Perhaps for you, the holidays don’t officially start until the trees sparkle with lights across the city. If that’s the case, here are the tree lighting ceremonies in and around Boston that you’ll want to attend to see the sparkle! We’ve listed them in order of date, so hopefully, you can fit one into your busy holiday schedule.
ANNUAL COLUMBUS PARK TRELLIS LIGHTING
WHAT: 15th Annual Columbus Park Trellis Lighting
WHO: Mayor Martin J. Walsh, the Friends of Christopher Columbus Park, and the Boston Parks and Recreation Department
WHERE: Christopher Columbus Park, 110 Atlantic Avenue
WHEN: Monday, November 19th, 5 pm
First up on the tree lighting ceremony schedule is the 15th annual Columbus Park Trellis Lighting.
While technically not a tree lighting, this event’s main attraction is when the “Mayor turns on the 50,000 glowing blue and white lights along the 260-foot trellis.”
Never fear though! A few trees will twinkle as well with “14 decorated trees near Tia’s, the Marriott Long Wharf Hotel, and throughout the park.”
And lights are not the only sight to see while you’re there; there will also be performances from the North End Music and Performing Arts Center and “Berklee College’s own Sam Robbins.”
In addition, we’ll hear some of the best holiday classics from singer Sharon Zeffiro.
Plus rumor has it that Santa Claus, Rudolph, and Frosty will all be making an appearance as well!
With delicious food, drinks, and even giveaways sponsored by the Marriot Long Wharf Hotel, HP Hood LLC, Joe’s American Bar & Grill Waterfront, New England Dairy & Food Council, and Magic 106.7, there will definitely be plenty to enjoy for the entire family!
Admission is free, and no RSVP is needed. If you want more information, you can always call (617) 635-4505 or visit the Boston Parks and Recreation Department on Facebook or at www.boston.gov/parks.
Take this time to soak in all that the North End has to offer at this first lighting event that kick-starts the holiday lights season!
HOLIDAY GIVING TREE LIGHTING
WHAT: Holiday Giving Tree Celebration
WHO: Patriot Place & their charitable partner, Cradles to Crayons Massachusetts
WHERE: Patriot Place, 2 Patriot Place, Foxborough MA 02035
WHEN: Tuesday, Nov. 20th, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Live a bit south of the city? No worries! The next night offers another chance to celebrate and do good at the same time.
Patriot Place will be lighting their Holiday Giving Tree on Tuesday, November 20th to benefit their charitable partner, Cradles to Crayons Massachusetts.
This group’s mission is to provide kids from birth to age 12 who are homeless or in low-income situations with “the essential items they need to thrive – at home, at school, and at play.”
The tree will be located outside by Splitsville, Howl at the Moon, and the Topgolf Swing Suite and decorated with ornaments that contain a holiday wish from a kid in need.
All visitors at Patriots Place are invited to select an ornament and fulfill the child’s holiday wish inside. Meaning you can do some holiday shopping for your own family and give back to your community at the same time.
Though the musical performances for the tree lighting ceremony don’t start until 5 pm, you can start partaking in the fun at 4 pm. This is thanks to the free admission to Winter Skate at Patriot Place if you donate a coat and/or hat and/or glove set for Cradles to Crayons.
Once the musical performances are over, the lights ceremony will include “Santa, Mrs. Claus, Rudolph, Slyde, and New England Patriots Cheerleaders featuring a pyrotechnic reveal!”
If that doesn’t sound like the perfect way to spend a Tuesday night, I don’t know what does! You can find additional details here.
CHARLES SQUARE TREE LIGHTING
WHAT: Annual Tree Lighting in Charles Square
WHO: The Charles Hotel & Henrietta’s Table and in partnership with the Harvard Square Business Association
WHERE: The Charles Hotel, 1 Bennett St, Cambridge, MA 02138
WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 24th, 4 PM – 6:30 PM
For those looking to support charities but who live a little north of the city, you’ll want to put the Annual Tree Lighting in Charles Square on your calendar for Saturday, November 24th.
The charitable focus of this tree light is to benefit Cambridge Family & Children’s Service. This charity is in need of donations of the following items, all of which you can bring the day of the ceremony (or anytime during the holidays):
Bath and Beauty Products for adolescents such as:
- face and body wash,
- face masks,
- nail polish and mani/pedi maintenance kits,
- disposable razors,
- basic hair brushes,
- hair pins, accessories, etc. for both girls and boys also for multiple ethnicities
- Twin-sized sheet sets and blankets
- Laundry detergent, household cleaning products
- Bath towel sets and bathrobes for adolescents
- Batteries – Double AA, AAA
After dropping off your donation, you can help decorate the holiday trees, and kids can enjoy storytime with the Harvard Coop.
Santa’s Jazz Band starts at 5pm, and there’s a good chance the man himself will make an appearance at the 5:30 pm official tree lighting.
If you’re planning to attend this ceremony and/or want to know more about donating items, you can find further information here.
2018 TREE LIGHTING @BRICKSTONE
WHAT: 2018 Tree Lighting @Brickstone
WHO: KS Partners and the @Brickstone Square community
WHERE: Brickstone Square, Andover MA 01810
WHEN: Sunday, Nov. 25th, 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Their homepage reads formally, “KS Partners and the @Brickstone Square community would like to extend a cordial invitation to all residents of Andover and neighboring towns to our 2018 Tree Lighting @Brickstone.”
But as formal sounding as that invite may be, the reason for this event is a little more familiar and cozy.
Initially started in 1990, by 1992, the Brickstone Tree was a sensation.
That year, the tree was a “93-foot Norway Spruce,” that “was taller than the tree at Boston’s Prudential (45 feet), Walt Disney World (65 feet), the White House (75 feet), and even New York’s Rockefeller Center (85 feet).”
Decorated with “15,000 strung lights that illuminated 200 silver bulbs and 600 red bells and bows” the lights that year were lit by “Tom Bergeron, WBZ television personality, [who] served as Master of Ceremonies” according to one article.
The event continued to grow until about “15 years ago, [when] the previous owners of Brickstone Square opted to take a break from the event, as cutting down an enormous live tree each year was problematic.”
Thankfully, in 2005 a baby (12 ft) blue spruce tree “was planted @Brickstone in hopes it would someday grow tall enough to reinstate the beloved tree lighting ceremony. KS Partners believes the time has come.”
Now that the treetops 50 feet in height (beating out the Pru’s tree and closing in on Disney’s), the annual tree light @Brickstone is set to finally return!
KS Partners teamed up with radio station 92.5 The River and the River Roadies Street Team to help host this renewed event.
Open to everyone with free admission, and you’ll get to enjoy “an afternoon of inflatable fun, Santa, prizes, holiday treats, trackless trains, police and fire vehicles, kid’s crafts, a live ice sculpture demonstration, musical performances, and more.”
With these activities starting at 2 pm on Sunday, November 25th, you’ll want to stay for the lighting of the tree at sunset.
If restarting this tradition sounds like how you want to spend your Sunday, you can learn more here.
COPLEY SQUARE TREE LIGHTING
WHAT: Annual Copley Square Tree Lighting
WHO: Mayor Martin J. Walsh, the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, and The Friends of Copley Square
WHERE: Copley Square, Boston, MA 02116
WHEN: Monday, Nov. 26th, 5:00pm-6:00pm
You can knock out a majority of your holiday shopping and take in a tree lighting with the Copley Square Tree Lighting on November 26th.
With “appearances by Santa Claus, and Rudolph” and “musical performances by the Boston Children’s Chorus, the Boston Pops Brass Quintet, and Berklee College of Music students Britani Washington and Sam Robbins,” this tree lighting is one to see!
Light refreshments will be available thanks to donations from local businesses. You’ll also know the tree’s lights are shining when you hear the Old South Church bell that tolls once the tree has been illuminated.
Immediately following the ceremony, at 6 pm the Fairmont Copley Plaza will host a family reception that includes “cookie decorating, photos with Santa, and treats.”
With so much shopping nearby, you can get your holiday list crossed off early and partake in this fun event.
If you’d like to know more about this free event you can click here for further information.
FANEUIL MARKETPLACE GIANT CHRISTMAS TREES AND BLINK! LIGHT SHOW
WHAT: Faneuil Marketplace: Giant Christmas Trees and Blink! Light Show
WHERE: Faneuil Hall, 4 S Market St, Boston, MA 02109
WHEN: Monday, Nov. 26th, 2 pm – Outdoor festivities begin, 7 pm – Tree Lighting Ceremony begins
If there were an award for which tree lighting ceremony around Boston is the most spectacular, it’d likely be this one.
Outdoor festivities start at 2 pm in the Marketplace Center at Faneuil Marketplace next to the “Big Tree,” which “by tradition, it’s the biggest in the Northeast.”
If you’re coming only to see the tree lighting, you can either come in person at 7:00pm or watch the live broadcast on WBZ-TV Channel 4 and myTV38 from 7:30 – 8:00 PM.
With Santa Claus attending and The City of Boston Community Choir and holiday singers performing,
Mayor Walsh will flip the switch to “illuminate thousands of twinkling lights synchronized to music.”
The 350,000+ LED lights are the star of “Blink!, a six week state-of-the-art light and sound extravaganza” and will “perform” daily between 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. through January 5th.
An event as big as this one should also celebrate giving back, and that’s why they’re kicking off “the New England Patriots Annual Holiday Toy Drive for which Faneuil Hall Marketplace will be a drop-off location for toy donations for needy children.”
So bring a toy for a child in need then grab a bite to eat and sit back and take in this spectacle of sparkling lights.
If you’re looking to learn more, you can find it here.
BOSTON COMMON TREE LIGHTING
WHAT: Boston Common Holiday Tree Lighting
WHERE: Visitors Information Center, 139 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02111
WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 29th, from 6pm-8pm.
Everyone from the Mayor to Santa, to members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police will be there to watch the almost 7,000 lights illuminate this massive tree out on the Common.
Once the main tree’s lights have been turned on, over 80 additional trees will also begin to sparkle all through the park.
Technically considered the “official” start of the holiday season in Boston, the tree lights will be followed by a pyrotechnic display as well.
Refreshments will be available throughout thanks to multiple sponsors.
Wondering why the Royal Canadian Mounted Police will be in attendance? It’s because this tree is an annual gift from the citizens and city of Nova Scotia for over 50 years.
It’s meant to commemorate “help given by Boston citizens after a devastating 1917 explosion of a munitions ship in Halifax Harbor killed over 2,000 people.”
You’ll likely want to arrive at this event early, because prior to the ceremony, The Skating Club of Boston will be hosting a free figure skating ice show. You’ll be amazed at the talent from national and international competitive figure skaters, soloists, groups, wee skaters, and Team Excel Synchronized Skating and Theatre On Ice of Boston teams at the Boston Common Frog Pond.
Want to find out more? Then head here for further details or call (617) 635-4505.
SEAPORT TREE LIGHTING
WHAT: Light Up Seaport
WHERE: Seaport Common, 85 Northern Avenue Boston, MA 02210
WHEN: Friday, Nov. 30th, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
It makes perfect sense that the newest up and coming area in Boston is the last tree lighting on our list!
Light Up Seaport is the 3rd annual tree lighting ceremony for the newly redone Seaport area.
Like the other tree lightings, you’ll be able to enjoy all of your favorite holiday songs as well as delicious goodies from local Seaport restaurants. Even better, you’ll be able to enter giveaways and maybe cross some items off your wish list!
Drinks will be available to buy, and there will be plenty of fun activities for the kids, with proceeds going benefitting Massachusetts Fallen Heroes and The Gavin Foundation.
In addition to the tree lighting ceremony, the Seaport community also invites people to visit District Hall. Inside, you’re asked to “explore A Year in Seaport, a new photography exhibit opening in celebration of our incredible neighborhood.”
The images in this exhibit highlight “powerful visuals captured across the community in the past 365 days, and showcases the work of Fort Point resident George Vasquez, who has been documenting all of the development and movement in Seaport since last year’s holiday season.”
If family being in town or the Thanksgiving celebrations prevented you from attending other lighting ceremonies, you can make sure to attend this one before the start of December! You’ll find further information on the event here.
We hope all this talk of Santa and lights and carols has you feeling the start of the holiday mood! Let us know which tree lighting ceremony you’ll be attending! And if you’re looking to make Boston your permanent home for the holidays, reach out to us by clicking below.