By Seline Jung, Staff Writer
Boston during the winter holiday season is as bright, cheery and traditional as it gets, but there is so much more for those of us with an eclectic taste. From horse-drawn carriage rides through historic Beacon Hill to 24-hour improv comedy shows to half- naked Santa runs, the next few weeks in the Hub is jam-packed with activity. Below are ten holiday happening picks around town:
The Boston Common – Provided itʼs not too freezing outside the park is a lovely place to sit with a hot drink and get away from city life for a bit, and this Thursday, Nov. 29, there will be a big tree lighting spectacle. The Frog Pond is now also officially open for ice skating.
The Revere Hotel – Right by the Common is the Revere Hotel, where there is currently a gourmet hot chocolate pop-up store, “Pop It Like Itʼs Hot.” Grab a friend and a free cup of hot choco on a Friday afternoon and find a nice spot at the Frog Pond to watch some ice skaters fail.
Downtown Crossing – Not only is Downtown Crossing always usually a premier shopping spot, the largest holiday market in the area is happening every day until Dec. 24. Need last-minute holiday gifts? Find one-of-a-kind handmade goods from local artists, including homeware, clothing, jewelry and photos.
Newbury Street – Bostonʼs chicest street is packed with holiday activity this season. Dec. 8 will be a particularly busy day, with approximately 500 men and women expected to run down the street as a part of the Santa Speedo Run. The same day is also the annual “Holiday Stroll” in which retailers will be hosting events, giveaways and discount deals among free food, drink and entertainment.
Harvard Square – The annual Harvard Square Holiday Crafts Fair is not like any other crafts market. Apparently it is “more like a party where you can buy stuff,” according to its official website. The fair runs from Dec. 1 until the 23. It is open every Saturday and Sunday, as well as Friday’s starting Dec. 7 and weekdays beginning Dec. 18.
Boston Ballet – No holiday season is complete without a good show or two. The classic ballet “The Nutcracker” opens at the Boston Ballet, and runs until Dec. 31. For an adult alternative check out “The Slutcracker” at the Somerville Theatre, a burlesque retelling of Tchaikovskyʼs story. It has consistently sold out shows and scandalized audiences since it first started in 2008.
Royale Nightclub – Bostonʼs biggest night club is hosting an alternative music concert festival, “A Very GK! Holiday Festival.”
Improv Asylum Theatre – If you havenʼt been to this comedy club yet, you must this holiday season. Check out the official site for all event listings – a big one is the 24-hour improv show to benefit Globe Santa. There will apparently be celebrity guests throughout the night as well as live auctions. Laugh for a good cause on Dec. 7.
Citi Performing Arts Center – Feeling like a Grinch this holiday season? How about visiting Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical at the Citi Wang Theatre. The musical runs until Dec. 9.
Beacon Hill – This streets in this historic neighborhood will close for a few hours on Dec. 8 for the annual “Beacon Hill Holiday Stroll.” A perfect outing for time with family, there will be plenty of free music, horse-carriage rides, refreshments and even a tree lighting.
You can follow all of these Holiday Happenings in Boston via The Daily Free Press Foursquare account.
By Amira Francis, Staff Writer
Sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in the confines of Boston University’s campus. Sure, there’s a whole world out there, but BU is, well, comfy, convenient and safe. Why go out somewhere else to study and have a good time when you can curl up in your best friend’s dorm to eat and snooze, or visit Mugar Memorial Library to nestle down and plow through your homework?
Well, I’m here to remind you why. It’s refreshing, stimulating and healthy. It gives you a change of atmosphere. I’m going to talk about just a few obvious places that often get overlooked when deciding where to study or relax. Sometimes, it’s important to get away from the vibe of the BU campus and fall into something a little bit different.
The Garden: I’m sure you’ve been to the Boston Public Garden. But how often do you come here to have a full day of entertainment, relaxation or even studying? It’s easy to get caught up in a world of only college students, but when you come to the garden, you’re reminded that there’s a whole menagerie of people out there—people of different ages, with different ideas, from different backgrounds. It’s kind of nice to get out of the college scene and see all different walks of life.
You could use the garden for many different things. You could find a quiet spot to hit the books underneath one of the many willow trees around the park. You could use the time alone to stroll through the park and listen to the various musicians and performers along the path. You could come here with a group of friends and make it a day of adventure, trying out restaurants around the park or playing some sort of pick-up game. Be inspired to play your own music in the park. Decide to be a kid and climb one of the many trees it offers. Give a little money and love to the performers that are trying to share their talent with you.
Harvard Square: Okay, chances are you’ve been here too. If you haven’t, decide to make the trip! Harvard Square is a magical place, my friends. It’s filled with an intellectual buzz. You can find a cafe in nearly every other building you pass, and the square itself is always full of people—students, tourists and professors alike. There are a variety of things you can do in a day trip here, including bringing homework to cafe-hop with or going shopping at the local Urban Outfitters. There are always different events happening around the square that emanate creativity, too. Whether it’s a painter selling his art, a local playing guitar and singing, or two people dressed as historical figures giving tours, Harvard Square always has something interesting to offer.
Espresso Royale Caffe: If you don’t have quite the time or energy to get out of BU’s campus, there’s always a little niche called Espresso Royale waiting around the corner. Walking into the cute, comfortable cafe is basically like stepping into another world. The atmosphere changes, and suddenly you don’t feel like you’re at BU anymore. Dimly lit with indie music playing quietly in the background and a comforting aroma of coffee wafting through the air, Espresso Royale makes for a good getaway without straying too far from home. Here, you can always find friendly company, good conversation and a fresh cup of coffee. Perfect for stimulating your young college mind.
Whether your journey takes you far or keeps you close to home, be sure to switch it up often and journey outside to discover new hotspots! Boston has plenty to offer.
By Katie Doyle, Food Editor