Holiday Happenings In and Around Boston

holiday happenings - Boston Moms Blog

After much anticipation and excitement, it’s finally here — the 2018 holiday season! Are your kids as excited as mine are to get their merry on and celebrate the magic of this season? If you’re looking for some out-of-house entertainment to celebrate the holiday season in and around Boston (that won’t add to the already-hefty cost of the holidays), I’ve culled a list of some free and low-cost family-friendly holiday happenings to check out!

In Boston:

Tree lightings

Trees around the city started twinkling and sparkling this week with official lightings at Copley Square, the State House, and at Faneuil Hall. Today at 5 p.m. the Boston Common tree lighting kicks off with live entertainment, refreshments, and a free figure skating show at Frog Pond.

35th annual menorah lighting on Boston Common

Kick off the magic of the Hanukkah season by attending one of the lightings of New England’s tallest menorah. Holiday treats and live music will also be featured!

  • Sunday, December 2, 4–5 p.m.
  • Monday, December 3, through Thursday, December 6, 4:30–5:30 p.m.
  • Friday, December 7, 2:30–3 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 8, 7:30–8:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, December 9, 4–5 p.m.

Holiday strolls

Shop and stroll through Boston’s neighborhoods!

  • North End: 12th annual holiday stroll, Friday, November 30, 5–10 p.m.
  • Beacon Hill: Thursday, December 6, 6–9 p.m. (Santa visits, there will be horse and buggy rides and Victorian carolers along Charles Street)
  • Union Square: 4th annual holiday stroll, Saturday, December 8, 12–6 p.m.
  • Fort Point: Friday, December 7, 4–8 p.m.

Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights, Museum of Fine Arts

This free family-friendly event on Wednesday, December 5, from 4:30–10 p.m., will feature live music, art-making, and other festive activities for all, including a community candle-lighting of a locally made, custom menorah. 

Outside of Boston

Holiday-themed storytimes at various Barnes and Noble locations

Some of the upcoming storytimes will feature Mickey Mouse Goes Christmas ShoppingHow to Catch a Snowman, and The Polar Express!

Marblehead Annual Christmas Walk

This holiday tradition running from November 30 to December 2 showcases Marblehead’s historic beauty and features family activities, craft fairs, entertainment, shopping, and more.

Visit the Enchanted Village

A storied New England tradition since 1958, and today hosted by Jordan’s Furniture Avon, you and yours can literally step into holiday magic at this decked-out display through January 2019.

Check out the Annual Dickens Holiday Festival 

On Sunday, December 9, at 10 a.m., costumed actors will be reading from the classic Dickens novel, A Christmas Carol. Live entertainment, shopping, and caroling will also headline this event at the Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation in Waltham (kids under 5 are free, adults are $10).

Head to Christmas in the Village

The seaside town of Scituate hosts a holiday menagerie on Friday, December 14, from 4–7 p.m., featuring carolers, an elf scavenger hunt, tractor rides, hot chocolate, and pictures with Santa Claus. 

Best wishes to you and yours for a joyous holiday season!


Kate came to New England for college a decade and a half ago, and fell in love with all things Boston. She is the mom of two beautiful baby boys, ages 2.5 & 10 months, and loves watching them explore this lovely area of the country, experiencing Boston through their eyes. Heart-filling: spending time with my family, spontaneous hugs, kisses and “I love you Mommy” from my boys, reading great books, fall in New England, the Adirondacks, golden retriever puppies (don’t have any yet!), coffee, champagne, and serendipity. Can do without: Boston traffic, inconsiderateness, never-ending winters and stir-craziness.