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10 things to do in Boston this weekend

BosTen is your weekly guide to the best events and coolest things to do in Boston.

The lighting of the holiday tree at Snowport in Boston's Seaport neighborhood.
The lighting of the holiday tree at Snowport in Boston's Seaport neighborhood. Lindsay Ahern/WS Development

Welcome to BosTen, your weekly guide to the coolest events and best things to do in Boston this weekend. Sign up for our weekly email newsletter here. Have an idea about what we should cover? Leave us a comment on this article or in the BosTen Facebook group, or email us at [email protected].

Light up at Boston Common’s annual Tree Lighting

For the 82nd year, the city of Boston hosts its annual tree lighting on Boston Common this Thursday from 6-8 p.m. The Province of Nova Scotia has once again donated a tree to Boston as thanks for relief efforts following a 1917 explosion in Halifax Harbor — this marks the 52nd year that the Canadian province has donated a tree to the city. Mayor Michelle Wu, the Boston Parks and Rec Department, and the Province of Nova Scotia kick off the tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. The evening features live music and will be broadcast on Channel 5 by Chronicle anchors Anthony Everett and Shayna Seymour. Santa Claus and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer join Mayor Wu on stage shortly before 8 p.m. to light the tree, after which all the lights throughout the Common and Public Garden will illuminate, too. (Thursday, Nov. 30 from 6-8 p.m.; Boston Common, Boston; free) — Natalie Gale

Visit a Hanukkah pop-up bar in Cambridge

Maccabee Bar will be occupying the Charles Hotel’s Noir from Wednesday through the end of December. At this Hanukkah-themed pop-up bar, you’ll find plenty of festive snacks and cocktails. Sip on the Latke Sour, made with apple brandy, potato, lemon, egg white, and bitters, or the Ocho Kandelikas, made with olive oil infused gin, honey, apricot, almond, and lemon. There will be “special snacks” frm Noir’s kitchen, according to a press release, and jelly doughnuts from Kate Holowchik’s Lionheart Confections. (Now through Sunday, Dec. 31; Mondays and Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to midnight, and Wednesdays through Saturdays from 4 p.m. until 1 a.m.; Noir, 1 Bennett St., Cambridge) — Shira Laucharoen

Be dazzled at Snowport’s tree lighting

This Friday, Snowport — the annual holiday market in the Seaport — will switch on the 10,000 twinkling lights adorning its 50-foot holiday tree, the largest in Boston. Before the official lighting at 7:30 p.m., visitors are encouraged to stroll through the neighborhood and visit any of the 60+ neighborhood retailers offering one-night-only promotions. There will also be live music and performances from aerialists around the 85 Northern Ave. area. If you can’t make it into the city for the tree lighting, NBC10 Boston will televise the ceremony as well. (Friday, Dec. 1 from 5-9 p.m.; 85 Northern Ave., Boston; free) — Kevin Slane

Stroll through the Holiday Lights Spectacular at Roger Williams Park Zoo

On the heels of its annual Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular, which has been recognized as one of the best Halloween events in the country, the Roger Williams Park Zoo is hosting another seasonally-themed walkthrough — its Holiday Lights Spectacular. The trail features 40 acres of huge lighting displays set to holiday music, and is open nightly through the end of the year, excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas. The entire exhibit walkthrough takes an estimated 60 to 90 minutes, and is open nightly from 5 to 9:30 p.m. As an added bonus, Santa will be visiting this Thursday night, and guests can enjoy fire pits and roast s’mores on select Thursday nights from 5 to 7 p.m. on Dec. 7, 14, and 21. For more information and to buy timed-entry tickets, visit the zoo’s website(Now through Sunday, December 31 at various times; Roger Williams Park Zoo, 1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence; $12-14) — Natalie Gale

Get naughty with the Slutcracker

The Slutcracker, a fun, raunchy, sexy adaptation of Tchikovsky’s classic ballet once again returns to the Somerville Theater starting this Friday for its 16th season. The burlesque show features classical ballet along with other, saucier types of dance like belly dancing, pole dancing, and hula hooping, as it follows a grown-up Clara while she explores the Kingdom of Sexual Sweets (the show is 18+, natch) for a performance that’s inclusive, impressive, and hilarious. (Friday Dec. 1 through Sunday, Dec. 31 at 8 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 4 p.m.; Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Square, Somerville; $35; 18+) — Natalie Gale

Step into a Norman Rockwell painting

Each holiday season, the town of Stockbridge stages a re-creation of the 1967 Norman Rockwell painting “Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas (Home for Christmas)” as part of a weekend-long holiday celebration. Before the reenactment takes place on Sunday at noon, visitors can enjoy a full weekend of small-town holiday merriment, including historic property tours, old-fashioned cars, holiday lights displays, a sing-along concert, and a visit from Santa. For a full schedule of events and how to buy tickets, check out Stockbridge Main Streets’ website. (Friday, Dec. 1 through Sunday, Dec. 3 at various times; Main Street, Stockbridge) — Kevin Slane

Sip cocoa at a Boston art museum

As part of its annual holiday celebration, the McMullen Museum of Art at Boston College will host festive activities throughout the afternoon this Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. The Museum will offer live music while guests sip hot chocolate and eat holiday treats, tour the exhibitions, play games, and participate in arts and crafts activities throughout the museum. Best of all, the event is free, family-friendly, and open to the public. (Saturday, Dec. 2 from 12-3 p.m.; 2101 Commonwealth Ave., Boston; free) — Cheryl Fenton

Create a gingerbread house at the new Eastern Standard

You’ll find plenty of holiday mirth at the Fenway’s recently opened Eastern Standard: this Saturday (and also Dec. 9 and 16), you can stop by for a session of gingerbread house decorating, known as Gingerbread Standard Construction. With a $150 ticket, you’ll be able to book a table seating four guests, with one house to build. You’ll have unlimited access to a decorating station full of candy, and you’ll receive a carry-home box so that you can transport your work of art. A hot cocoa and spiced apple cider bar will also be on site. Guests are invited to bring along a toy to donate to Christmas in the City, a nonprofit aiming to help relieve the burden of homelessness on children and their families. (Saturday, Dec. 2 at 12:00 p.m.; Eastern Standard, 775 Beacon St., Boston; $150) — Shira Laucharoen

Welcome December with the Vienna Boys Choir

Members of the Vienna Boys Choir have been singing sweet music since 1498. Yes, they’ve been around longer than the Rolling Stones. Their repertoire, over the centuries, has included Austrian folk songs, classical pieces composed by the likes of Mozart, Bruckner, and Schubert, popular music of the day and, when December comes around, holiday hymns and carols. Numbering 100 lads between the ages of 10 and 13, they all live and study at Vienna’s Augartenpalais, and are frequently touring and recording in groups of 25. With the current tour through the states bordering right on the holiday season, audiences attending Saturday’s show at Cary Hall in Lexington can expect to hear a wide range of favorites, from traditional tunes, such as “Adeste Fideles,” to pop selections like “Let It Snow” and John Lennon’s “Happy Christmas (War Is Over).” (Saturday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m.; Cary Hall, 1605 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington; $69-$99) — Ed Symkus

Catch The Tubes at City Winery

It’s been five decades since the Tubes got their act together in San Francisco, with roadie-turned-lead singer Fee Waybill flamboyantly fronting the band, which featured parodic art rock and multiple costume (and character) changes in each show. Their Al Kooper-produced 1975 debut album featured “White Punks on Dope” and “What Do You Want From Life?,” both of which got plenty of underground radio play, but they didn’t have a true hit until 1983’s “She’s a Beauty.” There were more albums, some lineup changes, a disbanding, a reuniting, and now there’s a plentiful catalogue of songs that should result in a cool set list on Sunday at City Winery. (Sunday, Dec. 3 at 8 p.m.; City Winery, 80 Beverly St, Boston; $69-$85) — Ed Symkus

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