Our roundup of holiday activities taking place in Wellesley:
Don’t see your low-cost or free community-oriented holiday event here? Contact Deborah at email@example.com for inclusion.
LEGO Winter Village display—through Dec. 31
The LEGO Winter Village, created by Nick Tatar, returns to the Wellesley Free Library from Saturday, December 16 through the end of the month. Come see Santa’s workshop, the Clock Tower, and exciting winter scenes all made of LEGO! This remarkable festive display will delight families with children of all ages.
Mass Hort Festival of Trees—through Dec. 29
Massachusetts Horticultural Society‘s 15th Annual Festival of Trees showcases dozens of decorated trees, the Snow Village, and a festive model railroad display, Nov. 24-Dec. 29, at the Garden at Elm Bank, 900 Washington St., Wellesley.
Visitors vote with their raffle tickets for trees they would like to win and take home at the end of the event. Trees range from one foot to nine feet tall, and many have gifts in addition to beautiful decorations.
Don’t miss the Snow Village, an indoor model train exhibit, or the holiday lights and decorations that fill the Garden. Paid tickets include a cup of hot chocolate at admission and a s’mores kit for the fire pit at the end of your visit. Tickets are on sale now.
Please note: Advanced purchase of timed tickets is required for both MHS members and general admission. Tickets will not be sold on site.
The gift of free parking—through Jan. 1, 2024
The Select Board has waived parking fees at 2-hour street meters in Wellesley’s commercial districts through Monday, January 1, 2024. Remember to look for bags designating specific free meters. Fees WILL be charged in all municipal parking lots, and at 4-hour and 10-hour street meters.
Free parking is offered to help support our local businesses and to bring more shoppers to downtown areas. Shop local and enjoy free parking at all 2-hour bagged street meters during the holiday season. Please note: Parking attendants will ticket cars after 2 hours. Please do not move cars to a different meter; this will also result in a ticket.
Sign up to ring the Salvation Army Red Kettle Bell—through Dec. 24
Every year outside Roche Bros. an army of volunteers rings the bell for the Salvation Army Red Kettle Drive. Sign up to volunteer here.
Shoppers on their way in or out of the store historically help make the Wellesley kettle one of the fullest in the state. Donations come back to the Wellesley community, supporting neighbors needing assistance through the Wellesley Board of Health, the Council on Aging, the Veterans Service office, and Wellesley Friendly Aid. The Red Kettle accepts donations via cash or check. All donations are appreciated. No donation is too small.
See you at the Red Kettle. We’ve already grabbed our spot, but there’s plenty of room for more bell ringers.
Religious activities and services
Christmas Eve takes place on Dec. 24, and Christmas Day is Dec. 25.
The Swellesley Report‘s Where to Worship page has information on many of the activities and services.
Don’t see your religious organization’s holiday information on our Where to Worship page? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion.
Chanukah runs from sundown, Thursday, Dec. 7 through sundown, Friday, Dec. 15.
Holiday harpist concert—Dec. 17
Harpist Shelley Otis will present a Holiday Concert at the Wellesley Free Library on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2pm-3pm.
Wellesley Town Band Winter Holiday Concert—Dec. 17
Your hometown concert band, the Wellesley Town Band, will perform its annual Winter Concert, Sunday, Dec 17, 3pm, in the Katherine L. Babson Auditorium at Wellesley High School. Featured music will include works by Ralph Vaughan Williams and Percy Grainger, and fun pieces such as a flute feature piece, “Selections from Pirates of Penzance,”,and “A Symphony of Sitcoms.” And no holiday-time program is complete without the perennial favorite, Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride. FREE admission!
DATE: Sunday, Dec. 17
LOCATION: Wellesley High School Auditorium, 50 Rice Street, Wellesley, MA
Last day to enter Holiday House Decorating Contest—Dec. 18
Wellesley Recreation Department’s Winter Wonderland Holiday House Decorating Contest is open for nominations until Monday, Dec. 18.
Send a picture of the house to email@example.com with the address.
Judging will take place on Dec. 19. We’ll add info on prizes when we get it…
Holiday Traditions from the Roman Empire—Dec. 19
Tuesday, Dec. 19, 7pm-8pm
Hybrid program at Wellesley Free Library and via Zoom
What is Christmas and why is it celebrated? The first Christmas was not observed until hundreds of years after the inception of Christianity, and even then, Christian chronologers debated the day of Jesus Christ’s birth: could it be March 28, May 20, November 3? Find out more during a talk by Caroline Murphy-Racette, a PhD student in Classical Studies at the University of Michigan, where she is also a certificate student in the department of Women’s and Gender Studies. She grew up in Wellesley and earned her BA in Literae Humaniores from the University of Oxford.
Wellesley High School Winter Choral Concert—Dec. 14
Come join the Wellesley High School choral ensemble, directed by Dr. Kevin McDonald, for a special night that has become one of the greatest community gatherings for the town of Wellesley!
Wellesley High School’s Winter Choral Concert will take place Thursday, Dec. 14, 7pm in the WHS Katherine L. Babson Jr. Auditorium.
The night will highlight 170 students from Wellesley High School performing seasonal music of joy, peace, comfort, and unity.
Wreaths Across America—Dec. 16
Join the Amos Mills-Lucy chapter of the DAR during the patriotic groups annual Wreaths Across America event on Saturday, Dec. 16, 11am, at the Wellesley Congregational Church, 2 Central St. Wreaths will be placed on over 30 veterans’ graves in the church’s historic cemetery. The cemetery, along with the church building, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Each December DAR chapters nationwide place remembrance wreaths on veterans’ graves at over 3,000 locations in the United States, at sea, and abroad.
Can’t make it to the wreath-laying? You can sponsor a wreath today to be placed on a Wellesley veteran’s grave on Dec. 16.
Studios Dance Academy’s The Nutcracker Ballet (Wayland, Mass.)—Dec. 9
Enjoy the magic of the holiday season at this beautiful presentation on Saturday, Dec. 9, 4pm, at Wayland High School auditorium, 264 Old Connecticut Path, Wayland, Mass. The role of Sugar Plum is being played by Brooke Bovie, a senior from Wellesley.
Call the studio 781-235-3638 or email to reserve tickets firstname.lastname@example.org Limited tickets available at the door.
Calling all Girl Scouts, Brownies and Daisy—call for discounted tickets, and attend the performance to earn a fun badge.
Walnut Hill’s Nutty Nutcracker (Natick, MA)—Dec. 9 & Dec. 10
The Community Dance Academy at Walnut Hill has teamed up with local children’s author David Ira Rottenberg to bring his well-loved children’s book Gwendolyn’s Nutty Nutcracker to life. The fun 1-hour kid-friendly performance features the most loved music from the Nutcracker and intermission meet-and-greets with the characters and the author.
LOCATION: Perrin Theater, Keiter Center for the Performing Arts
PARKING: 146 Bacon Street, Natick MA 01760
Community Messiah Sing at UU Wellesley Hills—Dec. 10
UU Wellesley Hills will hold it’s 3rd annual Community Messiah Sing on Sunday, Dec. 10, 1:30pm at 309 Washington St. Local choral singers, lovers of classical and holiday music, young and old—all are welcome to come usher in the holiday season with this festive offering of Part I of George Frederic Handel’s Messiah oratorio (which covers the Christmas story). Handel’s best-known and widely loved music comes to life realized by four stellar professional soloists, a professional chamber orchestra with organ and harpsichord, and YOU, the audience, standing to sing along on the choruses. (Not a singer? Not a problem! Listeners of all ages are very welcome to come enjoy this seasonal classic.)
Entry is free; donations are gratefully accepted.
Temple Beth Elohim Dreidel Dash—Dec. 10
Temple Beth Elohim will hold its fifth annual Dreidel Dash 5k on Sunday, Dec. 10, 9:30am-noon, at TBE, 1o Bethel Rd. The race is a great opportunity to connect as a community and celebrate Chanukah, and is open to all.
The first 250 registrants and volunteers will receive a custom knit hat. Runners and non-runners are encouraged to come dressed in your most festive fun Chanukah attire. There will be an award given to the best solo and the best group costume during the award ceremony. More information and race registration here.
Holiday jazz concert—Dec. 10
Pianist Alexander Xhoja and vocalist Melony Gabriela Sanchez will present a Holiday Jazz Concert at the Wellesley Free Library on Sunday, Dec, 10, 3pm-4pm.
Linden Square Holiday Stroll—Dec. 10
Tis the season to celebrate at the Linden Square Courtyard with its beautiful holiday decor and stunning tree, Sunday, Dec. 10, 11am-1pm.
Wellesley High School Winter Band Concert—Dec. 6
The talented members of the Wellesley High band will perform for the community at the annual Winter Band Concert, Wednesday, Dec 6, 7pm-8:00pm, at the WHS Katherine L. Babson Auditorium.
Tree lighting in Wellesley Square—Dec. 3
Town officials will hold the annual tree lighting ceremony at Wellesley Fire Station 1 on Central Street on Sunday, Dec. 3, 5pm.
Wellesley Symphony Orchestra Holiday Concert—Dec. 3
The Wellesley Symphony Orchestra will perform their annual Holiday Concert on Sunday, Dec. 3, 3pm, at MassBay Community College, 50 Oakland Street, Wellesley Hills. Tickets here.
Featuring the Fireside Barbershop Quartet performing music arranged by Mark Latham, and Chris Ten Eyck, principal trumpet, in an arrangement of “What a Wonderful World.”
Also, music by Tchaikovsky, Coleridge-Taylor, Anderson, Prokofiev, Strauss and Corelli, plus the traditional sing-along.
H.O.M.E. Store at Wellesley Village Church—Dec. 3
H.O.M.E. Store is back! Support a good cause and do some holiday shopping on Dec. 2 & 3, 9am-5pm, at Wellesley Village Church, 2 Central Street. H.O.M.E., Inc. enhances the quality of life of people who have fallen on challenging times by honoring their dignity, attending to such basic needs as food and shelter, supporting their long-term health and development, and fostering a vibrant and mutually supportive community. Whether you are looking for a Maine souvenir or an interesting craft, the Home Store has something for everyone. Quilts, knit/crochet items, birdhouses, jams and jellies, pottery, and stained glass.
Wellesley Square Holiday Stroll—Dec. 3
The Wellesley Square Merchants’ Association is getting ready for the always festive Holiday Stroll on Dec. 3, noon-6pm. Free parking, fun traditional activities, and Scavenger Hunt. More info to follow.
Saint John School’s Trees & Trimmings Christmas Market—Dec. 2
The annual St. John School Trees & Trimmings Christmas Market will take place on Saturday, Dec. 2, 8am-1:30pm, or until supplies last, at Saint John School, 9 Ledyard St. The proceeds from Trees & Trimmings support Saint John School by directly contributing to the school’s operating budget, community activities, and enrichment opportunities for students and teachers.
Guild of Carillonneurs—Dec. 2
The Wellesley College Guild of Carillonneurs, under the direction of Margaret Angelini, will hold a Holiday Tower concert on Saturday, Dec. 2, 1pm. The carillon is housed in Galen Stone Tower, which rises 182 feet from the ground in Green Hall. The bells were installed in 1931 and the college’s Guild of Carillonneurs ring them throughout the year. Come meet the Guild members and listen to holiday tunes played on the bells.
Wellesley Turkey Trot—Nov. 23
The Wellesley Turkey Trot returns to Linden Square on Thanksgiving morning with a 5K run, plus a fun run for kids 10 and under, all in support of good local causes. Register here.
This Wellesley tradition kicks off at 8am on Thursday, Nov. 23, with 5K race participants following a course from Linden Square that traverses through Wellesley Square and the Wellesley College campus before returning to Linden Square. Awards are given to individuals and teams, with special awards to the fastest Wellesley High students and alums.
The Hannah Randolph Fun Run for kids starts at 8:45am in the back of the parking lot near CVS.
The event is always a great way to see friends and burn off a few calories before filling up on Thanksgiving Day.
Wellesley vs. Needham football game—Nov. 23
The big Wellesley vs. Needham football game is home this year at the Wellesley High Track and Field, 55 Rice Street. Tickets for the 10am game can be purchased ahead of time for $15 each at either the Wellesley High School Athletic Office or The Linden Store (thanks Mark and Greg). Kids under 6 are free. See everyone at the 135th game of the oldest public school rivalry in the nation. Wellesley leads the series 66-60-9.
Wellesley Marketplace—Nov. 18
The 45th annual Wellesley Marketplace will be held Saturday, Nov. 18, 9am-4pm, at Wellesley High School, 50 Rice St. Tickets here. More than 200 local artisans, boutique owners, and craftspeople will help you mark the start of the holiday shopping season at this fine arts and holiday fair.
Beyond Wellesley: Nutcracker Ballet performances
Commonwealth Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker (Weston, MA)—through Dec. 17
Share the merriment of the holiday season as the accomplished dancers of Commonwealth Ballet and guest artists frolic, battle and dance through Clara’s holiday dream. The performance lasts approximately 2 hours, including one intermission. Recommended for ages 4 and older.
A special sensory/family friendly performance will take place on Friday, Nov. 24, 1pm, featuring a shortened version of the ballet at reduced prices.
LOCATION: Eleanor Welch Casey Theater, Regis College, 235 Wellesley St, Weston, Mass.