If you’re thrilled it’s that time of year when you can drink hot cider by the gallon and constantly smell (and eat) fresh baked cookies, you’re probably also excited about the winter wonderland Boston turns into every year. Luckily, the Boston area has plentiful tree lighting events coming up, all free, and all full of that special holiday cheer. If you’re lucky, Santa Claus might even come to visit. Read on to see where you can catch some tree lightings and festivities to get you in the holiday spirit.
There might not be a tree, but the Columbus Park trellis is an impressive site when it’s aglow, with 50,000 blue lights. Surrounding trees will also be lit up during this evening of entertainment. Music performances by students and instructors of the North End Music and Performing Arts Center, Berklee College’s Sam Robbins, and singer Sharon Zeffiro will provide holiday entertainment for guests. Santa, Rudolph, and Frosty will also be in attendance to enjoy the refreshments, holiday treats, and giveaways.
Monday, November 20, 5 p.m., Christopher Columbus Park, 110 Atlantic Ave., Boston, boston.gov.
The Macy’s in Downtown Crossing will host holiday festivities during the afternoon. But it’s not all indoor fun: Head outside at 5 p.m. for their tree lighting and holiday windows reveal. Santa Claus will be there, and guests can enjoy performances by Darlene Love, Bea Miller, Sam Tsui, and the Boston Children’s Choir.
Friday, November 24, 5 p.m., outside on Summer Street, Boston, macys.com.
For more than thirty years, Roslindale has been bringing the holiday spirit to their tree lighting in Adams Park. There will be live music performances, ornament-making, and hot chocolate. Kids can visit with Santa, who will arrive on the Ladder 16 firetruck. The holiday festivities also encourage guests to shop around Roslindale Village in support of Small Business Saturday. Some shops will have special events and offers for the day.
Saturday, November 25, 3-5 p.m., Roslindale Village Main Street, 4236 Washington St., Roslindale, facebook.com.
Bring the kids and enjoy complimentary refreshments while the little ones help decorate the tree in the Charles Hotel’s upper courtyard. Santa Claus’ Jazz Band will perform at 5 p.m., and then guests can watch the tree light up for the season. Afterwards, pull out your cameras and take the kids to a meet and greet with Santa (he’ll probably be done with his concert by then).
Saturday, November 25, 4-6:30 p.m., The Charles Hotel, 1 Bennett St., Cambridge, harvardsquare.com.
Santa Claus and Rudolph will make an appearance while guests enjoy performances by the Boston Children’s Chorus, the Boston Pops Brass Quintet, and Berklee College of Music students. Various venders will have refreshments available. When the tree’s lights go on, the Old South Church bell will toll, and guests can head to the Fairmont Copley Plaza for cookie decorating, treats, and photos with Santa.
Monday, November 27, 5-6 p.m., Copley Square, Boston, friendsofcopleysquare.org.
The festivities will be going on all afternoon at Faneuil Hall, where Boston performers will entertain guests until the live broadcast of the tree lighting begins at 7:30 p.m. The “Holiday Spectacular,” hosted by WBZ, will feature Mayor Marty Walsh and coverage of the New England Patriots Holiday Toy Drive. After this initial kick-off, the Marketplace’s 85-foot fir tree, the largest holiday tree in the northeast, will light up every evening with a new Holiday Blink! light and sound show for five weeks. Blink! is Faneuil Hall’s annual entertainment, where the decorated tree lights up with colors synchronized to music every half hour from 4:30-9:30 p.m. daily.
Tuesday, November 28, 3-10 p.m., Faneuil Hall, bostoncentral.com.
Boston Common’s holiday sendoff begins with a free figure skating ice show organized by the Skating Club of Boston. National, international, soloists, groups, kids, and teams of skaters will perform on the Frog Pond to raise awareness for the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation. The foundation supports cancer research, education, and survivorship. Hamilton himself, a four-time US Champion and Olympic gold medalist, will be the host of the evening. After the show, Mayor Marty Walsh will lead the Boston Common Tree Lighting ceremony. Refreshments and music will be provided by local groups and vendors. The festivities will round off with a fireworks show.
Thursday, November 30, 5-8 p.m., Frog Pond and Boston Common, bostonfrogpond.com.
The North End
Celebrity Christmas Carolers—including Mix 104.1’s Kennedy Elsey, Rich DiMare, and Louie Bello—will entertain as the tree lights up at 6 p.m. Afterwards, enjoy the North End’s decorations as you wander the Holiday Stroll. Nineteen shops, boutiques, galleries, pop-ups, and more will be open for shopping and snacking in this holiday celebration of the historic North End.
Friday, December 1, 6-11 p.m., corner of Cross Street and Hanover Street, Boston, northendwaterfront.com.
Mayor’s 2017 Enchanted Trolley Tour
If you’re really ready to dive into the holiday season, tour Boston with Mayor Walsh’s Enchanted Trolley. Over the weekend, the trolley will stop at 16 different locations around the Greater Boston area, arriving at holiday performances, tree lightings, and visits with Santa along the way. “Our holiday trolley tour and tree lightings provide some of the best family memories of the year, building community spirit throughout Boston and bringing a little extra joy to residents during the holiday season,” said Mayor Walsh in a press release. The poster listing the full schedule of trolley stops can be found on Boston’s website.
December 1-3, times & locations vary, boston.gov.
Music will entertain guests just before the tree lighting. Afterwards, children can meet Santa at the Somerville High School and even receive an early gift from Old Saint Nick. Refreshments will be available.
Thursday, December 7, 5:30 p.m., City Hall Concourse, 93 Highland Ave., Somerville.
Charles Street will close so that guests can wander the quintessential Beacon Hill neighborhood, enjoying refreshments, shopping, and horse and buggy rides. Victorian Carolers and a strolling brass quintet will provide holiday cheer throughout the evening, and at 7 p.m., Santa will light the tree at the corner of Charles and Mount Vernon Streets.
Thursday, December 7, 6-9 p.m., Charles Street, Boston, bostoncentral.com.
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