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SoWa Winter Festival
Photograph: Courtesy SoWa

The best Christmas things to do in Boston

From classic holiday shows to quirky festivities, these are the best Christmas events this year

Olivia Vanni
Written by
Olivia Vanni
Written by
Eric Grossman
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It's that most wonderful time of year, and Boston has no shortage of events that'll be making spirits bright this winter. Get ready to deck the halls and be festive AF during the holiday season—whether it's by sticking to tradition and seeing the Holiday Pops perform at Symphony Hall or by downing craft beers during a marathon of "Office" Christmas episodes. While you're at it, be sure to also check out the many unique holiday markets in Boston, as well as the twinkly Christmas lights in Boston. The holidays are also a great time to check out the best ice skating rinks in Boston and the best hot chocolate in Boston.

RECOMMENDED: See the full guide to Christmas in Boston

Christmas events in Boston

This holiday tradition sees Keith Lockhart leading the Boston Pops in spirited performances of holiday classics and new arrangements. Performed in the seasonally-bedecked Symphony Hall, this year's schedule of Holiday Pops concerts will require proof of vaccination and masks. See the website for details and ticket info.

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. Check listings for dates, times and tickets.

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This outdoor winter celebration keeps the holiday traditions alive in Downtown Crossing. The Stage Windows installation is a series of prominent storefront window displays created by some of Boston’s top arts organizations. Design firm Black Math will transform the Downtown Crossing floral kiosk into a glowing, three-dimensional lantern in celebration of the Winter Solstice. There will even be Santas on hand to hear kids' Christmas lists.

Nov 24—Jan 31

  • Bars
  • East Cambridge

Santa Claus isn’t the only one coming to town; Miracle, the Christmas-themed pop-up bar, is once again returning to the Kimpton Marlowe Hotel in Cambridge. From Black Friday to Christmas Eve, Miracle at Marlowe will be spreading seasonal cheer with holiday-themed craft cocktails and festive bites—all served up at the lobby bar, which has been transformed into a modern-day Santa’s Workshop. Pull up a seat next to the fireplace—amongst an over-the-top swath of North Pole decorations like mountains of presents, train sets, stockings and ornaments—sip on some drinks while Christmas music classics lull you into a state of holly jolly. Amongst the craft beverages you can drink underneath the tree: the On Dasher, a frothy nog featuring gin, vanilla liqueur, marshmallow, cardamon, black pepper and lemon; the Snowball Old-Fashioned, a blend of rye whiskey, gingerbread, orange essence and bitters; and the Bad Santa, a spiced, hot buttered rum.

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This unique performance is Tony Williams’ reimagining of the classic tale as 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, Chinatown and the Boston Public Garden. Performances will take place at the Shubert Theatre this year from Dec 18—22.

This holiday season, the Boston Seaport has once again transformed into Snowport, a magical winter wonderland right on the waterfront. Shop for gifts, play games, view festive art and encounter plenty of surprises. Hunt down the perfect pine for your home at the tree market, take a stroll to admire all of the lights or even try your hand at iceless curling.

Nov 19—Jan 2

More holiday fun

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