The Complete 2021 Holiday Happenings Guide

Santa’s Elevator Express: Natick Mall

2021: Nov 12 through Dec 24
Advance Tickets Encouraged

Ride a magical elevator to explore Santa’s Workshop and have a picture taken with St. Nick. Packages are $40+ online in advance. Historically, more affordable basic packages are also available for walk-ins; check ahead for updates. Details here

Festival of Trees: Elm Bank, Wellesley

2021: Nov 26 through Dec 19
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 $25/adult, $5/youth ages 3-17.  Details here

Drive-Through Holiday Light Show:  Waltham

2021: Nov 26 through Jan 2
5 PM – 9 PM
Advance tickets highly recommended

1 mile drive-through light display with music through the car radio. Purchase tickets in advance for $22-$30/car. Details here

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

2021: Nov 7 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, at midnight. Bass Pro spots fill almost immediately. Cabela’s spots tend to last longer before filling.

Magic of Lights Drive-Through: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro

2021: Nov 19 through Jan 1
Nightly 5 PM – 10 PM
Advance tickets required

Drive-through elaborate light display across the street from Patriot Place. Purchase tickets in advance for $40-$50/car. Details and tickets here

Winter Skate at Patriot Place: Foxboro

2021: Nov 11 through end of winter
M-W: 4-9 PM, Th: 4-6 PM, Fri: 4-10 PM
Sat & School Holidays: 11 AM – 10 PM
Sun: 11 AM – 9 PM
Closed for Patriots Home Games

Located at the base of the large staircase near Showcase Cinema. Refrigerated outdoor ice rink with on-site rentals, concessions, and bathrooms. $10 adult, $6 children 12 & under, $6 seniors 65+. Skate rentals $5. Details here

Winterlights: Eleanor Bradley Cabot Estate, Canton

2021: Nov 26 – January 9
Wednesdays – Sundays 4:30 – 8:30 PM
December 2021 is SOLD OUT

Enjoy thousands of shimmering and artfully designed holiday lights. $20-$25/adult, $10/child, Free for 2 and under.  Details and tickets here

[Blink!: Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston] Not in 2021

2020 & 2021: Cancelled
2019: Dec 3 – Jan 1
4:30 – 10 PM, Every half hour

[2019 details: “Free light and sound show joining the signature holiday try to all other trees on the property in a synchronized show with seven favorite holiday tunes. Each light show starts on the half hour.’  Details here ]

ZooLights: Stone Zoo, Stoneham

2021: Nov 19 through Jan 9
Daily 4 – 9:30 PM
Advance tickets required

The zoo is lit up with holiday lights and festive decorations, plus large-scale lantern displays in 2021. Carousel and Jungle Fun ride. Meet Mrs. Claus; optional add-on Santa ZOOm or Cameo. $14/adult, under 2 free. Rides are open to all for additional cost. Details here

Enchanted Village: Jordan’s Furniture in Avon

2021: Nov 11 through Jan 2 
Mon-Thurs: 11-7, Fri: 11-8, Sat: 10-8, Sun: 11-5

Free admission for indoor holiday display with intricate figurines and decorations. Pictures with Santa at select hours daily through Christmas Eve. Additional activities listed below require advance registration. Details and registration here.

  • The Tube: $3 (must 40+ inches)
  • LITE Laser show, $7 all ages.
  • Enchanted Ice indoor skating park, $7 includes rental
  • Polar Express 4D Experience ride, $8 (riders must be 40+ inches)

The Christmas Place: Abington 

2021: Daily through at least Dec 24
(Check for final closing date for the season)
Mon-Sat: 10 AM – 6 PM
Sun: 11 AM – 5 PM
Santa on weekends only (Sat/Sun)

Billed as “the largest Christmas store in New England” with plenty of attractions to see for free (though it would be tough to leave this store empty-handed!). Local parents say their families’ favorite parts include the Christmas Tree Room with Santa, 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

2021: Nov 26 – Dec 30
Daily 4 – 10 PM
2021 is SOLD OUT

Walk through elaborate gardens with illuminated paths, fountains, and sculptures. S’mores and hot cocoa or adult beverages at fire pits. $23/adult, $13 for age 6-18, $18 for ages 65+, and free for age 5 and under. Details here

Read about it here, and set yourself a reminder to secure 2022 tickets in mid-October.

Winter Wonderland, Southwick’s Zoo, Mendon

2021: Nov 26 through Jan 2
Closed most Mondays & Tuesdays
Advance tickets 
required

Drive through the Frozen Forest of decorations and deer, plus lanterns from the Festival of Illumination. Park and walk through Santa’s Enchanted Village which includes Santa to greet, s’mores, cocoa, and hot toddys. $60 per car. Details here

Festival of Lights: La Salette Shrine, 947 Park St, Attleboro

2021: Daily Nov 25 through Jan 2
Illuminated 5-9 PM Daily

A very popular extensive walk-through light display that has a religious emphasis. Free admission and parking, but donations are welcome. S’more supplies for sale, hot cocoa, and a mini-carnival with carousel for a fee. Can be extremely crowded on weekends. CK Suggestion: arrive by 4:30 on weekends and make s’mores while waiting. Details here

Christmas Festival of Lights: Edaville, Carver

2021: Nov 12 – Jan 1
Daily starting at 2 PM, 3 PM, or 4 PM
Advance tickets required

Over 17 million lights illuminate the park, and the long train ride passes through vast fields of lights. 18 amusement rides, but not Thomas Land or Dino Land in 2021. $25-$30/person.  Details and tickets here, and check FB for updates

Christmas by Candlelight: Old Sturbridge Village

2021: Dec 3-30
Fridays – Sundays + select dates near Christmas
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, stroll through the peaceful Christmas Tree Trail, watch demonstrations of classic Christmas projects, enjoy live music and storytelling, and so much more.” $28/adult, $14/youth. 3 and under free. Details and tickets here

Bright Nights Drive-Through: Springfield

2021: Nov 24 through Jan 2
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. $24/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