Home for the Holidays – Local Fun • Part One
We’ve seen the holiday decorations up in retail stores for weeks, but it now feels more “timely” to get into the holiday spirit as we bid farewell to Halloween 2017. So much to do: there’s local shopping, craft fairs, house tours, skating, caroling, tree lightings and a very busy Santa making the rounds of Cape Ann and beyond. This list might make planning a little easier.
Local Shopping and Fairs:
Shop Rockport – Black Friday, Nov. 24, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., downtown Rockport
Shop Rockport Night & Raffle, Friday, Dec. 1, 4-9 p.m.
Enjoy a festive Friday shopping evening with many shops and galleries staying open for extended hours and offering exclusive promotions, raffles, and giveaways throughout downtown. Visit shop rockport.
The Manchester Holiday Stroll, Friday, Dec. 1, 4-8 p.m. (formerly known as “Shop Manchester Night”)
Support Manchester Merchants, shop around town and collect stamps in your Holiday Passbook and you will have a chance to win a new Apple Watch. Details and passbooks at local merchants.
Annisquam Christmas Fair, Saturday, Dec. 2, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Annisquam Village Hall (36 Leonard Street, Gloucester) Featuring holiday greens, hand-decorated wreaths, center pieces, hostess baskets, gourmet home-baked goods, handicrafts and more. Proceeds benefit Cape Ann community programs.
Danvers Holiday Mingle Sip and Shop, Nov. 14, 6-9 p.m., Breakaway (221 Newbury Street)
Holiday Fair at First Baptist Church Beverly, Nov. 18, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Beverly Dane Street Church Holiday Fair, Nov. 18, 8:45 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Walks, Strolls and Tree Lightings
Gloucester Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting, Sunday, Nov. 26, 3-5 p.m. The parade starts at the State Fish Pier at 3:00 and travels through downtown to Kent Circle; tree lighting activities will begin around 4:15 at Kent Circle.
Middle Street Walk, Saturday, Dec. 9, 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Gloucester’s Middle Street Walk is a community event organized by volunteers and supported by the City of Gloucester, Massachusetts, businesses and organizations in the Middle Street neighborhood, and generous private donors. Visit middle street walk.
Rockport’s Holiday Gallery Stroll, Dec. 9-10, Noon to 4 p.m., downtown Rockport
An introduction to Rockport’s galleries, studios, artists, and artisans. Many galleries will be featuring live music, wine and light refreshments, artist demonstrations and special raffles. Look for the Art Gallery Stroll banners at participating galleries.
Rockport Tree Lighting, Saturday, Dec. 2, 4-5 p.m., Dock Square The Tree Lighting Ceremony will get underway at 4 PM welcoming Santa and the public with carols and a stirring rendition of “Christmas in Rockport”.
Lobster Pot Tree Lighting & Cape Ann Art Haven Open House, Sat., Dec. 9, 4:30 p.m.
“Join us on Main Street for the Gloucester Lobster Pot Tree Lighting and Cape Ann Art Haven Open House (immediately following lighting). Come see our newly renovated space, have a hot chocolate & warm up!”
Santa’s Coming by Boat! Essex at Town Landing, Dec., 1, 6-8 p.m.
Santa arrives on the Essex River by boat and walks up to the shipyard with some of his friends.
Manchester at Masconomo Park, Dec. 2, 1–3 p.m.
Santa will arrive at Masconomo Park (60 Beach St.) by boat and will then lead the children across the street to the Manchester Community Center for children’s activities and delicious refreshments. Everyone will get a chance to have their pictures taken with Santa!
Rockport T-Wharf on Rockport Harbor, Dec. 2, 1 p.m.
Upon arrival, Santa will climb up onto a Rockport Forest Fire truck and proceed along T-Wharf and Mt. Pleasant Street to the Old Firehouse led by Rockport cub scouts. This year Santa will be able to linger a while to visit and have photos taken with the children until the Tree Lighting Ceremony begins (at 4 p.m.).
Holiday House Tours
“DECA the Halls” Holiday Home Tour, Dec. 3, 12-4 p.m., Rockport MA
Visit beautiful seaside homes of Rockport, decked out for the holidays. Organized by Rockport High School’s DECA Program and The Inns of Rockport enjoy some of Rockport’s finest inns and homes all decked out in their holiday finest. Enjoy seasonal food samplings and wonderful company. Tickets $25; tour starts at Rockport Inn & Suites; visit Seashells & Jingle Bells for more information.
Christmas in Salem – Historic House Tours, Dec. 1-3, Salem MA
Trade your broomstick for a peppermint stick and enjoy a festive peek at a number of 18th and 19th century homes decorated for Christmas in Salem. There’s also a free trolley service, dining and shopping discounts, and special events and performances throughout the city. Check out Christmas in Salem
Newburyport Holiday House Tour – Dec. 12 10am
The 22nd annual holiday house tour offers a rare glimpse into greater Newburyport’s finest private residences and unique spaces. Each home is decked out in holiday style reflecting the homeowner’s individual celebration and traditions of the season. It’s a day full of holiday magic and surprises!