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Free & Fun Things To Do for Boston Families: SteveSongs, Ben Rudnick, Puppets and More, 12/1-12/2

It’s that time of year again! Our calendar is filling up with more seasonal activities than there are hours to do them. Neighborhood tree lightings are in full swing, plus holiday shows like A Christmas Carol and The Nutcracker. Plus, we visit Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Literature at the Concord Museum and share some tips for getting the most out of your visit with kids. You can use our Winter Holidays 2012 Fun Guide to keep up with all the holiday activities.

There are other events going on as well. Ben Rudnick and Friends play at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, SteveSongs plays in Newton and Acton, and Dream Tale Puppets perform in Arlington. Read on for details about these and all of our picks and remember, you can find additional options in our Events Calendar.

And if you’re scrambling to make plans for December vacation, read Tara's roundup of December vacation week camps in and around Boston.

Enjoy!


Boston Common Tree Lighting - Boston
Thursday 11/29
FREE

Entertainment begins at 7pm with Nova Scotia band Squid, the Boston Arts Academy, an appearance by the Grinch, and many more acts. The holiday decorations throughout Boston Common and the Public Garden, including the City of Boston’s official Christmas tree from Halifax, a 45-foot white spruce from Nova Scotia, light up in sequence shortly before 8pm, when Mayor Menino is joined onstage by Deputy Premier Corbett, members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and Santa Claus. The evening concludes with a fireworks spectacular.

Arrive by 5pm for The Skating Club of Boston’s annual Frog Pond Skating Spectacular.


Holiday Festival of Lights - Nashoba Valley Ski Area, Westford
Open through 11/23
Adults $15; Children (4-12) $12        

Families take a tractor-drawn wagon ride through a wintery forest coated in over 2 million twinkling lights. Visit classic holiday displays such as the Reindeer Barn, Santa’s Workshop, The North Pole Mailroom, Eskimo Village and more. Also, ride the Ferris Wheel, North Pole Express Coaster, Santa’s Kids Train, and the Magical Merry-Go-Round.


First Light Festival - Brookline
Thursday 11/29
FREE

Kick off the holiday season with live performances, free food, activities for everyone, and more. Visit the website for a complete schedule of events and participating locations.


Holiday Open House - Old South Meeting House, Boston
Friday 11/30-Saturday 12/1
FREE

Ring in the holidays as you tour the beautiful 1729 building, enjoy light refreshments, and shop for unique gifts in the Museum Shop. Activities include a museum visit, a family-friendly craft and exhibit scavenger hunt, and light refreshments.

Enjoy innovative and flavorful teas from downtown Boston’s newest tea shop, David’s Tea. On Friday, November 30, sample a colonial-era treat-- chocolate drink from American Heritage Chocolate. On Saturday, December 1, join us from 12:15 pm to 1 pm for a concert by the New England Conservatory's Vocal Jazz Quartet!


Santa’s Landing by Lobster Boat & Christmas Walk Parade - Marblehead
Saturday 12/1
FREE

Santa arrives in Marblehead by lobster boat - a fitting mode of transport for a seaside town. Boston Ballet School is on site, and kids can have a picture taken with the Bear from the Nutcracker.

Festivities begin at 9am; Santa arrives at 9:30am; and the Christmas Walk Parade sets off at 11:45am.


Ben Rudnick and Friends - Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline
Saturday 12/1
Adults $10; Children $8        

Multiple award winners in family music, Ben Rudnick & Friends play adventurous acoustic music, delivering interpretations of favorite, well-known songs combined with infectious original tunes.


Dirty Sock Funtime Band - The Center for Arts, Natick
Saturday 12/1
Adults $10; Children $8

Dirty Sock is a high-octane kids’ rock band from NYC that rocks in all kinds of styles and plays music that’s innovative, infectious and irresistible.


Two SteveSongs Performances:

PBS KIDS' "Mr. Steve" - SteveSongs - CD Release Show! - Parker Damon Building, Acton
Saturday 12/1
$13 in advance. $15 at the door

SteveSongs, a.k.a. "Mr. Steve" brings his signature brand of seriously good (and seriously fun) music to Acton.

Anand Nayak from the band Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem joins Steve on electric guitar and vocals. The show offers a preview of Orangutan Van, Steve’s first new CD of full-length songs in six years and scheduled for release on January 29.


Magic Ark Performing Arts Series Presents SteveSongs! - Leventhal-Sidman Jewish Community Center, Newton
Sunday 12/2
$10 for members. $13 for non-members        

SteveSongs, a.k.a. "Mr. Steve" brings his signature brand of seriously good (and seriously fun) music to Newton today at 11am and 1pm.

Anand Nayak from the band Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem joins Steve on electric guitar and vocals. The show offers a preview of Orangutan Van, Steve’s first new CD of full-length songs in six years and scheduled for release on January 29.


Holiday Toy Drive and Mountain Bike Ride/Hike - Houghton's Pond, Milton
Sunday 12/2
FREE

Join the DCR Park Rangers and volunteers from Blue HIlls TrailWatch and New England Mountain Bike Association for the annual toy drive collection. Bring a new, unwrapped toy, then go on a guided or self-guided ride or hike. Gifts for children ages 11-16 are most needed.


Rumpelstiltskin by Dream Tale Puppets - Arlington Center for the Arts, Arlington
Sunday 12/2
$6        

Dream Tale Puppets spins a lively tale of gold and guessing games with rod puppets and playful antics. Puppeteers Jacek Zuzanski and Norina Reif bring a wealth of experience with theater and with children to this performance, in which puppeteers and puppets are visible to the audience.

Stay for coffee and puppet-play after the show. Tickets available at the door or reserve via email.

Trails Open Sunrise-Sunset at Quogue Wildlife Refuge
Quogue Wildlife Refuge - 7:00 AM Pick
Sweet Potato Music Online Mondays
Online Zoom Conference - 9:30 AM Pick
CANCELED: MFA Playdates
Museum of Fine Arts - 10:15 AM Pick
Virtual Storytime with Mac Barnett
Instagram Live - 2:00 PM Pick
Virtual Storytime with Mac Barnett
Instagram Live - 3:00 PM Pick
Activity Guides