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December 2021

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A Very Merry Massachusetts!

December heralds the joyous holiday season in Massachusetts, a time of year when families reunite and visitors are warmly welcomed. To be part of the Massachusetts spirit, attend a performance of the Holiday Pops, Nutcracker or Messiah in a nearby concert hall, sample our cuisine in a local café, restaurant or hotel, and enjoy our amazing light displays in parks and town squares.

When you are shopping, please check out our MyLocalMA initiative, which supports family-owned stores, Main Streets retailers and small businesses in rural areas.

Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones and thank you for visiting Massachusetts. You can find more information at


Featured Region: Hampshire County

December in Hampshire County is a time rich with seasonal traditions. Get started with the annual Lighting of the Merry Maple at Amherst’s North Common or a Holiday Stroll in South Hadley. Then head to Northampton, where the Pioneer Valley Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker – a local favorite now in its 43rd year – brings musical magic to the historic Academy of Music stage in Northampton. And if you need to pick up a few last minute gifts, stop by Cottage Street Open Studios, the Small Wonders Holiday Show or Northampton’s Outdoor Christmas Market. Ready to wind down? Grab an eggnog at the Union Station Grand Ballroom while the Amherst Jazz Orchestra serenades you with big band holiday classics. As 2021 turns to 2022, ring in the new year with NRBQ and dozens of other performances at First Night Northampton!

The Other Side of MA awaits!

Find more information on Hampshire County.

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North Central Mass

Celebrate the season of lights all throughout the region — on picturesque town commons, at local homes and in dazzling public displays. Drive along a mile of roadway with over a million LED lights at the Celebration of Lights in Lancaster. Take a sleigh ride through Winchendon’s downtown Festival of Lights. Or follow maps of Leominster Lights on December weekends, or Hubbardston’s Light Fight to vote on brightly-decorated homes — and may your season be merry and bright!

Find more information on North Central Mass.

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Martha's Vineyard

Make this December your Vineyard Holiday month! Experience the magic of the 40th Christmas in Edgartown, a holiday celebration like no other filled with food, fun and Island holiday activities. Head over to Featherstone's Holiday Gift Show and the Vineyard Artisan's Festival for distinctive treasures or scroll through our Gift Guides for inspiration. Stay for a week or weekend, dine here, Shop Local and gift loved ones with Vineyard goods, art, apparel, artisanal chocolates, endless amazing gifts. The wonder of the holiday season is everywhere to be seen - on gaily-lit homes and shops, dazzlingly-decorated lighthouses and maybe a snow mantle. It’s near and nearly too good to miss this holiday season!


Find more information on Martha's Vineyard.

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Mohawk Trail Region

There is no better way to enjoy the winter and the Mohawk Trail Region than heading outside to play in the freshly fallen snow, with hundreds of acres of wide-open spaces and plenty of room to cross-country and downhill ski, snowboard, snowshoe, tubing, fat tire biking, ice skating, hike one of the many tree cover trail or the outdoor art trails. Great outdoors promotes a socially distancing experience. Project Snowshoe, Berkshire East Mountain Resort , Mohawk Trail State Forest-DCR

Find more information on the Mohawk Trail Region.



MetroWest is a great place to support local businesses with your holiday shopping, and while you’re out how about dinner and a show? Don’t miss holiday family favorites from the Franklin Performing Arts Company this December. Shows include the Nutcracker, Humbug! and an exclusive one night special performance from the cast of Hamilton, ‘Hamilton- Home for the Holidays’. More info on times and tickets can be found here!

Find more information on MetroWest.


Photo credit: Emily Elisabeth Photography


December’s Nantucket Christmas Stroll is happening! Nantucket Main Street will be ablaze with dazzling Christmas trees, as will shops, homes, hotels and restaurants. Shop island merchants on- or off-island, accumulate Red Tickets (one Red Ticket/$25 spent); six lucky winners could win big (see details). Come for Stroll weekend or any other time in December — relax, eat out — the magic is everywhere this month! Experience fellowship, wonder, Santa and the blessings of the season on Nantucket this December!

Find more information on Nantucket Island.

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North of Boston

Join the Custom House Maritime Museum on the Lawn December 3 starting at 4:45 pm for a festive tree lighting celebration! The tree will light up the Newburyport Waterfront around 5:30pm. Shop local on Saturday, December 4 from 10 am to 4 pm with Cape Ann Artisans Holiday Pop-In Community Appreciation. 15% per sale is being donated to Gloucester’s Grace Center in collaboration with the Cape Ann Museum’s “Art of Lunch.” Ride along with Scrooge on the Salem Trolley as the classic tale “A Christmas Carol” is brought to life in a completely unexpected way. Shows run now through Thursday, December 23.

Find more information on North of Boston.

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Plymouth County

Plymouth County is coming off a very exciting month celebrating the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving. America's Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration and parade was a great success and was broadcast live on WCVB Channel 5! The holiday season fun continues with an appearance by the world renown Irish Tenors, a Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra concert, live radio play of Its a Wonderful Life and more! Visit or download the See Plymouth app for details.

Find more information on Plymouth County.


Southeastern Mass

ESCAPE is different for everyone, and we’ve got a lot to show you. Escape and regain some of your freedom. Whether you want to relax, go hiking, biking and exploring or hear some live music while having can do it all, or do nothing at all. Less than an hour south of Boston and minutes away east of Providence. Escape is here waiting for you in Southeastern Massachusetts.

Find more information on Southeastern Mass.

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The Berkshires

Let the Berkshires light you up this holiday season. Come and enjoy a night out at Winterlights at Naumkeag. Here you will discover a magical outdoor experience filled with the sparkle from thousands of shimmering and artfully designed holiday lights. Then travel to NightWood at The Mount. Where you will find an ethereal winter landscape composed of music, lighting, and theatrical elements which will create seven unique scenes that evoke feelings of wonder, mystery, and magic. Come find your sparkle #intheberkshires.

Find more information on The Berkshires.


Greater Merrimack Valley

Catch the holiday spirit in Greater Merrimack Valley! Amy Grant with Michael W. Smith Christmas will be presented Saturday, December 4 at the Tsongas Center in Lowell. The 23rd Annual Tree Lighting at Billerica Center in Billerica will be Saturday, December 4 at 4:30 pm. Amd the Concord Tree Lighting in Concord will be Sunday, December 5 from 3 to 6 pm. This year's event will be host to a variety of outdoor entertainment, a parade and festive storefronts!

Find more information on Greater Merrimack Valley.


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Central Massachusetts

Live entertainment lights up December with seasonal productions at The Hanover Theatre, including the Boston Pops, A Christmas Carol and Rudolph: the Musical. For outdoor festivities, head to the Worcester Common Oval for ice skating and explore Downtown Worcester with our latest guide. Plus, reserve your tickets for Night Lights at Tower Hill Botanic Garden or the Festival of Illumination at Southwick’s Zoo before they sell out!. Don’t forget to shop small this holiday season!

Find more information on Central Massachusetts.


Franklin County

Discover the vintage wonderland that is Franklin County! If you’re in the mood for crates and crates of vinyl, unique antiques, repurposed treasures, stand out vintage threads or your great white whale of found objects, the Vintage Valley Trail is here for you. Visit the shops along the trail this holiday season for the perfect gift.


Find more information on Franklin County.

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Photo credit: Kyle Klein

Greater Boston

Winter Wonder in Boston is around the corner. From ice skating and sledding on the Common, to iconic holiday performances and amazing concerts and sporting events at the Garden, Boston is the place to be this winter season. Whether you prefer Van Gogh or Banksy, or perhaps a wine festival and fireside dining, find a full lineup of seasonal acts and festive fun at

Find more information on Greater Boston.


Cape Cod

Celebrate Christmas on Cape Cod and create lifelong memories that will be passed down for generations. Here, by the sea, you’ll recapture the essence of the holiday season. Stay in a cozy B&B, book a relaxing spa day, dine fireside, and bundle up for a brisk walk on the seashore. Savor such quintessential holiday experiences as the illuminated Pilgrim Monument, festively decorated village centers, and Heritage Museums and Gardens’ twinkling Garden Aglow. A vibrant arts community and picturesque Main Streets offer a boatload of unique treasures and hand-crafted items for holiday shopping! Plan your holiday getaway now at

Find more information on Cape Cod.

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Western Mass

Celebrate the holidays in Western Mass! Start your visit with Bright Nights at Forest Park, New England’s premier holiday lighting display with over three miles of thematic displays including Seuss Land and Jurassic World. Then head to Six Flags Holiday in the Park Lights for festive decorations, shows, holiday cheer and your favorite family and children’s rides. No holiday is complete without Grinchmas so save some time for the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum.

Find more information on Western Mass.

Regional Tourism Councils

The Berkshires  Cape Cod  Central Massachusetts  Franklin County 

Greater Boston  Greater Merrimack Valley  Hampshire County  North Central Mass 

Martha's Vineyard  MetroWest  Mohawk Trail  Nantucket Island  North of Boston 

Plymouth County  Southeastern Mass  Western Mass

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Funded by the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism