guides

Christmas Attractions and Things to Do in Massachusetts & Beyond

Take a family road trip to visit these special holiday destinations!

By Barbara Evangelista, Publisher November 17, 2020


This year, many local events such as concerts, holiday fairs and breakfasts with Santa have been cancelled.  Happily, events that allow for social distancing, such as drive-through light displays, are up and running.  

Here's our Guide to Christmas Attractions and Things to Do in Massachusetts & Beyond ~ 2020 Covid edition. Be sure to book your tickets early ~ many destinations have limited capacity and are booking timed tickets, so spots will sell out quickly. 


OUTDOOR HOLIDAY LIGHT DISPLAYS

Bright Nights at Forest Park, Springfield MA  http://brightnights.org/

More than 675,000 lights light up Forest Park in Springfield.  This spectacular display is open from November 25 to January 6 from 5 PM until 9 PM on Sundays through Thursdays and until 11 PM on weekends and holidays.  Visit the website for detailed information, tickets and coupons.  Note that this is a drive-through display and visitors must remain in their vehicles at all times.

La Salette Shrine, Attleboro MA  https://lasaletteattleboroshrine.org/christmas-festival

Admission is free (but donations welcome) at this holiday light display, which runs 5 PM to 9 PM daily from November 26 to January 3.  Over 400,000 lights create a delightful display. All visitors must wear masks and must maintain social distance.

Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston MA  http://www.towerhillbg.org/

Night Lights has been cancelled for 2020.

Stone Zoo ZooLights, Stoneham MA http://www.stonezoo.org/

The Stone Zoo is decorated with holiday light displays for the season.  See the animals and enjoy beautiful lantern displays while you follow a one-way path through the Zoo.  Open November 27 to January 3 from 4-9:30 PM (closed Christmas Day).  Masks are required except for children under 2, and social distancing from other groups must be maintained.

New Hampshire Motor Speedway Gift of Lights, Loudon NH  https://www.nhms.com/events/gift-of-lights/

See more than 2.5 million lights at the Gift of Lights!  This drive-through light display runs 4:30-9 PM Sundays to Thursdays and 4:30-10 PM Fridays and Saturdays from November 26 to January 3.  Participate in a theme night (Decorate Your Car, Christmas Sweaters, etc) and receive an admission discount at the gate, although we'd strongly recommend purchasing your ticket online in advance to ensure admission.  Ticket purchase is for a specific day but is not timed.

Our Lady of Fatima Shrine, Holliston MA  https://www.xaverianmissionaries.org/fatima-shrine-holliston-ma/

Information is not currently available about the 2020 Festival of Lights.

WinterLights at Naumkeag in Stockbridge MA  https://thetrustees.org/program/winterlights/

[Tickets for the Bradley Estate in Canton are sold out.]  Follow a one-way walking path through lighted decorated gardens. Concessions may be purchased on-site. Note that tickets are timed and visit is limited to 1 hour.  Masks are required for visitors age 2 and up.  From November 27 to January 2 from 4:30 PM to 8:30 PM on Tuesdays through Sundays.

Holiday Stroll & Parade of Trees at the Stevens-Coolidge Place, North Andover MA  https://thetrustees.org/program/holiday-stroll-parade-of-trees/

This small event including a decorated garden and 24 decorated trees from community organizations and local businesses.  Follow a one-way walking path to enjoy the displays. Bring canned goods and leave them at your favorite tree; all donations will be donated to the local food pantry.  Refreshments will be available for purchase.  Purchase timed tickets online.  Masks are required for age 2 and up.  Open Thursdays through Sundays from December 3 to 20, 4:30-7:30 PM.

NEW!  Castle Hill Illuminated: The Longest Night  https://thetrustees.org/content/castle-hill-illuminate/

See this sound and light show at the Castle Hill mansion on the Crane Estate in Ipswich.  The 40-minute outside show celebrates the Winter Solstice with music, narration and lights on the exterior of Castle Hill.  Refreshments available for purchase.  Booked timed tickets in advance for the show, which occurs every half-hour from 5 PM to 7:30 PM from November 28 to January 10.  Masks and social distancing are required.

NEW!  North Shore Holiday Light Show  http://northshorelightshow.com/

Stay warm in your car and listen to music on your car radio that's synced to the holiday-themed light displays.  The mile-plus route includes dozens of lighted holiday displays.  Open evenings from 5-9:30 PM Thursdays to Sundays from November 19 to December 20, then daily from December 21 to 30.  Purchase a ticket in advance and use it any day that the Holiday Light Show is open.

NEW!  Magic of Lights, Foxborough MA  https://magicoflights.com/events/foxborough/

Drive through magical holiday light displays at Gillette Stadium.  Open November 13 to January 2 from 5 PM to 9:30 PM.  Purchase a ticket in advance for your preferred day; you may enter at any time on that day.

NEW!  Southwick's Zoo Winter Wonderland, Mendon MA  http://southwickszoo.com/winter-wonderland/

Drive through the Winter Wonderland Frozen Forest to view spectacular holiday lights!  Stroll through Santa's Enchanted Village to enjoy games, a petting zoo, entertainment, and a distanced meet and greet with Santa.  Refreshments available for purchase.  Open November 27 to December 30, Wednesdays to Sundays, from 4:30 PM to 8:30 PM.  Purchase timed tickets in advance online.

NEW!  Marshfield Holiday Light Show, Marshfield MA  http://marshfieldlightshow.com/

Holiday-themed displays along a 1-mile route, synced to holiday music on your radio!  Open evenings from 5-9:30 PM Thursdays to Sundays from November 19 to December 20, then daily from December 21 to 30.  Purchase a ticket in advance and use it any day that the Holiday Light Show is open.

NEW!  Lancaster Celebration of Lights, Lancaster MA  https://lancasterlightshow.com/

Over a mile of road features over a million LED lights, including a 90" Christmas tree and an 85' wreath!  Enjoy music on your radio during the drive.  Open November 25 to January 3 from 5-10 PM Mondays to Thursdays and from 5-11 PM Fridays to Sundays.  Purchase a ticket online for a specific date and two-hour time window.


HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES & ATTRACTIONS

Enchanted Village, Avon MA  https://www.jordans.com/content/attractions/enchanted-village  

The Enchanted Village is closed in 2020.

Strawbery Banke's Annual Candlelight Stroll, Portsmouth NH    http://www.strawberybanke.org/events/candlelight-stroll.cfm

Stroll by Strawbery Banke's historic homes to see how outdoor holiday decorations in different eras, including Victorian, World War II and more. Enjoy carolers, holiday crafts, and simple celebrations. Weekend evenings only (Friday to Sunday) from December 11 to 20. All tickets must be reserved online in advance and entries are timed.  Visitors must wear masks and maintain social distancing.  Note that there is no on-site parking (see public garage options on event page).  

Blink!  At Fanueil Hall, Boston MA  https://faneuilhallmarketplace.com/entertainment-directory/blink-lightshow/

Blink! and the holiday tree are cancelled for 2020 but merchants at Fanueil Hall Marketplace will be decorating with lights and other festive touches.

Christmas Festival of Lights at Edaville Family Theme Park, Carver MA  http://www.edaville.com/

The Christmas Festival of Lights at Edaville is cancelled for 2020.

NEW!  15th Annual Festival of Trees, Leominster MA  https://www.facebook.com/events/1659448024235489/

Open weekdays 9 AM to 4 PM and weekends 11 AM to 3 PM from November 23 to December 21.

Six Flags Holiday in the Park, Agawam MA  https://www.sixflags.com/newengland/special-events/holiday-in-the-park

Six Flags is closed in 2020.

Santa's Village  Jefferson NH  https://www.santasvillage.com/

Santa's Village will remain closed during Winter 2020.

Christmas by Candlelight at Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge MA  https://www.osv.org/event/christmas-by-candlelight-2020/

Weekends only from 3 to 8 PM from December 4 to December 30.  Wander Old Sturbridge Village and enjoy live music, holiday traditions from the 1800s, horse-drawn rides, gingerbread houses, model trains, and bonfires.  All tickets must be reserved in advance online and are timed entry.  Capacity is limited.  All guests over 2 must wear masks and maintain social distancing from other parties.

Festival of Trees at Elm Bank, Wellesley MA  https://masshort.org/festival-of-trees/

Enjoy the illuminated gardens at Elm Bank, visit the Snow Village with model trains, and see over 70 beautifully decorated holiday trees.  Timed tickets are available for Wednesdays to Sundays 10 AM to 8 PM from November 27 to December 20.  Masks and social distancing are required.

NEW!  Outdoor Festival of Trees Drive-Thru by Methuen Festival of Trees, Methuen MA  https://www.methuenfestivaloftrees.com/

Enjoy decorated trees and lights during this drive-through display at Greycourt State Park in Methuen.  Open daily from 5:30-8:30 PM from November 27 to December 19.  Tickets go on sale on November 26.


Looking for more holiday fun?  Check out:




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