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Let’s talk about family-friendly holiday events in Boston.
The holidays are a time where you should be spending a chunk of your free time with family. Maybe they live far away most of the year, but there’s a chance you’ll be around them during parts of December. If those interactions are taking place in Boston or the surrounding areas — and if some of your family (i.e. you yourself) have little kids — well, what are some of the best family-friendly holiday events in Boston for 2016? Here’s a primer.
Teddy Bear Tea: This is at the Boston Four Seasons. The goal is to teach kids the spirit of charity. (Very noble.) You get tea at the Bristol Restaurant, and then a Boston celebrity reads a famous children’s book. The Four Seasons also collects teddy bears for needy Boston-area children; in the course of this program, they’ve collected over 100,000 bears.
Immaculate Conception School North Pole Express: Leaves the Newburyport train station for the North Pole with a 70-minute round trip adventure, including cocoa and treats, a visit from Mr. C and his elves, and a silver bell presented to each child during a reading of “’Twas The Night Before Christmas” by local storytellers. Come in your pajamas or as you are for a truly magical experience for children and parents alike.
Kendall Square Holiday on Ice: (FYI that link does take you to a Facebook events page.) This is on December 10th, in, well, Kendall Square. There are activities for the entire family, even the littlest ones.
Seeing Santa: While the magic around Santa is still fresh, you absolutely need to get your kids in front of him. This link has a very strong list/rundown of all the different places in the metro area to see Santa, from Prudential Center (photo packages begin at $20) to Smolak Farms in North Andover.
ZooLights: This is at the Stone Zoo (Stoneham) through the end of the year. On that page, there’s a really nice YouTube video of what the experience is like for kids.
Enchanted Village: This is at Jordan’s in Avon. It’s open until 8pm on weeknights and 9pm on weekends, with some adjustments for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Sleighbell Christmas Tree Farm: This is in Sutton, and it’s gorgeous and fun. Your kids will be in love with all the trees — and it’s a good learning experience around nature vocabulary and general themes associated with the holidays.
Old Sturbridge Village: Old Sturbridge Village treats visitors to Christmas by Candlelight tours and 19th-century holiday traditions, including sleigh rides, carolers, roasted chestnuts, and more. New this year at Sturbridge: a North Pole Village with family activities, trackless train rides, and Tinsel the talking Christmas tree.
Somerville Illuminations Tours: Somerville’s Arts Council hosts trolley tours of houses and yards transformed by holiday lights on December 17 ($10 for adults, $5 children and seniors). These 45-minute Illuminations Tours leave from City Hall, 93 Highland Avenue, between 4:30 and 10 p.m.
Santa Stampede 5K and Family Fun Run: On Cape Cod December 3, you and your energetic offspring can don a costume and your running shoes for the Santa Stampede 5k and Family Fun Run starting at The Barley Neck Inn in East Orleans. Register in advance ($25) on the website or at 9 a.m. on race day ($30). On December 10th, Boston has an Ugly Sweater run at Suffolk Downs — it’s $35, but kids under 5 are free.
More resources: If you’re looking for even more ideas, try this list from The Boston Globe.
Anything else you’d add on family-friendly holiday events in Boston near you that we missed?