymouth, 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. But kids might really love it, especially if they’re fans of the book or movie. The Polar Express at Edaville USAEdaville USA Carver, MA, .
Holidays at Worcester Art Museum
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 Worcester Art MuseumWorcester 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, .
Polar Express at Wachusett Mountain
Santa arrives via helicopter at this popular skiing site. Arts and crafts, caroling. I’m glad they aren’t saying Santa’s means of arriving is a ‘secret’ anymore. It wasn’t much of a secret with that photo of Santa in a helicopter. 2013:11am-2pm. Polar Express at Wachusett MountainWachusett Mountain Princeton, MA, .
Jingle Ride
A Holiday bike ride that encourages singing, riding, silly costumes, and good cheer! Check it out if you own a bike, like to dress up funny, or love singing ‘The 12 days of Christmas’ as loudly (and poorly) as you can. 10:15am-2:30pm. Jingle RideFrom The Kickstand Cafe, 594 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA, .
Also Fun
Wonderland: 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: Artists' MarketDeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum Lincoln, MA, .
Belmont World Film’s The Good Man
The Good Man’ is a….’finely tuned, extremely well balanced script is bolstered by powerful yet understated performances and straightforward storytelling.’ if Film Ireland is to be believed, and I believe them. Catch the New England Debut 12/16. Trailer: 7:30pm. Belmont World Film's The Good ManStudio Cinema Belmont, MA, .
Candle Lighting at Mount Auburn Cemetery
This annual ceremony offers comfort and solidarity to those who are struggling from the loss of loved ones. The holidays can be painful under such circumstances, so I’m glad this event exists. 4-5:30pm. Candle Lighting at Mount Auburn CemeteryMount Auburn Cemetery Cambridge, MA, .
An Officers’ Life for Me: December School Vacation Week
Live as the sailors did! well, watch them demonstrate how they lived during school vacation week. You’ll get to write with a quill pen and use a homemade compass! Great for kids who learn through doing. Scurvy not included. 10am-5pm. An Officers' Life for Me: December School Vacation WeekUSS Constitution Museum, Charlestown Navy Yard, Charlestown, MA, .
Holiday Vacation Week at the MFA
During school vacation week, the MFA is offering a selection of educational and entertainment…al crafts for children that relate to the museum’s current exhibitions with three quirky characters designed to make learning fun. There’s also a behind the scenes video exhibit so you can learn all the hard work that goes into curating such an experience. Sounds unique, that’s for sure. Holiday Vacation Week at the MFAMuseum of Fine Arts Boston, MA, .
Marx Brothers Marathon
The Marx Brothers are kind of like like the old-timey equivalent of Adventure time. Silly, over-the-top, creative, and ribald. The Brattle Theater is doing a New Years Day Marathon. Check it out! 12:30pm and7:30pm. Marx Brothers MarathonThe Brattle Theatre Cambridge, MA, .
The Future
I watched ‘The Future’ about a week before I had to move to live back home. It’s about an early 30s something couple who struggle with the idea of adult hood, achieving your dreams, and so on. Oh! The boyfriend has the power to stop time and it’s told from the perspective of a talking cat. 7pm. The FuturePAAM Provincetown, MA, .
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! Edaville's Christmas Festival of LightsEdaville USA Carver, MA, .
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. Bright Nights in SpringfieldForest Park Springfield, MA, .
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 ClosingHiggins Armory Museum, 100 Barber Avenue, Worcester, 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, .
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. Becky's New CarThe Lyric Stage, 140 Clarendon Street, Copley Square, Boston, MA, .
Boston Holiday Pops
The Boston Pops are a tradition! I went in 5th grade, fully expected to dislike it because I was, ya know, a kid, and loved every minute of it. It’s a real treat. Boston Holiday PopsSymphony Hall Boston, MA, .
A Christmas Carol at Anthem Theatre
This version of ‘A Christmas Carol’ features traditional Victorian Hymms and carols, and remains authentic to Dickens’ intentions. You can see it for yourself, too! We have two pairs of tickets to giveaway to the 12/11 show. A Christmas Carol at Anthem TheatreThe Plaza Black Box Theatre Boston, MA, .
Legally Blonde: The Musical
The enduring messages of Legally Blonde are 1) Don’t judge a book by its cover, and 2) Every good idea deserves a musical. This one has gotten good reviews, and seems to have all the glitz, glamour, and bombastic pagentry you’d want from a broadway production. 8pm 12/8, 12/15, 12/22 at 4pm. Legally Blonde: The MusicalAFD Theatre, 22 Academy Street, Arlington, MA, .
The Slutcracker
Yes. The Slutcracker is a real show. Yes it’s probably what you think it is, combining the classic Nutcracker Suite with burlesque-y things, ribald humor, and zany, over-the-top antics. And of course you want to see it! Thus we’re giving two pairs of tickets to the 12/19 show. Thank me later, and enter to win via The SlutcrackerSomerville Theatre Somerville, MA, .
The Nutcracker – Boston Ballet
Boston’s Nutcracker suite is one of the most popular events in town during the Holiday Season. The Nutcracker - Boston BalletThe Boston Opera House Boston, MA, .
Miracle on 34th Street
Miracle on 34th street is kind of like a kiddie version of ‘A Christmas Carol’ where a girl who doesn’t believe in Santa Claus, well…I’lll let you find out for yourself. Win two pairs of tickets to the December 26th peformance. E-mail to win! Miracle on 34th StreetStoneham Theatre Stoneham, MA, .
Black Nativity
Black Nativity isn’t any more crazy than White People Nativity, since Jesus was Middle Eastern. See this performance of theatre, singing, dancing about the baby who took over the world. (Or something like that.) Seems pretty religious. 3:30pm or 8pm. Black NativityBlackman Auditorium, Northeastern University Boston, MA, .
Boston Gay Men’s Chorus: Haul out the Holly
This is your last day to see this year’s holiday revue – ‘The Twelve Gays of Christmas’ (puns, I love em’!) – by the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus. 8pm. Kid’s show: 1pm. Boston Gay Men's Chorus: Haul out the Holly Boston, MA, .
Seven Times Salt’s Solstice Celebration
Oh my gosh! Is that a lute?! Sign me up. Take my money, I’m there! This is another multi-cultural Solstice concert, by the world-class early music group Seven Times Salt. 7:30pm. Seven Times Salt's Solstice CelebrationSeven Times Salt Boston, MA, .
THE EIGHT: Reindeer Monologues
Sex, lies, Antlers! Now that’s a tag line! ‘The Reindeer Monologues’ features an accusation of sexual harassment at the North Pole, and as the media gets involved, everyone starts pointing fingers…erm hooves. This has the potential to be a great satire and pretty funny too. 2pm, 4pm, and 8pm shows. THE EIGHT: Reindeer MonologuesThe Factory Theater, 791 Tremont St, Boston, MA, .
Speakeasy Circus
The insane speak easy circus returns with more stunts, more lights, more colors, and more incredible feats! Speakeasy CircusOBERON Cambridge, MA, .
Tingle Bell Rocks 2013 – Jimmy Tingle Returns to the Regent
With a name like Jimmy Tingle, you better be funny. This show looks to reflect back on the year that was 2013 via comedy, insight, and surprisingly profound thought. This guy gave speeches at Harvard, so you know he’s a little more than just a jokester! 8pm. Tingle Bell Rocks 2013 - Jimmy Tingle Returns to the RegentRegent Theatre Arlington, MA, .
Gala New Year’s Eve and First Day Concerts
Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos and his Coffee CantataIf performed on New Years eve by musical virtuosos. I don’t know either of those pieces, but if you do, and classical music is your thing, you’ll want to spend your New Year’s Eve at the Sanders theatre. Gala New Year's Eve and First Day ConcertsSanders Theatre Cambridge, 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, .
A Christmas Carol at North Shore Music Theatre
There is no place is better to see A Christmas Carol than the North Shore Music Theatre. A Christmas Carol at North Shore Music TheatreNorth Shore Music Theatre Beverly, MA, .
Holiday Jazz Concert
Eat your heart out, Brian Setzer. Province Town’s Art Association and Museum brings Klezmer *and* Holiday Swing to its shores on 12/21. For the curious (of which I include myself), Klezmer music is typically associated with Jewish Culture, and you’ve likely heard those kinds of tunes in plays like ‘Fiddler on The Roof’ if wikipedia is to be believed. 2pm. Holiday Jazz ConcertProvincetown Art Association and Museum Provincetown, MA, .
Ski Resorts open for Xmas Day, like Okemo
Call your favorite ski resort if you have one: Most likely, many are open Xmas Day. Here’s one. Calvin The Cantamount(?) and his friends deliver candy to all the good little boys and girls skiing the slopes. Ski Resorts open for Xmas Day, like OkemoAll Over All Over, , .
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, .
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, .
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 child gets get a toy out of it, too. 10:30am – 7pm. Santa's TrolleyThe Shore Line Trolley Museum East Haven, 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, .
Mystic Community Carol Sing
A participatory caroling event backed by a brass quintet and all manner of talented singers in ye olden garb, as well as a planetarium exhibit about reconciling the…fantastical elements of religion with the more…data focused world of science as it pertains to astronomy. Awesome! I’ll give you three guesses where this is taking place, and the first two don’t count. Mystic, CT. It’s always Mystic, CT. 3-4pm. Mystic Community Carol SingMystic Seaport Mystic, CT, .
Run Into The New Year: 5K
This ‘run into New Years’ event is a little misleading. It’s a 5k that starts in the morning, so you’re only running into the next year if you’re *really* *really* *really* *really* slow. 10am. Run Into The New Year: 5KDowntown Danbury Danbury, 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, .
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, .
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, .
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, .
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. Christmas by the Sea at Old Orchard BeachOld Orchard Street Old Orchard Beach, ME, .
Christmas Vacation Week at Sugarloaf
New England’s most delicious sounding Ski resort delivers a slew of Christmas vacation events, with FIREWORKS(Yes!), live music, gold medal winning Olympians, and many other nightly activities for kids and adults. Heck, I don’t ski and I want to go! Christmas Vacation Week at SugarloafSugarloaf Carrabassett Valley, ME, .
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, .
New Years Eve
New Years’s Jam at Earthdance
Peace, love, and New Years at this Plainfield, MA, event. I’m not saying this is for hippies, but if you like Dave Matthews Band and Phish, this is probably for you. They claim this all-weekend dance festival sells out, so buy early. It’s an off-beat way to spend New Years. New Years's Jam at Earthdance Plainfield, MA, .
First Night Northampton, MA
Further away but trying hard is First Night Northampton, with over 20 venues and performances. 2pm-12am, with fireworks at 6:15pm. First Night Northampton, MANorthampton Town center Northampton, MA, .
Jiminy Peak New Years
Cinnamon Buns (Take that cookies and s’mores!), a parade and fireworks are fine excuses to go skiing in Hancock, MA for New Years Eve! 10pm. Jiminy Peak New YearsJimny Peak Mountain Resort Hancock, MA, .
Spirit of Boston New Year’s Cruise
If you’ve got your sea legs from summer and money to throw overboard, watching the fireworks from a cruise ship that has its own buffet and DJ sounds like a creative idea! Call for reservations. 8pm-1am. Spirit of Boston New Year's Cruise Boston, MA, .
New Year’s Eve Dance Party at Folk Arts Center of New England
Folk Dancing! Folk Music! Fiddles! Yeehaws! Soeeeeiees! This is my kind of New Years Party! Also, my sister tells me ‘It is not necessary to attend with a partner’ is code for limber bachelors and bachelorettes will be on hand! Looks like a welcome relief from all the run-of-the-mill bro bar parties happening tonight! 9pm-1am. New Year's Eve Dance Party at Folk Arts Center of New EnglandFolk Arts Center of New England Stoneham, MA, .
Boston’s Resolution Ball
If you have to go to a standard New Years party, this one’s the biggest and best, hosting over 50,000 people since its inception. Nothing like loud music and crowded spaces to promote good will toward men! 8pm – 2am. Boston's Resolution Ball Boston, MA, .
New Years Eve with The Donkey Show
Everyone loves the Donkey Show – and for those of you that have seen ‘Bachelor Party’ NO it is not THAT ya creep. This ‘Donkey Show’ takes Shakespeare and mix it with a disco performance and a dance party you can take part in! So it’s like seeing ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ without the movie part. What a creative idea for New Years Eve! 10pm. New Years Eve with The Donkey ShowClub Oberon Cambridge, MA, .
Mayor’s New Year Open House
This is the closest alternative to Boston’s First Night that’s on public transit. Free performances at City Hall, and Balloon Animals! 1:30-3:30pm. Mayor's New Year Open HouseCity Hall Newton, MA, .
First Night Grand Procession and Fireworks
This parade is described as the ‘heart’ of the First Night festival. The cavalcade marches down Boylston at 5:30pm, then from Hynes Convention Center to Boston Common, and then the party *really* starts. 5:30pm. First Night Grand Procession and FireworksHynes Convention Center Boston, MA, .
First Night Boston
This is, of course, THE New Year’s event. Buy a pass and spend the last night of the year out on the town. Refer to the insanely jam-packed schedule to find the events that will please you most, my pick is The Blind Boys of Alabama. 1pm-12mn. First Night BostonVarious Locations Boston, MA, .
First Night Tours at Otis House
Free with your First Night button are tours at this historic 1796 mansion right in downtown Boston. First Night Tours at Otis HouseOtis House Boston, MA, .
First Night Sandwich, MA
Yes! There’s puppeteers and magicians at the second ever First Night event in Sandwich! Those guys make a festival complete. Sandwhich is a quaint town and the schedule looks especially arts-driven. If I were spending New Year’s down the Cape, this would be my first choice. 4:30pm-1am. First Night Sandwich, MATownwide Sandwich, MA, .
First Night Chatham, MA
Over 4 dozen entertainers, 14 special events, a pumpkin village make Chatham quite the quaint New Years Eve celebration. There aren’t many NYE festivities down the Cape, but here’s one of only two, official, First Nights. There’s a full schedule of daytime events for kids and an evening schedule for adults. Fireworks at midnight over Oyster Pond. 1pm -12 mn. First Night Chatham, MAOrpheum Theater, Main Street Chatham, MA, .
First Night Middletown, CT
While the website on the twitter and facebook will not load, if 2012 is to be believed, this event rivals Hartford’s First Night festivities. Events all day from 3pm-12am, with fireworks displays at 6pm and midnight. First Night Middletown, CT Middletown, CT, .
First Night Danbury, CT
New Year’s Eve with a traditional vaudeville act and ventriloquist? I’m there! There’s also arts, crafts, and street performers for those of us who don’t hold the days of Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Abbott and Costello in high regard. 4-8pm. First Night Danbury, CTCity Center Danbury Danbury, CT, .
Frostival, New Year’s Celebration in Danielson
Here’s kids’ event at Danielson Town Hall that has a bouncy house, clowns, free candy, music and hates the oxford comma. 5-8pm. Frostival, New Year's Celebration in DanielsonTown Hall Danielson, CT, .
First Night Westport, CT
See what’d you’d look like as a cartoon animal via Pat Mason, Animal cartoonist. Or maybe you’d prefer to hear Dennis The Train man tell fascinating stories about model trains and model train history. Or, maybe you want to partake in the bouncy house, see if the ventriloquist’s lips move, or rub The Magic Genie’s belly (do not rub his belly). This First Night celebration in Danbury has quite the mix of entertainers. A little something for everyone. If you go, be well aware I am jealous of you. 4-10pm. First Night Westport, CTDowntown Westport, CT, .
First Night Hartford, CT
A carousel, 16 venues of performances, caricaturists, raconteur Cowboy Billy, and two, count em’, TWO fireworks displays — at 6pm and midnight. I’m not saying Mystic, CT should be shaking in their boots or nothing, but Hartford may just win New Years this year. First Night Hartford, CTVarious Locations Hartford, CT, .
Nudist resort New Years’
Perhaps you’d like to be adventurous and try a New Years party at a nudist resort. The menu includes shrimp, ribs, and breasts. I can’t make this stuff up. The theme this year is ‘Leather & Lace.’ which is kind of conservative all things considered. 7pm-1am. Nudist resort New Years' Woodstock, CT, .
New Year’s Eve at Northern Outdoors
Sounds pretty basic: Buffet, champagne, a DJ, etc. But there is a brewery here, so if you really like skiing and beer, check it out.They are offering a special NYE weekend package. But please, Ski responsibly. 2013:. New Year's Eve at Northern OutdoorsNorthern Outdoors Ski Resort, Old Canada Road National Scenic Byway The Forks, ME, .
The Great Sardine and Maple Drop
Take your balls and shove em’! This is how we get down on New England! During the countdown to midnight, Eastport has TWO ‘drops’; a red maple leaf for Canada (where New Year’s Eve happens first) and a big Sardine for Maine! Lots of other chamber of commerce and artisan events happen in conjunction – like a sardine tasting festival! Midnight. The Great Sardine and Maple DropTides Institute and Museum of Art Eastport, ME, .
Belfast New Year’s By the Bay
This one’s got over half a dozen performance venues with dancing and life music. It also prides itself on being chem-free, which may not mean what I think it means. 2pm-12am. Belfast New Year's By the BayDowntown Belfast, Main Street Belfast, ME, .
L.L.Bean New Year’s Celebration
Over 25 thousand lights set to music and other awesome attractions at…L.L. Bean?! Really? Alright. Well, L.L Bean brings it with live music and fireworks, at this kid-and-commerce oriented event that ends early enough that you can put the wee ones to bed early before the real festivities begin. 11am-6pm.
. L.L.Bean New Year's CelebrationL.L.Bean Freeport, ME, .
Galumpha New Year’s Eve Show
What happens when you combine mime, acrobatics, special effects, and comedy? Something called…Galumpha at Sugarloaf. This looks nuts, with all sorts of crazy tumbling and strength demonstrations by the aforementioned Galumpha performing arts Troupe. 7:30pm. Galumpha New Year's Eve ShowKing Pine Room, Sugarloaf Ski Resort Carrabassett Valley, ME, .
New Year’s Eve Bash at Mt. Abram Resort
Ahhhh skiing, fireworks, and music from a country where it doesn’t snow. Check out Mt. Abram’s New Years Eve fireworks and reggae music spectacular! 9pm-12:30am. New Year's Eve Bash at Mt. Abram ResortMt Abram Greenwood, ME, .
New Year’s Eve at Sunday River resort
Sunday River’s Holiday Dinner claims there’s more Champange then I’d know what to do with. What Sunday River doesn’t know is that I’ve always wanted a champagne moat. Just cause. Once you’ve had your fill, there’s a organ-driven rock band, fireworks, and general ski-resort related debauchery until 2014, and probably for several minutes after. 4pm-12:30am. Fireworks at 8:30pm! New Year's Eve at Sunday River resortSunday River Resort Newry, ME, .
New Year’s Pajama Party
Trick your kids into going to bed early via their New Year’s at noon pajama party! Get this: There’s a balloon drop instead of a ball drop! Nice! Children’s Museum in Portland. 12pm. New Year's Pajama PartyChildren’s Museum and Theatre of Maine Portland, ME, .
Paul Revere Bell Ringing
Another pre-midnight New Year’s Eve celebration, in the form of an annual Paul Revere bell ringing. Be there with bells on. 2013:12-1pm. Paul Revere Bell RingingMain Street Bath Bath, ME, .
Bangor Downtown Countdown
With live music, dancing, street performers, their own ball drop, and a Paul Bunyan look-alike contest, this presumably outdoor celebration seems fun. 5-11:59pm. Bangor Downtown CountdownWest Market Square Bangor, ME, .
First Night Old Orchard Beach
This party on the beach features a bonfire,marshmallow toasting, Cotton Candy (there’s a new one!), and cocoa. It starts at 4:30pm with fireworks display at 6:30pm. 4:30-6:30pm. First Night Old Orchard BeachTown Square Old Orchard Beach, ME, .
New Year’s Day Labyrinth Walk
This is so great! This church has both indoor and outdoor labyrinth and you can come do a 30-minute walk and reflect on the maze that is life. I called and they swear it is not heavy-handed with religion. You can just show up and do it for fun. 5pm-7pm, but you can do their outdoor labyrinth anytime. New Year's Day Labyrinth WalkMeetinghouse Franklin, MA, .
New Years’ Eve Contra Dances
Folk dances are a great alternative to nightclubs. The social dances are constructed so everyone can join in and meet people – and if 6 ‘Step Up’ movies are any indication, there’s nothing more romantic then dancing! 8pm-1am. New Years' Eve Contra DancesScout House Concord, MA, .
Bessie’s New Year’s Eve PJ Dance Party
Have kids? Attend the Discovery Museum and dance around in your pajamas with special guest ‘Bessie’ who is likely a cow of some kind. 10am. Bessie's New Year's Eve PJ Dance PartyDiscovery Museum,177 Main Street Acton, MA, .
New Years Eve at Nashoba Ski Resort
Skiing, riding, and tubing until 11:30pm, and then a parade and fireworks! Let’s hope the fireworks don’t start an avalanche! 5pm-11:30pm. New Years Eve at Nashoba Ski ResortNashoba Ski Resort Westford, MA, .
New Year’s Eve at the Irish Cultural Center of New England
Irish music, a buffet, and Champagne toast at the sprawling Irish Cultural Center. The coolest part about this venue is that there are lots of little nooks and crannies to explore for the adventurous, or romantically inclined – including a covered bridge! Not that I’d encourage such debauchery, but I’m encouraging such debauchery. That aside, the Irish Cultural Centre generally has good entertainment. 7pm-1am. New Year's Eve at the Irish Cultural Center of New England Canton, MA, .
New Year’s Needham, MA
This one’s the closest real ‘first night’ to Boston, with live music, dance, a quilter’s guild (what?) and lots more. They have a trolley so you can get around without worrying about driving, too. No fireworks, but there’s a Countdown Party at Powers Hall. 9:30pm. New Year's Needham, MA Needham, MA, .
Cranmore is more than just a ski resort, with a roller-coaster, swings, zip-lines, and a tubing park. Every Saturday through mid-March this ski resort will have events and fireworks. CranapaloozaCranmore Mountain Resort, 1 Skimobile Road, North Conway, NH, .
End of Year Special Fireworks Display On the Beach!
I wouldn’t normally top-list a festival of arts & crafts vendors. Buuuuut this takes place at a beach, and they’ll have fireworks – other details are sketchy, so if you like surprises, check this out! 8pm. End of Year Special Fireworks Display On the Beach!Hampton Beach Hampton, NH, .
New Years at Santa’s Village
Santa’s Village is an amusement park hosting a kids’ party with a DJ and fireworks at 8pm. 4-9pm. New Years at Santa's VillageSanta’s Village Jefferson, NH, .
New Year’s Eve at King Pine and Purity Spring Resort
King Pine is having a number of family-oriented New Year’s events including night skiing, tubing, and fireworks. 4pm-9:30pm,. New Year's Eve at King Pine and Purity Spring ResortNew Hampshire Ski Resort, 1251 Eaton Road, Route 153 East Madison, NH, .
First Night Portsmouth, NH
This has Ice sculptures! There’s something neat about creating these works of art that will only be around for a week or so before melting away into memories.This First Night celebration in Portsmouth also has magic, puppet shows, and mentalism! Nice! 4pm-12am. First Night Portsmouth, NHVarious venues Portsmouth, NH, .
First Night Wolfeboro, NH
Here’s some good, clean, alcohol free fun, with food, banners, all sorts of illuminations. get tipsy off of holiday cheer and community, and ring in the New Year clear eyed and bushy-tailed. Fireworks at 5pm and midnight! 2pm-12am. First Night Wolfeboro, NH Wolfeboro, NH, .
New Years Rockport Eve
‘New Years Rockport Eve’ is a great pun, and fun festival, too. There’s reggae and several bluegrass music bands, sea shanty singing, puppeteers, and more. 45-minute performances at 15 venues in the downtown area of Rockport. 6pm-midnight. New Years Rockport EveRockport Downtown area Rockport, MA, .
Beverly’s New Year
Here’s another kids oriented New Years Festival, with clowns, a train, and admission to various museums reduced. Seems cool for wee ones who might not be able to make it to Midnight for the real deal. There’s a parade but there don’t seem to be fireworks. 2013:3-7pm. Beverly's New YearMain Street Beverly, MA, .
Wenham Museum’s New Years Countdown
Although it’s meant for kids, you could do worse than see a magic show and sing silly songs, all at a convenient 10am-1pm. That’s AM as in ‘morning’. 🙂 10am. Wenham Museum's New Years CountdownWenham Museum Wenham, MA, .
Starry Starry Night
Orange has fireworks! And hayrides! And a parade with giant puppets! And it’s named after my favorite Van Gough painting! But no oranges! What gives!. 1pm-12am. Starry Starry NightDowntown Orange, various locations Orange, MA, .
New Year’s Eve
Dinner at the Hawthorne, A party on a boat house, something called a Gulu ball all make New Years Eve in Salem worth checking out! 6-10pm. New Year's EveHawthorne Hotel Salem, MA, .
New Year’s Eve Gala at the Ocean House
This black tie affair features gourmet food paid ‘special’ attention by the chefs. I feel all important and junk, so much so I’ll be sure to wear pants and a shirt, along with my black tie. This is pricey, but definitely looks to be worthwhile for a certain kind of clientele. 7:30pm-1am. New Year's Eve Gala at the Ocean HouseOcean House Watch Hill, RI, .
New Year’s Eve Annual Bonfire
Hey it’s a bonfire in Charlestown, RI! Cool! Not much else is known, but there’s nothing quite like glancing into a fire and reflecting upon a year well done. 4:30-7:30pm. New Year's Eve Annual BonfireNinigret Park Charlestown, RI, .
City Celebrates! New Year’s Eve, New Bedford, MA
Local restaurants and AHA (not the band that did ‘Take on Me’) combine for a free, delicious, event. Ice carving, fire dancing, magic, and fireworks! Sounds like the perfect South Shore New Years party to me! 2pm-Midnight. City Celebrates! New Year's Eve, New Bedford, MACity Celebrates! New Bedford, MA, .
New Year’s Eve Party with Fireworks
Ring in the year in high style at a private party with fireworks at the Harbor View Hotel. Tickets are $75, the property is gorgeous, and the menu looks amazing. 8:30pm-1:30am. New Year's Eve Party with FireworksHarbor View Hotel Edgartown, MA, .
First Night, Jr. at Holyoke
This one’s also for kids, with a carousel, a magician, ice sculptures, juggler, and balloon animals. 10-4pm. First Night, Jr. at HolyokeHolyoke Heritage State Park Holyoke, MA, .
New Years Eve Chili Cookoff
Make New Years Eve a ‘gas’ with this Chili Cook off from various Montpelier Restaurants! Then partake in the Disco Ball drop, and hat making! 1-3:30 pm. New Years Eve Chili CookoffLangdon Street Montpelier, VT, .
First Night Burlington, VT
This event has a ‘Cartoon Fest’! Playing classic Looney Tunes! Score! For the more…mature, it also has Bill Mares, a New England public radio ponderer, and a variety of other low-key, arts focused events. Vermont is getting in on the New Years Eve thing, and they’re especially well organized, with 15 arts venues. 12pm-12am. There are two fireworks displays: One at 6pm and one at midnight. First Night Burlington, VTVarious Locations Burlington, VT, .
First Night St. Johnsbury, VT
St. Johnsbury, VT is about as far north as Montpelier. Maybe you could visit and go skiing, too. They’ll have 50 performances, fireworks, and ‘dancing sky lanterns’. Intriguing! 4pm-12am. First Night St. Johnsbury, VTVarious Locations St. Johnsbury, VT, , .
New Year’s Eve Fireworks and Torchlight Parade (Sugarbush Resort)
In addition to being my stripper name, Sugarbush is offering up a dog parade, live music, street performers, a parade of torch-lights, and fireworks. 3pm-12am. New Year's Eve Fireworks and Torchlight Parade (Sugarbush Resort)Sugarbush Resort Warren, VT, .
New Year’s Eve at Okemo Mountain Resort
Wayyyyy down in Okeeemooo, you got Free skate rentals, marshmallow roasting, show-shoeing, games, and fireworks. Two separate parties: One at Jackson Gore from 5pm-9pm and then a dance party at the Roundhouse from 6:30pm-9pm. 5-9pm. New Year's Eve at Okemo Mountain ResortOkemo Mountain Resort Ludlow, VT, .
First Night Worcester, MA
Worcester has events all day, including, synchronized swimming, ice skating, a parade, live music, and two fireworks shows. 10am-12mn. First Night Worcester, MAVarious Locations Worcester, MA, .
New Year’s Eve at Wachusett Mountain
Most ski resorts are having a New Years celebration. The best ones like Wachusett Mountain have fireworks and let you ski at night until midnight! And they have snow tubing, too. There’s a shuttle from the Commuter Rail you can take if you don’t drive, which is nice for those paranoid about having one too many cups of kindness for auld lang syne. 9-12pm. New Year's Eve at Wachusett MountainWachusett Mountain Princeton, MA, .
Xmas Lights & Santa Events
 Holiday Light Displays & Santa Events – click map above to set region Mon 12/16 Tue 12/17 Wed 12/18 Thu 12/19 Fri 12/20 Sat 12/21 Sun 12/22 Mon 12/23
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
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
Santa’s Trains at Look ParkFlorence, MA

Model trains and locomotives whirling by displays of a whimsical wonderland of Christmas favorites and village landscapes 4-8pm, except 12/24 10-2pm.
300 North Main Street, 413.584.5457. more
Santa’s HouseWest Springfield, MA

Mon-Fri 5:30-7:30pm. Sat & Sun 2:30-4pm, 5:30-7:30pm.
West Springfield Municipal Office Building, 26 Central Street, Suite 19, 413-263-3284. 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
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
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