Boston lights it up with dazzling Christmas tree lighting ceremonies in and around town. By late November lights are aglow in Faneuil Hall (pictured) and Christopher Columbus Park, and the festivities continue through early December with tree lighting ceremonies in neighborhoods throughout the city.
It's not only about flipping the switch, of course. Tree lighting ceremonies are treasured annual community celebrations with live performances, activities for kids, holiday giving, and appearances by Santa (and sometimes even Mayor Walsh).
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Editor's note: We are in the process of updating these events for 2018. Check back soon for new dates!
Monday, November 20, 2017
Christopher Columbus Park's trellis lighting. Photo by Matt Conti.
Annual Trellis Lighting—Christopher Columbus Park
The annual lighting of the blue and white trellis includes music, fun, snacks and good cheer.
Friday, November 24, 2017
Macy's Christmas Tree Lighting—Downtown
Celebrate the downtown Macy's annual tree lighting ceremony with an unveiling of holiday windows, musical performances, a visit from Santa Claus, and the ceremonial lighting of the Macy's Christmas Tree.
Santa and Mrs. Claus have been known to show up at the Roslindale Tree Lighting. Photo courtesy of Roslindale Village Main Street
Saturday, November 25, 2017
Roslindale Tree Lighting—Roslindale
Performances, crafts, and Santa's arrival in the Ladder 16 fire truck are all part of the celebration. Plus, free hot chocolate, treats from local bakeries, carolers, and of course, visits with Santa and Mayor Walsh.
Charles Hotel Tree Lighting - Harvard Square
Families can come around 4pm to help decorate the trees. Santa Claus’ Jazz Band performs at 5pm, and the trees are lit at 5:30pm, followed by a visit with Santa.
This year's holiday spectacular outside of Faneuil Hall includes a tree lighting and a peek at Blink! Photo by Eric Kilby/CC BY 2.0
Monday, November 27, 2017
Copley Square Tree Lighting—Copley Square
This free event will feature appearances by Mayor Walsh, “Dining Playbook” host Jenny Johnson, Santa Claus, and Rudolph along with live entertainment including the Boston Children's Chorus, Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and Berklee College of Music. The Old South Church Bell will ring as the tree is lit. Go to the square early, from 3:30pm to 5:30pm for a Candy Cane Tea at the Boston Public Library, or hang around after, when The Fairmont Copley Plaza will host a family reception with treats.
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Faneuil Hall Tree Lighting—Faneuil Hall
The lighting of this year's selected tree, an 80-foot Norwegian Spruce from New York State, coincides with a first look of the Blink! holiday light show during this year's Faneuil Hall Holiday Spectacular (also broadcast live on WBZ-TV).
The Boston Common tree lighting is quite a spectacle.
Thursday, November 30, 2017
Boston Common Tree Lighting—Boston Common
The heart of the city is illuminated with seasonal cheer, games, prizes, and more. The event takes place near the Visitors Information Center on Tremont Street, and stars the special tree sent as a gift from Nova Scotia, plus 80+ other lighted trees throughout the Common and Boston Public Garden.
Friday, December 1, 2017 to Sunday, December 3, 2017
Mayor's Enchanted Trolley Tour—Boston
For the 22nd year, the Mayor's Enchanted Trolley Tour continues the festive tradition of lighting up holiday trees in neighborhoods throughout Boston while bringing holiday spirit to children across the city.
- Friday: Mattapan Square (5:30pm), Wolcott Square (6:30pm), Hastings Lot, West Roxbury (7:15pm)
- Saturday: Codman Square, Dorchester (1pm), Hyde Square, Jamaica Plain (1:45pm), J.P. Monument, Jamaica Plain (2:30pm), Brigham Circle, Mission Hill (3:15pm), Bolling Building, Roxbury (3:45pm), Boston Center for the Arts, South End (4:30pm), Oak Square, Brighton (5:30pm)
- Sunday: M Street Park, South Boston (1pm), Chinatown Gate, Chinatown (1:45pm), Paul Revere Mall, North End (2:30pm), Thompson Square, Charlestown (3:15pm), Maverick Square, East Boston (4pm), Adams Corner, Dorchester (6pm)
Mrs. Claus gives out hugs during the Trolley Tour's tree lighting ceremony on Blue Hill Avenue in Mattapan. Photo courtesy of City of Boston Mayor's Office/Don Harney.
Thursday, December 7, 2017
Beacon Hill Holiday Stroll and Tree Lighting—Boston
Charles Street closes to traffic, allowing for holiday shoppers to stroll through shops and offices, enjoying refreshments, live music and horse drawn buggy rides. In the early part of the evening at the Hill House Firehouse, there are free photos with Santa followed by a Christmas tree lighting.
Holiday Lighting Ceremony—Newton
Start the holiday season off with a cheerful evening of song with the award-winning Stacey Peasley Band, hot chocolate, and a “Rockettes” performance by Creative Dance Steps Studio. All of this excitement builds up to the Grande Finale of Mayor Setti Warren flipping the switch that turns the grounds into a twinkling winterland.
Top photo of Blink Festival and Tree Lighting at Faneuil Hall Market. Photo courtesy of Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism.
Originally published November 2011 and updated November 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017