Events INSIDER: Nov 19-27, Happy Thanksgiving

Johnny’s Picks
Friday After Thanksgiving Chain Reaction
I saw this last year and it was surprisingly good for an amateur competition! Hobbyists build elaborately complicated machines called Rube Goldberg devices. That’s when the candle heats the air going into the balloon, which bursts, surprising the bird who tips over a bucket, sending water onto a cat, who yowls and pulls a string, releasing a bowling ball to roll… you get the idea. Register to join in, or show up close to the end to watch. 1-4pm. Friday After Thanksgiving Chain ReactionMIT Campus, Rockwell Gymnasium Cambridge, MA, .
Thanksgiving Contra Dance
Some fun exercise is this folk dance. I’ve been to many contra dances, which are line dances meant to facilitate people meeting each other, and they tend to attract intelligent and classy people. It’s easy to pick up and, unlike ballroom dancing, if you do it wrong you just laugh and get back in place and nobody seems to mind. Highly recommended. 7:30-10:30pm. Thanksgiving Contra Dance Arlington, MA, .
Sing-a-Long Mary Poppins
I love events that are participatory. Here’s another. Mary Poppins, the classic musical is being shown in Arlington along with printed lyrics so you can sing along. Pick your day. Sing-a-Long Mary PoppinsRegent Theatre Arlington, MA, .
Quincy Christmas Lights Festival and Parade
The 60th Annual City of Quincy Christmas Parade will be held on Sunday, November 25th beginning at 12:30 p.m. The parade route kicks off at the intersection of Walter Hannon Parkway and Hancock Street and runs up Hancock Street to North Quincy. Quincy Christmas Lights Festival and Parade Quincy, MA, .
TubaChristmas Concert at Fanueil Hall
There are a lot of Boston tree lighting that I list below, but here’s my favorite: a concert with over 200 tubas! 2pm. TubaChristmas Concert at Fanueil Hall Boston, MA, .
Santa Parade and Fireworks over Choate
Right after you think, ‘Where the hell is Medway?’ (between Framingham and Foxboro), you think, ‘Fireworks!!’ Parade at 5:00pm up Holliston St to Choate Park, with fireworks afterwards over Choate Pond, Santa, tree lighting. Santa Parade and Fireworks over ChoateChoate Park Medway, MA, .
Harvest Dinner with the Pilgrims at Plimoth Plantation
Also this week they’re doing a re-enactment of a 1621 harvest dinner. You’ll see all kinds of old-timey food preparation. And pilgrims. And native americans. 5:30pm. Harvest Dinner with the Pilgrims at Plimoth Plantation Plymouth, MA, .
Plimoth Plantation is open on Thanksgiving
Don’t just sit around on Thanksgiving! New England owns Thanksgiving because the original feast was in Plymouth, Massachusetts. And now there’s a historical re-enactment museum with dozens of live actors — and it’s open on Thanksgiving Day. Plimoth Plantation is open on Thanksgiving Plymouth, MA, .
The Greater Brockton Holiday Parade
At 1pm, Brockton represents the South Shore better with a parade with floats! Activities and Santa photos all day. The Greater Brockton Holiday Parade Brockton, MA, .
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, , .
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 All Over, , .
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, , .
Christopher Columbus Park Holiday Trellis Lighting
Because of commerce, there’s no putting off Xmas. However, I promise to only write about REAL EVENTS, not every high school that throws together some craft show. No description, but expect Santa, ‘performers’, they flick a switch and a tree lights up… hot chocolate and singing… 6pm. Christopher Columbus Park Holiday Trellis LightingChristopher Columbus Park Boston, MA, .
Faneuil Hall Tree Lighting
Also unable to wait to Thanksgiving is Faneuil Hall. As a local, I sort of avoid Faneui Hall. You guys know it’s just a mall, right, placed where a museum should be? However, they’ll have bellringers! And caroling! I like that!! OMG! It’s CHRISTMAS! I should buy something! Faneuil Hall Tree LightingFaneuil Hall Boston, MA, .
Winthrop Holiday Lighting Festival
Winthrop is hosting some horse-drawn sleigh rides and Santa will arrive on a fire engine. Santa knows how to make an entrance! Plenty of costumed friends will be there, too. Clowns, pony rides, a juggler, and cute performances like kids doing martial arts. Plus costumed characters like Woody and Buzz Lightyear from ‘Toy Story’, and Rudolph the Reindeer. This outdoor event will be cancelled if raining. 3-6pm. Winthrop Holiday Lighting FestivalFrench Square Winthrop, MA, .
Peabody Square Tree Lighting Celebration
Caroling, refreshments; they flick a light and the tree turns on. Ho hum. For the second year in a row, they can’t be bothered to list a time? Now that’s just bad marketing. Peabody Square Tree Lighting Celebration Dorchester, MA, .
Roslindale Tree Lighting
Tree lighting, caroling, Santa, etc. I’m mainly listing these because they’re in metro Boston. Believe me, I have excluded dozens of these out in West Nowheresland. 3-5pm. Roslindale Tree LightingAdams Park Roslindale, MA, .
Anderson Tree Lighting in Logan Square
This one has a carousel, stage shows, kids games, horse-drawn sleigh rides. 1-5:30pm. Tree lighting at 4:30 with Mayor Menino. Anderson Tree Lighting in Logan Square Hyde Park, MA, .
Macy’s Holiday Tree Lighting
Macy’s annual post-Thanksgiving tree lighting in Boston continues, as the store places this year’s holiday tree atop the marquee at the Downtown Crossing Macy’s location. Macy's Holiday Tree LightingDowntown Crossing 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, .
Springfield’s Parade of the Big Balloons
I would so love to see this! Probably the best event after Thanksgiving is the parade in Springfield. The non-metro towns that try the hardest to lure in tourists are Springfield, Quincy, Salem, and Lowell. You can bet whenever an event happens in any of these places, it’ll be good. Springfield's Parade of the Big BalloonsMain Street Springfield, MA, .
Thanksgiving and A New England Wedding at OSV
You should never need an excuse to visit my favorite re-enactment museum, Old Sturbridge Village, which is holding some authentic 1830s style Thanksgiving dinners. There’s also a shooting match and an 1830s wedding. Thanksgiving and A New England Wedding at OSV Sturbridge, MA, .
Nantucket Cold Turkey Plunge
And here’s the worst exercise possible. There’s nothing like exposing your body to extremes to break down your health. Insane people will be dipping into the ocean at Nantucket Island and running right back out! Apparently it benefits charity. Thanksgiving morning at 10am (Register at 9am). Nantucket Athenaeum. Vice President Biden usually comes to Nantucket for Thanksgiving and usually attends! Nantucket Cold Turkey PlungeChildren’s Beach, Harborview Way Nantucket, MA, .
Lowell City of Lights Parade and Holiday Art Stroll
And Lowell has a parade too! Various merchants and museums will be open — these events are typically driven by the chamber of commerce — and you’ll find trolley rides, a parade, Santa Claus, a hot chocolate competition, street performers, theatre, and more. 11am-8pm. Plenty of free parking! Lowell City of Lights Parade and Holiday Art StrollMerrimack & Central Streets Lowell, MA, .
LEGO Extravaganza at Acton
Can we back up just a second? It’s not ALL about Christmas and as a favor to non-believers, I will separate out the Xmas and non-Xmas events all month. For example, there’s a festival of building giant sculptures in Acton, with LEGOs. Make sure to bring hand sanitizer! They say it’s for all ages even though it’s at a children’s museum. I want to go!! LEGO Extravaganza at Acton Acton, MA, .
Turkey Trots
Tons of towns across the country have road races on or around Thanksgiving for charity, and often the participants dress up as pilgrims or turkeys! Whether you want to run or just watch, there’s probably a race near you. I’ve listed a few here, but this website has MANY more! Turkey Trots All Over, , .
Traditional Shaker Supper at Hancock Shaker Village
Gastronomical time travel also takes place at this Shaker musuem, with a tour by re-enactors, an authentic dinner, and a cappella Shaker music from the 1830s. Tour at 4pm. $65. Traditional Shaker Supper at Hancock Shaker Village Pittsfield, MA, .
The Role of the Internet in a Creating a Just and Sustainable Economy
Maybe I should attend one of these- I could always learn more about economics, and I use the internet! Sounds like as good an opportunity as any. The Role of the Internet in a Creating a Just and Sustainable EconomyFirst Parish Church Cambridge, MA, .
Gobble Gobble Gobble Road Race
This one’s a 4-mile road race for charity, which begins and ends at The Burren. 9am. If you want to join in, you must sign up in advance. Like I’m really going to feel like a road race at 9am the day after stuffing my face… Gobble Gobble Gobble Road RaceThe Burren Somerville, MA, .
Half-Price Day at Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo
The day after Thanksgiving is half-price at these two zoos. The Franklin Park Zoo especially is nice in the winter, open all year ’round, with both indoor and outdoor locations. Half-Price Day at Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo Boston, MA, .
Boston Volvo Village 5k Road Race
This road race raises money for MS. 7:30 am registration; 9:00 am start. Boston Volvo Village 5k Road Race Brighton, MA, .
Dreamcatcher Classic Road Race
Here’s one of the few turkey trots on the South Shore. Starts promptly at 8am. Dreamcatcher Classic Road Race Weymouth, MA, .
Alternative House’s 5k Run/Walk
Another one in Lowell. Alternative House's 5k Run/Walk Lowell, MA, .
Medway Turkey Trot
Yet another post-Thanksgiving road race. Don a turkey costume if you wish and get ready to run at 7:30 AM. Medway Turkey Trot Medway, MA, .
Concord Turkey Trot
The 5K race starts at 9am and finishes at the Alcott Elementary School and benefits theOpen Table Food Bank. Concord Turkey Trot Concord, MA, .
Wolf Hollow Half Marathon, Relay, & 5K
This is Nashua’s first half marathon and will run a scenic and shaded course in beautiful Mine Falls Park. 9am. Wolf Hollow Half Marathon, Relay, & 5KStellos Stadium Nashua, NH, .
Maudslay Turkey Trot
This one starts at 8:20 am. Maudslay Turkey TrotMaudslay State Park Newburyport, MA, .
Winner’s Circle Running Club Wild Turkey Trot
8:30 AM start at Pipestave Hill / Mill Pond Recreation Center. All proceeds this year benefit the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Winner's Circle Running Club Wild Turkey Trot West Newbury, MA, .
Dedham Turkey Trot 5K
This local run benefits the Dedham Food Pantry. Dedham Turkey Trot 5K Dedham, MA, .
Tree Lighting Festival at Smolak Farms
This farm open to the public has a train ride, carolers, the ubiquitous face painting, free hot chocolate, kids crafts, and Santa lights the tree. Tree Lighting Festival at Smolak Farms North Andover, 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! 6:30pm. Bright Nights 5K Road Race Springfield, MA, , .
Danvers Holiday Lights
Yet another one in Danvers. Danvers Holiday Lights Danvers, MA, .
Newburyport Santa Parade and Tree Lighting
Santa arrives on a US Coast Guard boat. Now that’s what I call an entrance! Newburyport Santa Parade and Tree Lighting Newburyport, MA, .
Gloucester’s Santa Parade and Tree Lighting
Santa is a busy elf, also coming to Gloucester. Participatory Christmas carols and parade from State Fish Pier, down Main Street and Western Avenue, to Kent Circle for tree lighting. Rain date 7 days later. Gloucester's Santa Parade and Tree LightingDowntown Gloucester Gloucester, MA, .
The Polar Express at Edaville USA
One of several Polar Express-themed train rides opens this weekend. To be honest, it’s basically 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, .
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, .
Santa Arrives in Westerly
Santa arrives by fire truck, which is not as cool as a helicopter but you don’t have to get up early — this one’s at 6pm. Moved to Westerly Armory if rain. Santa Arrives in Westerly Westerly, RI, .
Santa’s Arrival at Roger Williams Park Zoo
Get this!! Santa arrives (last year by HELICOPTER) at 9:30am and then there’s a parade at 10am. It’s clearly the event to see, at the Roger Williams Park Zoo, which I’ve seen and is excellent. Because it’s at a zoo, not a shopping district, it’s bound to be less commercial and just more fun. 9:30am-11:30am. Santa's Arrival at Roger Williams Park Zoo Providence, RI, .
National Day of Mourning
Since the American Indian Movement of the 1970s, Native American Rights activists gather in Plymouth to protest the Thanksgiving holiday and raise awareness about the continued plight of the Native population in this country. Regardless of how you choose to observe this holiday (or not), it’s good to be aware that this is happening! National Day of MourningColes Hill Plymouth, MA, .
Moonlight Magic
Moonlight Magic in Shelburne Falls has become a traditional event across the region. It’s the kick-off to the holiday season that includes Lighting of the Village, the Parade of Lights, Santa’s Workshop, carolers, and street performers. Moonlight Magic Shelburne Falls, MA, .
Legos Club
It’s so funny to me that this PUBLIC town library insists upon calling itself an Athenaeum, yet hosts LEGO events. Can you imagine a Lego club at the Boston Athenaeum? Nope, me neither. Anyway, this event is specifically for small children. Sorry, grown ups. Legos ClubBerkshire Athenaeum Pittsfield, MA, .
Handel’s Messiah Sing-In
If you can’t get enough Handel during the holidays, The Berkshire Bach Society invites you to sing along. Handel's Messiah Sing-In Great Barrington, MA, .
Betrayal – Our Review
Infidelity. Betrayal. Drama. Passion. Click for our review! Betrayal - Our ReviewHuntington Theatre Boston, MA, .
The Capitol Steps
I don’t normally list performances, but if you are a news junkie, this is an evening of musical political satire called the Capitol Steps. I’ve seen it and it’s way more cerebral and clever than anything you’ve seen on Saturday Night Live. Definitely check this out! Performances at 5pm and 8pm. The Capitol StepsSanders Theatre Cambridge, MA, .
Massmouth Story Slam
Story slammers sign up on the night to tell a 5-minute short story on the evening’s theme: This one’s is FOOD! The two highest-scoring participants win prizes and are entered to compete in a larger event next spring. I had friends who went to the last Story Slam event and they said it was awesome. Check it out. Massmouth Story SlamClub Passim Cambridge, MA, .
The Nutcracker, presented by the Boston Ballet
The Nutcracker opens this week! Finally, a holiday tradition it’s hard to sniff at. The Nutcracker, presented by the Boston Ballet Boston, MA, .
Monteverdi’s Orfeo
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. Can’t make it? Look for our review next week! Monteverdi's OrfeoJordan Hall Boston, MA, .
New England Ringers Handbell Concert
I’ve never seen a real bellringers concert. I would love so much to attend this! 7:30pm. And more concerts all across New England — see the website. New England Ringers Handbell ConcertMerrimack College North Andover, MA, .
Holiday Parade of Lights in Berlin NH
A great parade with floats from the community, and this year the fireworks are back! Fireworks make everything better. This is the one I want to see. 7pm. Holiday Parade of Lights in Berlin NH Berlin, NH, .
Santa Arrives by Dogteam at Waterville Valley
It’s not too cold in Boston, but you did know that mountains get colder, right? So skiing season is starting! To celebrate, Santa and his elves ride into Waterville Valley pulled by a team of sled dogs and there will be a tree lighting with fireworks! Arrival at 3:30, Fireworks at 7pm. Santa Arrives by Dogteam at Waterville Valley Waterville Valley, NH, .
Christmas in Wolfeboro Parade
I love it when websites don’t describe an event, but just say ‘see this website’ and it’s the SAME website. So. This is some kind of parade. Santa arrives and lights a tree. Fabulous. 3pm. Christmas in Wolfeboro Parade Wolfeboro, NH, .
Laconia NH Holiday Parade
Looks like much of NH is ringing in the holiday season this week. This will begin at Wyatt Park and end at Veteran’s Square with the lighting of the tree. Laconia NH Holiday Parade Laconia, 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, .
Wolfeboro, NH Holiday Parade`
This one starts at 3pm. Wolfeboro, NH Holiday Parade`Downtown Wolfeboro, NH, .
Very Derry Holiday Parade
If you have kids and feel like getting in the Christmas spirit just two days after Thanksgiving, this event has crafts and entertainments for the little ones. Very Derry Holiday Parade Derry, NH, .
Dover, NH Holiday Parade
The parade will make its way down Central Avenue from Sixth Street to Care Pharmacy starting at 2:45 p.m. Dover, NH Holiday Parade Dover, NH, .
Salem, NH Holiday Parade
This year’s Salem parade almost didn’t happen, but they were rescued by the local softball team and are getting an early start to the holidays this weekend. Salem, NH Holiday Parade Salem, NH, .
Mystic Turkey Trot & Dip
Looks like crazy people jump into chilly and a lake after a 3-mile run and somehow that’s related to raising money for charity! 8:30am. Mystic Turkey Trot & Dip Mystic, CT, .
Opening Day for Hartford Winterfest
Winterfest sounds like it must be TREMENDOUS but it’s really free public skating and skate rentals — all winter thru February. I guess that’s pretty cool! Opening Night Nov 23 features a ribbon cutting, caroling, and pictures with Santa. Opening Day for Hartford WinterfestBushnell Park Hartford, CT, .
Spirit of the Holidays
This is an assemblage of various merchant in-store events, but it features participatory caroling outdoors. I’m in! Spirit of the Holidays Watertown, CT, .
Stamford Harbor Parade of Lights
When you go to a boat parade, that’s when you learn that boats move reaaaaly slowly, especially when they’re on the horizon. But it’s outdoorsy! Stamford Harbor Parade of LightsStamford Harbor Stamford, CT, .
Holiday Stroll at East Lyme
Considering they want to draw you downtown to spend money, this looks pretty interesting, with horse-drawn carriage rides, carolers, free cocoa and cider, and Santa arrives on a fire truck for a tree lighting. 4-8pm. Holiday Stroll at East Lyme East Lyme, CT, .
Santa Arrives by Tugboat
Christmas carols, Santa. 2-5pm. Santa Arrives by TugboatMystic River Park Mystic, CT, .
Trees in the Rigging Boat Parade
Gee, I like participatory caroling. Oo, and a drum corps! Oh!! And a lantern parade! Antique cars! And a parade of boats going by. 4:30-6pm. Trees in the Rigging Boat Parade Essex, CT, .
CT Holiday Dazzle Light Parade
You can always tell that a parade will be big when they invite the community to design and bring floats! 5pm. Rain date 7 days later. CT Holiday Dazzle Light Parade Putnam, 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, .
Winterfest Parade and Light Up City Hall
I still think it’s way too early for Christmas parades, but at least Norwich is scenic and stuff, right? Winterfest Parade and Light Up City Hall Norwich, CT, .
Portland Tree Lighting
Nothing very different going on here, but Portland is one of the coolest cities in New England. 5:30pm-6:30pm. Portland Tree LightingMonument Square Portland, ME, .
Lighting of the Nubble
A LIGHTHOUSE lighting? Now that’s different. There’s a variety of family-friendly activities to go along with it, and free cookies and cocoa. 5pm-7pm. Lighting of the NubbleYork Beach York, ME, .
L.L.Bean New Year’s Celebration
L.L. Bean brings it with live music and fireworks, but this event seems kids oriented. L.L.Bean New Year's CelebrationL.L.Bean Freeport, ME, .
Kora Shriner’s FEZtival of Trees
There will be an excess of 60 display trees, a craft fair, a silent auction and of course the kitchen will be open. And yes, Santa will be putting in an appearance. Kora Shriner's FEZtival of Trees Lewiston, ME, .
Waterville Parade of Lights
Marching bands and community floats indicate that this parade will be a good one! I like that it’s outdoors at night with holiday lights, too. 6pm. Waterville Parade of Lights Waterville, 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 Wolfeboro, NH, .
Mount Snow Torchlight Parade and Fireworks
New Years Eve comes early to this ski attraction in Vermont. Mount Snow Torchlight Parade and FireworksMount Snow West Dover, VT, .
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 I hovered at 278. My goal? 210. (I’m 6’4′, so that’s slim.). Please support Johnny's Big Diet All Over, , .
Holiday Lights
 Holiday Light Displays & Santa Events – click map above to set region Mon 11/19 Tue 11/20 Wed 11/21 Thu 11/22 Fri 11/23 Sat 11/24 Sun 11/25 Mon 11/26
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
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
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
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
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
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
Christmas at CanterburyCanterbury, NH

On weekends from November 10th to the 25th (and Friday the 23rd), enjoy a special Shaker Holday traditions tour, a discount from the Museum Shop, and a Shaker lunch. On December 8th and 15th, the real Christmas events happen: Candlelight stroll, horse-drawn sleigh and wagon rides, cider, music, performances, crafts, etc.
288 Shaker Road, 603-783-9511. 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.
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
Quiet Corner ChristmasBrooklyn, CT

This is a private home, but features lots and lots of lights! This year’s event benefits Paws for Purple Hearts.
251 Wauregan Road, Brooklyn, CT 06234 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
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