Where to Enjoy Amazing 2018 Christmas Holiday Events in New England
A Christmas display at Enchanted Village, Jordan's Furnture, Avon, Mass.
Article and photos (unless otherwise noted) by Eric Hurwitz. Article
updated on 10/20/17
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New England is truly a special place to celebrate Christmas.
With a chill in the air, community gatherings and special commercial
events (and hopefully a little snow on the ground), New England is the
perfect place to enjoy Christmas. Be sure to experience these amazing
New England 2018 Christmas events, festivals, light displays, and
Kennebunkport, Maine, goes all out during the holiday season
fabulous tree-lighting ceremony, a nativity scene, dinners, arts and
crafts shows, holiday
dinners, tours, parades, and plenty of hot cider and chocolate. The
Kennebunkport and Lower Village (Kennebunk) Christmas scenes are one of
New England's best -- along with the sparkling lighted Christmas trees
you'll view many seashell decorated wreaths, and garlands of greenery
and ribbon. There's even a Christmas tree made out of lobster traps!
For those more interested in the actual lobster, you'll find plenty of
dinners to go around (check schedule by clicking link below). It's all
certainly a tourist attraction, but, more importantly, the Christmas
celebrations of a community full of pride, hard-working people making
the events happen, and a rich sense of seasonal tradition.
Celebrating Christmas, lobster-style, during Kennebunkport’s
Christmas Prelude. Photo credit: Robert Dennis
Edaville Railroad Annual
Christmas Festival of Lights, Carver, Mass.
November 18 thru November 30
Sundays: 2pm to 8pm
Mondays thru Thursdays: 4pm to 8pm
Fridays & Saturdays: 2pm to 9pm
Starting December 1 thru Jan 1
Sundays: 2pm to 8pm (starting 12/26 4pm-9pm)
Mondays thru Thursdays: 4pm to 8pm (starting 12/26 4pm-9pm)
Fridays & Saturdays: 2pm to 9:30pm
*Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day
See full 2018 schedule
Enjoy the Christmas train rides passing by the seven million lights, 30
displays and 90+ overall attractions at this 1,800-acre Cranberry
plantation. Here, visitors can enjoy hot chocolate, apple cider,
caroling, and a visit with Santa.
Book a room in nearby Plymouth
Christmas at Santa's Village,
See 2018 schedule
It's mighty cold in New Hampshire at this time of the year, but Mr. and
Mrs. Claus help warm up this special New Hampshire theme park at
Christmas that features beautiful lighting, holiday-themed amusement
rides (including the Skyway Sleigh Monorail and the Merry Christmas
Ferris Wheel), holiday shopping at the Snowball Mall and Stocking
Stuffer Shop, and a 3-D show entitled "A Tinkerdoodle
Christmas." Santa's Village is, without a doubt, one of New
England's most revered holiday destinations! Book a room in North Conway
Christmas at the Farm
Billings Farm & Museum, Woodstock, Vt.
December Weekends and Dec. 22-Jan. 1 (excluding
Christmas day) See 2018 schedule
Billings Farm and Museum celebrates
the traditions of a 19th century Vermont village on weekends including
arts and crafts projects and horse-drawn sleigh or wagon rides. Book a room at the Woodstock Inn and Resort
Christmas by Candlelight at
Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, Mass.
Friday, November 30; Saturday, December 1; Sunday,
December 2; Friday, December 7; Saturday, December 8; Sunday, December
9; Friday, December 14; Saturday, December 15; Sunday, December 16;
Thursday, December 20; Friday, December 21; Saturday, December 22;
Sunday, December 23 See full 2018 schedule
What a fun way to experience the history of Christmas traditions at Old
Strubridge Village (OSV) -- this beautiful Sturbridge, Mass., living
museum recreates rural New England life during the 1790s through the
1830s. Caroling around the illuminated 19th-century village and sounds
of the season from visiting performers from local schools and churches
will surely get you in the Christmas spirit. The event will also
feature an evening of gingergbread, roasted chestnuts, music, dance,
and a sleigh ride (weather permitting). You'll also get to meet Father
Christmas and Santa Claus. According to the OSV Web Site,
you'll also get to "discover the history of Christmas cards, exchanging
gifts, hanging stockings, Christmas trees, mistletoe, holly,
poinsettias, and candy canes. You'll learn about these traditions and
more in the enchanting setting of Old Sturbridge Village by
candlelight. You'll also have an opportunity to taste samples of
several foods long associated with the holiday." Book a room in Sturbridge
Christmas at Old Sturbridge Village. Photo credit: Old Sturbridge Village.
The North Pole Express at the
Steam Train, Essex, Conn.
See full 2018 schedule
This imaginative journey to the "North Pole" is sure to please the kids
by celebrating the spirit of the season with Santa and Mrs.
Claus, sing-a-longs, hot chocolate and sugar cookies -- all powered by
a locomotive-powered sleigh! Full details on the North Pole
Express at the Essex Steam Train, including specific December hours of
operation. Book a room in nearby Old Saybrook
Enchanted Village, Jordan's
Opens Nov. 18! See 2018 schedule
Jordan's has brought back to life a revered holiday event made famous
by the former Jordan Marsh department store in Boston and then the City
of Boston. In its heyday (the 1960s and 1970s and then 1990-2005),
Enchanted Village was a household name with its finely detailed holiday
scenes and "magically" animated figures. Thanks to the visionaries at
Jordan's Furniture, Enchanted Village is now back at its Avon store.
Here, you'll find the fully restored vintage collection of 59
mechanical figurines, and 18 vignettes. Santa will be on hand,
too! Book a room in Boston
Christmas Stroll on Nantucket
Nov. 30 - Dec. 2 See 2018 schedule
Nantucket Christmas Stroll traditionally takes place the first full
weekend of December As part of the Nantucket Chamber of
Commerce's "Nantucket Noel," 100s of decorated seven-foot
Christmas trees line the downtown streets, and illuminated in a
ceremony with caroling at dusk the day after Thanksgiving. Also on
Stroll Saturday, carolers in festive Christmas apparel sing entertain
at various downtown locations. Live entertainment adds even more
holiday joy in the middle of Main St. Craft shows, performances,
special dinners at island restaurants (please book ahead), tours, and
exhibitions round out one of the best Christmas celebrations in New
England. According to the Nantucket Christmas Stroll web site, "Midday
on Stroll Saturday, the Nantucket Town Crier, in full regalia, will
ring in Christmas Stroll, and then lead everyone to the wharves to meet
Santa and Mrs. Claus, who arrive via Coast Guard Cutter, walk down the
wharf, and then ride to the Jared Coffin House downtown to meet with
children." Book a room on Nantucket Island
Carolers at Nantucket Island Christmas Stroll. Photo
Office of Travel & Tourism.
La Salette Festival of
Lights, Attleboro, Mass.
Nov. 22, 2018 - Jan. 6, 2019
The annual National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette Festival of Lights
will shine its Christmas magic with more than 300,000 lights on display
over 10 acres at the La
Salette Shrine in Attleboro, Mass. One of New England’s most famous
Christmas events, the Festival of Lights is one way to surely get in
the holiday spirit. This is one of those “you had to be there”
Christmas light show destinations that requires attendance to fully
appreciate the spectacular nature of this event. Christmas at La
Salette also features Christmas displays and exhibitions, as well as
gift shop items! Admission to the Festival of Lights is free, but
donations are always welcome. The National Shrine of Our Lady of La
Salette is located at 947 Park Ave. For more information on this event
and La Salette, in general, log onto the La
Salette web site.
La Salette Shrine Festival of Lights in Attleboro, Mass. Photo
Office of Travel & Tourism.
Christmas at the Newport
Nov. 17, 2018 - Jan. 1, 2019 See 2018 schedule
The Breakers, The Elms and Marble House go all out for the holidays
with spectacular decorations, music and tours. Featured are thousands
of poinsettia plants, incredible evergreens, trees, wreaths and fresh
flowers, as well as 19th century style ornaments. Book a room in
Newport and get a great rate
City of Taunton Lighting of
the Green, Taunton, Mass.
Dec. 1, 2018. 3-8 p.m.
Taunton's Lighting of the Green and Lights On Festival dates back to
1914 and is one of the best examples of a town green Christmas display
in New England. This annual community celebration offers live
activities, fireworks, and an incredible display of Christmas lights on
the beautiful, historic Taunton Green. This year's theme:
Christmas in Candyland! The lights and displays stay throughout
December, too, in case you can't make it to the kickoff event.
Taunton, Mass.: The Christmas City.
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VisitingNewEngland.com Publisher Eric Hurwitz
Town Greens -- Discover New England's first travel attractions:
town commons (includes chapters on Attleboro, Sturbridge and Taunton!
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