Massachusetts takes things to another level when it comes to the holidays. Perhaps it’s because so many of our towns and main streets look like they’ve tumbled straight out of
A Christmas Carol, but there’s definitely something extra magical about the Bay State this time of year.
Take a look at these enchanting Christmas light displays across the state.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Winter Reimagined at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston
The glistening lights of this festival will bring the magic of the season to your heart. If you feel like catching a beautiful Christmas light show, but don’t want to brave the winter chill, Winter Reimagined is the solution. This 175-year-old horticultural society festoons its stunning galleries with gorgeous plants and lights. You can also wander through the surreal landscape of their gardens and grounds, which are all illuminated with twinkling lights. The event runs from November 25, 2016 through January 8, 2017. Adult admission is $17. Youth admission is $7. Children under 5 are free. (11 French Drive, Boylston)
2. Bright Lights at Forest Park, Springfield
This is New England's largest display of festive lights. The wonderland stretches across miles (yes, miles) of glittering park, and you experience this otherworldly show from a cozy nest in a horse-drawn carriage. Along the way, you'll be pulled through the magical territories of “Seuss Land”, “Jurassic Park”, and the “North Pole Village." You can also ride through the display in the comfort of your own car. This event runs November 23, 2016 to January 1, 2017. The rates begin at $18 per car on weekdays ($21 per car on weekends), or $10 per person for a carriage ride. (300 Sumner Avenue, Springfield)
3. Lighting of the Green, Taunton
Taunton is nicknamed "The Christmas City," so you know they can put on a spectacular holiday show. This year is the 103rd Lighting of the Green, and there will be plenty of holiday activities, carols and festive treats for all. Stop by on December 3 from 4-8 p.m.
4. Edaville Christmas Festival of Lights, South Carver
Edaville Christmas Festival of Lights, South Carver
This railroad amusement park pulls out all the stops for the holiday season. Hop on a train and ride through thousands of twinkling lights that illuminate the grounds of the park. You’ll also get to feast on seasonal goodies, visit Santa and ride on vintage amusement park rides. The celebration begins on November 18 and runs through New Year’s Day.
5. Winter Lights at Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston
The city of Boston Head to Christopher Columbus Park (pictured) for a stroll beneath a canopy of sparkling lights.
6. Blink! at Faneuil Hall & Quincy Market, Boston
Over 350,000 LED lights illuminate the night at this fantastic light show. Every 30 minutes, the marketplace begins to shimmer in a dazzling display of light and sound. Don’t miss the lighting of the gargantuan Christmas tree on November 21. This year’s event runs from November 20 to January 1. Nightly performances start at 4:30 p.m. and continue to 9 p.m. The event is free for all. (Quincy Market Colonnade, Boston)
7. La Salette Festival of Lights, Attleboro
This is one of the most beloved and popular Christmas displays in the state. Over 300,000 lights are spread over 10 acres of winter wonderland. This event is held at The National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette, so many of the displays celebrate the spiritual side of the holidays. Don't miss the International Creche Museum featuring hundreds of creches from around the world. Illuminations are held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily between November 24 and January 1.
8. ZooLights at Stone Zoo, Stoneham
This is a holiday stroll that will bring you face to face with all of winter's most fascinating creatures. Wander amongst the thousands of twinkling likes at the Stone Zoo, and cozy up to animals like bald eagles, Canada lynx, and arctic foxes. Have your picture taken with Santa, enjoy holiday music from a cappella groups, and even enjoy a cup of hot chocolate with live reindeer. This year's event runs from November 25 to January 1. The hours are 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is $9 for non-members.
9. Gardens Aglow, Sandwich
At this holiday light show, more than 10 miles of lights are strung across the beautiful landscape of Heritage Museum and Gardens. On December 2 - 4, you can cuddle with baby goats, piglets, chicks, bunnies, and other barnyard babies. Stop by on Saturdays to watch massive ice sculptures created by local artists, and pose for awesome pictures with the frosty masterpieces. Enjoy marshmallow toasting, carousel rides and holiday treats from November 25 to December 18 between $;30 and 8:30 p.m. Adult admission is $18, youth admission (under 12) is $7. (67 Grove Street, Sandwich)
10. Nantucket Christmas Stroll Weekend
Don't miss this charming Christmas stroll and light show on Nantucket. Hundreds of decorated seven-foot Christmas trees line the downtown streets, and carolers in costume sing traditional holiday songs while shoppers and spectators mill about. There are craft shows, free holiday treat samples, and plenty of cheer to go around. The whole island seems aglow during this special, free event. Christmas Stroll Weekend is December 2-4, 2016
11. Berkshire Museum Festival of Trees, Pittsfield
What better place for lights than on a Christmas tree? This event turns the Berkshire Museum into an enchanted forest of decorated and lighted trees. Over 100 trees will be on display, each uniquely decorated to reflect this year's cinema theme. It's worth making the rounds to check out all the creativity. The event runs from November 18 to December 31. (39 South Street, Route 7, Pittsfield)
12. Worcester Festival of Lights, Worcester
See the city of Worcester go up in lights at this popular festival. The massive Christmas tree looks like something out of a storybook, and the oval ice rink has room enough for all. It’s 50% larger than the Rockefeller Center rink, and skating is free! Check out this free event in December (dates and times yet to be announced).
13. City of Lights Parade and Holiday Celebration, Lowell
Stop by Lowell on Saturday, November 26 for a special parade and holiday celebration. The streets will be filled with holiday shopping crowds (way more festive than those at the mall on December 23) , live performances and wandering Santas. Don't miss the famous Annual Hot Chocolate Competition! This event is free and open to the public.