The Ultimate 2022 Natick-Wellesley Holiday Happenings Guide

Festival of Trees: Elm Bank, Wellesley

2022: 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 $22-$27/adult, $5/youth ages 3-17. Ages 2 and under free.  Details here

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

2022: Nov 5 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

Must 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.

Magic of Lights Drive-Through: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro

2022: Nov 18 through Dec 31
Nightly 5 PM – 10 PM
Advance tickets required

Drive-through elaborate light display across the street from Patriot Place. Purchase tickets in advance for $25-$40/car. Details and tickets here

Winter Wonderland, Southwick’s Zoo, Mendon

2022: Nov 12 through Dec 31
Closed most Mondays & Tuesdays
Advance tickets required

Enjoy the Festival of Illumination plus the decorations of the Winter Wonderland. Take a train ride through the Magical Holiday Forest of decorations and deer, plus walk through the Festival of Illumination and Santa’s Enchanted Village which includes Santa to greet, s’mores, cocoa, and hot toddys. Walk-through only; no drive-through. $27 per person in advance; $32 at gate. Details here

The Christmas Place: Abington 

2022: Daily Oct 22 through Dec 24
Mon-Sat: 10 AM – 6 PM
Sun: 11 AM – 5 PM
Santa on weekends

Billed as “the largest Christmas store in New England” with plenty of attractions to see for free (though you’re not likely to leave this store empty-handed!). Local parents say their families’ favorite parts include the Christmas Tree Room with Santa (Free for visit only, or for $35 picture), the animated singing & dancing penguins, the delicious fudge and hot cocoa/coffee, and the huge train display. Details here

Night Lights & Winter Wonderland: Tower Hill Botanic Gardens, Boylston

2022: Nov 25 – 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. $25/adult, $15 for age 6-18, free for age 3 and under. Details here

Read about it here, and set yourself a reminder to secure 2023 tickets in mid-October.

Christmas Festival of Lights: Edaville, Carver

2022: Nov 10 – Jan 1
Th-Fri: 4 PM – 8:30 PM
Sat-Sun: 2 PM – 8:30 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. $12 admission to see the lights only, or $29 to include a train ride, or $39 to also include theme park rides.  Details and tickets here, and check FB for updates

Christmas by Candlelight: Old Sturbridge Village

2022: Nov 25 – Dec 30
Fridays through Sundays
Advance tickets required

“Experience old cherished traditions and create new ones as you celebrate the season during Christmas by Candlelight at Old Sturbridge Village! Explore the beautifully decorated Village, watch a nightly lighting ceremony, stroll through the Christmas Tree Trail and Christmas Wish Bridge, watch demonstrations of classic Christmas projects, visit with Santa, taste samples of sweet treats, enjoy live music and storytelling, and so much more.” $32/adult, $16/youth. 3 and under free. Details and tickets here

Bright Nights Drive-Through: Springfield

2022: Nov 23 through Jan 1
5 PM – 9 PM
Advance tickets required

27th 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. $23/car. Purchase tickets in advance. Details here

ZooLights: Stone Zoo, Stoneham

2022: Nov 18 through Jan 8
Daily 4 – 9:30 PM
Advance tickets required

“Enter a winter wonderland of tree-lined paths lit by thousands of twinkling lights spanning Stone Zoo’s 26 acres. Take a sparkling stroll through festively decorated Yukon Creek, home to black bears, Canada lynx, reindeer and arctic foxes. This year, several illuminated large-scale animal lantern displays will light up your winter’s night.” Pricing may vary: “The further in advance you purchase tickets, the more you’re likely to save.” Details here

[Drive-Through Holiday Light Show:  Waltham]

[Check back for 2022 info]
2021: Nov 26 through Jan

[Blink!: Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston]

[2022: We’ll check back for an update]
2020 & 2021: Cancelled
2019: Dec 3 – Jan 1

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

Major Town-Wide Celebrations

…[We’ve only listed select major holiday events above, but our full calendar here has hundreds of local kid-friendly events!]

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