Suburban things to do in Boston for the Holidays!

Nov 26, 2023

Things to do: Boston holiday and family-friendly events will surely get you in the (suburban) spirit.

Thinking about getting some suburban exploring in during the holidays? Or perhaps you’re admiring your newly acquired, snow-covered yard while sipping hot chocolate? We’ve rounded up some things to do: Boston holiday edition. Whether you want to sample the local community or explore your new town, here are some of the best events and December happenings in the Boston suburbs.

Things to Do: Boston Holiday | Melrose
Downtown Melrose puts on a full show with their Home for the Holidays celebration. Main Street in Melrose will transport you with decorated Victorian-style street lamps and Christmas lights. Running in early December, join them for the Christmas tree lighting, caroling, Santa’s arrival, food tastings, and fair. Free trolleys run on some weekend days around the tree lighting.

Things to Do: Boston Holiday | Beverly

North Shore Music Theater presents A Christmas Carol, an original musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic holiday tale for Boston residents. The show has been performed annually since 1989 and features songs, festive music, and grand special effects (some elements may be a bit loud for small children). Performances run from early December until a few days before Christmas, attracting locals and residents alike. 

Things to Do: Boston Holiday | Concord

Verrill Farm in Concord hosts popular community events including Gingerbread house workshops throughout December. Inside their decorated, heated greenhouse, the kids can meet Santa and share their last-minute Christmas lists. 

The farm is a local go-to, committed to sustainable farming, community life, and pick-your-own produce with the family.

Things to Do: Boston Holiday | Winchester

In the true spirit of giving, Mahoney’s in Winchester hosts Trees for Troops—which embraces the true spirit of giving during the Boston holiday season and provides Christmas trees to military families in the U.S. and overseas. Mahoney’s is a family-run home-and-garden center with seven retail locations in Winchester, Tewksbury, Concord, Brighton, Falmouth, Osterville and Chelmsford.

Things to Do: Boston Holiday | Ipswich/Hamilton/Wenham
Head up to Marini Farm in Ipswich for some festive wreath-making. No need to be a crafty type, as the staff is on hand to assist you with making festive wreaths ornamented with fresh greens, ribbons, baubles, and berries. Grab the kids or a few friends and make an afternoon or evening of it. Available from late November to mid-December.

Things to Do: Boston Holiday | Marblehead

Marblehead hosts its famous Christmas Walk the first weekend in December. If you’re looking for things to do, stroll through Marblehead’s charming historic downtown and check out the sights. Various events are held each weekend, including family activities, entertainment, shopping, dining, craft fairs, concerts, and more. Don’t miss Santa’s arrival by lobster boat, too.

Things to Do: Boston Holiday | Haverhill
In the north suburbs, head to historic Kimball Farm in Haverhill. This location has been in the same family for generations and offers sleigh rides with pastoral views of the surrounding farms, hot chocolate, hot cider, and lap blankets.

Things to Do: Boston Holiday | Canton and North Andover
Winterlights is hosted by the Trustees of Reservations at the Eleanor Canton Bradley estate in Canton, and for those living in the nearby suburbs of Dedham, Milton, Norwood, and Sharon, the display is a reliable family treat. This and other events are also hosted in the northern suburbs at the beautiful Stevens-Coolidge Place in North Andover. Thousands of shimmering lights decorate the property, along with family scavenger hunts, crafts, food, and refreshments. Held from late November to the end of December.

Things to Do: Boston Holiday | Weston
Why travel to Boston when you can attend an acclaimed version of The Nutcracker presented locally by the Commonwealth Ballet? 

This holiday classic is filled with beautiful scenery, stunning costumes, and the famously enchanting score by Tchaikovsky. Performances run from the end of November to mid-late December at Regis College Casey Theatre in Weston.

Things to Do: Boston Holiday | Wellesley
Wellesley’s famous Festival of Trees is sure to get you into the holiday spirit. Stroll through an indoor forest of beautifully decorated trees while enjoying garden lights, visits from Santa, horse-drawn wagon rides, an indoor snow village, a model railroad display, and a fire pit with s’mores. Runs from the end of November to the end of December, with a raffle drawing halfway through. 

Things to Do: Boston Holiday | Needham
Held on the first Saturday in December, Needham’s Blue Tree Lighting ceremony is a treat for the family. Nestled in the festive Needham town common, the tree lighting tradition has been held for the past 65 years. The town hall will also host various family-friendly activities and performances starting in the early afternoon, including face painting, dancing, crafts, and refreshments. The Boston holiday tree lighting is one of many things to do, and is held at in the late afternoon, followed by a visit from Santa.

Things to Do: Boston Holiday | Newton

Those lucky enough to live near The Shops at Chestnut Hill experience one of the area’s best mall Santas. Head to the mall with the little ones from late November until Christmas.

Things to Do: Boston Holiday | Hingham
Hosted by the Hingham Downtown Association, Christmas in the Square gathers community, friends, and family across the South Shore. Enjoy the shops, decorations, and twinkling lights as Santa arrives via a firetruck. Hot chocolate, ice sculptures, and live music make for a merry atmosphere. Held on the first Friday in December, often around 5pm.

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