‘Tis the season for celebration, and there are lots of family-oriented, boating-related festivities throughout the coastal Northeast.
© Eastern Regional Tourism District/Mystic Country
Holiday Gift Show
November 18 through December 30
Mystic Museum of Art, Mystic, CT
Tread off the beaten path for your holiday gift needs with an inspiring and unforgettable selection of fine art, crafts, jewelry, accessories and more! Support local artisans and give something special to your loved ones this holiday. The show is open daily from 11 am to 5 pm, but it’s closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas. For more information, log onto www.mysticmuseumofart.org.
Christmas at the Newport Mansions
November 19 through January 2
Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI
The glitter of gold and the sparkle of silver will dazzle you as you tour three magnificent mansions; The Breakers, The Elms and Marble House, decked out in Yuletide finery. Music, tours, and spectacular decorations highlight the celebration, presented by the Preservation Society of Newport County. Visit www.newportmansions.org for the schedule of events.
© Thomas Palmer/discovernewport.org
20th Annual Vineyard Artisans Thanksgiving Weekend Festival
November 25 & 26
Agricultural Hall, West Tisbury, MA
If you’ll be on Martha’s Vineyard for Thanksgiving, you’ll find unique holiday gifts including one-of-a-kind sweaters, hand-made soaps, Island lavender, leather and vintage material bags, butcher block cutting boards, and much more at this event. Hours are 10 am to 4 pm each day and admission is free, while a $2 parking fee supports the Vineyard Artisans Scholarship Fund. Visit www.vineyardartisans.com for details.
Lantern Light Tours
November 25 & 26 and December 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 18 & 23
Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT
This 70-minute progressive play at the Museum of America and the Sea will take you back to Christmas Eve, 1876. Tours begin at 5 pm and leave every 15 minutes. This event is not recommended for kids under age 4. Tickets are available online at mysticseaport.org/lanternlighttours or by calling 860-572-5331. For information about cancellations due to inclement weather, call 860-572-0711.
November 25 through January 1
“The Quintessential Yuletide Experience” begins with the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and Community Caroling on the night after Thanksgiving, and is highlighted by the Christmas Stroll Weekend (see below). For more details, visit www.nantucketchamber.org.
16th Annual Holiday Lighted Boat Parade and Toy Drive
Santa will arrive at Mystic River Park at 2pm on the tugboat John Paul, and there’s a tree lighting in the park at 6pm. Then decorated vessels will parade down the Mystic River. Boats of all types and sizes are welcome, and prizes will be awarded for Most Charismatic Crew, Innovative Vessel, Best Dressed Vessel, and Miss Mystic Vessel of Grandeur. Boats of all types and sizes are welcome, and entrance requires only a toy or coat donation to the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center. For more information, log onto www.mysticchamber.org.
Holiday Harbor Lights Illuminated Boat Parade
A visual treat for participants and spectators alike, this tour of the harbor starts at 6:15 pm. There’s prime viewing from Bowen’s Wharf and Bannister’s Wharf, and Newport Yacht Club (on Long Wharf) is open to the public that evening. Prizes for Best Decorated Sailboat (recreational & commercial), Best Decorated Powerboat (recreational & commercial), Best Decorated Fishing Boat, Best Decorated Porch or Dock, and Most Team Spirit will be awarded. For more details, contact Newport Harbormaster Tim Mills at 401-845-5815 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Onne Van der Wal/vanderwal.com
Trees in the Rigging Community Carol Sing & Boat Parade
Connecticut River Museum, Essex, CT
This popular event kicks off the Essex holiday season with a lantern-lit stroll down Main Street with the Sailing Masters of 1812 Fife and Drum Corps, an antique car parade, a parade of holiday-themed boats, and a visit from Santa. Festivities begin at 4:30 pm and admission is free. Visit www.ctrivermuseum.org for more information.
Downtown Milford Annual Lamplight Stroll
In this Downtown Milford Business Association event, the town’s finest shops, spas and salons will enthusiastically greet visitors with refreshments, holiday cheer and a unique holiday shopping experience from 5 to 9 pm. Visit www.downtownmilfordct.com to learn more.
New Bedford Downtown Holiday Stroll
New Bedford, MA
This event kicks off with Santa & Mrs. Claus arriving at Custom House Square in an antique fire truck, followed by free photos with Santa, a parade up William Street to the Library steps, and the city’s official Tree Lighting Ceremony. Other attractions include a strolling caroler, live entertainment in the Whaling Museum Auditorium, Seaman’s Bethel and Custom House Square Park, and stores, galleries and eateries open late for shopping and dining. For more information, visit www.downtownnb.org/holidaystroll.html.
43rd Annual Christmas Stroll Weekend
Highlights of this event include the arrival of Santa & Mrs. Claus on a U.S. Coast Guard vessel, craft shows, exhibitions, performances and a European-style Christmas marketplace. Visit www.nantucketchamber.org for details.
35th Annual Christmas in Edgartown
December 8 - 11
This is a weekend full of holiday fun for the whole family in one of New England’s most beautiful towns. Log onto www.edgartownboardoftrade.com for details.
9th Annual Vineyard Artisans Holiday Festival
Grange Hall, West Tisbury, MA
This event is a great place to shop for handcrafted island gifts. The festival runs from 10 am to 4pm, and admission is free. Check www.vineyardartisans.com for details.
62nd Annual Community Carol Sing
Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT
The Mystic Seaport carolers will perform a holiday concert in the Greenmanville Church at 2 pm, and the carol sing, led by former Ledyard High School choral director, Jamie Spillane, and backed by the Museum carolers and a brass quartet, commences at McGraw Quadrangle at 3 pm. The Treworgy Planetarium presents a free program, “The Star of Bethlehem,” exploring the winter skies by merging science, mythology, religious observance, winter traditions and music, at 11 am, 1 pm and 2 pm. A holiday craft workshop will also be hosted in the Howell Classroom (lower level of the planetarium), and the museum’s 19th century seafaring village will be decorated for the holidays. Free admission will be given from 10 am to 4 pm with the donation of a canned food item. Visit www.mysticseaport.org for more information.