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Boston Holiday Lights Events and Celebrations 2021

Festive Holiday Lights & Celebrations in Massachusetts and beyondBoston Holiday Lights and Drive-Thru Christmas Displays

photo credit: The Anchor Boston

While the past (almost 2 years!) have been challenging for events and festivities, things are finally opening up again!  Many cherished holiday traditions are back, including festive shows & performances, and lots of joyful holiday light displays in the area. 

Below are some fun holiday traditions that have returned this year.  

Boston

Christopher Columbus Park Trellis Lighting - Boston
November 22, 2021 at 5:00pm

Located at 110 Atlantic Avenue on Boston’s historic waterfront, Christopher Columbus Park will be transformed into a beautiful holiday display when the park’s 260 feet of trellis are illuminated with 50,000 blue lights along with 14 decorated trees at the Christopher Columbus Park Trellis Lighting.  

Boston Holiday Lights Christopher Columbus Trellisphoto courtesy of Friends of Christopher Columbus Park

NEW! Holiday Ship Lighting in Martin's Park - Boston Seaport
(November 27, 2021)

Join us for Boston's newest holiday tradition on November 27, 2021. 4 - 6 p.m. for the first annual Holiday Ship Lighting in Martin's Park.  Welcome Santa who will be arriving by boat. Enjoy some hot cocoa, caroling, and holiday fun!

Presented by Friend's of Martin's Park and Boston Parks and Recreation Department.

photo credit: Boston Parks & Recreation Dept.

Boston Common Menorah Lighting
November 28, 2021

Hanukkah 2021 kicked off on Sunday, November 28 with the lighting of the 22-foot tall menorah on the historic Boston Common, ushering in a week of warmth & brightness to the Boston area.

boston common menorah lighting

photo courtesy of The Freedom Trail

Copley Square Tree Lighting - Boston
Monday, November 29, 2021 from 5:00pm - 6:00pm 

Mayor Michelle Wu, the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, and The Friends of Copley Square will welcome revelers virtually to the annual Copley Square Tree Lighting. The usual festivities surrounding the lighting will not take place this year, but everyone will be able to enjoy the lights thru January. 

Boston Holiday Lights Copley Place

photo credit: Milford Street

Boston Common Tree and Festive Lights - Boston
Thursday, December 2,  2021 from 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Mayor Michelle Wu and The Deputy Premier of Nova Scotia, will celebrate the 80th Annual Boston Common Tree Lighting Spectacular on Thursday, December 2, 2021 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm on WCVB-TV.

The holiday lights throughout both parks will light up in sequence shortly before 8 p.m. when the Mayor is joined onstage by members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Santa Claus, Rudolph, and Frosty. The show will close with a pyrotechnic display.

boston holiday events tree lighting boston common

photo courtesy of City of Boston

Commonwealth Avenue Mall 
Thursday, December 2,  2021

Mayor Michelle Wu and The Committee for the  Lighting of the Commonwealth Avenue Mall will light the trees on the Mall immediately following the Boston Common Tree Lighting.  Trees along the Mall will be illuminated with elegant white lights all winter.

The usual festivities surrounding the lighting will not take place this year, but everyone will be able to enjoy the lights thru January. 

In addition, you are invited to enjoy for the first-ever lighting of Charlesgate Park -   coinciding with the annual lighting of the Commonwealth Ave. Mall!  For the first time, Charlesgate Park - the connector between the Necklace, the Mall and the Esplanade - will be illuminated in green lights for the season.
 

Boston Holiday Lights Commonwealth Mall

photo credit: Boston.gov

Just down the way at Charlesgate Park, (near Hynes Convention Center), enjoy the glow of the Emerald Green Grove, whose lights shine bright throughout the season.

photo credit: Emerald Conservancy

Boston's Enchanted Trolley Tour & Tree Lightings
(December 3 - 5, 2021)

The annual Mayor's Enchanted Trolley Tour is a festive tradition of lighting holiday trees while bringing holiday spirit to children across Boston.  The tour includes visits with Santa, holiday performances, tree lightings and more, led by Mayor Michelle Wu.  

Boston Mayors Enchanted Trolley Tour

Photo courtesy of The City of Boston (*updated photo with Michelle Wu coming soon)

The Anchor Boston - Navy Yard Lights
December 9, 2021

Enjoy a festive display of holiday lights, with outdoor seating and concessions this season.  Stroll by, or stop in for a bit.  The Anchor is open 7 days a week until New Year's Eve with lots of fun programs & events!  All ages welcome, and always open to the public.

The Anchor's official tree lighting will take place on December 9. 2021.  Enjoy an afternoon filled with holiday festivities beginning at 4pm including:

  • Live ice sculpture carving from Ice Effects
  • Christmas Ornaments Paint Party (RSVP required)
  • Matt Browne performing Christmas carols
  • Additional live performances throughout the night
  • Holiday tree lighting at 6pm featuring special guests State Rep Danny Ryan and family

Be sure to check out our grove of 50 trees of various sizes, shapes and decorations in the fountain area too. 

The Anchor Boston Holiday Lights

photo courtesy of The Anchor Boston

NORTH SUBURBS

North Shore Holiday Lights Show - Haverhill
November 19, 2021 - December 30, 2021

The North Holiday Light Show is the only drive-through holiday light spectacular on the North Shore - featuring dozens of dazzling, larger-than-life holiday themed displays to delight the entire family.

 

 

Somerville's Illuminations Holiday Tour - Somerville, MA
December 9, 2021 - December 31, 2021

Come celebrate the folk artistry of residents who transform their houses and yards with lights, ornaments, and shrines of devotion and fantasy.  Somerville's Illumination Holiday Tour will once again be self-guided for the 2021 season, and will not include the tradition trolley ride.  New this year - caroling!  Enjoy joyful holiday voices from many a porch. 

A Google Map is being created (available Dec. 9) for people to use as a guide for their own socially distanced tour.

Boston Holiday Lights Somerville Illuminated

photo courtesy of Somerville Arts Council

Zoolights at Stone Zoo - Stoneham, MA
November 19, 2021 - January 9, 2022

Zoolights at Stone Zoo's  winter wonderland will take visitors on a one-way stroll through the Zoo, along tree-lined paths lit by twinkling lights. Spanning the 26 acres of Stone Zoo, visitors will walk through the beautifully lit Yukon Creek and see black bears, a bald eagle, Canada lynx, arctic foxes, and even reindeer!

Boston Holiday Lights Zoolights

photo courtesy of Stone Zoo

Gift of Lights at NH Motor Speedway - Loudon, NH
November 25, 2021 - January 1, 2022

It’s time for New Hampshire Motor Speedway to trade in the checkered flags for more than 2.5 million twinkly LED lights for the 10th annual Gift of Lights at NH Motor Speedway . The 2.5-mile drive-thru light show will feature the Tunnel of Lights , 520 displays and 80 different scenes.

Boston Holiday Lights Drive Through

photo credit: kcasso81 (IG)

 

SOUTH SUBURBS

La Salette Festival of Holiday Lights - Attleboro, MA
November 25, 2021 - January 2, 2022

La Salette Festival of Holiday Lights is one of the most beloved and popular Christmas displays in the state. Featuring: 300,000 Lights illuminating over 10 acres of winter wonderland.

The event is held at The National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette, so many of the displays celebrate the spiritual side of the holidays.

Boston Holiday Lights La Salette

photo credit: Robert Gillis / La Salette Shrine 

Magic of Lights at Gillette Stadium - Foxboro, MA
November 19, 2021 - January 1, 2022

Magic of Lights at Gillette Stadium is a dazzling, drive-through holiday lights experience featuring favorite holiday scenes and characters of the season using the latest LED technology and digital animations. 

Experience Magic of Lights from the comfort and safety of your own car as you wind through the sparkling path of Foxboro’s favorite holiday tradition. One carload, one price.

Just in time for the holidays, Magic of Lights is now offering guests the opportunity to save $25 on standard vehicle passes for all dates now through Dec. 24 using code SAVE25, courtesy of T-Mobile. 

TIPS

  • The entrance to the venue is on the southbound side of Route 1 (across the street from the stadium).  (67 Washington Street)  Plan for big time traffic.

  • We recommend playing your own Christmas music vs. tuning into the 88.7 radio station so you don't have to hear commercials. 

Boston Holiday Lights Magic of Lights Gillettephoto courtesy of Magic of Lights

Enchanted Village: Jordan's Furniture Avon
November 15, 2021 - January 1, 2022

Enjoy Boston's historic Enchanted Village, now on view at Jordan's Furniture in Avon. Jordan’s Furniture purchased the surviving pieces of the Enchanted Village at auction and restored the vintage collection to its former glory. The Village is open for all to enjoy during the holiday season.

Roger Williams  Holiday Lights Spectacular - Providence
November 26, 2021 - January 2, 2022

Brighten your holidays and celebrate the magic of the season with Roger Williams Park Zoo! Bring family and friends to experience Holiday Lights Spectacular at Roger Williams Park Zoo – just in time for the holidays.

Featuring dozens of luminous displays and over 1.5 million illuminated lights, it’s the most wonderful way to ring in the holidays!

holiday lights near boston

photo courtesy of Roger Williams Park

Holiday Wonderland: Newport Mansions - Newport, RI
November 21, 2021 - January 10 2022

Celebrate the Holidays at the Newport Mansions 2021 - both indoors and outdoors!  For the first time, the exterior of The Breakers and its landscape will be awash in thousands of festive colored lights, including 28 spruce trees glittering and glowing.

The Children’s Cottage will be outlined in lights and visitors will be able to peek through the windows at Santa’s Workshop inside. Holiday music will fill the air.  

Holiday Lights Newport Mansions

photo courtesy of Newport Mansions

Sparkling Lights at the Breakers: An Outdoor Wonderland - Newport
November 20, 2021 - January 9, 2022

Holidays at the Newport Mansions returns to The Breakers, Marble House and The Elms, beginning Saturday, November 20. The houses will be decorated and open daily for the holidays, except for Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. All properties will close at 3 p.m. on December 24. 

For the second year in a row, “Sparkling Lights at The Breakers: An Outdoor Magical Wonderland” will illuminate the historic landscape with thousands of colorful lights. But this outdoor attraction has been significantly expanded to include the southern portion of the property.

Holiday Lights Breakers Newportphoto credit: Louis Walker III 

 

Gardens Aglow: A Celebration of Holiday Lights - Sandwich
November 26 - December 26, 2021

Gardens Aglow is an OUTDOOR ONLY experience for 2020. Join us for the celebration of lights that has become a treasured holiday tradition. This event features beautiful light displays throughout the gardens, as well as many activities throughout the grounds:

  • Roast marshmallows at the fire pits
  • Participate in a reindeer scavenger hunt
  • Eat festive treats, drink hot beverages, and warm yourself up at the Magnolia Café
  • Visit Santa Claus at the Outdoor Stage
  • Enjoy Cape Cod Donuts, a warming area, games, and music at the Parade Field
  • Capture your experience at fun photo opportunities throughout the grounds
  • Shop for fabulous holiday gifts at The Shop at Heritage
  • Stroll the gardens with family and friends, and enjoy Heritage in a whole new light

Boston Holiday Lights Gardens Aglow Sandwich

photo courtesy of Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce

Marshfield Drive-Thru Holiday Lights Display - Marshfield
November 19 - December 20, 2021

The Holiday Lights display at the Marshfield Fairgrounds is returning for its second year for those looking for a drive-thru lights display on the South Shore.

Visitors will get to enjoy dozens of large displays along the mile, and they’ll twinkle in sync with a radio program as you drive through the course.

photo courtesy of Marshfield Holiday Lights IG

Enchanted Village of Lights at the Cape Codder - Hyannis
December 3 - 18, 2021

Escape To An Enchanted Holiday Wonderland at the Cape Codder Resort.   Stroll through thousands of dazzling lights and animated scenes reminiscent of yesteryear.

See a one-of-a-kind Christmas Tree made of more than 70 lobster traps, then stop by the lobby to view the enormous table-top Christmas Village with toy trains.   Admission to the Village and Santa are FREE and open the public. Guests are encouraged to bring Gift Cards and non-perishable foods to place under our Giving Tree. 

Boston Holiday Lights

photo courtesy of Cape Codder Resort

Lobster Pot Tree - Provincetown, MA
November 27, 2021 - January 2, 2022

This cool tradition in Provincetown (yep, it's built out of lobster pots and a giant anchor), is truly an impressive sight to behold.  As with most 2020 lighting events, no fanfare or activities will surround the official lighting of the Lobster Pot Tree (there will be a virtual video released on 11/28).  The tree will then be on display for all to enjoy in Lopez Square.

Boston Holiday Lights Provincetown Lobster Pot Tree

photo credit: Julian Popko


WEST SUBURBS

Greater Boston Celebration of Lights - Waltham
November 26, 2021 - January 2, 2022

Welcome back to the Greater Boston Celebration of Lights!

The Waltham Lions Club, partnered with Fiesta Shows, New England's largest amusement provider, will open a drive-thru holiday light show this winter featuring over 1-million holiday lights and decorations through the 1-mile driving path.

 photo courtesy of Great Boston Celebration of Lights

Festival of Trees and Snow Village at Mass Hort - Wellesley
November 26, 2021 - December 19, 2021

Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s Festival of Trees showcases dozens of decorated trees as well as Snow Village, including a model railroad display.

The Festival offers beautifully decorated holiday trees that are donated and decorated by local businesses, garden clubs and other organizations, and individuals. Visitors ‘vote’ with their raffle tickets, selecting the tree they would like to win at the end of the event.  

Outside there will also be decorations in The Gardens at Elm Bank.  Visitors can keep warm and cozy melting S’mores at the fire pit.  This is a visual treat for young and old alike and each year it is a little different.

Boston Holiday Lights Festival of Trees

photo courtesy of Mass Horticultural Society

Boston Holiday Lights Mass Hort Wellesley

photo courtesy of Mass Horticultural Society

 

Festival of Illumination at Southwick's Zoo - Milford, MA
September 9, 2021 - January 2, 2022

Join us for our annual holiday-themed event: Winter Lights at Southwick Zoo! This year’s Winter Wonderland guests will stay warm and cozy in their vehicles as they drive through the zoo to admire light displays.

Boston Holiday Lights Southwick Zoo

photo courtesy of Southwick Zoo

Holiday Haybale at Powisset Farm - Dover
12/5/2021 - 12/31/2022

Holiday lightings come in all forms, including hay bales!  The annual Powisset Farm Hay Bale lighting is both unique and fun.  The 'tree' is actually about a dozen hay bales stacked on top of each other in the shape of a tree. 

Guests can enjoy two warming  bonfires or move to the party space in the barn.  S'more kits are usually available for purchase to use over the bonfires outside.

boston holiday lights powisset farm hay bale

photo credit: Hometown Weekly

Winter Lights at Naumkeag, Bradley Estate & Stevens Coolidge - Stockbridge, Canton & North Andover
11/26/2021 - 1/9/2022

Three of our beautiful garden properties will sparkle with thousands of shimmering, artfully designed holiday lights at Winter Lights. Bring the whole family for a magical, fun, and safe outdoor experience – with food, refreshments, and more.

Boston Holiday Lights Naumkeag

photo courtesy of Trustees of Reservations

Bright Nights at Forest Park - Springfield, MA
November 24 , 2021 - January 2, 2022

Bright Nights is New England's largest holiday lighting display. Enjoy the wonders of Seuss Land, Jurassic World, Toy Land, North Pole Village, and many more from the comfort of your own car.

Visitors can tune their car radio to 98.5 FM to enjoy holiday music. Don't forget to stop at 'Bright Nights Gift Stop' for refreshments and souvenirs!

Boston Holiday Lights Bright Noghts at Forest Park Springfield

photo courtesy of Bright Nights at Forest Park

 

First Night Boston 
December 31, 2021 - January 1, 2022

First Night in Boston is a city-wide New Year's Eve celebration that is free and open to the public.  For over 40 years, Boston’s First Night has been a New Year’s Eve celebration of artistic performances, ice sculptures, light shows, the wonders of the season and the beginning of a new year. 

Boston Holiday Lights First Night

photo credit: BostonUSA

Looking for more December events in Boston?  Check out our handy guide to winter fun. 

Traditional winter activities like Ice Skating and Skiing Near Boston are also popular for families.  And for more ideas about fun things to do in Boston anytime of year, we have oodles of options for you on our Boston Events calendar.

stacey saoStacey Sao has been the Managing Director of the family-friendly events and activities website, BostonCentral for over 20 years.  She continues to enjoy discovering and exploring new places to visit in the Greater Boston area.