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Christmas & Holiday Events 2018-19

New England’s lively cities, snug towns, and snow-swept mountains are a perfect backdrop for Christmas 2018, holiday celebrations & traditions. Come enjoy classic favorites, like stage performances of “The Messiah” or “The Nutcracker, or local traditions such as the festive lighting of the Nubble Lighthouse in Maine. Lodgings offer plenty of ways to combine a holiday getaway with pastimes like skiing, shopping, or theater-hopping.

Click to find Holiday Fairs & Festivals in New England.

Christmas in Stowe - VisitNewEngland Holiday Events Calendar 2018

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All Ages

Festival of Trees After Dark 2018

Nov 17, 2018 - Dec 22, 2018 Berkshire Museum, 39 South Street (Route 7) Pittsfield, MA

Discover Festival of Trees 2018. Tiny lights are ablaze on every tree but the galleries are dark. The indoor forest of creatively decorated trees festooned with musical motifs offer a dreamy atmosphere during evening hours. Come and guess the song title that matches each tree’s décor. Dates: November 17, 24; December 1, 8, 15, 22

LaSalette Christmas Festival of Lights 2018 – Attleboro

Nov 22, 2018 - Jan 6, 2019 LaSalette Shrine, 947 Park Street Attleboro, MA

About 300,000 lights illuminate the Shrine property. The Outdoor Creche of Bethlehem features a candle lit with a flame from Bethlehem, Israel. Come hear music by Father Pat, Friday-Sunday, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Schedule.

Night Lights 2018 at Tower Hill Botanical Garden

Nov 23, 2018 - Dec 30, 2018 Tower Hill Botanical Garden, 11 French Drive Boylston, MA

This walking tour takes you through 15 acres of gardens strung with 200,000 lights, a stroll through a firefly forest, a fire pit with s'mores, a walk-though rainbow tunnel, and picturesque scenes around each corner. Indoors, tuck into the story den from children's book “The Mitten,” or watch a model train alpine village, a towering tree made from bromeliad plants.

Winterlights at Naumkeag

Nov 23, 2018 - Dec 30, 2018 Naumkeag, 5 Prospect Hill Road Stockbridge, MA

These historic homes are lit with thousands of festive and shimmering lights in spectacular, custom-designed installations. In addition to spectacular displays of light, Winterlights evenings will feature children’s activities, weekend visits from Santa, local choral groups, and more! Seasonal refreshments will be available for purchase. Held Thursdays-Sundays.

Blink! Light & Sound Show 2018

Nov 28, 2018 - Jan 1, 2019 Faneuil Hall Boston, MA

 final blink in boston

A new Holiday Blink! show will light up the Faneuil Hall Marketplace with 350,000 lights every evening for five weeks. An 85-foot fir tree adorned with decorations and sparkling lights synchronized to music to provide entertainment for visitors and shoppers. The lights are accompanied by music by of the Holiday Pops.

Winterlights at The Stevens-Coolidge Place

Nov 29, 2018 - Dec 30, 2018 Stevens-Coolidge Place, 137 Andover Street North Andover, MA

These historic homes are lit with thousands of festive and shimmering lights in spectacular, custom-designed installations. In addition to spectacular displays of light, Winterlights evenings will feature children’s activities, weekend visits from Santa, local choral groups, and more! Seasonal refreshments will be available for purchase. Held Thursdays-Sundays.

Christmas Celebrations at the Eustis Estate -- Milton

Dec 1, 2018 - Dec 22, 2018 Eustis Estate, 1424 Canton Avenue Milton, MA

December 1 -- Santa Claus is coming. Take a photo with Santa and see the 1878 mansion decorated for Christmas. Enjoy cookies and cider in the cozy kitchen. Join a craft workshop at 10 a.m. noon-2 p.m.
December 2, 9 and 16 -- Christmas Cheers.Enjoy an evening of music and holiday cheer at the Eustis Estate. Explore the 1878 mansion, which has been lavishly decorated for Christmas, while live holiday music fills the halls. 5:30-7:30 p.m.
December 8 and 18 -- Christmas Tea. Celebrate the season with a Victorian afternoon tea. Relax in the beautifully decorated hall and enjoy tea sandwiches, scones, and other treats. 3-5 p.m.
December 8 and 22 -- Holiday Crafts and Storytime. Enjoy extra holiday cheer with special child-friendly activities while your family tours the Eustis Estate. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Home Alone in Concert

Dec 29, 2018 - Dec 30, 2018 Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Avenue Boston, MA

Experience this true holiday favorite as never before, on the big screen with live orchestral accompaniment and members of the Wellesley High School chorus.

Ice Sculpture Stroll at Boston Harborwalk

Dec 31, 2018 - Dec 31, 2018 Boston Harborwalk and other locations Boston, MA

The Downtown Waterfront and Harborwalk will be transformed into a magical, winter wonderland at the Ice Sculpture Stroll! Grab a map, visit all 16 ice sculptures. Come and see some of your seasonal favorites and some new designs hosted by Boston’s waterfront properties. There will be a Harborwalk Walking Tour leaving from the Leventhal Room at the Boston Harbor Hotel (1-2 p.m.); a Vintage Harbor Map Tour leaving from Boston Harbor Hotel (11 a.m.-2 p.m.); a Touch-a-Truck time at the Envoy Hotel, 70 Sleeper Street; and a First Day Hike from Old North Church to Bunker Hill Monument (noon to 2 p.m.)

Children & Families

Santa VIP 2018 at Heritage Museums and Gardens

Nov 23, 2018 - Dec 23, 2018 Heritage Museums & Gardens, 67 Grove Street Sandwich, MA

A limited number of tickets will be available for an exclusive Santa VIP experience, available by advance sale only. Families will be treated to early-bird parking, story time, cookies and hot chocolate, a meet and greet with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and carousel rides. Participating families may then experience the rest of Gardens Aglow’s holiday delights around the grounds for the remainder of the evening!

Lights and Holiday Music at the Greenway Carousel

Dec 6, 2018 - Jan 31, 2019 Carousel of the Rose Kennedy Greenway, Mercantile Street and Atlantic Avenue Boston, MA

Listen to your favorite holiday tunes set to the lights of the Greenway Carousel, while riding on one of New England's native creatures! Light shows run approximately 15 minutes, every 30 minutes from 4:45p until close! The Greenway Carousel is open Friday, Saturdays, and Sundays from 11a-7p and daily during the week after Christmas from 11a-7p, weather permitting.

Comedy

"A Nightmare on Elf Street"

Dec 7, 2018 - Dec 23, 2018 Machine Nightclub, 1254 Boylston Street Boston, MA

World's greatest "she-tective" Shirley Holmes is back, in the new Gold Dust Orphans Christmas Mystery Musical. Snarky drag drama with plenty of laughs. Not for children.

Historic

Christmas by Candlelight 2018

Nov 30, 2018 - Dec 23, 2018 Old Sturbridge Village, 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road Sturbridge, MA

Christmas by Candlelight 2018

Christmas by Candlelight at Old Sturbridge Village is an evening filled with New England holiday traditions, live musical performances, storytelling, sleigh rides, festive foods, a roaring bonfire, and strolls around the decorated Village Common. There is tree lighting every night! Dates: November 30; December 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22, and 23.

Museums

Lumina with Holidays at the Worcester Art Museum

Dec 1, 2018 - Jan 20, 2019 Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury Street Worcester, MA

Dec 1-Jan 20 Lumina, a floor-to-ceiling dynamic and immersive canvas, invites visitors to connect with works of art in a completely new way. Animated images of iconic works from Worcester Art Museum’s collection are projected onto dozens of hanging strips of illuminated silk. Visitors walk into and through the silk strips and become part of the shimmering color and light.

New Year's Eve

New Year’s Eve Party 2018 with Peter Wolf

Dec 31, 2018 - Dec 31, 2018 Cabot, 286 Cabot Street Beverly, MA

Peter Wolf returns! “A Cure for Loneliness,” Peter Wolf’s most recent album, demonstrates Wolf’s music passion. The show starts promptly at 8 p.m., so you’ll have time to get to your favorite haunt for the final toast to 2018!

Gala Nautical Dinner & Dance Party 2018

Dec 31, 2018 - Dec 31, 2018 Nantucket Hotel & Resort, 77 Easton Street Nantucket, MA

This holiday presents entertainer “Matty B” spinning a mix of upbeat party tunes. Resort chic or nautical attire is encouraged. Hors d’oeuvres and wine, a multi-course clambake and dessert will help ring in 2019.

New Year's Eve with Seth MacFarlane and the Boston Pops

Dec 31, 2018 - Dec 31, 2018 Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Avenue Boston, MA

Ring in the New Year with the Boston Pops on December 31 at 10:15pm. Party the night away with the Boston Pops and very special guest, Seth MacFarlane! There will be a cash bar and several dining options will be available.

New Year's Eve 2018 Black and White Masquerade - Foxborough, MA

Dec 31, 2018 - Dec 31, 2018 Bar Louie, 232 Patriot Place Foxborough, MA

The bottles will be popping, taps will be flowing, kitchen will be cooking and music will be pumping until last call. Join the party at Bar Louie Foxboro to say au revoir to 2018 in style.

Zoo Year’s Eve 2018

Dec 31, 2018 - Dec 31, 2018 Stone Zoo's Indoor Animal Discovery Center, 149 Pond Street Stoneham, MA

Put on your party hats and get friends and family ready to celebrate the Zoo Year with us! Warm up in the Animal Discovery Center with festive crafts and activities to celebrate in a wild way, and don’t miss the reindeer ice sculpture! Be sure to stay and enjoy early entry to ZooLights , open through 9 p.m.

First Night Sandwich 2018-19

Dec 31, 2018 - Dec 31, 2018 Many locations, with a finale at Town Hall Sandwich, MA

This festival of the art, music, and live performances is located in venues both inside and outside in and around Sandwich Village. A Reveler’s Parade is held at 8 p.m. In addition, there will be ice sculptures, lighted giants in the village and along Route 6A, children’s crafts, an enchanting fairy garden, jazz, blues, food vendors, storytelling, a Resolution Wall, Grand Finale Countdown with lighthouse, cannon fire, giant sparklers, and fireworks. The finale will be held at Town Hall, following the parade.

Performing Arts, Theater, Dance

Christmas Revels 2018

Dec 14, 2018 - Dec 23, 2018 Sanders Theatre Cambridge, MA

This year’s holiday celebration highlights the traditions of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. The 100-member ensemble will tell the story of the creation of the world through Swedish carols and Danish wassails, Norwegian ballads and swirling dances, Icelandic hymns and Finnish rune songs, and familiar touchstones like "Lord of the Dance." Dates: December 14-16 and 21-23

A Christmas Celtic Sojourn with Brian O'Donovan

Dec 18, 2018 - Dec 18, 2018 Hanover Theatre, 2 Southbridge Street Worcester, MA

Accomplished musicians and dancers in the Celtic tradition entertain with joy and high kicks during this multifaceted performance of Christmas traditions of Ireland. This performance includes live music on the Mighty Wurlitzer before the show.

A Christmas Celtic Sojourn with Brian O’Donovan

Dec 19, 2018 - Dec 19, 2018 Zeiterion Performing Arts Center, 684 Purchase Street New Bedford, MA

One of the highlights of the holiday performance calendar, A Christmas Celtic Sojourn returns to present expert singers, dancers and musicians presenting Celtic, Pagan, and Christian traditions to celebrate the music of the season.

Theater

“Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley”

Nov 28, 2018 - Dec 23, 2018 Merrimack Repertory Theatre, 50 East Merrimack Street Lowell, MA

Nov 28-Dec 23 This lush, period drama delights with elegant costumes, sparkling humor, and holiday spirit. A sequel to Jane Austen's ”Pride and Prejudice,” “Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley” revisits the Bennet sisters and features plain, bookish sister Mary, who spends her days playing piano and dreaming of independence. Will her chance encounter with a fellow intellect lead to happiness, or even love? Dates and times.

“The Nutcracker” with Boston Ballet

Nov 29, 2018 - Dec 30, 2018 Boston Opera House, 539 Washington Street Boston, MA

Boston Ballet's Nutcracker

There's nothing more magical than watching Clara, the Sugar Plum Fairy, and all the other dancers twirl around the stage as Tchaikovsky's beautiful music soars, and then walking out of Boston's Opera House after the show ends and perhaps seeing snowflakes softly falling. Dates, performance times, and tickets.