Dec 5-13, 2011: Santa Speedo Run, Boston Tea Party, Pearl Harbor Day, & Tons of Xmas Parades, Fireworks, Caroling, & Nighttime Holiday Lights
12/04/11 by Johnny Monsarrat
The Week in Weird
The Christmas Revels – tix giveaway
Mon 12/12 – Sat 12/31
Revels puts on a fantastic annual performance, with comedy, carols, and and this year find the Lord of the Dance! Email johnny@eventsI… Sanders Theatre, Cambridge, MA.
The Merry Wives of Windsor – tix giveaway
Wed 12/7 – Sat 1/1
If you’re a little hesitant to see Shakespeare, this comedy will be very accessible, with physical gags, sharp wi… Davis Square Theatre, 255 Elm St, Somerville, MA.
The Nutcracker – tix giveaway
Fri 11/25 – Thu 12/22
A team of crazy-fun toys gives little Clara the Christmas of her life as they fight off the evil Rat King in this Chicago adaptation of the … Stoneham Theatre, Stoneham, MA.
The Watch City Dickens Christmas Festival & Market
Sat 12/10 – Sun 12/11
Every event at the Charles River Museum of Innovation is pitch-perfect, and this time they’re brin… Charles River Museum of Innovation, Waltham, MA.
Santa Speedo Run
This is a charity event where you race naked except for sneakers, speedos and santa beards & caps. 1pm run, check in starts at 10am. Starts an… 617-351-7000.Lir, 903 Boylston Street, Boston, MA.
Boston Tea Party, Old South Meeting House
The event of the week is protesting British tax on tea! Re-enactors will lead you through an old to… 617-482-6439.Old South Meeting House, 310 Washington Street, Boston, MA.
Holiday Caroling with Arlington Street Church
And another concert at a church that’s Unitarian, so it shouldn’t be too heavy with spirituality. Also participatory. Looks lik… Church, 351 Boylston Street, Boston, MA.
Ice Chimes Opening
Ooh! There’s a new 20-foot sculpture designed to let icicles form on it, and the wind play chimes, at the Rose Kennedy Greenway. Come to the opening reception. 6-7pm… Rowes Wharf Plaza, Boston, MA.
Geminids Meteor Shower
Tue 12/13 – Wed 12/14
The Geminids are one of only a few annual meteor showers. Dec 13 & 14, peaking at 11pm at the evening of Dec 13th. Make sure to g… Go somewhere without city lights, Everywhere.
This one has stargazing too, and music, even if it is a merchant event! When they say “enjoy festive window displays”, that means “please shop here!!!”. New Bedford, MA.
Ciclismo Classico Jingle Ride
Or perhaps you’d prefer to ride a bicycle than run in a speedo. MassBike is holding a 22 mile ride from Arlington t… 617-599-8509.From Jam N’ Java, 594 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA.
Longfellow: The Poet and His Songs
Historical re-enactments are great ways to learn about history. It’s fun and accessible. This one stars Henry Longfellow, the famous poet, talk… Quaker Meeting House, Amesbury, MA.
Primal Scream at Harvard
While you’re there, take your clothes off and scream along with hundreds of Harvard students facing exams the next day. Starts at midnight the day before final … Harvard Yard, Cambridge, MA.
Open House at Emily Dickinson Museum
This one’s a birthday party and you’re invited! The guest of honor is Emily Dickinson’s, who was born in December. 12-3:30pm, with a l… 413-542-8161.280 Main Street, Amherst, MA.
Pearl Harbor Day at Battleship Cove
Finally, this event is small, but it’s an important holiday. This will be brief, but a great excuse to visit Battleship Cove and see a real WWII battleship, submar… Fall River, MA.
Ho Ho Holidays
Jingle Bell Run
This “holiday themed” fun run is where hundreds of joggers dress in silly costumes while us bystanders get to eat corndogs and watch on the sidelines. 5:30pm and there’s a… Hyatt Regency, Boston, MA.
Tree Lighting & Bell Ringing on the Rose Kennedy Greenway
It’s no big deal to light up a tree and the pagoda, whatever a pagoda is, but there … North End Parks (between Hanover & New Sudbury St.), Boston, MA.
Beacon Hill Holiday Stroll and Tree Lighting
Charles St. is shut down and made into a festive winter wonderland. 6-9pm. Boston, MA.
Roxbury Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting
I like the ones that have participatory caroling, like this one. 6-9pm. Marcella Park, 260 Highland St, Roxbury, MA.
Brighton Center Tree Lighting
Oldies 103, hot cocoa, cookies, participatory caroling, tree lighting, and Santa on a fire truck. 6pm. Brighton Center, Boston, MA.
Handel’s Messiah Community Sing at Brandeis
Come for the music or join in singing. Open to the public. 4pm. Free. Shapiro Campus Center Atrium, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA.
Yuletide Festival at Winslow Farm
In Norton, the Winslow Farm, which is a petting zoo and open to the public, is having their own Xmas event with a warm fire, night tours, a… 508-285-6451.37 Eddy Street, Norton, MA.
And this one’s a similar concept, a re-enactment of the Xmas ball portrayed in Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, when Scrooge was young and discovered that he … Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square, Salem, MA.
Holiday Sing Along in Newburyport
La la la. Sing sing sing. I love opportunity for participatory caroling. And Santa will be there! Ju… 978-462-7336.Firehouse Center For The Arts, One Market Square, Newburyport, MA.
Annual Marblehead Christmas Walk
Sat 12/3 – Tue 12/6
Tree lighting, gingerbread house display, Santa arrives by lobster boat, and tour local rich people homes. The packed calendar includes singing sea shantie… Marblehead, MA.
Wareham Village Association Christmas Parade
Ooo! A parade, tree lighting, caroling, Santa, zombies. No, wait. No zombies. 12:30pm festival, 3:30pm parade, 5pm caroling & tree lighting. Rain date 7… Wareham, MA.
Edgartown Caroling Stroll & Holiday Parade
Fri 12/9 – Sat 12/10
This one is my favorite Xmas celebration this week, but the catch is, you have to be on Martha’s Vinyard to participate. T… Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard, MA.
Mashpee Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade
I love parades! This one has real community floats and seems real, not overly commerical. 5:30pm. 508-477-0792.Mashpee, MA.
Holiday Tree Lighting & Caroling Party
Hot chocolate, Santa, tree lighting. 6pm. Post Office Square, Oak Bluffs, MA.
Lenox Caroling Festival
Sat 12/10 – Sun 12/11
Gee, here’s a whole weekend of caroling, both performance and (presumably) participatory, with theatre and a gingerbread contest. Lenox, MA.
Fort Adams Festival of Lights
Is this just a field of Chrismas trees you can decorate? Well the venue is sensational, this will most likely be good. They’ll have “various activ… 401-619-5801.Fort Adams, Newport, RI.
You can join in singing Handel’s Messiah… there’s a rehearsal Friday and then the sing on Sunday, 3-6pm.This church doesn’t seem too scary religious. 978-443-3885.Church, 26 Concord Road, Sudbury, MA.
Medway Holiday House Tour
You drive, or take the bus, for tours of six historic homes, one of which is a church that will have caroling. 3-6pm. 508-533-3204.Medway, MA.
Gingerbread House Workshops at Verrill Farm
For $35, you can build your own gingerbread house at various workshops, and Santa comes Dec 4 at 3pm, at this farm turned into … 978-369-4494.11 Wheeler Road, Concord, MA.
Christmas in the Village at Remick Museum
Tamworth is pretty far north, but if you’re heading up to the White Mountains for skiing, find wagon rides, storytelling,… 603-323-7591.58 Cleveland Hill Road, Tamworth, NH.
Dover Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony
A snack, a band, a tree – Christmas! Held indoors if rain. Dover Town Hall, Dover, MA.
Christmas at Canterbury
Sat 12/3 – Sat 12/10
Dine as the Shakers did. (I’m pretty sure the Shakers didn’t pay $135 a piece.) The same day they’ll have fiddling and folk dancing you… 603-783-9511.288 Shaker Rd, Canterbury, NH.
Christmas in the Village at Remick Museum & Farm
This farm and agricultural museum will have horse-drawn sleigh or wagon rides, and, um… and… well, they’ll have food and decorations… Remick Museum, Tamworth, NH.
Beacon Hill Holiday Stroll
We got pretty far down the list before hitting merchant events, didn’t we! Awesome. Here are a few shoppy oppy’s that add some creativity too. This… 617-720-7888.Charles Street, Boston, MA.
Shop Inman By Moonlight
This one’s even better — I’ve been there and recommend it highly. They’ll have hot cider, wandering carolers, a scavenger hunt, and soaks in the hot tub (bring a… Inman Square, Cambridge, MA.
Boston Pride’s 2nd Annual Holiday Event
This is a holiday party with a casino that benefits an LGBT charity. They’ll have a stand-up comic and dancing, too! 7-11pm. Faneuil Hall, Boston, MA.
Visits with Santa Claus at the Newport Mansions
Sun 12/11 – Sun 12/18
Three of the mansions in Newport are open in the winter and Santa will visit different ones, on December 11 and 18. Newport, RI.
TubaChristmas – Ayer
Bringing 200 tubas together — and no other instruments — is both crazy fun and a real treat for those brass players who rarely (okay, never) get the limelight. It’s always those dam… Ayer, MA.
TubaChristmas – NH
Sun 12/4 – Sat 12/17
Here’s another! The Keene event is 1pm on December 4, but see the website for other events all over New Hampshire and the rest of New England. Keene, NH.
Science on Screen: 12 Monkeys
The Coolidge Corner theatre is one of 3 great art house movie theatres near Boston, and they’re bringing in a famous science journalist to lecture abou… Coolidge Theatre, Brookline, MA.
Jane Austen Holiday Tea & Tours
Sat 12/10 – Sat 12/17
And here’s a re-enactment of “tea time” from the Victorian era at this old historical home of former Massachuset… 781-894-2798.Gore Place, 52 Gore Street, Waltham, MA.
1820s Holiday House Tour
The Old Manse is a historic home that’s fun to visit anytime, but with costumed re-enactors, it becomes an even more entertaining way to learn… 978-369-3909.269 Monument Street, Concord, MA.
Candy Land Tournament
This event may go into the ‘so what’ category, but apparently it’s a CandyLand tournament! It’s based on the board game that any 2 year old can play because it involv… Faneuil Hall, Boston, MA.
Owl Prowl at Fisherville Brook
First, they talk about owls, then they show you live owls. Then a nighttime walk to see some… 401-949-5454, ext- 3041.Fisherville Brook Wildlife Refuge, 99 Pardon Joslin Rd, Exeter, RI.
Full Moon Owl Prowl for All Ages
Here’s another! Apparently “all ages” means ages 6-16. Aren’t I all ages? 508-655-2296.Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, 280 Eliot St., Natick, MA.
Full Moon Hike: Long Nights Moon
This 3-mile hike sounds so peaceful. I really want to go on one of these moonlight hikes someday. 4-6pm. 508-866-2580 x162.1361 Middleboro Ave, Taunton, MA.
Moon Before Yule Full Moon Hike
And here’s another. 7-9pm. Rain date the next day. Pre-register. New Dawn Earth Center, Cumberland, RI.
Moonlit Snowshoe Tour
Sat 12/10 – Thu 12/29
Snowshoes!! I’ve never done this!! I really want to go!! I have big feet already! But they are not snowshoe sized, so I will need to rent snowshoes. 7:30-9pm. Gorham, NH.
Winter Celebration at Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum
I’ve been to this museum, and, well, it is very authentic, but also really small. However, if you’re traveling up to the White Mountains fo… 603-456-2600.Warner, NH.
Wenham Museum’s Gingerbread Contest
Sat 12/3 – Sat 12/17
This is a gingerbread house contest, with all kinds of surprisingly large and intricate displays, including one with model trains. I’ve be… 132 Main Street, Wenham, MA.
Bright Nights 5K Road Race
Bright Nights is my 2nd favorite holiday lights attraction, and they’re holding a race, which quite appropriately is held at night when all the lights will be… 413-733-3800.Springfield, MA.
Wanderbird’s Adventures in the Arctic
Here are a couple of lectures. The first is a slideshow and presentation about what it’s really like to sail towards the North Pole. (Hi… Waterline Center, 66 Main St, Essex, MA.
A Cure for Emma – Book Talk
And here’s a book talk about diabetes, with proceeds to help fun research. 7-9pm. Harvard Coop, Cambridge, MA.
A Christmas Carol – Our review
Fri 12/2 – Fri 12/23
You’ve seen A Christmas Carol, but never before at a venue like this, a round stage with seats on all sides and no bad seat in the h… North Shore Music Theatre, Beverly, MA.
New England Ringers Handbell Concert
I’ve never seen a real bellringers concert. I would love so much to attend this! 7:30pm. And more concerts all across New England — see the website. Franklin, MA.
Thu 12/8 – Sat 12/10
Black Nativity isn’t any more crazy than White People Nativity, since Jesus was Middle Eastern. See this perfo… Blackman Auditorium, Northeastern University, 360 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA.
Holiday Concert featuring Calliope
I thought I’d include this holiday performance because it includes a reception as well as the sit-down performance. And it takes pla… Forbes House Museum, 215 Adams St, Milton, MA.
Jefferson Christmas Festival
I wouldn’t normally list a merchant event this far out — but it has a bonfire, dog sled demonstration, and horse-drawn wagon rides! And you can go skiing nearby! 10am. Jefferson, NH.
Winter Solstice Steampunk Tea Party
Mark Twain is the most awesome American author ever. Steampunk is the most awesome party theme idea ever. One event with both is… 860-247-0998.351 Farmington Avenue, Hartford, CT.
East Haddam Stage Co. presents Sherlock Holmes: From Page to Stage
Also awesome — did you know that the first actor to portray Sherlock Holmes in movies lived in Co… 860-247-0998.351 Farmington Avenue, Hartford, CT.
First, you dress up as Santa. Then you go wild around town, as first shown in the film Trading Places. It looks like this is not much more than bar hopping… and a burlesque show. Santas lik… Hartford, CT.
Christmas Lights Spectacular
This family home is going pro with amazing Christmas lights, carolers, and free cookies and cocoa. 4-7pm. Wolf Hollow Lane, Killingworth, CT.
Festival of Lights at Mystic Aquarium
Mystic Aquarium is getting all Christmasy, with storytellers, costumed characters, a “Saxaphone Santa”, and many shopping opportunies in Mystick Village. 5-8pm. Mystic, CT.
Festival of Lights at Mystic Aquarium and Old Mistick Village
Just two hours’ drive from Boston, this fundraiser Dec 10 will have carolers, music, a visit from Santa, holiday lights, and the ubiquitous f… Mystic, CT.
East Lyme WinterFest & Light Parade
Wow! Ice sculptures, unspecified kids activities, carolers, horse-drawn rides, a chili/chowder competition, fireworks, and a parade. 12-6pm. East Lyme, CT.
Hartford Festival of Light
Sat 12/10 – Thu 1/6
Can this be right? Hartford features free skating and free skate rentals for a month, plus professional skating shows every Friday and Saturday, 6-7pm. Awesome! Hartford, CT.
Spirit of the Holidays
Fri 11/25 – Fri 12/30
This is an assemblage of various merchant in-store events, but it features participatory caroling outdoors. I’m in! Watertown, CT.
TubaChristmas – CT
Tuba events continue… See the website for all locations. 2pm. Old Saybrook, CT.
Christmas by the Sea Celebration
Sat 12/3 – Sun 12/11
Just 90 minutes drive from Boston, which is closer than Springfield, they’re having a scavenger hunt and plenty of other events, including a parade. Ogunquit, ME.
Thu 12/1 – Sun 12/11
So… This is a huge list of very small events. Hmm. Kennebunkport, ME.
Southern Maine Christmas Parade
Yay! A parade! 2pm. Wells, ME.
Vermont Holiday Festival
Fri 12/9 – Sat 12/10
Hmm. The centerpiece of a festival should not be the trees you auction off for charity. It should be the free horse-drawn sleigh rides! This one’s a lot more comm… Killington, VT.
Fri 12/9 – Sun 12/11
This is another all-weekend excuse to travel around New England, with a traditional horse parade, a house tour, a 19th century re-enactment at a local farm, an… 802-457-3555.Woodstock, VT.
Coolidge Holiday Open House
Craft demos and sleigh rides as the whole town celebrates the birthplace of former US president Calvin Coolidge. 802-672-3773.Plymouth Notch, VT.
|Holiday Lights & Santa Events||grade||Mon 12/5||Tue 12/6||Wed 12/7||Thu 12/8||Fri 12/9||Sat 12/10||Sun 12/11||Mon 12/12|
|Boston MetroStoneham, MA||B-||M||T||W||R||F||S||S||M|
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|Boston MetroLexington, MA
This is a merchant event with a petting zoo, Santa, elmo, face painting, singers, balloon animals, etc. I called and they couldn’t be bothered to give me the dates, so this is my best guess.
1265 Massachusetts Avenue, 781-861-1200. facebook
|Metro WestConcord, MA||?||S||S|
|Metro WestMillis, MA||?||M||T||W||R||F||S||S||M|
|South ShoreCarver, MA
The biggest and best “holiday lights” display in New England is quite non-religious, with Santa letting kids sit on his lap but also plenty of generic fare like Frosty the Snowman and a tip of the hat to Hannukah. They have a train ride, ferris wheel, carousel, and other rides, with 7 million lights. Tons of fun even for adults! 2011: Mon-Fri 4-9pm, Sat-Sun 2-9pm.
Pine Street, 877-EDAVILLE. twitter facebook
|South ShoreBridgewater, MA
Free. 200,000 lights with a walk-through village. Santa, with free coffee and hot chocolate by an outdoor fireplace. 2010: Mon-Fri 5-8:30pm, Sat-Sun 5-9:30pm.
55 Alexander Drive, 508-279-2894. facebook
|South ShoreAvon, MA||?||M||T||W||R||F||S||S||M|
|Southeast MassAttleboro, MA||B+||M||T||W||R||F||S||S||M|
|LowellNorth Andover, MA||S||S|
2011: 4-9pm. Participatory caroling, Father Christmas, sleigh rides, magic shows, and more at my favorite re-enactment museum — an entire village of old-timey actors and buildings!
1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, 508-347-3362. facebook
2011: Trips at 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30pm. Elves help you board the The Polar Express train ride, and afterwards there’s Santa and cookies.
222 Harrington Way, 508-929-2700. facebook
2011: Sun-Thu, 5-9pm, Fri-Sun, 5-11pm. 550,000 lights. Great! 2nd best to Edaville. Check out the Springfield Museums or zoo (open during school holidays in Dec) while you’re there.
Rt 83, 413-733-3800. facebook
|SpringfieldWest Springfield, MA||?||S||M|
Hayrides, night lights, zoo. 39,000 bulbs. 2011: 4-9pm. Breakfast with Santa 12/3.
300 North Main Street, 413.584.5457. facebook
|Cape CodSandwich, MA
1 million lights. Toast marshmallows. Carousel. Santa in a Model T Ford. Music. 2011: 5-9pm.
67 Grove Street, 508-888-3300. facebook
|Merrimack ValleyCandia, NH||?||R||F||S||S|
|Merrimack ValleyLoudon, NH||?||M||T||W||R||F||S||S||M|
|Dartmouth-Lake SunapeeEnfield, NH
Another very religious site has 45,000 evening lights spread across 30 acres. Here’s the idea. Two kids said they saw the Virgin Mary, and the parents based an entire church on that. And I couldn’t even get away with “the dog ate my homework”! 2011: 5-9pm except opening celebration 11/26.
|White MountainsJefferson, NH||?||S||S|
Strawbery Banke is a re-enactment museum where you’ll meet actors dress as people from history. This event features the 18th century and has live music, a bonfire, participatory caroling, demonstrations on ancient musical instruments and the Masons, hundreds of candles, a gingerbread house contest, and more. Sounds really great! 2011: Saturdays 5-9pm, Sundays 4-8pm.
Marcy Street, 603-422-7514. facebook
|Rhode IslandPawtucket, RI
See 400 decorated Christmas trees, twenty Victorian buildings, and a talking snowman, and enjoy free visits and photos with Santa, train rides, hay rides, carousel rides, food court, and entertainment. Free admission and parking. 2011: Parade on Dec 3! 4-8pm.
Slater Park, Armistice Blvd, 401-728-0500 x251.
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|Mystic CountryMystic, CT||?||F|
|River ValleyPlantsville, CT
Drive up and tune your radio to 96.1FM. 2011: Daily 5-11pm.
14 Lovley Dr facebook