Christmas & Holiday Events 2022-23

New England’s lively cities, snug towns, and snow-swept mountains are a perfect backdrop for Christmas 2022, holiday celebrations and traditions. Come enjoy classic favorites, like stage performances of “A Christmas Carol” 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.

Christmas in Stowe - VisitNewEngland Holiday Events Calendar 2021-22

Find the dates you plan to travel or simply search the full events list below.

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Festival of Illumination 2022: Once Upon at Time - September 1 to December 31 at Southwick's Zoo in Mendon, MA
Begin your adventure at Plymouth Rock this spring - See Plymouth, MA!

All Ages

Winter Wonderland with the Festival of Illumination – Mendon MA

Nov 12, 2022 - Dec 31, 2022 Southwick's Zoo, 2 Southwick Street, Mendon, MA

Festival of Illumination 2022

Two amazing events come together at Southwick's Zoo: Winter Wonderland with the Festival of Illumination, creating an extraordinary and memorable holiday experience for guests of all ages. Be immersed in the breathtaking world of over a million dazzling holiday lights and enchanting festival lanterns, showcasing fairytales, legends, and myths through the incredible handcrafted displays.

ZooLights – Stoneham MA

Nov 18, 2022 - Jan 8, 2023 Stone Zoo, 149 Pond Street, Stoneham, MA

ZooLights 2021

Explore a sparkling winter wonderland at Stone Zoo. Walk along a tree-lined path illuminated by thousands of twinkling lights, ride on the carousel and Jungle Fun ride, or meander through the Yukon Creek, home to black bears, a bald eagle, a Canada lynx, reindeer and arctic foxes. Plus, enjoy a few large-scale lantern displays and, beginning on November 30th, guests can also meet Mrs. Claus. A fun time for the entire family.

Christmas by Candlelight – Sturbridge MA

Nov 25, 2022 - Dec 30, 2022 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, off Route 20 Sturbridge, MA

Christmas by Candlelight 2022

Explore the grounds of Old Sturbridge Village, decorated for the festive season, at this year’s Christmas by Candlelight. Discover historic holiday traditions including punching tin, knitting stockings, and mulling wine. Walk along the Christmas Tree Trail and across the Christmas Wish Bridge, see a nightly tree lighting ceremony, and visit with Santa. Guests can also enjoy yummy holiday treats, stories by the bonfire, and live music. Dates: November 25, 26, 27, and December 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 27, 28, 29, and 30, 2022.


City of Boston Ballet Presents “Urban Nutcracker” – Boston MA

Dec 17, 2022 - Dec 23, 2022 Shubert Theater, 265 Tremont Street, Boston, MA

Celebrate the season, and the rich diversity of Boston, at the 20th anniversary season of Anthony Williams’ “Urban Nutcracker,” performed by the City of Boston Ballet. Set in the wintery streets of downtown Boston, this version of “The Nutcracker” blends the classic music of Tchaikovsky and the rhythms of Duke Ellington. Classic ballet choreography meets hip-hop, tap, jazz, and flamenco dance forms. Performance schedule.

Safe Haven Ballet's "The Nutcracker" – Beverly MA

Dec 18, 2022 - Dec 18, 2022 13 Wallis Street, Beverly, MA

Safe Haven Ballet presents their spirited, full-length ballet of The Nutcracker to The Larcom Theatre. This dynamic performance includes all your favorite characters, including a strong-minded Clara to the eccentric Drosselmeyer, the spooky Rats, and our beloved Sugarplum Fairy danced by artistic director Lissa Curtis. 


Gardens Aglow – Sandwich MA

Nov 26, 2022 - Dec 26, 2022 Heritage Museums & Gardens, 67 Grove Street, Sandwich, MA

In November and December, the Heritage Museum and Gardens transform into a sparkling winter wonderland. Gardens Aglow features illuminated garden paths and outdoor spaces, holiday music, scavenger hunts, marshmallow roasting, ice carving demonstrations, lawn games, a food truck, and more. Open most Thursdays-Sundays.

New Year's Eve

First Night Chatham – Chatham MA

Dec 31, 2022 - Dec 31, 2022 Various locations, Chatham, MA

Celebrate the New Year in Chatham. This year’s celebration is entirely outdoors and slightly downsized from a regular celebration, but it will be just as fun and festive. Take a town photo and then enjoy a family-friendly, alcohol free festival on Main Street. Visit the activities page for details.

First Night 2023 – Northampton MA

Dec 31, 2022 - Jan 1, 2023 Various locations, Northampton, MA

Celebrate the New Year with the city of Northampton. Enjoy a dazzling fireworks show at 6:15 p.m. and more than 90 performances by over 60 different artists at 14 venues across downtown. Toward midnight, there will be a “ball-raising” outside of the Hotel Northampton.


The Polar Express™ Ride – Hyannis MA

Nov 25, 2022 - Dec 23, 2022 Hyannis Depot, 252 Main Street, Hyannis, MA

All aboard the Polar Express™. This winter, the Cape Cod Central Railroad transforms into the beloved children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg. During an hour-long train trip, families will be whisked through a winter wonderland to meet Santa Claus. Enjoy festive music, dancing chefs, cookies, hot cocoa, and other magical performances. This event sells out quickly, so get your tickets ASAP.