Week of 12/10: Tea Party, Ice Skate Shows, Meteors, Model Trains, Caroling & Holiday Parades

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The Week in Weird
Boston Tea Party, Old South Meeting House 12/13 Boston Metro
The event of the week is protesting British tax on tea! Re-enactors will lead you through an old towne meeting and then sort of roleplay of actually dumping the tea (in which you stay warm indoors). 5:30-7:30pm. It’s only $6.
Old South Meeting House, 310 Washington Street, Boston, MA.617-482-6439. more
Kendall Square Holiday on Ice 12/12 Boston Metro
I’ve been to this event twice and highly recommend it! It’s opening night for the ice rink in Cambridge, with professional skating performances at 2pm and 5pm, free food, and probably free admission to skate.
300 Athenaeum Street, Cambridge, MA.617 492-0941. more
Skating Rink Opening at Charles Hotel 12/13 Boston Metro
The Charles Hotel has their opening celebration as well with free performances. Free skating, 12-8pm. Performance by skating pros.
Charles Hotel in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA. more
Night at the Museum & Lecture on Mars 12/10 Boston Metro
In what is essentially a sales event for their gift shop, the Harvard Natural History Museum is offering free admission. Sweet! 5-8pm with lecture at 6pm.
Harvard Natural History Museum, Cambridge, MA.617-495-3045. more
Geminids Meteor Shower 12/13 – 12/14 Metro West
The Geminids are one of only a few annual meteor showers. They’ll be visible all night from dusk but with good visibility from 10pm Sunday evening through early Monday morning with a peak at 2am. Make sure to go to a lake or big field, someplace without any street lights.
Go somewhere without city lights, Everywhere. more
Stars and Meteors at the Holidays @ Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary 12/12 Metro West
Unsure about how to look for meteors? Just look up!! Well, if you want some extra assistance and education, this state park has a yearly program to come and see the meteors with an astronomer. Pre-register to attend. 7-9pm.
Broadmoor, 280 Eliot St, Natick, MA.508-655-2296. more
Night Sky, Shooting Stars @ Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary 12/13 Metro West
This one wants you to register in advance, too.
Stony Brook, 108 North St, Norfolk, MA.508-528-3140. more

Also Fun
Star & Meteor Observation 12/14 Connecticut
In Connecticut, they think the peak will be December 14. Huh.
West Rock Nature Center, Wintergreen Avenue, New Haven, CT.203-946-8016. more

The Week in Weird
Model Train Weekend @ National Heritage Museum 12/12 – 12/13 Metro West
There are plenty of secular non-holiday events this week, and thank goodness. This one is the annual display by the National Railroad Association, which is only $7, but the museum itself is free and is always free, and features revolutionary war exhibits and other New England history. Sat 10-4:30, Sun 12-4.
33 Marrett Road, Concord, MA.781-861-6559. more
Riverside Stamp Show at Spellman Museum of Stamps & Postal History 12/13 Boston Metro
Also free is this event at a museum dedicated to the Post Office. Stamp ‘games, puzzles, and hunts’. I have to admit I’m skeptical. Why do people get excited about stamps?
Regis College, 235 Wellesley Street, Weston, MA.781-768-8367. more
Romance in the Austin Era @ Gore Place 12/4 – 12/19 Metro West
The event of the week is a breath of fresh non-Xmas air at Gore Place, the historical mansion. They’re doing a special “scandal tour” all about what made for 18th and 19th century scandals in the time where you couldn’t show a little ankle. It’s close to the only non-Xmas thing happening this week.
52 Gore Street, Waltham, MA.781-894-2798. more
Grand Menorah Lighting on Boston Common 12/11 – 12/18 Boston Metro
Not Christian? Trying to pump up your alternative holiday? Go say “we have our own ideas about God” at the daily menorah lightings on Boston Common. Every day, including Xmas. (p.s. Daily lightings? Isn’t the idea that you light it once and the oil lasts the whole time?).
Boston Common near Park St. Subway, Boston, MA. more
Everyone Loves Latkes Party – with Storytelling and Klezmer Music 12/13 Boston Metro
The only other thing I found of interest was a free latkes event in Harvard Square. A latke is a potato pancake, from Jewish Eastern Europe. Also dancing to klezmer music! 2-4pm.
Winthrop Park, JFK St & Winthrop St, Cambridge, MA. more
Victorian Dinner & Open House @ Emily Dickinson Museum 12/12 Western Mass
This one’s a birthday party and you’re invited? The guest of honor is Emily Dickinson’s, who was born in December. They start with a Victorian fundraising dinner set in the 19th century, at $75 a plate, and then a free open house Saturday 11am-4pm at which the first 179 visitors will receive a rose.
280 Main Street, Amherst, MA.413-542-8161. more
Candy Land Tournament 12/12 Boston Metro
This event may go into the ‘so what’ category, but apparently it’s a CandyLand tournament! It’s based on the board game that any 2 year old can play because it involves no skill whatsoever. And meant to get you to come shop at Faneuil Hall, of course.
Faneuil Hall, Boston, MA. more
Norse Xmas 12/11 – 12/13 Western Mass
Although it looks like a performance, the audience gets to sing along and join in the celebrations of the Yule. Yule love it! (hehe, get it, ‘yule’ love it? … ahem… never mind.).
Shea Theatre, 71 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.(413) 863-2281. more
Salem Open Studios 12/12 North Shore
It’s yet another open studios, this time being an excuse to walk around Salem, which is full of fun touristy and classy things to do. I would recommend particularly the House of Seven Gables and the Peabody Essex Museum. They don’t give hours of operation, but last year it was 10am-6pm.
Various locations, Salem, MA.617-359-4108. more

Ho Ho Holidays
Main Street Caroling in Salem 12/12 North Shore
While you’re in town, they’ll have caroling! 1-3pm. Start at the Xmas Tree on Essex St in front of the Mall. I called in about this event and it is definitely participatory singing.
Meet at the holiday tree in Derby Square, Salem, MA. more
Big Band Holiday Sing Along Show 12/13 North Shore
Also in Salem is this event at Rockafellas, which is a restaurant. Probably smart to reserve ahead for this one.
Rockafellas, 231 Essex Street, Salem, MA.978-745-2411. more
Carol Singing & Poetry @ Mt. Auburn Cemetery 12/12 Boston Metro
Here’s one close to Boston! This one’s at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge. 2-3:30pm. Costs $10.
580 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA.617-547-7105. more
MassBike Jingle Ride 12/13 Boston Metro
Here’s a unique one! Go caroling while riding a bike. They’ll have two rides (10 miles and 25 miles) from Arlington Center to Boston. $25. 10:30am-3pm with afterparty.
From Arlington Center, Arlington, MA. more
Christmas Cacophony “Choir of Terror 12/13 Boston Metro
This is some kind of Christmas caroling mob all dressed in Halloween costumes. Unfortunately, this group is overly secretive even when it’s not a prank! Come on guys, just put this one on your home page! Secret Location in Boston! Join website to find it. Actually, I just logged onto the website, and I *still* couldn’t find it. It’s like the opposite of marketing: hiding.
Secret location, Boston, MA. more
Edgartown Caroling Stroll & Holiday Parade 12/11 – 12/13 Marthas Vinyard
This one is the clear favorite, but the catch is, you have to be on Martha’s Vinyard to participate. They’ll have tons of events all throughout the weekend, with a parade, gingerbread & wreath workshops, arts & crafts show, Santa, music, hay ride, lighthouse lighting, and contests for chowder and cookies. So this is what they do off the tourist season!
Edgartown, Martha’s Vinyard, MA. more
Santa Speedo Run 12/12 Boston Metro
This is a charity event where you race naked except for sneakers, speedos and santa beards & caps. Registration at 12pm. And there’s a post-run celebration. They run east on Boylston and then west on Newbury St.
Starts & Ends at Lir, 903 Boylston Street, Boston, MA.617-351-7000. more
Breakfast with Santa at Battleship Cove & Carousel 12/13 Southern Mass
This one seems to be oriented towards kids, but Battleship Cove features a real WWII battleship turned into a museum, and there’s a carousel there, in addition to the kids crafts & facepainting. And Santa. And breakfast! Reserve a meal ticket in advance.
Battleship Cove, Fall River, MA.508-678-1100. more
Gingerbread House Workshops @ Verrill Farm 12/6 – 12/12 Metro West
For $35, you can build your own gingerbread house.
11 Wheeler Road, Concord, MA.978-369-4494. more
Beacon Hill Holiday Stroll 12/10 Boston Metro
We got pretty far down the list before hitting merchant events, didn’t we! Awesome. Here are a few shoppy oppy’s that add some creativity too. This one is refreshments and “mingling” along Charles and Cambridge Streets in Boston. Buggy rides and Victorian carolers. It’s free and I bet you a dollar that all the stores will be open.
Charles Street, Boston, MA.617-720-7888. more
Shop Inman By Moonlight 12/10 Boston Metro
TONIGHT! This one’s even better — I’ve been there and recommend it highly. They’ll have hot cider, wandering carolers, fortune teller, and soaks in the hot tub (bring a bathing suit) at Inman Oasis. Santa will be there, too. 6pm-midnight. Features a walking tour.
Inman Square, Cambridge, MA. more
Festival of Lights @ Mystic Aquarium 12/11 Connecticut
If you’re in the area, this fundraiser with have carolers, a visit from Santa, and the ubiquitous facepainters. 5:30-8pm.
Mystic Aquarium, Mystic, CT. more
Victorian Christmas @ Remick Museum & Farm 12/12 New Hampshire
This farm and agricultural museum will have horse-drawn sleigh or wagon rides, and, um… and… well, they’ll have food and decorations.
Remick Museum, Tamworth, NH. more
Holly Fair at Cambridge Center for Adult Education 12/12 – 12/13 Boston Metro
Throwing marketing caution to the wind, this arts fair admits openly that you can find white elephants at their crafts market.
42 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA.617-547-6789. more

Recurring Events
Harvard Square Holiday Crafts Fair 11/28 – 12/23 Boston Metro
Here’s one that looks promising: a church selling goods. I seem to recall that made Jesus angry. Whatever, they’re Unitarians!
Church at corner of Church St & Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA. more
Victorian Christmas Feast @ Astors’ Beechwood Mansion 12/4 – 12/18 Rhode Island
Also re-enacted is this 19th century holiday feast at one of Newport’s mansions. Fridays @ 7pm. Reserve in advance.
Astors’ Beechwood Mansion, 580 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI. more
Mrs. Gore’s Holiday Tea & Tours 12/4 – 12/19 Metro West
Holiday events, ok let’s get real, Christmas events are dominating the events calendar now. As usual I list things from most interesting to least. To start, this is a re-enactment of “tea time” from the Victorian era at this old historical home of former Massachusetts Governor Gore.
Gore Place, 52 Gore Street, Waltham, MA.781-894-2798. more
Faneuil Hall Marketplace Merrimack Bellringers 12/12 Boston Metro
12pm-3pm. Boston’s tourist mecca is Fanueil Hall, a place as a resident I would normally avoid avoid avoid. However, they do have fun events there. One is this handbell performance. 2008: Saturdays, Nov 29-Dec 20. 12pm & 2pm outside the West End between Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market. Bad weather: in Quincy Market, top floor.
Faneuil Hall, Boston, MA.617-523-1300. more
Holidays at Heritage Museum 11/27 – 12/13 Cape Cod
This one is not to be missed. The Heritage Museum & Gardens have an expansive grounds with lighted paths for walking, with an auto museum, an arts museum, an outdoor maze, and a lot more. This event is free. Take photos with Santa in an old Model T car. Crafts and live music, too.
67 Grove Street, Sandwich, MA.508-888-3300. more
Cultural Survival Bazaar 12/12 – 12/13 Boston Metro
This one I’ve actually been to, and they really do have inexpensive arts and crafts from all over the world. But you won’t meet any artists, just merchants. Nov 24-25, 10am-6pm, Cambridge College, 1000 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA. Dec 1-2, 10am-6pm, Episcopal Divinity School, 5 Phillips Place, Cambridge, MA. Dec 8-9, 11am-7pm, Hynes Convention Center, Boston.
Various Metro Locations, Boston, MA. more
Wenham Museum’s Gingerbread Contest 12/16 North Shore
This one’s the one to see though! It’s a gingerbread house contest, with all kinds of surprisingly large and intricate displays, including one with model trains. I’ve been to the Wenham Museum and it’s one of these New England-y places in the middle of nowhere with a world class attitude and really worth a visit. Julia Grimaldi will be judging on the 16th during which time we are going to be running a free (with admission) gingerbread cookie decorating workshop. The place will be jumping with little kids with sticky hands. Here’s a link to more info about Julia. I met her this summer and she’s a great speaker however there is no formal presentation as it’s too difficult to get the contestants all together at once. I would like people to come and see the houses that are displayed in the Gingerbread Express model train layout open 12/5-20. Julia will be putting ribbons on the houses on the 16th and prizes will be awarded on the 20th. Again, no ceremony on the 20th.
132 Main Street, Wenham, MA. more

Sleep No More 10/8 – 1/3 Boston Metro
I hear this show is amazing. They’ve taken over an entire unused school in Brookline, and every room has a display and actors. You get to stroll from room to room interacting with everyone as the plot proceeds.
Brookline, MA. more
ImprovBoston Holiday Fun-Raiser 12/14 Boston Metro
Also if you’re a little tired of the holidays, ImprovBoston will be lampooning the Season of Shopping. Jonathan Katz, a comedian I am a fan of, will be there, as well as “video” appearances from Janeanne Garofalo and others.
The Estate, 1 Boylston Place, Boston, MA. more
The Eight: Reindeer Monologues 12/5 – 12/13 North Shore
Finally a holiday event from which kids are BANNED.
Salem Athenaeum, 337 Essex Street, Salem, MA.(978) 790-8546. more
The Nutcracker 11/27 – 12/27 Boston Metro
And… It’s The Nutcracker. If you’re ever going to check out ballet (I haven’t), this would probably be it.
Opera House, Boston, MA. more
The King of Rock & the King of Pop 12/11 – 12/13 Boston Metro
I’ve seen Elvis impersonated but never Michael Jackson. I’m really curious to see this!
Regent Theatre, Arlington, MA. more


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