The Ultimate 2023 Framingham-Ashland Holiday Happenings Guide

Major Town-Wide Celebrations

…[Our full calendar here has hundreds of local kid-friendly events!]

Bass Pro Santa’s Wonderland:  Patriot Place, Foxboro & Cabela’s, Hudson

2023: Nov 4 through Dec 24
Reservations Required

Free photo with Santa. Kids can mail their letter to Santa and bring home a craft kit. All activities + photo are free. Additional packages available for purchase. Details here

Reserve in advance online. Each day opens 7 days in advance. Bass Pro spots fill almost immediately. Cabela’s spots tend to last longer before filling. Walk-ins may be accommodated if space allows– this will be more likely at Cabela’s.

Fatima Shrine: 101 Summer St. (Rt 126) Holliston

2023: Dec 7 through Dec 27
Daily 5-9 PM
Closes for inclement weather

A 50+ year tradition by the Xaverian missionaries. Several acres of the property are lit and decorated for visitors to explore. Hot chocolate and pastries for sale in Xavier Hall. Free parking and admission. Look for details on the website or FB Page.

Festival of Trees: Elm Bank, Wellesley

2023: Nov 25 through Dec 31
Wednesday-Sunday Only
Advance Tickets Required

Beautifully decorated trees and indoor decorated Snow Village with model trains winding throughout. S’mores at outdoor fire pit. Admission $20-$25/adult, $5/youth ages 3-17. Ages 2 and under free. Advance registration required.  Details and tickets here

Winter Wonderland, Southwick’s Zoo, Mendon

2023: Nov 18 through Dec 31
Closed most Mondays & Tuesdays
Advance tickets recommended

Walk through the winter wonderland and watch a musical show by the Queen of Arendelle and her sister the Spirit Queen. Visit with Santa and enjoy a holiday show while sipping hot chocolate or a hot toddy. Walk-through only; no drive-through. $21-$25 for adults; $16-$18 for kids. Everyone pays kids’ pricing on Thursdays and Sundays. Ages 2 and under free. (Last year’s Festival of Illumination lanterns will not be at this year’s event, nor will the train ride through the deer enclosure). Details and tickets here

Night Lights: Tower Hill Botanic Gardens, Boylston

2023: Nov 24 – Dec 31
Daily 4 – 10 PM
Often Sells Out Quickly!

Walk through elaborate gardens with illuminated paths, fountains, and sculptures. S’mores and hot cocoa or adult beverages at fire pits. $27/adult, $17 for age 4-12, free for age 3 and under. Details here

Christmas Festival of Lights: Edaville, Carver

2023: Nov 9 – Dec 31
Th-Fri: Opens at 4 PM
Sat-Sun: Opens at 2 PM
Advance tickets required

Over 17 million lights illuminate the park, and the long train ride passes through vast fields of lights, plus amusement rides. $13 admission to see the lights only, or $30 to include a train ride, or $43 to also include theme park rides.  Details and tickets here, and check FB for updates

Christmas by Candlelight: Old Sturbridge Village

2023: Nov 24 – Dec 30
Fridays through Sundays
Advance tickets required

“Come experience the history of Christmas festivities at Old Sturbridge Village. Relish old traditions and create new ones as you watch demonstrations of classic Christmas projects, stroll through the decorated Village and Christmas Tree Trail, listen to stories and live music, sample sweet treats, ride the horse-drawn carryall, and more. We hope your family will join us, as we celebrate a very special time of year.” $35-$45/adult, $13-$17/youth. 3 and under free. Details and tickets here

Lancaster Drive-Through Light Show: Lancaster Fairgrounds

2023: Nov 24 through Dec 30
5 PM – 9 PM
Advance tickets recommended

Over 1 mile of roadway decorated with over 1 million lights, including giant 90′ Christmas tree and a 300′ tunnel of lights. $22-$30/car. Purchase tickets in advance. Details here

Bright Nights Drive-Through: Springfield

2023: Nov 22 through Jan 1
5 PM – 9 PM
Advance tickets required

28th annual drive-through light show. As a long-standing event, many people report that it has grown more elaborate through the years and is very much worth the drive. $25/car. Purchase tickets in advance. Details here

Map of Light Displays: The Best Neighborhoods Near You

We here at Community Kangaroo have gathered recommendations for jaw-dropping light displays in just about every town west and southwest of Boston. We put them all on one big map! See our map here

 Our List of Santa Pictures: Local Malls, etc

We’ve put together a list of all the local stores and malls that have ongoing Santa pictures, plus one-time events with St. Nick. Find Santa photo ops here

Hanukkah Celebrations: See the Events Near You

Local menorah lightings and other Hanukkah celebrations from our calendar: Find Hanukkah celebrations here

Big Christmas Events: Train Rides and Nutcracker Shows

We’ve pulled together all the Christmas Train Rides in this part of New England, plus the local Nutcracker shows, from Boston Ballet down to the local ballet around the corner. See train rides and Nutcracker shows here

Keep Track of What’s Coming Up Near You!

Our website is put together by a team of parents scattered across the suburbs between Boston and Worcester. Each of us writes a weekly newsletter of the best upcoming events, which lands in your inbox just in time to plan each weekend! Sign up to hear about things worth driving to from your town