A Very Christmas Weekend

This past weekend we filled up on the local Christmas events. The weather was warmer than usual, hitting 50, so it was perfect for the whole family to be outside for an extended time. A couple of the events came from my list of Holiday Events in New England, which you can check back to look for more ideas. Friday night we went to Light From Afar at the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette. Sunday we went over to Oakholm Farm to indulge in festivities and go to Oakholm Brewing Company. Lastly, that evening we did our traditional visit to Old Sturbidge Village for Christmas by Candlelight.

Light from Afar at La Sallette in Attleboro, MA was an amazing sight. This was our first time going so we did not know what to expect, but it blew me away. This display of lights, which deserves a much bigger word because ‘display’ is an understatement, was stunning. Over 400,000 lights to observe and truly brighten your spirit. The experience was beautiful, peaceful, and amazing all at once. Among the lights you can find the nativity scene with a real donkey, the story of the birth of Jesus on large wooden plaques, and the tale of Saint Nicholas and his transformation to Santa Claus. Continuing on we found more amazing lights, a hot chocolate stand, and a merry go round. To each their own, but we didn’t feel comfortable taking part on the merry-go-round given the crowd and current health crisis. Luckily we were able to avoid a meltdown and made our way to some more dazzling lights by the pond.

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The Christmas celebration of lights is FREE, no reservation required, and open every night 5:00-9:00pm. I recommend going during the week if you can. You could spend anywhere from 1 to 3 hours there, depending on how fast or slow you’d like to view it all. We were there for two hours and it was just right for our 4 year old and having a baby in tow. For the most part, it is stroller friendly but there is one area only accessible by stairs. I wore Theo in our LilleBaby carrier because its just so much easier to get around.

After a slow Sunday morning, enjoying “snowman pancakes”, we met our family over at Christmas at Oakholm Farm, located in Brookfield, MA. They had all sorts of holiday fun going on, including ‘pick your own’ Christmas tree, horse-drawn wagon rides, Christmas Carolers, various venders, a food truck, and good ol’ Mr. Santa Claus! This rustic farm sits on a quiet back road so it’s perfect for the whole family, with plenty of space to let the kids run around. We sat by the fire, roasted marshmallows, and made our way back and forth to the Oakholm Brewing Company, located just next to all the festivities.

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Let me tell you, this was the perfect way to meet Santa! He was so interactive with the kids, took his time, and made it so fun. Don’t be fooled by the picture with Theo, he just didn’t want me to put him down. I don’t think he even saw Santa. Santa Claus on the other hand, was extremely jolly and enjoyable. He actually came over to the kids by the firepit and talked to them for a while. They practiced their “Ho, Ho, Ho” with him and talked about what his favorite kind of cookie is so we know what to leave for him on Christmas Eve night. It’s Chocolate Chip, if anyone needs that info.

You can occasionally find different vendors at the farm, a great place for other small businesses to gain some ground. This weekend they had Swift River Wood Shop, from Western Massachusetts. This man handcrafts each piece, from coasters to cheese boards, and even butcher blocks. Each piece unique in it’s own grain, from locally sourced wood…so you know its good. You can take a look at their website for past and present projects, and simply contact them for requests! It’s amazing to see the work that comes straight from a craftsman, no funny business there.

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And onto our final event, closing our big weekend filled with Christmas, we went over to Old Sturbridge Village for Christmas by Candlelight. Tickets and Reservations required in advance. We’ve done this for the past few years, so I love that we can carry out this tradition. Understandably, the experience was limited due to the pandemic. A lot of their unique character interactions and building displays were unavailable due to obvious safety concerns. You can still walk around and observe live demonstrations from windows or enjoy a horse-drawn carryall ride. The Christmas Tree Trail and Christmas Wish Bridge were something we missed last year, so it was nice to peacefully stroll through this year. We enjoyed some time by a bonfire and listened to a musician in the shoe shop. We truly love going to the live museum, and wish for next year to be closer to normal!

Hope you are finding ways to fit some Christmas magic in during this weird time. We don’t have much of 2020 left, so make the most of it. Fill the rest of your year with all good things. Stay safe. Merry Christmas.

>> Erin

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Holiday Events in New England

This year has brought on a lot of change and challenges for all.  You may be starting to find that some of your usual traditions are out of the question. Sadly, going to see good Ol’ Santa Clause will be very different. But we can’t let that ruin our Christmas spirit. So, I’ve done some searching and compiled a list of various holiday attractions and events in the New England area. I hope this list can help brighten your spirits and bring the festive cheer you need. Maybe this year will be the start of a new holiday tradition with your family.

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  1. Boston Virtual Tree & Light Celebrations – Broadcasting on TV over various dates due to Covid-19. View from your cozy warm couch!
  2. Zoo Lights @ Stone Zoo – Stoneham, MA. Stroll thru a winter wonderland, open Nov 7th– Jan 3rd.
  3. Magic of Lights – Foxboro, MA. Drive through a large light display in Gillette Stadium parking lot. Nov 13th– Jan 2nd.
  4. La Salette Light from Afar – Attleboro, MA.  Walk through a beautiful light display, free to the public. Nov 26th– Jan 3rd.
  5. Christmas by Candlelight – Sturbridge, MA. Walk through the historic live museum and observe old traditions & stories. Select dates Dec 4th- 30th.
  6. Bright Nights @ Forest Park – Springfield, MA. Drive through the park to see a large light display.  Nov. 25th– Jan 6th .
  7. Search for Santa – Central Falls, RI. Enjoy a 20 min river boat ride, with storytime & treat, looking for Santa on the riverbank. select dates Nov 27th – Dec 20th
  8. Holiday Lights Fantasia – Hartford, CT. Drive through Goodwin Park, view a collection of over 1 million lights. Nov  26th – Jan 3rd.
  9. Trolley of Lights & Storytime with Santa and Elf – East Windsor, CT. Take a trolley ride or “electric sleigh” and view lights. Select dates Nov.27th– Dec 20th   
  10. Luminaria – Mystic, CT. Stroll through Olde Mystick Village to see the lit luminaria’s, dabble in some shopping, and enjoy sweet treats on Dec 11th.
  11. Gift of Lights @ New Hampshire Motor Speedway – Loudon, NH. Drive 2.5 miles viewing 3 million lights. Nov 26th – Jan 3rd.
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There are plenty of ways to spark your inner elf, I only shared a glimpse of it! This short list shows you how much New England has to offer, even at a time like this. Most events are outdoors or can be enjoyed right from the seat of your car. Check online for tickets and availability in advance, as well as state public health guidelines. Feel free to comment below with more ideas to share!

Happy Holiday Season to you all!

>> Erin

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  1. God bless you and your family. I love you all!