Holiday Happenings in Central MA


Posted: November 10, 2021


Central Mass. serves as the perfect getaway during every season, but perhaps most notably throughout the holidays. For day trippers from Boston, Central Mass. is conveniently accessible from several major highways and train stops, with Worcester at the center of it all. For those traveling by plane, Worcester boasts its very own airport and is just a drive away from Boston Logan International. If you’re visiting this holiday season, here’s what’s happening in the hub.  

Holiday Happenings in Worcester  

A Christmas Carol at The Hanover Theatre

An Adaptation of A Christmas Carol at The Hanover Theatre

Evenings at the Hanover Theatre 

The Hanover Theatre brings magic to Downtown Worcester with a super packed live entertainment schedule. Several holiday shows will light up your life—including A Christmas Carol (every year, a unique local adaptation), The NutcrackerA Magical Cirque ChristmasRudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: the Musical, The Boston Pops Holiday Tour and Sarah Brightman: A Christmas Symphony. Bring the whole family and make it a lasting memory.  


Humphrey Ocean, Linda McCartney; Paul McCartney, May 1976, bromide fibre print, 196 x 292 mm. National Portrait Gallery, London. Given by Humphrey Ocean (Humphrey Anthony Erdeswick Butler-Bowdon), 2006. © National Portrait Gallery, London

Humphrey Ocean, Linda McCartney; Paul McCartney, May 1976, bromide fibre print, 196 x 292 mm. National Portrait Gallery, London. Given by Humphrey Ocean (Humphrey Anthony Erdeswick Butler-Bowdon), 2006. © National Portrait Gallery, London

Love Stories at the Worcester Art Museum  

Lovers of art (and lovers of love!) will rejoice at Worcester Art Museum’s Love Stories from the National Portrait Gallery exhibit. The exhibition presents pieces from one of London’s finest galleries, exploring love's role in the creation of some of the greatest masterpieces of Western art. Featuring a series of famous real-life love stories, this display looks at couples like David and Victoria Beckham, Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, and John Lennon and Yoko Ono.  


Black Nativity

Gospel at Mechanics Hall 

Presented by the National Center of Afro-American Artists and Mechanics Hall, this production takes Worcester by storm on Nov. 27 with a gospel retelling of the Nativity story, originally written by Langston Hughes. Black Nativity is a 50-year Boston tradition and New England holiday classic, with a beautiful mission "to present inspirational performances of artistic excellence and cultural relevance." A truly spectacular show, this one is sure to become a holiday staple for your whole crew.


Photo from freep.com, by Bob Carey

Photo from freep.com, by Bob Carey

Rockin’ Around the DCU Center  

Trans-Siberian Orchestra is an experience like no other, this year “Celebrating 25 years of Christmas Eve and Other Stories” while moving crowds with sight and sound. The DCU Center will light up on Nov. 27 with a concert and exceptional visuals by this rock band, well-known for their holiday spectaculars.  


Holiday Events Around the Region 

Night Lights at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Photo by J.S. McElvery

Night Lights at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Photo by J.S. McElvery

Winter Strolling at Southwick’s Zoo & Tower Hill  

Discover the Festival of Illumination at Southwick's Zoo, the largest light festival in New England, and one that’s suitable for your whole crew. A cultural and artistic expression takes you on a journey around the globe with imagination and illumination. By the same token, Tower Hill Botanic Garden brings you Night Lights, an outdoor walking experience through 15 acres of formal gardens and woodlands, as fire pits, s’mores and hot chocolate complement the atmosphere brightly.  


Wreath Making with Mass Audubon

Wreath Making with Mass Audubon  

Join the Mass Audubon society on Nov. 19 to concoct a holiday wreath that’s unique to your creative mind. Learn to examine, compare and identify local evergreen plants at Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, followed by an instructional wreath making class using greenery, seed pods and ribbon, during this festive afternoon.  


Salem Cross Inn

Fireplace Feasting at Salem Cross Inn 

Fireplace Feasts are back at the historic Salem Cross Inn in West Brookfield, a series of 1700s-style feasts, prepared on the open hearth of a great fieldstone fireplace. You'll stir your chowder and witness your prime rib “roasted to a turn” before heading out on a horse drawn carriage, enjoying the crackling fire and dining on an unforgettable spread.  


Old Sturbridge Village at Christmas Time

Christmas by Candlelight at Old Sturbridge Village  

“Celebrate Christmas past while creating new traditions.” Old Sturbridge Village comes to life with holiday flair this December, during Christmas by Candlelight weekends celebrating the season. The Village is dolled up with beautiful décor, a peaceful Christmas Tree Trail, live storytelling, music and more.  


Ski Ward

Skiing at Wachusett & Ski Ward 

When the snow starts falling, head to Princeton’s Wachusett Mountain for a day, or plan an afternoon at Shrewsbury’s Ski Ward. Whether you’re a snow bunny or expert skier, these mountains will scratch the itch for wintertime activity.  


The holiday energy is aplenty in Central Mass. this season, one that will surely be filled with reconnections and happy spirits! Plan your next visit with our Holiday & Winter Bucket List 2021 Itinerary here.