Candlelight Walks, Twinkling Lights, & Visits with Santa: This Week’s Distractions

MASSACHUSETTS – As if you’re not busy enough, here’s a few ideas for ways to celebrate the holiday spirit this weekend, rather than get caught up in the mayhem of it all. Take a few hours to enjoy the season, and visit these wonderful NoBo communities.




Everett: Mayor Carlo DeMaria Jr. has accepted a request from the Man in the Big Red Suit to visit the Children of Everett before he makes his annual run on Christmas Eve. On Monday, December 19th, from 5:30 to 7:30 PM, parents are invited to the lobby of City Hall to have children take pictures with Santa Claus. For more information, visit the City of Everett website.

Gloucester: Join the Trustees of Reservations for a candlelight stroll at Ravenswood Park Saturday to celebrate the upcoming winter solstice. Hot chocolate, s’mores, and a warm fire will follow. Organizers are also asking participants to consider bringing a nonperishable food item for the Cape Ann Food Pantry. Items most needed are: canned tuna, peanut butter, spaghetti sauce, healthy snack items, soup, canned veggies and fruits, macaroni and cheese, cereal, rice, pasta, cake/muffin/pancake mixes, juice/juiceboxes. The event will be held on Saturday, December 17, 2011 from 4 to 6PM at the Ravenswood Park, located at 481 Western Avenue (Route 127) in Gloucester. For more information, please call 978.526.8687 or e-mail:

Malden: Santa Claus is coming to town, making his 62nd annual appearance at Pine Banks Park on Saturday, December 17th and Sunday December 18th from 3PM to 8:30PM on both days. Superintendent John Burgess and his park staff have worked hard to transform the Park into a mini North Pole to make Santa feel right at home. Representatives and volunteers from the city’s Ward 5 will be there Saturday (Sunday in case of rain) serving hot chocolate, apple cider and cookies. At 4:30, a reading of “Twas the Night before Christmas” will be held as well. Santa’s Pine Banks Park headquarter is located at 1087 Main Street in Malden. All visits with Santa are free to the public who are encouraged to bring their cameras. For more information, visit the City of Malden website.

Marblehead: Enjoy the beautiful sounds of Christmas carols from the new CD “Carols’’ by singer/songwriter Raymond Gonzalez, surrounded by gorgeous paintings by Jonathan Sherman tonight and tomorrow. The event begins at 7:30PM in the Jonathan Sherman Art Studio at 112 Washington St. Tickets are $15. For more information, please call 781-502-8822 or visits


Newburyport: Theater in the Open is excited to bring a twist on the holiday classic, It’s a Wonderful Life. Back by popular demand, the production is based on the beloved Frank Capra film, but performed in the style of “the golden age of radio”. Watch and listen as George Bailey discovers that life really is wonderful. Theater in the Open has transformed the Firehouse Center into a 1940’s radio hall, complete with sound-effect foley artists, singing sponsors, and old fashioned holiday spirit. Performances will be held Thursday, December 15 through Saturday, December 17 at 8PM, with matinee performances on Saturday and Sunday December 17-18 at 3PM. Additional shows will be held on Thursday and Friday, December 22-23 at 8PM. For more information about Theater in the Open log onto their website at For more information about the event, visit the Firehouse Center for Performing Arts website.

Stoneham: Once again, ZooLights is bringing more twinkle to the NoBo region, lining its paths with thousands of lights and decorations, alongside fairy tale characters, dancing stuffed animals, Barbie dolls, and more. The event will continue through the holidays, but conclude on January 1st. The Stone Zoo is located at 149 Pond Street in Stoneham. For more information, please call 781-438-5100 or visit

Wenham: The Wenham Museum’s 5th Annual Gingerbread Express and Contest continues through Saturday, December 17th, with gingerbread renditions of the North Shore’s most iconic landmarks. See a sweet display including New England lighthouses, the Ipswich Clam Box, and much more. The creations will be on view for the public in the Gingerbread Express model train layout. Visit their Facebook page for pictures of this family-fun event. The museum is located at 132 Main Street in Wenham.

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