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December is the season of peace, and I enjoy nothing more than getting out at night to visit holiday displays, parks, museums and zoos — some with nearly a million lights! Here are a few of my favorites.
Going to the Zoo
Zoo animals tend to hide at night, but a zoo makes a great destination when they add holiday lights! Celebrate the holiday season with ZooLights at the Stone Zoo in Stoneham, where you’ll also find a plaza of Christmas dioramas — many of which are animated.
This Saturday, in New Bedford, the Buttonwood Park Zoo will feature Holiday ZOObilee, featuring train and carousel rides, caroling, and a special Reindeer Room where you can make reindeer food and crafts with elves!
You’ll also find some nightly holiday fun in Northampton at Look Park’s Winter Wonderland Holiday Light Displays, which are open through January 1st.
If you haven’t visited the Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich on Cape Cod, you must add it to your list. They have extensive grounds for strolling that are even more beautiful when lit for the holidays. To warm up, you can visit their art and automobile museums.
You’ll find live re-enactors of a 19th century Christmas in Concord at the Louisa May Alcott House, and near Worcester at Old Sturbridge Village — my favorite re-enactment destination.
Lights, Lights, Lights!
The largest ‘holiday lights’ destination in Massachusetts is Edaville USA’s Christmas Festival of Lights, where you’ll find 7 million illuminating holiday lights and a Ferris wheel!
The second largest is Springfield’s Bright Nights at Forest Park, which you drive through, staying snug in your car.
While the above are suitable for anyone in a holiday mood, whether you celebrate Christmas or not, the La Salette Festival of Lights in Attleboro is more religious, but so beautiful that I recommend it to all anyway. It has several acres to walk through and a museum of tiny crèches from around the world, displaying how Christmas is celebrated in foreign lands.
The nights are cold, but they’re going to get colder before they get warmer. So, don’t just sit around. Get out and have some fun at night this holiday season!
Johnny Monsarrat writes Events INSIDER, New England’s largest source of festivals, events and shows, which features 11 regional Twitter streams in Massachusetts.