1Fatima Shrine: 101 Summer St. (Rt 126) Holliston
Daily Dec 2 through Dec 28: 5-9 PM
A 50+ year tradition by the Xaverian missionaries. Several acres of the property are lit and decorated for visitors to explore. Hot chocolate and pastries for sale in Xavier Hall. Free parking and admission.
2Festival of Trees: Elm Bank, Wellesley
Nov 24 to Dec 10
Fri-Sun: 10a-8p (10a-6p on Dec 10)
Santa visits 1-4. Wagon rides 12:30-5:30 on Fri/Sun
Wed-Th: 4-8p (No Santa or wagon rides)
Beautifully decorated trees and Snow Village with trains winding throughout. Santa visits and horse-drawn wagon rides on certain dates/times (additional charge). Free parking, admission $10/adult (kids 11 and under free).
3Bass Pro Santa’s Wonderland: Patriot Place, Foxboro
Nov 12 – Dec 2: M-F 5p-8p, Sat 10-8, Sun 12-5
Thanksgiving Day (Nov 23): 10-5
Black Friday (Nov 24): 10-8
Dec 3 – Dec 23: M-Sat 10-8, Sun 10-5
Dec 24: 10-5
Inside Bass Pro is a decorated “Santa’s Wonderland” with a spread of decorations for children to explore. There are also crafts, games, and a free picture with Santa. Can be very crowded, so go on weekdays or as early as possible, or get a ticket for a return time. All activities free
4Winter Skate at Patriot Place: Foxboro
Ongoing through winter.
M-Th: 4 PM – 6 PM, Fri: 4 PM – 10 PM
Sat & School Holidays: 11 AM – 10 PM, Sun: 11 AM – 9 PM
Located at the base of the large staircase near Showcase Cinema. Refrigerated outdoor ice rink with on-site rentals, concessions, and bathrooms. $8 adult, $6 child/senior. $2 discount with coat donation. Skate rentals $4.
5Winter Reimagined: Tower Hill Botanic Gardens, Boylston
Nov 24 through Jan 7 (Closed Mondays and Dec 24 & 31)
Tu-Th: 4-9 PM, Fri-Sun: 4-10 PM
Marvelous indoor and outdoor holiday light decorations. Nature displays, decorated trees, and more. Pre-purchased, timed tickets are required: $17 adult, $7 ages 6-18, age 5 and under free.
6Festival of Lights: La Salette Shrine, 947 Park St, Attleboro
Daily Nov 23 through Jan 1
Illuminated 5-9 PM Daily
Walk through the amazing light display that is famous around New England. Free admission and parking, but donations are welcome. S’more supplies for sale, hot cocoa, hay rides and a mini-carnival with carousel for a fee. Can be extremely crowded at peak times; people have been stuck on the approaching road for an hour just to park. Our recommendation: go on a weeknight and/or arrive early before the lights go on and make s’mores while waiting.
7Enchanted Village: Jordan’s Furniture in Avon
Nov 18 through Jan 1
Mon-Thurs: 11-8, Fri: 11-9, Sat: 10-9, Sun: 11-5
Black Friday: 10-9
Christmas Eve & New Year’s Eve: 11-4
New Year’s Day: 12-5
Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day
Free admission for indoor holiday display with intricate figurines and decorations. Pictures with Santa at select hours daily through Christmas Eve. Additional activities:
- LITE Laser show, $6 all ages.
- Enchanted Ice indoor skating park, $6 includes rental
- Polar Express 4D Experience ride, $7 (riders must be 40+ inches)
8Festival of Lights: Edaville, Carver
Nov 17 – Jan 1 (Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day)
Fri-Sat: 2-9 (to 9:30 in Dec)
Sun: 2-8 (to 9 in Dec)
Over 17 million lights illuminate the park, and the long train ride passes through vast fields of lights. Thomas Land & Edaville Proper with 90 rides/attractions are included in the $34 admission ($20 ages 2-3). Or purchase along with special “Where’s Santa” train ride for $47/rider.
9Zoo Lights: Stone Zoo, Stoneham
Nov 24 through Dec 31
Daily 5-9 PM
Closed Christmas Day
The zoo is lit up with holiday lights and festive decorations. Visit with Santa (packages start at $15). $10/adult, $8/child admission, or $20/person with included “Hot Chocolate with the Reindeer” and early (4pm) entry (Register, fills quickly). Under 2 free. Rides are open to all for additional cost.
10Christmas by Candlelight: Old Sturbridge Village
Dec 2 through Dec 23, Weekends Only
Fri-Sun: 3 PM – 8 PM
History is recreated with a special Christmastime at Old Sturbridge Village. North Pole Village beautifully decorated, sleigh rides, gingerbread house contest, strolling Victorian carolers, roasting chestnuts, yule logs, mistletoe, period demonstrations and more. $28/adult, $14 ages 4-17, children 3 and under free.
11Winterfest: Diamond Hill Park, Woonsocket, RI
Nov 25-Dec 31 Weekends only
Sat: 5-9 PM, Sun: 5-8 PM
“City” of lights and Christmas Village with decorated houses to walk through as well as pictures with characters (Santa, Frosty, Grinch, Minions, and more). $5/person admission; additional $5 for “Jingle Express” trackless train ride. 2017 Theme is “The Elf Adventure”, with a puzzle to help Santa find his elves. December 31 includes a countdown to 8pm.
12Map of Light Displays: The Best Neighborhoods Near You
We here at Community Kangaroo have gathered a treasure trove of recommendations for jaw-dropping light displays in just about every town west and southwest of Boston. We put them all on one big map! Click the link in the title above to check it out!
13 Our List of Santa Pictures: Local Malls, Pancake Breakfasts, etc
We’ve posted a solid handful of the best ongoing Santa stops, plus dozens of one-time events like pancake breakfasts, holiday strolls, and other places to get that perfect picture!
14Hanukkah Celebrations: See the Events Near You
Use the “ages” drop-down menu on our calendar, but choose “Hanukkah” (instead of an age) to see ways to celebrate with your family locally!
15Cut-Your-Own Tree: Find a Farm Near You
Bundle up and pick a farm from our list for a memorable holiday outing!
16Festive Train Rides and Nutcracker Shows: Find One Near You
No need to trek into Boston for the Nutcracker or up to North Conway for a holiday train ride (although we’ve mentioned those, too). We found plenty of smaller local shows and outings, but you’ll want to plan ahead, as tickets go fast!
17Keep Track of What’s Coming Up Near You!
Our website is put together by a team of parents scattered across the suburbs between Boston and Worcester. Each of us writes a weekly newsletter of the best upcoming events, which lands in your inbox just in time to plan each weekend! Sign up to hear from the editor who about things worth driving to from your town:
Our newsletter is free, and our Natick-Wellesley editor Deborah hand-writes it each week. Sign up using the form above to see the best reasons to get out of the house!