The holiday season is upon us!  Is anyone freaked out by how quickly it’s flying by!!!  Make it stop Santa!!  Sure it has something to do with the fact that this year we have one less week between Thanksgiving and Christmas to squeeze in all the festivities – never mind shop. But with the abundance of magical things to do, there is also this sense that the holiday season is going to slip by before we can fit in all the amazing things to see, do, eat, drink … celebrate!  Ugh!

So here’s our solution … plan, plan, plan! This list of the 12 Dates of Christmas (no this does not have to be a significant other date list … it could be Mom/Daughter, BFFs, sibling outings, etc … anyone you want to spend a few meaningful moments with this holiday season.  Let’s get into it, shall we?

1. Boozy Donut Date – Sunday, December 15th – 1-6PM – Kane’s Donuts and Boston Harbor Distillery will celebrate their holiday collab with a donut pop-up at Boston Harbor Distillery on Sunday, December 15th. Kane’s will be offering complimentary donuts with the purchase of a public tour, VIP tour, or mercantile at the distillery. Donut flavors will include Kane’s famous Honey Dip, along with their two monthly specials that feature Boston Harbor Distillery liqueurs. Using Boston Harbor Distillery’s Coffee Liqueur and Maple Cream Liqueur, Kane’s has crafted The Tiramisu Donut and Maple Cream Liqueur Donut.

The Tiramisu Donut is a yeast-style donut with Boston Harbor Distillery’s Coffee Liqueur infused into the batter and creamy coffee filling then dusted in cocoa powder and topped with chocolate-covered espresso beans.
Kane’s Maple Cream Liqueur Donut is a yeast-style donut filled with mascarpone cheese infused with Boston Harbor Distillery’s Maple Cream Liqueur then topped with maple frosting and crunchy toasted walnuts.

To compliment the donuts, BHD will pair three of their cocktails with bite-sized versions of the Tiramisu and Maple Cream Liqueur Donuts. The Tiramisu Donut will be paired with their Espresso Martini while the Maple Cream Liqueur Donut will be paired with the Boston White Russian. Paired perfectly with either donut is their Boston Harborslide, Maple Cream and Coffee Liqueurs served over ice.

Sounds like a delicious way to get into the holiday spirit!  Visit the Boston Harbor Distillery website to learn more or schedule your tour!

2.  Gamble on Stunning Holiday Decorations, Lunch & a Show – With the holiday season upon us, Encore Boston Harbor has prepared holiday meals, stunning decor, and holiday concerts that will take your holiday celebration to high roller status!

Encore Boston Harbor’s holiday decor is beyond compare! Their lead horticulturist Patrick Chadwick has transformed Encore into a winter wonderland with more than two dozen Christmas trees, 5,000 poinsettias, football fields of garland and dozens of six foot tall wreaths, the Encore is a holiday sight to behold!

For the first time ever, the Thursdays and Fridays that precede Christmas, Sinatra will be open from 12noon to 2:30pm for special holiday lunches.  For only $29 guests can enjoy Chef T.J Ricciari’s three-course lunch menu! 

Parking is complimentary, so can get into the holiday spirit as you explore the casino decorations, and have a fantastic holiday lunch.  After lunch, stroll through the Encore property, then finish the day with a festive holiday concert.

On Friday, December 20 you have the added bonus of seeing the “Straight No Chaser Holiday Concert”. This popular A capella group will celebrate the season with a concert at Encore Picasso Ballroom at 7:30pm. Tickets are $49.50 and can be purchased by clicking here.

 

3. Champagne in a Ski Chalet before White Christmas – While the temperatures continue to dip in Boston, locals can warm up with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne by the fire at the new Veuve Clicquot Ski Chalet at The Gallery, W Boston’s refreshed restaurant.

Designed to pair perfectly with the champagne, the Après Ski Lounge features a menu with select gourmet bites including a trio of truffle arancini, duck confit cannoli, and a champagne chocolate mousse with orange caviar, and shortbread cookies created by The Gallery at W Boston’s Executive Chef, Elyssa DuBois. Guests can choose from the brand’s Yellow Label or Rosé, or they can go all out and pop open a vintage Veuve Clicquot. In true W fashion, the chic lounge is fit for a party with DJ’s and a ski lift photo booth for the ultimate insta-worthy photo opp.

Not staying at the W Boston? No problem, you can still live your best après-ski life as it’s open to the public. Anyone can gain access by purchasing a “lift ticket”, that is, a glass of Veuve Clicquot on weekdays or a bottle on weekends.

And what a perfect way to pre-or-post game before Irving Berlin’s WHITE CHRISTMAS which tells the story of a song-and-dance team that puts on a show in a magical Vermont inn and fall for a stunning sister act in the process. Full of dancing, laughter and some of the greatest songs ever written, including “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep,” “Happy Holiday,” “Sisters,” “Blue Skies,” and the unforgettable title song, Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas.”

Photo: Jeremy Daniel

The New York Times exclaims “this cozy trip down memory lane should be put on your wish list.” And, the New York Daily News hailed IRVING BERLIN’S WHITE CHRISTMAS as “a holiday card come to life.”  You can see it at the Boch Wang Center from December 17-29, 2019 by clicking here.

4.  Shop on Newbury Street & Holiday Festivities at The Four Seasons Hotel – There’s no better way to celebrate the holidays than doing a little shopping on festive Newbury Street!

No Rest for Bridget is a stylish boutique located at 220 Newbury Street.

Boston’s most enchanting street, Newbury Street includes eight blocks filled with salons, boutiques, and fabulous dining. Boston’s Newbury Street has something for everyone. After shopping on Newbury Street, take advantage of The Four Season’s Gift Wrap Pop Up. Nothing better than complimentary gift wrapping thanks to volunteers from the Globe Santa charity. Enjoy a holiday drink or lunch at the Bristol while waiting. Saturdays, December 7 and 14, 2019, from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm.

Holly Bar: The pop-up lobby Champagne-and-wine bar is a must on every Bostonian’s festive calendar. Order the Gold Ring: Champagne topped with golden cotton candy, freshly spun on site.  December 1-23, 2019, from 2:30 to 8:00 pm; New Year’s Eve from 4:00 to 9:00 pm.

The Four Seasons lobby buzzes with sounds from a live jazz trio, creating the perfect opportunity to pay a visit to the lobby Holly Bar! December 5-6, 11-14, and 20, 2019. But that’s not all, The Bristol Bar serves up a 12 Days of Cocktails Bar Menu featuring twelve crave-worthy drinks inspired by the famed Christmas song. On your way out, go nuts for Beantown Nuts! There is nothing quite like the scent of roasted chestnuts at Christmastime. The Hotel’s Beantown Nuts cart will be parked out front all month long, serving up complimentary hot nuts to guests and passersby. Wednesday-Saturday, 3:00-7:00 pm.

5. Holiday Feasting in Boston’s North End – The North End, Boston’s Little Italy, is a maze of narrow streets with some of the city’s oldest buildings. During Christmastime, the self-guided Freedom Trail, the 1680 Paul Revere House and the Old North Church are all decorated for the holidays. Italian restaurants, coffeehouses, pastry shops and old-school delis pack the area, especially on lively Hanover Street, and surprising boutiques offer all sorts of treasures.

The holiday decor in Boston’s North End is by far the most festive and bright in all the city.
Heart & Sole is an intimate North End boutique offering fashion forward, Women’s contemporary clothing at an affordable price.

We love stopping in at shops like Heart & Soul and In-jeanius for unique and fashionable holiday gifts and many of the restaurants offer specials on holiday gift cards.  Some of our favorite venues include Aquapazza, Bricco, Mare and Nico. Nico on Hanover Street offers the freshest seafood and Italian specialities.  On Christmas Eve they are offering a course Prix-Fixe or á la carte menu.

On Christmas Eve Nico is offering a course Prix-Fixe or á la carte menu that includes these delicious fresh fish items.

Aquapazza pays homage to Italy with dishes that capture the true essence of its native land. Combining food, drink and service for a true Italian charm.  From December 11-28, they are offering their signature Feast of the Seven Fishes. During these special days in December you can enjoy an amazing Feast menu complete with Butterflied and Boneless Smelts, Broiled Branzino, Cioppino Lobster and Seafood Stew.

6. Top of the Hub & Holiday Pops – Soaring 52 floors above the Back Bay, Top of the Hub’s award winning cuisine, service and ambiance of comfortable sophistication blend with the serenity of Boston’s best skyline views to deliver a truly one-of-a-kind dining experience.

The perfect pre-game spot before getting festive with the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall, stop in for Champagne, signature holiday cocktails and delicious appetizers.

A performance filled with holiday music favorites, the traditional Pops sing-along, and a visit from Santa Claus himself!

Started in 1973 by Boston Pops Conductor Arthur Fiedler, these concerts take place in the magical atmosphere of world-famous Symphony Hall that is beautifully decorated to evoke all the magic and charm of the season.

 

7. Seaport is a Holiday Wonderland – Nestled between Boston’s beautiful waterfront and the historic Fort Point district, lies a vibrant and bustling neighborhood with a unique appeal. The atmosphere in Boston Seaport is steeped in history but imbued with a creative, youthful energy.

During the month of December Seaport offers live holiday tunes, an interactive art installation, ice skating, and fun for all ages with festive nights of bright lights. Warm up at local stores to shop the latest gift ideas then grab a bite to eat at any one of the incredible venues.

Snowport is Seaport’s new Winter Village and Boston’s best winter destination. The interactive winterland features a 3,000 square foot ice skating rink and an array of complimentary winter activities including iceless curling, yoga, themed skate nights, and warm beverages. And there’s even more to come, like freshly baked waffles by The Waffle Cabin, the festive Fjällhäus, and special holiday happenings.

While you’re in the neighborhood, check out the newly opened Flight Club that offers a super-charged social gaming experience like no other, with multi-player games set in semi-private playing areas, housed in a breath-taking bar, serving delicious food and amazing botanical-based cocktails.

‘Social Darts’ is an experience which brings you and your friends together for unexpected, ridiculous joy.

Sip on some seasonal cocktails and snack on some cozy grub like cinnamon sugar churros courtesy of Executive Chef Tatiana Rosana, and admire the view of the Boston skyline while you stay toasty.

The igloos can accommodate up to 10 guests each, but if you’d like to guarantee a spot, reserve one here (there’s a $500 beverage sales minimum, plus tax and gratuity).

8. Blink at Faneuil Hall – Blink!, the world-famous light and sound show, has returned once again this year to deck the halls this holiday season at Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Blink! features the signature holiday tree at Marketplace Center joined by all the trees and lights throughout the property.

This year’s Blink! show features seven holiday favorites. Performances run from 4:30 – 10:00 pm daily, Dec. 4 through January 1, 2019.

Hang a pair of mittens on a designated tree for those less fortunate to use. Nov. 25 – Jan 1 in the Lower Rotunda of Quincy Market.

While in Faneuil Hall, stop by Wicked Cupcakes – Shark Tank survivors – and nationwide famous online cup cake company that has its roots right here in Boston.

They ship their famous cupcakes in jars across the country and are always ready for a wicked sweet time? Check out their holiday line of cupcake jars!

Chocolate Holiday Peppermint, Chocolate Gingerbread & Eggnog and Red Velvet Peppermint headline Wicked Good Cupcake’s holiday collection!
Warm up with one of Ben & Jerry’s “Hot Floats”, a delicious combination of hot chocolate, milk, and ice cream this winter in the North Market!

And there are so many options to get some Christmas shopping done inside Faneuil Hall with over 70 retailers and 40 office tenants occupy the 200,000 square feet of retail and 160,000 square feet of space on Boston’s iconic mixed use festival marketplace.

Customers enjoy unique, locally loved, and nationally recognized shops while indulging in the worldwide cuisine at our restaurants, pubs, and in the world-famous Quincy Market Colonnade.

9.  Rebels Guild Grinch Tea & Boston Common Holiday Lights – Join in on Revere Hotel’s Grinch-themed tea party at Rebel’s Guild every Saturday and Sunday in December. Make sure to reserve your tickets to this magical holiday event and experience a festive, fun-filled afternoon with your favorite people. Reservations available from 10AM—4PM. Space is limited.

Ticket includes: Tea and Feast Menu for Adults and a Hot Chocolate and Feast Menu for Kids, Themed Gingerbread House Decorating for Kids, and Photo Opportunities with a Special Guest!
Once you’re finished with Mr. Grinch, take a stroll through Boston Common where the annual holiday light display is a sight to behold!

10.  Drinks at Moxy Boston Before Sugar Plum Fairies Dance at the Nutcracker – Whether you are a first timer or have been here many times before: you’re in for an unforgettable adventure.

Moxy Boston Downtown is located excellently, in the midst of the vibrant historic theatre district. The neighborhood is buzzing at all times of the day so you can play inside or out! Bordered by Downtown, Chinatown and Back Bay, it’s a melting pot of drama, art, business, education, dance, and residential.

 

Get your groove on in a serious party scene at Bar Moxy, the hotel’s vibrant social hub in downtown Boston. Nosh on some tasty dining with specialty cocktails in this happening lounge, or head to the rooftop bar for some city views and awesome drinks.

It’s a holiday classic and one of the best ways to celebrate the season. Boston Ballet proudly presents the return of Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker. The critically-acclaimed production, featuring sets and costumes by award-winning designer Robert Perdziola, has been delighting audiences and critics since its world premiere in 2012.

The Nutcracker, set to Tchaikovsky’s renowned score, opened November 29 with performances through December 29 at the Citizens Bank Opera House.

11.  Go Sippin’ with Santa at One of Boston’s Holiday Pop Up Bars – Don your ugliest Christmas sweater and head over to the ultimate fa-la-la-la-fabulous pop-up: Sippin’ Santa at Shore Leave!

The Shaka Kalikimaka, a #sippinsanta signature cocktail served frozen… ⛄ but don’t be fooled this made with London Dry gin, allspice, cognac and orange you’ll be feeling warm and fuzzy in no time!

From November 26th through New Year’s Eve, they’ve completely transformed Shore Leave, giving you a new menu of signature holiday cocktails, plus a whole lot of lights, garlands, ribbons, and tchotchkes inspired by nostalgic vintage Christmas decorations, and a soundtrack of your favorite holiday songs. See you here, ya filthy animal.

Christmas also lasts a whole month at Precinct Kitchen + Bar where they’re hosting their seasonal pop-up celebrating your favorite holiday movies with themed cocktails and lots of photo opps. The festive extravaganza runs daily from Monday, December 2nd through Saturday, December 28th between 4:00 and 11:00pm. Ugly sweaters and seasonal attire are appreciated, though not required – although they’ll make your pictures near Snoopy’s Dog House or atop the sled from How the Grinch Stole Christmas all that more perfect for your holiday Instagram pic.

12.  Holiday Bacchanal at The Copley – Toast the holiday season with a lavish five-course Holiday Bacchanal Dinner in Fairmont Copley Plaza’s historic lobby on Monday, December 16, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.

It’s Boston’s most luxurious affair where guests dine underneath the hotel’s magnificent ceiling murals, and indulge in a special menu and wine pairings from Executive Chef Laurent Poulain.

The 107 year-old lobby is dramatically transformed into an elegant ambiance only once a year for this exclusive holiday dinner party where you can feast on warm local oyster, salmon tartare, braised beef short ribs and rum raisin tapioca pudding.

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One of the founders of Dirty Water Media, Julie Fairweather serves as the company’s managing editor, marketing director and contributing writer/producer. In addition to her work with Dirty Water Media, Julie is also an award-winning journalist with 20+ years experience developing marketing and public relations strategies for emerging businesses. Julie has also worked as an assignment manager and reporter for WLVI-TV 56 in Boston and a news anchor and reporter from an NBC affiliate in North Platte, NE. Julie is a past President and former Executive Director of The Publicity Club of New England, a 300-member trade organization for the Greater Boston public relations community. She also taught broadcast journalism and radio and television producing at her alma mater Emerson College in Boston, MA. Her most accomplished position is as the mother to her three amazing children.