Free Things to Do in Boston, December 2015

See Santas in Speedos, tree lightings, and fireworks over the harbor—all for free.

Boston Common Tree Lighting

The kind Canadians of Halifax, Nova Scotia, have supplied this year’s giant Christmas tree and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police will be there to hand it off to Mayor Walsh. Pretty cool, eh? Besides the razzle-dazzle of the lights and pyrotechnics, there will be a free Skating Spectacular Ice Show at the Frog Pond featuring world-class ice skaters and Theatre On Ice teams.

Free, Thursday, December 3, 5-8 p.m., Boston Common, call 617-635-4505 or go to

A Longfellow Christmas

You don’t have to rewatch A Christmas Carol to get a sense of a Victorian Christmas. Instead, head to the Longfellow House for a day of free holiday-themed tours and learn how the 19th century poet rang in the yuletide season. Admire the first floor Christmas decorations and see a letter to Santa from Longfellow’s son, Ernest. Little Ernest accompanied a descriptive drawing for each gift he requested, including a sketch of the Longfellow home so Santa wouldn’t get lost.

Free, Thursday, December 3, 3-6:15 p.m., Longfellow House, 105 Brattle St, Cambridge,

Christmas Craft Fair at Old South Church

With over 30 artisans from New England, this craft fair will feature knits, candles, jewelry, and more. But it’s not all shopping—there will be Christmas music playing and carolers caroling at this annual merry fair.

Free, Saturday, December 5, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Gordon Chapel, Old South Church, 645 Boylston St., Boston,

Jamaica Plain Crafts Fair

Get that Christmas shopping done in one fell swoop at the Jamaica Plain Crafts fair at First Church. Over 50 vendors will be showing pottery, jewelry, textiles, candy, and more.

Free, Saturday, December 5, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., First Church in Jamaica Plain, 6 Eliot St., Boston,

A Light Through the Ages

Celebrate the traditions of Hanukkah through story and song at the Central Reform Temple of Boston. The Zamir Chorale, a traditional 19th century synagogue chorus, will sing the cantata “A Light Through the Ages,” a musical account of the varied history of Hanukkah.

Free, Sunday, December 6, 4-6 p.m., Central Reform Temple of Boston, 15 Newbury St., Boston,

East Boston Open Studios

Whether you’re interested in surveying the art or purchasing a piece for that special someone, the East Boston Open Studio and Holiday Sale will have something for everyone. Artists include Jaye Woodstock Fine Jewelry, photographer Dominic Chavez, painter Neil Wyatt, and more.

Free, Saturday and Sunday, December 5-6, 12-6 p.m., Atlantic Works Artists Studio, 80 Border St., East Boston,

Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights at the MFA

The MFA is offering an all-access pass to their Judaica collection of antique menorahs and other Jewish artifacts in celebration of Hanukkah. Beyond museum browsing, you can join a candle lighting ceremony at the Shapiro Family Courtyard and view the menorah inspired art installation 8 Nights, 8 Windows.

Free with museum admission, Wednesday, December 9, 5-9 p.m. Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston,

Beacon Hill Holiday Stroll

For one night this December, you won’t have to dodge cars on Charles Street. The Beacon Hill shops are closing the street to traffic, allowing shoppers to roam the road or enjoy a jaunt in a horse drawn buggy. Expect to see costumed carolers singing in the new year while you browse the lighted shop windows.

Free, Thursday, December 10, 6 p.m., Charles Street, Boston,

Santa Speedo Run

Tis the season to don your speedo and run for charity. The Annual Speedo Run has been turning heads for sixteen years now, and these scantily clad holiday runners have no intention of slowing down. Remember, looking is free, but running is gonna cost ya.

Free to watch, Saturday, December 12, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Whiskey’s, 885 Boylston St., Boston,

Holiday on Ice at Community Ice Skating at Kendall Square

Get with the holiday spirit and skate for free all day at the Community Ice Skating rink at Kendall Square. If you’re more of a skater-watcher, stick around for the free skating show at 2 p.m. where former Olympians and prize winning skaters will carve up some ice in graceful, synchronized fashion.

Free, Saturday, December 12, 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Community Ice Skating at Kendall Square, 300 Athenaeum St., Cambridge,

Harvard Square Holiday Fairs

Harvard Square offers not one, but two holiday fair shopping extravaganzas this yuletide season. The first fair will be held at The Atrium and feature resin jewelry by Sommer Crafts, ceramics by James Guggina, and more. The second fair, at St. Paul’s Church, will have work by Chikako Designs, weaver Dena Moses, and upcycled baby ware from Edie & Fin, among others.

Free, December 11-13, The Atrium, 50 Church St., Cambridge; December 18-23, St. Paul’s Church, 29 Mt. Auburn St., Cambridge,

White Christmas at the BPL

View a free holiday film on Christmas Eve at the Boston Public Library. White Christmas, a classic of singing, dancing, and all things merry, stars Danny Kaye and crooner king Bing Crosby. Introduce the kids to this musical or relive the merriment for yourself.

Free, Thursday, December 24, 2-4 p.m., Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St., Boston,

First Night

Boston rings in the new year like no other harbor town. Highlights include a pyrotechnic show and art performances in Copley Square, ice sculptures and free ice skating at the Frog Pond, fireworks over the Boston Common, and the be-all, end-all firework show over the Boston Harbor.

Free, Thursday, December 31, Copley Square and Boston Common,