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By Scott Roberto / November 30, 12:00 AM
Glowing for the Holidays


Bright, seasonal displays abound in Boston and beyond


Around the Hub

Holiday cheer is in as much need as ever this season, and Boston has no shortage of dazzling lights to spark a Yuletide mood. The Seaport is properly decked out, complete with a fully lit, 54-foot Norway spruce and, beginning December 10, a nine-foot menorah to preside over the neighborhood’s festivities, which include Snowport, a portion of Seaport Square dedicated to socially distanced winter fun and games. Downtown Boston gets in the spirit with the customary tree atop Macy’s cantilevered canopy as well as a tree-lined promenade along Summer Street. As a special treat this year, some of Boston’s most beloved performing arts organizations—including Boston Ballet, Revels and the Huntington Theatre Company—are pitching in to decorate various storefronts as part of Downtown Holiday Magic, which also includes two Winter Solstice-themed installations along Washington Street. Faneuil Hall Marketplace has postponed its annual Blink! light show and holiday tree this year, yet the merchants of the venerable shopping and entertainment nexus are stepping up with their own lighted decorations to delight the eye. The lighting ceremony may have been cancelled, yet the famed blue holiday lights that adorn the trellises at the North End’s waterfront-facing Christopher Columbus Park endure. Last, yet certainly not least, enjoy the Boston Common Christmas Tree (pictured), an annual gift from our northern neighbors in Nova Scotia honoring the Hub’s help during the aftermath of the infamous Great Halifax Explosion of 1917. Not even a pandemic could interrupt this time-honored tradition. If you want to check out some gorgeous lights that benefit great causes, just look up when you're in the Back Bay, where the Prudential Center's 31 Nights of Light is underway through the end of December. The daily-rotating illumination involves a wide array of local organizations, who have their colors displayed on the crown of one of the city's largest buildings in order to draw attention to these non-profits and their missions.


Beyond Boston

Just north of Boston, the Stone Zoo once again hosts its annual ZooLights display, which features thousands of blinking bulbs spread throughout the animal habitats. The event has been extended until January 17, yet tickets are sold out through January 3, so act fast to enjoy this popular pastime. Down at the home of the New England Patriots in Foxborough, Gillette Stadium hosts the Magic of Lights, a one-mile, drive-through extravaganza of light and music, through January 9. Another drive-through opportunity to revel in that holiday glow is the North Shore Holiday Light Show in Haverhill, featuring dozens of displays synced up to seasonal music through December 30. On the South Shore, the similar Marshfield Holiday Light Show takes place through December 30 at the grounds of the Marshfield Fair. Out in Lenox in the western part of the state, author Edith Wharton’s historic home The Mount has unveiled its NightWood installation, a series of unique light, sound and color collaborations created by a team consisting of a composer, lighting designer and scenic designer that is up through January 3. Non-profit the Trustees hosts Winterlights—outdoor garden displays filled with sparkling lights, along with snacks and beverages for the family—at two of its properties. Although tickets for Naumkeag in Stockbridge are already sold out, slots are still available for the Bradley Estate in Canton through January 2. In Attleboro through January 3, the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette hosts the colorful Light from Afar—this year’s COVID-safe version of its 68th annual holiday celebration—daily from 5–9 p.m. 

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