Lots of exciting things to do pack the Boston Event Calendar for December. 

If you're visiting Boston in December, you'll see festive lights and sparkling Christmas trees everywhere as we embrace the coming of winter.

Special holiday events take place all month - The Nutcracker, Black Nativity, Boston Pops, Disney on Ice, and holiday concerts. 

Plan to spend time walking around the city, enjoying all the homes and shops decked out in the holiday spirit.  Check out all the special Christmas in Boston events and activities.

On New Year's Eve, Boston's First Night festivities include a huge parade, ice sculptures, entertainment and musical performances, light displays, and a fabulous midnight fireworks show over Boston Harbor.  Lots of other New Year's Eve events will be going on as well - so it's a great time to visit Boston!

Finally, if you're planning a visit to Boston over New Year's Eve, be sure to make your hotel reservations early to avoid disappointment.  Look for special New Years Eve packages.

Need more suggestions?  Check out more things to do and see in Boston in December.

Top photo: Blink! lights in Quincy Market

Boston Theater & Shows for December 2022

Theater productions and shows for December in Boston

Top December Theater Shows in Boston - Schedule & Tickets

Enter DISCOVERY 10 to save 10% on TicketLiquidator & TicketNetwork tickets

Find all shows & tickets for December

Find shows & tickets for other months

Where to Stay near Boston's Theatre District

Enjoy your Boston performance or show experience to the fullest when you stay in one of the nearby Theatre District hotels, such as the luxurious Hyatt Regency:

Hyatt Regency Boston Hotel, top choice near Boston's Theatre District

More top Theatre District hotels:

Check out more hotels in Boston's Theatre District

Boston Concerts & Shows - December 2022

Boston concert schedule - December
Stage and ornate decor in the Boston Opera House - Photo credit: Bill Damon

Top December Concerts in Boston

  • Stromae - Agganis Arena - December 6

Enter DISCOVERY 10 to save 10% on TicketLiquidator & TicketNetwork tickets

December Concerts - Schedules & Tickets

More Concerts & Shows for December

Boston Concerts & Shows throughout the Year  

Special Holiday Cruises on the Northern Lights in Boston Harbor

Holiday cruises around Boston Harbor Cruise on the Northern Lights
Red poinsettias on the Northern Lights

Celebrate the holidays while relaxing and sightseeing on the elegant yacht Northern Lights, lavishly decorated for the holidays, on these special cruises around Boston Harbor:

Romantic Boston Harbor Cruises for Valentine's Day:

Please note:  Covid-19 vaccinations will be required for all cruises on Yacht Northern Lights starting January 15th, 2022 for all persons over the age of 12, and for all persons over the age of 5 starting March 15th, 2022

Disney on Ice in Boston December - 2022

Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic comes to Boston - tickets, discount tickets
Mickey Mouse in Disney on Ice - Photo credit: Anna Fox

With a cast of over 50 world-class performers, Mickey's Search Party December's enchanting ice show at Boston's Agganis Arena, will leave you smiling as you wantch exciting acrobatics, expert skating, and fantastic stunts on the ice and in the air.

Your whole family will be mesmerized as the dancing and music bring all of your favorite Disney princesses to life - be prepared to enjoy every moment!

Disney on Ice Tickets for Boston Shows - December 2022

Enter DISCOVERY 10 to save 10% on TicketLiquidator & TicketNetwork tickets

See tickets for all Disney on Ice performances in Boston

More about Disney on Ice in Boston

Fun Boston Tours for December 2022

Newport Mansion decorated for Christmas season
Newport mansion decorated for the holiday season - Photo credit:  Robyn Feming via Creative Commons license

Newport Mansions at Christmas - Tour The Breakers and Marble House, famous Newport mansions, and enjoy their lavish holiday decorations on this top-rated day trip tour. Find out more

Hop On Hop Off Trolley - Explore at your own pace, get off and on the fun trolley as often as you'd like, and take advantage of the winter special, which gives you a second consecutive day on the trolley free, plus free admission to the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum.  Find out more

Boston: Personal Travel & Vacation Photographer - For the ultimate lasting memory of your trip to Boston, book your own personal professional photographer who will photograph you in the beautiful Public Garden and along the cobblestone Acorn Street in nearby Beacon Hill.  Perfect for a family trip, romantic getaway, or fun experience with friends!  Find out more

Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum - Relive the key Boston events leading up to the American Revolution in this unique museum that lets you travel back in time and experience the Boston Tea Party.  Fascinating interactive exhibits and restored tea ships make this top-rated museum a must-visit Boston attraction.  Find out more

Boston Pub Crawl along the Freedom Trail - Visit 4 historic taverns along the Freedom Trail and sample the brews along the way (or choose the "Dry Run" option) as you see historic sites and learn about the important role beer has played in Boston's history on this fun 21+ tour.  Find out more

More:   Sightseeing Tours   |   Tours for Teens   |   Kids & Family Tours

New Year's New Year's Eve & New Year's Day Brunch Cruise - 2022

Holiday cruises around Boston Harbor Cruise on the Northern Lights

Welcome the New Year aboard the elegant yacht Northern Lights on these special New Year's Eve and New Year's Day cruises around Boston Harbor:

  • New Year's Eve Cruise - Say goodbye to 2022 and welcome 2022 on this festive Boston Harbor cruise with music and gourmet appetizers; purchase the beverage of your choice onboard - or pre-order a bottle of Moet & Chandon when you book - Book now
  • New Year's Day Brunch Cruise - Welcome the New Year with a tasty hot 3-course brunch on this relaxing sightseeing tour around Boston Harbor - Book now

These cruises always sell out early - so don't wait to make your reservations!

First Night / First Day Celebration 2023 - New Year's Eve & New Year's Day

Boston's First Night fireworks

Over 1 million people typically turn out for Boston's gala First Night celebration to welcome the coming New Year. 

This day-long, alcohol-free event features ice sculptures, fireworks, crafts, performances, entertainers, and a grand parade filled with costumed entertainers.

- More New Year's Eve Events in Boston 

New Year's Eve Parties in Boston

New Year's Eve Special Packages at Boston Hotels

Photo of Langham Hotel in Boston, MA

Special New Year's Eve Boston hotel packages give you elegant accommodations to enjoy when the night's festivities end, plus a tantalizing array of complimentary amenities and meals.  Some even let you add on extra nights at discounted rates.

What's on offer?  Look for specials like the "New Year's Eve Rest and Recovery" package at the Langham including a "Recovery Brunch" at Cafe Fleuri on New Year's Day.  Other hotels offer special dinners, even gala parties.  (Note:  These packages are from last year - look for specials to be announced in early December.)

Each special package is unique - so check out each one to see which you like best!  And remember, you can also book at the regular rates, usually at their lowest levels during winter months. 

Check out New Year's Eve hotel specials in Boston 

Bruins Home Games @ TD Garden - December 2022

Get your Boston Bruins tickets for December home games, and head over to TD Garden for some fast action on the ice.

The Garden's convenient location next to North Station and close to Faneuil Marketplace makes it super-easy to get to.

Don't miss this chance to see Boston's hockey team, winner of 6 Stanley Cup championships!

Enter DISCOVERY 10 to save 10% on TicketLiquidator & TicketNetwork tickets

Find Bruins schedule & tickets for all December home games at the Garden

Find Bruins schedule & tickets for all home games

More about TD Garden:  Schedule, directions, best ticket prices

Hotels near TD Garden

Coming to an event at the Garden?  Spend the night or the weekend at a nearby hotel, such as the glamorous Onyx (shown in photo), part of the Kimpton hotel family:

Onyx Hotel, top choice near Boston's TD Garden

More top hotels near the Garden:

Check out more hotels near TD Garden

Holiday Concerts, Shows, & Performances

Boston Holiday Pops show at Symphony Hall
Holday Pops concert in Boston's Symphony Hall - Photo credit: Robotika

Boston Holiday Pops Concerts in Symphony Hall throughout the Boston Christmas season provide the perfect chance to sing along with old favorites, be photographed with Santa, and hear the special holiday music conducted by Keith Lockhart. 

Lots of other special musical performances and shows also take place throughout December, such as these:

More Concerts & Shows for December

Celtics Basketball at TD Garden - December 2022

 Boston Celtics playing at TD Garden

Get your Boston Celtics tickets for December home games, and head over to TD Garden for some fast action on the court.

The Garden's convenient location next to North Station and close to Faneuil Marketplace makes it super-easy to get to.

Get ready for plenty of action at the net from Boston's champion basketball team.

Enter DISCOVERY 10 to save 10% on TicketLiquidator & TicketNetwork tickets

Find schedule & tickets for all Celtics games

Nearest public transportation:  Green Line/Orange Line or Commuter Rail to North Station, next to the Garden
Where to stay:  Hotels near TD Garden

Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremonies in Boston in December

Christmas Tree in Boston Common
Christmas tree from Nova Scotia on Boston Common

Christmas tree lighting ceremonies in Boston during November and December signal the "official" start of the holiday season. 

These festive occasions are fun to attend and the lights are spectacular!

Find the complete schedule for the exciting Holiday Lighting Ceremonies taking place in December

More about where to see special holiday decorations in Boston

Hanukkah - The Festival of Lights in Boston

Wilbur Theatre - Boston comedy club and concert venue in the Theatre District
Menorah in the Massachusetts State House on Beacon Hill

Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, takes place from November 28-December 6 this year.  To commemorate Hanukkah, public menorrah lightings take place at various Boston sites to mirror the celebrations also happening in private homes and synagogues around the city.

Look for New England's tallest menorah at Brewer Fountain on Boston Common.  A lighting ceremony of the first branch of the candelabra takes place on November 28 at 4pm, with special guests, live music, holiday treats, and warm beverages.  Lightings on the following evenings take place at 4pm (Nov 28-29; Dec 1-3), 2pm (Dec 4), 7:30pm (Dec 5), and 4pm (Dec 6).  (dates and times to be confirmed)

Other places in Boston to see nightly lightings of public menorahs during Hanukkah include the Massachusetts State House, Faneuil Marketplace, Copley Square, and the Museum of Fine Arts.  All events are free.

Please note: Vilna Shul (18 Phillips Street, Beacon Hill) also often hosts special Chanukkah events.  Vilna Shul, which has the only examples of prewar Jewish mural art in the U.S. and is the only remaining intact immigrant-era synagogue in Boston, is a cultural center and home to monthly Kabbalah Shabbat services.

Imagine Van Gogh Comes to Boston

Imagine Van Gogh at Atelier des Lumieres in Paris (photo courtesy of our sister website, Paris Discovery Guide)
Imagine Van Gogh at Atelier des Lumieres in Paris (photo courtesy of our sister website, Paris Discovery Guide)

Imagine Van Gogh, an immersive show featuring the famous painter's paintings, features a kaleidescope-like projection of digitized art set to a musical score ranging from classical to pop for an unforgettable experience at the iconic SoWa Power Station in Boston's South End. 

The show has toured select venues in Europe, including Paris, during the past couple of years to rave reviews.

This will be a contactless experience in a 24,000+ square foot venue with a limited number of guests admitted on a timed-entry basis, and will follow Massachusetts safety guidelines.

Dates:  December 21 - February 20, 2022
Location:  550 Harrison Ave, South End

Find more information and get tickets

The Nutcracker Ballet at the Opera House

Photo courtesy of KCBalletMedia
Boston Ballet photo courtesy of KCBalletMedia

Attending a performance of The Nutcracker is a holiday tradition in Boston, and for good reason. 

Enjoy the magic as Clara, the Sugar Plum Fairy, and all the other dancers twirl around the stage as Tchaikovsky's music soars in Boston's gorgeous Opera House. 

Nutcraker Schedule & Tickets

Enter DISCOVERY 10 to save 10% on TicketLiquidator & TicketNetwork tickets

See All Nutcracker Dates/Times in Boston

New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium - December 2022 

New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium

The New England Patriots play only one home game at Gillette Stadium during December  - so don't miss it!

Get your tickets now, and get ready to join in the fun!

Enter DISCOVERY 10 to save 10% on TicketLiquidator & TicketNetwork tickets

Where: Gillette Stadium
Getting there:
The Patriot Train - plus more ways to get to Gillette from Boston
Where to stay:  Hotels near Gillette Stadium
Tickets: Check for great prices, great seats, and sometimes discounts

Holiday Pops from Boston Pops

Holiday Pops

Conductor Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops present the beloved annual Holiday Pops concert at Boston's Symphony Hall. 

You'll get to hear and see all your favorites:  the Pops’ classic "Sleigh Ride" and "Twelve Days of Christmas," jazzy arrangements of traditional favorites, "O Holy Night," "Home for the Holidays," a virtual performance with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and a special new reading of "A Visit from St. Nicholas" ("‘Twas the Night Before Christmas"). 


Check back later for the 2022 Holiday Pops schedule and tickets

Another way to get in the mood for Christmas:  listen to A Christmas Festival by the Boston Pops, which includes many favorites such as Winter Wonderland, White Christmas, and more (#ad).

Photo credit:  Johanna Mason

More Boston Concert Tickets

Enter DISCOVERY 10 to save 10% on TicketLiquidator & TicketNetwork tickets

More Concerts & Shows for December

Boston Concerts & Shows throughout the Year  

Fun Ways to See Boston

Holiday Strolls

Get your holiday shopping done, enjoy some good cheer, and feel the spirit of the season in these fun holiday strolls in favorite Boston neighborhoods.

North End Holiday Stroll

Boston hotel specials for December

15+ North End boutiques, wine stores, galleries, and restaurants offer warm hospitality and 1-night-only discounts during their Buon Natale Holiday Stroll.  

This event is a wonderful excuse to visit the North End - and get your holiday shopping done early!  

When:  Friday, December 6, 5pm-10pm
  North End
Closest T station: Orange Line/Haymarket

Parking:   Do not even think about street-side parking in the North End!  Try Boston garages near Government Center (hint: check details for the Parcel 7 garage next to Boston Public Market  - very convenient and cheap, IF you get your parking ticket validated by a North End business)

Holiday Sale & Stroll - Fort Point 

Fort Point Arts Community Holiday Sale and Stroll in Boston

The Fort Point Holiday Stroll takes place on December 11, 5:30pm-8:30pm.

Artists will display their jewelry, paintings, clothing, cashmere accessories, holiday ornaments, and pottery.

For the Sale, gather in the lobby of 315 on A, where you can also enjoy drop-in holiday art and craft activities, refreshments, and the fireplace. 

For the Stroll, just follow the signs to local businesses and restaurants (Row34, Flour Bakery + Cafe, Fort Point Market), museums and galleries (Children's Museum, 249 A Street Gallery, 300 Summer Gallery), art studios, and more!

More information:  Friends of Fort Point website

Beacon Hill Holiday Stroll 

Boston hotel specials for December

When:  Thursday, December 5, 5pm-9pm (come at 3:30 for photos with Santa at the Hill House Firehouse)
Where:   Charles Street, Beacon Hill
Closest T station: Red Line/Charles-MGH
Parking:  Boston Common Garage
Stay nearby:   Beacon Hill hotels

Carolers and music, festive holiday decorations, and all the eclectic boutiques, galleries, and restaurants along Charles Street make this annual Holiday Stroll a special occasion.  Enjoy the festive spirit - and get all of your holiday shopping done in one evening!

Entertainment this year includes the Christmas tree lighting, carolers, horse-drawn carriage rides, and performances throughout the evening by the Back Bay Bell Ringers, King's Chapel Choir, Brass Quartet, and more.

More about top places for holiday shopping in Boston

South End Holiday Stroll 

The South End's Holiday Stroll on December 4th takes place from 5pm-9pm, and gives you access to special promotions from 40+ neighborhood boutiques and restaurants. 

Come for the weekend and enjoy a stay in the sleek and stylish new Alise Hotel in the heart of the South End.  Rates & reservations

The Holiday Market at Boston's Snowport in Seaport

Snowport Ice Rink - photo courtesy of Boston Seaport
Snowport Ice Rink - photo courtesy of Boston Seaport

Seaport's popular European-style Winter Holiday Market at Snowport returns from November 19 through January 2, 2022 to light up the holiday season with shopping, fun activities, food, and beverages. 

The market will feature 100+ small businesses selling art, jewelry, home goods, apparel, and other gifts and crafts, plus seasonal treats such as hot chocolate, freshly-made waffles, craft beer, and more.  In addition, there will be lots of fun activities and events - check back later for the details.

Santa Speedo Run on Newbury Street

Santa Speedo Run in Back Bay Boston
Speedo Santas running up Boylston Street - Photo credit: Jeremy T. Hetzel via Creative Commons license

In case you need an extra incentive to do your holiday shopping, the annual Santa Speedo Run may be just what you're looking for as 700 scantily-clad Santas complete a 1-mile jog to raise money for the Play Ball Foundation, a charity which brings sports and team-building skills to Boston, Lawrence, and Holyoke middle-schoolers.  The goal this year is $250,000.

The run will be different this year, as the event has grown and the number of middle school sports programs have expanded.  It will take place on two Saturdays - December 4th and 11th - in various locations across the Commonwealth. 

Runners (must be 21+) can register for the Santa Speedo Run here.

Check back later for Boston-area locations, dates, and times.

Save Big $$$s on Boston Museums and More Top Attractions

Find out how a Boston Discount Card gives you free entrance to museums and lots of other attractions every day while your card is valid - plus you get to go straight to the head of the line.

Save BIG with Go Boston discount card
CityPASS Boston discount card at www.boston-discovery-guide.com

SoWa Boston's Winter Festival & Holiday Market

Enjoy winter cocktails, hot mulled wine, craft beers, and plenty of other good thingsto sip and nibble from 100 local makers and specialty food producers while you explore SoWa's festive winter marketplace - it's the biggest Holiday Market in Boston this year! 

You'll get to see live ice sculpting, holiday workshops, galleries, artist studios, and boutiques - plus it's the perfect way to get all your holiday shopping done in one place at this family-friendly event.

Dates/Hours:  December 3-12, hours vary by day of week: Fridays 12 noon-9pm, Saturdays 11am-9pm, Sundays 11am-7pm, Monday-Thursday 3pm-8pm |  Free admission  |  550 Harrison Ave in Boston's South End

Globe Santa

Globe Santa - Boston December event

Want to meet Globe Santa?  You can find him (or her) in various places and events around Boston during December, such as Copley Square (shown in photo). 

More important...want to help Globe Santa raises fund for Boston's neediest children, one of Boston's best holiday traditions? 

100% of all donations go to purchase and deliver holiday gifts for Boston families in need.  More about donating

More about Christmas in Boston

Not Sure about Boston Neighborhood Locations?

Map of Boston showing central neighborhoods

This neighborhood map should help you get oriented. You can find a list of top attractions in each neighborhood here.

Need a more details?  Here are our favorite free and low-cost Boston maps.

Black Nativity -

Another beloved Boston Christmas tradition is Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes' gospel song-play, Black Nativity, which has enchanted Boston audiences since 1970. 

The original Nativity story comes to life in this marvelous production combining words, music, and dance, including traditional Christmas favorites sung in Gospel style. 

From the moment the actors walk on stage singing "Go Tell it on the Mountain" to the final scene, you'll be captivated and enthralled.

Produced by the National Center of Afro-American Artists, this renowned holiday show features a large cast of professional singers, dancers, musicians, and actors, and returns again this year to the dazzling Paramount Theatre in Boston's downtown Theatre District.

Black Nativity Schedule & Tickets

Enter DISCOVERY 10 to save 10% on TicketLiquidator & TicketNetwork tickets

See All Black Nativity Dates & Tickets

More Boston Christmas events

Blink at Faneuil Hall Marketplace

Blink! combines 350,000 flashing LED lights and popular holiday music to set Faneuil Hall Marketplace ablaze every evening through early January.  The all-new show this year is even more fabulous than before!

Catch the free show, which runs 12 times between 4:30pm and 10pm, as you stroll around the country's open-air marketplace, site of the largest Christmas tree in New England.

Faneuil Marketplace also offers excellent shopping opportunities - lots of unique "only in Boston" boutiques mixed in with larger national chains where you'll often see "40% off" signs.

Check the exact dates and times for Blink!

Where to Stay in Boston near Faneuil Marketplace