Top image credit: jackdarylphotography
The holidays are here, and Boston is aglow. For visitors and residents alike, it’s time to explore Boston’s beautiful array of festively festooned landmarks and neighborhoods. And in Boston, these exquisite evening illuminations are not just scattered about, for they provide wayfinding that will bring you to some of the city’s most iconic areas for basking in holiday lights. Follow us on the Holiday Lights Trail!
Commonwealth Avenue: Victorian brownstones surround you as you walk along the famous Commonwealth Avenue Mall past statues of Hamilton, Abigail Adams, and Samuel Eliot Morrison. Behold the enchanting white lights delicately suspended from trees along the Mall, floating on all sides as you make your merry march from Back Bay to the Public Garden.
Public Garden: George Washington has never looked so grand. There he sits, perfect posture atop his mount, with sparkling hues of whites and blues in the background creating an incomparable holiday composition. Stroll over to the ducklings and look upon Charles Street as it will only appear this time of year. Cross over Charles and enter America’s oldest public park.
Boston Common: The Boston Common is a winter wonderland: lights adorn the trees, a skating rink comes into view, and the wafting smell of hot chocolate conjures memories of holiday’s past. The majestic Tree for Boston suddenly appears before you, a commemorative spruce that comes to Boston every December to memorialize a 100-year bond formed between the citizens of Boston and Halifax, Nova Scotia after the Great Halifax Explosion of 1917.
Skip down School Street, or walk along Winter, and Downtown Crossing welcomes you. Decorated holiday trees align the streets and alleyways transform into groves. Washington Street shines like a corridor out of a Christmas book as you stroll past the Macy’s holiday tree and approach the plaza across from the Old South Meeting House, which is at once scintillating and serene. Find the lights of Court Street and you have arrived at the next stop on our Trail.
City Hall Plaza
Boston Winter has returned to City Hall Plaza. Shop in a European-style holiday market and take a twirl out on the serpentine skating rink that weaves a sinuous path around the market. Holiday lights are aplenty as you explore the newest addition to Boston’s holiday scene. Stroll down the steps and across Congress Street and you enter one of Boston’s oldest locales.
Every evening a spectacular light show aptly dubbed Blink! pulsates through the marketplace as hundreds of thousands of LED lights twinkle to the tunes of the Holiday Pops. White lights line the trees on all sides of the historical marketplace. As you approach the eastern end of Quincy Market the tallest holiday tree in Boston comes into view. Against the backdrop of Boston’s iconic Custom House, the Faneuil Hall tree is a must-see over the holidays Boston.
Columbus Park Trellis:
As you cross the Greenway and approach the waterfront, a shimmering of blue begins to appear, coalescing into curved vinery prominently placed at the center of Christopher Columbus Park. The Trellis shines on all sides but you must walk straight through it. Allow the holiday spirit to overtake you through osmosis. As you exit, Boston Harbor is there before you, shining under a bright moon.