There’s just over seven days until the Christmas holiday is upon us here in New England, which officially means the sun sets earlier and rises later; a jacket, mittens and hat are necessities if going outside; and festive lights and decorations line the streets of Boston. In the spirit of the season, below are six of our favorite must-dos to celebrate the winter season.
Six Boston Winter Must-Dos
- Beacon Hill Stroll: One of the most iconic things to do in Boston any time of year is walking through the oldest neighborhoods in the city – Beacon Hill. The Federal-style rowhouses have black window boxes adorning the season’s shrubs and actual stoops that can be decorated with everything from pumpkins and mums to birch logs, berries and firs to sunflowers and herbs. During the holidays, these houses are idealistic paintings of Christmas decor. Grab a Belgian hot chocolate from Tatte and walk up and down the nut streets, gazing at wreaths and garland.
- Ice Skating at the Frog Pond: Up for a little exercise? Head to Boston Common’s Frog Pond for some ice skating among the trees and skyscrapers. Open from 10am until at least 9pm on the weekends, skating costs as little as $6 (if you’re over 58”). If you need skates, bring an extra $6. This is definitely a favorite among Bostonians and tourists alike.
- Holiday Lights in the Common and the Public Garden: Whether you’re a fan of colorful lights or twinkling white bulbs, these parks have it all. The Common has one of the three main Christmas trees in Boston who’s lighting is televised locally. This Spruce represents an almost 90-year friendship between Boston and Nova Scotia and has multicolored stands adorning its branches. The rest of the trees in the Common glow one solid color, amplifying the beauty of its focal tree. The Public Garden, located right across Charles Street, is also a spectacle in white lights. Head here for a sophisticated, classic interpretation of Christmas in Boston.
- Downtown Crossing Shopping: If looking to pick up a few gifts while gallivanting in the city, head to Downtown Crossing. Here you can find all of your basic department stores, including Macy’s, Primark, and TJMaxx. Oh and be sure to look up every now and then to see spurts of Christmas cheer (think Christmas trees, lit stars and glowing snowflakes).
- Boston Winter Market at City Hall Plaza: Only in its second year, this winter experience is quickly becoming a Boston staple. Ice skating, biergartens, and a winter market selling unique, one-of-a-kind gifts make this a family fun winter option in the city. If interested in skating ‘the path’ adult admission is $15, children are $8 and all rentals are an additional $8. Who wouldn’t want a family picture in a large Adirondack chair, in front of a light-up ‘Boston’ sign, or in a red sleigh?
- Commonwealth Avenue Mall White Lights: Taking inspiration from Parisian boulevards, the Commonwealth Avenue Mall’s 32 acres are lined with dozens of Elm trees. In the winter, these trees are lit with thousands of white lights. Head here to end your perfect date night, a lovely Newbury Street shopping excursion, or just to admire the lights in all their glory.