Get Your Merry On
By Gretta Monahan
Get your calendars (advent or otherwise) out, guys. December is a whirlwind of a month, and time is at a premium. So let’s plan to jump on a few of the city’s sweet holiday activities while they’re here — because before we know it, we’ll be knee-deep in mid-January snow, wondering where the season went.
My hometown, Boston, has plenty of my favorite high-style events this season, and all are open to the public.
I can’t wait to bring my family over to Winter on the Wharf at Boston Harbor Hotel. It has a roster of cold-weather activities that revolve around the 2,500-square-foot ice skating rink, complete with gorgeous views of Boston Harbor and the city skyline from Rowes Wharf, under the rotunda. The rink is open until Feb. 21. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children. On Saturdays, kids skating lessons are offered, through February. Step inside the hotel for holiday dinners and special holiday teas to warm up.
Nearby, the Seaport’s already jumped into holiday merriment; its annual Boston Christmas Festival at the World Trade Center is underway. Swing by and count on being overwhelmed by 300-plus craftsmen from all over the country. It’s a great spot to get one-of-a-kind tree ornaments, holiday decorations, artisanal foods, handmade sweaters and other knits, and bazillion kinds of stocking stuffers. Entry for adults is $15, free for children younger than 14. Afterward, when the kids have started to say their feet hurt from too much shopping, grab lunch or dinner at one of the burgeoning neighborhood’s new restaurants.
Multitask your holiday giving and celebrating: I love making holiday shopping both a fun activity and a practical one, and buying for friends who celebrate different holidays. So I’m gearing up the family to go to Chrismukkah at SoWa. Tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday, the beloved South Boston market will get even craftier than usual with 90 artist studios, 60 boutiques and galleries, and 50 local artisans set up inside a 6,000-square-foot tent. Free for kids and grown-ups alike.
Even people who aren’t huge classical music fans tend to melt at holiday choral music, and Handel and Haydn Society’s chorus and children’s choral ensembles have got their back. They’ll both lead a sing-along of favorite holiday carols and songs, accompanied by a brass quintet in the Great Hall of Faneuil Hall on Dec. 12, 1 and 3 p.m.; $20 for adults, $15 for children 17 and younger. Handel and Haydn Society will perform on Dec. 17 at New England Conservatory.
And then, after all the work you’ve done running around town and baking or buying the kids every last pastry on earth, why not put them to work, too? Here’s your grand (and very fun) opportunity: The Holiday Cupcakes Class for Kids, with Christina Allen-Flores, the executive pastry chef at Royal Sonesta Boston in Cambridge, on Dec. 12 and 19 from 10 a.m. to noon.
It’s $20 per child, and the class is just for them, so we parents can go enjoy mimosas and breakfast at the adjoining restaurant, while the wee ones decorate the holiday heck out of those cupcakes.