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Seven Boston Activities to Ease Into the Holiday Spirit

Boston in wintertime.
Boston in wintertime. By Courtesy of Andrew Spencer / Unsplash
By Amelie Julicher, Crimson Staff Writer

In a world that feels increasingly fast-paced, there is something incredibly comforting about the holiday spirit, which provides an opportunity to slow down and take in the small moments that count with the people that matter the most to us. Luckily, Boston is one of the best cities to get you into the holiday spirit. Without further ado, here are some of the best things to do in Boston during this holiday season.

1. Experience the Boston Tree Lighting

The Boston Tree Lighting is a joyous celebration that kicks off the official holiday season in Boston. This community gathering typically draws crowds of around 25,000 people, all coming together to celebrate the holiday kickoff with live music, performances, holiday treats, and lots of holiday spirit. This traditional event is sure to get you in the holiday mood through live Christmas music, community spirit, and delicious holiday treats. The 82nd Annual Boston Common Tree Lighting is scheduled for Thursday, November 30, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

2. Go ice skating at the Boston Common Frog Pond

What says holiday season more than ice skating outside under holiday lights and music? The Boston Common Frog Pond offers exactly that and is certainly a great way to celebrate the holiday season with family and friends. The ice skating rink is open Monday through Sunday and offers skate rentals as well as ice skating lessons for beginners. On select Tuesdays, Frog Pond hosts College Nights from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., offering 50% discount for students with valid IDs from select colleges.

3. See a Performance of Boston Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”

Boston is lucky to be home to one of the best ballet companies in the world, the world-renowned Boston Ballet. Every year, the Boston Ballet produces an enthralling rendition of “The Nutcracker.” The ballet centers around Clara, a girl who befriends a Nutcracker that comes to life on Christmas Eve and wages a battle against the evil Mouse King, and is bound to be magical this holiday season.

4. Get L.A. Burdicks’ Famous Hot Chocolate and Explore the Holiday Lights Trail

There is no question that the best hot chocolate in Boston can be acquired at L.A. Burdicks, near downtown Boston. Grab a cup and explore Boston’s beautiful array of magically decorated landmarks and neighborhoods. The Holiday Lights Trail leads you through some of the city’s most popular areas for taking in the entire holiday glory. Some highlights include Newbury and Boylston Streets, Commonwealth Avenue Mall, Boston Public Garden, and Downtown Crossing. If you’re looking for something a bit closer, feel free to check out the L.A. Burdicks location here in Harvard Square!

5. Listen to “The Holiday Pops” at Symphony Hall

The Holiday Pops Concert is a long-standing tradition, taking place since 1973 in the world-famous Symphony Hall, decorated with all the magic the holiday season evokes. This year, the concert is directed by Keith Lockhart, featuring an upbeat arrangement of classic carols and popular Christmas songs. The concert is a joyful sing-along, making it perfect for the whole family. The Holiday Pops also offers a Holiday Pops Kids Matinee on select weekends.

6. Step into the Magical Snowport at Seaport

Anyone who has been on TikTok or Instagram has without a doubt heard about the winter wonderland that Seaport transforms into during the holiday season. Snowport has more than just a 10-foot archway mistletoe; it offers a great variety of holiday treats and pop-up shops perfect for acquiring much-needed holiday gifts, all while immersing you in the warm glow of holiday lights.

7. Snuggle up and do a movie night

Laying in bed and getting cozy with your favorite holiday movie might not be exclusive to Boston, but it is undeniably a holiday staple and could not be missed on this list. There are few things that are as comforting and wholesome as watching your favorite holiday movie, so put one on and get cozy.

—Staff writer Amelie Julicher can be reached at

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