Festivals & Expos

Christmas tree (and other) lightings around Boston this holiday season

Find out which neighborhoods are hosting lightings this year.

Bostonians gather in Boston Common to watch the annual tree lighting ceremony. Evan Richman / The Boston Globe

‘Tis the season for tree lightings in Boston. Below, find the dates and details for classic annual events like the tree lightings at Boston Common and Faneuil Hall. And it’s not just trees that light up in Boston during the holiday season. Read on for more details about the Christopher Columbus Park trellis lighting, the Seaport Menorah Lighting, and other festive events around town that ring in the season this November and December.

FOCCP Annual Trellis Lighting

Nov. 20 at 5 p.m.

Since 2003, the Friends of Christopher Columbus Park (FOCCP) has hosted its trellis lighting on the Monday before Thanksgiving. This year is no exception, with the Parks and Rec Department joining the FOCCP to light up the trellis, one of the best places to kiss in Boston, with blue lights that stay on each night through mid-April. The evening event features hot chocolate and cookies from the Boston Marriott Long Wharf and clam chowder from Joe’s Waterfront.

Faneuil Hall’s Tree Lighting

Nov. 21 from 4 to 7 p.m.

On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, Faneuil Hall will light up its 30-foot Norway Spruce. The festivities kick off at 4 p.m. with entertainment from DJ Angel Alba, Northeastern University’s a capella group “Pitch Please,” and performers from the North End Music and Performing Arts Center. Santa will help community members light the tree at 6 p.m.

Lighting of the Ship at Martin’s Park

Nov. 25 from 4 to 6 p.m.

Martin’s Park in the Seaport hosts its 3rd annual ship lighting from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 25. Located at 64 Sleeper St., the park’s celebration will include hot chocolate, live music, and Betty the Yeti, along with the opportunity for kids to meet park rangers and explore a Boston fire truck. Santa and the Grinch will arrive by boat in Fort Point Channel at 5 p.m., and the park’s Play Ship lights will be illuminated at 5:30 p.m.

Boston Common Tree Lighting

Nov. 30 from 6 to 8 p.m.

For the 82nd year, the city hosts its annual tree lighting on Boston Common. The Province of Nova Scotia once again donates 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.

Light Up Seaport

Dec. 1 from 5 to 9 p.m.

Snowport once again returns to the Seaport this holiday season, and while the outdoor holiday market opens for the season on Nov. 10, more fun kicks off on Dec. 1 with Light Up Seaport. The neighborhood brings in a 50-foot tree, the largest in Boston, for its 7th annual tree lighting that’ll feature live music, a holiday stroll through the neighborhood where many retailers offer special one-night-only promotions, and Betty the Yeti at the Superette Courtyard for a meet and greet. 

USS Constitution Tree Lighting

Dec. 8

The USS Constitution holds its annual tree lighting on Friday, Dec. 8 in the late afternoon/early evening. Guests can board the ship for the lighting, which includes holiday music and refreshments. Expect the ship’s crew and its commander at the event — Cmdr. Billie J. Farrell is the first woman to command Old Ironsides, the oldest commissioned warship in the country. The event’s official time and any other special guests will be announced closer to the date.

Seaport Menorah Lighting

Dec. 10 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Chabad of Downtown Boston once again hosts a menorah lighting for Hanukkah on Sunday, Dec. 10 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. This year’s Hanukkah begins at nightfall on Dec. 7 and runs through nightfall on Dec. 15. The Seaport event on the 10th, which takes place at the outdoor space outside One Seaport, will feature live entertainment, Hanukkah treats, and other outdoor activities. 

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