The Holiday Season is upon us! It wasn’t until I had children that I realized how magical this time of year really can be. I’ve highlighted below some of our family’s favorite holiday events in the Boston area to enjoy for $10 or less. Happy Holidays!
photo credit: Amanda Agoes Photography
1. The Enchanted Village at Jordan’s Furniture, Avon
Family of Four (Enchanted Village): Free!
Every year without fail, we go into Home Depot or Walgreens in October and see all of those holiday decorations out, and the first thing my son asks “When are we going to the Enchanted Village?”. The Village was rescued from disrepair by Jordan’s Furniture. They have it set up in their Avon store. It is an old-time village with animated figures. You can walk through while holiday music plays and “snow” falls every few minutes.
It is free to walk through the village and I suggest you go during the week or go EARLY on the weekends. Early, like *right* before it opens to avoid the massive crowds that queue up in line.
After visiting the village, you can get a photo with Santa, play carnival games, or see movies at the MOM theater (they all cost extra). They have added a faux ice skating rink – so no need for coats or hats! It’s indoors and perfect for novice skaters getting a feel for the ice. Rentals and an hour on the rink costs $5/person.
photo credit: Amanda Agoes Photography
2. Boston “Blink” at Faneuil Hall
Family of Four: Free!
Another fun and festive place we love checking out every year is “Blink” at Quincy Market. The shopping center is fully decorated in lights and the tree is HUGE! If you are out and about shopping or in the city for dinner, it’s definitely worth stopping by. Every 1/2 hour starting at 4:30 daily, the light show “dances” along to music by the Boston Pops for a 7 minute spectacle.
New this year: The Greenway Presents “Caroling at the Carousel”. It will be “a three-event series featuring free performances by three local choirs singing holiday music … The performances will be 6-6:30PM on three Friday evenings: December 4, December 11, and December 18. Following the performance visitors will be treated to free hot chocolate and treats by popular Greenway and Boston Public Market vendors.” Carousel rides are $3/person.
Visit their Facebook page for more information.
photo credit: ** RCB **
3. The Lighting of the Menorah
Family of Four: FREE
This year, Hanukkah begins on the evening of Sunday, December 6. Below are a few wonderful (and FREE!) events where you and your family can enjoy the lighting of the Menorah.
8 Nights, 8 Windows
Menorah @ The Mall (Northshore Mall)
Chanukah Story Hour At Barnes & Nobles
Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights (MFA)
photo credit: LadyDragonflyCC
4. Visit Santa!
Bass Pro Shops, Patriots Place
Visit the Bass Pro Shops in Foxborough for an afternoon of family fun. FREE pictures with Santa, FREE crafts, and FREE activities!
The Globe Santa
The Globe Santa will visit all around Boston. You can take photos with him, and donate to a good cause! Donations are accepted for Globe Santa. For more information on Globe Santa, visit their website at globesanta.org.
Click here to see where you can find The Globe Santa
Free Photos with Santa @ MarketStreet, Lynnfield
Check their website for the schedule of where you can find the big guy each day at MarketStreet, Lynnfield! Take FREE photos with Santa (photo packages are available for purchase).
Season’s Four, Lexington
Season’s Four is a great place to stop by for some holiday cheer! The entire store is decked out in holiday decor and they have a full schedule of family events and activities. Pictures with Santa are by donation for the Communities United charity.
photo credit: Ruth and Dave
5. Ice Skating
Sharpen those skates and pull on your warmest hats and gloves! There are so many local places to enjoy the ice!
Boston Common Frog Pond – Kids skate free, adult admission is $6. Skate rentals are additional.
Community Ice Skating @ Kendall – Sat. 12/15 there will be FREE ice skating and an ice show. Other dates, check their website for hours, rates, and skate rental costs.
DCR Managed Rinks – FREE with your own skates or $5 rentals.
Enchanted Ice @ Jordan’s Furniture, Avon – Indoor skating rink where no coats are required! $5 rentals.
Skate at the Rink! MarketStreet, Lynnfield – Skating rink admission: $8/adults, $6/children. Under 3 is free. Bring your own skates or $4/rentals available.
photo credit: OliBac
6. Visit Local Museums
Boston Children’s Museum
Admission is only $1 per person to Boston Children’s Museum every Friday night starting at 5pm.
Fuller Craft Museum
Admission is FREE for all visitors on Thursdays after 5pm.
Harvard Art Museums
Admission is FREE for MA residents to the newly renovated Harvard Art Museums every Saturday from 10-12.
Harvard Museum of Natural History
MA residents can visit for FREE on Sundays from 9-12 and Wednesdays from 3-5.
Voluntary Admission Fee Contribution @ MFA
Wednesday nights after 4 pm, admission is by *voluntary contribution. Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts is home to the world’s best paintings, sculptures, and artifacts. My son’s favorite exhibit is the Mummies!
photo credit: peddhapati
7. Enjoy the Holiday Lights
Family of Four: FREE
Looking for the best places to check out holiday light displays in and around Boston? Look no further!
Be sure to visit “Boston’s Official Christmas Tree” – donated annually from Nova Scotia.
Christmas Festival of Lights @ La Salette Shrine, Attleboro
We haven’t been, but have heard it’s worth the drive. Go early, as this is a popular attraction. Drive through 10 acres lit with over 300,000 lights! Admission is free, but donations are accepted.
Christopher Columbus Park Trellis
When you’re strolling around Boston, take in the picturesque view of Boston’s waterfront through the lit trellis at Christopher Columbus Park.
Mayor’s Enchanted Trolley Tour and Tree Lightings
A winter wonderland of festive holiday lights can be found throughout the city!
A 16ft holiday tree will appear on the Charles River Esplanade this year for the first time ever! The tree will located for all to admire on the Hatch Shell Oval.
Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market
350,000 LED lights “dance” nightly to the music of the Boston Pops every 1/2 hour starting at 4:30 daily. Shows last 7 minutes. And you can’t miss the largest holiday tree on the Northeast!
Macy’s, Downtown Crossing
Stroll down Washington Street and enjoy the classic window displays at Macy’s.
photo credit: Sister72
8. See a Live Show for Le$$!
As part of the Mayor’s Holday, BoxTix is offering deals on a number of holiday shows. I have compiled a list below of all the shows less than $10/ticket.For a full schedule check out these 1/2 price show ticket deals or $10 restaurant vouchers.
The Frog Prince and Other Frogs
A Holiday Fantasy
Lexington Symphony Holiday Pops
Peter and the Wolf
The Pirate Princess
Puppet Playtime Holiday Sing-A-Long
Puss In Boots
Sing-A-Long: The Sound of Music
A Tale of the Monkey King
The Three Billy Goats Gruff and The Lion and the Mouse
For $12: Disney On Ice presents Treasure Trove
For $14: The Velveteen Rabbit
For $16: Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream
photo credit: ScypaxPictures
9. What’s Playing?
AMC @ Assembly Row
See your favorite holiday movies for FREE! Free tickets will be given out in the AMC theater lobby starting at 9:30am on each Saturday in December. The show for that day starts at 10am. Go early! Tickets are first come, first serve.
Holiday Classic Films @ Showcase Cinesmas
See your favorite holiday movies on the big screen for FREE! Please bring a donation of a non-perishable food item to benefit a local food pantry. Participating theaters are: Legacy Place, Lowell, Patriot Place, Providence Place 16, Randolph, Revere, Ridge Hill, Springdale, Warwick, Woburn. Movies are shown Saturdays at 10:00 am from November 28th – December 19th.
Holiday Kids Story Hour & Movie @ The Prudential Center
On Saturday December 5th and 19th, children can attend a Polar Express Story Hour from 11am – 12pm and watch a special showing of the holiday classic, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer from 12pm – 1pm. Both events will be held in the Huntington Arcade.
Movies at Redbox can be rented for just $1.50/night for DVDs. If you sign up for their email/text alert club you receive promo codes for free rentals almost weekly!
Every Tuesdays, Showcase Cinemas offers “Bargain Tuesdays” – all tickets to all shows are just $8!
photo credit: _Zeta_
10. First Night Boston
Ring in 2016 with a bang during First Night Boston. All First Night activities are FREE this year! Don’t miss the awesome ice sculptures and fireworks!
Click here for the Winter on the Waterfront schedule of events too!