December's Cape Cod events calendar is packed with festive events to celebrate the Holidays and the coming New Year.
Our towns, our shops, even our left-over lobstering equipment are all trimmed out in the spirit of the Christmas season.
All month long, everyone's out enjoying the crisp December weather ...
... celebrating the Holidays in Cape Cod style!
And there are special visits from Santa, too. How does he get here? By boat, of course - to the delight of children of all ages!
When: Beginning November 26th 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.) November 25 to December 18, 2016 from 4:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Where: Heritage Museums and Gardens, 67 Grove Street, Sandwich
Admission: Adults $18; children $7, 2 and under free
More Info: (508) 888-3300, ext. 175; Heritage Museums & Gardens
Heritage Museums & Gardens is putting on the glitz again this Holiday Season with it's treasured annual event - Gardens Aglow!
At this extra-special time of year, the good folks at Heritage adorn their acres of beautiful gardens and woodlands with more than 10 miles of twinkling, sparkling lights. It's truly an awesome thing to see!
Come stroll throughout the grounds and buildings and enjoy festive holiday displays, family-friendly activities, marshmallow-roasting, music and special performances, visits with Santa Claus, displays of model trains - and even a visit by some baby animals.
When: Multiple departure times
Where: Buzzards Bay Depot, 70 Main Street, Buzzards Bay
Tickets: Ticket prices vary
More Info: (888) 797-7245; Cape Cod Central Railroad
The delightful children's story, The Polar Express, comes alive as you board the railroad's festively decorated train cars for a ride to visit Santa and his elves.
As the train chugs along the tracks, everyone gets into the Holiday spirit with merry music, a reading of the Polar Express story, sweet treats and mugs of hot cocoa.
Of course, the Jolly Old Gentleman himself will be there when the train stops just outside the North Pole, meeting and greeting everyone with a rousing "Ho, Ho, Ho!".
What a fun way for the whole family to celebrate the Holiday Season!
When: November 14 - December 30, 2016 during daily Museum hours (9:30 am - 5 pm)
Where: Sandwich Glass Museum, Main Street, Sandwich Village
Admission: Adults $9; Ages 6-14 $2; 6 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 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 & 10, 2016
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 2-4, 2016
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 is jam-packed with fun for everyone!
This festive weekend includes the arrival of Santa sailing into Falmouth Harbor, the Annual Lighting of the Falmouth Village Green with caroling and a special visit from Santa, and the downtown Holiday Stroll.
Noon on Sunday is kick-off time for the annual Falmouth Christmas Parade. 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 2 - 4, 2016
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 2 - 4, 2016
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 2 - 4, 2016
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 Jingle Bell Bathing Suit 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: December 2 - 23, 2016
Where: Cape Codder Resort & Spa, Rt. 132, Hyannis
Admission: Free; donations of new, unwrapped gifts and/or gift cards are 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 or a gift card to place under the 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: December 3, 2016
Where: Hyannis Village
More Info: Hyannis Main Street
All along Main Street there's a full day of family fun with breakfast with Santa, strolling carolers, arts & crafts, trolley and horse-drawn carriage rides, a petting zoo, 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: December 3, 2016, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
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, entertainment, prizes, and plenty of refreshments for all. Santa will be at The Gift Barn to meet the children.
When: December 3 & 4, 2016, 10 a.m. to 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 3 & 4, 10 & 11, 17 & 18, 2016
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 4, 2016 from 1 to 4 p.m.
Where: Rt. 6A, Yarmouthport
More Info: Yarmouthport Christmas Stroll
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 4, 2016
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 9-10, 2016
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: December 10, 2016, 5:30 p.m.
Where: Parade begins at Mashpee Commons
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. Stay tuned for details on the 2016 parade theme and special, featured performers ...
When: December 10, 2016 from 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, 2016, 4-8 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!), 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, 2016
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 2017 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 2017 Cape Cod seaside style!
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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!