There’s no shortage of seasonal celebrations this time of year. From dazzling light displays to quaint Christmas festivals, we’ve rounded up 15 of the most enchanting festivities for families. 





Winterlights - Stockbridge, North Andover, Canton

At Naumkeag, Thursdays through Sundays, Nov. 21-Dec. 29; plus Dec. 23, 30, 31 

At Stevens-Coolidge Place, Thursdays through Sundays, Nov. 21-Dec. 29

At Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate, Fridays through Sundays, Nov. 22-Dec. 29


The gardens at three iconic Trustees homes are illuminated with tens of thousands of shimmering holiday lights for this immersive holiday experience. Over 500,000 LED lights transform the properties at Naumkeag in Stockbridge, Stevens-Coolidge Place in North Andover, and the Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate in Canton. Each site offers seasonal entertainment, children’s activities and refreshments for purchase. At the Stevens-Collidge Place, an interactive children’s area inspired by classic children’s “The Mitten” will allow the young and young at heart to become a part of the story. more info

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Edaville Christmas Festival of Lights - Carver 

Daily through Jan. 1 (closed Dec. 25) 

During the holiday season, Edaville USA transforms into an enchanting wonderland aglow with millions (yes, millions) of lights. During the Festival of Lights, families can enjoy unlimited Christmas train rides and the theme park’s 90-plus rides and attractions -- including access to Cran Central and the iconic Thomas Land. With an upgraded train package, you can join Mrs. Claus, Santa and his elves on the ‘Where’s Santa?’ train -- a 45-minute interactive ride where you’ll be served chocolate milk and cookies. Each guest receives a special present. more info


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ZooLights at the Stone Zoo - Stoneham 

Daily, Nov. 22-Jan. 4 (Closed Dec. 25) 

Christmas lights and animals? What more could a kid want? ZooLights dazzles visitors of all ages each holiday season. Stroll along tree-lined paths lit by thousands of twinkling lights. Visit black bears, a bald eagle, Canada lynx, arctic foxes, and even reindeer. This year, guests can embark on a “brick safari” as they explore the zoo’s paths, and spot 40 life-size animal sculptures made from millions of colorful Legos. Enjoy more festive fun by warming up by the fire pits and toasting marshmallows for s’mores. Children will want to make sure they visit with Santa who is available for photos through Dec. 24. more info


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Bright Nights - Springfield 

Daily, Nov. 27-Jan. 5 (closed Dec. 2-3) 

Over the last 25 years, millions of visitors have taken in the “Bright Nights” at Springfield’s Forest Park. Load up the car for this annual attraction, which has been on People.com’s list of “Top Ten Holiday Happenings in America.” The nearly three-mile tour features more than 650,000 glittering lights. The display is always evolving, so you’ll see familiar favorites and new additions every year. more info


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Festival of Trees & Snow Village - Wellesley 

Daily, Nov. 29-Dec. 15; Weekends Dec. 20-22 & 27-29

The more than 60 gorgeously decorated Christmas trees that are raffled off each year are the centerpiece of this event, but there is so much more to the festive fun. Put on by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society at the Gardens at Elm Bank, the festival includes garden lights, visits from Santa, horse-drawn carriage rides, and a fire pit with s’mores. Enchanting displays with model trains winding through villages and vignettes, including Christmas in the City (Boston of course!), Fenway Park, and hundreds of decorated houses and lights await guests in the Snow Village. more info


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Tower Hill Winter Wonderland - Boylston

Wednesdays through Sundays, Nov. 29-Dec. 29

Enjoy decorated indoor rooms and soak in the warmth of subtropical plants in the botanic garden’s conservatories, while the outdoor gardens and grounds provide opportunities for walks and hikes. Families with children will enjoy the scavenger hunts, a model train, discovery backpacks, and hands-on activities. Sing-along performances will be held on Saturdays through Dec. 28. more info

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Boston Common Holiday Tree Lighting - Boston 

Thursday, Dec. 5

Each year an enormous Christmas tree, gifted to Boston from Nova Scotia, makes its way from way up north to the city’s Common where it’s decorated with thousands of glittering lights. Enjoy a free figure skating performance on the Frog Pond, warm refreshments, music and entertainment before Mayor Marty Walsh (joined by Santa, of course) flicks on the lights, illuminating the city’s special tree, along with nearly 100 more throughout the Common and Public Garden. The show closes with a special fireworks display over the Common. more info


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Main Street at Christmas - Stockbridge

Friday through Sunday, Dec. 6-8 

The town of Stockbridge, made famous by Norman Rockwell’s painting of the village during the holidays, becomes a magical New England setting decorated with holiday wreaths and festive lights for this annual celebration. Enjoy holiday readings, house tours, caroling, and a holiday concert. Hop on a horse-drawn carriage, visit with Santa, and have lunch at the Christmas Food Booth. The weekend caps off on Sunday with a recreation of the scene depicted in Main Street at Christmas, complete with vintage automobiles parked in the spots occupied in the painting. more info


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Christmas Stroll - Nantucket

Friday through Sunday, Dec. 6-8

Main Street shuts down to traffic for this annual weekend kick off to Noel, Nantucket style. Costumed carolers, craft shows, live performances spread out through the downtown, where the streets are illuminated by hundreds of decorated, seven-foot Christmas trees. On Saturday, the Nantucket Town Crier, in full regalia, rings in the Stroll, leading everyone to the wharves to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, who arrive via Coast Guard Cutter. Be sure to stop by the Nantucket Whaling Museum, which is transformed into a glittering winter wonderland for their month-long Festival of Trees. more info


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Christmas by Candlelight - Sturbridge 

Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, Dec. 6-29, plus Monday, Dec. 23 

Enjoy an evening filled with New England holiday traditions, live musical performances, storytelling, sleigh rides, festive foods, a roaring bonfire, and strolls around the decorated Village Common. Take a walk through the living history museum by the glow of candlelight. Catch the nightly tree lighting and marvel at dozens of delicately gingerbread houses. Adults $28, youth $14, kids 3 and under free. more info


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Santa’s Arrival by Lobster Boat - Rockport 

Saturday, Dec. 7

Where else can you see Santa arrive by lobster boat? After a brisk ride across Sandy Bay, Santa will arrive at T-Wharf on Rockport Harbor, then ride into town by firetruck. Children can visit with Saint Nick before the tree lighting ceremony at Dock Square, where Christmas carols and eggnog will add to the festive mood. more info


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Chain of Lights - Millbury & Sutton 

Saturday and Sunday, December 7-8 

These neighboring towns take turns hosting annual festivities over a weekend celebration of the season. Community organizations and businesses host “stops” with all sorts of holiday-themed fun. Take a free trolley ride to various locations around town where merriment takes place all day long. Food, concerts, hayrides, animals, kids’ activities, and shopping are all in store. Sutton hosts Saturday; Millbury celebrates on Sunday. more info

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Holiday Pops Kids Matinee - Boston 

Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 7-22, plus Dec. 23-24 

What better time to take advantage of Boston’s world-class cultural attractions than the holidays? Enjoy one of New England’s most beloved traditions -- Holiday Pops -- family style. Boston Pops hosts eight family-friendly Kids Matinees in the world-famous Symphony Hall. These special concerts feature the Boston Symphony Children’s Choir and include a children’s sing-along and post-concert photos with Santa. The matinees are shorter than regular concerts at about 75 minutes. For those seated at the floor tables, there are special kid-friendly menu options along with holiday treats. A sensory-friendly show is slated for Dec. 7. more info

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White Christmas - West Brookfield 

Sunday, Dec. 8 

The historic town of West Brookfield kicks off the season in classic small-town New England style during the day-long White Christmas celebration. Streets glow with twinkling white lights while the picturesque Town Common hosts a tree lighting, Christmas carolers, roasted chestnuts and s’mores and free hayrides and hot chocolate. A holiday concert, puppet show, gingerbread house decorating, elf hunt, ice sculpting, and walking lantern tours are all part of the fun. more info


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Cocoa & Carols Holiday Cruise - Boston 

Various dates through Dec. 28 

Classic Harbor Line’s luxury yacht Northern Lights gets decked out for the holidays for an evening of holiday cheer. The Blue Motion Quartet plays a jazzy sing-a-long of Christmas carols and other holiday favorites during this 90-minute cruise through the Boston harbor. Sip hot chocolate and take in the city lights from the toasty solarium. more info