With the holidays and the new year sneaking up on us, December is one of the busiest times of the year for Boston. Whether you’re in the mood for holiday festivities or something more casual, there’s something for everyone to enjoy this December. Read on to find out the best plans for the month!
1-3. Enjoy soothing holiday classics by candlelight
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 Jewish composers for Hanukkah. 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: Holiday Special featuring “The Nutcracker” and More at Temple Ohabei Shalom
- Candlelight: Holiday Special featuring “The Nutcracker” and More at Old South Church
- Candlelight Hanukkah: A Spotlight on Jewish Composers feat. Gershwin and More
4. Land on the moon at this one-of-a-kind space exhibit
Ever wondered what it’s like to land on the moon? Now you don’t have to wonder, but you can experience what it’s actually like with this immersive space exhibit opening in mid-December! Explore over 300 original NASA items, unleash your inner astronaut at an Apollo mission control center, and get ready for the space adventure of a lifetime!
Find it at 121 Webster Ave Chelsea, MA 02150
5. Go on a Safari without ever leaving the city
Winter blues got you down?
Escape to a warmer “climate” without the travel hassle, treat yourself to Dino Safari: A Walk-Thru Adventure! Explore over 20 realistic animatronic creatures for a thrilling experience set in a historic safari.
It’s a great space to take the kids and time travel all without ever leaving the city! Enjoy the entire experience from Faneuil Hall! And while you’re there make sure to check out the Faneuil Hall holiday tree!
Find it at 1 Faneuil Hall Sq, Boston, MA 02109
6. Explore all of the city’s most dazzling holiday lights
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.
7. Learn how to make Italian food like the pros at a cooking class
Get out of your kitchen comfort zone and take an Italian cooking class with your friends, family, or loved ones. Not only will you have fun and eat fantastic food, you’ll also be able to recreate the dishes afterwards as many times as you want.
Find it at 19 Kingston St, Somerville, MA 02144
8. …or if you don’t feel like cooking, take a food tour
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.
9. Get in the holiday mood at the Back Bay Ball
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
10. Catch fireworks twice at The Common
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!
11-18. Get your holiday shopping done at a local market
‘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!
19. Catch an AMC theatre movie at half the price
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!
20. Check out ‘Snowport’ if you haven’t already
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
21. Travel to a real-life North Pole only 20 minutes from Boston
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
22. Enjoy a festive gingerbread brunch and build the city’s best house
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
23. Attend an official lighting ceremony
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:
24. Try your hand (or foot) at ice skating
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.
25. Celebrate New Year’s Eve in style at the Resolution Ball
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