A Sample of Some Fun Activities For the Season
Published: Thursday, December 12, 2013
Updated: Thursday, December 12, 2013 01:12
Celebrate With Holiday Lights
Celebrate the season by attending one of Boston’s multiple holiday light displays including the Mayor Menino-sponsored “Blink!”, a Light & Sound Extravaganza in Faneuil Hall marketplace. This seasonal spectacular includes over 350,000 LED lights on an 80-foot tree that twinkles in rhythm with songs performed by the Holiday Pops. Light shows run hourly from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. every day. The celebrations continue outside of the city as Stone Zoo decorates its paths for Zoo Lights, a fun way to both celebrate the holidays as well as to get up close and personal with some iconic arctic animals. After walking through the zoo’s festively lit paths, both Santa and Stone Zoo’s reindeer await a great photo opportunity.
Brave the Boston winter for some outdoor holiday fun by taking advantage of the city’s snow-covered public parks. One option is to bundle up and pay an $8 rental fee to skate on the Boston Common’s Frog Pond, which also offers deals for college students with a current school ID, guaranteeing discounts on both rentals and admission. When the rinks are covered with snow, take to Boston’s best hills for sledding. Bring toboggans, sleds, and the occasional dining hall tray to one of the local favorites including Peter’s Hill at the Arnold Arboretum or the hill at the Soldiers & Sailors Monument in the Boston Common. If one is feeling less ambitious, a walk through the snow-covered Common is always an option.
Beat the season’s chills by indulging in a cup of Boston’s best hot chocolate this winter. L.A. Burdick’s in Harvard Square has more varieties of the seasonal drink than any sweet tooth could imagine. All of their flavors, including the most popular milk, dark, and white hot chocolates, can be served warm or cold. BoYo’s on Beacon Hill takes a different approach, serving a standard Ghirardelli hot cocoa that can be personalized with the 25 different toppings of their hot chocolate bar ,including Reese’s cups and candy canes. For those looking for a more unique hot chocolate experience, Voltage Coffee & Art located near MIT’s campus is serving up their famous Plaid Jacket—a peppermint and cinnamon flavored cocoa sure to defrost any chilly Bostonian.
See a Christmas Classic
Continue seasonal traditions by seeing one of the prestigious Boston area productions of a holiday classic. The Boston Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker has viewers coming back every winter to see the magic of Clara’s story unfold on stage. Seeing the sugar plum fairies is even easier this year—tickets for the show are half price as a part of the Mayor’s Holiday Spectacular. New York’s Radio City Christmas Spectacular descends on Boston this season from Dec. 3 to Dec. 29, complete with the high-kicking Rockettes and their glitzy holiday entourage. For those who prefer to stick to a true holiday classic, Scrooge and the cast of A Christmas Carol are returning to the stage of the North Shore Musical Theatre this winter.
Find the Perfect Holiday Gift
Instead of braving the craziness of Black Friday and the lines of the malls this winter, look to Boston’s seasonal shopping opportunities to find a perfect, last-minute holiday gift. The Downtown Boston Holiday Market returns to Summer Street this season for its fifth year, offering hand-made jewelry and crafts as well as artisanal foods perfect for anyone on your list. Pick up beautiful Christmas ornaments along with other affordable gifts from the Harvard Square Holiday Fair, one of the oldest and most popular holiday events in Boston. Finally, make one last stop to the Prudential Center, which will be festively lit throughout the season, to purchase any final presents and, of course, to take the always-needed picture with Santa.
Bring In the New Year
Celebrate 2014 in the city during First Night Boston, the finale of the Mayor’s Holiday Spectacular. This citywide festivity continues from 1 p.m. on Dec. 31 to the first minutes of the New Year. The celebration includes live performances throughout the evening as well as ice sculptures and a visual art display that will be projected onto the Boston Public Library. Admission to all of the shows, which is on a first come first served basis, is only $10. The tickets are in the form of buttons that can be purchased at Boston area Bank of America branches as well as CVS stores and online. This event ensures an exciting celebration of the New Year with fireworks and a countdown clock centered in Copley Square.