Boston Christmas Tree - Boston, MA

Boston may not come to mind immediately as your top spot for spending your winter vacation, however, there is plenty of fun to be found in and around the city. I recently headed downtown for the Boston Common Tree Lighting. Although it was an extremely cold night, the great musical performances (including one by former “American Idol” contestant Elliott Yamin) more than made up for frozen toes. The show also included a sneak preview of “The Grinch Musical,” a sneak peek of the Boston Ballet nutcracker, and local holiday performers.

Tree lighting at Boston Common

Ice skating at America’s oldest public park

Another fun winter activity is ice skating. The Boston Common Frog Pond Ice Rink is the best place to skate in the city. Ice skating is a great winter activity that burns plenty of calories! I love this rink because it features great views of the city in the backdrop, is located within easy access of restaurants and shops, and if you arrive at the right time you could possibly find a free parking spot. The trees around the rink are lit up with lights for the holiday season. Also, the rink is located just a few minutes from the Boston Common Christmas tree, so now is the perfect time to visit. Admission is $8 for adults, and free for children under 58 inches. Skate rentals are $15 for adults and $10 for kids. The rink is usually pretty crowded – visit on weekdays afternoons for less crowds.

Frog Pond Ice Rink

More holiday fun in the city

Holiday concerts and shows – See the Nutcracker or Holiday Pops at Symphony Hall.

Faneuil Hall – See the massive Christmas tree, dine, and shop in the historic marketplace referred to as “The Cradle of Liberty.”

Miracle – Enjoy a festive holiday cocktail at this popular pop up bar with locations throughout the country.

Enjoy a specialty espresso drink or hot coffee – Many local coffeehouses offers special seasonal drinks this time of year. If the setting is cozy and decorated for Christmas, then the experience is all the more special! One of my favorites is Cafe Vittoria, a charming Italian cafe located in the North End.

Macy’s – View the holiday tree and festive windows as the iconic department store’s Downtown Crossing location.