Festivity, fun and inspiration are everywhere this holiday season in beautiful New England! Whether you’re seeking a family-friendly activity or wanting to start a new tradition, there’s a holiday event that’s just right for you — and many of them are free of cost. Check out these family friendly holiday experiences and grab your tickets before they sell out!

 

‘Twas the Night Before”…by Cirque Du Soleil — Boston

Twas the Night Before…is an exhilarating spin on the beloved Christmas tale, and marks Cirque du Soleil’s first-ever Christmas production in New England. This festive show brings a flurry of love, Christmas cheer, thrilling acrobatics and hugely lovable characters that will create a new holiday tradition for families to cherish.

November 25 – December 11. Boch Center Wang Theatre, Boston; www.bochcenter.org

 

Winterlights — Canton, North Andover, Stockbridge 

This holiday season, three of the Trustees beautiful garden properties sparkle with thousands of shimmering, artfully designed holiday lights. Bring the whole family for a magical, fun, and safe outdoor experience – with food, refreshments, and more. Included in USA TODAY’s top 10 Public Holiday Light Displays in the country for 2020, experience this treasure with your friends and family. 

November 25 – January 7, Eleanor Cabot Bradley House in Canton, Naumkeag in Stockbridge, Stevens-Coolidge House & Gardens in North Andover; www.thetrustees.org/winterlights

 

Columbus Park Trellis Lighting – Boston 

Mayor Michelle Wu turns on the 50,000 glowing blue and white LED lights along the 260-foot trellis and 14 nearby trees on at 5 pm in Christopher Columbus Park (110 Atlantic Ave), transforming the waterfront park into a magical light garden through the holiday season.  The event includes music, entertainment, and refreshments.

November 21, 5 pm, Christopher Columbus Park, Boston; www.Boston.com

Massachusetts State House Tree Lighting – Boston

A giant Christmas tree in the Rotunda lights up in the annual tree lighting event ceremony at 5pm. This marks the official kick-off of the holiday season in Massachusetts. 

November 22, State House, Boston.

 

Holiday Lights Spectacular at Roger Williams Park Zoo – Providence, RI

RWP Zoo turns into a sparkling Winter Wonderland! Holiday Lights Spectacular as an all-new walk-through event featuring festive, larger-than-life dazzling displays with 3.5 million illuminated lights! It’s a must-see event that should be on everyone’s holiday to-do list.

November 25 – January 1, Roger Williams Park Zoo, Providence, RI; www.rwpzoo.org

Light Up Seaport – Boston

Gather on Seaport Common (85 Northern Ave) for live music, treats from nearby restaurants, and various giveaways, and then see the Christmas tree lighting.  

December 2, 5 pm. Seaport Common, Boston; www.bostonseaport.xyz

 

Magic of Lights at Patriot Place – Foxborough

Foxborough will shine bright this holiday season as guests experience the thrill of spectacular lights displays featuring familiar holiday favorites and accompanied by a festive soundtrack. Created with nearly one million sparkling lights, Magic of Lights is a nostalgic and festive experience for guests of all ages that can’t be missed this holiday season. 

November 18 – December 31, 5 – 10 pm, Gillette Stadium, Foxborough;  www.magicoflights.com

 

Hanukkah –Menorah Lighting — Boston

Look for New England’s tallest menorah at Brewer Fountain on Boston Common.  A lighting ceremony of the first branch of the candelabra takes place on December 18 at 4 pm, with special guests, live music, holiday treats, and warm beverages.

December 18 plus additional dates, Boston Common, Boston; www.chabaddowntownboston.org

Christmas Craft Fair at Old South Church — Boston

Lovers of finely crafted beeswax candles, turned wood, and sparkling blown glass know to arrive early, where 30 New England artists and artisans will offer some of their finest work on one day only.

December 3, 10 am – 4 pm. Gordon Chapel in Old South Church, Boston; www.oldsouth.org

Midwinter Revels: A Solstice Celebration – Cambridge

Explore the unique dynamics between Irish, Jewish, and Mexican cultures at 1920s Ellis Island. One of Greater Boston’s most cherished winter productions, Revels’ multi-generational cast joyously brings traditions to life through music, dance, and song. 

December 16–28, Sanders Theatre, Cambridge: www.revels.org

 

Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Literature – Concord

Concord’s renowned literary tradition takes a creative twist during the holiday season when the Concord Museum opens the annual Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Literature. A benefit exhibition with related programs, Family Trees fills the Museum with trees and wreaths of all shapes and sizes fancifully dressed for the occasion with charming original ornaments inspired by a dazzling selection of children’s picture books. 

November 23 through January 2. Concord Museum, Concord; www.concordmuseum.org

 

Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker — Boston

Create an annual tradition with your family this holiday season at one of New England’s favorite celebrations.  From the dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy to the dazzling snow scene – set to the iconic music of Tchaikovsky – The Nutcracker is a production beloved by audiences of all ages that your family will never forget. 

November 25 – December 31, Citizens Bank Opera House, Boston; www.bostonballet.org

 

 Urban Nutcracker — Boston

Anthony Williams’ Urban Nutcracker, the modern Boston-centric holiday classic, will be back at the Shubert Theatre. This classing dance theatrical will showcase winter scenes set in present-day downtown Boston, blending the rhythms of Duke Ellington with the classical music of Tchaikovsky. Anchored by classical ballet, the performances also include a broad range of dance forms such as tap, hip hop, flamenco, and jazz.

December 17 & 23, Boch Center Shubert Theatre, Boston; www.bochcenter.org

The Nutcracker — Weston

Share the merriment of the holiday season as the accomplished dancers of Commonwealth Ballet and guest artists frolic, battle and dance through Clara’s holiday dream. Join the family party set before a magical tree and enjoy the laughter, magic, and wonder of this holiday classic accompanied by the beloved Tchaikovsky score. This fully staged production is sure to captivate and entertain all ages. It’s the perfect start to the holiday season!

November 25 – 27 and December 16 – 18. The Eleanor Welch Casey Theatre at Regis College, Weston; www.commonwealthballet.org/nutcracker

Greater Salem Ballet Company: The Nutcracker — Lynn

Follow Clara on her magical journey. Brave the battle of the mice and soldiers led by the Nutcracker Prince and be amazed by the growing Christmas tree.  Glide through the Christmas tree forest complete with falling snow and arrive at the palace of sweets where Clara is entertained by a cast of characters and dazzled by the Grand Pas de Deux of the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier. 

December 10, The Lynn Auditorium, Lynn; www.TheGSBC.com

Holiday Market at Snowport — Boston

They may be small, but local businesses bring our community to life in a big way. This season Boston Seaport by WS Development teamed up with The Makers Show to create a holiday market unlike anything in New England. The Holiday Market at Snowport features more than 60+ small businesses, a tree market for all of your evergreen needs, and a festive menu from Tuscan Kitchen. 

December 10 – 23. 88 Seaport, Boston; www.bostonseaport.xyz

SoWa Winter Festival — Boston

You’ll find the perfect handmade gifts, sip on winter cocktails, and discover the best of the SoWa Art + Design District. Shop from 100 of the region’s best makers and specialty food vendors in the SoWa Power Station which is transformed into a local and unique marketplace. While you stroll, savor favorite winter cocktails, seasonal craft brews and wines. Enjoy food and activities, as well as the galleries, artist studios, and shops that call SoWa home year ‘round. This is a family friendly event. 

Select Days from November 25 – December 11. SOWA Boston, Boston; www.sowaboston.com

 

Holiday Pops — Boston 

Conductor Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops present the beloved annual Holiday Pops concert at Boston›s Symphony Hall. You›ll get to hear and see all your favorites: the Pops’ classic “Sleigh Ride” and “Twelve Days of Christmas”, a jazzy arrangement of traditional favorites,
“O Holy Night”, “Home for the Holidays”, a virtual performance with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and a special new reading of “A Visit from St. Nicholas.”Special Kid’s matinee shows available. 

December 1 – 24, Symphony Hall, Boston; www.bso.org

Bright Nights at Forest Park — Springfield

Bright Nights is a holiday drive-thru light experience includes the Winter Garden, Jurassic World, Kwanzaa, Everett Barney Mansion, Happy Holidays, Springfield, as well as the additions to Toy Land featuring Milton Bradley Company and Hasbro iconic toys and games, and the Springfield Thunderbirds display. 

November 23 – January 1, Forest Park, Springfield; www.brightnights.org