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Boston Seaport christmas
Photograph: Courtesy Boston Seaport

Best Christmas things to do in Boston

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

JQ Louise
Tanya Edwards
Edited by
JQ Louise
Written by
Tanya Edwards

The holidays are almost here in Boston, and the season is always so special in New England. With tree lightings, holiday markets, shows and holiday events, there is so much to get excited about in Boston this holiday season. Whether you prefer to stick to tradition by seeing the Holiday Pops perform at Symphony Hall or taking a class to make your own festive wreath, there is something for everyone this winter. Don’t miss our guides to the best holiday markets in Boston, as well as where to see the best 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

Time Out Market Boston

Feel festive at Time Out Market Boston

Experience the magic of winter at 401 Park, right in front of Time Out Market, Boston, as we unveil our seasonal attractions opening on November 18, 2023. Discover a 6,000-square-foot outdoor ice rink where you can skate to your heart's content for just $10 (with discounted rates of $6 for kids, students, and seniors). The rink is open from Thursday through Sunday, offering a perfect opportunity for all to enjoy. But that's not all; our Winter Wonderland also features a charming Christmas tree farm, allowing you to find the ideal tree to bring the holiday spirit home. Don't miss this chance to create lasting memories with family and friends in the heart of Boston this winter.

Christmas events in Boston

The Nutcracker is one of the season’s most beloved traditions, enjoyed by generations, with dancing, glittering sets and holiday magic. 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.

Playing Nov 24–Dec 31, 2022

Holiday Pops
Photograph: Stu Rosner

2. Holiday Pops

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 includes shorter matinee performances (with a visit from Santa) for children, and even sensory friendly performances. See the website for details and ticket info.

Playing Dec 1–24

  • Things to do
  • Ice skating

Winter in the Commonwealth can be bracing, but if you bundle up and clutch a hot drink with your mittens, it can be downright charming. One of the best winter activities, hitting an ice rink, is beloved by both locals and tourists, and the Hub and its surrounds has no shortage of rinks fit for all levels, from the classic Frog Pond to the recently opened Rink at 401 Park.

This outdoor winter celebration keeps the holiday traditions alive in Downtown Crossing. This year’s theme, Snowflake Crossing, will see festive decor and lights throughout downtown, the Harvard University Band playing holiday classics at One Summer Street, regular visits from Santa Claus and musicians, puppets, a holiday arts and retail market, and snack vendors on Summer Street Plaza.

Starting Nov 18



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 take place at the Shubert Theatre.

Playing Dec 16–23


Starting November 10, Snowport returns to the Seaport with fun for the whole family! You’ll find outdoor iceless curling, evergreen trimmings and trees at The Tree Market, an annual holiday tree lighting, Light Up Seaport and the annual Menorah Lighting. The Holiday Market at Snowport returns as well, with new addition Crafting Corner by The Maker’s Club, which will host creative workshops for both kids and adults to make holiday-themed crafts, such as ornament making and playing with Holiday-themed sensory bins for kids. Also new are four holiday-themed bars such as a ringing “Jingle Bar” adorned in hundreds of bells and “The Dizzy Dreidel” decked with spinning dreidels.

  • Restaurants

There’s not much more New England than bundling up and pulling on snow boots for a hot cocoa run, even when the snow is falling. The great news is that Boston is brimming with rich, sweet, spicy and boozy hot cocoa options. Grab one of these comforting libations to warm up after braving the freezing cold this winter.

  • Bars
  • East Cambridge

Back for another year, the festive pop up bar, Miracle at Marlowe, will be decking the halls and pouring seasonal drinks starting the day after Thanksgiving. The pop  up bar will be playing Christmas tunes, and the room will be aglow with holiday joy and twinkly lights. Bartenders will don their favorite ugly Christmas sweaters while mixing guests Miracle’s specialty cocktails, in special holiday glassware. New cocktails this season include the Carol Barrel, Koala Cooler, Marshmallows & Unicorns, and Rudolph’s Replacement, and the Christmaspolitan will be returning!

Nov 24–Dec 24

Sun–Thur 5pm – 10pm, Fri and Sat 5pm–11pm

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Hotels
  • Bay Village
  • price 3 of 4
  • Recommended

Get creative for the holidays at a special wreath making workshop at the Revere Hotel, with Flowergirl Traci.During this festive workshop, you will learn the art of creating a beautiful fresh holiday wreath, full of fresh greens, and seasonal stems, known for their long-lasting qualities. One drink ticket, an 18" grapevine wreath base, tools/wire, and fresh greenery and decor. 

Nov 26 at 12pm, buy tickets here

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