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December 2016
Massachusetts is rich in arts & culture, so it's no surprise that exciting events, exhibits and festivals are held in the state's 16 regions all year long. Find out more!
Twinkling Lights and Cozy Nights!
There's a reason why they call it the best time of the year. Winter officially begins in December, ushering in a time for togetherness and good cheer. Main streets come alive with lights and décor, making those chilly evening walks nothing short of magical. Holiday performances and special features are in abundance, restaurant menus take a seasonal shift, and the outdoors offer up a new bevvy of activities to enjoy. Revel in the delights of December by going to a show, taking an art class, sampling fine fare, taking photos of holiday lights, strolling through a museum, or whatever tickles your fancy along the way. For more on what's happening this month, visit

Featured Region: Nantucket Island

Gather at the Main Street stage at 11:45 a.m. to help our inimitable Town Crier ring in the 43rd Annual Nantucket Christmas Stroll " Nautical and Nice" December 2-4! Follow him down to Straight Wharf and watch as Santa magically arrives via Coast Guard Cutter! Then parade up cobblestone Main Street with the "Jolly One" himself. Share your wish list and have your photo taken with Santa at the Jared Coffin House.

Enjoy Victorian carolers, the Magical Talking Tree, boutique shopping, and our very special European Market, featuring delectable holiday treats, crafts and so much more! Don't forget to pick up your people's choice ballots at the Chamber office, 0 Main Street, to vote for your favorite Tree and store front décor.

Next: Ring in the New Year island style December 30-January 2!  Restaurant events, comedy shows, children's activities and a "70's disco" ball are sure to please all. 

Find more information on Nantucket Island.
North of Boston
Get into the holiday spirit in the North of Boston region this season! Bring the family to see Santa arrive on a lobster boat during the Marblehead Christmas Walk and also in Rockport.  Explore the homes of Salem dressed-up for the holidays during the 36th Annual Christmas in Salem House Tour. Don't miss Newburyport's Santa Parade & Tree Lighting, and be sure to get your tickets for North Shore Music Theatre's annual musical spectacular, "A Christmas Carol!" Find more information on North of Boston.
Plymouth County

Pilgrim Festival Chorus presents three "Christmas Around the World" concerts: Friday, December 2 at Central Congregational Church, 2 Webster Street, Middleborough;
Saturday, December 3 at St. Bonaventure Church, 803 State Road, Plymouth; and Sunday, December 4 at First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, 842 Tremont Street, Duxbury. All concerts at 7:30 p.m. Plus, enjoy "Celebrate! - Messiah & Carol Sing-along" on Friday, December 16 at First Congregational Church, 6 Plympton Street in Middleborough! $20 adults, $18 seniors, $15 students, children under 14 free. Visit for more tickets.  Find more information on Plymouth County.
Southeastern Mass

What better way to finish your holiday shopping then by supporting local artists? On December 4, there will be a Christmas Arts and Crafts Fair in Fall River and the Mansfield Arts & Craft Show. On December 12, head to Swansea for Craft for a Cause. An don't forget to check out Hippo, formerly Craft-o-Rama, at their new store front on Purchase Street in New Bedford. Click here for more places to shop in Southeastern Massachusetts. Find more information on Southeastern Massachusetts
The Berkshires

Join us for Making Spirits Bright on December 2-4 in downtown Lenox! Enjoy classic holiday decorations and great events for all ages, including a classic town tree lighting, extended shopping hours, sales events, and exclusive gallery openings. Partake in the Santa-themed pub crawl and the Holiday Stroll, which includes access to many of the town's finest inns and holiday choral performances. Downtown Lenox is the perfect place to celebrate the holiday season!
Find more information on The Berkshires
Greater Merrimack Valley

Join the Concord Museum to celebrate the 21st Annual Family Trees: A Celebration of Children's Literature, open to the public through January 2, 2017. Admire up to 40 fancifully decorated Holiday Trees throughout the Concord Museum, inspired by favorites from children's literature, contemporary and classic! Enjoy a family program such as an Afternoon with Authors & Illustrators (Sunday, December 4) or meet award-winning illustrator Jerry Pinkney (Saturday, December 17) and much more. Be sure to check out The Art & Mystery of the Dollhouse on exhibit now. Call 978-369-9763 or visit for more! Find more information on  Greater Merrimack Valley. 
Central Massachusetts

Courtesy of Tower Hill Botanic Garden
Experience the magic of the holidays in Central Mass! Tower Hill Botanic Garden kicks of the season with Winter Reimagined, featuring thousands of colorful lights and special programming all month long. Festival of Lights on December 2 marks the start of the holiday season in Worcester, with performances leading up to the lighting of the City's holiday tree, and public skating on the historic Worcester Common Oval. And bring the kids on December 4,3,10 & 11 to learn about the importance of giving and celebrate with the animals that are changing lives around the world at Hiefer Farm's Holiday Open House & Living Gift Market! Find more information on Central Massachusetts.
Franklin County
Enjoy "It's A Wonderful Night" in Turners Falls on December 9 from 5 to 10 p.m. Live music, hot chocolate, Santa's Magic Mailbox, galleries, and much more! A Special Day in Northfield will be celebrated December 10 from 10 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. Holiday crafts, hayrides, strolling carolers, sunset bonfire, performances and lots of good food. Contact or call 413-498-5921. Welcome Yule comes to the Shea Theater in Turners Falls December 9-11, with Friday and Saturday shows at 7:30 p.m., and a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. Annual midwinter celebration of music, dance, songs and stories for the whole family to enjoy. Tickets online or at the door. Find more information on Franklin County.
Greater Boston
The spirit of the season is contagious with tree lightings and caroling, and classic holiday performances: The Nutcracker, Holiday Pops, Black Nativity and Handel's Messiah. Holiday Strolls, Open Houses and festive dining all add to the holiday atmosphere. The state-of-the-art light and sound extravaganza BLINK! returns to Faneuil Hall Marketplace featuring 350,000+ LED lights dancing to the music of Holiday Pops.  Take advantage of the Mayor's Holiday Special, half-price tickets & dining deals - all season long. Be sure to include time for Boston's newest and coolest attraction BOSTON WINTER, an 11,000 square foot ice skating path, Holiday Market, pedal-powered Holiday Tree and the Urban Lodge for light refreshments on City Hall Plaza. Continue the celebration with First Night/First Day at Copley Square! Find more information on Greater Boston
Cape Cod
Join us for Christmas on Cape Cod this December and create memories that will be cherished for generations! Every town and village puts their special stamp on holiday-inspired events throughout the month, including festive strolls, theater performances, parades, harbor lightings and Santa's arrival by boat. Kids will love the Polar Express aboard Cape Cod Central Railroad and Gardens Aglow at Heritage Museums & Gardens. Visit for holiday events, packages, "shop-portunities" and to find out how you could win hundreds of dollars in gift cards through our "Santa's Helpers" promotion!  Find more information on Cape Cod.
Greater Springfield
Bright Nights at Forest Park is New England's largest holiday lighting display and remains a best-loved tradition. Runs November 23 through January 1. Perfect "same visit" activities right nearby include the Springfield Boys & Girls Club's Festival of Trees in downtown Springfield. Title sponsor Tower Square presents 140 donated decorated trees (November 25-December 11). Just blocks away, the Springfield Museums offers a Holiday Magic Gingerbread Competition with fanciful gingerbread houses, ideal for kids and families alike (November 25-December 31).  For more information, visit  Find more information on Greater Springfield.
Hampshire County
Take a break from a busy holiday season and rediscover the enchantment of the season with An Old Fashioned Christmas at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead in Cummington (December 3-4 & 10-11). Tour the house's festively decorated rooms, complete your holiday shopping at an artisan pop-up gift shop, and listen to carolers singing in the parlor as they light the Christmas tree. Also don't miss the first Holiday Stroll in Northampton on December 9!  Find more information on Hampshire County.
Johnny Appleseed Country
It's time to deck the halls - and if you're looking for fresh ideas, take a swing through Johnny Appleseed Country! The Gardner Museum's Festival of Trees is a must-see, with dozens of themed trees demonstrating the creativity of local organizations. Take the Country Roads Christmas tour on Dec. 3 and 4, as local businesses tempt visitors with holiday ideas. Or marvel at the décor spotlighted in the Fitchburg Historical Society's Holiday House Tour of homes illustrating the city's architectural heritage. Open the door to new ideas in Johnny Appleseed Country! Find more information on Johnny Appleseed Country.
Martha's Vineyard 
Christmas in Edgartown, happening December 9-11, is an annual weekend festival you don't want to miss!  Start your weekend with holiday cookies and cocoa at the lighting of the Edgartown Lighthouse, feed your imagination with a PechaKucha presentation or at the Winter Farmer's Market and Artisan Festival, visit our one-of-a-kind shops, take in a Minnesingers Holiday Concert, enjoy the Chowder Contest and Breakfast With Santa. Visit for all the information you need to plan your trip! Find more information on Martha's Vineyard.
Mohawk Trail Region
Holiday sounds and spirit will fill Spring Street in Williamstown on Saturday, December 3 for the 33rd Annual Williamstown Holiday Walk! Holiday festivities with traditional New England flair: old-fashioned caroling, horse-drawn carriage rides, a Reindog Parade, a Penny Social, Santa Claus, and much more. Kick-off with the ever popular Reindog Parade will begin at 3:30 p.m. For a schedule of holiday fun, visit or call 413-458-9077. Find more information on The Mohawk Trail Region

Holiday Strolls offer performing arts, shopping, food, family activities, and other festivities in a warm community atmosphere!  The month kicks off with the long-running Franklin Holiday Stroll, 4-7 p.m. on December 1. Medfield's Holiday Stroll takes place in 7 different locations starting at 4 p.m. on December 2. Downtown Maynard's Holiday Sip & Stroll starts with a tree-lighting at 6 p.m. on December 3. On December 18, Fruitlands Museum offers a Solstice Stroll of walking trails lit by lantern light. Find more information on MetroWest.
Regional Tourism Councils  
Funded by the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism