https://app.joyraft.com/collection-invite/97181527-271a-4c45-8191-a005ce017917 Boston & New England
Date Idea, Festivals & Fairs, Kid Friendly, Photoworthy, Seasonal
May your days be merry… and especially bright. Every year, New England’s holiday season de-lights us with an array of dazzling displays. From Boothbay to Boston, these holiday lights shimmer and shine with incredible illumination. Explore our picks for the best holiday lights– we promise you’ll love it a whole watt.
Where: Somerville | 4.2 miles from downtown
When: Open 12/8; Mon-Sun after dusk
What: Every December, as part of Illuminations, Somerville residents go all out decorating their triple deckers with holiday lights. Some homes even collaborate, stringing Santa and his reindeers through the air and between buildings. The craziest displays can be found on Ames Street and Otis Street.
Where: Boylston, MA | 47.2 miles from downtown
When: 11/25-12/31; Mon-Sun, 4-10pm
What: Step into a Narnia of your dreams at the New England Botanic Garden. Their annual light display attracts 50,000 visitors a year to see the mesmerizing, carefully crafted displays. Fan favorites include the 100-foot-long Rainbow Tunnel! Cap off the night with a drink, some hot cocoa, and an evening by the firepit.
Where: Charlestown | 2.4 miles from downtown
When: Open 12/8; Mon-Thu, 4-11pm; Fri-Sun, 11am-11pm
What: The Anchor's annual holiday display will be back with a tree lighting on Thu, 12/8 featuring 50 trees of various sizes, shapes, and decorations. Interested in grabbing a bite or a festive drink? The heated igloos will be available for reservations.
Where: Attleboro, MA | 39.1 miles from downtown
When: 11/24-1/1; Mon-Sun, 5-9pm
What: La Salette’s annual Christmas Festival of Lights returns for its 70th year with a truly remarkable experience. Brighten your spirits with over 400,000 colored lights. Extraordinary features include North Stars, glowing blue trees, gleaming angels, and a nativity scene.
Where: Stoneham, MA | 9.5 miles from downtown
When: 11/18-1/8, Mon-Fri, 4-9:30pm
What: Real-life reindeer roam in Stone Zoo, and this year, his habitat is decked out in cheerful decor. The gorgeous grounds, spanning 26 acres, will twinkle with thousands of lights. The animals can take part in the festivities, and the black bears and arctic foxes alike sleep under starry displays. Catch a glimpse of Dancer and Prancer early this year!
Where: Wellesley, MA | 17.1 miles from downtown
When: 11/25-12/31; Mon-Fri, 4-8pm; Sat-Sun, 10am-8pm
What: The Festival of Trees is the perfect opportunity to get lit. Every year, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society celebrates the holiday spirit by showcasing a Winter Wonderland of decorated trees (and a festive railroad display!). Don’t worry about the chill– there are plenty of firepits where you can keep cozy.
Where: Springfield, MA | 90 miles from downtown
When: 11/23-1/1; Sun-Thu, 5-9pm; Fri-Sat, 5-10pm
What: Over the years, 6 million visitors have enjoyed Springfield’s Bright Nights. The light display is truly unique, with displays stretching dozens of feet tall. Make sure to make a list and check it twice, experiencing Santa’s Magical Forest, Bright Nights 5K Road Race, Zoo Nights, Choral Concerts, and so much more.
Where: Boothbay, ME | 167 miles from downtown
When: 11/19-12/31; Hours vary
What: This year, hop on the Polar Express and set a course for Maine. The Maine Botanical Gardens is aglow this year. They put it best: “the magic begins as darkness falls!” You can see 750,000 lights in a 14-acre, magnificent garden.
Where: East Windsor, CT | 104 miles from downtown
When: 11/25-12/30; Hours vary
What: You can’t miss out on this holiday family tradition. In East Windsor, you can hop on a classic trolley and meander through a brilliant tunnel of lights, all while singing along to jolly caroling. All ages are also invited to enjoy holiday hologram short films, on display across the museum. (Photo by Marc Glucksman at River Rail Photo)
10) Gift of Lights
Where: Loudon, NH | 75 miles from downtown
When: 11/24-1/1; Hours vary
What: Today’s a gift, that’s why they call it the present. Enjoy the Gift of Lights today, a one- of-a-kind drive-through light show. Course through 2.5 miles of holiday lights, with 3.5 million LED lights twinkling under the night sky. Steer your car through 520 displays and 80 holiday scenes. When you’re done with the drive, roast a marshmallow at an open fire pit.
Bonus: Wilmington House (note: not sure if it's happening this year yet)
Where: Wilmington, MA | 15 miles from downtown
What: Every year, the Wilmington House blows us away with the magnitude and scale of their holiday lights. In fact, the House even won the $50,000 award in 2020 during Season 8 of ABC’s “The Great Christmas Light Fight.” Although the lights haven’t yet been confirmed for 2022, we’ll keep our eyes out for the spectacular display.
Don’t be a scrooge! Check out these 10 light shows this year and embrace the holiday cheer.