What to Do in Boston Over This Winter Break

Sun-Jung Yum, Managing Editor

This year’s winter break is dishearteningly short—just ten days long—but that doesn’t mean we should stay indoors hoping to finish as many seasons of Game of Thrones as possible. Instead, get up from your bed to enjoy the festivities that Boston has to offer before the dreaded return to school.

Splurge, Sit Back, and Relax

Even though it may be more of an investment, buying tickets to see Boston’s most celebrated performances of the season can be worth the price. Of course, there is Boston Ballet’s renowned rendition of The Nutcracker (November 24th to December 31st at the Boston Opera House), which will take you to the magical world of living dolls and toy soldiers. If you’re looking for something less traditional, Tony Williams Dance Center’s Urban Nutcracker (December 15th to December 28th at the Back Bay Events Center) puts a modern twist on the classic and introduces culturally diverse dances. And if your wallet isn’t empty yet, you do not want to miss the 44th anniversary of the Holiday Pops, featuring the Boston Pops and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus.

Head into the City for Holiday Activities

Boston goes all out for the holidays, so going out of your way to see the lights, trees, ice, and such is actually worth the trek! Faneuil Hall Marketplace’s Blink! will feature nightly light and sound shows with 350,000 LED lights, Holiday Pops music, and the largest Christmas tree in the Northeast. Plus, they’ll be hosting an ice sculpture show from December 31st to January 1st. It’s all there: shopping, food, lights, and music.

Boston Seasons presented by Berkshire Bank at City Hall Plaza is also a great choice when looking for a place to skate or shop—the plaza is the host of over 85 pop up shops, local artists, and—most importantly—holiday decorations, this winter.

Cheer on Your Favorite Sports Teams

School is on break, but that doesn’t mean the sports season is too! Instead of burrowing inside your bed, head out with a few friends to see the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium or the Boston Bruins and Boston Celtics at TD Garden. The Patriots have home games on both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, and the Celtics will also be playing at home on Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and two other days during break. The Bruins will be playing at the Garden on both the 23rd and the 27th of December.

And, of Course, Fireworks

Start off the new year by counting down 2017 with over one million others at the First Night/First Day celebrations in Boston! The 41st celebration will feature a grand light show as well as parades, ice sculptures, live musical performances, and, of course, fireworks. Make sure to bring your friends and family along for this one—the show is sure to put a smile on your faces.

If Not…Get Lost in the Wonders of the Holiday Blockbusters

We get it—winter break is meant for relaxing. So, if you plan on sitting in bed with a plate of take-out watching Netflix, we won’t judge you. But, if you’re going to watch TV, you might as well get festive and watch a few wintry movies. Home Alone (every one) and Elf may already be your annual traditions, but there are countless others out there: Love Actually, It’s a Wonderful Life, even Frozen, just to name a few. Watching others struggle in the cold, frosty winter as we sit in a heated room with Chinese food? Sounds good!

This piece also appears in our December print edition.