7 Festive Things to Do in Boston on Christmas Day

two kids with hot cocoa mugs in front on Christmas trees on Christmas day iStock

Whether you’re entertaining out-of-town guests or just quelling anxious kids, there are plenty of things to do on Christmas in Boston

Boston is one of those cities that’s as beautiful as it is busy all year round, and Christmas day is no exception. There’s always something fun to do with the family, whether it’s making new memories or simply spending time with the kids. So if you’ve had your fill of gatherings and present opening, why not get the kids in their jackets and hats and head on into the city for some chilly adventures on Christmas Day? We are certain these Boston Christmas Day activities will become family traditions in no time.

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1. See the Tree at Boston Common

The Boston Common Tree Lighting Ceremony has been a tradition since the 1940s. The tree is usually lit on the last Thursday of November and marks the start of the holiday season. Even if you missed the actual ceremony, there is no better time to visit the magnificent tree in the Common on Christmas Day with the kids. You’ll also have a nice view of Frog Pond, even though it’s closed for ice skating on Christmas.

115 Boylston St.

2. Grab Dinner in Chinatown

Not feeling the whole cooking thing on Christmas Day? We hear you! While most restaurants in Boston are closed for the holiday, you can bet that there are some great restaurants open on Christmas. Head over to Chinatown where you'll find restaurants that are serving up your favorite Chinese dishes, nice and hot. Some of our favorite spots are Hei La Moon and Dumpling Cafe. Just be sure to get there earlier than you expect dinner to be ready since Christmas is one of the busiest days for these restaurants. Or better yet, call in for some take-out to have your cozy meal at home.


3. Enjoy Lights at Christopher Columbus Park

Another beautiful display of lights that is sure to delight your little ones on Christmas day is the Holiday Trellis Lights at the Christopher Columbus Park. Though these lights are traditionally lit in late November, you can enjoy a walk through this dazzlingly lit park all winter while taking some memorable photos of your family.

110 Atlantic Ave.

4. Catch a Movie 

Take movies and cuddling to another level on Christmas Day and see a family movie at the AMC theater on Tremont Street in Boston. With some great films coming out soon, like Avatar: The Way of The Water or Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, your kids will be entertained for hours, and you can relax in the cozy, popcorn-y bliss. This is a great option if it’s extremely cold out on Christmas Day, but you still want to take the kids out. Make this even more fun by letting the family stay in their pjs at the theater for max comfort.

AMC Boston Common 19
175 Tremont St.


5. Take Selfies on The Freedom Trail

We’re all hoping for a white Christmas, right? The Freedom Trail in Boston makes for a wonderful walking adventure with the kids, with or without snow. But there’s no doubt this would be a great place for a few snowball fights on Christmas Day. Otherwise, a nice long walk on the trail and a few selfies taken with the family is time well spent.

Online: thefreedomtrail.org


6. Take a Day Trip to See the Lights on Cape Ann

If you’re feeling festive, but also in the mood for a long drive, then this one is a real treat for everyone. Take a day trip to Gloucester and the surrounding towns to see the 3rd annual Winter Lights along Cape Ann. Many local businesses will be decorated with lights for the entire month of December, and this year there will be a contest for the best light display. This is a great way to keep the kids snug in the car while also enjoying the holiday decorations put on by local towns. Just make sure to pack enough snacks and blankets for the ride.


7. Take a Staycation in Boston

Christmas is a time for giving something special and creating warm memories. One of the best ways is simply to take a well-deserved staycation. Whether you want to book a stay at one of the well-known hotels right in Boston for the Christmas weekend, or go the budget-friendly route and just stay at home, this is a great way to relax and reset before the new year (as much as the kiddos allow). Bring out the board games and make some cookies or hot chocolate and dance to some merry music in your living room. As long as your kids are smiling, you can be sure a staycation will become one of their best holiday memories.


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