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 lots more to see and do, including the Annual Lighting of the Windmill in East Orleans, The Annual Seaside Christmas in Orleans Chowder Contest, and the Nauset Model Railroad Club's Open House.
When: Weekends (Fri., Sat., & Sun.) from November 28-December 21, 2014, 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Where: Heritage Museums and Gardens, Sandwich
Admission: Adults $18; children $8; age 2 and under free
More Info: (508) 888-3300 / 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 Magnolia Cafe, 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: Through December 30, 2014, 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.
When: December 3, 2013, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. (2014 date TBA)
Where: Two locations. Orleans-Eastham Elks Lodge and The Gift Barn, Eastham
Admission: Free, toy donation appreciated
More Info: (508) 255-7000 or (508) 240-7211 / 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!
When: December 4, 2013, 6-8 pm (2014 date TBA)
Where: Rt. 6A, Barnstable Village
More Info: Barnstable Village Civic Association
The Barnstable Village Civic Association hosts its traditional Holiday Stroll in the historic village center.
The event features family friendly activities, open houses at local businesses, a visit from Santa, and an all around good time.
When: December 5 - 14, 2013 (2014 date TBA)
Where: John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum, Main Street, Hyannis
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 18 Christmas trees festooned with lights and ornaments, and surrounded with decorations and gifts, 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 6-8, 2013 (2014 date TBA)
Where: Briggs McDermott House, Carriage House and Forge, 22 Sandwich Road, and other locations in Old Bourne Village
Admission: Most events are free of charge.
More Info: (508) 759-8167 / Bourne Society for Historic Preservation
As part of the Canal region's celebration of the Holidays, Old Bourne Village businesses, civic organizations and historic spots are all trimmed out and welcoming visitors to shop, dine and get in the Christmas Spirit.
One stop not to miss is the Briggs-McDermott House, an historic Greek Revival Style home that's been restored, preserved and furnished as it was during the 1840-1910 era. Seeing the home, carriage house and forge all done up in Colonial-style holiday finery is a real treat!
When: December 6-8, 2013 (2014 date TBA)
Where: Town Green, Falmouth Harbor, Main Street, and other locations in Falmouth
Admission: Most events are free
More Info: Falmouth Holidays by the Sea
Holidays By The Sea in Falmouth begins with a carol sing at Nobska Lighthouse, complete with hot chocolate and cookies.
Saturday is a full day of activities including a family pancake breakfast, 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 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 6 - 7, 2013 (2014 date TBA)
Where: Federated Church of Hyannis, Main Street, Hyannis
More Info: (508) 775-0298 / Federated Church of Hyannis
The Federated Church's annual Christmas Commons Fair combines lots of my favorite things - spectacular Christmas decorations, unique gift shopping, and a lobster roll lunch. That's Cape Cod at Christmas, through and through!
The Lobster Luncheon takes place on Friday. Only $13 per person for a lobster roll, chips, pickles, soda and dessert. Believe me, it's a fantastic value!
Note: The lobster rolls are only served on Friday. Saturday's fare (also available on Friday for you non-seafoodies) includes sandwiches and hot dogs with all the fixins', too.
When: December 6-8, 2013 (2014 date TBA)
Where: Various locations in Brewster
Admission: Many free activities
More Info: (508) 896-3500 / 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, the Lemon Tree Village Stroll, Firehouse Tours & Treats, a Chowder Contest, and the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History's Gala Family Party.
When: December 6 - 8, 2013 (2014 date TBA)
Where: Various locations in Harwich
Admission: Many activities and events are free
More Info: (508) 432-1600 Harwich Chamber of Commerce
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 a family pancake breakfast with Santa, a Holiday Bazaar and Crafts Fair, village strolls with merchant open houses, and plenty more.
When: December 5-7, 2014
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!
Other popular events this weekend include the Holly Folly Sing-A-Long with Casey & Denise at the Gifford House Inn's Porchside Bar, Holiday Drag Bingo at the Crown & Anchor, the Boston Gay Men's Chorus performance at Town Hall, and the 1 mile Reindeer Run & Walk in support of Camp Lightbulb.
Closing out the weekend's festivities is the fun and frolic of Holly Folly Classic Disco Night at the Atlantic House.
When: December 6-22, 2013 (2014 date 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.
Taylor-Bray Farm Holiday Festival
When: December 7 -8, 2013, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. (2014 date TBA)
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 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, 2014; 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday, 1 - 4 p.m. on Sunday
Where: Green Briar Nature Center & Jam Kitchen, 6 Discovery Hill Road, East Sandwich
More Info: (508) 888-6870 / 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, 2014, 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.
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.
At 4 p.m. 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: December 7, 2013, 5:30 p.m. (2014 date TBA)
Where: Starts at Mashpee Commons, Mashpee
More Info: (508) 477-0792 / 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. Prior parade headliners include the Avalon String Band, a renowned troupe of mummers who've delighted audiences the world over with their vivid costumes and incredible musical talents in performances at the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin, the Mardi Gras Parade in New Orleans, and even a U.S. Presidential Inaugural Parade. Can't wait to see who will headline the parade this year!
When: December 8, 2013, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (2014 date TBA)
Where: Rt. 6A, Yarmouthport
More Info: Historical Society of Old Yarmouth (508) 362-3021
The village of Yarmouthport rings in the Holiday season with its annual Christmas Stroll on December 8th. As is the tradition, the Village's businesses, restaurants, B&Bs, and museums welcome all with holiday decorations, food, and seasonal music. The festivities are capped off with caroling and the lighting of the Yarmouthport Christmas Tree at 4:15 p.m. on the Common.
When: December 7, 2014, 1:30 p.m.
Where: Chatham Fish Pier, Barcliff Avenue, Chatham
More Info: (508) 945-5199
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.
When: December 12-13, 2014
Where: Throughout the town of Chatham
Admission: Many events and activities are free
More Info: (508) 945-5199 / Chatham Christmas Stroll
Christmas in Chatham will bring you back to days goneby with a Friday evening light parade and caroling down Main Street, the tree lighting ceremony, bell ringers, hayrides, a visit to Sant's workshop, and more.
On Saturday, there's breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus, trolley rides to see the gingerbread house display and decorations, Chatham Lighthouse tours, and shopping throughout the town.
Sunday features 10 or the most spectacular historic Inns in Chatham, all trimmed out for the Season and open for tour (2013 ticket cost TBA).
When: December 13, 2013, 6 p.m. (2014 date TBA)
Where: Brewster Store, Brewster
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 14, 2013, 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. (2014 date TBA)
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 the recipes of all cookies served at the sites along this two-mile walking tour. You'll also receive a pretty drawstring bag to collect your cookies along the way.
This annual event is held rain or shine, and free transport is available between groups of homes. Tickets to this popular event are limited and sell out quickly.
When: December 31, 2014
Where: Various locations in Chatham
Admission: Outdoor events are free. Admission to indoor events requires a Chatham First Night "button". Buttons may be purchased locally or online. Adults $18, kids ages 3-10 $5.
More Info: First Night Chatham
Chatham celebrates the arrival of 2015 with a gala, full-day festival filled with events for the whole family.
The highlight of First Night, 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 2015 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!