Events INSIDER: Nov 26-Dec 4

Giveaways & Features
Win Christmas Revels
My favorite Christmas show is held by Revels, with dancing and a look back to 1907 like you’ve never seen before! I have two pairs of tickets to give away for 12/14 show. Email to win! Win Christmas RevelsSANDERS THEATRE Cambridge, MA, .
Interview with TechCocktails
Here’s an opportunity for hot local tech startups to mingle with job-seeking technophiles over cocktails. There will also be lectures about grassroots marketing. Interview with TechCocktailsOne Marina Park Drive Boston, MA, .
Boston’s Largest High-Tech / Business Calendar
Do you network? Find Boston’s largest calendar of high-tech and business networking events in my free mobile app! Boston's Largest High-Tech / Business Calendar Boston, MA, .
Get the 2013 New England Guide
Mention my website to friends and get my 2013 New England Guide, with 700 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 17 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 17 New England Regions on Twitter All Over, , .
Johnny’s Picks
Lovecraft Legacies: Night Falls Early
It oozes. It comes from the deep. It’s Cthulhu, the most popular monster of H. P. Lovecraft, the big horror writer who came after Edgar Allan Poe. Now it’s a live roleplaying event! Lovecraft Legacies: Night Falls Early Charlton, MA, .
FIRST Lego League Massachusetts State Championship
What’s better than Lego? Robots made of Lego!! This is the state championship for building machines that don’t do much but are fun to watch. I’m pretty sure it’s free. FIRST Lego League Massachusetts State ChampionshipWPI, Harrington Auditorium Worcester, MA, .
Full Frosty Moon Night Hike and Campfire
I’m all for nature walks and learning about natural history, but there’s no way I’m doing it after dark in this weather! Too cold. It’s supposed to snow this week, so bundle up. Full Frosty Moon Night Hike and Campfire Attleboro, 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 Hotel Marlborough, MA, .
Chanukah on Ice
This Chanukah skating event features Jewish music, a free raffle, Kosher concessions, a menorah lighting, crafts, and donuts, gelt, and dreidels. 2:30pm-4pm. Chanukah on Ice Foxborough, MA, .
Ho Ho Holidays
Tree Lighting Pre-Show at Frog Pond Skating Rink
I’ve seen events at Frog Pond and the ice skating performances are surprisingly impressive! This one is just before the official tree lighting, at 5pm. Tree Lighting Pre-Show at Frog Pond Skating RinkBoston Common Boston, MA, .
Boston Pride’s 2nd Annual Holiday Event
This is a holiday party with a casino that benefits an LGBT charity. They’ll have a stand-up comic and dancing, too! 7-11pm. Boston Pride's 2nd Annual Holiday EventFaneuil Hall Boston, MA, .
USS Constitution Tree Decorating and Lighting
The 19th century war ship the USS Constitution, also known as Old Ironsides, 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 Decorating and LightingBldg 5 Charlestown Navy Yard Charlestown, MA, .
First Light Festival
Town-wide holiday nights are a dime a dozen, and are usually just ploys to get you to shop. At least this one features a variety of performances and a reading by local authors at Brookline Booksmith. First Light Festival Brookline, 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. Old South Meeting House Holiday Open HouseOld South Meeting House Boston, MA, .
Boston Common Holiday Lighting
This tree lighting ceremony is a lot more than just flicking a switch on! No details about this year’s lineup yet, but past performers have included the Boston Ballet, the Rockettes, and local favorite Joey McIntyre. 5-9pm. Boston Common Holiday LightingBoston Common Boston, MA, .
Concord Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting
Don’t be fooled by markets pretending to be festivals. There are plenty of genuine Xmas events like this parade where Santa will arrive by fire engine, and they’ll have carolers, hot chocolate, an elephant, and historical re-enactors. The parade starts at Sudbury Road at Thoreau St and ends at the town common. Concord Holiday Parade and Tree LightingVisitors Center Concord, 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! Christmas in Salem House TourHamilton Hall Salem, MA, .
Amesbury Santa Parade and Tree Lighting
And another parade, which proceeds into downtown Amesbury via Sparhawk and Main streets. Santa and Mrs. Claus will attend, and there will be caroling. Amesbury Santa Parade and Tree Lighting Amesbury, 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! Essex Holiday Festival Essex, MA, .
Christmas-by- the- Sea
Another merchant event with Santa and a tree lighting. Christmas-by- the- Sea Manchester, MA, .
ICS North Pole Express
What’s better than meeting Santa? Meeting Santa on the commuter rail pretending to travel to the North Pole! Carols, costumed characters, etc. Feel free to wear pajamas. This event doesn’t seem too Jesus-y, but if you prefer to attend strictly secular holiday events, there are several ‘North Pole’ train rains happening throughout the Christmas season. ICS North Pole Express Newburyport, MA, .
Annual 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. Annual Marblehead Christmas Walk Marblehead, 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. 4-9:30pm. Lexington Holiday Festival Night Lexington, MA, .
MassArt Annual Holiday Sale
Student art sales are a great way to find a creative holiday bargain. This one’s at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. At least there’s no merchant mark-up and you’re benefiting the students directly. Who knows?— You might land a piece by the next Kiki Smith or Damien Hirst! MassArt Annual Holiday SaleTower Building Lobby Boston, MA, .
BLINK! At Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Talk about Xmas bombardment! This ‘LED light & sound extravaganza’ features the Holiday Pops, with performances every half hour from 4pm-10pm. EVERY night. For the next SIX WEEKS. That might be a little too much holiday cheer for me. BLINK! At Faneuil Hall MarketplaceFaneuil Hall Boston, MA, .
Yulefest 5k
Remember all those charity road races last week? There are plenty coming up for the holidays, too. Here’s one in Harvard. I’m not sure what pre-Christmas celebrations they’re alluding to in the description, though. I don’t see any pictures of well-meaning neo-pagans in capes? Yulefest 5k Cambridge, MA, .
Holiday Tea with Best American Short Stories
The editor of the Best American Short Stories will discuss what goes into the making of this popular annual publication and Jennifer Haigh and Edith Pearlman will read from their work. All of this happens over high tea at the Fairmont Copley Plaza. $45, which is pretty much a standard price for high tea at a fancy hotel. Holiday Tea with Best American Short StoriesFairmont Copley Plaza Boston, MA, .
East Bridgewater Christmas Parade
Here’s another Christmas parade to represent the South Shore. 9 AM. East Bridgewater Christmas Parade East Bridgewater, 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. Pembroke Tree Lighting Pembroke, MA, .
Holidays on the Green and Caroling at Plymouth
Free ‘Reindog Parade’, where dogs are dressed up in costume. Pancakes with Santa, caroling, and petting zoo. Lots of other holiday events are happening today at Pine Hills, too! Holidays on the Green and Caroling at PlymouthThe Pinehills Plymouth, MA, .
Easton Lions Reindog Parade
Here’s another reindog parade event. You dress up your dog and hope it’s not traumatizing. Easton Lions Reindog Parade Easton, 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! New Bedford Downtown Holiday Stroll New Bedford, 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 USA Carver, MA, .
Lights On – Taunton Christmas Celebration
This seems like a real festival, with hay rides, Mrs. Claus, participatory caroling, and 20 different performance sites, some of which will surely be outdoors. Lights On - Taunton Christmas Celebration Taunton, MA, .
Norton Lighting of the Common
Sing carols with Santa and Mrs. Claus. 5pm. Norton Lighting of the Common Norton, MA, .
Nantucket Noel
Another good choice for a weekend getaway if what you want is beautiful scenery. Nantucket Noel Nantucket, MA, .
Christmas Festival at Asa Waters Mansion
If you’ve been to my blog before, you’ll know that I love historical re-enactments, so this is MY kind of holiday event! There will be Civil War re-enactors in addition to the ubiquitous visit from Santa, live music, and tree lighting. Christmas Festival at Asa Waters Mansion Montpelier, VT, .
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. Grafton Celebrates the Holidays Grafton, MA, .
Worcester Tree Lighting and Caroling
Tree lighting and performance, ho hum. Worcester Tree Lighting and Caroling Cambridge, 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. Yuletide at Storrowton Village West Springfield, MA, .
Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas
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 Dickins village, with horse-drawn carriage rides, caroling, and a concert. Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas Stockbridge, MA, .
Carol Sing in Sandwich Center
7pm, followed by hot cider and cookies at the Dan’l Webster Inn and Spa. Rain date next day. Carol Sing in Sandwich CenterChurch Sandwich, MA, .
Christmas at the Museums on the Green
This has a similar premise to the Storrowton event, but this is more like a museum tour than a festival. Take your pick. Christmas at the Museums on the Green Falmouth, MA, .
Falmouth Holidays by the Sea Weekend
There’s an entire weekend of events in Falmouth, including participatory caroling, parade, tree lighting, and Santa’s arrival by boat. Falmouth Holidays by the Sea WeekendNobska Lighthouse, Nobska Road Falmouth, MA, .
Harbor Lighting and Boat Parade
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-4pm. Harbor Lighting and Boat Parade Hyannis, MA, .
Bowen’s Wharf Christmas Tree Lighting
Frosty the snowman, participatory caroling, and Mr. & Mrs. Claus arrive for a tree lighting. Bowen's Wharf Christmas Tree Lighting Newport, RI, .
Christmas at the Newport Mansions
Beginning this weekend through the New Year, the famous Newport mansions will be decked out for the holidays. Tours and events vary from estate to estate. Christmas at the Newport Mansions Newport, RI, .
Festival of Trees or Portsmouth Illuminated Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting
Another parade and tree lighting, starting at 5pm. This one has real parade floats! Food donations encouraged. Festival of Trees or Portsmouth Illuminated Holiday Parade and Tree LightingUrban Forestry Center Portsmouth, NH, .
Spirit of New Hampshire Christmas Parade and The Ghostbusters
This is the largest float parade in New Hampshire! Spirit of New Hampshire Christmas Parade and The GhostbustersElm Street Manchester, NH, .
Traditionally Yours Holiday Celebrations
There are tastings, open houses, performances, sleigh rides, and other activities to get you in the holiday mood starting the day after Thanksgiving! Traditionally Yours Holiday Celebrations Jackson, 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, the Sunday, ‘Skate with Santa’! Plymouth Holiday Parade and Fireworks Plymouth, NH, .
TubaChristmas – NH
Here’s another! See the website for other events all over New Hampshire and the rest of New England. TubaChristmas - NH Keene, NH, .
Exeter, NH Holiday Parade
This is primarily a children’s event, although the website boasts that it’s considered one of the finest NH events of its kind. Go see if it’s true? Exeter, NH Holiday Parade Exeter, NH, .
Rochester, NH Holiay Parade
The theme of this year’s Holiday Parade in Rochester is ‘Cartoon Christmas.’ Still corny, but DEFINITELY better than ‘Sea the Miracles.’. Rochester, NH Holiay Parade Rochester, NH, .
Merrimack Parade of Lights
Yet another parade. Merrimack Parade of Lights Merrimack, NH, .
Hampton, NH Christmas Parade
And another parade. This year’s theme is ‘Sea the Miracles.’ Ouch. Hampton, NH Christmas Parade Hampton, NH, .
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. Kennebunkport Christmas PreludeTownwide Kennebunkport, ME, .
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! Christmas in Weston Weston, VT, .
Town of Jay Tree Lighting and Holiday Caroling
This annual tree lighting ceremony is automatically cooler than all the other ones because it’s followed by a MOONLIT HIKE! Gotta love Vermont. 6:45pm-7:15pm. Town of Jay Tree Lighting and Holiday Caroling Jay, VT, .
Holiday Express Train Show
These model trains are on display all month, but this event is their opening celebration. 7pm. Holiday Express Train Show Fairfield, CT, .
Hartford Festival of Light
Can this be right? Hartford features free skating and free skate rentals for a month, plus professional skating shows every Friday and Saturday, 6-7pm. Awesome! Hartford Festival of Light Hartford, CT, .
Groton Lights Parade
More than sixty groups will participate in this parade followed by a tree lighting. 5pm. Groton Lights Parade Groton, CT, .
Ivoryton Illuminations
Carols, clowns, Santa, theater, chili, outdoor holiday lights competition with 200,000 lights, and hot cider. 5-8pm. Ivoryton Illuminations Ivoryton, CT, .
Frosty’s Big Night Out
Not much information is available about this event, other than the fact that it runs from 5:15pm-7pm. Killingly? You’re killing me. Frosty's Big Night Out Killingly, CT, .
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. 11am-7pm, see schedule for specific performances. Holiday Carnival Mystic, CT, .
Heights and Lights, Rappelling Santa
Santa knows how to make an entrance. This time he’ll rappel down a 22-story building! Then unspecified ‘activities’ for kids. (Unspecified activities are ALWAYS the best!) And a tree lighting with singing. 5pm. Heights and Lights, Rappelling Santa Stamford, CT, .
Bangor Santa’s Workshop, Festival of Lights Parade
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 4:30pm. Bangor Santa's Workshop, Festival of Lights ParadeMain Street Bangor, ME, .
Santa Sunday
Dress as Santa and you can ski free on Santa Sunday. That’s sort of commercial, but sounds sort of awesome, thus I’ll list it. Santa Sunday Newry, ME, .
Christmas By The Sea – Camden
Lobster, sleigh bells Ho ho ho? Ho hum. Christmas By The Sea - Camden Camden, 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. Ogunquit is also, of course, very LGBT friendly. Thumbs up! Christmas By The Sea - Ogunquit Ogunquit, ME, .
Santacon (Portland, ME)
There’s a street parade for Santas in Maine, too. 4pm to 11:59pm. Santacon (Portland, ME) Portland, ME, .
Holiday Light Parade
Yet another parade. 7pm. Holiday Light Parade Presque Isle, 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. Manchester Merriment Manchester, VT, .
Morristown Festival of Lights
This is the kind of holiday event I like best: Very down-to-earth with a lot of community spirit! Vermont is usually great for that sort of thing. Morristown Festival of LightsTownwide Morrisville, VT, .
Also Fun
Harvard Humanist of the Year, OkCupid!
3:00 pm. The humanist love speaker series concludes with the betrothal of an award to OkCupid! for creating a welcoming and positive environment for atheists, Humanists, and agnostics. Harvard Humanist of the Year, OkCupid!Harvard Science Center (One Oxford Street) Hall E Cambridge, MA, .
Giving While Gaming
Attend this charity event with videogames, board games, roleplaying, and food — and somehow this gets toys to kids in a hospital. They’ll have 20 different kinds of games, from Rock Band to ping pong. If that’s not enough, there’s also booze. 7pm. Giving While GamingMicrosoft NERD Cambridge, MA, .
Science and Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to the Science of Soft Matter
If they’re going to talk about foams and molecular gastronomy, I am so in.This week’s lesson taught by Ferran Adri. 7 pm. Tickets required. Science and Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to the Science of Soft MatterHarvard Science Center Cambridge, MA, .
Charlestown Open Studios
And yet another. ‘Please Buy from Us’ is their main artistic theme. Merry Giftmas! 10am-5pm. Charlestown Open StudiosStoveFactory Gallery Charlestown, MA, .
Cultural Survival Bazaar
Learn about various indigenous cultures from around the world through music, performances, crafts, and food. This organization is AWESOME. They have been helping to protect the rights of indigenous peoples since the ’60s. Cultural Survival Bazaar Cambridge, MA, .
East Meets West Fundraiser for AIC Boston
This fundraiser for the American Islamic Congress is a classy Back Bay affair honoring Zeren Earls (who founded Boston’s First Night) and also featuring music and stand-up comedy. Tickets are as little as $35, which is really reasonable for a dinner benefit. East Meets West Fundraiser for AIC BostonBack Bay Boston, 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. Harvard Book Store Winter Warehouse Sale Somerville, 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, .
Owl Prowl at Fort Refuge
Awesome owl events just keep coming. ‘Owl’ see you there! Ha ha ha. Get it? ‘Owl’…? Hello…? Is this thing on? (tap tap tap) 7-9pm. Owl Prowl at Fort RefugeFort Nature Refuge Boston, MA, .
Owling Under the Full Moon
Check out some owls in their natural habitat! 7-9pm. $8 for Audubon members and $12 for non-members. Owling Under the Full Moon North Smithfield, RI, .
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. They’ll have music, ethnic gifts for sale, and traditional foods. 1-4pm. NikkomoTomaquag Museum Exeter, RI, .
Waterfire: Art & Soul of a City
Waterfire is a work of art by Barnaby Evans consisting of dozens of bonfires set alight on three different Providence Rivers. So many people come to see the work that Providence was completely revitalized and a festival grew up around it. This is a special premiere screening of a short documentary about Waterfire. Waterfire: Art & Soul of a City Providence, RI, .
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. It’s a 2 mile walk and a 5 mile run. Hot Chocolate Run in NorthamptonDowntown Northampton Northampton, MA, .
Bright Nights 5K Road Race
Bright Nights is my 2nd favorite holiday lights attraction, and they’re holding a race, which quite appropriately is held at night when all the lights will be on! They’ve reached their capacity for runners this year, but it’s still fun to watch. 6:30pm. Bright Nights 5K Road Race Springfield, MA, .
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. Sunapee Harbor Magic and Looney PlungeLake Sunapee at the Harbor Newburyport, MA, .
Screwtape On Stage
When the demons fight the angels, what do the demons think? This comedy is an adaptation of the story by C. S. Lewis, the author of the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Screwtape On StageCutler Majestic Theatre at Emerson College Boston, MA, .
Holiday Sing – Handel and Hayden Chorus
There are always lots of performances of Handel’s Messiah during the holidays, but this one’s got a pedigree: It’s performed by the Handel and Haydn Society at Symphony Hall. Dress to impress! Showing up tp Symphony Hall in jeans is lame, and also no fun. Holiday Sing - Handel and Hayden ChorusSymphony Hall Boston, MA, .
London Bridgez Unplugged for World AIDS Day
This powerhouse performer presents her unique blend of spoken word, hip hop, and live music to raise money for AIDS awareness, care, and prevention. London Bridgez Unplugged for World AIDS DayLily Pad Cambridge, MA, .
Betrayal – Our Review
Harold Pinter is the master of subtlety: It’s what the characters DON’T say that drives the drama. The Hungtinton’s production is killer. Click for our review! Betrayal - Our ReviewHuntington Theatre Boston, MA, .
The Nutcracker, presented by the Boston Ballet
The Nutcracker opens this week! Finally, a holiday tradition it’s hard to sniff at. This is a brand new production featuring amazingly lavish sets and costumes. This is the year to attend, if you’ve never been or haven’t in some years. The Nutcracker, presented by the Boston Ballet Boston, MA, .
Monteverdi’s Orfeo – our review
There’s always an opera at the Boston Early Music Festival, and this year they’re presenting Orfeo, written in 1607 and widely regarded as the first ever opera. Click for our review. Monteverdi's Orfeo - our reviewJordan Hall Boston, MA, .
Harvard Med School Second Year Show
Every year the second year students at the Harvard Medical School put on a musical comedy show to raise money. I’ve been and it’s fantastic. I called to confirm that it’s open to everyone, not just the students. It’s a fundraiser! Harvard Med School Second Year Show Cambridge, MA, .
New England Ringers Handbell Concert
Or enjoy handbell concerts all over Massachusetts! New England Ringers Handbell Concert Cambridge, MA, .
Lemony Snicket: The Composer is Dead
This is a whodunnit about the orchestra narrated by the Lemony Snicket character from the popular Series of Unfortunate Events. This sounds AWESOME! Its structure is a bit like Peter and Wolf, only darker and cooler. Lemony Snicket: The Composer is Dead Concord, MA, .
Chester Greenwood Day
On the first Saturday of December, Maine celebrates the inventor of the earmuff. There will even be an earmuff fashion show! Chester Greenwood DayDowntown Farmington, ME, .
Let me build you a website!
Need a website? I just built the official website for Liv Tyler’s new film. Hire me to build yours on the cheap! Email Let me build you a website! All Over, , .
Please support Johnny’s Big Diet
I’m employing peer pressure to help me with a new diet. I figure if I post my weight to the blog every week I’ll be too embarassed to cheat. In early May, I weighed 354.6, last week I was 278, and this week (Thanksgiving) I gained weight to 283. My goal? 210. (I’m 6’4′, so that’s slim.). Please support Johnny's Big Diet All Over, , .
Xmas Lights and Santa Events
 Holiday Light Displays & Santa Events – click map above to set region Mon 11/26 Tue 11/27 Wed 11/28 Thu 11/29 Fri 11/30 Sat 12/1 Sun 12/2 Mon 12/3
Stone Zoo’s ZoolightsStoneham, MA

Daily 5-9pm. 250,000 lights and lots of animals. But the animals are mainly sleeping in their holes and the rest are poorly lit. Only OK. Santa is available.
149 Pond Street, 617-989-2000. more
Holiday LandscapesStoneham, 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
Petting Zoo in front of Seasons Four Furniture StoreLexington, MA

This is a merchant event with a petting zoo, Santa, elmo, face painting, singers, balloon animals, etc. I called and they couldn’t be bothered to give me the dates, so this is my best guess.
1265 Massachusetts Avenue, 781-861-1200. more
A “Little Women” Christmas at Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard HouseConcord, MA

This event includes re-enactors portraying historical characters found in “Little Women”. Reservations suggested. December 1st, 8th, & 15th: 10:00am-4:30pm. December 2nd, 9th, & 16th: 1:00pm-4:30pm.
399 Lexington Road, 978.369.4118 x106. 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 16th! Whoa. Mon-Fri 4-9pm, Sat-Sun 2-9pm.
Pine Street, 877-EDAVILLE. 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
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
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
Look Park’s Winter WonderlandFlorence, MA

Hayrides, night lights, zoo. 39,000 bulbs. 4-9pm.
300 North Main Street, 413.584.5457. more
Heritage Museum Gardens AglowSandwich, MA

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

100,000 lights, daily to 10pm, 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, 888-297-2200. more
Santa’s Arrival & Holiday ParadeProvidence, RI

A parade with Santa and various costumed characters, carolers, photo opportunities, and a holiday gift drive. Free with zoo admission.
1000 Elmwood Avenue, 401-941-4998, or 401-785-3510 ext 343. 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. 2012.
Slater Park, Armistice Blvd, 401-728-0500 x251. more
Christmas at the Newport MansionsNewport, RI

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 3pm. Houses are closed for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Various locations more
Wickford Village Festival of LightsWickford, RI

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.
Wickford Village more
Lighted Winter Wonderland & Santas Big Party at Charmingfare FarmCandia, NH

Thousands of lights, a 30-minute horse drawn night ride. Live reindeer, Santa, costumed characters. Petting zoo. Evenings.
Route 27, 603-483-5623. more more
Gift of Lights at New Hampshire Motor SpeedwayLoudon, NH

More than a mile of LED lights to drive through in your car. Santa’s Village, costumed characters. Monday-Thursday: 4:30pm-9pm, Friday-Saturday & holidays: 4:30pm-10pm; Sunday: 4:30pm-9pm.
1122 Route 106 North, 888-926-7403. more
La Salette Shrine & CenterEnfield, NH

Another very religious site has 45,000 evening lights spread across 30 acres. Here’s the idea. Two kids said they saw the Virgin Mary, and the parents based an entire church on that. And I couldn’t even get away with “the dog ate my homework”! 5-9pm except opening celebration 11/26.
410 NH Route 4A, 603-632-7087. more
Santa’s Village Christmas MagicJefferson, NH

Lights display, Santa, reindeer, rides. Days & Eves. Special New Years event 12/31.
Route 2, 603-586-4445. more
Polar ExpressNorth Conway, NH

This is a Polar Express-themed train ride that ends with a reading of the book at the “North Pole Theater.” Tickets available for the Lincoln ride only.
Santa’s Holiday ExpressNorth Conway, NH

This is a more generic train ride- it’s just got Santa, elves, and hot chocolate.
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! 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
Lake Compounce plans holiday lights eventBristol, CT

There are light shows every half hour set to music 12 light displays for the 12 days of Christmas throughout the park. There are also rides, costumed performers, fire pits, a North Pole Railway, and the ubiquitous cocoa/cookies/shopping.
822 Lake Avenue, Bristol, CT 06010, 860-589-7974. 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

Benefits the Easter Seals. Open nightly.
Light House Point Park, 2 Lighthouse Road, 203-777-2000. more
WinterFest at Connecticut Trolley MuseumEast Windsor, CT

Trolley ride through holiday lights, sing-along carols and meet Santa. 5-9pm. After December 25th: 6-pm.
58 North Road, 860-627-6540. 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
Lights On LovleyPlantsville, CT

Drive up and tune your radio to 96.1FM. Daily 5-11pm.
14 Lovley Dr more
Holiday Santa TrainsThomaston, 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.
242 E Main Street 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