Ever since I was a small child, I’ve loved finding the best places to see holiday lights. Whether it was riding around my sleepy hometown of Cheshire, Connecticut to enjoy the beautiful home lighting displays or taking a trip to New York City to enjoy the tree at Rockefeller Center, Christmas lights have always been a big part of the holidays for me!
Beyond the festively decorated window boxes and urban gardens that grace the streets of the Back Bay, South End, and Beacon Hill, the city of Boston has a handful of fantastic holiday light traditions during the Christmas season. During the last week of November, the city transforms into a winter wonderland, and it seems that there are white lights twinkling in every direction!
If you’re planning to visit Boston during the holiday season, or live in this fantastic city and want to create your own unofficial holiday light tour to get into the Christmas spirit, I’ve rounded up my favorite places to see holiday lights in Boston!
The A-Lyst for Christmas Lights in Boston
One of the more “hidden” Christmas light displays in Boston is provided by Community Boating on the Charles River. Each holiday season, the sailing center decorates and lights up a small sailboat and puts it on a dock located near Longfellow Bridge. If you visit at twilight, you can capture an amazing photo of the lit up boat with the Prudential Center in the distance. TIP: After taking a walk on the Esplanade to view these Christmas lights, stop by the Liberty Hotel for a cocktail. They have the most amazing display of upside down Christmas trees hanging from the ceiling in their lobby!
During the holiday season, the iconic trellis in the North End’s Christopher Columbus Park is set aglow with 50,000 blue lights! The glistening blue hue transforms the 260 feet of trellis into an almost wonderland-like tunnel that you either can walk under or enjoy from afar. Each year, I love taking a photo of the lit trellis with the Custom House Tower looming in the distant background. Boston at its finest!
Boasting the largest tree in the Northeast (it measures 85 feet!), Faneuil Hall Marketplace is one of the most festive spots in Boston during the holiday season. Throughout the month of December, visitors can enjoy the Blink! LED light and sound show, which runs every half hour (4:30p.m.- 10:30p.m.), and features thousands of Christmas tree lights that are synchronized to holiday music. This is by far the most exciting (and lively!) holiday decor in Boston!
Each winter the trees that line the 32 acre stretch of land running down the center of Commonwealth Avenue in Boston’s Back Bay are decorated and lit up with twinkling white lights. It’s truly picture perfect and my favorite holiday light scene in Boston! What’s even better is that this beautiful sight is made possible by The Committee to Light Commonwealth Avenue, which is comprised of community support and donations. On a snowy winter night, there’s nothing more romantic than a stroll down the Commonwealth Avenue Mall under a canopy of lights!
This is by far the most colorful collection of lights in Boston! Beyond the Common’s Christmas tree, which hails all the way from Nova Scotia, almost all of the trees in the park are lit in different colors (think blue, green, purple, and so on). For little kids who adore the bright, Crayola-colored lights, this should be your first stop. Not to mention, you can complete your trip to the Boston Common with ice skating on Frog Pond, or if you fancy a hot cocoa (spiked or not spiked!), don’t miss the scrumptious selection at the nearby Avery Bar in The Ritz-Carlton, Boston!
The A-Lyst is a Boston-based lifestyle blog curating the very best of style, beauty, food, and travel.