Globe Magazine

Things to do in Greater Boston this fall and winter

Your seasonal calendar of events, music, theater, and more.

A work from Sophie Calle’s “What Do You See?” at the Gardner Museum.
From the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
A work from Sophie Calle’s “What Do You See?” at the Gardner Museum.


Adam Rippon / October 19

In 2018, figure skater Adam Rippon dazzled the world — first at the Winter Olympics when he took home a bronze medal, then when he won Dancing with the Stars. Join Rippon at The Wilbur for a discussion of his new memoir, Beautiful On the Outside, on how a home-schooled kid from Pennsylvania made it to the international stage. $42 (includes a copy of the book). 617-248-9700;

Boston Book Festival / October 19-20

Special guests, local favorites, and celebrity authors — from Marie Lu to Reginald Dwayne Betts — will take over Copley Square and Roxbury with panel discussions, workshops, and other activities. Find artist vendors, used book sales, food trucks, and exhibitors of all sorts at the festivities. Free. 857-259-6999;

Boston Veg Food Fest / October 19-20

In its 24th iteration, the festival brings more than 130 exhibitors to the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center in an exploration of all things plant-based. Watch a vegan ice cream demo by FoMu’s Deena Jalal, hear about the first vegan expedition to ascend Denali, and listen to Paul Watson, captain of the Sea Shepherd, describe his marine conservation efforts. Sample vegan and vegetarian fare and check out plant-based fashion and arts and crafts for the kids. Free. 617-424-8846;

The Boston Christmas Festival / November 8-10


Wrapping up its 33-year run at the Seaport World Trade Center, The Boston Christmas Festival fills the 100,000-square-foot space with more than 350 artisan pop-up shops, restaurants, music, and more. A specialty food section includes hand-dipped truffles and homemade gingerbread houses. Find everything from artisan wood carvings to handmade soaps and candles to gifts for children. $16, $14 in advance; under 14 free. 561-465-3676;

The 24th Taste of Jamaica Plain / November 14

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Sample fare from more than 20 local restaurants, watch as roving stilt walkers wander the grounds, and turn the kids loose for face painting at the 24th Taste of Jamaica Plain. The event, at Our Lady of the Annunciation in West Roxbury, celebrates the community and benefits the nonprofit social-service agency ESAC, which serves youth and seniors. $45, students and seniors $35, ages 6-16 $15, under 6 free. 617-524-2555;

Plymouth Thanksgiving Celebration / November 22-24

Join the throngs at America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration in Plymouth, 398 years after Pilgrims and Wampanoags first gathered there for a historic meal. Tour the waterfront and see Plymouth Rock, attend the parade highlighting the Colonial days, and listen to patriotic musical performances. Revelers 21 and over can check out the craft beer and wine garden. Free. 508-746-1818;

Marblehead Christmas Walk / December 5-8

What’s better than a small town holiday celebration? The 49th annual Marblehead event has everything: a tree lighting, caroling, wine and cheese samples, a holiday parade--even Santa’s arrival on a lobster boat. Shops and cultural organizations across town open their doors to the public. Free. 781-631-2868;

Boston Tea Party Reenactment / December 16

It’s been 246 years since colonists stormed the shores of Boston Harbor to dump chests of tea into frigid waters in an act of civil disobedience against the tea tax levied by the British Crown. Relive the historic day at a debate over taxation without representation at the Old South Meeting House, followed by a parade to the waterfront, where the Sons of Liberty will destroy chests of East India Company Tea. Tickets to the Old South Meeting House indoor event are $30, other events free. . 800-838-3006;

13th Annual Everyone Loves Latkes / December 21


Celebrate the first day of winter and sample traditional Jewish latkes in Harvard Square. Local restaurants will share their complimentary versions of the hot potato pancakes. Revelers of all ages are welcome to join. Free. 617-491-3434;

Dickens Holiday Festival / December 15

With hot chocolate, holiday vendors, a fiddler, and carolers, the 2019 Dickens Holiday Festival creates enough holiday cheer to make the curmudgeonly Ebenezer Scrooge cringe. The festival, held at the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation in Waltham, pays homage to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol with readings of classic scenes, costumed impersonators, and more. $10, seniors, students, and ages 6-17 $5, under 6 free. 781-893-5410;

Holiday Antiques, Vintage, and Decorative Arts Show / December 7-8

If you have a gift list but mall shopping isn’t your thing, you’re in luck. Browse old jewelry, vases, books, paper art, and other treasures at the event, billed as New England’s largest indoor antiques show, at Shriners Auditorium in Wilmington. $10, under 12 free. 781-862-4039;


Pumpkin Float / October 18

It’s pumpkin carving time again, but rather than keeping your efforts on display at home, head to Boston Common and set your best jack-o’-lantern afloat on Frog Pond. Bring the entire family along to soak in the illuminating glow of the pumpkins on the water and enjoy music and refreshments. Don’t forget — pumpkins won’t float unless hollowed out and must be 8 inches in diameter or smaller. Free.

Baby Shark Live! / November 9

If you’re a parent of a young child, maybe these lyrics have been stuck in your head: “Baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo.” Well, if you just haven’t had enough of the catchy tune, then take the kids to experience Baby Shark Live! at Emerson Colonial Theatre, where Baby Shark joins his friend Pinkfong in song and dance. From $29.50. 888-616-0272;

Disney on Ice: Worlds of Enchantment / December 20-29


Break out the princess dresses, tiaras, and swords as the magic of Disney comes to life on ice at Agganis Arena. Watch as Disney Pixar’s Cars characters race across the ice, adventure into Princess Ariel’s underwater kingdom, sing along with Buzz Lightyear and Woody from Toy Story, and enter into the fictional land of Arendelle with Elsa, Anna, and Olaf from Frozen. From $10. 800-653-8000;


Boston Jewish Film Festival / November 6-17

The 31st annual festival explores Jewish life, values, and culture. Tune in for more than 40 films and TV episodes, a short film competition celebrating new voices in Jewish film, and an opening screening of Safe Spaces, starring Justin Long. Also on the schedule: The Rabbi Goes West, a documentary created by a Boston-based film crew. At various venues. $18-$36 per event; passes and discounts available. 617-244-9899;


World of Dance Live Boston / October 24

NBC’s popular dance competition comes to The Orpheum with live performances from the show’s Season 3 finalists. Known for their high-flying stunts and cutting-edge choreography, the season’s winning dance crew, The Kings, will be the highlight of the night. Tickets from $38. 800-653-8000;

The Nutcracker / November 29-December 29

The villainous Mouse King, valiant Nutcracker Prince, and courageous, curious Clara will once again transport audiences to a winter wonderland in the seasonal return of Boston Ballet’s rendition of The Nutcracker. The holiday classic featuring Tchaikovsky’s score will be performed by Boston-based dancers Isaac Akiba, Lauren Herfindahl, Tyson Clark, Emily Hoff, and others at the Citizens Bank Opera House. From $37, discounts available. 617-695-6950;


Hamlet / October 25-November 17

The Gloucester Stage Company welcomes Boston-based actress and singer Gigi Watson in her lead role as Hamlet. Immerse yourself in a live theatrical performance of Shakespeare’s classic tale of revenge directed by Christopher V. Edwards, artistic director of the Actors’ Shakespeare Project. Public performances are limited to weekends. $42, seniors $37, students $15. 978-281-4433;

The Office! A Musical Parody / November 5-December 1

Take a break from binge-watching NBC’s The Office on the small screen and head over to Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts for a chance to see the musical adaptation of the popular comedy series on stage. Laugh along with the misfits of Dunder Mifflin. From $25. 617-933-8600;

Cats / January 7-19

The Jellicle Ball is approaching, and you’re invited. The nocturnal world of felines comes to life through dance and song, including one of the most popular hits of musical theater: “Memory.” Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic and Tony award-winning Broadway play makes a stop at the Opera House as part of its tour across North America. From $40. 800-653-8000;


Bon Iver / October 15

The indie-folk singer who fronts Bon Iver established his reputation from the tracks he recorded in his father’s hunting cabin. Today, Justin Vernon strums his way to TD Garden nearly a month after releasing his fourth album, i.i. Fan favorites on the set list include “Skinny Love” and “Holocene.” Singer-songwriter Feist opens. From $29.50. 800-653-8000;

Dar Williams / December 27

She’s a major force within the folk scene, writing songs in college towns of Western Massachusetts, playing in coffee shops throughout Boston, touring with folk legend Joan Baez, and recording albums including The Honesty Room and Mortal City. Unwind and cozy up to the acoustic sounds of Dar Williams at The Cabot. Singer-songwriter Heather Maloney opens. From $29.50. 978-927-3100;

17th Annual A Christmas Celtic Sojourn with Brian O’Donovan / December 11-22

Celebrate the music of the season with Irish fiddlers, unique Swedish instruments including the nyckelharpa, and the joyous tapping of Irish step dancing from The Harney Academy of Irish Dance in Walpole. Hosted by WGBH’s Brian O’Donovan, the concert fills theaters and auditoriums throughout the area — from Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston to Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Providence — with traditional Celtic sounds. From $


Opening Our Doors / October 14

Wondering what to do on your day off this Columbus Day? Put away your wallet and enjoy fun family activities at The Fenway Alliance’s Opening Our Doors event, featuring free admission to the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, performances by New England Conservatory Jazz ensemble at Jordan Hall, walking tours of the Fenway, and more. At various locations. 617-437-7544;

In the Company of Artists: 25 Years of Artists-in-Residence / October 17-January 20

Celebrate with the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum as it opens a new exhibition honoring 25 years of its artist-in-residence program. The exhibition features works from seven dynamic female contemporary artists including Sophie Calle’s What Do You See? and a gallery from photographer Luisa Lambri. $15, seniors $12, students $10, under 18 free. 617-566-1401;

The Pursuit of Everything / November 10-April 5

Known for her quirky New Yorker covers, pictorial essays, dozen-plus books for adults, and 18 acclaimed children’s books, Maira Kalman is an imaginative force of nature. See her picture book career on full display at the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, featuring Max Makes a Million and What Pete Ate from A to Z. $9, under 18 free. 413-559-6300;

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