| Wicked Local
HOLIDAY ART DISPLAY: The “From Russia with Art Holiday” exhibit will be on display at The Picture Place, 320A Harvard St., Brookline, through Dec. 30.
The exhibition is open from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays.
The exhibition is curated by Olesya and Jerry Koenig and Tom Coppi. Masks and social distancing are required. Etchings, oil paintings and mixed media will be on display.
Featured artists are Anatoly Dverin, Alexander Korman, Misha Lenn, Stanislav Nikireev, Alexander Vetrov, Irena Makoveeva, George Lapchinsky and Vladimir Vorobyov.
MAGIC OF LIGHTS: Gillette Stadium and FunGuys Events have announced that tickets are now on sale.
The Magic of Lights drive-through lights experience will be at Gillette Stadium daily from Nov. 13 through Jan. 2, 2021, and features holiday-themed light displays using the latest LED technology and digital animations. Guests will enjoy the brand new drive-through Blizzard Tunnel and Magic of Lights favorites including the 12 Days of Christmas, Winter Wonderland and the Night Before Christmas, all from the safety of their own vehicle.
Magic of Lights and Gillette Stadium staff will be on-hand to ensure all proper social distancing guidelines are being followed. Information: https://MagicOfLights.com/.
CHRISTMAS BY CANDLELIGHT: Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge. Tickets now on sale. This annual event has been re-imagined in 2020 with safety in mind, taking many favorite activities outdoors. Guests can see demonstrations of classic Christmas projects like knitting stockings, wreath-making, natural ornament-making and more, and watch as costumed interpreters create a traditional Christmas meal or work on special projects such as making ice skates or a sled from scratch. A horse-drawn carryall (a large wagon) will run throughout the Village offering rides and several bonfires will be lit throughout the night to warm up beside.
A returning favorite of the event, visitors are invited to stroll the Christmas Tree Trail – new in 2019 – featuring dozens of sparkling, decorated trees. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the Common, the trail welcomes wanderers in to enjoy the sights, ending at the special Christmas Wish Bridge.
Several dates during December offer additional activities for guests – including Members’ Shopping Nights on Dec. 4-6 and the firing of OSV’s 24-foot kiln for the second time this year, on Dec. 18-20. The 15,000-brick kiln found outside of OSV’s Pottery Shop can fit approximately 1,000 pieces of pottery stacked 10-feet high within its walls. It is a fan favorite among many visitors who come to the Village.
Also, the annual Gingerbread House Contest is going virtual. Participants from near and far can register to compete in one of four categories (adult non-professional, adult professional, youth and family) by Nov. 30. Photos of the Gingerbread House entries will be judged in each category, awarding a winner and runner-up, with “Best in Show House” voted on by the general public. Winners will receive a gift certificate to Old Sturbridge Village.
Tickets for the event are on sale now to members at the discounted rate of $20 for adults and $10 for youth (ages 4-17). Tickets are now on sale at $22 for adults and $11 for youth (ages 4-17). Admission is free for children age 3 and under. Tickets must be purchased in advance for the date and time of attendance. Visit https://www.osv.org/event/christmas-by-candlelight-2020/ for available dates and time blocks, along with current Massachusetts and visitor guidelines around COVID-19.
NEW ENGLAND HARVEST FEAST: Plimoth/Pawtuxet, 137 Warren Ave., Plymouth, Nov. 21, 22, 25 and 27. An evening of entertainment and hospitality awaits you as you sit down to a 17th century meal filled with the finest food that this season of plenty has to offer. For information on this and over events at the plantation, visit https://www.plimoth.org/
CRAFT BOSTON HOLIDAY SHOW: The Society of Arts + Crafts has announced its inaugural CraftBoston Holiday Online, seven-week festival from Nov. 12 through Dec. 31. Information: https://societyofcrafts.org/.
“LIGHT FROM AFAR:” Nov. 26-Jan. 3, La Salette Shrine, 947 Park St., Attleboro. Nightly from 5-9 p.m. For details and updates, visit https://lasaletteattleboroshrine.org/christmas-festival
POLAR EXPRESS: Cape Cod Central Railroad, 252 Main St., Hyannis; 70 Main St., Buzzards Bay, Nov. 27-Dec. 23. Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, passengers will relive the magic of the classic story as they are whisked away on the Polar Express for a 60- to 90-minute trip to meet Santa.
Once on board, the conductor will work his way through the coach and punch golden tickets. Hot chocolate and a cookie will be served by dancing chefs and they will lead in sing-alongs of popular Christmas carols. Cookies will be freshly baked then individually wrapped in sealed packages.
Passengers are invited to read along with the classic children’s book “The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburg.
Santa and his elves board the train at the North Pole to greet passengers and each guest is given the first gift of Christmas. Each child will take home a keepsake sleigh bell and souvenir golden ticket in addition to the wonderful memories made on this magical trip.
For information on tickets and safety protocols, visit https://www.capetrain.com/rides/the-polar-express-train-ride/
WINTERLIGHTS: The Trustees of Reservations has announced the return of Winterlights, the popular, immersive holiday light display now in its third year that brings joy to tens of thousands of people. The event will take place at two beloved Trustees’ properties — Naumkeag in Stockbridge, and the Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate in Canton.
The displays will run Tuesdays through Sundays between Nov. 27 and Jan. 2 from 4:30-8:30 p.m. at both locations. Naumkeag will also host the event on two additional Mondays (Dec. 21 and 28) from 4:30-8:30 pm. Both garden properties will sparkle with hundreds of thousands of lights along with food, refreshments, and more to make for a magical experience for all.
Due to COVID restrictions, adjustments will be made to keep guests and staff safe during the events. The number of people allowed on the premises will be reduced for safety reasons and in accordance with recommended guidelines, and those wishing to attend must purchase online tickets in advance at https://thetrustees.org/program/winterlights/. Masks are required while on the property for anyone older than two; social distancing should take place at all times; guests will experience Winterlights on a one-way path and should limit their stay to one hour; and all parking will be on-site with no shuttle buses.
Tickets for members are already on sale and nonmembers can purchase tickets by visiting https://thetrustees.org/program/winterlights/. Prices for adults are $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers on Fridays and Saturdays, $15 for members and $20 for nonmembers Sundays through Thursdays, and children ages 3-17 are $5 for members and $10 for nonmembers. Kids 2 and younger are free. People with questions about the event can email [email protected]
FESTIVAL OF TREES: Nov. 27-Dec. 20, Mass. Horticultural Society at Elm Bank, 900 Washington St., Wellesley. Mostly displayed in the Hunnewell Building, the festival offers beautifully decorated holiday trees that are donated and decorated by local businesses, garden clubs and other organizations, and individuals. Visitors “vote” with their raffle tickets, selecting the tree(s) they would like to win at the end of the event.
Tree sizes vary from 1 foot to 9 feet in height, and some have gifts in addition to the decorations. This year there will also be a virtual festival in addition to the physical display.
Another and totally different experience is provided by Snow Village, an indoor exhibit occupying a whole room. This large display features model trains wending their way through villages and vignettes, including Christmas in the City (Boston of course), Fenway Park, a Dickensian village, the North Pole and hundreds of decorated houses and lights. There are too many Santas to count as well as skaters galore. This is a visual treat for young and old alike and each year it is a little different.
Timed-entry tickets must be purchased in advance. In strict observance of all COVID protocols, visitors will be escorted through the festival in small groups.
The schedule will be Wednesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., with the last entry at 6:20 p.m. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Information: https://masshort.org/festival-of-trees/
WINTER LIGHTS DISPLAY: Nov. 27 through Jan. 1, 4-10 p.m. daily. Mark your calendars to pack up the family and head up to Cape Ann for our Winter Lights Display. More than 70 buildings will be lit up throughout Cape Ann to help us all celebration the joys of the season. A Drive- Map will be produced, highlighting Rockport, Gloucester, Essex and Manchester’s participating companies and offered to all for an enchanting exhibit. More to come on this event; https://www.discovergloucester.com/
ZOOLIGHTS: Stone Zoo, 149 Pond St., Stoneham, Nov. 27-Jan. 3, 4-9:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). ZooLights, presented by National Grid, is set to dazzle visitors of all ages this holiday season. This winter wonderland will take you on a one-way stroll through the zoo, along tree-lined paths lit by twinkling lights. Spanning the zoo’s 26 acres, walk through the beautifully lit Yukon Creek and see black bears, a bald eagle, Canada lynx, arctic foxes, and even reindeer. This year, experience that magic of several beautiful large-scale lantern displays around the Zoo, lighting up the night sky. While Santa will be too busy at the North Pole to attend ZooLights this year, our bright nights of sparkling lights are sure to get everyone in the holiday spirit. Information: https://www.zoonewengland.org/engage/zoolights/
WINTER WONDERLAND: Southwick’s Zoo, 2 Southwick Road, Mendon, Nov. 27-Jan. 3, Wednesdays through Sundays, 4:30-8:30 p.m. (closed Mondays and Tuesdays). The Winter Wonderland Drive Thru tour will take guests through the Frozen Forest where they may spot a few our of fallow deer. Guests will also drive through Whoville to encounter the Grinch himself.
Park your vehicle, either before or after your Drive Thru tour, and stroll through Santa’s Enchanted Village. Here guests can enjoy a socially distanced meet and greet with Santa Claus as well as entertainment, interactive musical lights, and more. Concessions will be available in this area, so be sure to warm up with a hot toddy or smores.
The Purple Peacock Gift Shop will be open for holiday shopping, so be sure to stop by for gifts and to say hello to Mrs. Claus. Galliford’s Restaurant & Tavern will also be open and offering holiday themed food and drink specials. Information: https://southwickszoo.com/2020-winter-wonderland/
CASTLE HILL ILLUMINATED: THE LONGEST NIGHT: Nov. 28, 5-8 p.m., Castle Hill, 290 Argilla Road, Ipswich. Experience the magic of the Winter Solstice as a multisensory experience in the landscape. The 40-minute show featuring music, narration, and lights will take you from scene to scene around the exterior of the Great House.
Warm up by our campfires while you wait for your show to start. Hot chocolate and coffee available for purchase. Visit the pop-up holiday gift shop for select Castle Hill and Crane Beach merchandise.
Reservations are required. Admission is by show start time (5 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 6 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.). Arriving 15-30 minutes before start time is highly recommended. We cannot guarantee that latecomers can be accommodated due to limited space per show. Warm clothing and boots are recommended. Masks are required. Information: https://thetrustees.org/event/57623/
FAMILY HOLIDAY STROLL AND FESTIVE PARADE OF TREES: Dec. 3-20, Stevens-Coolidge Place, 137 Andover St., North Andover. Instead of hosting Winterlights this year, this smaller event will incorporate beautiful lights and festive trees decorated by local businesses and organizations. In the spirit of giving, this community event includes a food drive.
This intimate seasonal event features 24 decorated trees nestled in a designed lightscape on our grounds. Enjoy a stroll through the twinkling lights and then, in a unique twist this year, program participants can vote for their favorite decorated Holiday Tree while helping families of Neighbors in Need. Please bring a canned good to leave at your favorite tree as your vote. For 35 years, Neighbors In Need has served at-risk families and youth in Greater Lawrence by providing healthy food to over 850 families a week.
The Ashdale Farms Snack Shack with be open with refreshments available for purchase during your visit.
This program follows strict COVID-19 safety guidelines. Space is limited; pre-registration required. Face masks required while on site. Information: https://thetrustees.org/event/58600/
CHRISTMAS WREATHS AND MORE: Dec. 5, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., First Parish of Westwood, 252 Nahatan St. In adherence to new safety standards, masks and social distancing are required at this outdoor event. Wreaths and handmade knits will be available for purchase. There will also be a silent auction. No food and jewelry offerings; however, members of the community will be invited to bring a decorated gingerbread house. Prizes will be awarded. Information: https://www.firstparishwestwood.org/
GINGERBREAD HOUSE DECORATING CONTEST: Seasoned and aspiring gingerbread house decorators of all ages will come together online to battle for the sweetest creation at The Home for Little Wanderers’ annual Gingerbread House Decorating Competition on Dec. 6. Participants will receive a gingerbread house, a decorating kit, cookies, selfie props, and chefs hats and aprons.
Participants will have two days to decorate their houses, culminating in a virtual gathering on Dec. 6, where decorators can show of their sweet creations. All entries will be posted on The Home’s Facebook page for public voting. Winners will be announced at 6 p.m. Eastern time on the evening of the event. Visit http://www.thehome.org/site/PageNavigator/news_events_gingerbread.html to learn more and register for the event.
LUMINARY NIGHT: The Wellesley Hills Junior Women’s Club announced a new fundraiser for 2020, “Wellesley Home for the Holidays.” One element of this fundraiser, Luminary Night, has been scheduled for Dec. 11 (rain date Dec. 13), where the WHJWC will rekindle a winter tradition to brighten up the town. On Luminary Night, residents and local businesses are encouraged to line their front walks and driveways with the soft glow of candle-lit lanterns, a unifying site that can be safely enjoyed from a distance. The prepackaged kits of 10 luminaries will be available for purchase via http://www.whjwc.org/. New this year, a reusable tote bag will complement each kit. Kits with totes are $30, with the option of purchasing additional kits of 10 luminaries for $20. Proceeds will benefit the club’s scholarship fund.
VIRTUAL TEA WITH SANTA: Gore Place, 52 Gore St., Waltham, Dec. 19 and 20, 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Santa will be broadcasting live from the Carriage House right to your home. Sign up early and get some recipes for sugar cookies and spiced cocoa. Play games, sing songs and hear a story or two. The cost will be $20 per household. Tickets must be purchased by Dec. 18 at 3 p.m. For information, visit https://goreplace.org/.
OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD: More than 4,000 locations nationwide will now offer a curbside drop-off option for the Samaritan’s Purse project, Operation Christmas Child. Volunteers are preparing to collect shoebox gifts during National Collection Week, Nov. 16-23.
Operation Christmas Child has been collecting and delivering shoebox gifts — filled with school supplies, hygiene items and fun toys — to children worldwide for more than two decades. This is a project that everyone can still be a part of, even with COVID-19 restrictions.
For information, including how to pack a shoebox and local dropoff locations, visit https://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/
CANNED FOOD DRIVE: CambridgeSide has launched its annual canned food drive, benefiting The Salvation Army of Cambridge, through Nov. 18. As coronavirus continues to affect our local community, the much-needed donations will be used for Thanksgiving baskets to local families living in Cambridge, Somerville and Arlington.
Suggested donation items include: baking mixes, canned vegetables, stuffing mix, potato mix, pie filling and crust mix, cranberry sauce, gravy, pie and roasting pans, baby food, freezer bags and more. Donations can be dropped off at the Welcome Center on Level 1. New this year, online donations will also be accepted. For more information or to make an online donation, visit https://www.cambridgeside.com/.
TURKEYS FOR VOTES: AMVETS Post 79 and the American Veterans Recreation Association (Camp Arrowhead) will again sponsor the annual Turkeys for Vets program. Free turkeys and dressings will be provided to local veterans for Thanksgiving as a way to say “thank you for your service.”
To reserve a turkey or gift card, veterans should contact John Clancy at [email protected] or 617-505-7494. Reservation of your choice is required.
Veterans should respond before noon on Nov. 19, indicating whether they want a frozen turkey and/or a $20 gift card to Roche Bros., Stop & Shop or Wegman’s.
Any Metrowest area veteran who would like to receive a turkey and a gift card must come to the post off Superior Drive on Nov. 21 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Any current veteran member of the post may request that a gift card be mailed to them.
This offer is NOT based on economic needs, so veterans should not hesitate to respond to this offer.
People who would like to make a financial donation to support this event should send a check, made out to the Natick AMVETS Post 79, to Natick AMVETS, P.O. Box 291,Natick MA 01760, or make a tax-deductible donation online at https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/turkeys-for-vets2
CONTACT-FREE THANKSGIVING FEAST: The Brookline Rotary is working with several local restaurants to provide turkey dinners with all the fixings. Donations will also be accepted for the Brookline Food Pantry. All orders and donations must be made by Nov. 18. For information, visit https://brooklinerotary.org/ or call 617-963-0901.
PIE IN THE SKY: Pie in the Sky is changing things up for 2020, including outdoor pickup sites. The pie pickup date will be Nov. 24. Proceeds benefit Community Servings, which helps critically ill neighbors in need. For information on how to order, as well as special deals, visit https://www.pieinthesky.org/
GIFTS FOR KIDS HOLIDAY CAMPAIGN: Gifts for Kids, a local nonprofit organization, announced the launch of its holiday gift giving campaign. This year’s goal is to raise $150,000 by Dec. 4 to help provide gifts for children in need in Norfolk County.
Due to the pandemic, the organization is collecting monetary donations only, which will be used to purchase gift cards. The gift cards will be distributed to social service agencies, who will then share them with families in need on behalf of Gifts for Kids. Though different from past years’ individual gift-giving, gift cards empower parents and guardians to shop and select gifts for their families.
To donate to Gifts for Kids, community members can:
Visit Gifts for Kids website at https://www.giftsforkidsma.org/ and click DONATE.
Visit Gifts for Kids Facebook page at facebook.com/GiftsForKids and click DONATE.
Send a donation to @GiftsForKidsMA on Venmo.
Mail a check payable to Gifts for Kids to PO Box 464, Sharon, MA 02067.
Text GFK to 202-858-1233.
CRADLES TO CRAYONS: Through the “Gear Up for Winter” initiative, the organization will provide over 63,000 local children in need with the necessary clothing to stay safe and healthy this winter season. In the current COVID-19 environment, with a growing number of families struggling to provide basic necessities for their children, Cradles to Crayons finds this initiative’s impact to be more critical than ever.
Cradles to Crayons is stepping up to assist local families by providing new and like-new winter coats, hats, gloves, shoes, and warm clothing in preparation for the coming months. The organization’s individually tailored “Winter Outfit Packs” equip children with outerwear and a week’s worth of clothing so that they can remain safe and healthy.
The organization will also host its annual fundraising Un-Gala event as part of this winter initiative, this year going by the name Un-Gala @ Home, as they take the necessary steps to provide an engaging virtual event. People looking to learn more about Un-Gala @ Home, or how to provide Cradles to Crayons with needed items this winter, can visit https://www.cradlestocrayons.org/boston/.