Get your fuzzy socks and hot cocoa ready. From local markets to holiday performances and festivals, Boston thrives in the wintertime.
Gather your family and friends to celebrate what makes the holiday season special with this guide featuring 46 winter events.
Snowport | Friday, Nov. 10-Sunday, Dec. 31 | Times vary | Seaport Common, 65 Northern Ave. | Free to attend | The Seaport is transformed into a winter wonderland with ~120 small business vendors, craft beverages, and tasty food.
Fenway Flea Winter Market | Saturday, Nov. 18-Sunday, Dec. 10 | 12-5 p.m. | Time Out Market, 401 Park Dr. | Free to attend | The pop-up Fenway market returns on winter weekends with vintage clothing, artisanal goods, and plenty of gifts.
SoWa Winter Festival | Friday, Nov. 24-Sunday, Dec. 17 | Times vary | SoWa Power Station, 550 Harrison Ave. | $10 | Grab your ticket at the door (no advance reservations are available) to enjoy live music and specialty cocktails while you shop at the indoor South End venue.
European Holiday Market at Trinktisch | Saturday, Nov. 18 | 12-5 p.m. | Trinktisch Beer Hall, 87 Leonard St., Belmont | Free to attend | Grab a draft and browse gifts from 20 women-owned businesses.
Night Shift Brewing Holiday Market | Sunday, Dec. 3 | 12-5 p.m. | Night Shift Brewing, 87 Santilli Hwy., Everett | Free to attend | Cheers to 15 local makers and artists while browsing for holiday gifts.
Harpoon Holiday Market | Saturday, Dec. 9 | 12-5 p.m. | Harpoon Brewery, 306 Northern Ave. | Free to attend | Grab a pint or two while you shop for everyone on your holiday list.
Winter Market | Saturday, Dec. 9-Sunday, Dec. 10 | 11 a.m.-4 p.m. | South Plaza, 350 Kendall St., Cambridge | Free to attend | The Cambridge winter wonderland will host over 30 local vendors with crafts and goodies, plus ice skating and a pop-up brewery.
Harvard Square Holiday Fair | Friday, Dec. 15-Sunday, Dec. 17, and Thursday, Dec. 21-Saturday, Dec. 23 | Times vary | 1 Brattle Sq., Cambridge | Free to attend | Shop original and affordable gifts at the high-energy Cambridge marketplace.
Time Out Holiday Market | Saturday, Dec. 16 | 12-5 p.m. | Time Out Market, 401 Park St. | Free to attend | Come hungry to this market with food vendors and cocktails to sip while you shop local women owned businesses.
Boston Women’s Holiday Market | Sunday, Dec. 17 | 12-5 p.m. | The Charles River Speedway, 525 Western Ave. | Free to attend | Shop more than 30 businesses at Garage B and utilize the gift wrapping station.
ZooLights | Friday, Nov. 17-Sunday, Jan. 7 | 4-9:30 p.m. | Stone Zoo, 149 Pond St., Stoneham | $12.95 for non-members | View illuminated large-scale animal lantern displays and stroll through the festively decorated Yukon Creek.
Holiday Lights Spectacular | Friday, Nov. 24-Sunday, Dec. 31 | 5-9:30 p.m. | Roger Williams Zoo, 1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence, RI | $12-$14 | Take a drive down to Providence to see more than 3.5 million illuminated lights.
Holiday Trellis Lighting | Monday, Nov. 20 | 5 p.m. | Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park, 100 Atlantic Ave. | Free | Catch the iconic blue lights with cookies, hot chocolate, and clam chowder.
Faneuil Hall Tree Lighting | Tuesday, Nov. 21 | 4-7 p.m. | Faneuil Hall Marketplace | Free | Head downtown to see the tree lighting ceremony outside of Quincy Market.
Martin’s Park Ship Lighting | Saturday, Nov. 25 | 4-6 p.m. | Martin’s Park, 64 Sleeper St. | Free | We hear Santa will be arriving by boat and Betty The Yeti will make a special appearance inside the Seaport park.
Anderson Tree Lighting | Sunday, Nov. 26 | 2-5:30 p.m. | Logan Square, 1179 River St., Hyde Park | Free | Bring the family for performances, ornament decorating, and hot chocolate.
Boston Common Tree Lighting | Thursday, Nov. 30 | 6-8 p.m. | Boston Common Visitor Center, 139 Tremont St. | Free | Check out the lighting of the city’s tree that comes all the way from Nova Scotia.
Commonwealth Avenue Mall Lighting | Thursday, Nov. 30 | 8 p.m. | 15 Commonwealth Ave. | Free | See the historic Back Bay avenue light up right after the Boston Common event.
Charlesgate Lights | Thursday, Nov. 30 | Dusk | Charlesgate Park, Commonwealth Avenue between Charlesgate East and Charlesgate West | Free | The Emerald Necklace Conservancy will light 10 Japanese zelkova trees at the park.
Light Up Seaport | Friday, Dec. 1 | 5-9 p.m. | Seaport Common, 85 Northern Ave. | Free | Watch the Seaport area glow up and peep the calendar for details on the other neighborhood festivities.
Fenway Tree Lighting | Wednesday, Dec. 6 | 6 p.m. | Outside Kelleher Rose Garden, across from 77 Park Dr. | Free | Bring items for the Winter Clothing Drive, take photos with the Red Sox’s Wally and Tessie and enjoy performances from from Boston Children’s Chorus and Grooversity with light refreshments.
Holiday Pops | Friday, Dec. 1-Sunday, Dec. 24 | Times vary | Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Ave. | $50-$147 | View the holiday performance from Boston Symphony Orchestra’s beloved group and conductor Keith Lockhart.
“The Nutcracker” | Friday, Nov. 24-Sunday, Dec. 31 | Times vary | Boston Ballet, 19 Clarendon St. | $25-$425 | Witness the dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and swoon-worthy sets.
“Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical” | Friday, Nov. 24-Sunday, Nov. 26 | Times vary | Shubert Theatre, Boch Center, 270 Tremont St. | $43-$110 | Enjoy a musical spin on the classic Christmas tale.
“A Christmas Carol” | Thursday, Dec. 7-Saturday, Dec. 23 | Times vary | North Shore Music Theatre, 54 Dunham Rd., Beverly | $30-$90 | Don’t be a Scrooge — head to the North Shore to see this award-winning production.
Mariah Carey | Monday, Dec. 11 | 7:30 p.m. | TD Garden, 100 Legends Way | Prices vary | See the self-proclaimed Queen of Christmas with her Christmas extravaganza “Merry Christmas One And All.”
“Urban Nutcracker” | Saturday, Dec. 16-Saturday, Dec. 23 | Times vary | Shubert Theatre, Boch Center, 270 Tremont St. | $29-$125 | See the modern take of Anthony Williams’ production that combines winter scenes from a present-day Boston, with the rhythms of Duke Ellington and classical ballet.
“Elf” In Concert | Friday, Dec. 22 + Saturday, Dec. 23 | Wang Theatre, Boch Center, 270 Tremont St. | $60-$207 | “Buddy the Elf, what’s your favorite color?” — This show will be a musical experience based on story from the holiday movie.
Holiday Parties, Festivals, and Events
Christmas Festival of Lights | Thursday, Nov. 9-Sunday, Dec. 31 | Times vary | Edaville Family Theme Park, 5 Pine St., Carver | $13 | All aboard this festival with railroads, amusement rides, and a European-style Christmas market.
The Enchanted Village | Friday, Nov. 10-Sunday, Dec. 31 | Times vary | Jordan’s Furniture, 100 Stockwell Dr., Avon | Free to attend | Head about 20 miles south of Boston to experience this historic Christmas village.
Historic Holiday Stroll | Friday, Nov. 17-Saturday, Dec. 30 | 3:30 p.m. | Boston Common Visitor Information Center, 139 Tremont St. | $10-$20 | Walk part of the Freedom Trail on select Fridays and Saturdays to learn how Boston’s traditions evolved.
Christmas by Candlelight | Friday, Nov. 24-Saturday, Dec. 30 | 2-8 p.m. | Old Sturbridge Village, 1 Old Sturbridge Village Rd., Sturbridge | $15-$45 | Explore the decorated village, watch a lighting ceremony, and stroll through the Christmas Tree Trail and Christmas Wish Bridge.
Boston Jolly Jaunt 5K | Saturday, Dec. 2 | 8-11 a.m. | Boston Common | $35-$40 | Register for a fun 5K run to benefit local Special Olympics athletes.
Christmas in Salem | Saturday, Dec. 2-Sunday, Dec. 3 | Times vary | Salem Armory Visitor Center, 2 New Liberty St., Salem | $35 for members, $40 for non-members | This year’s holiday house tour will feature homes dating back hundreds of years and professionally decorated.
Mayor’s Enchanted Trolley Tour | Saturday, Dec. 2-Sunday, Dec. 3 | Times vary | Locations vary | Free | Enjoy visits with Santa, tree lighting events, and more on the Mayor’s festive tour throughout each of Boston’s neighborhoods.
Bad Moms Brunch “Holiday Edition” | Sunday, Dec. 3, Sunday, Dec. 10, and Sunday, Dec. 17 | 10 a.m.-1 p.m. | Rebel’s Guild, The Revere Hotel, 200 Stuart St. | Price of purchase | Enjoy a holly jolly Sunday Funday with cocktails, brunch bites, and a screening of “Bad Moms Christmas.”
Cocoa and Carols Holiday Cruise | Sunday, Dec. 3-Saturday, Dec. 30 | Times vary | 60 Rowes Wharf | $64 | Cozy up with hot cocoa and treats on a luxury yacht decked out in holiday decor.
Christmas Tea with Santa | Saturday, Dec. 9 | 10 a.m. | The Inn at Hastings Park, 2027 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington | $85 for adults, $60 for kids | Sip some tea, decorate gingerbread cookies, and write letters to the North Pole with Santa.
Krampusnacht | Saturday, Dec. 9 | 12-10 p.m. | Notch Brewery and Taproom, 525 Western Ave., Brighton | Free to attend | Krapmus is coming to Brighton with a celebration featuring a costume parade and contest, holiday card making, and a light show.
High Street Place Holiday Party | Saturday, Dec. 16 | 4-8 p.m. | High Street Place Food Hall, 100 High St. | Free to attend | Visit the downtown food hall to meet Santa — this family friendly event will include kid specials, hot cocoa, and cookies.
NYE and Other Winter Events
First Night Boston | Sunday, Dec. 31-Monday, Jan. 1 | 12 p.m.-12 a.m. | City Hall Plaza, 1 City Hall Sq. | Free to attend | Boston’s biggest New Year’s Eve tradition will return for the 48th year — performance details are coming soon.
Waterfront Ice Sculpture Stroll | Saturday, Dec. 31 | 1-5 p.m. | Boston Harborwalk | Free | Wind your way down the trail of interactive ice sculptures, all the way from Charlestown to the Seaport.
Boston New Year’s Eve Party | Saturday, Dec. 31 | 8 p.m.-12 a.m. | Music City Queen Boston Riverboat, 60 Rowes Wharf | $89-$169 | It’ll be a throwback to the roaring 20s on this speakeasy-themed party cruise.
New Year’s Day Boat Trip | Monday, Jan. 1 | 12-4 p.m. | 60 Rowes Wharf, Boston | $0-$30 | Take a 45-minute trip to Thompson Island with Boston Harbor Now to explore the meadows, forests, beaches, and 40-acre salt marsh.
New Year’s Day Birdwatching | Monday, Jan. 1 | 8-11 a.m. | Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, 87 Perkins Row, Topsfield | $28 for members, $33 for non-members | Celebrate the beauty of winter and its birds with a guided look at a variety of inland habitats searching for all things with feathers.
Hike into the New Year | Saturday, Jan. 6 | 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m. | Broad Meadow Brook Conservation Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, 414 Massasoit Rd., Worcester | $10 | Start the year off on the right foot with a guided hike or snowshoe through the sanctuary trails.