Through December 23
Teddy Bear Tea :: This favorite New England event series includes a festive afternoon tea at the iconic Bristol Restaurant and Bar, accompanied by a reading of a favorite holiday children’s book by a Boston celebrity. Four Seasons Hotel Boston’s furry resident, Truffles the Bear, makes daily appearances to the delight of families and young guests. More than a holiday event, Teddy Bear Tea is a special community benefit initiative of Four Seasons Hotel Boston, teaching young guests the spirit of charity. Guests are invited to bring a teddy bear to donate at Teddy Bear Tea, with Four Seasons gifting all collected bears to local Boston organizations that benefit children in need. Each year, Four Seasons Hotel Boston collects over 5,000 bears for Boston area children, with over 100,000 bears collected to date.
November 18–January 1
Enchanted Village at Jordan’s Furniture (Avon) :: The tradition lives on! Once called the Enchanted Village of St. Nicholas, the holiday display was created in 1958 for Jordan Marsh Downtown Crossing. It has passed through City Hall Plaza (late 90s) and the Hynes Convention Center (2006-2009), and now is at Jordan’s Furniture in Avon, where it has been restored and is on display. The surviving collection includes 59 mechanical figurines and 18 vignettes.
Faneuil Hall Tree Lighting Spectacular (Boston | 2–8 p.m.) :: Join thousands of Bostonians in lighting the city’s first holiday tree of the season! The stage will be filled with entertainment starting at 2 p.m. leading up to the live broadcast on WBZ-TV from 7–8 p.m.
Annual Lighting of the Trellis at Christopher Columbus Park (Boston) :: Everyone is welcome at the annual lighting of the wonderful blue and white trellis. There will be music, fun, snacks, and good cheer.
November 24–December 31
Boston Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” (Boston) :: Let Mikko Nissinen’s “The Nutcracker” capture your imagination and transport you to a magical world of brave toy soldiers and dancing candy canes. Follow Clara as she embarks on her journey filled with colorful characters, breathtaking costumes, and majestic scenery. From the captivating dance of the sugar plum fairy to the iconic snow scene, this enchanting holiday classic — set to the beloved music of Tchaikovsky — continues to enthrall audiences of all ages.
Charles Hotel Tree Lighting (Cambridge | 4–6 p.m.) :: Join for the lighting of the Harvard Square holiday trees! Shake Shack will be providing complimentary beverages. At 4 p.m., children can help decorate the trees with ornaments and bow ties from Vineyard Vines. Santa Claus’ jazz band will perform at 5 p.m., and the tree lighting will take place at 5:30 p.m., followed by a vista from Santa! The performances will continue until 6:30 p.m., allowing everyone a chance to visit with Santa.
Copley Square Tree Lighting (Boston | 5–6 p.m.) :: Mayor Martin J. Walsh, the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, and The Friends of Copley Square welcome the holidays with the annual Copley Square tree lighting. The free event will feature appearances by Mayor Walsh, NECN’s Jenny Johnson, Santa Claus, and Rudolph, along with musical performances by the Boston Children’s Chorus, vocalist Marchelle Jacques-Yarde, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and Berklee College of Music student Mahamma Germain of Hyde Park. In addition, the U.S. Postal Service will unveil its new holiday stamp.
November 29–January 1
Blink! (Boston | 4:30 p.m.) :: Blink! is the state-of-the-art light and sound extravaganza that transforms every inch of America’s first open marketplace, and it will return to Faneuil Hall for a fourth year this November. This magical and unforgettable light show uses over 350,000 LED lights to illuminate Boston’s skyline — to the song stylings of the Holiday Pops — in a seven-minute spectacle that runs continuously each evening. The lights dance seamlessly to the music through every inch of Faneuil Hall, including the largest Christmas tree in the northeast. The light and sound show runs every half hour beginning at 4:30 p.m. by “The Big Tree” at Marketplace Center and then runs every half hour beginning at 5 p.m. by “The Three Trees” in the North Market of Faneuil Hall Marketplace.
First Light Brookline (Brookline | 5–8 p.m.) :: First Light started 18 years ago in Brookline’s Washington Square, when several businesses came together to spread holiday cheer by hanging snowflakes in their storefront windows. These glowing flakes illuminated the square, signaling the start of the holiday season. Over the years, First Light has grown into the town’s annual winter festival, showcasing the talents of local artists, musicians, and performers at businesses and other venues throughout Brookline.
Frog Pond Skating Spectacular and Tree Lighting (Boston | 5–6 p.m.) :: Join the Skating Club of Boston at the Boston Common Frog Pond for a free world-class figure skating ice show featuring national and international figure skaters, synchronized skating, and Theatre On Ice teams. Following the show, join Mayor Marty Walsh for the Boston Common tree lighting ceremony.
BSO Holiday Pops (Boston) :: Join the Boston Pops and conductor Keith Lockhart, celebrating his 20th anniversary with the orchestra, in a performance filled with holiday music favorites, the traditional Pops sing-a-long, and even a visit from jolly old Santa Claus. The special kids’ matinee performances include post-concert photos with Santa and special treats. The not-to-be-missed New Year’s Eve concert with the Boston Pops Swing Orchestra and bandleader Bo Winiker will kick off the new year in style.
First Night Boston (Boston) :: For 40 years, Boston’s First Night has been a cherished tradition and a signature event for the city, with artistic performances, the wonders of the season, and the beginning of a new year. Entertainment and specialty attractions will be focused in Copley Square and the Boston Common. Many of the beloved traditions of First Nights past will be retained, including ice sculptures and light displays. In addition, arts and musical performances will take place in numerous inside and outside venues around the heart of the event.