Kick Off the Holiday Season in Boston in November

christmas tree


Boston is a great place to be during the holiday season, with a variety of events kicking off in November. Here is a look at just a few of the activities that you can enjoy this month to help you get into the spirit of the season.

Participate in the 29th Annual Boston Christmas Festival

The 29th Annual Boston Christmas Festival will take place November 6th through the 8th at the Seaport World Trade Center. The event will feature the work of more than 300 American master craftsman, allowing you to get an early start on your holiday shopping. The event will also highlight the annual Gingerbread House Competition, which benefits Housing Families, Inc. Housing Families, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to ending family homelessness. As part of the event, star chefs throughout the region will showcase their gingerbread house masterpieces.

The event will take place from noon until 7:00 pm on November 6th, from 10:00 am until 6:00 pm on November 7th and from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm on November 8th.

Take a Historic Stroll

Starting November 19th and running through until January 31st, you can join a Freedom Trail Player every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday as you explore the history of holiday celebrations that took place along the Freedom Trail. During these guided tours, you will learn about when Boston hosted the American premiere of the Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. You will also learn about how Christmas and holiday traditions evolved in the city as you explore the highlights of the American Revolution. The tour ends with refreshments, including the famous Boston Cream Pie at Omni Parker House Hotel.

To participate in one of the walks, which costs anywhere from $19 to $29 per person, you will need to make reservations in advance. Reservations can be made by going online or by calling 617-357-8300. The 90 minute tours depart from the ArtsBoston Bostix Booth at Faneuil Hall, which is located at 1 Faneuil Hall Square, at 3:30 pm.

Attend the Lighting of the Tree

The first Holiday Tree Lighting in the city will take place at Faneuil Hall Marketplace on November 21st, with events taking place from 2:00 until 9:00 pm. The program will feature holiday musical performances by Maestro Keith Lockhart as well as a performance of The Nutcracker by the Boston Ballet. The lighting of the 80-foot holiday tree, which is located at Marketplace Center, will be performed by Mayor Martin J. Marsh and Governor Charlie Baker as they “flip the switch” on more than 350,000 LED lights at 7:00 pm.

Starting on the day after the official lighting of the tree, which is bigger than the tree in Rockefeller Center, the Blink! light and sound show will run every half hour beginning at 4:30 pm by “The Big Tree” located at Marketplace Center. It will also run every half hour by “The Three Trees” in the North Market starting at 5:00 pm.

Presented by Faneuil Hall Marketplace and CBS Boston’s WBZ-TV, the “Faneuil Hall Tree Lighting Spectacular” will be aired live for one hour starting at 7:00 pm on myTV38 (WSBK-TV) and CBS Bostotn’s WBZ-TV Ch.4. The event will be rebroadcast on myTV38 at 11:00 pm.  For those wishing to attend in person, the celebration at Faneuil Hall Marketplace will take place at 4 South Market Street.

Shop at Old Sturbridge Village

Old Sturbridge Village will host a holiday shopping event from November 27th through the 29th from 9:30 am until 4:00 pm. Dozens of juried craft vendors will have items available for purchase, including arts and crafts, paper goods, pottery, textiles, glass works, artisan jewelry and gourmet foods. Old Sturbridge Village is located at 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road in Sturbridge.

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