Your Ultimate New England Holiday Bucket List

Photo Credit: @discovernewport
Text by Allie Herzog

Come December, there’s just no place quite like New England. The old churches, the homegrown greenery, the small town cheer and the possibility of a white Christmas make our region one of the best for seasonal merriment. From the city to the mountains to the sea, there are so many festivities to take part in, here are just a few of our favorites, all guaranteed to get you in the holiday spirit faster than you can say fa la la la la.

Boston Winter at City Hall Plaza

Boston, MA

Photo Credit: @boloco

Making its debut last year, Boston Winter is the newest must-do holiday tradition in Beantown. Attractions include ice skating, holiday markets and of course, a well-lit Christmas tree.

Gardens Aglow, Heritage Museum and Gardens

Sandwich, MA

Photo Credit: @heritagemuseums

This beloved Cape Cod family tradition, features more than 12 miles of festive lights, marshmallows for roasting, a reindeer scavenger hunt, a visit with the big guy himself in his Model T and plenty of holiday treats to eat and drink.

Christmas at the Newport Mansions

Newport, RI

Photo Credit: @discovernewport

If you thought the mansions were grand in the summertime just wait until you see them decked out for the holidays. Think glitter and gold, giant trees, red ribbons and if we’re lucky—a light dusting of snow.  The Breakers, The Elms and Marble House go all out and offer a variety of tours and holiday-themed events.

Christmas Festival of Lights at Edaville Family Theme Park

Carver, MA

Photo Credit: @edavillefamilythemepark

Kids of all ages (and yes, adults too!) will enjoy this family-friendly winter wonderland. With millions of lights, unlimited Christmas train rides and access to other park rides and attractions, you’ll want to to make this an annual tradition.

The North Pole Express

Essex, CT

Yes, The North Pole Express exists, and it’s right here in New England. Bundle up your kiddos in their coziest holiday pajamas and board this magical nighttime train ride to the North Pole, which includes cocoa and cookies for all, a musical rendition of The Night Before Christmas, and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Kennebunkport’s Christmas Prelude

Kennebunkport, ME

Photo Credit: @hurlbuttdesigns

An annual 10-day celebration of all things Christmas by the sea. There are tree lightings (for both the real and the lobster-trap variety), parades, fireworks and a visit from Santa by boat. The entire town takes part in the festivities and there are several lodging options for folks who travel from all over the country to attend this special celebration. This year’s prelude runs November 30 – December 10.

Winter Wassail Weekend

Woodstock, VT

Photo Credit: @VermontStandard

This unique annual event centers around a grand parade complete with horse-drawn sleighs. Think covered bridges decked out in wreaths, farmhouse charm and plenty of classic Christmas cheer.  This year’s Wassail weekend is December 8-10.

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