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Holiday Lights Near & Afar | A Day Away

Updated: Jan 17

Do You See What I See?

The days may be shorter and colder, but the quintessential New England way to embrace the season is taking in the magnificent light displays throughout the region. Many towns and main streets look like they’ve tumbled straight out of A Christmas Carol or a Hallmark Holiday movie. Here are some of the 4Squares Team favorites to enjoy near Medford and beyond.

Zoolights at the Stone Zoo, Stoneham, MA

A favorite of Medford locals for kids of all ages, Zoolights offers a winter wonderland of tree-lined paths lit up by thousands of twinkling lights. A perfect after-dinner getaway, bundle up the littles for a stroll along the Yukon Creek and see their eyes light up when they see reindeer, arctic foxes, black bears, and bald eagles. Grab a snack at the snack bar and end your evening with a ride on the carousel, and the whole crew will be ready to settle in for a long winter’s nap!

Zoolights takes place evenings until January 9, 2022, from 4:00 pm to 9:30 pm, but is closed on Christmas Day. Reservations are required, and COVID guidelines are available on the Zoo’s website.

La Salette Shrine, Attleboro, MA

For those leaning toward a spiritual side of the holidays, La Salette Shrine in Attleboro fits the bill. Established as a seminary in the early 1940s, the Shrine has been shining brightly since 1953 and remains an active retreat and conference center year-round.

The Annual Festival of Lights has been a traditional gathering spot for countless visitors regardless of faith. It features numerous angels, snowflakes, and religious depictions of the Three Kings, the Peaceable Kingdom, all light by more than 300,000 lights (nearly a third energy-efficient LEDs).

The Festival will continue until January 2, 2022. Admission is free, and donations are welcome. Review the website for COVID guidelines before arrival.

Winterlights, Canton, Stockbridge, and North Andover, MA

Sponsored by The Trustees of Reservations, Winterlights is the seasonal celebration held at three different garden properties overseen by The Trustees, each reflecting a different architectural style.

The stately country house at the Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate in Canton is sure to leave an impression, with its sparkling, shimmery, artfully designed holiday lights around the estate’s elegant gardens.

A short trip northbound will bring you to Stevens Coolidge House and Gardens in North Andover, the former farm-turned-20th-century estate, equally resplendent in the home’s architecture and bountiful gardens and plantings, transformed by thousands of strategically placed lights.

If you’ve always wanted to see the Berkshires, then head westward to Stockbridge and experience the Gilded Age style and splendor of Naumkeag. Designed as a summer retreat, this rare Berkshire “cottage” is transformed into a breathtaking wintry wonderland.

Tickets for all three locations are selling quickly. Check out availability and COVID guidelines on Winterlights page of The Trustees website.

First Night Boston 2022, Downtown Boston

No discussion of holiday lights is complete without mentioning First Night, Boston’s biggest New Year’s Eve party! Bring on the music, fun, and FIREWORKS!

First Night Boston has been a hallmark holiday celebration in Boston since 1975 and features lots of family-friendly activities, live musical performances, and spectacular ice sculptures by renowned artists.

First Night revelers can choose bedtime-friendly fireworks over Boston Common at 7 pm, traditionally-timed fireworks over Boston Harbor launched across from the North End Waterfront and Seaport at midnight, or a dramatic pyrotechnic show at midnight in Copley Square.

Photos: Stevens Coolidge House (single photo at top of page); (three photos above) Stone Zoo ZooLights, Steven Coolidge House, First NIght Boston. All photos via the organizations FB sites.

How are you embracing the holiday season this year? Is there a location you love that we should know about? Email us at to share your favorite places!

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