Are you looking for some festive Christmas activities with your family? New England takes center stage at this time of year, and you don’t have to search long to find that Christmas cheer.
These New England Christmas celebrations are some of the best in the US, and are sure to delight the young and old alike. Whether you are in search of lights, food, shopping, horse drawn carriages, decorated mansions or anything in between, you’ll be sure to find it at one of these New England Christmas destinations.
Festival of Lights | Wickford, Rhode Island
Historic Wickford Village in Wickford, Rhode Island celebrates the holiday season right by the water with a town tree lighting, hayrides with Santa, concerts, an Elf Parade, breakfast with Santa, and more. Don’t miss Santa’s daily arrival at the Town Dock! My kids loved following Santa down the road with all the other kids in town.
Nutcracker Ballet | Boston
A classic at its’ finest! While you can find Nutcracker performances at various locations, the Boston Ballet Nutcracker production is a classic. Get dressed up with your family and experience the beauty and wonder of this classic Christmas tradition.
Nantucket Noel and Christmas Stroll | Nantucket, MA
Nantucket is always a beautiful place to visit, but the annual Christmas Stroll weekend is definitely an event to partake in. Starting with Santa’s arrival via Coast Guard vessel, the fun continues with craft shows, concerts, a holiday house tour, and Festival of Trees at the Nantucket Whaling Museum. Kid-friendly activities include visits with Santa and the Magical Talking Tree!
Disney on Ice | Providence, RI
Visit Disney On Ice in Providence and enter the dazzling world of Disney magic, LIVE ON ICE! Rev up for non-stop fun with four of your favorite Disney stories at Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment.
The North Pole Express at the Essex Steam Train |Essex, Conn.
Journey to the North Pole! Your kids will love this train ride that takes them on a journey to the North Pole, with visits from Mr. and Mrs. Clause, hot chocolate and sugar cookies, and plenty of singing to brighten the ride! Powered by a locomotive sleigh! Get the full schedule and details of the North Pole Express on the website.
Victorian Mansions | Newport, RI
The Newport mansions are an attraction throughout the year, but they are especially beautiful when they are decorated for Christmas. See the Victorian mansions decorated for Christmas in December, and enjoy performances by carolers and special tours, along with visits from Santa on Sundays!
Christmas by Candelight at Old Sturbridge Village | Sturbridge, MA
Experience Christmas by Candlelight at Old Sturbridge Village and be whisked back to Christmas in New England during the 1790s through the 1830s. This is such a fun way to experience the history of Christmas traditions, like the history of Christmas cards, exchanging gifts, hanging stockings, Christmas trees, mistletoe, holly, poinsettias and more. There is caroling by candlelight, sleigh rides, treats, gingerbread houses, chestnuts roasting, music and dancing at New England’s largest living history museum. You may also have the chance to meet Father Christmas and Santa Claus, and taste samples of foods associated with the holiday.
Santa’s Village | Jefferson, NH
You will truly feel like you are visiting Santa’s workshop when you take a trip to see Santa’s Village during the holiday season. Santa’s Village is open through December with beautiful lighting, holiday-themed amusement rides, games, holiday shopping, reindeer visits, and visits from Mr. and Mrs, Clause. Santa’s Village is, without a doubt, one of New England’s most revered holiday destinations!
La Salette Festival of Lights| Attleboro, Mass.
This is an annual tradition for our family, and one we look forward to each year. The National Shrine of our Lady of La Salette Festival of Lights features over 300,000 lights on display over 10 acres in Attleboro, Mass. This is one of New England’s most famous Christmas events and attracts visitors from all over. There are Christmas displays and attractions, a Nativity scene, a carousel, visits from Santa, food and a gift shop. It really is a sight to see with your family this Christmas season! Open through the first week in January. Visit the La Salette website for more information.
The Christmas Carol at Trinity Rep | Providence
A classic tale at its finest! Trinity Rep does an incredible job retelling the story of Scrooge and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. Your family will be laughing, crying, cheering and holding their breathe throughout the whole play. A true Christmas delight!
Edaville Railroad | Carver MA
This is a must for my family each year! The Christmas Festival of Lights at Edaville Railroad is something you want to put on your calendar! The Festival features millions of lights throughout the park, offers unlimited train rides and more than 90 rides and attractions! The shops and little places to eat are adorable, too. Make sure to go inside and warm up for a few while your kids play in the indoor play place or do some bumper cars. Santa even comes to visit! Make sure to dress warm, as you won’t want to miss anything!
What are your favorite family traditions in New England?