The holiday season is upon us, and the Boston area is packed full of fun (and festive!) family activities!

Need some ideas to get out and explore? Boston Moms has compiled a few of our favorite events happening around greater Boston this December!

December 1-8

Holiday Classics at Showcase Cinemas to Support Local Food Pantries

December 1-18 :: Various locations

Moviegoers receive free admission to these holiday classics in exchange for a non-perishable food item to support local food pantries. 

December 4 — “Elf” (rated PG)
December 11 — “The Polar Express” (rated PG)
December 18 — “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (rated PG-13)

Icy Investigations at the Discovery Museum

December 1 :: Acton

Things are getting chilly at the Discovery Museum! Kids are invited to explore the characteristics of the solid state of water with different types of salt, adding in some liquid water colors for a fun twist! 

Tree Lighting Skating Spectacular

December 2 :: Frog Pond, Boston

The Skating Club of Boston, the third oldest skating club in the U.S., will honor Olympian Scott Hamilton and his CARES Foundation as part of the grand opening celebration of their new, best-in-class facility located in Norwood, MA. The annual Boston Tree Lighting Skating Spectacular at the Boston Common Frog Pond will take place on Thursday, December 2, at 5 p.m.

The Skating Spectacular, which is free and open to the public, offers the public a chance to see national and international competitive figure skaters, soloists, groups, wee skaters, and Team Excel Synchronized Skating and Theatre On Ice of Boston teams all in the middle of the historic and iconic Boston Common.

Scott Hamilton will be on hand to greet skaters and the general public and talk to the crowd about his CARES Foundation, which supports cancer research, education, and survivorship.

A Night of Stars

December 4 :: Norwood

The Skating Club of Boston will celebrate the grand opening of their brand new, best-in-class skating facility in Norwood! This special event will be the first full-capacity ticketed skating show in Boston since 2019 and will be the largest gathering of figure skating Olympians and U.S. champions outside the Olympics itself! The event will be hosted by Scott Hamilton, with proceeds benefiting the CARES Foundation, Mass General Brigham, and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

The evening will feature performances by former Olympians and U.S. Champions including Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir, 2014 Olympic bronze medalists; Max Aaron, 2014 U.S. Champion; Ashley Wagner, 2014 Olympic bronze medalist; and Mirai Nagasu, 2018 Olympic bronze medalist. U.S. International Classic silver medalist Jimmy Ma will also perform along with other Olympic hopefuls and international competitors including The Haydenettes, the 28-time U.S. synchronized skating champions.

Meet the Saint Bernards!

December 4 :: North Andover

Families can cut their own tree, or choose from a pre-cut one at Smolak Farms, and the gentle giants from the New England Saint Bernard Club will help pull it back to the car, take pictures with guests, and make the day simply unFURgettable!

Boston Pops Holiday Pops Kids Matinees 

Selected dates beginning December 4 :: Boston

Kids matinee performances are the perfect way to introduce your little ones to the symphony! These performances begin at 11 a.m. and are geared toward younger children. These shorter performances have no intermission and include a sing-along, and families are invited for post-concert treats and a visit with Santa!

In 2021, the Holiday Pops kids matinees take place on December 4, 11, 12, 18, and 19. A sensory-friendly performance will take place on December 5.

December 9-17

All Aboard! Trains at Science Park!

Through March 1 :: Museum of Science, Boston

Choo-choo! Calling all train lovers! The Museum of Science is once again hosting this exciting seasonal tradition! This fun-for-all-ages exhibit features trains chugging through classic winter landscapes and a hint of nostalgia.

Family Workshop: Fabric Collage at Danforth Art Museum

December 11 :: Framingham

This creative workshop is fun for the whole family. Inspired by the artwork of Dan Dowd, now on view at the Danforth Art Museum, families will use collected and repurposed fabrics to create a one-of-a-kind textile collage together! 

Sticky Bun School: Virtual Baking Class with Joanne Chang

December 11 :: Online

Joanne Chang, renowned pastry chef and founder of Flour Bakery, leads this special Saturday morning baking class. Joanne will show participants how to make her delicious signature sticky buns in this one-hour Zoom lesson!

Annual Holiday Hack-A-Thon

December 12 :: Wellesley

Kids between 5 and 14 years old can take part in this fun competition at Code Ninjas! Teams of two will have two hours to create an awesome game using Scratch or ScratchJr, and then present it to their family and friends. Winners will receive awesome prizes! 

Dino Safari: A Walk-Thru Adventure

Through December 31 :: Boston

The dinosaur lover in your life will roar with excitement at this fun event! Grab a Jurassic passport and feel the thrill of standing next to more than 20 giant moving dinosaurs on a walk-through expedition for the whole family. 

December 18-25

Free Holiday Themed Party at Acton Stage Music Center

December 18 :: Acton

Ring in the holiday season with disco dancing, karaoke singing, arts and crafts, theatrical games, and much more at this FREE family event! 

Anthony Williams’ “Urban Nutcracker”

December 18-26 :: Boston

This classical ballet gets a modern twist with the inclusion of many dance forms like tap, hip-hop, flamenco, and jazz! The performance explores many of Boston’s iconic landmarks, like the “Make Way for Ducklings” statues, the Green Monster, the State House, and more!

Imagine Van Gogh! The Original Immersive Experience: Boston

Through February 20 :: Boston

Experience the works of Van Gogh like you have never seen them before! The Dutch artist’s visions and dreams shift around you as you make your way through the newly renovated SoWa Power Station, Boston’s newest event space! 

December Vacation with Puddlestompers

December 20-31 :: Newton and Wellesley

Get outside during school vacation! Kids will be outside and moving as they learn about where snow comes from, build cozy homes for chilly creatures, and follow animal tracks in the snow. Each day brings a new topic. Come for one day or the full week — all are welcome! 

Fiddler on the Roof

December 21-26 :: Boston

This Tony Award-winning musical tells the heartwarming story of fathers and daughters, husbands and wives, and life, love, and laughter. Make sure to share this experience with your family while it is here in Boston!

Disney On Ice: Mickey’s Search Party

December 23-January 2

Join this magical search and help unlock an epic journey when Disney On Ice’s Mickey’s Search Party delivers an unforgettable experience in your hometown!

December 26-31

Sing-Along Sound of Music

December 26-29 :: Arlington

Do you have the uncontrollable urge to sing along when Julie Andrews takes the screen? Then this is the place for you! Come sing your heart out with the classic musical at this fun family event! 

Music and Movement with Little Beats

December 27 :: Newton

Calling all movers and shakers! Use your body and your brain through the power of movement and music in this exciting 45-minute class! 

Family Nature Walk at Gore Place

December 28-30 :: Waltham

Look for plants and animals living at Gore Place as you join an outdoor educator for a guided walk around the grounds! Learn about what you find, and discover ways to find nature in your own neighborhood as you participate in outdoor, family-friendly STEAM activities.

First Night Boston

December 31 :: Boston

Don’t miss out on this beloved tradition! Ring in the New Year with cultural and musical performances in various indoor venues around the Back Bay, gorgeous ice sculptures and light displays, and a spectacular fireworks display!

Deanna Greenstein
Deanna is a mom of five (yes, five) children, who lives in Brockton with her small circus of kids, her husband, their dog Penny, and a few cats. Her life is loud, energetic, mostly fun, often gross (did she mention four of those kids are boys?), and she wouldn't have it any other way. In between carting kids to school, baseball, gymnastics, guitar, dance, track and field and every other kid activity known to mankind, she works as a school bus driver for the city of Brockton, and is the Director of Religious Education at the Unity Church of North Easton, a Unitarian Universalist congregation. Deanna also holds degrees in Elementary Physical Education and Dance Education, which she plans to put back into use one day. At parties, Deanna can often be found hanging out with family pets. She follows her children around with a camera like the paparazzi, is pretty sure that 97% of her blood stream is made of coffee, and her laundry is never done. You can also find her blogging at