Back Bay Boston is a holiday wonderland. 12 tips for your most memorable season yet.

For a holiday experience that feels like spending time in a giant magical snow globe, Back Bay Boston is the place to be, and Newbury Guest House puts you in walking distance of the most festive destinations in town. Plan your visit, and make sure these ones are on your holiday list!

Bundle up and visit a holiday market. Boston holiday markets are a truly special combination of traditional European Christmas Markets and New England craft fairs. Grab a hot chocolate or mulled wine and stroll the brightly decorated booths of local artisans offering unique handmade gifts, art, and specialty holiday foods while enjoying entertainment and plenty of activities for kids. If you’re looking to boost your spirits and wrap up your holiday shopping with uncommon finds, put at least one market visit on your list. A couple of our favorites: 

The Boston Seaport “Snowport” Market (November 11 through January 2) features 120+ specialty vendors selling art, jewelry, home goods, apparel, gifts, and crafts, as well as games like iceless curling and a tree lighting ceremony on December 2.

For one day only (December 3), The Old South Church Christmas Fair showcases the best work of 30 New England artisans and artists. Sought-after items include fine art, blown glass, jewelry, knits, and ceramics. Your browsing will be accompanied by live holiday music courtesy of the prestigious Boston Conservatory Brass.

If you like your holidays with a bit of history, take the Holiday Freedom Trail Stroll (November 18 - December 31) and learn how Boston’s holiday traditions evolved. Your guides’ costumes are straight out of a Dickens novel, and the Trail is lined with holiday lights and Christmas trees.

No proper holiday trip is complete without a performance of The Nutcracker, and Boston Ballet's (November 24 - December 31) is one of the best – and a local holiday family tradition. Get lost in the Land of the Sweets to beautiful dancing and Tchaikovsky’s enchanting score. To make the outing even more special, pre-game with holiday high tea at the Boston Public Library’s gorgeous Courtyard Tea Room and Map Room Tea Lounge. During the holiday season, their menu of fancy delicacies gets even fancier with special petit fours, red velvet bunt cake and gingerbread buddies.

For music lovers, the beloved Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra Holiday Pops Concert alone is worth the trip to town. Delight in the performance of their signature (and very New England) Sleigh Ride, new arrangements of seasonal favorites, and the beautifully decorated concert hall, and then (because you won’t be able to resist) join in the finale’s Boston Pops Holiday Sing-along.

Or take the festivities to the high seas on Yacht Manhattan’s Cocoa & Carols Cruise. Carol to your heart’s content to live music in toasty comfort while you enjoy complimentary hot chocolate or a curated holiday drink. And be sure to hit the top deck for spectacular views of the city shoreline dressed in dazzling holiday lights. 

You can see giant lighted trees throughout town, but we wouldn’t invite you to Boston for the holidays if we didn’t have a tree lighting ceremony for you – or two or five. If you’re in town early, one of the best happens November 30. The star of the Boston Common Tree Lighting Ceremony is a special tree sent as a gift from Nova Scotia, but Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Rudolph, and Santa will also be on hand to flip the switch on 7,000 lights, which trigger the lights on more than 80 trees throughout the Common and Public Gardens. While you’re at the Common, up the magic with outdoor ice skating on Frog Pond, surrounded by all those lights. 

If you want to take in holiday lights at your own pace you won’t find a more picturesque destination than our own historic Back Bay neighborhood. Stroll Commonwealth Avenue and Marlborough Street and marvel at Victorian mansions decked in gorgeous lights and decorations – and be sure to watch for carolers. 

And do not miss eight blocks of glittering store windows along on our very own postcard-ready Newbury Street, the city’s premiere upscale retail and dining destination in the Back Bay’s residential brownstone district. Newbury Guest House is right in the center of it, which means you’ll return to our welcoming fire, fine wine selection and festively decorated lobby (our tree has been the backdrop for many a family holiday card photo) in no time. Book now for a stay – and a season – you’ll remember forever.