As one of the original 13 Colonies, Massachusetts boasts a rich history full of old traditions, especially when it comes to celebrating holidays. Boston offers a blend of modern and historic attractions in its downtown district, while Attleboro embraces its deeply religious roots. The city of Springfield, however, is all about the bright lights. Each city and town offers something unique during the Christmas season. After settling into your warm and cozy Massachusetts vacation rental, head out to these top areas to enjoy breathtaking Christmas light displays.
1. Bright Nights at Forest Park, Springfield
Springfield, in south-central Massachusetts, boasts one of the most well-known holiday light displays in the state, Bright Nights at Forest Park, drawing crowds from in and out of state. The 3-mile drive-through display of Christmas lights featuring Seuss Land, Santa’s Magical Forest, Jurassic World, and Victorian Village, is only a part of the festivities. Book a horse-drawn carriage ride for a more leisurely exploration of the displays, stop at Santa’s Cottage for a visit with the big man himself, have Dinner with Dickens or Supper with Santa, and do some Christmas crafts. While staying in your Massachusetts vacation rental in Springfield, head to the BID Downtown Holiday Market. Not only can you do last minute shopping, but you can also partake in the Holiday Market events such as the Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl and Winterfest Festival. Stop at Theodore’s Booze Blues & BBQ, one of the top restaurants in Springfield, Ciro’s for Italian food, or 350 Grill for steak and American favorites.
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2. Blink! at Faneuil Hall, Boston
Boston might not have a holiday light display as big as the one in Springfield, but it has several options from Blink! at Faneuil Hall to Winter Lights along the Rose Kennedy Greenway. Blink! is a light show synchronized to Christmas tunes to help visitors shopping get into the holiday spirit. While enjoying the lights, partake in some of the other activities at Faneuil Hall, including live dances from the Greater Boston School of Dance, live music and DJs, Kidscast mobile newsroom, and Santa visits. The culminating piece at Blink! is the 85-foot fir treat lit up and decorated. The parks of the Rose Kennedy Greenway get their own facelift during the season with Winter Lights. Stroll underneath sparkling arbors while enjoying thousands of lights. Finally, don’t neglect the Boston Common, a park that transforms into a Christmas paradise starting with the tree lighting ceremony. Enjoy the Frog Pond Skating Spectacular, try ice skating yourself, shop for Christmas gifts, and just enjoy the lights blanketing everything.
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3. ZooLights at Stone Zoo, Stoneham
Stoneham, a town north of Boston and west of Salem features ZooLights at Stone Zoo. The festive decorations, Christmas lights, snow, and animals transform this place into a winter wonderland. While many animals are indoors for the season, some thrive in this weather, such as the Arctic fox and Canada lynx. See them in person, then experience a bald eagle encounter. Finish off your visit by taking pictures with real reindeer and a photo with Santa. The hot chocolate keeps you warm and cozy regardless of the weather. After exploring everything the zoo has to offer, head up to the Whip Hill Mansion decked out in lights with crafts, Santa, and free treats.
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4. Ls Salette Festival of Lights, Attleboro
While Attleboro’s La Salette Festival of Lights might not be the biggest display of Christmas lights in the state, it’s one of the oldest and most respected. The lights are spread over 10 acres, taking you on a relaxing journey through the reason of the season with lit nativity scenes and other religious icons. Afterwards, view nativities from all around the world at the International Creche Museum. More than 1,000 creches are on display from over 100 countries, giving you a scope of the spread of Christianity over the world. Attleboro is also a great place for a Christmas-themed concert, from blue grass and country to folk and rock. If you’re in the area over Christmas, go to Christmas at the White House at Wingate Residences for Christmas merry-making, holiday fun, and good food.
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5. Winter Reimagined, Boylston
Boylston is a small town just north of Worcester featuring the annual Winter Reimagined Christmas lights at Tower Hill Botanic Gardens. This event decks the halls of both the inside and outside of the gardens. Pull on your warm clothes, and meander through acres of lit gardens, arbors, sculptures, and fountains. Next, head indoors for equally festive galleries and conservatories cloaked in Christmas lights and adorned with nature-inspired ornaments and decorated trees. The fire pits warm explorers on the outside, while hot cocoa awaits inside along with crafting activities for children and live music. Because Boylston lies on the outskirts of Worcester, you can head into the city for more Christmas lights at the Worcester Festival of Lights. There’s ice skating, hot cocoa, Christmas displays, and a giant Christmas tree.
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