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5 things you should try this December

Posted by Karyn Polewaczyk  December 3, 2013 02:15 PM

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mulled-wine.jpgCredit: iStockphoto

So, it’s December. Which is kind of crazy, because it feels like it was only yesterday that I was on the commuter rail home from Singing Beach, wiping stray sand from my legs and making plans to meet friends post-8 PM sunset. Now, I try to avoid the guy on the subway wearing a hospital face mask and feel relieved when I can snuggle into bed by 9 because I'm an old lady dressed as a 30-something.

But I digress: December is a fantastic month, full of things to do and see that can ignite a sparkle in even the craggiest (and most cynical) of Bostonians. Seriously! A sparkle. Holiday stuff aside, if you can bear the weather—and the tourists—consider giving these five December-exclusive ongoings a try before midnight strikes on the 31st.

Catch a viewing of The Nutcracker

Even if you’re not one for ballet, The Nutcracker is a visual feast—the costumes and stage props alone are worth the price of admission. Maybe it’s a Freudian thing, but The Nutcracker also brings me back to my childhood, when, around this time of year, my father would play the soundtrack and my sister and I would run around in circles in our family room and fight over who was the “real” Sugar Plum Fairy. Either way, it’s a good excuse to get dressed to the nines. Remember when people did that? Sigh.

Skate the Frog Pond

Yes, it’s ultra-touristy, and yes, it requires a good deal of patience when you can’t move because there are flailing children everywhere and you, too, are flailing because you haven’t ice skated in maybe 15 years. But it’s fun, for what it’s worth—kind of like riding a Duck Boat—and if you can handle it here for 30 minutes, you can live anywhere. (Or something like that.)

Peep the lights at Faneuil Hall

If there’s anyone who despises Faneuil Hall more than I do, I’ve yet to meet him or her.

However.

Blink! is a sight—and sound—to behold. And if, like me, you don’t own a vehicle and can’t fathom spending money on a Zipcar to scoot around the suburbs for a chance encounter with a brightly-strung split-level house, then maybe, maybe, you’ll consider making Blink! an exception. (If you can’t play nice, consider crossing the banks into Cambridge, especially Central Square. The city does a fantastic job of lighting Mass Ave in a subtle, yet ethereal way, compliments of local artist Ross Miller.

Sip a mug of mulled wine

I’ve decided to experiment with teetotaling (translation: I’m on the wagon), so take this suggestion with a grain of salt if you must. But mulled wine is freaking good, man. And it’ll be a hard one for me to pass up when it’s served at holiday parties later this month. There’s rumors of it floating around the seasonal menus at Shay’s and The Hawthorne as we speak (the only other place that makes it their wintertime mainstay that I know of is The Spotted Pig in the West Village, and if you’re a fan, it’s worth the trek), so if you’re curious how it tastes, or just need to warm up, give it a whirl.

Scope some aht (art)

Sure, you can head to a museum any old time, but Amy Sillman at the ICA and John Singer Sargent’s watercolors at the MFA end on January 5 and 20, respectively. If you haven’t yet, go—each of these exhibits is exquisite in its own right—and if you’re trying to pinch pennies (December is also the easiest month in which to blow a budget), take advantage of the museums’ free nights.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About this blog

Karyn Polewaczyk lives and writes in Boston, and believes that heading out into that good night, like any adventure, begins with the first step. Let's Go Out is a conversation about dating and nightlife in our notoriously chilly city, with first-hand tips from the trenches. Karyn's writing, which focuses largely on women's lifestyle topics, has appeared in the Weekly Dig, Jezebel, xoJane, Northshore Magazine and More.com, among others. Follow her on Twitter at @KarynPolewaczyk.

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