Top Holiday Events of 2016 | Out & About

The top holiday events in New England and other don’t-miss seasonal celebrations.

By Joe Bills

Oct 21 2016


Mystic Seaport Lantern Light Tours

Photo Credit : Dean Digital Imaging Inc. | Courtesy of Mystic Seaport

The top holiday events in New England and other don’t-miss seasonal celebrations.

Mystic Seaport Lantern Light Tours
Mystic Seaport Lantern Light Tours
Photo Credit : Dean Digital Imaging Inc. | Courtesy of Mystic Seaport


Mystic Seaport Lantern Light Tours
November 25-26, December 2-3, 9-10, 16-18, 23

The tradition lives on for a 37th year, with a performance ofThe Nut-Cracker Sweets. Set on Christmas Eve in 1876, the play unfolds through six scenes of seasonal whimsy with a horse-drawn carriage ride, a spirited circle dance, and a visit with old St. Nick … not to mention a myriad of mischievous mice! Each 70-minute progressive performance covers approximately half a mile of uneven terrain and is performed in all weather conditions. Audience members walk or stand for the majority of the performance, so dress appropriately. Mystic, CT. 860-572-0711;


Maine Harvest Festival
November 19-20

Cross Insurance Center hosts a celebration of all that is local and fresh, with demonstrations, talks with authors and chefs, music, samples and a screening of the film Growing Local. Bangor, ME. 207-561-8300;


Christmas By Candlelight
December 2-4, 9-11, 16-18, 23

Escape the holiday frenzy for an old-fashioned evening of gingerbread, roasted chestnuts, music, dance, and sleigh rides at Old Sturbridge Village. Meet Father Christmas, observe model trains and a miniature New England village, take in a Punch and Judy puppet show, vote for the winners of the gingerbread house contest, enjoy holiday readings and caroling, or perhaps even have brunch with Santa. Sturbridge, MA. 800-733-1830;

New Hampshire

Mount Washington: The Crown of New England
Through January 16

The Currier Museum of Art hosts an exhibition devoted entirely to works depicting the Mount Washington region, featuring major paintings by Hudson River School artists, as well as acclaimed artists such as Winslow Homer and George Inness. Created in collaboration with the Mount Washington Observatory, the exhibition includes 40 paintings and many historical objects that help put them in context. Interactive exhibits also create opportunities to explore the art and science of the region, including real-time weather conditions and incredible summit videos. Manchester, NH. 603-669-6144;

Rhode Island

Christmas at Blithewold
November 25-January 1

Every corner of the gorgeous, historic Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum sparkles for the season. This year’s theme is “Touring the Americas: 50 Years of Van Wickle Family Excursions.” Stroll through the Mansion, and enjoy decorations and mementos that bring the excitement and diversity of the family’s domestic travels to life. Join in the fun for select dates featuring tours, music, afternoon teas, storytelling, and, of course, visits from Santa. Bristol, RI. 401-253-2707;


Winter Festival of Vermont Crafters
November 26-27

Some 120 artisans and crafters gather at Barre Municipal Auditorium for central Vermont’s largest show, offering handmade items and creative crafts just in time for gift-giving season. From journals and pottery to beeswax candles and specialty foods, if it is better when made by hand, you’ll likely find it here. As always, parking and admission are free, and there will be raffles and a visit from Santa, to boot. Barre, VT. 802-426-3221;