Boston is known for having a small town feel with all the perks of big city life. As a college community, there are plenty of venues, clubs, and historical landmarks. It is home to Fenway Park, The Museum of Fine Arts and Freedom Trail.
An exciting place like Boston is sure to be chock full of things you can do at Christmastime. Here are some you will want to check out.
Visit Quincy Market
Quincy Market is a historic market complex in downtown Boston. It was constructed from 1824 to 1826 and it was named for Mayor Josaiah Quincy who organized the construction without any tax or debt. It features impressive architecture, and it is a center for eating and shopping. There is even a comedy club on the bottom floor.
Quincy Market runs into Faneuil Hall, another terrific marketplace. In conjunction, the two locations host the Blink Tree Lighting Ceremony. This includes appearances by Santa Claus, The City of Boston Community Choir and holiday singers.
But the main event occurs when the mayor flips the switch on the 80-foot tree located at Marketplace Center adjacent to Faneuil Hall Marketplace. The lighting marks the start of Blink!, a six week state of the art light and sound display that incorporates over 350,000 LED lights. There are also daily live performances between 4:30 and 9 PM.
The event also marks the start of the New England Patriots Annual Holiday Toy Drive. Faneuil Hall will serve as a drop of location for toys guests drop off for needy children.
Check out Zoo Lights at Stone Zoo
Every year, Stone Zoo transforms into a winter wonderland with paths lit with twinkling lights. Walk through the zoo’s Yukon Creek to see it beautifully lit while saying hello to black bears, a bald eagle, a Canada lynx, arctic foxes and even reindeer.
There are also large-scale lantern displays and visits from Santa.
Go Ice Skating at City Hall Plaza
There are plenty of ice-skating destinations in Boston, but City Hall Plaza’s custom skating path makes it one of the most fun. Skaters can skate around the rink or through the winding path that extends from the center. After you’re done skating, be sure to take a stroll around the nearby area which is one of the most beautiful parts of the city.
Tree Lighting at the Common
The Common is a public park in downtown Boston. Every year, the mayor is on hand for a tree lighting ceremony that includes other attractions.
The ceremony has been known to kick off with a free figure skating show at the Common’s Frog Pond. The Skating Club of Boston entertains with figure skaters, soloists, groups and child skaters to kick off the festivities.
Then the lighting ceremony takes place. The mayor flicks the switch which sets off lights throughout the park in sequence before eventually lighting the tree. The mayor is joined on stage by members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Santa Claus, Rudolph and Frosty.
There are also live performances and tasty seasonal snacks on hand. The whole event closes out with a pyrotechnic display.
Take a Ride on the Holiday Lights Trolley
The Old Town Trolley Holiday Lights and Sights Tour is a can’t miss experience. You will ride around the city to check out the holiday sights and enjoy carolers led by a group dressed in colonial attire or ugly Christmas sweaters. All children are given a treat and a Christmas hat and there are snacks for the adults as well.
For a slightly more adult version, you can also ride on the BYOB Holiday Trolley for an extra dose of holiday cheer.
See the Boston Pops
The Boston Pops Orchestra is an offshoot of the Boston Symphony Orchestra specializing in light classical and popular music. At Christmastime, they transform into the Holiday Pops performing fun, seasonal music across town. Check out their web site to find out where they’ll be when you’re in the area.
See The Nutcracker at the Boston Opera House
If you have your heart set on checking out the Nutcracker this Christmas season, you’re in luck. The Boston Ballet offers performances at the Boston Opera House, known for being one of the best venues in the Northeast. Performances are scheduled frequently throughout the holiday season so you shouldn’t have a problem catching the show when you’re in town.
Take a Walk Through Back Bay
Back Bay is one of the most picturesque neighborhoods in Boston and it looks even more beautiful when it is lit up with holiday lights and covered with snow. For the ultimate route, start out in Boston Common and come back through Back Bay moving towards the neighboring town of Beacon Hill.
Visit Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park
Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park is a gorgeous place to visit year-round, but it is even more lovely at Christmastime when it is lit up with twinkling blue lights. There are several bars and restaurants located along the waterfront so you can hop in for drinks or food if you get cold.
Take a Cruise on the Classic Harbor Line
The Classic Harbor Line specializes in themed cruises during the holiday season that include jazz brunches and holiday dinners. They take place on a 1920’s style motor yacht making them an upscale seasonal mini-getaway.
See the Slutcracker
You might want to leave the children home for this one. This adult version of the Nutcracker incudes naughty clowns and characters like the Dildo Prince. It may come as no surprise that it sells out almost every year. Be sure to reserve tickets early for this one.
Boston is a great town to visit but it’s especially fun during the holidays. What will you be doing when you’re in town?