When the snow starts falling, there are Christmas carols on the radio and there is a warm thermos of hot cocoa in the cup holder, take the family to see some of the best holiday light displays in New England to complete the sense of holiday enchantment. Whether in the city, the suburbs or in rural Massachusetts, there are beautiful lights that bring the magic of winter to every heart.
Christopher Columbus Park
Atlantic Ave. and Richmond St.
Boston, MA 02110
Each year this small park on the waterfront in Boston’s North End is beautifully lit during the holiday season. The park features a terrace that spans the length of the green and is illuminated with thousands of tiny blue bulbs in the winter. The simple beauty of the park, echoed by these lights, makes Christopher Columbus Park one of the most romantic outdoor locations in Boston – especially in the snow. It is no wonder that this setting is a favorite for marriage proposals.
Town of Saugus
Saugus, MA 01906
This working-class suburb just north of Boston has epic neighborhood Christmas lights each year. Some neighborhoods have such noteworthy lighting displays that they were featured on the Boston broadcast on NPR in 2011. The broadcast interviewed families that have such a “love for holiday lights, evidenced by their electricity bills, which rise by about $200 a month during the holiday season.” The locals say that the best place to catch the lights is along the Lynn Fells Parkway. Enjoy!
Blink! Light Show
1 Faneuil Hall Square
Boston, MA 02109
What is more fun than going to see one of Boston’s largest Christmas trees just outside Quincy Market? Over the past few years, Faneuil Hall has seriously upped the holiday light game with Blink!. Blink! is the synchronization of thousands of lights to classic holiday carols. Each hour after sunset, visitors are treated to the show, which has become such a large-scale production that the entire shopping center feels magical.
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Presidents Place Galleria
1250 Hancock St.
Quincy, MA 02169
Quincy is one of the most densely populated suburbs of Boston, which makes driving around to find lighting displays fun and easy on the gas tank. With neighborhoods so close and family-oriented, it is easy to picture children walking home from school and breaking out into snowball fights before going home and turning on their house’s Christmas lights when it gets dark. Quincy is also easily accessible by the T for those who don’t have cars and want to see suburban-style holiday lights. At the Presidents Place Galleria, visitors will be able to find the most extravagant holiday light setup – the town tree!
Davis Square Area
Somerville, MA 02143
While Davis Square is well known for its college kids and population of young professionals, there are actually quite a lot of families in the neighborhood who keep the tradition of holiday decorating alive. The ever-efficient Somerville residents make use of LED technology to make huge lighting displays with a tiny carbon footprint. In fact decorating for the holidays is now a bit cheaper than used to be with old incandescent bulbs. To see the best lights in town, start at Mansfield house on Grove Street in Davis Square, which has been long known as one of the best decorated houses around.
Cameron Bruns is the founder of BostonGreenBlog.com and co-author of Just Us Gals Boston. She lives in Boston’s North End, where her goal is to promote ethical, stylish, and sustainable lifestyle choices to all Boston residents. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.