Central St., downtown Wellesley, Mass. during December
Rockport, Mass. Christmas Tree, Dock Square
SoWa Winter Festival at the SoWa Power Plant in 2021, South End, Boston, Mass.
Hayrides with Santa, Festival of Lights, Wickford, R.I.

So Many Holiday Shopping Events and Festivities in December, 2023!

After lockdowns in previous seasons, there is a big wave of holiday events this December throughout New England. Tree lightings, parades, special shopping days, artisan marketplaces, strolls, cookie tours, markets, Santa visits, concerts and lots of hot chocolate are offered to revelers participating in religious holidays and end of the year rituals. Many Scenic Shopping towns are among the beautiful towns that get decked out at this time of year and love to see you shop in their independent stores, boutiques and cafes. You can bundle up and venture out to enjoy this sparkly time of year in the unique shops and picturesque towns and cities that welcome locals and visitors alike. Although it would not be possible to attend them all, we have put together a list of events here. (More)

Santa and Mrs. Claus greeting visitors outside Mud Puddle Toys, Pleasant St., Marblehead, Mass.

Get in the holiday spirit! Here's a list of events and festivals coming up during December, on weekends and on multiple dates throughout the month. Check for last minute changes before venturing out, especially due to inclement weather.

For more details about shops, restaurants and inns, see our webpages for these Holiday Season loving towns: Wickford RI, Nantucket MA, Rockport MA, Hyannis MA, Marblehead MA, Concord MA, Newburyport, Chatham MA, Hingham MA, North Conway NH, Portsmouth NH, Providence RI, Newport RI, Portland MAINE


December Holiday Festivals

Dec. 1-3, 2023 weekend:

Wellesley Holiday Stroll and Scavenger Hunt, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023

Wickford Village Festival of Lights, Nov. 30-Dec. 3, 2023

Marblehead Christmas Walk, Nov. 30 - Dec. 3, 2023

Dec. 8-10, 2023 weekend:

Woodstock's (Vermont) Wassail Weekend, Dec. 8-10, 2023

Rockport, Mass. Holiday Shopping Night, Dec. 8, 2023, 4-9 p.m.

West Concord, Mass. Holiday Stroll, Dec. 9, 2023

Chatham, Cape Cod, Mass. Christmas by the Sea, Dec. 8-10, 2023

Monadnock Region, in southwest N.H., includes Jaffrey, Currier and Ives Cookie Tour, ticketed event (cash only), Dec. 9, 2023, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

North Conway, N.H. White Mountains Inn to Inn Cookie Tour, limited tickets, check in Dec. 8, tour Dec. 9-10, 2023

Dec. 15-17, 2023 weekend:

Rockport, Mass. Live Christmas Pageant, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023, 5 p.m.

Dec. 22-24, 2023 weekend:

Rockport, Mass. Last Minute Stocking Stuffer Weekend, Dec. 23-24, 2023

Events with Multiple Dates during the month of December, 2023:

Kennebunkport, Maine, Christmas Prelude, Nov. 30-Dec. 10, 2023

Christmas in Rockport 2023

Cape Ann, Mass. Winter Lights, Nov. 25, 2023-Jan. 1, 2024

Providence, R.I. Flea Holiday Markets, Fridays Nov. 24, Dec. 1, 8, and 15, 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m., and Sundays Nov. 26, Dec. 3, 10 and 17, 2023, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Portland, Maine, Merry Madness Kickoff, ticketed event, Dec. 9, 2023, 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., plus more events throughout December, 2023

Newburyport, Mass. Invitation Nights, Dec. 1, 8, and 15, 2023

Holly Jolly Hingham, Mass., Christmas in the Square, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023 5-8 p.m., Saturdays until Christmas, Nov. 25, Dec. 2, 9, and 23, 2023

Portsmouth, N.H. Candlelight Stroll at Strawbery Banke, advance tickets required, Dec. 2-3, 8-10, 15-17, 2023

Portsmouth, N.H. Vintage Christmas, December 2023

Jackson, N.H. Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour, ticketed event, weekends until December 17, 2023

Provincetown, Cape Cod, Mass. Canteen Holiday Market, Weekends in December, 2023

SoWa Winter Festival at the SoWa Power Plant, South End, Boston, Mass., admission fee $10 by cash or card at the door, Thurs.-Sun. in December until Dec. 17, 2023

Holiday Market at Snowport, Seaport District, Boston, Mass., outdoor market, Nov. 10 - Dec. 31, 2023

Looking Ahead to New Years Eve, December 31, 2023 - January 1, 2024:

Rockport (Massachusetts) New Year's Eve, Dec. 31, 2023-Jan. 1, 2024

First Night Chatham (Cape Cod, Massachusetts), Dec. 31, 2023

First Night Northampton 24 (Massachusetst), Dec. 31, 2023-Jan. 1, 2024

First Light Provincetown, (Cape Cod, Massachusetts), Dec. 28, 2023-Jan 1, 2024

First Night Portsmouth (New Hampshire), Dec. 31, 2023

Annual Christmas Nativity Pageant, Rockport, Mass.

Special shopping events in Scenic Shopping towns are delightful gatherings that are a nice way to show some love to small businesses while getting holiday shopping done. I hope this list helps you learn about new festivities, and find out when your favorite annual celebrations are scheduled in 2023. Enjoy your holidays!


-M.A. Barrett (December 2, 2022, updated December 13, 2023)




Motif No. 1 at Christmas in Rockport, Massachusetts
Wellesley Holiday Boutique, Central St., Wellesley, Mass.
Seaside Allure, women's clothing boutique on Pleasant St. during Marblead Christmas Walk
Tuck's Candy Factory at Christmas, Dock Square, Rockport, Mass.
Marblehead Christmas Walk, Atlantic Ave., downtown Marblehead, Mass.
Ladies of the Rolling Pin, dance group performing at Wickford Village Festival of Lights, 2019
Christmas Tree in downtown Rockport, Mass. in 2019