Where to See Holiday Light Displays in and Around Boston
November 27, 2013

by Audrey Trieschman 

AMC's Kids Outdoors Boston and Mommy Poppins Boston continue our monthly series of guest blog posts on getting the most out of Boston a family. Mommy Poppins Boston is a free, online guide written by local parents for families looking for the best things to do, see, read, eat, learn, and play in Boston.

Magical winter wonderlands, full of lighted displays, twinkling lights and sparkling scenes. Each year, it seems like holiday light displays get more and more elaborate. Some can be viewed by car, some by train, others on foot. There are even tour buses that will take you to some of the neighborhoods that really get decked out for the season.

We've rounded up some of the best holiday displays in and around Boston that families can visit throughout December. Is it time to start a new holiday tradition this year by checking out these spectacular sights?

Winter Lights - Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston
Through December 2013
Winter Lights on the Greenway is a series of lighting displays and innovative art installations intended to bring warmth and cheer to the Greenway during the darkest part of the year. Trees are lit from the North End to Chinatown, and you'll find a number of creative lighting installations throughout. And, the Light Blades in the Wharf District Parks feature a new and improved lighting system just in time for the shorter winter days.

Christmas Festival of Lights - Edaville, Carver
Opens November 22
$19 Ages 2-59 $16 Seniors (over 60) Under 2 is free.         

Edaville is transformed into a winter wonderland of holiday delights for the Christmas season. Passengers can relax comfortably in warm and dry coaches while riding through a spectacular holiday setting featuring an explosion of lights. Plus, enjoy an array of vintage amusement rides and a visit with Santa in one of the indoor play areas. Stay for a delicious full meal or enjoy seasonal treats while roaming our beautifully decorated grounds. Last train leaves at 8pm.

Blink! - Faneuil Hall
Opens November 23

Blink! is a state-of-the-art, LED light and sound show in which over 350,000 LED lights are choreographed to the music of the Holiday Pops. Five shows a night.

ZooLights at the Stone Zoo - Stone Zoo, Stoneham
Opens November 28
Admission $7        

Get into the holiday spirit by strolling along tree-lined paths lit by thousands of twinkling lights. Visit Yukon Creek, with its bald eagles, a North American porcupine, a gray fox, and arctic foxes! Meet Stone Zoo’s reindeer up close during the nightly photo opportunities, and can visit with Santa, who awaits their arrival in Santa’s Castle (until 12/23).

The Enchanted Village - Jordan's Furniture, Avon
Opens November 16

LITE, the Laser Imagination Theater Experience: Commissioning the country’s foremost experts in laser technology, Jordan’s Furniture has developed an amazing, one-of-a-kind arrangement of high-powered, solid-state lasers and Hollywood-style special effects. Come sing along, tap your feet, and blow your mind with this energizing musical tribute to the season.

Enchanted Village: The tradition lives on. Once called the Enchanted Village of St. Nicholas, the holiday display was created in 1958 for Jordan Marsh Downtown Crossing. It has passed through City Hall Plaza (late 90s) and the Hynes Convention Center (2006-2009), and now is at Jordan’s Furniture, where it has been restored and on display. The surviving collection includes 59 mechanical figurines and 18 vignettes.

Holiday Festival of Lights - Nashoba Valley Ski Area, Westford
Opens November 29
Adults $18; Children (under 3) free        

Families take a tractor-drawn wagon ride through a wintery forest coated in over 2 million twinkling lights. Visit classic holiday displays such as the Reindeer Barn, Santa’s Workshop, The North Pole Mailroom, Eskimo Village and more. Also, ride the Ferris Wheel, North Pole Express Coaster, Santa’s Kids Train, and the Magical Merry-Go-Round.

Illuminations Tour - Somerville
Tour: December 14; Self-guided maps available December 16
Tour: Adults $10; Children (12 and under) $5; Self-guided maps $3

Somerville residents decorate their homes with festive strings of lights and collections of holiday figurines, transforming our cold winter nights with a blaze of light and beauty. In celebration of this community expression, the Somerville Arts Council conducts the Illuminations Tour, a 45-minute trolley ride featuring the city's brightest displays. Tours leave from Somerville City Hall where coffee, hot chocolate and cookies are served. There also will be craft activities for children and live music. Tickets go on sale 12/2 and sell out quickly.

If you can’t make the Dec 14 tour, there’s a self-guided tour option. Official Illuminations Maps are available for $3 at Blue Cloud Gallery and Magpie beginning 12/16.

Audrey Trieschman is a veteran city editor who brings over a decade of experience in seeking out and reporting on the best events and activities for families in the greater Boston area.

This article originally appeared on Mommy Poppins Boston in November 2013.


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