December's Cape Cod events calendar is packed with festive events to celebrate the Holidays and the coming New Year.
Our towns, neighborhoods, and even our lighthouses are trimmed out in the spirit of the season.
Nauset Light Awaiting December Snow
All month long everyone's out and about, enjoying ...
And special visits from Santa as he arrives on Cape Cod by boat - to the delight of children of all ages!
When: Beginning in late November and continuing through December
Where: Various locations in Orleans
Admission: Many free activities and events
More Info: Seaside Christmas in Orleans
For a host of family friendly Cape Cod events in December, come to Orleans! During the month-long Seaside Christmas celebration, shopkeepers, gallery owners and restaurateurs welcome visitors with special events and tasty treats - and some nice discounts and promotions to help preserve your shopping budget.
Getting out and about around town, there's a jam-packed roster of things to see and do including Christmas tree lightings, caroling, Nauset Model Railroad Club's Open House, and tons more.
When: Weekends (Fri., Sat., & Sun.) through December 27, 2015, 4:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Where: Heritage Museums and Gardens, Sandwich
Admission: Adults $18; children $7, 2 and under free
More Info: (508) 888-3300, ext. 130; Heritage Museums & Gardens
The largest public garden in Southern New England (100+ acres!) glitters and glows in a seasonal display of colorful holiday lights.
Stroll around the grounds, toast marshmallows at the firepit, enjoy holiday music and beautifully decorated Christmas trees, ride the indoor antique carousel, and have a photo taken with Santa Claus in a vintage Model T Ford.
When: November 14 - December 30, 2015, during daily Museum hours (9:30 am - 5 pm)
Where: Sandwich Glass Museum, Main Street, Sandwich Village
Admission: Adults $8; Ages 6-14 $2; 5 and under free; Members free
More Info: (508) 888-0251 / Sandwich Glass Museum
The Sandwich Glass Museum is all dressed up for the Holidays. In addition to the spectacular glass exhibits the Museum is known for worldwide, this time of year features special trees decorated with hundreds of unique glass ornaments created by some of the region's foremost glass artists.
The Train to Christmas Town
When: December 4-6, 10-13, 17-23, and 26; multiple departure times
Where: Leaves from Cape Cod Central Railroad Depot, Main Street, Hyannis
Admission: Tickets from $25-$40 adults, $20-$35 children ages 2-12
More Info: (888) 797-7245; Cape Cod Central Railroad
Passengers are greeted onboard by the book's characters - BumbleBee, Wabash and Zephyr. As the train chugs along the tracks, the Elves get everyone into the Holiday spirit with sweet treats and sing-a-long caroling.
Of course, the Jolly Old gentleman himself will be there when the train pulls into town, meeting and greeting everyone with a rousing "Ho, Ho, Ho!".
What a fun way for the whole family to celebrate the Holiday Season!
When: December 4-12, 2015
Where: John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum, Main Street, Hyannis
Admission: "Tree Bucks" (raffle tickets) $10 each
More Info: Spectacle of Trees
While you're on your Christmas stroll in Hyannis, be sure to stop by the JFK Museum on Main Street. Throughout the Museum you'll see rooms filled with Christmas trees - all festooned with lights and ornaments, and surrounded with decorations and gifts. They're all waiting for lucky raffle winners to take them home. (Yes, if you have the winning ticket for your favorite tree, it'll be yours to keep - decorations, gifts and all!)
When: December 4-6, 2015
Where: Town Green, Falmouth Harbor, Main Street, and other locations in Falmouth
Admission: Most events are free
More Info: Falmouth Holidays by the Sea [PDF]
Holidays By The Sea in Falmouth begins on Friday evening with a carol sing at Nobska Lighthouse, complete with hot chocolate and cookies.
Saturday is a full day of activities including the arrival of Santa sailing into Falmouth Harbor, and the Annual Lighting of the Falmouth Village Green with caroling and a special visit from Santa.
And at noon on Sunday, the Annual Falmouth Christmas Parade kicks off at the Falmouth Mall and proceeds down Main Street to the Village Green. Renowned for being southeast Massachusetts’ largest Christmas parade, highlights include decorated floats, marching bands, live animals, costumed characters and Santa Claus, too. It's one of the premier Cape Cod events in December - definitely not to be missed!
When: December 4-6, 2015
Where: Various locations in Brewster
Admission: Many free activities
More Info: Brewster for the Holidays
This town-wide celebration is a long-standing tradition in the historic "Sea Captains Town" of Brewster.
Festivities begin on Friday morning when local shops, galleries and inns open their doors for a weekend of family-friendly events, activities and promotions.
Highlights of Brewster for the Holidays include the Tree Lighting and the Lighting of the Windmill at Drummer Boy Park, blacksmith demonstration and windmill tours, a Holiday band concert, Arts & Crafts Show, and the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History's Gala Family Party.
When: December 4 - 6, 2015 dates
Where: Various locations in Harwich
Admission: Many activities and events are free
More Info: Christmas in Harwich
This weekend in Harwich begins with the Harwich Port Stroll where locals and visitors join together for the tree lighting ceremony and caroling. Also on Friday evening, have your photo taken with Santa (he arrives by fire truck), and take a horse-drawn carriage ride through Harwich Port.
The rest of the weekend includes merchant open houses, village stroll, music, refreshments, and plenty more.
When: December 4 - 6, 2015
Where: Around town in Provincetown
Admission: Some events free, others require paid tickets/contributions
More Info: Holly Folly Weekend
Holly Folly Weekend, the Provincetown Business Guild's Gay and Lesbian Holiday Festival, kicks off on Friday with the "Holly Folly Shop Hop", a great time to peruse Provincetown's amazing variety of shops and galleries for unique gifts that'll "Wow" everyone on your list - pets included!
Throughout the weekend there'll be events all over town. Open houses, dance parties, drag bingo, a Speedo Run down the center of town ... that's just a little sampling of the fun and frivolity in P'town this Holly Folly Weekend.
When: 2015 dates - TBA
Where: Cape Codder Resort & Spa, Rt. 132, Hyannis
Admission: Free, toy/food item donation appreciated
More Info: Enchanted Village
At the Enchanted Village, visitors are immersed in a fantasy world, dazzling with tens of thousands of sparkly lights, colorful animated displays, and a fantastic Santa's Village. The over-the-top display put on each year at the Cape Codder Resort draws families from near and far!
Santa comes to visit on weekend evenings, gaily costumed carolers spread the holiday spirit, and (weather permitting) there's a crackling bonfire with marshmallow roasting and a sing-along.
Guests are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped gift, a gift card, or a non-perishable food item to place under the 12 foot tall Giving Tree as a donation to the Independence House in Hyannis.
Note: This event is open to the public as well as to guests of the Resort.
When: 2015 date - TBA
Where: Henry T. Wing School, 33 Water Street, Sandwich
More Info: Henry T. Wing School; PTA (508) 864-6980
Shop a over 70 craft booths through the school's gymnasium, lobbies and cafeteria,
filled with unique, one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on your list.
This year, the talented crafters are coming from all over southeastern MA and as far as Westborough to sell their wares. Baked goods and lunch items will be available for purchase.
Note: The school is handicap accessible.
When: December 5, 2015
Where: Hyannis Village
More Info: Hyannis Main Street
All along Main Street there's a full day of family fun with magic shows, strolling carolers, arts & crafts, trolley and horse-drawn carriage rides, a treasure hunt with prizes for adults and kids, and much more.
As daylight turns to dark, Hyannis Harbor comes to life with the annual Harbor Lighting & Boat Parade. It's an evening of music, food, and colorfully lit boats cruising the Harbor.
When: 2015 date - TBA
Where: Two locations. Orleans-Eastham Elks Lodge and The Gift Barn, Eastham
Admission: Free, toy donation appreciated
More Info: Eastham Holiday Festival
Take the trolley running between the Elks Lodge and the Gift barn for lots of fun family activities like arts and crafts, face painting, pony rides, and plenty of refreshments for all. Santa will be around all day to meet the children.
All the sponsors ask is that you bring a new, unwrapped toy of any value to the Elks Lodge to support the Elks' contribution to Toys for Tots. Your donation will go a long way to help less fortunate kids can enjoy the Holidays, too!
Taylor-Bray Farm Holiday Festival
When: December 5-6, 2015, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Where: Taylor-Bray Farm, 108 Bray Farm Road, Yarmouthport
Admission: Free. $5 parking donation requested.
More Info: Taylor-Bray Farm
Bring the kids or the grandkids to historic Taylor-Bray Farm for this back-in-time Holiday Festival. Take a hay wagon ride with Farmer Don. Visit with the donkeys, sheep, chickens, and other farm animals. There'll be delicious homemade baked goods and handmade wreaths, swags, centerpieces and crafts for sale in the barn. Complementary refreshments will be served.
When: December 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, 2015
Where: Green Briar Nature Center & Jam Kitchen, 6 Discovery Hill Road, East Sandwich
More Info: Thornton Burgess Society
Step back in time, into Ida Putnam's 1903 jam kitchen, for a glimpse of Christmas on Cape Cod over a century ago. The scent of jams and jellies cooking on the stove will have your mouth watering!
Try a sampling of the delicious Jam Kitchen products and a cup of mulled cider. Browse the variety of holiday gift ideas in the Green Briar shop offering jams, jellies, relishes, books and many nature-related items.
When: December 6, 2015, 1 to 4 p.m.
Where: Rt. 6A, Yarmouthport
More Info: Historical Society of Old Yarmouth
The village of Yarmouthport rings in the Holiday season with its annual Christmas Stroll on December 7th. As is the tradition, the Village's businesses, restaurants, B&Bs, and museums welcome all with holiday decorations, food, and seasonal music.
When: December 6, 2015
Where: Chatham Fish Pier, Barcliff Avenue, Chatham
More Info: Chatham Merchants Association
When Santa makes his pre-Christmas journey to Chatham, it's big doings! No less than the United States Coast Guard provides his escort - delivering Jolly Old Saint Nick safely to the Chatham Fish Pier via Coast Guard cutter.
It's all part of Chatham's festive Christmas by the Sea!
When: December 11-12, 2015
Where: Throughout the town of Chatham
Admission: Many events and activities are free
More Info: Chatham Christmas Stroll
Christmas in Chatham will bring you back to days gone by. This weekend is part of a month-long celebration of the Holidays that includes a town light parade, caroling, visits with Santa, music and theater performances, sweet treats, Christmas fairs, open houses and shopping throughout the town.
When: 2015 date - TBA
Where: Brewster Store, Main Street (Rt. 6A), Brewster
More Info: Brewster Store
Locals and visitors gather at The Brewster Store to sing Christmas carols. Light refreshments are served in the store. Everyone's welcome to join in the festivities.
When: December 12, 2015, 5:30 p.m.
Where: Parade begins at Mashpee Public Library
More Info: Mashpee Christmas Parade
Among all the festive events on Cape Cod in December, the Annual Mashpee Christmas Parade is one you won't want to miss!
Each year the parade seems to get bigger and better. This year's parade theme is "Celebrating Family Traditions" - featuring the famed Spirit of America marching band.
When: December 12, 2015, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Old Main Street, South Yarmouth
Admission: $15 (advance purchase required)
More Info: Yarmouth Libraries
Tour grand homes in the historic village of Bass River, see the sights, and pick up home-baked cookies along the way. What could be better??
When you purchase a ticket for the Cookie Stroll, your ticket is actually a cookbook with recipes for cookies served at the sites along this two-mile walking tour.
Tickets to this popular event are limited and sell out quickly.
When: December 31, 2015, 4-9 p.m.
Where: Sandwich Village, Main Street, and other venues in Sandwich MA
Admission: Most outdoor events are Free; Indoor events require admission button $10/adult, $6/child (ages 3-12) Buttons available locally and online.
More Info: First Night Sandwich
Cape Cod's oldest town celebrates First Night in high style with an evening of traditional and unique, family friendly events. (Who's up for a rousing game of "Glow Bocce"???)
Some highlights of First Night in Sandwich include live music, ice skating, giant illuminated sculptures (gorgeous!), performances by Trevor the Juggler, ice carving, kids' crafts and story time, lanterns set afloat on the pond, plenty of tummy-warming food, and a costumed Revelers Parade that's not to be missed!
When: December 31, 2015
Where: Various locations in Chatham
Admission: Some events are free, others require a Chatham First Night "button". Buttons may be purchased locally or online. Adults $20, kids ages 3-11 $5, children 2 and under Free.
More Info: First Night Chatham
Chatham celebrates the arrival of 2016 with a gala, full-day festival filled with events for the whole family.
The highlight of First Night in Chatham, as always, is the dropping of the Cod and the midnight fireworks display. (NYC has their glass ball drop. Chatham, appropriately, drops a codfish replica ;-)
If you're in the area, come to Chatham and ring in 2016 Cape Cod seaside style!
Important Note: The date, time, place, admission charges, etc. of the events on this page may be changed by the event sponsor at any time, without my knowledge. Please be sure to confirm all information directly with the sponsor before you make any plans!