Christmas & Holiday Events

Nubble Light at Christmas New England’s lively cities, snug towns, and snow-swept mountains are a perfect backdrop for Christmas and holiday celebrations and traditions. Come and enjoy classic favorites, like performances of “The Messiah” or “The Nutcracker, and local traditions, like the festive lighting of the Nubble Lighthouse in York, Maine. Lodgings offer plenty of ways to combine a holiday getaway with pastimes like skiing, shopping, or theater-hopping.

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All Ages

Christmas Festival of Lights at Edaville - Carver, MA

Nov 21, 2014 - Jan 1, 2015 5 Pine Streeet Carver, MA
Edaville’s Christmas Festival of Lights is arguably the most-loved festival of its kind, having earned generations of loyal fans. Passengers relax in warm and dry coaches while riding through a spectacular holiday explosion of lights. Kids will enjoy an array of vintage amusement rides and a visit with Santa in indoor play areas. Trains typically run on an hourly schedule beginning one hour after opening;last train is at 8 p.m.
Time: 4-9 p.m.
Admission: $23
Telephone: 508-866-8190

Methuen Festival of Trees - Methuen, MA

Nov 22, 2014 - Dec 6, 2014 Valley Office Park, 13 Branch Street Methuen, MA
More than 240 spectacular Christmas trees will be on display and raffled off to visitors. Children’s events every day. Seniors and Red Hatters Days.
Time: Weekdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; weekends to 9 p.m.
Admission: $10; children zage 12 and younger admitted for free
Telephone: 978-685-8878

Sea Festival of Trees - Salisbury Beach, MA

Nov 22, 2014 - Dec 6, 2014 Blue Ocean Music Hall and Event Center, 4 Oceanfront North Salisbury Beach, MA
Walk through a maze of 125 beautifully decorated artificial trees, 75,000 lights, and a giant gingerbread house. This second annual Sea Festival of Trees is expanding across two floors. Special events are the Grand Tree Lighting Spectacular on November 21 at 7:30 p.m.; Santa Arrives by Fire Truck on November 22 at 11 a.m.; Paint & Sip with The Artist Bar on December 1 at 7 p.m.; Gingerbread House Workshop on December 3 at 6 p.m.; Holiday Shopping Night at By the Sea on December 4; and Polar Express Pajama & Pizza Party on December 5.
Time: Times vary; check “Hours & Admissions” at event website
Admission: $5 per person. Children 2 and under are free.
Telephone: 978-462-2515

Blink! Sound & Light Show - Boston, MA

Nov 22, 2014 - Jan 4, 2015 Faneuil Hall Marketplace, 1 Faneuil Hall Square Boston, MA
Blink! is a light & sound show that fills every corner of Faneuil Hall Marketplace with the blaze of 350,000 LED lights accompanied by music of the Holiday Pops. The seven-minute spectacle runs continuously each evening.BLINK! ooens with a tree lighting ceremony Saturday, November 22, 8-9 p.m., with local celebrities. Aeries of outdoor performances will take place throughout the season featuring touring companies of Broadway shows, pop bands, holiday carolers, dance troupes, bell ringers and local musicians. The season culminates December 30 - January 1 with "THE ICE," a collection of interactive ice sculptures complemented by live street theater performances. See BLINK! Website for schedule of entertainment
Time: Continuous performances nightly

Nantucket Noel & Christmas Stroll - Nantucket, MA

Nov 28, 2014 - Jan 3, 2015 Nantucket, MA
nantucket noel Nantucket celebrates Christmas with a nostalgic flair during Nantucket Noel, which begins the day after Thanksgiving with a a tree lighting and carol singing at dusk. Carols are led by the \local high school a cappella group, the Accidentals & Naturals.

Christmas Stroll weekend, December 5-7, begins at noon on Saturday, when Santa Claus arrives by Coast Guard vessel at Straight Wharf. At the top of Main Street, the Magical Talking Tree delights children and a variety of entertainment will appear on the Main Street Stage. A European-style Christmas Marketplace takes place at the corner of Easy and Main streets from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

The whole month’s calendar includes craft shows, theater, exhibitions, an antiques auction, a display of over 100 creches at the Methodist Church, a Ghost Walk, a Festival of Wreaths (November 26-30) and Festival of Trees (December 5-31). Home for the Holidays event happens December 13. Sales and fairs abound and our Whaling Museum features A Night of Holiday Magic.
Nantucket New Year (December 27- January 4, 2015) is a flurry of gala events. On New Year's Eve, the Nantucket Hotel hosts a lavish Moulin Rouge Bal" from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. featuring music by the Perri Rossi Orchestra.
Time: Consult event website

Newburyport Santa Parade & Tree Lighting - Newburyport, MA

Nov 30, 2014 - Nov 30, 2014 Newburyport Boardwalk, 36 Merrimac Street Newburyport, MA
As the holiday season approaches, Santa & Mrs. Claus arrive in the most fitting way for this seaport town... by US Coast Guard boat! Welcome Santa on the Sunday after Thanksgiving as he and Mrs. Claus dock at the boardwalk and begin to parade through downtown Newburyport, then gather in Market Square for the annual Christmas tree lighting and carols.
Time: 3:30 -5 p.m.; tree lighting about 4 p.m.
Telephone: 978-462-6680

Salem Holiday Happenings - Salem, MA

Dec 1, 2014 - Dec 31, 2014 Downtown Salem and 2 New Liberty Street Salem, MA
Celebrate, shop, and dine in Salem during the holiday season. Festival highlights include Christmas in Salem Historic House Tour and Santa's arrival atop the Hawthorne Hotel. New for 2014, join theHoliday Stroll on December 13-14, and don't miss the second annual Launch! celebration on New Year's Eve.
Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas - Stockbridge, MA

Dec 5, 2014 - Dec 7, 2014 Various locations Stockbridge, MA
Stockbridge at Christmas The town of Stockbridge becomes a magical New England setting decorated with holiday wreaths and festive lights during Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas. Activities include:
Friday, December 5
Tales of Christmas. Gather ’round to hear classic stories of the season at the Taggart House, 18 Main Street. Free. 5 to 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 6 Holiday House Tour. This self-guided tour is one of the weekend’s most popular events. This year’s tour includes Undermountain Mansion, Ventfort Hall Mansion, the Ripley House, Elm Court Estate, October Mountain Farm and Cherry Cottage. 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. $20 per person. Tickets may be purchased in advance at the chamber of commerce or on the day of the event at the Red Lion Inn. They are not sold at the tour properties.
Caroling Luminaria Walk. Meet in front of The Red Lion Inn on Main Street with candle or flashlight and join the festive caroling followed by a walk to the First Congregational Church. 6-7 p.m.
Holiday Concert. Celebrate the magic of the season with a joyful holiday musical program held at the First Congregational Church. Featuring the Berkshire Lyric Chorus and the Blafield Children’s Chorus. $23. 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, December 7
Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas Re-creation. See Main Street as Norman Rockwell did when he painted the famous Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas. Main Street becomes a village with over 50 antique cars parked along the street and a full range of festive activities: Roger the Jester, photo ops with Norman Rockwell, holiday music by Monument Mountain Regional High School and the Londontown Carolers. Commemorative buttons for admittance to activities are $5 per person. Children under 12 aadmitted free. Noon-2 p.m.
Time: Consult event website
Admission: Various; consult event website
Telephone: 413-298-5200

Christmas In Edgartown - Edgartown, Ma

Dec 12, 2014 - Dec 14, 2014 Edgartown, Ma
Christmas in EdgartownWeekend highlights include the Annual Great Chowder Contest, pictures with Santa, the Lighting of the Lighthouse at the Harbor View Hotel, the Christmas parade, shopping and sales, and holiday themed events. Fun includes Cider & Cookies At Vintage Jewelry, Chili Bar At The Anchors, Gift Wrap Station At Lighthouse Properties, Bah Humbug Walking Tour, Creche Display At The Old Whaling Church, Elves Faire At St. Andrew's Church, 30th Annual Great Chowder Contest.
Time: Various times; consult host website
Telephone: 508-939-0199

First Night Northampton - Northampton, MA

Dec 31, 2014 - Dec 31, 2014 Northampton, MA
Twelve-hour family-friendly New Year's Eve festival of the arts, culminating in a traditional ball-raising from the roof of the Hotel Northampton. Celebrate at 20 downtown venues, featuring an astounding array of entertainment with hundreds of talented performers.
Time: Noon to midnight; fireworks are at 6:15 p.m.
Telephone: 413-584-7327

Arts & Crafts Shows

CraftBoston Holiday 2014 - Boston, MA

Dec 5, 2014 - Dec 7, 2014 Hynes Convention Center, 900 Bolyston Street Boston, MA
Comprised of 175 exhibitors, CraftBoston Holiday offers a day to shop for unique, one-of-a-kind gifts, meet and support the makers, and learn about fine contemporary craft.
Time: Friday,10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admission: General Admission, $15; seniors, $13; students, $12
Telephone: 617-266-1810

Children & Families

Polar Express Train Rides - Carver, MA

Nov 21, 2014 - Dec 30, 2014 Edaville USA, 5 Pine Street Carver, MA
Inspired by the book and hit movie, this holiday story comes to life during a ride on Edaville's The Polar Express. Against the backdrop of music form the movie sound track, the journey includes hot chocolate and cookies and a reading of "The Polar Express." At the North Pole, Santa will greet the children and give each child his own sleigh bell. Families are encouraged to wear their pajamas for the ride. Dates: November 21-23, 26 and 30; December 3-5, 10-12, 17-19, 22-24, 26, 29, and 30. 
Time: 4-9 p.m.
Admission: $38
Telephone: 508-866-8190

ZooLights at Stone Zoo - Stoneham, MA

Nov 27, 2014 - Jan 4, 2015 Stone Zoo, 149 Pond Street Stoneham, MA
ZooLights is a winter landscape of tree-lined paths lit by thousands of twinkling lights. Stroll through festively decorated Yukon Creek, home to bald eagles, North American porcupines, Canada lynx, reindeer and arctic foxes. You can meet the reindeer up close and visit Santa, who will be available for photos through December 23. Zoo Lights is open daily except on Christmas.
Time: 5-9 p.m.

Christmas at Plimoth Grist Mill - Plymouth, MA

Dec 5, 2014 - Dec 20, 2014 Plimoth Grist Mill, 6 Spring Lane Plymouth, MA
A 17th-century New England miller finishes his work for the day, and Christmas unfolds at the Plimoth Grist Mill. Watch as the miller's mice scurry about helping him get ready for the holiday. This is an evening of festive holiday storytelling for children and the young at heart as a narrator leads you through and enchanted Christmas story at the mill. This children's experience will become a family favorite for years to come. Dates: December 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20.
Time: 4 to 7 p.m., Tours begin at 4 p.m. and start every 30 minutes at the Plimoth Grist Mill
Admission: Adults, $6; children, $4.50
Telephone: 508-830-1124

Teddy Bear Tea at Hawthorne Hotel - Salem, MA

Dec 6, 2014 - Dec 6, 2014 Hawthorne Hotel 18 Washington Square West Salem, MA
A favorite tradition at the Hawthorne, this tea is dedicated to Toys for Tots. Buffet luncheon with finger sandwiches. All children will have the opportunity to have their picture taken with the Hawthorne Bear. Children are admitted free when they bring a Toys for Tots donation--new and unwrapped, please--only two per table. Reservations are strongly recommended.
Time: Noon- 2 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $21; children, $13.50
Telephone: 978-825-4311

North Pole Express - Scituate, MA

Dec 7, 2014 - Dec 7, 2014 Greenbush Commuter Rail Station Scituate, MA
North Pole Express ScituateChildren and adults alike will enjoy this 60-90 minute train ride which replicates the journey to the North Pole as told in the classic story of “The Polar Express.” Along the ride the children will be read this holiday story, be served milk and cookies, sing Christmas carols, receive the first gift of Christmas and be greeted by holiday characters including Santa and Mrs. Claus. Passengers should arrive 30 minutes before train departure times.
Time: Trains depart at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m. & 6 p.m.
Admission: $25

Holiday Sing at Faneuil Hall - Boston, MA

Dec 13, 2014 - Dec 13, 2014 Great Hall, Faneuil Hall, 1 Faneuil Hall Square Boston, MA
Sing along to your favorite holiday carols and songs with the magnificent Handel & Hayden Society chorus and brass quintet. This sing-along concert is perfect for families and kids
Time: 1 p.m.

Cruises

New Year's Eve Lunch Cruise - Boston, Ma

Dec 31, 2014 - Dec 31, 2014 Odyssey Boston, 60 Rowes Wharf Boston, Ma
Celebrate New Year's Eve aboard the Odyssey. Great lunch, Champagne toast, and fabulous views of Boston and its inimitable skyline.
Time: 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $57.90 and over; children at 3 to 12, $34.95
Telephone: 617-603-0843

Food, Wine, Beer

Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol Performance and Dinner - Plymouth, MA

Dec 6, 2014 - Dec 12, 2014 Plimoth Plantation, 137 Warren Avenue Plymouth, MA
Enjoy a performance of the classic tale of redemption and then eat a Christmas feast with Scrooge as he celebrates his newly-found holiday cheer. Christmas feast includes Vegetable Soup, winter Salad, Turkey, Roast Beef, Onion and Sage Stuffing, Nutty Brussels Sprouts, Mashed Potatoes, Glazed Carrots, Plum Pudding, Mincemeat Pie, Baked Stuffed Apples with Dried Fruit and Pecans. All served family style. Dates: December 6, 7, and 12. To purchase tickets, contact Diane Cox at 508-746-1622 ext. 8365.
Time: Performance begins at 6 p.m. with seated meal immediately following.
Admission: Adults, $50; children $30

New Orleans Christmas with Henri Smith & Amadee Castenell - Beverly, MA

Dec 13, 2014 - Dec 13, 2014 The Larcom Theatre, 13 Wallis Street Beverly, MA
Henri Smith brings the spirit and soul of New Orleans to New England for a special holiday concert featuring Grammy-award winner Amadee Castenell on sax and flute. You'll hear New Orleans jazz and blues, traditional Mardi Gras songs and Christmas favorites. Sing along with the standards and dance in the aisles with Henri Smith, Amadee Castenell, and all the guys from the band.
Time: Doors open 6:30; show at 7:30 p.m.
Admission: $19, $29, $39
Telephone: 978-525-9093

Gardens

Gardens Aglow Celebration of Lights - Sandwich, MA

Nov 28, 2014 - Dec 28, 2014 Heritage Museums & Gardens, 67 Grove Street Sandwich, MA
Gardens Aglow Join Heritage Museums & Gardens for its holiday celebration for lights and decorations than ever! New this year is a Holiday Train, a festive model railway display that will travel through the Special Exhibitions Gallery along elevated tracks and over a spectacular bridge. Enjoy music and dance performances at 6:30 in the Automobile Gallery. St. Nick will hold court in the Model T. Gingerbread houses will be on display. Also: holiday crafts, carousel rides, Hidden Hollow by moonlight, and marshmallow roasting over a fire pit.
Time: Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, 4:30-8:30 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $18; children, $7. Tickets are available for purchase at the gate until 7:30 p.m.
Telephone: 508-888-3300

“Winter Reimagined” at Tower Hill Botanic Gardens - Boylston, MA

Nov 28, 2014 - Jan 4, 2015 Tower Hill Botanic Gardens, 11 French Drive Boylston, MA
Wander through glittering indoor displays and illuminated trees and shrubs in the Orchard, Entry, Lawn and Winter Gardens of Tower Hill Botanic Gardens. A giant Bromeliad tree, hundreds of poinsettias, more than 1,500 hand-crafted ornaments and six miles of lights make this a unique holiday display.
Time: Open daily, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Wednesdays & Thursdays, open ‘til 9 p.m. starting December 4.

Holly Days 2014 -- Winter Re-imagined - Boylston, MA

Nov 28, 2014 - Jan 4, 2015 Tower Hill Botanic Gardens, 11 French Drive Boylston, MA
Wander through glittering indoor displays and illuminated trees and shrubs in the Orchard, Entry, Lawn and Winter Gardens. A giant Bromeliad tree, hundreds of poinsettias, more than 1,500 hand-crafted ornaments and over six miles of lights make this a unique holiday experience for all ages. Tower Hill will be closed December 24, 25, 31, and January 1.
Time: Open daily during Holly Days 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admission: Adults $12; seniors $9; youth age 6-18, $7
Telephone: 508-869-6111

Historic

Christmas in Salem Historic House Tours - Salem, MA

Dec 6, 2014 - Dec 7, 2014 Salem, MA
Christmas in SalemExplore homes of South Salem and La Point, with residences that escaped the Great Salem Fire of 1914 and some that were rebuilt after. Owners invite visitors in to view their homes decked out in full holiday regalia.
Time: Saturday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Sunday, 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Telephone: 978-745-0799

1820s Holiday House Tour at The Old Manse - Concord, MA

Dec 7, 2014 - Dec 7, 2014 The Old Manse, 269 Monument Street Concord, MA
Mrs. Phebe Ripley (1741-1825) and her daughter Sarah (1781-1826) invite you to the Old Manse. Tour the house, decorated for an early American holiday, with costumed guides portraying these early Manse residents. Guests will step back in time to December 1824. Madam Ripley and Sarah will have many surprises and delights in store for you. Learn why New England's Puritan founders made Christmas illegal and assessed fines for celebrations. Refreshments served. Reservations suggested.
Time: 1 and 3 p.m.
Admission: $15
Telephone: 978-369-3909

A New England Christmas at Plimoth Plantation - Plymouth, MA

Dec 14, 2014 - Dec 14, 2014 Plimoth Plantation Visitor Center, 137 Warren Ave Plymouth, MA
Take a candlelit walk through Plimoth Plantation to enjoy the carols and then tour the grounds of the Plantation. Warm yourself with people celebrating Yuletide in an English country village; taste a holiday treat in the bakery; learn why trees are sacred in Native culture; visit the animals,
Time: 2:30-5 p.m. ; this is a one-hour program with tours leaving every 15 minutes
Admission: Adults, $12; children free with a paying adult

Home & Studio Tours

Christmas in Salem: Historic House Tours - Salem, MA

Dec 6, 2014 - Dec 7, 2014 Christmas in Salem Tour Headquarters, Saltonstall School, 211 Lafayette Street Salem, MA
This year’s historic holiday house tours will be taking place in South Salem and La Pointe, at Victorian residences that escaped the Great Salem Fire of 1914 and those that were rebuilt with Colonial Revival details. History will focus on life and renewal of the neighborhood after the great fire. Featuring historic homes decorated for the holidays, walking tours, music, restaurants, wine tastings, and shopping specials. Tickets may be purchased in advance by visiting ChristmasinSalem.org or by calling Historic Salem, Inc.
Time: Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Admission: $35; $30 in advance
Telephone: 978-745-0799

Newburyport Holiday House Tour - Newburyport, MA

Dec 13, 2014 - Dec 13, 2014 Custom House Maritime Museum, 25 Water Street Newburyport, MA
Join this year's holiday excursion through greater Newburyport's finest private residences and unique spaces. This year's tour celebrates the 250th anniversary of Newburyport's prominent place in Colonial America and its maritime heritage. The tour begins at the Custom House Maritime Museum and takes you through spectacular homes representing four centuries of Newbuyport's history and culture, showing each homeowner's individual holiday style. 
Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: $25 in advance; $30 day of tour
Telephone: 978-462-8681

Newburyport's Holiday House Tour - Newburyport, MA

Dec 13, 2014 - Dec 13, 2014 Custom House Maritime Museum, 25 Water Street Newburyport, MA
Come and join this year’s holiday excursion through Newburyport's finest private residences and unique spaces. The tour begins at the Custom House Maritime Museum and takes you through spectacular homes representing four centuries of Newburyport's history and culture reflecting each homeowner's individual holiday style.
Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: $25 in advance; $30 day of the tour
Telephone: 978-462-8681

New Bedford Holiday House Tour - New Bedford, MA

Dec 13, 2014 - Dec 14, 2014 Wamsutta Club, 427 County Street (starting point) New Bedford, MA
Catch the holiday spirit on this time-honored holiday event. Visit historic 19th-century homes, beautifully decorated for the season. Visitors will enjoy costumed portrayals at one of the homes and will be inspired by the varied architecture and interiors, as diverse as the owners.
Time: Saturday, 4 to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.
Admission: $23 at the door; $19 advance purchase online
Telephone: 508-997-6425

Museums

Norman Rockwell: Home for the Holidays - Stockbridge, MA

Nov 22, 2014 - Feb 8, 2015 Norman Rockwell Museum, 9 Glendale Road Stockbridge, MA
Norman Rockwell Museum Norman Rockwell: Home for the Holidays features a selection of the artist’s enduring holiday images and the painting Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas, Rockwell’s tribute to the town where he lived and worked for 25 years. On December 7, the town will re-create Rockwell’s Main Street painting from noon to 2 p.m. At 2 p.m., the Rockwell museum staff welcomes people to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Stockbridge for the chance to decorate a holiday stocking, with all supplies provided. Free
A cookie decorating workshop will be held the Museum on December 6 from 3 to 5 p.m. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet Santa and enjoy holiday music and special gallery talks about Rockwell’s holiday art. Museum admission.
Time: See description above
Admission: Adults, $17.50; seniors, $16; college students, $10; children age 6-18, $5.
Telephone: 413-298-4100

Music

Messiah Sing at Symphony Hall - Boston, MA

Nov 28, 2014 - Nov 30, 2014 Symphony Hall, Massachusetts Avenue Boston, MA
This classic oratorio is kept fresh each year by the Handel and Haydon Society and its Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus, with guest soloists. Come and herald the Christmas season.
Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 3 p.m.

TubaChristmas Concert at Faneuil Hall - Boston, MA

Nov 29, 2014 - Nov 29, 2014 Faneuil Hall Marketplace, 1 Faneuil Hall Square Boston, MA
Come watch over 150 tuba players serenade the crowd with your favorite holiday classics. This event is free to the public.
Time: 2 p.m.
Admission: Free

Christmas at the Colonial with Mary Verdi - Pittsfield, MA

Nov 29, 2014 - Nov 29, 2014 The Colonial Theatre, 111 South Street Pittsfield, MA
christmas at the Colonial with Mary VerdiThis high-energy show will have you singing along to your favorite Christmas carols. Mary Verdi, Berkshire’s favorite singer and songwriter has created an evening of celebration. Special performing guests are Rev Tor, The Dalton Ballet Troupe, Berkshire Music School Violinists and Santa.
Time: 2 & 7 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $25; kids, $10

The Oriana Consort-The Muse of Winter - Cambridge, MA

Dec 5, 2014 - Dec 14, 2014 University Lutheran Church, 66 Winthrop Street Cambridge, MA
Concert to include Britten's "Ceremony of Carols," Handel's "Let God Arise" with period orchestra, Warlock's "Benedicamus Domino," Byrd's "Songs of sundrie natures," "Earthly tree," Howell's "A Spotless Rose," and three carols by John Rutter, "Wexford Carol," "Angels' Carol" and "What Sweeter Music."
Dates: December 5, 7, and 14.

Time: Friday, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 5 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $20; seniors and students, $15
Telephone: 339-203-5876

Worcester Chorus Performs Handel's Messiah - Worcester, MA

Dec 6, 2014 - Dec 6, 2014 Mechanics Hall, 321 Main Street Worcester, MA
Worcester Chorus with soloists, and Festival Orchestra perform the iconic Handel's Messiah, a holiday tradition.
Time: 8 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $42; students, $15; youth, $5
Telephone: 508-754-3231

Boston Baroque presents Handel's Messiah - Boston, MA

Dec 12, 2014 - Dec 13, 2014 Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory, Gainsborough Street Boston, MA
 Boston Baroque period-instrument orchestra and chorus celebrates the holidays with an annual performance of Handel’s Messiah. This Boston tradition has delighted audiences for decades. 
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Admission: $30 - $85; students, on the day of the concert, $10
Telephone: 617-987-8600

2014 Holiday Pops - Lowell, MA

Dec 14, 2014 - Dec 14, 2014 Lowell Memorial Auditorium, 50 East Merrimack Street Lowell, MA
Join the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra for its beloved Holiday Pops concert. The Boston Pops will perform its signature song, “Sleigh Ride,” along with other holiday classics and Christmas favorites.
Time: 2:30 p.m.
Admission: 2:30 p.m. Tickets start at $50.

Holiday Choral Concert with Cantemus at Castle Hill - Ipswich, MA

Dec 14, 2014 - Dec 14, 2014 Castle Hill on The Crane Estate, 290 Argilla Road Ipswich, MA
Take a break from the bustle of the holiday season and enjoy an afternoon of holiday choral music. North Shore’s Cantemus will perform a 1-hour concert that ends with an audience sing-along. Refreshments served. Reserve tickets online.
Time: 3 p.m.
Admission: $25

Holiday Concert with John Pizzarelli and Jane Monheit - Great Barrington, MA

Dec 27, 2014 - Dec 27, 2014 Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, 14 Castle Street Great Barrington, MA
Elegance, virtuosity, and the will to swing it will be on display in full force when these two artists take the stage to celebrate American popular song styles.
Time: 8 p.m.
Admission: $25-$100
Telephone: 413-528-0100

Outdoor Activities

Bright Nights at Forest Park - Springfield, MA

Nov 26, 2014 - Jan 4, 2015 Forest Park, off Sumner Avenue Springfield, MA
Travel by cars or bus and enjoy a scenic, nearly three-mile route through Forest Park that's decorated in a series of festive light exhibits that celebrate the season. Supper with Santa, Dinner with Dickens and more extras enhance the experience. Musical simulcast on 98.5FM. Closed December 1 and 2. Admission price is per vehicle.
Time: Sunday to Thursday, 5-9 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays and holidays, 5-11 p.m.
Admission: November 26, $6; thereafter: Monday to Thursday, $18; Friday to Sunday and holidays, $21.

Holiday Tree Lighting - Salem, MA

Nov 28, 2014 - Nov 28, 2014 Lappin Park at Essex and Washington streets Salem, MA
Come join Salem’s Holiday Tree lighting at Lappin Park (next to the Bewitched Statue). Bring the whole family out for carols with the Paul Madore Singers, cocoa, and snacks!
Time: 6:15-7 p.m.

Parades & Fireworks

Lowell City of Lights Parade - Lowell, MA

Nov 29, 2014 - Nov 29, 2014 Downtown Lowell Lowell, MA
Take the afternoon to stroll the city streets and enjoy live performances, holiday shopping, photos with Santa, and the Hot Chocolate Competition. The City of Lights Parade kicks off in late afternoon and winds its way through picturesque downtown Lowell with floats, costumed characters, and more. The parade ends with the Lighting of City Hall and the community tree at the Ladd-Whitney Memorial.
Time: Afternoon and evening

City of Lights Parade - Lowell, MA

Nov 29, 2014 - Nov 29, 2014 Parade route starts on Jackson Street Lowell, MA
City of Lights Parade and City Hall Holiday Lighting are held 4:30-6:30 p.m. City of Lights Choral Concert is at St. Anne's Church, 8 Kirk Street, 6:30 p.m. Free admission; donations accepted. Concert program includes Lowell Gentlemen Songsters barbershop followed by St. Anne's Parish Choir. The street closings are Jackson Street to Central, from Central to Merrimack, Merrimack to Arcand. Arcand will be closed at 4 pm and will be closed until the end of the parade. Street parking is available until 2 p.m. Garage parking will be free from 6 a.m. to 6 pm.
Time: 10 a.m.
Admission: Free
Telephone: 978-459-6150

Parties, Dances, Balls

Roaring Twenties Cocktail Party at Castle Hill on the Crane Estate - Ipswich, MA

Dec 5, 2014 - Dec 5, 2014 Castle Hill, 290 Argilla Road Ipswich, MA
Celebrate Yuletide at the first Roaring Twenties Cocktail Party at Castle Hill on the Crane Estate. Tour the Great House decked out in grand style for the holidays; enjoy jazz from the 1920s and ‘30s; and feast on catered hors d’oeuvres and vintage cocktails at the cash bar. You'll love the lavish floral displays, 10-foot-tall glittering trees, and other holiday displays. Vintage attire encouraged. Reserve tickets online at www.thetrustees.org/castlehill.
Time: 5-9 p.m.
Admission: $25

Performing Arts, Theater, Dance

Tomáseen Foley's A Celtic Christmas - Beverly, Plymouth, and Lowell, MA

Nov 20, 2014 - Dec 20, 2014 Beverly, Plymouth, and Lowell, MA
Music and dance from steel-string guitarist William Coulter, Brian Bigley on uilleann pipes, whistles and flute, instrumentalist Kathleen Keane playing Irish fiddle and whistle, vocals and dance, Tomáseen Foley tellilng stories.
Larcom Theater, 13 Wallis Street, Beverly MA. December 4 and 6 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Information: larcomtheatre.com. Phone: 617-531-1257
Plymouth Memorial Hall, Plymouth, MA. December 5 at 7:30 p.m. Information: bluefrog.showare.com. Phone: 617-531-1257
Lowell Memorial Auditorium, 50 East Merrimack Street, Lowell MA. December 7 at 2:30 p.m. Phone: 617-531-1257
Time: Curtain times vary; see event website

Salem Trolley & The Griffen Theatre present “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens - Salem, MA

Nov 29, 2014 - Dec 23, 2014 Tour departs from Salemdipity, 86 Wharf Street (Pickering Wharf) Salem, MA
This humorous performance reanimates Dickens’s holiday classic. Ride along with Scrooge on the Salem Trolley as the classic tale is brought to life in a completely unexpected way. Please arrive 15 minutes before show time. Show starts inside Salemdipity.
Time: Departure times vary; consult event website
Admission: $25

ChristmasTime with the Reagle Music Theater - Waltham, MA

Dec 5, 2014 - Dec 14, 2014 Robinson Theatre, 617 Lexington Street Waltham, MA
ChristmasTime is a musical extravaganza that includes a Living Nativity, Santa’s Workshop, Teddy Bears’ Nutcracker, Parade of the Wooden Soldiers, Victorian Christmas, precision dancers and heartwarming choral numbers. A cast of nearly 200 comes gift wrapped in fabulous holiday sets and costumes, backed by a full orchestra. (Children under age 5 are not permitted in the theater).
Time: December 5 & 12 at 7:30 p.m.; December 6, 7, 13, 14 at noon and 4 p.m.
Admission: Tickets start at $35 to $63 for adults. Discounts for seniors and youth age 5 to 18
Telephone: 781-891-5600

“A Christmas Carol” - Beverly, MA

Dec 5, 2014 - Dec 21, 2014 North Shore Music Theatre, 62 Dunham Road Beverly, MA
“A Christmas Carol” tells the tale of curmudgeonly miser Ebenezer Scrooge, who is visited by the ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Future hoping to change his destiny and save his soul. This brilliant musical follows Scrooge through a series of strange and magical journeys, where he ultimately discovers the true spirit of the holiday season.
Time: Consult event website
Admission: $55-$70
Telephone: 978-697-3866

"A Christmas Carol" presented by North Shore Music Theatre - Beverly, MA

Dec 5, 2014 - Dec 21, 2014 North Shore Music Theatre, 62 Dunham Road Beverly, MA
December 5 - 21 With dazzling special effects that have grown even more exciting over time, traditional and original songs, and colorful costumes, this presentation of "A Christmas Carol" has become a holiday favorite throughout New England. Songs include: Patapan, The Apple Tree Wassail, Ding, Dong, Merrily On High, Here We Come A-Wassailing, The Boar's Head Carol, We Saw Three Ship. Running time with intermission is 2 hours and 10 minutes. Contains pyrotechnics, sudden loud noises and dark images. No children under age 4 allowed.
Time: Curtain times vary; see event website

Cirque Dreams Holidaze - Amherst, MA

Dec 11, 2014 - Dec 11, 2014 Mullins Center, 200 Commonwealth Avenue Amherst, MA
Cirque Dreams HolidazeRenowned director Neil Goldberg re-imagines the holiday season with Cirque Dreams Holidaze. An international cast of 31 brilliantly costumed artists comes to life and performs astonishing feats. Watch airborne gingerbread men, toy soldiers marching on thin wires, snowmen daringly balancing, icemen powerfully sculpting, penguins spinning, puppets dancing and reindeer soaring high above a landscape of holiday wonderment.
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Admission: $67.50, $62.50, $57.50

Christmas Revels 2014 - Cambridge, MA

Dec 12, 2014 - Dec 28, 2014 Sanders Theatre, 45 Quincy Street Cambridge, MA
This year, the Christmas Revels travels -- through your imagination -- to London’s Crystal Palace, built for the Great Exhibition of 1851. A colorful cast of characters, including a harried producer, street performers, and composer Arthur Sullivan, are caught up in a scheme to produce a record-breaking Christmas show with grand choral works, traditional carols, Victorian dances, music hall-style entertainments, and a sprinkling of buffoonery.
Time: Consult event website
Admission: Adults, $25-$60; children, $13 to $42
Telephone: 617-496-2222

“A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens - Pittsfield, MA

Dec 14, 2014 - Dec 22, 2014 Pittsfield, MA
The classic tale of a cold and fateful Christmas Eve features Ebenezer Scrooge, a cheapskate who has some lessons about life and friendship to learn. Watch this magical spectacle unfold onstage as the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future pay a visit to Mr. Scrooge, forcing him to confront his greedy life and make a change of heart for the better! This musical performance features song and dance.
Time: December 14 at 2 p.m.; December 18-19 and 22 at 7 p.m.; December 20-21 at 2 & 7 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $37; kids ages 16 and younger, $27

A Christmas Celtic Sojourn in Boston - Boston, MA

Dec 16, 2014 - Dec 22, 2014 Cutler Majestic Theatre at Emerson College, 219 Tremont Street Boston, MA
Music director Seamus Egan returns with his group, Solas. Other virtuosos in the show will be harpist Catriona McKay, fiddler Chris Stout, Winifred Horan on fiddle, and Natalie Haas on cello. Singer Alyth McCormack of the Chieftains will perform, as will Navan, with its unique four-part harmonies. The Chieftains’s Jon and Nathan Pilatzke, and Cara Butler will bring their unique approach to Irish dance, as will the young dancers from the Harney Academy of Irish Dance in Walpole. Dates: December 16, 1 and 6 p.m.; December 20 and 21, 8 p.m.; December 22, 3 and 8 p.m.
Time: Curtain times vary; see event website

Irving Berlin’s "White Christmas" - Boston, MA

Dec 16, 2014 - Dec 28, 2014 Citi Performing Arts Center/Wang Theatre, 270 Tremont Street Boston, MA
Irving Berlin’s classic holiday movie comes to life on the Wang Theatre stage. This show is sure to delight audiences of all ages with its jazzy melodies and exciting dancing. Featured songs include “Happy Holidays” and “Sisters”. You’ll be laughing, humming, and tapping along with the lively and talented cast.
Time: Curtain times vary; see event website
Admission: $35-$125
Telephone: 617-482-9393

A Christmas Celtic Sojourn in Worcester - Worcester, MA

Dec 18, 2014 - Dec 18, 2014 Hanover Theatre Worcester, MA
Celtic Sojourn in Worcester Music director Seamus Egan returns with his group, Solas. Other virtuosos in the show will be harpist Catriona McKay, fiddler Chris Stout, Winifred Horan on fiddle, and Natalie Haas on cello. Singer Alyth McCormack of the Chieftains will perform, as will Navan, with its unique four-part harmonies. The Chieftains’s Jon and Nathan Pilatzke, and Cara Butler will bring their unique approach to Irish dance, as will the young dancers from the Harney Academy of Irish Dance in Walpole.
Time: 7:30 p.m.