Read the 2016 version of Holiday Events In The Pioneer Valley! Click here!
There are so many awesome Holiday events in the Pioneer Valley. From holiday parades to tree lightings and Breakfast with Santa, there is something for EVERYONE.
I’m going to start this post off by listing a few of the perpetual events happening this season, if you’re looking for date specific events, scroll down. If you’re looking for places to see Santa, they’re in here. But I also wrote an entire separate post, so click here. If you’re like me, you like to see everything nice and tidy too. If you found this post helpful, please share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, in an email or however it works for you. I’ve made it super easy for you to share this! Just hit the social media icons on the left hand side of the screen to share at any time.
Holiday Events in the Pioneer Valley: Holiday Light Displays
Bright Nights in Forest Park, Springfield MA
Open 11/25/15 through 1/3/16
- Bright Nights is a huge holiday light display in Springfield’s Forest Park.
- Admission: Monday to Thursday – $18 Friday to Sunday and Holidays – $21
- Hours: Sunday to Thursday — 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm Fridays, Saturdays and Holidays 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm
- Follow the lit path through Santa’s Magical Forest to Santa’s Cottage. Santa’s Cottage is a magical place. Once inside the warm and cozy cottage, visitors can whisper their holiday wish list in to Santa’s ear and smile for the camera.
Look Park Winter Wonderland, Florence MA
Open 11/27/15 through 1/1/16
- Winter Wonderland is holiday light display in Look Park. It is a smaller scale than Bright Nights, but also very charming and fun.
- Admission: Donations, please
- Hours were not listed at time of publication, but likely 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
Holiday Events in the Pioneer Valley: Places To Go See Santa
Santa at Yankee Candle, South Deerfield, MA
Yankee Candle in South Deerfield, MA is one of the premier places to see Santa in the Pioneer Valley. This Santa is the REAL deal. In addition to offering a portrait package, you can also snap photos with your camera, which is a total bonus.
Yankee Candle kicks off the holiday with Santa arriving by Helicopter on 11/28/15 and with a parade on 11/29/15.
Here is a full listing of Santa’s holiday hours (including his break times). You should note that this is a very popular destination for Santa seekers in the Pioneer Valley, so plan to get there when it first opens or plan to wait in line.
Santa’s Land at Buttery Brook Park, South Hadley MA 123 Willimansett St (Route 33) in South Hadley.
- Open 12/11/15 through 12/14/15 and 12/18/15 though 12/21/15
- Admission is free and Mrs. Claus will hand out cookies and holiday-themed books to children after their visit with Santa. Books have been generously donated by Brighter Beginnings Child Care. Pictures with Santa are available for $5 each and families may also take their own photos. While Santa pictures are printed, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and a ride on the Buttery Brook ‘train’ to view the holiday lights!
Santa’s House at Mitteneague Park, 1695 Westfield Street, West Springfield MA
- Open 12/12/15 through 12/23/15
- Monday – Friday Hours – 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday & Sunday Hours – 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. & 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
- The West Springfield Park & Recreation Department has been sponsoring Santa’s House, located in Mittineague Park, since 1980. Santa will meet the children of West Springfield each evening before Christmas
Santa’s Trains @ Look Park Garden House, Florence MA
This is one of our favorite events of the holiday season. The line can be long, but it is because Santa and Mrs. Claus take time with each child and make sure Mom and Dad have their photo. Bring your cameras.
Santa at the Malls
Eastfield Mall, 1655 Boston Post Rd, Springfield, MA
- Photo packages are available. Here is a full list of the times you can see Santa at the Eastfield Mall
Holyoke Mall, 50 Holyoke St. Holyoke MA
- Photo packages are available. Here is a full list of the times you can see Santa at the Holyoke Mall.
Westfarms Mall Ice Place, 1500 New Britian Ave, West Hartford, CT
- Ice Palace will feature characters from the beloved 65-year-old Peanuts franchise. This interactive holiday display will showcase scenes from the new movie, plus a 30-foot Ice Palace with falling snow, a light show and other activities for the entire family. Interactive globes will feature graphics of the entire Peanuts gang enjoying a snow day ice skating and Snoopy taking to the skies to pursue his arch-nemesis, The Red Baron.
- Adults and children alike will be able to compare their icy hand print to that of Snoopy and Woodstock, see how they measure up to Snoopy and Charlie Brown, and have their photo taken at Snoopy’s dog house. End your magical journey at the Ice Palace with a visit to Santa and, of course, a special gift.
Holiday Events in the Pioneer Valley: Special Events
Tower Square Festival of Trees, Tower Square Springfield MA (meeting room)
- Dates: 11/27/15 through 12/13/15
- Hours :Wed: 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.; Thu – Sat: 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.; Sun: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Tower Square Meeting Room.
- Take a stroll thru the Springfield Boys & Girls Club’s wonderfully festive forest of more than 100 decorated Christmas trees.
Heritage Holiday Weekends at Historic Deerfield, MA
- Dates: 12/5/12 through 12/27/15
- Hours and activity vary by date
- The holiday spirit continues in December with the return of Heritage Holiday at Historic Deerfield. From December 5-27, visitors can join Historic Deerfield hearth cooks, guides and educators each weekend in a month-long series of traditional festive activities. The fun begins with the King Arthur Flour/Historic Deerfield Heritage Recipe Baking Contest, on Saturday, December 5.
- General admission is $14 for adults (18+), $5 for children (6-17), free for children under 5, members, and Deerfield residents.
Christmas By Candlelight at Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, MA
- Dates: Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays in December (ends 12/20/15)
- Re-creation of Mrs. Cratchit’s Christmas Dinner
- Sleigh rides (weather permitting)
- Gingerbread House Contest – winners determined by your votes
- Holiday traditions explained and recreated- roasting chestnuts, yule logs, mistletoe, and more
- Demonstrations of period gingerbread baking and cider mulling
- Victorian carolers
- Christmas keepsake to make and take home
- Display of model railroads and trains
- Display of a miniature New England Village
- Display of the Little Town of Bethlehem nativity
- Visit Father Christmas and Santa Claus
- Punch & Judy Puppet Show
- Christmas carol sing-a-longs
- Holiday magic shows
- The dance from Dicken’s A Christmas Carol
- Readings of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and A Visit from Saint Nicholas
- Readings of “The Nativity Gospel of Saint Luke” and “The Nativity Gospel of Saint Matthew”
- Escape the frenzy of a modern Christmas with an enchanted evening of gingerbread, roasted chestnuts, music, dance, and a sleigh ride (weather permitting). Meet Father Christmas and chat with Santa Claus (bring your camera!).
- Ticket prices vary by evening. Click here to purchase.
Holiday Events in the Pioneer Valley: Friday, November 27, 2015
Santa Arrives By Helicopter at Westfield Amelia Park Children’s Museum, 29 South Broad St, Westfield, MA
- Photos available for $5.00
Parade of Big Balloons, Springfield MA (downtown)
- Come and see the variety of balloons. Bears & Dinosaurs on Main Street!! Main Street in downtown Springfield will be filled with people, bands, motorized contingents, huge colorful balloon characters and much more the day after Thanksgiving, as the Spirit of Springfield launches the annual Tower Square Parade of the Big Balloons. Three of this year’s featured balloons include the adorable Paddington Bear, Yogi Bear, and Buddy the Dinosaur.
Springfield Museums Holiday Happenings 21 Edwards St Springfield, MA
10:00 am to 5:00 pm
- Visitors can stroll among the festive lighting displays around the Quadrangle while taking in a performance of “A Christmas Carol” by The Puppet People (2 p.m., D’Amour Museum), plus music by Springfield’s Sci-Tech Band and the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus (3 – 4:30 p.m. Wood Museum). Back by popular demand, TEN31 will also present one of their captivating “living topiaries” – in this case, a Red Poinsettia in honor of the holidays. All events are free with museum admission.
Moonlight Magic, Downtown Shelburne Falls MA
4:00 pm to 9:00 pm
- At 5:15pm, shortly after the town officially lights up, the Parade of Lights will begin in Buckland across from Lamson & Goodnow, featuring Santa, the Grinch and Max, Clifford, the Snow Princess and stilt-dancing by Maya Apfelbaum of Serendipity Stilt Dancers. The parade marches down Conway Street, through the Village of Buckland and then crosses the Iron Bridge into Shelburne. From there, Zumba dancers will perform on the bridge, while Santa and Mrs. Claus continue on to Santa’s Workshop at the Shelburne-Buckland Senior Center on Main Street. Pony rides and wandering musicians will enliven the streets; luminaries—courtesy of Mole Hollow Candle Co. and Mohawk Trail High School students—will provide light and warmth along the Deerfield Avenue and along the Iron Bridge.
Santa at the New England Air Museum 36 Perimeter Rd, Windsor Locks, CT
11:00 am to 3:00 pm
- The New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks, Conn. will hold its annual Santa Visit & Behind the Scenes Tour. Santa will meet and pose for photos with children and have a gift for each child.
Holiday Events in the Pioneer Valley: Saturday November 28, 2015
Dicken’s Days Lantern Parade and Tree Lighting, Downtown Westfield MA
- Parade is at 6:00 pm. Join in the festive line of march, including Westfield Mayor Dan Knapik, who is this year’s Grand Marshal, city officials; representatives from community organizations; and of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus. Promenade down Franklin Street and Elm Street to Park Square, our town green for Mayor’s Tree-lighting Ceremony at 6:30 pm.
Holiday Events in the Pioneer Valley: Sunday November 29, 2015
Brunch with Santa at The Lord Jeffery Inn, Amherst MA
- Additional dates: December 6th, 13th, & 20th
- 10:30 am to 2:30 pm
- Click here for more details.
Brunch with Santa at Old Sturbridge Village, 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA
10:00 am to 2:00 pm
- Additional Dates: December 6th, 12th, 13th, 19th, & 20th.
- Brunch with Santa at the Oliver Wight Tavern at Old Sturbridge Village offers a large selection of brunch items and a chance for the little ones to meet Santa.
- $26.95 for adult, $22.95 for seniors (65 and Older), and $13.95 for children 12 & under. Under 3 FREE.
- Tickets DO NOT include admission to Christmas by Candlelight, an evening event, which must be purchased separately.
- Reservations Required. Call please call 508-347-0362.
Christmas on the Common (Santa Visit), Three Rivers MA
- The free event begins at 4:00pm and includes hot chocolate and coffee as well as treats for all children. Michael Rondeau will create an ice sculpture, the Palmer High School chorus will lead a holiday sing-a-long and Blue Star Equiculture will provide horse-drawn carriage rides for all!
- By 5:00pm, Santa Claus will arrive on a fire truck with the help of the Three Rivers Fire Department. Families are welcome to bring a decoration for the community tree and a camera to record their visits with Santa.
Holiday Events in the Pioneer Valley: Friday December 4 through Sunday December 6
Polar Express Morning Shows, Tower Theaters South Hadley, MA
Holiday Events in the Pioneer Valley: Friday December 4, 2015
Supper with Santa Barney Carriage House, Forest Park Springfield, MA
- Additional Dates December 11th & December 13th
- Seatings at 5:30 pm – 6:00 pm – 6:30 pm – 7:00 pm
- Individual Tickets $15 per person $10 for children under 12.
- Kid friendly menu :
- Pre-Paid Reservations Required. Spirit of Springfield (413) 733-3800 or email@example.com
- Price does not include admission to Bright Nights.
Merry Maple, Amherst MA (on the commons)
- The schedule will be the same as almost every year with the Fire Station kicking this event off with an open house and hot chocolate. Followed by Hayrides from Muddy Brook Farms, craft room with a ton of great crafts, Amherst Regional Middle School Chorus on the front steps of the Town Hall,The UMass Marching Band and last but never least the Tree Lighting.
Christmas Tree Lighting at Market Square, Chicopee MA
4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
- Live music, hot chocolate, Santa Claus, treats and more!
Polar Express Screening, Tower Theaters, South Hadley, MA
Holiday Events in the Pioneer Valley: Saturday December 5, 2015
Breakfast With Santa at Look Park, Florence MA
- Breakfast Buffet
- Adults $10, Kids 2-12 $8
- Reservations Required: 413-584-5457
Breakfast With Santa at Easthampton Pulaski Club 79 Maple St, Easthampton, MA
- 9:00 am and 11:00 am seatings
- Come enjoy a pancake breakfast with Santa, Mrs. Claus, The Grinch, elves, Frosty the Snowman, and Christmas Tree!!!
- The buffet will include breakfast items such as pancakes, sausage, a pancake topping bar with chocolate chips, strawberries, blueberries, whip cream, and syrup, along with coffee, hot chocolate, and juice.
- Every child will receive a small gift from Santa Claus
- $8 for Adults & $6.00 for Children(12 and under) Children 2 and under eat FREE
- Tickets are available at Pulaski Club…ADVANCE TICKET SALES ONLY!!!
- Special promotion, RSVP a table for $80 -includes 10 tickets and a table next to Santa!
Breakfast With Santa at Westfield State Westfield MA
- Two seatings available: 8:30 am and 10:30 am.
- A Westfield State University Foundation/Circle K Club tradition. Join us on Saturday, December 5 for a delicious full breakfast buffet, a gift for each child, a photo opportunity with Santa, Melha Clowns, face painting and a raffle with great prizes
- Advance ticket purchase required (you can do that here).
Santa & Gingerbread Houses at Atkins Market, Amherst MA
12:00 pm to 3:00 pm
- $20 includes mini gingerbread house and candy to decorate. Limit of 2 children, per house.
(Houses are 6 inches high and 5 inches wide)
- Santa Claus will be at Atkins for photo opportunities Bring your own camera to take pictures.
Holyoke’s Christmas Tree Lighting
Holiday Events in the Pioneer Valley: Sunday December 6, 2015
Breakfast With Santa, Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place, Springfield MA
White Christmas in West Brookfield, MA
11:00 am – 4:00 pm
- Take in the sights of the New England Winter from a horse drawn wagon or stroll Main Street and beyond to enjoy a day filled with local tradition, family entertainment, and the warmth and spirit of the Holiday Season.
- The day’s festivities begin with a free puppet show “The Frog Prince” by the Pumpernickel Puppets in the Great Hall, the upper level of our Town Hall, at 11:00am.
- Beginning at noon local shops, churches, banks, the elementary school, library, Senior Center, Fire Department, and Quaboag Historical Museum will host Open Houses designated by white flags. Free raffles and refreshments will be available. Craft shows can be found at Ye Olde Tavern and Quaboag Rehabilitation & Skilled Care Center featuring many local artisans. Keep an eye out for Father Christmas as he is known to make his way through town during the festival.
- The kids won’t want to miss our Elf Hunt. Search for elves at some of the open houses and get your card stamped. Find all the elves and collect a prize! Elf Hunt cards can be picked up at the puppet show or at participating open houses. Kids will also enjoy taking part in decorating gingerbread men at the West Brookfield Senior Center from 12:00pm-3:00pm. Refreshments will also be provided by the Senior Center.
- In addition, the West Brookfield Elementary School will have their “Elves ‘R’ Us” gift sale from 12:00pm-3:00pm. You can also stop in at the Merriam-Gilbert Library to try your luck in their Friends of the Library raffle table and warm up with some refreshments.
- Food will be available at the West Brookfield Fire Department from 12:00pm-5:00pm where you can also check out the fire engines. Refreshments will also be available at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church and a luncheon will be offered at the First Congregational Church beginning at 12:00pm. You can also try some cider and donuts while browsing the craft corner at The George Whitefield Methodist Church from 1:00pm-4:00pm.
Easthampton Holiday Whobiliation, Easthampton MA @ The Rotary new Florence Bank
- Bring a toy under 10$ to donate to low income families in the community and sing your hearts out with a cup of cocoa!
- This is the third annual Easthampton holiday Whobilation and we are mode then excited to be back to sing and bring holiday cheer with you all!
- Parking available at the Easthampton and Florence banks. Please use the crosswalks and keep on the rotary areas for safety.
- Please keep an eye on children for the crowds are very big but have fun enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and Merry Christmas all!
- Cash donations will go directly to the community center
- This event is sponsored by YANKEE home improvement
Holiday Events in the Pioneer Valley: Friday December 11, 2015
It’s A Wonderful Night, Downtown Turners Falls, MA
5:00 pm to 10:00 pm
- Holiday activities, art exhibitions, live music, restaurant specials, performances and unique gift buying opportunities throughout town. Children and adults alike are encouraged to put a wish list in the Magic Mailbox, as well as notes of hope for themselves, friends, family and the world! Santa will arrive at Spinner Park to collect the notes at 6:30pm.
A Christmas Carol at Yankee Candle, South Deerfield, MA
- Dec. 11 & 18 at 7:00 pm.
- Weekend Dates: Dec. 12, 13, 19 & 20 at 2:00 pm.
- Yankee Candle Village is pleased to host Ja’Duke as they present this holiday classic, sure to get the whole family in the Christmas spirit!
- Regular: $15.00 Child: $12.00, 12 and under.
Nutcracker & Sweets Wistariahhurst Museum, 238 Cabot St Holyoke MA
- December 11, 12, & 13 many times available, check their website
- Massachusetts Academy of Ballet’s Nutcracker & Sweets at Wistariahurst Museum! Join us in imaging the ballet as it might have been produced in the 1890’s when the Skinner family lived at Wistariahurst. Student dancers will perform the magical story.
- Tickets $15/ children eight years and under $5
- Advance tickets required, purchase here.
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The Polar Express Reading at The Steaming Tender, 28 Depot St, Palmer MA
- Event runs all weekend + the weekend of 17th-20th
- $7.00 per person
- 5:30 pm, 6:30 pm or 7:30 pm (4:30 pm Saturday only)
Holiday Events in the Pioneer Valley: Saturday December 12, 2015
10th Annual Special Day in Northfield Holiday Celebration, Northfield, MA
10:00 am through Dusk
- Enjoy seasonal activities on Northfield’s Main Street and Back Roads. The horse drawn hayrides, holiday crafts in several locations, Gingerbread man/lady decorating at Mim’s Market, a wind ensemble, strolling carolers and the sunset bonfire at the Northfield Golf Course are back, plus a benefit performance of “A Child’s Christmas in Wales.”
Breakfast with Santa at Tower Square, 1500 Main St Springfield MA
9:00 am to 11:00 am
- Citywalk Cafes food court
- Join Santa for a delicious pancake breakfast served by Tower Grill for this special morning of entertainment and fun for the whole family. Featuring the Tanglewood Marionettes’ performance of the Fairy Circus, a kids craft station, face painting and more this event will delight all ages.
- Pre-registration and payment is required. Register by mail. The form is located here.
Santa at Eastworks, 116 Pleasant St. Easthampton MA
10:00 am to 4:00 pm
- A $5.00 per family fee at the door gets you a photo op with Santa (bring your own camera), snacks, crafts, and more. There are also several activities available for an additional fee (balloon animals, face painting, and so on). Pre-registration is appreciated, here is the form. Sponsored by MacKid Chicopee/Holyoke/Ludlow .
Breakfast with Santa @ The Steaming Tender, Palmer MA
Holiday Events in the Pioneer Valley: Sunday December 20, 2015
Breakfast Buffet with Santa at Brunelle’s Dockside 1 Alvord St, South Hadley, MA
10:00 am with Santa arriving around 10:45
- Buffet prices start at $15.00 for grown ups and $10.00 for kids. Reservations requested, this event sold out last year. Click here for online reservations.
What did I miss? Let me know in the comments and I’ll try to get them added! What are your favorite holiday events in the Pioneer Valley?
Looking for craft ideas to compliment your outings? Check out these awesome Christmas ideas by another mom in the Pioneer valley!
I love this one, Mickey Mouse Cinnamon Ornaments! 2 Ingredients!