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Header Photos


Clockwise from top left: Cranberry harvest; Hancock Shaker Village; Mayflower II/Plimoth Plantation; Christian Scott, Mass Jazz/Berklee College of Music; D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield




December 2017


Massachusetts is rich in arts & culture, so it's no surprise that exciting events, exhibits and festivals are held in the state's 16 regions all year long. Find out more!


The Spirit of the Season

December is a month filled with festivities, family, and friends. Chestnuts are roasting, lights are twinkling, and communities throughout Massachusetts are turning up the holiday cheer. Annual crowd favorites include Bright Nights at Forest Park, the Nantucket Christmas Stroll and Winter Reimagined at Tower Hill Botanic Garden. Craft events featuring artisan, handmade goods (or the chance to make your very own) are plentiful this time of year as well - perfect for finding unique gifts and supporting local makers. Save room for limited performances, exhibit openings, spirit tastings and more. Visit our holiday page or search our December events for even more ways to enjoy this special time of year!

For more on what to see + do in Massachusetts, visit massvacation.com



Featured Region: Johnny Appleseed Country

It's beginning to look a lot like the holiday season! And there's no better place to get in the mood (and find your holiday gifts, decorations and delectable treats) than in Johnny Appleseed Country! From a tour of cozy country shops to Christmas Tree exhibits and holiday house tours, a leisurely visit to the region will put you in the spirit of the season. Fill your party table with fresh-from-the-farm fruits, veggies and cheeses, accompanied by craft beers and fine wines. Community theater groups set the stage, too, with a host of early-December Christmas shows in GardnerFitchburg and Barre . Bundle up and enjoy the season in Johnny's back yard! Find more events and information for Johnny Appleseed Country.



Martha's Vineyard 

Christmas in Edgartown, happening December 7-10, is a weekend festival you don't want to miss! Enjoy a wonderful selection of events, including a Teddy Bear Suite, the Lighting of the Edgartown Lighthouse, crafts events, amazing shopping, holiday concerts, Island tours, The Great Chowder Contest, Breakfast With Santa and so much more. Ride the Hy-Line ferry direct to Edgartown!  Be a part of the holiday magic and visit calendar.vineyardgazette.com/  For everything Martha's Vineyard, visit MVY.com. Find more events and information for Martha's Vineyard.



Mohawk Trail Region

Edgar Degas_ Entrance of the Masked Dancers_ c. 1879_ pastel on gray wove paper_ The Clark_ 1955.559

Although most people know the Impressionists from their vivid oil paintings, there's much more to know about the breadth of their work in a variety of other mediums. A new exhibition - The Impressionist Line: From Degas to Toulouse-Lautrec at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown - features works from virtually all of the leading names in the Impressionist movement, including Camille Pissarro, Edgar Degas, Mary Cassatt, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Paul Gauguin.The exhibition, open through January 7, features 39 works, including watercolors, pastels, drawings, prints, and lithographs and  and provides a wonderful exploration of the Impressionists' substantial-and often experimental-contributions to the graphic arts. Find more events and information for The Mohawk Trail Region




In the MetroWest, tis the season to be crafty. Through January 2nd, the Concord Museum's 22nd annual Family Trees celebrates children's literature through books and crafting. More seasonal craftiness will take place alongside special guest, Santa, at the MetroWest Festival of Trees in Marlborough the weekend of December 8th. Still not in the holiday spirit? Tree lightings and Snow Village are great reasons to visit Massachusetts Horticultural Society's Festival of Trees at Elm Bank through December 10. Find more events and information for




Nantucket Island

Nantucket Island's most anticipated holiday event is coming! The Chamber's 43rd Annual Stroll Weekend will take place December 1-3 on Main Street Nantucket. On Saturday, Main Street will close for various live entertainments and exhibitions. Have a chance to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus with carolers too! Stop by the Whaling Museum and enjoy the community decorated trees with the NHA's Festival of Trees, available all month long. Find more events and information for Nantucket Island.



North of Boston

Christmas in Salem invites visitors to tour historic homes December 1-3. Homes will be beautifully decorated for the holiday season! Also on December 1-3, visit Christmas at Castle Hill; each room in the 1920s Ipswich mansion will be festively decorated for a beloved Christmas carol. Then, join the North Shore Music Theater for the 27th annual production of the classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL December 8-23. Find more events and information for North of Boston.



Plymouth County

Our compass is pointing due north, with a guest from the North Pole and a weekend full of holiday cheer! The Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra's annual Holiday Pops weekend on December 9-10 includes fun, family, community and beloved seasonal music!  Astounding tenor Matthew Anderson returns to sing holiday classics, and the Plymouth Community Intermediate School 6th Grade Treble Chorus lends their angelic voices, while the annual March of the Toys charity toy drive rounds out this holiday spectacular. Saturday, December 9 at 3 pm & and 7:30 pm, and Sunday, December 10 at 3 pm. Find more events and information for Plymouth County.



Southeastern Mass

Southeastern Mass is filling the holidays with cheer! Attleboro's Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette annual Festival of Lights returns on November 23 until January 1. Taunton's Lights Festival is on December 2 from 3 pm to 8 pm. New Bedford's AHA Holiday Stroll on December 1-2 is the perfect time to get unique gifts! The SouthCoast Community Chorale is having their 20th Winter Concert December 17 at 2 pm. And for runners, don't miss the Mansfield Ugly Sweater 5K on December 14 from 6 to 9 pm. Find more events and information for Southeastern Massachusetts



The Berkshires

Image copyright Tony DiTerlizzi.

Norman Rockwell Museum now presents Never Abandon Imagination: The Fantastical Art of Tony DiTerlizzi, an exhibition of works by the acclaimed illustrator. Best known for his successful series The Spiderwick Chronicles, DiTerlizzi is celebrated for his fantasy images created for such popular games as Dungeons, and the children's book The Spider and the Fly. Family programs and an exhibition of Norman Rockwell's holiday works will also be presented during the winter season! For more info, visit nrm.org. Find more events and information for The Berkshires



Greater Merrimack Valley

Join the Concord Museum to celebrate the annual Family Trees: A Celebration of Children's Literature, open to the public through January 2, 2018. Admire up to 40 fancifully decorated Holiday Trees throughout the Concord Museum, inspired by favorites from children's literature, contemporary and classic! Also be sure to check out the museum's current special exhibit "This Ever New Self: Thoreau and His Journal." Call 978-369-9763 or visit concordmuseum.org for more! Find more events and information for Greater Merrimack Valley. 



Central Massachusetts

Experience the magic of the holidays in Central Mass! Tower Hill Botanic Garden kicks of the season with Winter Reimagined, featuring thousands of colorful lights and special programming from November 24th to January 7th. Catch the Goo Goo Dolls at 104.5 XLO Acoustic Xmas at Mechanics Halls on December 7th. Say farewell to 2017 with Salem Cross Inn at their New Year's Eve Feast on December 31st.   Find more events and information for Central Massachusetts.



Franklin County

Coming to Franklin County December 8-10 is A Celtic Christmas, a family-friendly journey through song and storytelling of the varied traditions of the Celtic peoples throughout the world! Concerts will be held at the following times and locations: December 8 at 7 pm at Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield; December 9 at 7 pm at Centennial House, Northfield; December 10 at 7 pm at Deerfield Inn, Deerfield. $10 adults, $5 children (5-12 years old); $25 maximum for a family. Click here for more information! Find more events and information for Franklin County.



Greater Boston

The spirit of the season is contagious with tree lightings and caroling and classic holiday performances: The Nutcracker, Holiday Pops, Black Nativity and Handel's Messiah. Holiday Strolls, Open Houses and festive dining all add to the holiday atmosphere. The light and sound extravaganza BLINK! returns to Faneuil Hall Marketplace with more than 600,000 "smart" LED lights throughout the Marketplace. Take advantage of the MAYOR'S HOLIDAY SPECIAL, half-price tickets & dining deals - all season long. BOSTON WINTER, the city's newest & coolest tradition features a mix of winter activities, including a unique outdoor skating path, 85 boutique style chalets offering a wide variety of goods, an enchanted Christmas tree maze, a Santa House and a Bavarian Village. Continue celebrating with First Night/First Day at Copley Square! Find more events and information for Greater Boston



Cape Cod

Join us for Christmas on Cape Cod and create memories that will be cherished for generations. Every town and village puts their special stamp on holiday-inspired events throughout the month, including village strolls, theater performances, festive parades & concerts, spectacular light displays, and Santa's arrival....by boat! Families will love the Train to Christmas Town aboard Cape Cod Central Railroad and Gardens Aglow at Heritage Museums & Gardens! First Night celebrations in Chatham, Provincetown and Sandwich round out the month-long festivities. Visit ChristmasonCapeCod.com for a full list of holiday events and getaway packages! Find more events and information for Cape Cod.



Greater Springfield

Holiday in the Park at Six Flags New England - The region's largest theme park offers an entirely new and unique holiday celebration experience unlike anything seen before! Boasting 50+ rides, shows, and attractions, this winter season just got much cooler. New England's largest holiday celebration debuts as Six Flags New England decks the halls in a dazzling display of lights, sights, and sounds for its inaugural holiday extravaganza. Weekends and Select Days November 24-December 31. Visit ExploreWesternMass.com for more holiday fun! Find more events and information for Greater Springfield.



Hampshire County

For lovers of Dr. Seuss and his classic holiday tale, Easthampton's Whobalation, on Sunday, December 3  celebrates the town's legend as the inspiration for Dr. Seuss's Whoville and the mountain that inspired the Grinch's Mt. Crumpit. Make it a weekend of celebrations, starting December 1 at the Amherst Merry Maple Festival and Lighting and Downtown Northampton's Holiday Stroll on December 2. Welcome 2018 at Northampton's First Night, a family-friendly festival of the arts, with dozens of performances all within walking distance in Downtown Northampton. Find more events and information for Hampshire County.


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Funded by the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism