With the holidays and the New Year sneaking up on us, Boston in December is one of the busiest times. But that’s because there’s and abundance of splendid things to do in Boston this December! Whether you’re in the mood for classic holiday festivities like tree lightings or something more casual like holiday markets or snow-filled excursions, there’s something for everyone to enjoy this December. Read on to find out the best plans for the month!
Calm your mind and experience classical music in a whole new light with these sensational concerts located in magical venues in Boston. Throughout this winter, the Candlelight Concert series will feature a wide variety of themed concerts, from The Nutcracker to a spotlight on holiday favorites. Hosted at hidden gems around the city, the venues will be illuminated with flameless candles, creating an unforgettable ambiance. Highlights of the concert series this month include:
- Candlelight: Best Hits & Christmas Favorites performed by Vitamin String Quartet
- Candlelight: Holiday Special featuring “The Nutcracker” and More
Perhaps the most exciting and wonderful part of December is the one staring right at us, holiday lights. Take a walking tour of Boston’s Common, Public Garden and Commonwealth Avenue or venture out of the city for a drive-thru light show like “Magic of Lights” or Winterlights. There are so many dazzling ways to see holiday lights in and around the city and one thing’s for sure–it never gets old.
3. Visit this festive restaurant in the quaint town of Mystic
A trip to The Helmsman is like living out your Hallmark movie fairytale. The space is offering a fun holiday-themed menu to match the quaint charm of the small Connecticut town. Restaurant guests are able to soak in the holiday ambiance in one of the most festive, winter towns in the U.S.
Make a day trip out of it as The Helsman and Mystic are only 90-minutes from the city, or even better, stay at the hotel property that houses The Helmsman and ring in the New Year with a stroll on the sparkling Mystic River.
Food tours are the perfect way to explore the best offerings of Boston’s food scene. Instead of stressing about what to eat for dinner, go on a self-guided mystery picnic tour around the city to have a totally unique culinary experience. It’s the perfect combination of adventure, romance, and delicious.
Nothing says ‘holiday spirit’ like a fantastically festive party. On New year’s Eve, the Westin Copley Place will be hosting a fabulous ball, complete with formal attire, an optional full course Italian dinner, a killer DJ, and a dance floor. Reserve your tickets here and start planning your outfit soon!
Find it at Westin Hotel Copley Place, 10 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02116
No need to wait until the fourth of July, the Boston Common will light up with fireworks ablaze on December 1 for the annual Boston Common tree lighting and again on December 31 for First Night in Boston. The beaming reds, oranges, blues, and greens will bedazzle the city as the Spirit of America rings in the holiday season and new year!
‘Tis the season for shopping local. The holidays are just around the corner, and there’s no better way to shop for presents than to visit a festive holiday market and support local businesses from the Boston area. We’ve compiled a list of 8 jolly holiday markets happening in and around Boston this holiday season — check them out!
You tell us you’re paying full price for movie tickets?
Hold up, as we appreciate all of our Boston Uncovered readers, we’ll fill you in on a little secret. We’ve uncovered an offering so good; it can’t be missed! Get AMC movie tickets at nearly half the price to be used for any movie at any participating theatre.
Don’t ever let ticket prices be the reason you skip theatre nights again. Catch a film like Spirited (which was filmed in Boston) that will get you right in the December groove!
There is always something happening in Snowport. The Holiday Stroll and tree lighting will take place in early December. And you can hang out at the winter village until the end of the year. Make sure to snap a pick with Betty the Yeti and cozy up to a nice meal at one of these Seaport restaurants! You can even finish off the night at a private rooftop igloo!
Find it at 65 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210
Animals, lights and holiday magic await at Stone Zoo’s “Zoolights.” The 26-acre zoo is complete with reindeer and glowing leopards, it will leave you touched by holiday magic!
Find “ZooLights” at Stone Zoo, 149 Pond St, Stoneham, MA 02180
This Beacon Hill restaurant is throwing a festive brunch offering complete with a massive dessert– your very own pre-assembled gingerbread house. You get the fun part of decorating your house with an endless supply of icing and delicious candies. May the best house win (although it’s not a contest)!
Find it at 75 Chestnut St, Boston
November kicks off the official holiday season in Boston with the lighting of the Faneuil Hall tree and Christpher Columbus trellis, which by the way are two lovely destinations to enjoy holiday lights! Come December, there are even more lighting celebrations to attend! Every lighting ceremony has its own unique charm, but you’re guaranteed to find a few special guests like Mayor Michelle Wu or Olympian Ashley Wagner, free bites, and a cheerful crowd at these ceremonies:
Speaking of skating… ice skating is the quintessential holiday activity in Boston. December might be the start of some miserable cold, but hey, on the bright side you can finally enjoy an outdoor skate at some of the best ice-skating rinks in Boston like the nationally acclaimed Frog Pond, or the adorable 401 Park.
Set the bar high for 2023 and start your New Year at a grandiose ball, complete with a full-course Tuscan dinner, dancing, and the most glamorous group of young Bostonians you can dream of. The Resolution Ball is Boston’s largest and longest-running New Year’s eve bash—and also it’s the most glamorous, hosted in the prestigious Westin Hotel Grand Ballroom, one of the most upscale hotels in Boston.
Take part in a silent auction at the ball, with proceeds going to The Ellie Fund.
Find it at Westin Hotel Copley Place, 10 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02116
15. Unleash your inner superhero at Warby Parker
Peter Parker, meet Warby Parker! The booming glasses brand is bringing its limited-edition Marvel collection to its Boston stores. Shop eyeglasses and sunglasses inspired your favorite characters from Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. Warby Parker is also dropping new two-tone frames and much more for the holidays!
16. Grab some limited-edition treats from Kane’s
Hanukkah is December 7-15 and Kane’s has the perfect sweet treat made just for the holiday celebrations.
For a limited time, Kane’s will prepare Sufganiyot donuts in honor of Hannukah from Thursday, December 7, through Friday, December 15. This traditional holiday dessert is a black raspberry jelly-filled donut, with Kane’s famous light yeast dough sprinkled with powdered sugar and an extra dollop of jelly on top. The donuts are available for pre-order by the dozen for $25 for pickup at all Kane’s locations. Donuts can be ordered online.
17. Deck the Halls with Boston Landing’s ‘Holiday Stroll’
Boston Landing will be transformed into a winter wonderland for a kick-off to the holiday season featuring shopping at Boston Landing retailers, crafts, carolers, special visitors from the North Pole, and more!
Send a letter to Santa, enjoy an essential oil workshop with Cambridge Naturals, go candlepin bowling at American Flatbread and more! The same day there will also be a toy drive for the kids at Franciscan Children’s in Brighton.
The Holiday Stroll is Saturday, December 2 from 11 AM to 3 PM!
18. Shop for a good cause at the Junior League of Boston’s Holiday Market
The Junior League Holiday Market is a unique and festive shopping experience, offering Boston locals the opportunity to indulge in a day of holiday cheer, delectable treats, and, of course, a curated selection of products from local businesses. All proceeds from the Holiday Market will benefit the League’s community and training programs, which work to advance the economic empowerment of women and girls in the Greater Boston area. Reserve your visit online.
Find the holiday market on Saturday, December 9th, at District Hall (75 Northern Avenue) in the Seaport from 11 am to 4 pm.
19. Try a traditional ‘Feast of the Seven Fishes’ at the North End’s Prezza
Prezza, the North End mainstay, celebrates the ‘Feast of the Seven Fishes’ with a special menu served every Friday. Every Friday of December from noon to 10 PM, Prezza will be open for lunch with a special menu that showcases Chef Anthony Caturano’s take on classic preparations of seafood. As you guessed, there will be seven fish courses to feast on:
- Fluke Crudo
- Fried Smelts
- Fried Oysters
- Salted Cod Cake
- White Anchovy Crositini
- Grilled Octopus Salad
- Bay Scallop Spaghetti
It’s a seafood lover’s dream come true!
20. Enter a wonderous Toy Shop at Hummingbird Books
The charming Chestnut Hill bookstore transforms into a winter wonderland for the holidays! The Hummingbird Books’ kids section transforms into a charming pop-up toy shop, offering a whimsical shopping experience to delight the whole family! The book shop will also offer special holiday gift-wrapping with donations benefiting over a dozen local charities. Stop by on Saturday, December 16 from 10-11 AM for a special Storytime with Santa!
DW French offers a tempting special on Tuesdays. Order Moules Frites (mussels with fries) or Steak Frites, and enjoy limitless amounts of fries, bread, and salad alongside your entree! It’s the perfect cozy dish to kick off winter in the city.
Fenway transformed into a winter wonderland for the month of December! Go ice-skating at The Rink at 401 Park this month! After, you can relax at the adjacent ski chalet at the Fenway Tree Farm or cozy up with some cocoa from The Station! Swing by the Kelleher Rose Garden to check out the Luminary Walk and Fenway holiday tree!
If you prefer to spend December in a warm and cozy indoor winter wonderland, there is no better spot than the Four Seasons One Dalton! The property transformed into a totally festive and chic holiday haven. From the dazzling trees all over the property (which make the perfect photo op btw) to the delicious holiday menus at Trifecta and One + One, you have every holiday craving and desire accounted for here.
Don’t skip the incredible “Love is a Decadent Chocolate Wonderland,” where you can build your perfect hot cocoa from a milk chocolate or white chocolate peppermint base and top it with plush marshmallows, dulce pearls and more!
The Cape Cod Railway transformed into “The Polar Express” for the holidays. Carts are decked out to resemble the classic holiday movie, and winter pajamas come highly encouraged. The 1.5-hour route journeys to an undisclosed location known as the “North Pole.” You’ll come across dazzling reindeer and Santa on your trip while being entertained by elves and more!
Boston is one of the best cities for holiday and New Year festivities. There’s an endless number of things to do, and on December 31, these spots are just only getting started! Close off December on a high note with friends, family, and fellow Bostonians whether for our First Night!