November

Boston Christmas Festival. World Trade Center, 200 Seaport Blvd., Boston. Friday-Sunday, Nov. 4-6. This annual festival features the distinctive work of more than 300 master American craftsmen and the Gingerbread House Competition, showcasing Boston’s top chefs. $15, children under 14 free. bostonchristmasfestival.com


From the Forest: Nature Gifts for the Holidays. Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate, Canton. Nov. 6, 1 p.m-3 p.m. Gather the makings for swags, container, door and lamp post decorations; get in the fall spirit, enjoy the final days of autumn foliage, and meet new friends. Trustees members: $12; nonmembers: $20. thetrustees.org


Garden Herbs and Wreathmaking. Allen C. Haskell Public Gardens, New Bedford. Nov. 10, 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Learn how to make wreaths and decorative gifts from herbs, fragrant plants and easy to obtain materials — all provided. Decorate your home for the holidays and have fun doing so. Trustees members: $15; nonmembers: $25. thetrustees.org


New England Craft & Specialty Foods Craft Festival. Topsfield Fairgrounds, 207 Boston St., (Rte. 1), Topsfield. Nov. 11-13, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. This three-day shopping bonanza includes more than 250 of the nation’s finest craftsmen and artisans. $7 adult, children under 14 free. One admission good for all days. Discount coupons available online. castleberryfairs.com


Historic Thanksgivings at the Old Manse. The Old Manse, Concord. Nov. 12, 19 & 20; noon, 1 p.m & 3 p.m. Special house tours explore the Thanksgiving stories of Manse residents. Discover what they ate and how they prepared these dishes. Enjoy the sights, aromas, and tastes of the holiday as you stroll through the kitchen and parlors of this 18th-century house museum. After a tour, enjoy a tasting of desserts inspired by historic menus. Trustees members: $5; nonmembers: $10, children 6-12 $5. thetrustees.org


Dickens Festival & Victorian Holiday Craft Fair. All Souls Parish Hall, 196 Elm Street, Braintree. Saturday, Nov. 19, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Crafters, costumed characters, homemade apple pies and fudge, carolers and more. allsoulsbraintreechurch.org


Campfire Treats & Tales. Governor Hutchinson’s Field, Milton. Nov. 19, 4:30 p.m-6 p.m. Gather around the campfire to make sweet and savory treats and participate in “theater in the round” stories of Native American history on the Neponset River. Trustees member adults: $5; nonmember adults: $10. Kids, free. thetrustees.org


Methuen Festival of Trees. Valley Office Park, 13 Branch Street, Methuen. Nov. 19-Dec. 3. The event will display more than 240 spectacularly decorated Christmas trees and wreaths. Children’s events include visits and photos with Santa. Special events include Taste of the Festival, and Ladies Night Out. methuenfestivaloftrees.com


Make a Holiday Evergreen Wreath. Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, 113 Goodnow Rd., Princeton. Nov. 20, 1 p.m-3 p.m. Learn how to identify different types of evergreens and then make a decorative wreath using greens, winterberry, seed pods, and ribbon. Fee includes materials to make one wreath. Members $22, nonmembers $30. 978-464-2712


Blink! A Light & Sound Extravaganza. Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston. Nov. 20-Jan. 1, nightly performances start at 4:30 p.m. Featuring the music of the Holiday Pops, Blink! is a state-of-the-art light-and-sound outdoor extravaganza. Free. faneuilhallmarketplace.com


Concert of Thanks. Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate, Canton. Nov. 20, 6 p.m-8 p.m. This year’s Concert of Thanks will feature a classical piano trio. Enjoy the beginning of the Thanksgiving holiday, with a concert in the Estate’s lovely living room. Trustees members: $15; nonmembers: $25. thetrustees.org


Bright Nights. Forest Park, 300 Summer Ave., Springfield. Nov. 23-Jan. 1, Sun.-Thurs. 5 p.m.-9 p.m.; Friday, Saturday & holidays 5-11 p.m. (closed Nov. 28 & 29). Make the 4-mile drive through Forest Park, illuminated with 650,000 sparkling lights. $18 per vehicle Monday-Thursday, $21 Friday-Sunday and holidays. Opening night Nov. 25, $6 per car. Coupon online: brightnights.org


Festival of Lights. La Salette Shrine, 947 Park St, Attleboro. Nov. 24-Jan. 1, Illuminations nightly, 5 p.m.-9 p.m. weekdays; 2 p.m.-9 p.m. weekends. More than 300,000 lights illuminate over 10 acres. International Creche Museum with hundreds of creches from around the world, and The Outdoor Creche of Bethlehem with Clopper the Christmas Donkey. Free. lasalette-shrine.org


The Nutcracker. The Hanover Theatre, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. Nov. 25-27. Jumpstart the holiday season with the classic Christmas ballet, presented by Ballet Arts Worcester and the Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra. thehanovertheatre.org


Castleberry Holiday Arts & Craft Festival. Shriner’s Auditorium, 99 Fordham Rd., Wilmington. Nov. 25-27. Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat. & Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Three-day shopping bonanza with more than 250 of the nation’s finest craftsmen and artisans. Adult $8, under 14 free; one admission good for all three days. Discount coupons available online. castleberryfairs.com


ZooLights. Stone Zoo, 149 Pond Street, Stoneham. Nov. 25-Jan. 1, 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Get into the holiday spirit by strolling along tree-lined paths lit by thousands of twinkling lights. Meet the reindeer up close during nightly photo opportunities. Tickets start at $7, in addition to regular zoo admission price. stonezoo.org


Parade of the Big Balloons. Main Street, Springfield. Nov. 25, 11 a.m. Welcome Santa to town with Springfield’s own 75-foot Cat In The Hat balloon and several of his inflatable friends, bands, and colorful contingents. spiritofspringfield.org.


Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker. The Boston Opera House, 539 Washington Street, Boston. Nov. 25-Dec. 31. bostonballet.org


Dickens Weekend: A Christmas Carol with Gerald Charles Dickens. Vaillancourt Folk Art, 9 Main St., Suite 1-H, Sutton. Nov. 26, 2 & 7 p.m. & 27, 2 p.m. Dickens’s great-great grandson Gerald Charles Dickens performs a theatrical, one-man performance of A Christmas Carol. Tickets $25-$30. valfa.com


City of Lights Parade and Holiday Celebrations 2016. Downtown, Lowell. Nov. 26. Stroll the city streets and enjoy live performances, holiday shopping, photos with Santa, and the Annual Hot Chocolate Competition. The daytime fun leads to the nighttime extravaganza — The City of Lights Parade and City Hall Lighting. Free. lowell.org


Annual Boston Tuba Christmas Concert. Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston. Nov. 26, 12 p.m.-2 p.m. More than 130 tuba players serenade the crowd with holiday classics. Other Tuba Christmas events are planned in Springfield on Dec. 3, and Ayer on Dec. 11. Free. bostontubachristmas.com




December

ZooLights at Stone Zoo in Stoneham decorates the zoo with thousands of lights, offers opportunities to meet the reindeer, and runs through Jan. 1.


Castleberry Arts & Craft Festival. Event Center at the Hanover Mall, Rte. 53, Hanover. Dec. 2-4., Friday noon-8 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m- 8 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Three-day shopping bonanza with more than 250 of the nation’s finest craftsmen and artisans. Adult $7, under 14 free; one admission good for all three days. Discount coupons available online. castleberryfairs.com


Christmas at Castle Hill. Castle Hill on the Crane Estate, Ipswich. Dec. 2, 6 p.m-8 p.m. Celebrate the Twelve Days of Christmas with room decorations inspired by the classic song. Enjoy live music from The Essex Harmony or take a self-guided tour. Complimentary warm cookies and mulled cider included. Trustees member adults, $10; child/senior $5; nonmember adults: $20, child/senior $10. Ipswich residents with ID, $10. thetrustees.org


Wreaths from the Trees. Rocky Woods, Medfield. Dec. 3, 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. Natural materials from the forest are provided and guests are guided in creating beautiful and unique seasonal decor. Kids are invited to create small natural ornaments for an additional fee. Warm drinks and snacks will be provided. Trustees members, $24/wreath; nonmembers: $30/wreath. thetrustees.org


Annual Wreath Raising Party. Weir River Farm, Hingham. Dec. 3, 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. Help craft the giant wreath that hangs from the big red barn. Children’s holiday crafts, cookies and hot chocolate, and seasonal tunes included. Adults can craft a swag made from locally sourced materials to take home. The event concludes with raising and illuminating the giant wreath. If there is snow, bring sleds. Trustees members, free; nonmembers: $10/family. 781-740-7233 thetrustees.org


Santa’s Arrival and Tree Lighting. Downtown Gloucester. Dec. 3, 1 p.m-5 p.m. Santa docks on Rockport Harbor at 1 p.m., before climbing onto a Rockport Forest Fire truck and proceeding along and Mt. Pleasant Street to the Old Firehouse to have photos taken with children until the Tree Lighting Ceremony begins at 4 p.m. rockportusa.com


Holiday Pops Kids Matinees. Symphony Hall, 301 Mass. Ave, Boston. Dec. 3, 4, 10, 11 &17. Seven special family concerts include a children’s sing-along and post-concert photos with Santa. Tickets start at $39, children under 2 free. All patrons, regardless of age, must have a ticket. bso.org


Army National Guard Holiday Concert. Springfield Symphony Hall, Springfield. Dec. 4, 2 p.m. Free admission with tickets, available by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Spirit of Springfield, 1350 Main St., Suite 1004, Springfield, 01103. spiritofspringfield.org


Christmas on the Common. Bridgewater Town Common. Dec. 4, noon.-4 p.m. Bring the family to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, pony rides, holiday music, craft fair with over 90 vendors, food and hot drinks. Free. bridgewaterbiz.biz


Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas Recreation. Main Street, Stockbridge. Dec. 4, all day. See Main Street as Norman Rockwell did when he painted the famous Stockbridge scene at Christmas. Main Street becomes a magical New England village with more than 50 antique cars parked along the street and a full plate of family activities including readings, tours, caroling and concerts. stockbridgechamber.org


Festival of Lights. Farandnear, Center Road, Shirley. Dec. 4, 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Celebrate the season with fire and light, and make seasonal decorations from nature. Then enjoy a performance of holiday music. Warm fire, refreshments, and craft materials included. Trustees members, free: nonmember adults, $5, kids free. thetrustees.org


Bradley Holiday Children’s Day. Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate, 2468 Washington Street, Canton. Dec. 7-17. The Bradley Estate celebrates the “Holiday Deck the Halls” event for 10 days in December with different themes each day. This first evening of the holiday celebration will be for children, with pictures with Frozen characters, songs, and games. Trees will be lit indoors and outdoors. Member adult $5; nonmember adult $10. Children, free. thetrustees.org


Cirque Dreams Holidaze. The Shubert Theatre, 270 Tremont Street, Boston. Dec. 9-11. Cirque Dreams lights up the 2016 holiday season with its critically acclaimed holiday stage extravaganza, featuring seasonal characters, soaring acrobatics, elaborate production numbers, imaginative costumes, illusions and more. Tickets start at $43. citicenter.org


The Christmas Revels: An Acadian-Cajun Celebration of the Winter Solstice. Sanders Theatre, 45 Quincy St., Cambridge. Dec. 9-27. A joyous theatrical celebration filled with music, dance, comedy and carols. Tickets start at $22 for adults, $10 for children. revels.org.


The Farm Nissie. Appleton Farms, 219 County Road, Ipswich. Dec. 9 & 10, 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. The Nissie — a farm elf from Scandinavian folklore — will visit Appleton Farms. While we wait for the Nissie to awake from his slumber in the hayloft, there will be children’s holiday crafts, cookies and hot chocolate, and carolers. Registration is per family. Trustees member family: $24, nonmember family: $30. 978-356-5728 x4118. thetrustees.org


The Boston Pops Holiday Concert. The Hanover Theatre, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. Friday, Dec. 9, 8 p.m. Conductor Keith Lockhart and the Pops perform their signature “Sleigh Ride,” as well as other holiday classics and new arrangements of seasonal favorites. Tickets start at $55. thehanovertheatre.org


Middle Street Walk. Middle Street, Main Street and surrounding area, Gloucester. Dec. 10, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Open houses, concerts, special programs and traditional decorations will be featured throughout the afternoon, focused in and around historic Middle Street. middlestreetwalk.org


Haskell Tree Lighting. Allen C. Haskell Public Gardens, New Bedford. Dec. 10, 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Along with the evening stars, the trees will light up the night. Bring the family, taste the cocoa, twirl a candy cane, and get your picture taken with a holiday favorite from way to the North. thetrustees.org


Children’s Christmas Party with Santa. Castle Hill on the Crane Estate, 290 Argilla Road, Ipswich. Dec. 10, 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Enjoy a Christmas treasure hunt throughout the Great House, seasonal treats, and, of course, a visit with Old Saint Nick who will have a gift for every child. Advance reservations required. Space is limited. Trustees members child $24, nonmember child: $30. Accompanying adults free. 978-356-4351 x4015 


Holiday Pops! Featuring the Spirit of Dickens. Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra, Memorial Hall, 83 Court Street, Plymouth. Performances Dec. 10 & 11. Create a holiday tradition that includes fun, family, community, and beloved seasonal music. Actor Neil McGarry performs a mini, musical retelling of A Christmas Carol set to live orchestral music. Annual March of the Toys charity toy drive, and jolly guest from the North Pole featured. Tickets start at $20. 


plymouthphil.org


Search for Santa. Farandnear, Shirley. Dec. 10, 10 a.m.-noon. Santa is lost in the woods at Farandnear, and participants will meet at the Visitor’s Pavilion at 10 a.m. to listen to a story, then head out to find Santa on the trail. Best for ages 4 and up — trails are not stroller friendly. Members & all kids, free; nonmember adults $5. thetrustees.org 


1820s Holiday House. The Old Manse, Concord. Dec. 10, 11, 17 & 18, 12:30, 1:30, 2:30 & 3:30 p.m. View The Old Manse decorated for an early American Christmas, and hear stories about early celebrations. Warm cider and cookies will be served. Members $5, nonmember adults, $10; senior/students, $9; child 6-12, $5; Family (2 adults & up to 3 children), $25. thetrustees.org


Holiday Pops Concert. Lowell Memorial Auditorium, 50 E Merrimack St., Lowell. Dec. 11, 2:30 p.m. Keith Lockhart’s “Holiday Pops” plays seasonal favorites. Tickets start at $50. lowellauditorium.com


A Christmas Carol. The Hanover Theatre, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester, Dec. 16-23, with a special sensory-friendly performance on Dec. 18. Continue our family tradition and get in the holiday spirit with Troy Siebels’ lavish and innovative adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic tale. Tickets start at $14. thehanovertheatre.org


Winter Solstice Celebration. The Old Manse, Concord. Dec 18, 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Celebrate the Winter Solstice on the Old Manse lawn with fire, drums, a sing-a-long, and light refreshments. Tour the house for a special view of living in the cold and dark winters of early America. Members and all children 6-12, $5. Nonmembers, $10. thetrustees.org


Winter Solstice Stroll. Fruitlands Museum, Harvard. Dec 18, 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. Gather with Fruitlands staff to take a lantern tour of the walking trails. A cozy fire and warm apple cider await at the end of the trail and a reading of Susan Cooper’s poem “The Shortest Day”. Free with Fruitlands admission. thetrustees.org


Illumination Night. Governor Hutchinson’s Field, Milton. Dec 21, 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Brighten the darkest day of the year with a solstice celebration of light and community, featuring a fire dancer, fire pit, hot chocolate, and music. Member adults, $5, kids $3. Nonmember adults $10, kids $6. thetrustees.org


Solstice Walk. Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate, Canton. Dec 21, 6 p.m-8 p.m. Lighten up the darkness of winter with a stroll by the farm fields and through the woods by lantern-light. Come back to the Main House for a cup of cocoa and enjoy the company of new friends in the comfort of the Bradley’s home. Members, $9, nonmembers $15, kids, free. thetrustees.org


Winter Solstice Picnic. Weir River Farm, Hingham. Dec 21, 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Light up the night on the shortest day of the year atop Turkey Hill. Bring a picnic dinner and join us fireside as the sun goes down. There will be snacks, hot drinks, and star gazing. Parking at the last lot on Turkey Hill Lane. Members, $5/family, Nonmembers $10/family. thetrustees.org


Celebrate the Solstice & Tree Lighting. Francis William Bird Park, Walpole. Dec 21, 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Meet on Vista Field for a night hike around the property, followed by a tree lighting, and hot chocolate and s’mores. Members, $5, nonmembers $10. thetrustees.org


Auld Lang Syne: Times Gone By in 2016. Rocky Woods, Medfield. Dec. 26-30, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. Walk the trails, discover designated spots to write a memory from the past year you want to keep with you into 2017, tie your memory to a branch nearby and let the forest take it in. On New Year’s Eve, we will celebrate 2016 with a campfire, tossing all of the week’s memories into the fire to live on into the coming year. Free, donations appreciated. thetrustees.org


Winter Farm Quest. Weir River Farm, Hingham. Dec. 26-31. Come down to the farm and participate in the New Year’s Quest. Pick up a quest in the parking lot of 140 Turkey Hill Lane and go exploring. Free. thetrustees.org


Gifts for the Birds. Farandnear, Center Road, Shirley. Dec. 27, 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Serve the birds a tasty snack that will help feed them in the winter. Hang some gifts for the birds in the Pinetum, and take some home for your own backyard. Trustees members, free: nonmember adults, $5, all kids free. thetrustees.org


What to do with Friends and Family Week. The Old Manse, Concord. Dec. 27-31, noon- 4:30 p.m. Perfect for entertaining out-of-town guests or as a unique family activity, this historic house is open for guided, walk-in tours. Tours take place at 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30 p.m. Enjoy free cider and cookies as part of your visit, and stroll the beautiful  landscape adjoining the Concord River and the Old North Bridge. Members free, nonmember adults, $10; senior/students, $9; child 6-12, $5; Family (2 adults & up to 3 children), $25. thetrustees.org


Family drop-in Workshop: Gifts for the Birds. Fruitlands Museum, Harvard. Dec. 28, 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Make pinecone bird feeders for our feathered friends. Decorate one of the trees on the Fruitlands hillside or take the bird-friendly goodies home and watch the birds delight over the treats. $1 per kit.  thetrustees.org


Fresh, Fast and Delicious with Project Bread. KITCHEN at Boston Public Market, Boston. Dec. 29, 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. & 1-1:45 p.m. Join Project Bread’s Chef Vanessa Labranche as she leads free cooking demonstration every Thursday. Enjoy simple, tasty recipes that do not require a lot of time, skill, or money to prepare. Free. thetrustees.org


New Year’s Walk in the Woods. Farandnear, Center Road, Shirley. Dec. 31, 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Get ready for the New Year with a great resolution: take a walk on the woodland trails of Farandnear. Trustees Members, free: nonmember adults, $5, all kids free. thetrustees.org