Eight Family-Friendly and Not-So-Family-Friendly Holiday Events

’Tis the season to spend some quality time with your loved ones, young and old. ’Tis also the season to be merrily downing two or three drinks, laughing, and dancing with your peers. Sometimes the two do not go hand in hand. The following are a few kid-friendly things to do before Santa arrives. And for strictly adults (if your office holiday party wasn’t enough of a rager), we’ve also included several exceptional ways to let loose this week, before and during Christmas.

Photos via Thinkstock


All Is Calm, All Is Bright Party

Make it a crafty pre-Christmas week at ArtBeat the Creativity Store, where families can sample the art form Zentangle in a celebration of peach on Earth and within the community. All ages are welcome, and festive food, drink, and music will be provided. A prize will be awarded to the guest with the most festive attire.

Thursday, Dec. 20, 5-9 p.m., Artbeat the Creativity Store, 212 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, artbeatonline.com

A Dickens Christmas

Bring the whole family along to Chorus pro Musica: A Dickens Christmas, celebrating Christmas music of Victorian England. Readings from many of Dickens’ classics including A Christmas Carol along with some of the most cheerful of holiday tunes may serve to put guests in the true Christmas spirit.

Tickets $25, $35, and $45, Friday, Dec. 21, 8 p.m., Old South Church, 645 Boylston St., Boston, sueauclairpromotions.com

The Cambridge Candlelight Christmas Celebration

All are welcome to attend this service provided by the Aletheia Church of Cambridge, during which Boston and Cambridge communities will join together in the lighting of candles, the singing of carols, and the celebration of the true meaning of Christmas. Hot cocoa and other refreshments will be provided.

Free, Sunday, Dec. 23, 5 p.m., Cambridge YMCA Theater, 820 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, aletheiaboston.com/xmas

Third Annual SLAM Holiday Artist Market

This Saturday at The Burren in Somerville, local artists will come together to tell guests about their work, to sell their pieces, and to give customers the chance to pick out a unique gift or two. Works will include jewelry, textiles, painting, photography, and pottery. The market is free for all ages, and will feature $5 lunch specials.

Saturday, Dec. 22, 12-4 p.m., The Burren, 247 Elm St., Somerville, burren.com/SLAM.html



Alternative Christmas Party

Listen to unique live holiday music, including guitar solos, old blues, gospel, rock, and some tunes that will take you back in time to the Spanish Renaissance at the artsy Cape Cod Chat House this Saturday evening. Musicians include John Dirac on guitar and vocals, Marcia Wytrwal on vocals, and Laird Boles on bass and vocals. Of the many ways to celebrate the coming of Christmas this year, the Alternative Christmas Party will likely be one of the most unusual!

Free, Saturday, Dec. 22, 6-9 p.m., Cape Cod Chat House, 593 Route 6A, Dennis, MA, capecodchathouse.com


With the slogan “Not Like the One Your Grandmother Used to Make,” this party thrown by the Society of Young Jewish Professionals is held on Christmas Eve and promises to be a night filled with quality mingling and dancing. Top beats provided by a live DJ will fill the 33,000-square-foot popular Boston space as party-goers aged 21-49 celebrate the holiday break.

$30, Monday, Dec. 24, 8 p.m.-2 a.m., Royale Nightclub, 279 Tremont St., Boston, matzoball.org

Gary Gulman’s “All I Want for Hanukkah is Christmas”

The beloved Improv Asylum will be hosting Gary Gulman, a comedian who has an extensive background that includes appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show with David Letterman, Comedy Central, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and much more. Gulman was also two-time runner-up on Last Comic Standing. If you are looking to spend your Christmas Eve out and about, check out this hilarious show to keep with the holiday cheer.

Tickets $20, Monday, Dec. 24, 8 p.m., Improv Asylum, 216 Hanover St., Boston, improvasylum.com

The Slutcracker

Performed at the Somerville Theatre, this burlesque show is described as a ballet with “fancy strippers” who dance and act, and it strives on engaging and including its audience members as much as possible. Plus, as indicated on The Slutcracker website, “A person needn’t be a slut to be part of or to enjoy the show,” which is good news indeed. Though the show presents quite a bizarre twist on a classic Christmas ballet, it is currently in its fifth season and going strong. See it before it ends on Christmas Eve.

Tickets $25, Dec. 20-24, Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Square, Somerville, theslutcracker.com