Want to create an itinerary from this post?
The cities and towns of Massachusetts light up each December as the holidays approach, offering festive, cheerful ways to celebrate as winter closes in!
Here are some of our favorite light displays.
Edaville’s Christmas Festival of Lights
Edaville’s Christmas Festival of Lights is possibly the most beloved festival of its kind, having earned generations of loyal fans. Visitors relax comfortably in warm and dry coaches while riding through a spectacular holiday setting featuring an explosion of lights. Kids of all ages enjoy an array of vintage amusement rides as well as Thomas Land rides, and a visit with Santa in one of our indoor play areas. Seasonal treats and full dining is available while roaming our sprawling and beautifully decorated grounds featuring thousands of Christmas displays. Trains typically run on an hourly schedule.
Winter Wonderland, Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston
Winter Wonderland & Night Lights
Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston
The indoor facilities are decked out in nature-themed decorations that are sure to put you into the holiday spirit whether you’re gathering with co-workers on your lunch break, meeting up with friends to exchange season’s greetings, or stopping by with family to make new memories. Farmer and the Fork cafe offers lovely, seasonal fare that makes lunchtime an enchanting experience. The cafe is open from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Please see the menu here, featuring soups, bowls, sandwiches, and desserts. The Garden Shop offers unique, high quality, boutique-style nature inspired gifts for everyone on your list. And your purchases go toward a good cause! The two towering greenhouse conservatories filled with subtropical plants will make you feel like you’ve stepped onto a Caribbean island. Just the relaxing oasis you need to get you through the busy holiday season. Families with children will enjoy the scavenger hunts, a festive model train, discovery backpacks, hands-on Library activities, and more. Timed activities include Garden Discoveries at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesdays; Story Time at 10:30 a.m. on Thursdays; Winter Crafts from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Fridays; Story Time at 10:30 a.m. on Saturdays; a Sing-a-long on Saturdays at 11 a.m.; and Snowperson Building or Crafts at 1 p.m. on Sundays. View the calendar of events here. The outdoor gardens and grounds provide opportunities to get outside for some fresh air and exercise. You’ll see views of Mt. Wachusett and the Wachusett Reservoir. We have woodland trails for easy hikes. The formal gardens will show plants with winter interest and offer festive photo opportunities.
Bright Nights at Forest Park, Springfield
Bright Nights at Forest Park, Springfield
Making Bright Nights even brighter this year are the 9,185 LED lights used to replace incandescent bulbs in Never, Never Land and the Victorian Village. In total, the Springfield Park Division staff replaced 40,000 bulbs before opening night. Bright Nights display runs through January 5, 2020.
Gardens Aglow, Heritage Museum & Gardens, Sandwich
Heritage Museum & Gardens, Sandwich, Cape Cod
Gardens Aglow, featuring over nine miles of holiday lights throughout the gardens, a stunning model train exhibit in the Special Exhibitions Gallery, and music and dance performances in the Automobile Gallery. St. Nick will hold court in the Model T. Other activities include holiday crafts, rides on the vintage carousel, and marshmallow roasting over outdoor fire pits. Stroll the gardens with family and friends, and enjoy Heritage in a whole new light. The display runs through December 29.
Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston
Boston comes alive each December with festival lighting displays all across the city. Thanks to the Boston Parks & Recreation Department, you can enjoy the bright lights on Boston Common, where you can also enjoy open air ice skating. Check out the white light display along the Commonwealth Avenue Mall, and the Trellis Lighting at Christopher Columbus Park in the North End. Also worth seeing: the Blink! Display at Faneuil Hall and the lighted carousel along the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway.
Zoo Lights, Stone Zoo, Stoneham
Stoneham Zoo, Stoneham
The Stone Zoo is a magical place to go any time of year, but the holidays turns it into a winter wonderland of festive lights. Stroll through tree-lined paths, and visit Yukon Creek, home to bald eagles, Canada lynx, reindeer and artic foxes. Expect a visit from Santa Clause on December 16. The display runs through January 4, 2020.
The Trustees, Winterlights
Winterlights – The Trustees
Trustees’ Winterlights returns and is bigger and better than ever. Join us for magical experiences at three of our beautiful garden properties, Naumkeag in Stockbridge, The Stevens-Coolidge Place in North Andover, and new this year Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate in Canton, as they sparkle with thousands of shimmering and artfully designed holiday lights. Bring the family for scavenger hunts, crafts, seasonal characters and experiences, food and refreshments, and more. Winterlights runs multiple evenings each week starting the weekend before Thanksgiving and running through the end of December.
For more holiday activities, visit MassVacation.com