Boston In December: Weather, Key Tips and 15 Best Things to Do in Boston in December

Boston- The capital city of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, is one of the best cities of America. Also known as Beantown, it is home to the historical architecture, cobblestone streets, best seafood, Boston Marathon, world-class educational institutions, museums and many more beautiful sites and events. December is a lovely time to witness the beauty of Boston covered under snow. Keep reading ahead to know more about Boston in December.  

Weather in Boston in December

 Boston is pleasant throughout the year but the best time to visit Boston is from June to October. Although, if you love the winter season, then you should definitely visit Boston in December for the perfect winter vacation. It can be very cold in December but Boston is very beautiful and heavenly at this time of the year. The average temperatures vary between 5°C to -2°C.

Tips to Remember Before Visiting Boston in December

  • December being the holiday season, you can expect some fantastic hotel deals and exciting holiday discounts in Boston.
  • Make sure to pack heavy jackets, coats, scarfs, warm gloves, socks and an umbrella for your winter trip to Boston.
  • Boston is a small city, so for the first time visitors, 4-5 days are enough to explore the whole city. But you can definitely stay for a longer period, if you wish to have a slow and a more enjoyable vacation.
  • Boston is a historical location and hence most of the B&B’s and old hotels do not have elevator service and the rooms are a little compact. If you are looking forward to staying in these historic homes, make sure to check if their facilities meet your requirements.
  • Boston has compact streets often covered under snow, so you won’t need to travel by car. Most of the time you'll find yourself walking down the streets to explore the city. Do not forget to get proper and comfortable shoes for your walking tours.
  • You can buy a T pass for your trip or a Charlie Card to travel around the city using the subway.
  • Boston streets are compact and also confusing. The streets are not properly organized, so you may end up getting lost in the Beantown Maze. Keep checking your phone’s map and addresses to have a hassle free trip.
  • Apart from the bar and restaurants, most of the services in Boston close for the nights.

15 Best Things to Do in Boston in December

1. Attend the Boston Common Tree Lighting Ceremony

 Start your trip to Boston in December with the beautiful Tree lighting ceremony at Boston Common Park. This is the most popular holiday event in Boston that starts with an amazing ice skating show, live music, entertainment, refreshments and culminates with a sparkling fireworks show. This event usually takes place in the first week of December and starts at around 5 PM in the evening. 
Location: 139 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02111, USA

2. Go on a Walking Tour

 The most authentic way to experience the beauty of Boston in December is by taking a  walking tour. These tours take you to the most beautiful, unseen historical places with the local guides. Apart from learning about the history of Boston, you will also get to walk through the gorgeous cobblestone streets and watch the spectacular lightings of the festive season. 
Some of the Best Walking Tours are:
 Freedom Trail
North End & Little Italy
Cambridge & Harvard
Kennedy & Boston Irish

3. Take in the Panoramic Views from the Skywalk Observatory

 The best way to enjoy your winter trip in Boston is by visiting the Skywalk Observatory over the Prudential Center. The observatory features sweeping views of the historical sites, spectacular light displays and 360° miniature views of the entire Boston city with an audio guided tour. You can avail some special discounts on admission tickets, if you have a tourist attraction pass. You will also have access to the Dreams of Freedom Museum and Multimedia Movie Theatre. 
Tickets: 21 USD (adults)   
                   17 USD (seniors and students) 
                   15 USD (children)
               Free for kids under ages 3 
 Timings: Daily 10 AM - 8 PM
Location: 800 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199, USA 

4. Attend a Holiday Musical

 Being the Holiday Season, you can attend some fun and family-friendly music concerts, carols or shows in Boston. Most of the musical shows run from November to December. From the classic holiday favourite- Nutcracker show to the most awaited performances by Holiday Pops, Boston offers fantastic shows suitable to all ages. Besides the holiday musicals, you can also attend jazz & rock music concerts in Boston in December.
Here is a list of some Holiday Musicals you can attend in Boston:
Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker
Irving Berlin’s White Christmas Show
Holiday Pops ‘Sleigh Ride’ at Boston Symphony Orchestra 

5. Watch the Historical Reenactment of Boston Tea Party

 Attend the reenactment of the historical Boston Tea Party that led to the American Revolution. An annual event that takes place every year on 16th December in Boston. A dramatic performance by costumed actors that showcases people’s gathering at the Old South Meeting House followed by the colonist’s march towards the ship docked at Griffin’s Wharf to throw tea overboard. Come witness this historical event, just the way it happened in 1773 for free!
Location: 310 Washington St, Boston, MA 02108, USA

6. Visit the Holiday and Flea Markets in Boston

 Head to the annual Holiday Markets in Boston to collect the best souvenirs and handcrafted gifts for your family and friends. You’ll find an array of indoor and outdoor markets offering handmade gifts, jewellery, ceramics, clothing, food stalls, games and live music. The major holiday markets include Faneuil Hall Marketplace, CraftBoston, SoWa Vintage Market, Harvard Square Holiday Market and many more. 

7. Join the Holiday Festival- Blink!

 Faneuil Hall Marketplace hosts an iconic holiday event called Blink. This annual event features the largest Christmas tree in the northeast and boasts thousands of LED lights, nightly musical shows, performances by the popular Holiday Pops and food stalls for you to enjoy. You can even expect Santa Claus visits. The music shows start from 4:30 PM and are free to attend. 
Timings: 10 AM - 9 PM (Monday-Saturday) 
                      11 AM - 7 PM (Sunday)
Location: 4 S Market St, Boston, MA 02109, USA

 8. Go Ice Skating in Boston

 Ice-skating is a must wintertime activity in Boston in December. Frog Pond in Boston Common hosts a world-class ice-skating show in December. It features public skating events for both adults & children, skating lessons for beginners, free wifi and cafes serving hot chocolate and quick bites. Admission charges (6 USD) are applicable only to individuals above 58 inches of height. Strap on your ice skates and get ready to have an unforgettable experience. 
Ice-skates Rent: 12 USD (adults) 
                                        6 USD (kids)
Timings: Daily 9 AM - 6 PM
Location: 38 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02108, USA

9. Watch the Zoo Lights at Stone Zoo

 Set on a 26 acre green field, the Stone Zoo hosts an annual ZooLights event throughout the holiday season. You can stroll around the three-lined path adorned with thousands of lights with glimpses of the bald eagle and arctic foxes. Apart from light displays, the zoo also hosts art activities and musical events for kids. If you are visiting around christmas, then you will also get to meet Santa & Mrs. Claus and spend a hot chocolate evening with Santa’s Reindeer. 
Tickets: 14 USD (non-members) 
                    13 USD  (members)
Timings: Daily 5 PM - 9 PM (Closed on 25th December)
Location: 149 Pond St, Stoneham, MA 02180, USA

10. Go Shopping at Prudential Center

 Go on a shopping spree with your friends and family to the famous shopping haven in Boston. From shopping stores to restaurants to entertainment centers, Prudential Center offers a unique shopping experience, all under one roof. You can shop from branded outlets like Zara, Gucci, Sephora or dine at the restaurants serving delicious cuisines and join the fun activities at the entertainment center. 
Timings: 10 AM - 9 PM (Monday-Saturday)   
                     11 AM - 7 PM (Sunday)
Location: 800 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199, USA

11. Relax on the Holiday Cruise

 If you do not feel like going out in the chilly weather, you can enjoy an indoor dinner cruise combined with live music, food, cocktails and fantastic views of the Boston Harbour. Unwind in the fully enclosed heated cruise with brilliant views of the colourful Boston skyline. The best dinner cruises in Boston in December include the Northern Lights Sunset Cruise, Cocoa & Carols Holiday Cruise, An Irish Christmas Carol Cruise and many more. 

12. Visit Free Museums

 Visiting museums may sound boring but Boston’s museums are very different from others. Boston is home to the famous Museum of Fine Arts and Museum of Bad Arts that boast exclusive art pieces. There are several free museums in Boston that you can visit to learn about their interesting history and culture. Some of the best free museums include Commonwealth Museum, Boston Fire Museum, McMullen Museum of Art,etc. 

13. Enjoy a Live Match

 Boston is home to many professional sports teams and hosts exciting games in December that you can attend. Be it the Bruins ice-hockey game, Patriots football match or Celtics basketball games, Boston has it all for the sports lovers out there. Come and cheer for your favourite teams and have a great time in Boston in December. 
Location: TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston MA 02114, USA (Hockey & Basketball)   
                       Gillette Stadium, 1 Patriot Pl, Foxbourough, MA 02035 USA (Football)

14. Savour the Ocean Delights of Boston

 A trip to Boston in December would be incomplete without getting a taste of Boston’s speciality. If you are a die heart foodie, then you absolutely cannot miss the delicious seafood of Boston. From steamed lobster, fried clams, fish chips to blackened salmon and grilled swordfish, Boston has the best ocean delights on its menu. Seafood in Boston is a little expensive but worth it. The best seafood restaurants around Boston are Yankee Lobster Co, Island Creek Oyster Bar, The Barking Crab, Atlantic Fish Co and many more.

15. Celebrate Boston’s First Night

 If you’re visiting Boston in December during New Years Eve, then you are up for some wild and crazy fun. Boston rings in the New Years with the biggest ‘First Night’ celebrations. The best part about Boston’s New Years are the spectacular fireworks show over Boston Common (at 7 PM) and over the waterfront at Copley Square (at midnight). Family events feature puppet shows, face painting, circus shows,etc. While bachelors can enjoy music concerts, comedy shows and a crazy NYE countdown. And you also cannot miss the extravagant displays of the fantastic ice sculptures on NYE.

Now that you know the different ways to enjoy  your trip to Boston in December, get ready and pack your bags for the most amazing trip to this historical harbour city.

This post was published by Laxmi Santosh Mishra

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