Things to Do in Boston in Winter 2016 – December Holidays & More

While Boston does tend to get a bit chilly in the wintertime, and often quite snowy, there’s still plenty of fun to be had both indoors and out.

Whether you’re a culture buff or an outdoor nut, there’s plenty of things to do in Boston in winter 2016, including holiday activities and seasonal attractions. So bundle up, plan your wintery itinerary, and you’re ready to roll!

Save on Attraction Admission

Regular admission to a number of these attractions are included on the Go Boston® Card.

Choose as you go from dozens of top attractions and save up to 55% on combined admission vs paying at the gate.

See all available Boston passes, attractions & prices.

Please note, some of these special Winter events may be separately ticketed and not included on the Go Boston Card.

Take a Trip to the Museums

The colder months give you the perfect excuse to explore many of Boston’s art museums.

There are plenty of fascinating special exhibits to be found at Boston museums across the city, from the visual and performing arts to science and technology.

If you love the art world, then special exhibits spanning the gamut from photography and performance art to rich modern painting and sculpture at venues like the Museum of Fine Arts or the ICA will be a treat to the senses.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is one of the Boston art world’s better-kept secrets from tourists, and is worth the visit even just to see their fantastic wintry gardens.

If you’ve got kids in tow, then perhaps the MIT Museum or the Museum of Science would be some good options. They’re filled with fun and interactive special exhibits and are a handy way to get the kids to burn off some energy.

Visit the New England Aquarium

The Trust Family Foundation Shark and Ray Touch Tank - Photo: S. Cheng

The Trust Family Foundation Shark and Ray Touch Tank – Photo: S. Cheng

One of your first stops should be the New England Aquarium, where you can warm up while watching the funny-looking Rockhopper Penguins that usually dwell in the sub-Antarctic.

In fact, creatures from just about every climate zone dwell in the aquarium, from the Tropics to the coldest waters of the Arctic, but you’ll stay cozy as you move from exhibit to exhibit.

Explore the Great Outdoors

Ice Skating on Frog Pond, Boston Common, BostonAlthough it may be brisk (read – often hovering around or below freezing), there are so many beautiful things to see in the winter in Boston that’s its worth at least a brief stroll.

See the glittering snowfall on the Boston Common or the Boston Public Gardens, or enjoy breathtaking vistas of the Boston skyline from Bunker Hill.

If you’re the type of person that loves to be active year ‘round, take advantage of the top-notch running and biking path that runs along the Charles River on both sides – it’s cleared of snow and ice pretty efficiently on a regularly basis so you don’t often have to worry about slipping.

We guarantee you’ll get some gorgeous photos of a frozen river with the sun glinting off the ice.

Ice Skate on the Frog Pond

If you can brace the cold to experience one of the most delightful and popular winter activities in Boston, head to the Boston Common to ice skate on the Frog Pond.

Whether you’re traveling with kids or on a romantic getaway, the Frog Pong is the perfect spot to have a little winter fun. If you don’t have a pair of skates, you can always rent a pair right at the rink.

 Take Day Trips Outside of the City

house of the seven gablesThere’s nothing that says you have to stay in Boston proper to enjoy all that this rich metropolitan area has to offer.

Although the beach towns won’t have much to do this time of year, head to Salem (to see the House of Seven Gables of Hawthornian fame) or Lexington & Concord, historical towns with some really fascinating architecture and monuments to snap photos of.

If you’re really a big history buff, then take the whole family to Old Sturbridge Village to explore their elaborate historical recreation of colonial New England.

Take Advantage of Winter Sales

Winter Newbury StreetShopping is fortunately a year ‘round activity, and with post-holiday sales abounding, now is a good time to hit the malls.

The Cambridgeside Galleria has a wonderful selection of budget-friendly and more classic stores, ranging from Sears and Old Navy to J. Crew and Banana Republic.

You’ll be able to shop for the whole family, and snag some great food at one of the many restaurants in the area. Best of all? It’s just blocks from the Lechmere T stop.

If you’re looking for more high-end stores, consider Newbury Street, south of the Public Gardens. You’ll find everything from indie cupcake boutiques to jewelry stores and all sorts of stuff in between.

This is also a great place for dining, with Joe’s American Grill being a neighborhood favorite.

Remember to Save on Attraction Admission

So there you have it. Our list of a few things to do in Boston in the winter, including holiday events, other seasonal activities in December, and more.

Remember, many of these options are included on the Go Boston Card, where you can save up to 55% on combined admission vs paying at the gate.

Please note, the Winter events taking place at some of these attractions may be separately ticketed and not included with the Go Boston Card.

We hope you plan to add a few of these fun options to your winter vacation itinerary.

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