8+ Things to Do Around Boston This Winter

The holiday season is here, which means we have plenty of festivities to keep us busy and cheery. Thankfully, the fun isn’t limited to seasonal celebrations—we can look forward to a variety of educational and interactive events all winter long.

While short, cold days can make it more difficult to get out on the town, these events around Boston are well worth the trouble. Here are our top picks for things to do this winter.

Winterlights at the Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate

Friday, Nov. 22 through Sunday, Dec. 29 | Event Details

Trustees’ Winterlights returns and is bigger and better than ever. Join us for magical experiences at three of our beautiful garden properties, Naumkeag in Stockbridge, The Stevens-Coolidge Place in North Andover, and new this year Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate in Canton, as they sparkle with thousands of shimmering and artfully designed holiday lights. Bring the family for scavenger hunts, crafts, seasonal characters and experiences, food and refreshments, and more. Winterlights runs multiple evenings each week starting the weekend before Thanksgiving and running through the end of December.

Annual Candle Lighting Service at Story Chapel Visitor Center

Thursday, Dec. 19 | Event Details

The annual Candle Lighting Service, held each December by the Friends of Mount Auburn Cemetery, provides the opportunity to remember all of the loved ones no longer with us. Join us in the Story Chapel for this seasonal program of words and music. During the service, you will have the opportunity to light a candle in honor of someone you wish to remember.

Hanukkah Happens: The Lighter Side at Temple Emanuel

Tuesday, Dec. 24 | Event Details

Temple Emanuel’s annual Hanukkah Happens concert, with guest soloist Cantor Elias Rosemberg, is titled “Zamir on the Lighter Side,” featuring songs for the holiday (both serious and funny), works by Frank Loesser and Kurt Weill, parody songs by Allan Sherman and the American-Israeli Jewish rock band Schlock Rock, as well as Israeli, Yiddish, and Ladino songs.

The New England Auto Show at the Boston Convention Center

Thursday, Jan. 16 through Tuesday, Jan. 20 | Event Details

It’s the biggest auto show in New England… and the perfect place to see hundreds of new and vintage cars! Located at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in the Seaport District, the New England International Auto Show is the premier showcase of imported and domestic vehicles — cars, vans, crossovers, hybrids, light trucks and sport utilities. Come sit in the cars, pop the hoods, inspect the trunks, kick the tires. The New England International Auto Show is great entertainment for serious shoppers, car buffs and the entire family!

Harvard Pilgrim’s 10th Annual MLK Brunch and Service Day

Monday, Jan. 20 | Event Details

On Monday, January 20, Harvard Pilgrim will once again host In Recognition of Service MLK Brunch and Service Day to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As its 10th year, this annual celebration brings members of the community and Harvard Pilgrim employees together to participate in an on-site service project and brunch as well as hear voices from community influencers.

Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston: Up Close Series

Sunday, Feb. 9 and Sunday, March 29 | Event Details

The Up Close series gives you the opportunity to see and hear Chameleon’s superb artists featured in recitals including our hallmark mix of classic, neglected and contemporary works. Enjoy complimentary refreshments in an intimate cabaret setting with table seating. Artistic Director Deborah Boldin hosts the program, sharing commentary and her unique insight into each work. Please note: this season’s Up Close series will be held at Mary Norton Hall on the 2nd floor of Old South Church while the Goethe-Institute is under renovation.

Death Café at the Fenway Community Center

First Meeting: Thursday, Feb. 27 | Event Details

Welcome to a lively, friendly roundtable conversation about death. Death Café is a movement that started in Switzerland in 2004 and has spread all over the world (with thousands of Death Cafés held in 33+ countries to date). The idea is to bring people together over tea and chocolate cake and, by putting death squarely on the table, help each of us make the most of our lives. Participants say that the experience is meaningful, therapeutic and often very joyful. RSVP is requested for space and cake considerations.

Author Helen Fremont at Brookline Booksmith

Tuesday, Feb. 11 | Event Details

In the tradition of Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home or George Hodgman’s Bettyville, Fremont writes with wit and candor about growing up in a household held together by a powerful glue: secrets. Her parents, profoundly affected by their memories of the Holocaust, pass on a penchant for keeping their lives neatly–even obsessively–compartmentalized, as well as a zealous determination to protect themselves from the dangers of the outside world.