Holiday happenings around the region | Lifestyles

Emilee Geist

Wonderland of wreaths MARBLEHEAD — Marblehead Museum is hosting the second Annual Wonderland of Wreaths, now through Sunday, Dec. 5, at the museum, 170 Washington St. This festive holiday fundraiser is the work of local businesses, individuals, and museum members who’ve created and decorated 20 faux-themed wreaths. Each will be […]

Wonderland of wreaths

MARBLEHEAD — Marblehead Museum is hosting the second Annual Wonderland of Wreaths, now through Sunday, Dec. 5, at the museum, 170 Washington St. This festive holiday fundraiser is the work of local businesses, individuals, and museum members who’ve created and decorated 20 faux-themed wreaths. Each will be on display in the lower gallery at the museum. You can also see them online at You can also take home your favorite, or in an online silent auction for each wreath. Wreaths can be picked up Dec. 7. Learn more, see the wreaths, and bid online at All funds raised support the Marblehead Museum.

Christmas at Castle Hill

IPSWICH — Castle Hill at Christmas is a time-honored holiday tradition. This year’s Roaring-Twenties-themed decorations feature pearls, feathers, champagne glasses, and holiday elegance through the Crane family’s 1920s mansion. The piece de resistance, the dining room, is a feast for the eyes sure to make the day merry and bright. Dates are Fridays, Dec. 3, 10 and 17, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturdays, Dec. 4, 11 and 18, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sundays, Dec. 5, 12 and 19, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; and school vacation week Dec. 27- 31 and Jan. 2, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Timed entry will limit the number of guests for the comfort and safety of guests and staff. Masks a must. Castle Hill located on the Crane Estate, 290 Argilla Road, Ipswich. Trustees member or Ipswich resident: $15 adult and $9 child. Non-member: $25 adult and $15 child. Advance reservations are strongly recommended at:

‘Christmas in Salem’ tours

SALEM — Historic Salem Inc’s “Christmas in Salem” virtual house tour tickets, $35, are now available online at Experience holiday decorated homes, with music and a return of fresh wreath-making by the Salem Garden Club. The tour — “A Return to Tradition” — features eight homes — a historic and architectural mix of what makes Salem merry at the holidays, Dec. 4 and 5. The Salem Garden Club workshop/sales room will be open Dec. 4 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at First Church, 316 Essex St. All proceeds support Salem historic preservation in Salem. For more information, visit

‘Tis the season at MSB

MARBLEHEAD — The Marblehead School of Ballet (MSB) celebrates its annual Community Appreciation Week from Friday, Dec. 3, through Saturday, Dec. 11. On Saturday, Dec. 4, catch our dancers in Marblehead’s annual holiday parade starting at noon from Front Street and down State Street, Washington Street, 5 Corners, Atlantic Avenue, Pleasant Street. Special activities run from Friday, Dec. 3 through Saturday, Dec. 11, and the ballet’s drive continues to collect winter coats and pajamas to help neighbors in need during the COVID-19 pandemic now through Saturday, Dec. 11. Special promotions for new students Dec. 3 -11 and special promo codes for MSB’s online store.

Buttonwoods hosts Parade of Trees

HAVERHILL — More than 120 decorated Christmas trees, wreaths and centerpieces highlight the 20th annual Festival of Trees at the Buttonwoods Museum. The festival is open Wednesday through Sunday now until Dec. 12, which is the final day. The show is closed Dec. 6 and 7. Senior day is Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and features $1 off admission and a senior tea party from noon to 2 p.m. A nostalgia Christmas runs all day and a candlelight tour of the John Ward House is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Other events include a family day, a visit from Santa, a holiday gala celebration, art demonstrations, a ladies and educators night, a nostalgia Christmas, a candlelight tour of the John Ward House, a Colonial cooking demonstration, raffles, a coffeehouse concert and more. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for senior citizens, $3 for children ages 6 to 17, and free for children 5 and younger. Cash only please. Face masks are required and sanitization protocols and guidelines will be followed. All net proceeds raised during the Festival help maintain the museum properties and fund programming for all ages. For a schedule, visit

Festival of Trees in Salisbury

SALISBURY — A magical holiday wonderland of glittering trees by the sea will be held this weekend and next. Tree raffle, indoor ice skating, photos with Santa, visits with Elsa & Grinch, scavenger hunt, giant gingerbread house and special events are among the highlights. Enjoy the Holiday Tree Stroll of festively decorated trees and take in the giant gingerbread house – New England’s largest whimsical confectionary creation, designed and hand-built by Amesbury resident Jim Shalkoski, on display in Blue Ocean Event Center lobby. The giant sugary structure is constructed of edible gingerbread, candy, frosting and other colorful holiday sweets, while  playful characters and elves are created free-hand from modeling chocolate. There’s indoor skating on a faux ice rink – free with festival admission. Bring skates or rent a pair for $5/person. Children’s and adults’ sizes available. In addition to visits with the Snow Queen and The Grinch, little ones can meet with Santa to share their Christmas wishes. Donning his big red suit in a big red velvet chair, Santa poses for holiday photos. Children are invited to write their wish list on the Festival’s special Santa stationery and mail the letter in our authentic North Pole Express mailbox. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for kids under 5. No advance sales. Hours are Friday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.  Same schedule applied to Dec. 3-5. For more, go to

Light the Falls 2021 Holiday

METHUEN — “Light the Falls” is the first event for Merrimack Valley that focuses on bringing diversity, inclusion, technology and the arts together. This weekend – Friday, Saturday and Sunday – at 7 p.m. Downtown Methuen hosts a colorful light show and when possible, pop-up musical accompaniment and light refreshments. It’s slated to continue through Jan. 1, 2022. “Light the Falls”- located at 45 Osgood St. – is a collaborative public art space headed by nonprofit Arts Institute Group of the Merrimack Valley/Methuen Arts initiative in partnership with the City of Methuen, Olson Electric and the lighting architectural firm Lam Partners and partially funded by Essex County Community Foundation’s Creative County Initiative (CCI). 

Parade of Trees in Danvers

DANVERS — Since 2009, the Danvers Historical Society and sponsors have ushered in the holiday season with a walk through the annual Parade of Trees at Tapley Memorial Hall. Imaginative holiday tree and wreath designs are created by area businesses, residents and community groups, each with its own unique theme and style, as well as gifts and decorations, all of which is displayed for a week, then up for raffle to lucky winners. This year’s parade runs to Dec. 5. Join the fun with Santa and Mrs. Claus, ice cream social with Cotton Mill Café, and various musical performances. Stroll through the trees event from Tuesday, 2 to 7 p.m.; Wednesday, 2 to 8 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lucky winners announced by 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5. Winnings pick-up Monday, Dec. 6. For more information, visit

Hamilton’s Hometown Holidays

HAMILTON — The Community House, 284 Bay Road in Hamilton, is hosting visits with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 4, and Sunday, Dec. 5, this year. Chat with Santa and have family portraits taken by the fireplace in the festively decorated library. Social distancing will be observed, with families posing 6 feet from Santa, and space reserved for one party at a time. Admission per family is $50 and includes a digital photograph, special craft kit from Santa, hot cocoa, and cookie to go. Advanced reservations required at Please note: toy donations for Toys for Tots and food items for the Acord Food Pantry will be collected during this event. The December 4th date coincides with the new Winter Farmers Market, and holiday Boutique at Winthrop School. For more information, visit: for details.

YMCA’s Reindeer Run Dec. 5

BEVERLY — Join the YMCA’s Reindeer Run 5K and run, walk or prance through Beverly’s coastal roads and historic downtown. You may see Santa, his elves and others in festive costumes! Race starts on Dec. 5, at 10 a.m. at the First Baptist Church on the corner of Hale Street and Cabot Street. The course is dog and stroller friendly.


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