It never feels like the holidays to me unless snow is falling and there are caroling singers around every corner. I can’t imagine any better city to spend time in during this special season, as there’s a special magic in such a historic, hearty and vibrant place. Boston is used to the blustery weather and celebrates right through the flurries and chilly temperatures, inside and outdoors. Whether you live in the city or are just visiting, there are countless experiences to be had to get you in the festive spirit.
First Night Wanderings
Once all the presents have been opened and the stockings are emptied, the holiday celebrations are just heating up in the city. One of Boston’s best events in the winter months occurs over New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. It’s called First Night and takes place all over Boston, including various musical performances, ice sculptures, fireworks and ice skating. Much of the festivities is dedicated to families during the day, but night markets and food trucks open up the evening to a larger crowd.
Big Christmas Dinners
It seems there’s a massive influx of 5-course meals all over Boston that have a wonderfully festive theme. Either book a table on or near the holidays to forgo cooking, or simply enjoy a special meal any time during the month. Yvonne’s near Boston Common hosts a fantastic holiday lunch with special menu items that pay homage to its century-old history. Several high-end restaurants within hotels will serve pre-fixe menus on Christmas Day as well, including Bond at the Langham.
Boston has a strong performance art scene year-round, but it truly shines even brighter around the holidays. If you’re lucky enough to get tickets to the most popular shows, you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular display of top talent ringing in the season. The Nutcracker might be the most well-known, put on by the iconic Boston Ballet Company throughout the month of December. If you’re feeling a little naughty rather than nice during the holidays, you can head to Somerville to see the Slutcracker – a tongue-and-cheek version of the classic with a more burlesque themed show. The Black Nativity is also an alternative, popular holiday shows Bostonians love to experience. Other options are tour stops for Elf, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and A Celtic Christmas, which can all be seen at Boston’s top venues.
Most of the ceremonial tree lightings take place very early in the season, but glowing decorations can be enjoyed throughout the winter. Inside hotels, along shopper lanes and draped across historic homes are wonderful places to stroll during the holidays for lights. A favorite spot is in Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall, which boast more than 350,000 LED bulbs that are strung every Christmas. A dozen times a day, these lights put on a mini-show for passerby in sync to the Hallelujah Chorus music well-known by holiday fans worldwide.
Embrace the joy of Boston during the holidays through some fabulous happenings in and around town!