Photo courtesy of Vincent Brassinne / Flickr

5-Hour Itinerary: A Holly, Jolly Holiday Stroll

In the midst of the holiday season, students often become so wrapped up in studying for finals that they forget to enjoy the Christmas-themed events in the Boston area. In order to ensure a positive holiday mood amidst finals, here's a 5-hour itinerary of events and restaurants that will be sure to satisfy your Christmas spirit.

Neighborhood Happenings: North End and Beacon Hill

  1. North End Holiday Shopping Stroll // Friday, December 2: 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The North End Holiday Shopping Stroll will allow you the opportunity to explore the narrow, winding streets of Boston’s Little Italy and its family-owned shops and stores, all while welcoming the holiday season. The beautiful North End Christmas tree will be on display at the corner of Hanover and Cross Streets. According to the North End Waterfront website, select neighborhood shops will stay open late with free holiday refreshments and light bites. It's a free event, complete with a complimentary holiday stroll postcard and hot chocolate provided by the North End Beautification Committee.

  1. Beacon Hill Holiday Stroll // Thursday, December 8: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

In a stunning display of Christmas cheer, the Beacon Hill Holiday Stroll will enchant you with its old-world charm and good holiday spirit. The event organizers close Charles Street to motor traffic for the night, so you can walk on the charming, narrow streets of Beacon Hill and enjoy the Victorian carolers without worry. Participating shops will be open late with complimentary refreshments for shoppers and to revel in the Christmas spirit. This free event, sponsored by the Beacon Hill Business Association, has free horse and buggy rides and a brass band performing. Santa will light the Beacon Hill Christmas tree around 7 p.m. at the corner of Charles and Mount Vernon Streets. After the tree lighting, shoppers can join the Victorian carolers in singing Christmas carols for all of the neighborhood to hear.

Photo courtesy of Tumblr

Photo courtesy of Tumblr

Holiday Eats

  1. Light Desserts // North End and Beacon Hill

Before or after the holiday stroll, be sure to stop by either Beacon Hill’s or the North End’s charming bakeries for a light dessert.

In the North End, there is no shortage of Italian bakeries to indulge in. The competition over the best bakery in the North End usually boils down to neighbors Mike’s Pastry (300 Hanover Street) and Modern Pastry Shop (257 Hanover Street). These shops are known for their delicious pastries, particularly cannolis. A pro-tip for both of these bakeries is to bring cash, as neither location accepts credit cards.

In Beacon Hill, Tatte Bakery & Café (70 Charles Street) serves up both desserts and sandwiches that will be sure to satisfy any cravings you may have. For small truffles, Beacon Hill Chocolates (91 Charles Street) sells beautiful holiday-themed sweets in a quaint, Victorian setting.

Photo courtesy of Tatte Bakery / Facebook

Photo courtesy of Tatte Bakery / Facebook

Evening Fun

  1. Late-Night Attraction // Boston Common Frog Pond

After partaking in the stroll and a dessert, head over to the Boston Common Frog Pond for some nighttime skating. Located on the corner of Beacon and Charles Streets, it is an easy walk from Beacon Hill and a long (but still manageable) walk from the North End. On Friday and Saturday, Frog Pond is open until 10 p.m., with ticket sales ending at 9:30 pm.

Photo courtesy of Boston Common Frog Pond / Facebook

Photo courtesy of Boston Common Frog Pond / Facebook

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