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Eight things to do in Boston this holiday season

Posted by Meghan Colloton  December 4, 2013 11:44 AM

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Boston -- everywhere you go. Looking for ideas on how you can revel in the festiveness of the city? Here are eight ideas for some traditional and not-so-traditional things you can do in Boston this holiday season.


From left: PetSmart's Santa Claws in-store photo opportunity; Anthony Williams’s “Urban Nutcracker”; Christmas Tree and Blink! light extravaganza at Faneuil Hall Marketplace.

1. Take your own Christmas tree light tour
It seems like everywhere you turn in Boston, you can’t help but find another tree decked out in holiday lights. So channel your inner Buddy the Elf and take a stroll to see some of the biggies: Copley Square, Boston Common, and Faneuil Hall (and don’t miss the Blink! light and sound extravaganza while you’re there) to name a few. In the mood for something a bit more unconventional? Head to the Liberty Hotel‘s main lobby to view their upside-down decorated trees.

2. Get your 'Nutcracker' on — but not the classic kind
Celebrating its 13th season, Anthony Williams’s “Urban Nutcracker” provides a twist on the holiday ballet you have come to know. Think classic “Nutcracker” with a Duke Ellington jazz spin. It’s a mix of the traditional ballet with a blend of hip hop, swing, jazz, step, and a few other surprises.

3. Step back in time with a not-so-average rendition of ‘A Christmas Carol’
Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim have become synonymous with the Christmas season. And Victorian-Era Englishman Thomas Hutchinson – portrayed by Actor Al LePage – brings all 26 “A Christmas Carol” characters to life at the OMNI Parker House Hotel on Dec. 14. Not Victorian enough for you? You can also sample some mince tarts and warmed apple cider during the show.

4. Dress Fido in his holiday finest to strike a pose with Santa
Even our four-legged friends deserve a chance to let Santa know what they want this year. Head to your local Boston-area PetSmart Dec. 14 for their annual Santa Claws in-store photo opportunity. Make sure you bring your camera to capture that perfect shot for your holiday card. Another plus: If you donate $5 at the register, your contribution will benefit local animal welfare groups.

5. Don your “unique” holiday sweater
There’s no shortage of “ugly” holiday sweater events around Boston this season. So open up your closet and throw on the brightest, most festive sweater you can find before heading to one of the many parties thrown in honor of this special piece of attire — like the Spirit of Boston’s cocktail cruise on Dec. 12.

6. Indulge your sweet tooth
Let’s face it: During the holidays, many of us treat ourselves a bit more than normal when it comes to sweet treats. So why not get out and celebrate all things chocolate in the city at Taza’s annual holiday fiesta shopping event on Dec. 14 and 15. Sample delights from various shops, including Sweet Lydia’s, Privateer Rum, Doves & Figs, and MEM Tea Imports. Both days will include free hot chocolate from Taza’s Chococyle and savory snacks from Latin Spoon food truck.

7. Listen to the sounds of the season — for FREE
No need to drop a pretty penny to see a fancy choir or orchestra this year. There are a slew of free musical entertainment options this season, including the Downtown Boston Brass strolling quartet or Berklee College Twilight Carolers, who perform for free around Boston’s downtown area throughout the season.

8. Pen a letter to Santa — and support a great cause
You’re never too old to send your wishlist to the man in red if it means helping others at the same time. Or, consider gathering your friends, family, coworkers, or members of organizations you’re involved in together to form a letter-writing group . Macy’s "Letters to Santa" campaign is running now through Dec. 24 at all local Macy's. For every stamped letter received for jolly old St. Nick, Macy’s will contribute $1 to Make-A-Wish® of America (up to $1 million). Letter stations can be found at every Macy’s retail store throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

What do you like to do around Boston during the holiday season that might be considered not so traditional? Share your ideas in our comments section.

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Stephanie Callahan is a native Bostonian who loves cooking, traveling, spa treatments, and being on the ocean.

Meghan Colloton is a Bostonian who loves traveling, channeling her inner Julia Child, and trying weird things -- from food to bungee jumping.

Milva DiDomizio is a New England native who's fond of cooking, singing, and Boston's arts and culture scene.

Rachel Raczka is a Bostonian who enjoys buttercream frosting, gin cocktails, and conquering cobblestone streets in high heels.

Emily Sweeney is a Boston native who goes out all over, from Irish pubs in Southie to the roller rink in Dorchester.

Emily Wright is a native Cape Codder who enjoys exercising, baking, and the occasional guilty pleasure action movie.


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