By Nick McCool, Anna Whitelaw, Emma Goddard, Josee Matela, Yu (Kevin) Qiao, Till Kaeslin, Sofia Koyana
December in Boston comes with colorful Christmas trees, strolls through holiday markets, and spirited skaters stumbling around the Common.
Locations throughout the city are known for spreading holiday cheer. Nick Barber’s online journalism class took to the streets to explore all the ways to be jolly in Boston this holiday season.
Shopping Around the Christmas Tree at Faneuil Hall
Starting Tuesday, Nov. 27, the 60-foot “Big Tree” in Faneuil Hall Market is lit with over 30,000 bulbs and 1,000 strobes. Governor Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Santa and Mrs. Claus flipped the switch to light up Boston’s Faneuil Hall marketplace.
This year’s annual celebration featured Brynn Cartelli, winner of the 14th season of The Voice, along with the Mayor’s Community Gospel Choir. Each evening, the Blink! music and lights show will enthrall visitors with six holiday favorites, including Mariah Carey’s infamous “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”
Tourists can take a picture with Santa as they listen to carolers and cross gifts off their holiday wish lists in the shops at Quincy Market.
Christmas Eve Comes Alive in Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker
Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker has been a Boston holiday tradition since it premiered at the Boston Opera House in 2012.
From Nov. 29 through Dec. 30, roughly 150 dancers will take to the stage to tell the story of a young girl in 20th-century Germany, whose childhood fantasy comes to life on Christmas night.
Nissinen gives his take on the legendary marriage of E.T.A. Hoffman’s holiday story with Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s timeless music.
Christmas in the Common: Skate through a Holiday Wonderland
This year marked the 77th annual Boston Common Tree Lighting. On Nov. 9 at 8 p.m., Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Deputy Premier of Nova Scotia, Karen Casey, joined hundreds of tourists and Bostonians alike to watch the City of Boston’s 46-foot official Christmas tree come alive with light.
Prior to the tree lighting ceremony, pop star Andy Grammar joined Makayla Lynn, Phaedra, Willy Wonka from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” the Morning Star Baptist Church Gospel Choir, and North Shore Music Theater’s cast of “A Christmas Carol” at the celebration.
Nova Scotia’s Hillsburn also played.
Hanukkah at the MFA: A Seasonal Celebration
The Museum of Fine Arts joins forces with the Jewish Arts Collaborative for its fifth annual Hanukkah celebration on Dec. 5.
The Jewish holiday event is free and open to the public. The night begins at 4:00 p.m. and will feature musical acts, talks, artistic activities and candle lighting.
Area artists have created a special menorah for the event. Silvina Mizrahi and Sean Clarke crafted the piece, titled “Nes” (the Hebrew word for ‘miracle). Rabbi Dan Judson will tell Jewish holiday stories on the sidelines of the celebration.
SoWa’s Winter Festival is Instagram Gold
The SoWa Winter Festival has sleighed the Christmas season every year since it became a holiday hotspot in 2014. For two weekends of the season, Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 and Dec. 7 through Dec. 9, visitors get the chance to shop, sip, and socialize at the biggest winter village in Boston.
Located in the heart of the SoWa Art + Design District, the festival includes the Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker photo booth, a winter group show art exhibition, live holiday music and dozens of festive vendors.
It’s impossible not to feel the holiday spirit walking into this winter wonderland, and even harder not to snap a picture of the market’s twinkly lights and festive decorations.
Holiday Pops: BSO’s Perennial Performance Turns 45
The Holiday Pops concert series has been a joyful holiday experience since Boston Pops conductor Arthur Fiedler started the show in 1973. The performances take place at historic Symphony Hall, including matinee performances for kids and a post-Christmas concert series.
The 2018 Holiday Pops performances start on Dec. 7 and wrap up on New Year’s Eve with special guest, Seth MacFarlane, to ring in the new year.
Ticket prices range from $33 to $106 for orchestra performances and cap at $180 for the New Year’s Eve celebration.
Disney on Ice: The Happiest Place on Earth Meets the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic, featuring a cast of over 50 Disney characters, from Mickey Mouse to Frozen’s ice princess, Elsa.
Audience members listen and sing along to a selection of over 30 Disney songs throughout the figure skating performance.
This year’s shows in Boston kick off on the night of Dec. 21 at Agganis Arena on Boston University’s Charles River campus.
Stylish at Sea: Ugly Sweater Holiday Cruise Sets Sail
Massachusetts Bay Lines is offering a harbor holiday cruise this season for Bostonians brave enough to set sail with their ugly holiday sweaters.
Riders dance to a live DJ wearing Santa hats and compete for ugliest sweater prizes aboard the Music City Queen. The ride features snack and drink cash bars.
Seats on this cruise sell for between $16.40 and $28.
Humbug in Harvard Square: A Christmas Carol in Cambridge
Charles Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol, returns to the Central Square Theatre in Cambridge from Dec. 7 through Dec. 30.
Watch as the mean-spirited miser Ebenezer Scrooge learns the true meaning of Christmas with the spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future.
Tickets are available from $16 to $26.
Enjoy Holiday Spirits with Pour House and McGreevy’s Holiday Lights Trolley Tour
Travel around Boston’s most popular holiday attractions on board Back Bay’s Holiday Lights Trolley.
Meet in either Pour House or McGreevy’s bar for a cup of chowder, before boarding the trolley for holiday trivia and sing-a-longs. Travelers are invited to bring their own beverage as they ride through Somerville for displays of residential lights and other festive decorations.
Other destinations include Faneuil Hall’s 2018 Light Show, Boston Commons, and Rose Kennedy Greenway, before heading back to the Back Bay bars for final drinks and treats.