There’s nothing quite like Christmas time in Boston. With its New England winters and historic charm, the city certainly knows how to celebrate the most festive time of year. From Boston’s tree lightings, holiday markets, and concerts, there are many things to do in Boston in December. If you’re planning to spend some time here during the 2019 holiday season, these Boston Christmas and holiday events are sure to add a little magic to your stay.
1. Catch the Boston Holiday Pops
If you only add one Christmas activity to your Boston itinerary, be sure to book tickets to the Boston Holiday Pops. Held all month long at the world-famous Symphony Hall, the Pops’ December holiday performance has been one of Boston’s most popular seasonal activities since 1973. The beautifully decorated Hall is decked out in all its holiday glory, and the catchy holiday tunes and audience-wide sing-along will have you dancing in your seat during the two-hour performance.
2. See The Nutcracker at the Wang Theater
There is nothing more quintessential than seeing The Nutcracker during the Boston holidays, and the classical performance is iconic. Set to the music of Tchaikovsky, the snowy scenes, iconic costumes, and breathtaking dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy will leave you enchanted. Held at the Boch Center in Wang Theater, you can book tickets to this production of The Nutcracker on PlacePass.
Book top Boston holiday activities with PlacePass
3. Shop local at the Boston Christmas markets
Visiting a popular Boston Christmas market is sure to put a holiday spring in your step. You’ll find unique gifts for everyone on your list while supporting the city’s mom-and-pop shops and artists. Need a little help on where to go? Add these Boston holiday markets to your list:
- SoWa Winter Festival: Boston’s biggest shopping village and winter festival will be held from December 6-8, 2019 at 460 + 500 Harrison Avenue. Browse handmade gifts and specialty foods from over 130 vendors as you sip a handcrafted winter cocktail or locally brewed craft beer.
- Old South Church Christmas Craft Fair: On December 7, 2019, head to Gordon Chapel in Boston’s Copley Square to shop over 30 vendors offering handmade pottery, blown glass, jewelry, knit clothing, and more. Be sure to snag some hot mulled cider and a homemade cookie while you’re there.
- CraftBoston Holiday: The Society of Arts + Crafts will be set up at the Hynes Convention Center from December 13-15, 2019. Browse handmade furniture, wearable art, and decor from 175 local and national artists. General admission tickets are $15; Students and children under 18 are free.
- JP Holiday Crafts Fair: Local vendors, food, and music—what more do you need in a Boston holiday market? The JP Crafts Fair will be held on December 7, 2019 at the First Church in Jamaica Plain. Grab a bite to eat as you shop local artists selling paintings, ceramics, homemade spices, specialty foods, and more.
4. Ice skate at Frog Pond
Whether you’re a whiz or a little wobbly on your feet, no holiday season is complete without a few laps around an ice rink. Strap on some skates and hit the ice at Frog Pond on Boston Common. Rentals are available for $12 for adults; $6 for kids. Admission price is based on height: 58 inches or taller costs $6; under 58 inches is free. The rink is open seven days a week during the winter season (weather dependent):
- Monday 10:00am-3:45pm
- Tuesday-Thursday 10:00am-9:00pm
- Friday-Saturday 10:00am-10:00pm
- Sunday 10:00am-9:00pm
- Thanksgiving closed
- Christmas Eve 10am-5pm
- Christmas Day Closed
- New Year’s Eve Open until 3pm for the Frog Pond Skating Spectacular; closed after the show
- New Year’s Day 10am-9pm
5. Watch the holiday lighting ceremony on Boston Common
What better way to kick off the holiday season than seeing the Boston tree lighting on the historic Common? The province of Nova Scotia has gifted a Christmas tree to the city every year since 1917. Come for the free figure skating show on Frog Pond, and stay for the music, refreshments, and lighting ceremony. Festivities kick off at 6pm on December 5. Check the Boston Common’s holiday tree lighting schedule for a full list of events.
If you can’t make this year’s Boston tree lighting in the Commons, Blink! at Faneuil Hall is a month-long holiday light experience that runs every day from December 3-January 1. Performances are every half an hour from 4:30pm-10pm. Be sure to check Blink’s calendar for a schedule of events happening throughout the holiday season, including appearances by Santa, special pop-up sales, and musical performances.
Christmas in Boston is a special time of year. In addition to the dedicated holiday activities the city plans every year, popular attractions like the Public Garden, Freedom Trail, and duck boat tours offer their own festive spin on tours and excursions. As you plan your stay, PlacePass can help you find the best things to do in Boston in December so you can make the most of your stay.