Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Christmas Strolls and other Cape Cod Holiday Fun

Tired of the commercialism of the holiday season?  Are you looking for things to do with your family and friends that are less about who gets the biggest toys and more about community, joy, and old-fashion holiday magic?  Then Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard are the places to get away from the hustle and bustle of the malls and settle into a slower pace of horse-drawn rides, hot cider and carolers on lovely Main Streets of yesterday.

A Seaside Christmas in Orleans: Events kick off on November 26 with Santa and Mrs. Claus arriving for breakfast at the Orleans Yacht Club and then heading off to Snow's Home & Garden to meet the children.  While you are at Snow's you have to check out all the great model train displays - sure to please young and old.  Then its a candlelight stroll to the village green for the annual tree lighting.  On December 2, Mrs. Claus comes back for carols at the annual Lighting of the Windmill in East Orleans.  Events continue all holiday season long with chowder festivals, performances and holiday gathering.

Or maybe you want to go to Brewster for the Holidays with special events on December 2 - 4.  Friday evening - December 2 - starts events off with the Wreath and Tree lighting at Drummer Boy Park and then the Brewster Band Concert at the Brewster Baptist Church.  On the 3rd, enjoy the many shops and restaurants of Brewster and pick up your raffle tickets with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Cape Cod Children's Place a child care and family resource center who serves families in Brewster and surrounding towns.  Sunday, December 4, is the Gala Family holiday party at the Cape Cod Natural History Museum.

More events the same weekend will be going on at Falmouth's Holidays by the Sea Weekend.  On the evening of December 2, things kick off with a Holiday Carol Sing at Nobska Lighthouse.  On Saturday December 3, head over to the dock at Falmouth Harbor for the arrival of Santa by Sea as he sails into the harbor.  At 7 pm is the lighting of the village green with the Falmouth Brass Choir leading carols.  The big event starts at noon on Sunday December 4 with the 48th Annual Falmouth Christmas Parade.  This year's theme is “Christmas Memories, Celebrating 325 Years”.  Known as Southeastern Massachusetts’ largest holiday parade, it features many walking groups, theme decorated floats, marching bands, live animals, costumed characters and of course Santa Claus!

The most popular Christmas Stroll event is the Nantucket Christmas Stroll also called Nantucket Noel.  In it's 38th year, the stroll will begin December 2 - 4.  Events kick off on Dec. 2, with the Friends of Nantucket Public Schools 29th Annual Christmas Stroll House Tour.  Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive on December 3, on a Coast Guard vessel, where they then join in a festive parade up Main Street. Carolers, bell ringers and student choirs as well as other performers entertain all who are wandering Main Street.  This year will include a European-style "Christmas Market" with 15 non-profits offering foods and gifts.

Christmas in Edgartown is a Vineyard tradition.  This year's events are Friday December 9 through Sunday December 11.  Look for the annual Arts and Crafts Fair at the Edgartown School after you watch the annual parade.  Grab some food at the 27th annual Chowder Contest.  Don't miss the  MVRHS Minnesingers Annual Holiday Family Concert held at The Old Whaling Church at 4pm on Saturday and the Christmas Tree Lighting at 5pm.

Harwich offers Christmas in Harwich which starts things off on Friday December 2, with the Harwich Port Stroll at 5:30 pm.  Tree Lighting, Santa's arrival on a fire truck, horse-drawn carriage rides, all make for a magical New England evening.  On Saturday, bazaars, sing-a-longs, and open houses fill the day along with the East Harwich stroll in the afternoon.  Sunday finishes with a Christmas Cantata and Christmas Carols.

So you think that's all there is?  Not by a long shot!  See our post on Chatham for all the events there including First Night.  Barnstable is filled with activities including Hyannis Main Street and Waterfront Christmas Stroll on Dec 3.  For more events Cape Cod wide - including the amazing Glassblower's Christmas in Sandwich, Gardens Aglow Celebration of Lights at Heritage Museum and Gardens, 12 Days of Christmas in Mashpee, The Cape Cod Enchanted Village features a magnificent display of more than 100,000 lights at our friends at the Cape Codder Resort and Spa, and the Cape Symphony Orchestra "Holiday Pops Spectacular" check the Christmas on Cape Cod Events.  As always, for wonderful places to stay on the Cape check out Lodging; for Nantucket see, and for Martha's Vineyard see  Come enjoy a Christmas of yester-year on The Cape and Islands!

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