Boston at Christmastime
December 3, 2013 2:45 PM   Subscribe

What are Christmas-y things to do in Boston during the month of December?

Looking for things that range from cheesy to cool. We live in Fenway, but we have a car and can venture
- Do certain movie theaters only do Christmas movie nights or a Christmas series of nights?
- Any special, authentic-to-Boston events that we need to be aware of?
- Should we venture to see something far or not-so-far away?
posted by bamassippi to Travel & Transportation around Boston, MA (15 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
You could go see the Boston Ballet's production of The Nutcracker.
posted by peacheater at 2:58 PM on December 3, 2013 [3 favorites]

Swedish Yuletide is this Saturday at the Cyclorama in the Back Bay! It's a festival with lots of vendors, an accordion band, and a procession of little St. Lucia girls. There's plenty of Swedish food to eat, bakers and butchers and candy vendors, jewellers and crafts and so on. I've been going with friends for years now, and it always cheers me up.

The disadvantages are that it's $10 at the door, and you need to turn up around the 10 am opening time in order to avoid enormous crowds, especially once the little girl choir comes in around 11:30-ish and all the parents turn up.
posted by Countess Elena at 3:11 PM on December 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

The Somerville Theater puts on The Slutcracker every year, a Nutcracker-themed burlesque.

I was going to suggest the Bazaar Bizarre, but it looks like they're not doing it this year. However, in Harvard Square there's the Holly Fair, a local craft fair run by the Cambridge Center for Adult Education.

Several of the squares do "midnight madness" shopping events where many of the stores have open houses, entertainment, and free snacks. Davis Square is this Thursday and I believe Inman Square is on the 12th.
posted by backseatpilot at 3:18 PM on December 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

It's a bit of a hike, but I love going to Old Sturbridge Village this time of year for the lights, the bonfire, and the rum and cider.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 3:51 PM on December 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

We go to the Nutcracker every year. It's the only night we actually get a babysitter. This year we went on opening night - it's truly a wonderful production. The sets alone are astoundingly beautiful. Well worth it.
posted by sonika at 4:03 PM on December 3, 2013

Messiah at Trinity Church is this Sunday
posted by bowmaniac at 4:33 PM on December 3, 2013

Boston Gay Men's Chorus always makes me feel Christmas-y.
posted by orange (sherbet) rabbit at 4:35 PM on December 3, 2013

I adore the Boston Holiday Pops. The musicians all look like they are having SO much fun and it is delightful. I alternate years between going to see the Pops and the Nutcracker.
posted by athenasbanquet at 4:47 PM on December 3, 2013

This blog has a big list of events, and the city of Boston actually provides a Winter Brochure of events around the city.
posted by DulcineaX at 5:03 PM on December 3, 2013

For cheesie, 45min south is Edaville Railroad. There used to be a department store (Jordan Marsh) with pretty good animated windows, the scenes were bought by the local massive furniture store (different Jordan). BB does a decent Nutcracker, good show, I've heard the very last performance of the season the cast lets their hair down and has fun with lots of in jokes. And the Revels would be a good show.
posted by sammyo at 5:31 PM on December 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

Somerville Illuminations tour of the cheezey/awesome light displays around town.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:57 PM on December 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

A Messiah sing is fun -- here's a list of Boston-area ones (with 2012 dates).

Also the Christmas carol service at Harvard's Memorial Church.

I've been liking The Boston Calendar a lot for all kinds of events recently. It looks like the filters "This Month" + "Fairs & Festivals" gets mostly holiday events.

(MeMail for an invitation to my annual holiday wine & cheesecake party.)
posted by teditrix at 7:35 PM on December 3, 2013

The Christmas Revels
posted by scolbath at 6:33 AM on December 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

A cool alternative to the Boston Ballet's Nutcracker is the annual production of the Nutcracker at the Strand Theater in Dorchester. They cast local kids and, at least as a kid, I always loved it, even more than the big fancy production by the Boston Ballet.

If you're around for Christmas Eve, it's worthwhile to go to a Unitarian Universalist Christmas Eve service. Not only are UU services nice for non-believers, but there's a lot of singing and the service is done by candlelight at many churches. It's a lovely, peaceful way to spend Christmas Eve. I'm calling this a Boston-specific thing simply because Boston is the center of the UU world, and has several great UU churches (the Arlington St church, the Harvard Square church).
posted by lunasol at 8:43 AM on December 4, 2013

The Brattle Theatre shows It's a Wonderful Life every year -- this year, it's running from the 20th to the 24th. It's always a packed house, so if you want to go, buy tickets early and show up early to get good seats!
posted by cider at 12:38 PM on December 4, 2013

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