Best Places to See Christmas Lights in Boston

Head to these five neighborhoods to see the best displays in town.

Saugus lights photo by Chris Devers on Flickr/Creative Commons

Saugus lights photo by Chris Devers on Flickr/Creative Commons

December’s wintery chill can be hard to shake, but it’s often warmed by the soft glow of tiny lightbulbs.

From Blink! to the colorfully lit trees on the Common, Christmas lights are a timeless representation of the holiday spirit. Sure, there’s ice skating, caroling, and hot cocoa-drinking, but lights-peeping is our Christmastime activity of choice.

Displays of twinkling lights during the holiday season are abundant, of course, so we have a few recommendations for the best neighborhoods near Boston that bring dazzling combinations of brightness, color, and cheer.

Saugus

Don’t let the holidays slip past you without heading to Lynn Fells Parkwayan easy detour off of Route 1 before Kelly’s Roast Beef. Musical pathways, talking Santas, and shimmering parrots are all parts of the experience. Two houses near Rivers Street are particularly brightthey share a driveway and have a decorated group effort.

Somerville lights photo by D MW on Flickr/Creative Commons

Somerville lights photo by D MW on Flickr/Creative Commons

Somerville

Central Street street in Somerville goes all out with illumination, and each year the Somerville Arts Council hosts the Illuminations Trolley Tour for peepers who prefer Christmas trains to Christmas strolls. Whether you make it on the trolley tour or notthis year it’s on December 19—be sure to pay special attention to 166 Central Street. There, Lenny Rigione decks out his house with major lights and homemade wooden cutouts and figurines.

Dorchester

In Fields Corner, father-and-son duo Trong and Hao Nguyen work on weekends for five months to create and polish their display. At 392 Adams Street, the electric bill is predictably high. After entering through the huge, blinking “Noel” gate, keep an eye out for the remote-controlled train amidst the electric snow.

Malden

The spirited neighbors on Bainbridge Street know how to collaborate. For the past ten years, a mother and daughter who live down the street from each other have put on spectacular light displays, convincing nearby residents to jump in on the fun.

May House photo by Photofile on Flickr/Creative Commons

May House photo by Photofile on Flickr/Creative Commons

Jamaica Plain

This spot isn’t a neighborhood, but actually a single house. It’s known as the Jamaica Plain Christmas Castle (according to its Yelp page). The mansion on 61 Arborway is called the May House, and it’s adorned with sparkling details galore. Even without the lights, the home is a spectacle all on its ownit was built in the early 1800s around five rooms in a home that was originally constructed in 1650.

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