Welcome to another holiday post, this one from my home city of Boston!
Many a year, I’ve spent a lot of weekends in December traveling, but this year, it’s home (as in home in my apartment all by myself) for the holidays for the entire month. Boston is a beautiful city during the holiday season and it’s sad that so many things will be different this year and due to my lack of transportation options during covid, I won’t be experiencing the city’s holiday spirit like I wish I could with so much time in the city this year. But there is always the memories, the photos of years past and looking forward to seeing everything in person next year. Here are my favorite things to see in Boston during the holidays.
Faneuil Hall: Looking for somewhere to do some shopping, grab something to eat and see one of the largest trees in the United States, then Faneuil Hall is THE place to be in Boston.
At Faneuil Hall you will find popular retail stores like Coach, Sephora and Urban Outfitters as well as numerous pushcarts selling Boston souvenirs and unique one of kind gifts. A must visit, is the Christmas in Boston store with multiple floors of holiday ornaments and decor.
There are many restaurants available for a sit down meal and multiple options in the food hall, a great place to try some local seafood, pizza and baked goods.
But the star of Faneuil Hall during the holidays is the Christmas tree. At 65 feet tall, it’s the largest tree in the city and also one of the largest in the country. Definitely visit the tree at night to check out Blink. Blink is a holiday light show where the lights on the tree dance along to holiday music. It runs every half hour starting at 4:30pm each night and is a must see! Sadly due to covid this year, there will not be a tree at Faneuil Hall. Thankfully I have this video to get a bit of a taste of Blink this year.
Downtown Crossing: A major shopping area, Downtown Crossing, is a must visit during the holiday season. Here you will find stores like Macy’s, Old Navy, Primark, DSW, Home Goods and Marshalls to name a few. Other than shopping, you can get in the Christmas spirit by seeing the Macy’s Christmas tree or listening the carolers walking the streets. Definitely a festive atmosphere!
Boston Common: While the Boston Common Christmas tree may not be as large as the one in Faneuil Hall, it certainly has a great story behind it.
There has been a tree on the common since 1941, but since 1971 it’s been gifted to the City of Boston by the people of Nova Scotia each year. Nova Scotia donates the tree as a thank you for Boston’s help during the Halifax Explosion in 1917. In December 1917, there was an explosion that destroyed much of the city of Halifax. Boston sent a relief train up to Halifax to help their first responders. And even though the relief train was delayed due to blizzard conditions, they were one of the first cities to respond and were considered a life saver. Not only is there a tree lighting ceremony here in Boston, there is also a tree cutting ceremony in Nova Scotia each year.
But the tree is not the only thing to check out in the Boston Common during the holiday season. There is also the popular outdoor ice rink, Frog Pond. Every year, there is a line to get into this popular Boston attraction as it’s such a beautiful place to lace up your skates. As with many other things, it is closed this year due to covid.
Seaport Boston: One of Boston’s newer neighborhoods is the Seaport. The past couple of years they have added more and more seasonal activities to this area. Nicknamed Snowport during the holiday season, this year they are offering a tree lot, Christmas tree, holiday decorations, shops and curling lessons.
New Years Eve Ice Sculptures: The holiday season ends over New Years and what better way to end the season than to check out the numerous ice sculptures throughout the city. If you go early enough, you can see the artist sculpting away at the ice. It is so amazing to actually watch them at work, I could only dream of being that talented.
The ice sculptures have mainly been located in the Boston Common and Copley Square, but the past few years, the Seaport has joined in the fun with a ice sculpture trail of their own.
As someone who loves sea life, the ice sculptures outside of the Aquarium are usually my favorite.
Copley Square is definitely where the largest and most impressive ice sculptures are located. This is also were the big First Night festivities take place each New Years. If you want to miss the crowds, I definitely recommend checking these ones out on New Years Day instead.
What are some of your favorite holiday locations and activities in your home city?