It's that most wonderful time of year when Boston decks the halls and gets festive. How will you celebrate the season? Whether it's caroling, seeing a holiday show, or having a Christmas meal, there are plenty of Christmas events in Boston. Be sure to also check out the many unique holiday markets in Boston as well as the twinkly Christmas lights around Boston. If you're entertaining out of town guests, be sure to visit the best ice skating rinks in Boston and tackle our list of the best things to do in Boston.
RECOMMENDED: See the full guide to Christmas in Boston
Christmas events in Boston
The Nutcracker is one of the season’s most beloved traditions, enjoyed by generations. Seeing the Boston Ballet’s performance at the Opera House—artistic director Mikko Nissinen’s production features opulent Georgian-era sets and costumes—is memorable for all ages. This production is highly anticipated each year, so be sure to book tickets early.
November 29–December 29
Irving Berlin’s White Christmas: The Musical tells the story of a song-and-dance team putting on a show in a magical Vermont inn who fall for a stunning sister act in the process. Full of dancing, laughter and some of the greatest songs ever written, including "Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep," "Happy Holiday," "Sisters," "Blue Skies," and the unforgettable title song, Irving Berlin's “White Christmas. See the show at the Wang Theater.
Join the Boston Harbor Hotel for their second annual Gingerbread Workshop. The festive event will take place in the Wharf Room, where the entire family can decorate gingerbread houses (made by the Hotel’s pastry team) with candies while sipping hot chocolate from the hot chocolate bar (or Gingerbread Martinis for the adults). There will be a candy bar for all ages and a cash bar for adults. The event will end with Santa's arrival in the Harbor.
December 1, 8, 22 1pm-4pm, $75 per household (max 2)/free for children under 2
Usually open by admission, the Old South Meeting House (the Boston landmark where the infamous Boston Tea Party began) is free to the public during its Holiday Open House. Experience December as it was in 1769 by trying on clothing, sitting on furniture, and playing games from the era. Sample seasonal teas from David's Tea and shop for unique holiday gifts.
December 7, 10am-4pm
Bundle up and head out to watch the Santa Speedo Run, when brave souls dressed in nothing more than Speedos and Santa hats jog through the Back Bay for charity. It’s a great cause that raises money for the Play Ball Foundation, which funds sports in Boston-area middle schools. Anyone can participate, you just need to commit to raising $400 in donations. Race day warm-up includes a drink to get you going.
December 14, 1pm
Boston’s annual staging of Langston Hughes’ retelling of the Nativity is the longest-running production of the piece in the world. Produced by the National Center of Afro-American Artists and presented at the Art Deco Paramount Center, it combines music, dance, scripture, and Hughes’ poetry.
Kimpton Marlowe's Lobby Bar hosts the Miracle Pop-up once again this year with the theme "Santa's Workshop." The pop-up bar will transform the Lobby Bar into a modern day Santa’s Workshop with toys, train sets, dolls and other surprise. Enjoy holiday tunes, a crackling fire, and specialty cocktails mixed by bartenders sporting their ugliest holiday sweaters. Holiday drinkware will also be available for purchase.
Nov 29-Dec 24
Keith Lockhart leads the Boston Pops in spirited performances of holiday classics and new arrangements in the magical environs of a seasonally-bedecked Symphony Hall. Kid-friendly matinees include singalongs and post-concert photos with Santa. For the first time, a sensory-friendly concert will be offered on December 7.
Your favorite Disney moments come to life in this dazzling show. The crew from Cars perform high-speed stunts, Ariel dives into the underwater kingdom of The Little Mermaid, Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Jessie and the Toy Story gang try and escape from Sunnyside Daycare, and Anna and Olaf embark on an adventure to find Elsa.
December 20- 29
The luxurious Mandarin Oriental will host aa range of festive holiday happenings this year. From family-friendly offerings like Santa's Workshop Afternoon Tea and dessert decorating classes to holiday dining and a de-stressing "Silent Night" spa retreat, these events will get you in the holiday spirit. Check the hotel website for more info about each event.
Kick off your holiday season at Barbara Lynch’s flagship restaurant. Holiday Lunch at No. 9 Park is a festive annual tradition for friends, coworkers, and families. The five-course tasting menu features favorites such as French Onion Soup and Holiday Goose for Two as well as other standouts like Peekytoe Crab Croquette and Rabbit Sausage Lasagne. Save room for the holiday lunch cookie cart.
December 2- 21, Monday-Friday, 11:30am-2pm
How about an interactive Nutcracker performance this year? Club Drosselmeyer 1942 is part cabaret, part game, and totally immersive. A live 8-piece band performs a swinging rendition of the holiday classic that reinterprets the story with magicians, spies, robots, and more. Dress to impress!
Now in its 19th year, this unique performance is Tony Williams’ reimagining of the classic tale as a a Boston inner-city story. Showcasing a broad diversity of dance forms—classical ballet, tap, hip hop, jazz, flamenco, and more—the show follows Ruby and her Nutcracker guide as she explores iconic Boston scenes such as Make Way for Ducklings, Top of the Hub, Chinatown, and the Boston Public Garden.
Brian O’Donovan’s A Celtic Sojourn has entertained WGBH radio audiences since 1986. This Christmastime live version of the show at the Cutler Majestic Theater draws on Pagan, Christian and Celtic musical traditions. It's an eclectic blend of accordion, harp, bass and cello performances featuring a top-notch lineup of musicians, Irish step-dancing, and plenty of surprises. A sensory-friendly performance will be offered for the first time on December 22.
LEGO fans of all ages will enjoy LEGOLAND's Holiday Bricktacular. The LEGO playground will be transformed into a winter wonderland featuring holiday-themed LEGO creations like a gingerbread house and a snowman, workshops, and LEGO Santa.
Nov 23-Dec 29