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Welcome to Boston Homestay - Chiba Japanese School Group!15-Mar-2019

Our largest group of Japanese teens from Chiba, Japan arrived to homestays. The group will atte..

Welcome to Boston Homestay - Gifu High School Japanese Group!10-Mar-2019

A group of visitors from Gifu High School arrived to Boston and homestay on Sunday evening. The gro..


Best in Hospitality

FREE Pancakes at IHOP 3/12/19!

Global Immersions Recruiting - Sunday, March 10, 2019

Happy National Pancake Day!

Head over to IHOP on Tuesday, March 12 to celebrate and get your FREE short stack of original buttermilk pancakes and donate to help children battling critical illnesses! Find your nearest IHOP and learn more here.

Do you know the history of Pancake Day? Last Tuesday, March 5, was also Shrove Tuesday. "Shrive" means for one to confess their sins. During the olden days, on the day before Lent, people would use all of their eggs, fat and butter to make pancakes since they would not be eating these foods over the next 6 weeks. Lent is the 40 days preceding Easter in Christian traditions where fasting and food abstaining occurs. Lent began this year on March 6 and ends April 18.


Around the world, different countries celebrate Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day in many ways! In some towns in the U.K., people have pancake races while flipping them in frying pans. In Denmark, the day is called Fastelavn, in which children dress up in costumes and eat Danish style buns. In Canada, their pancakes are filled with objects to predict the future as the ring finder will be married first, the thimble finder will be a seamstress/tailor, the name finder will be a carpenter and the coin finder will become rich. In France, Shrove Tuesday is known as Mardi Gras or "Fat Tuesday", but their pancake day is on February 2nd and called Candlemas. They eat crêpes which are believed to bring a year full of happiness, wealth, health and good crops. Whoever flips their pancake without dropping it on the ground, has good luck for the year. Let us know your Pancake Day traditions in the comments below!


Hosts: Try making pancakes from scratch with your students with this recipe from Food Network! TAG us in your Instagram pictures @globalimmersions and enjoy!


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups milk, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more as needed

Sources:

https://www.whyeaster.com/customs/shrovetuesday.shtml

http://blog.english-heritage.org.uk/pancake-day-traditions/

http://projectbritain.com/pancakeday/world.htm

Favorite American Foods

Global Immersions Recruiting - Tuesday, March 05, 2019


The United States is known as the melting pot of the world, a unique mixture of religions, peoples, cultures...we have it all. And we have all of the food too! Often times when deciding what to eat for dinner, you will hear Americans say they want Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Tex-mex; the possibilities are endless. Although one’s first thought of American food may be McDonald’s hamburgers, the truth is there are plenty of more cultural dishes to offer! Today we want to share with you some of our favorite American meals, to try while eating out or to try while cooking at home. There’s too many to choose from, so we picked out the best for you!



Let’s start with breakfast, known as the most important meal of the day.The American culture typically encourages a larger breakfast portion size than other cultures, although a breakfast routine is different for every individual. New England especially is well-known for its American breakfast diners with plates piled high with scrambled eggs, pancakes, waffles, and of course, local maple syrup. At home, people commonly eat cold cereals, toasts, and eggs. Breakfast sandwiches are also commonplace, as well as oatmeal or granola dishes. For those near or visiting Boston, 11% of Northeasterners report preferring to eat bagels for breakfast, which is more than anywhere else in the United States! Another important American phenomenon normally found in cities is brunch. For those of you new to the idea of ‘brunch’, it is a combination of a breakfast and lunch time meal typically served from 10AM-2PM on the weekends. Lucky for you, Boston has some of the best brunch. Most importantly, Americans need their coffee in the morning. One study shows that more than ⅓ of the American population drinks coffee daily, and the average coffee drinker has more than 3 cups per day!



For lunch, most Americans opt for a quick and easy meal such as salads or sandwiches. One American favorite is the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, most commonly loved by children. A Boston favorite is a New England lobster roll. Caught locally, these lobster rolls can be served hot and toasted with butter, or cold and tossed in mayonnaise. (Many people have their preference but both are worth a try!) Another important food group for Americans is all things barbecue. We love grilling and hosting picnic get togethers with friends and family. Every region of the United States is known for its own barbecue style or flavor. Hotdogs and hamburgers also fall within the barbecue category. The most “American” restaurant you will find in the U.S. is a burger or barbecue joint. Favorite side dishes may include homemade macaroni and cheese, corn on the cob, cole slaw, or french fries. Many diners or burger places will also serve sweet milkshakes to complement the savory burgers! Boston Burger company, a local burger chain, is famous for over ten flavors of decorated milkshakes.




Finally, desserts! First and foremost, are chocolate chip cookies. Whether freshly baked at home or bought from the store, chocolate chip cookies are an American staple. Often kids will dunk their cookies in milk, or put ice cream between two cookies to form an ice cream sandwich called a chipwich. Next, are s’mores. We make s’mores mostly in the summertime by roasting marshmallows over the fire. Everyone has their preference to how gooey or cooked they like their marshmallows toasted. The final product is a marshmallow sandwiched between chocolate bars and graham crackers to form one of America’s all time favorite desserts.

What is your favorite American dish or treat? Share with us by using #HomestayBoston or tagging @globalimmersions!

Sources: ABC News, Time

New England Patriots in the Super Bowl

Global Immersions Recruiting - Wednesday, January 30, 2019


This weekend tune in for SUPER BOWL SUNDAY on February 3 at 6:30 PM! Super Bowl Sunday has practically become a national holiday here in the United States. Whether you watch football regularly every week or don’t know the difference between a touchdown and a field goal, everyone watches this football game. Last year alone, more than 103.4 million people watched the game via NBC broadcast. It is one of the best American traditions! Once a year, people join together with friends, make delicious foods, and camp out in front of the television on Sunday afternoon to watch the game. Not a sports fan? You can look forward to the musical half-time show, this year starring Maroon 5, Travis Scott, and Big Boi as well as the famous half-time commercials.There is something entertaining for everyone to watch.



What’s more, this Super Bowl LIII we are able to cheer on our very own Boston team, the New England Patriots! For the third year in a row, the Patriots will compete for the Super Bowl championship title.The Pats have just broken a record for the most Super Bowl appearances, this being their 11th! And our star quarterback, Tom Brady, currently holds the record for more appearances than any one player, with nine championship games this year. The Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI way back in 2002, with the same coach and quarterback as we have now. The Rams have completely changed their team structure since then, so this should be a competitive game. The Patriots will face off against the Rams at the Mercedes-Benz stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. All major news stations will be covering the event. The only commitment you have to make is which spot on the couch you want to watch the game!


To ensure that you have the most American Super Bowl experience, these are a few of our favorite recipes to try for the big day. Here’s the game plan. Think appetizers. (And make sure to bring extra napkins.)

Wings

They can be slow to make, but worth the wait! Whether BBQ, Buffalo, or Garlic Parmesan, these wings are a staple dish at any Super Bowl get together.

Barbecue Chicken Nachos

Great for the family to share or to bring for a party at your friend’s place. Everyone loves nachos.

Best Dips

Anything that goes with chips, will be a hit. From onion dip, to salsa, to guacamole, try these dip recipes for the Super Bowl!


Wherever you may be watching from, we want to see you in your New England Patriots gear! Share your Super Bowl spirit with us by using #HomestayBoston or tagging @globalimmersions!


Sources:

CBS Sports

Statista

Get into the Holiday Spirit in Boston

Global Immersions Recruiting - Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Although we just wrapped up Thanksgiving, radio stations are already playing Christmas carols, stores are advertising holiday sales, and families are buying their Christmas trees. Boston has begun to transition into the holiday season, as many areas of the city are displaying holiday lights and hosting winter activities. If you’re excited to celebrate the holidays in Boston, check out one of these festive events this week:

Mayor’s 2018 Enchanted Trolley Tour

Mayor Marty Walsh’s Enchanted Trolley Tour is back again for the 23rd year to kick off the start of the holiday season. The Trolley Tour consists of a series of events, such as tree lightings, holiday performances, and visits with Santa for young children in Boston’s neighborhoods. Some events, such as the lighting of the Christopher Columbus Park Trellis and the Copley Square Tree took place in mid-November, while others, such as the Boston Common Tree and Commonwealth Avenue Mall lighting, are scheduled to take place this Thursday and Friday, respectively. On Saturday, December 1st, the Mayor and a crew of holiday performers, will parade through the streets of Boston’s neighborhoods bringing music, dancing, and activities for kids. Find out when the Mayor will be in your neighborhood here.


Sowa Winter Festival

Boston’s popular farmer’s market returns to its South End location this winter for two weekends only, to host a special holiday-themed bazaar. Many of the local vendors from Sowa’s summer and fall market will once again open their booths for visitors to find a variety of merchandise, such as apparel, art, jewelry, crafts, food, and drink. The Winter Festival will also feature a separate area with food trucks, face painting, live ice sculpting and more. This event is the perfect place to buy holiday gifts, or just enjoy the afternoon browsing the different shops, listening to live music, and trying some delicious treats! Find a full list of vendors here.


Holiday Music on the Row

What better way to get into the holiday spirit than with a little music? Every Saturday Boston Free Radio will be sponsoring a musical event at Assembly Row in Somerville. Different local DJ’s will be at the Row each weekend to make your visit a bit more festive.   This month, the shopping center will also host a few winter events, like an Ice Sculpture Stroll and Santa Paws Pet Photos which are both free and open to the public!


Holiday Pet Photos

Speaking of holiday-themed pet photos, the Thorndike Dog Park in Arlington will also be hosting its own Santa Paws event. On Saturday, December 1st, dogs can get a free picture taken with Santa along with some tasty dog treats. Maybe you bring your host family’s pet? or just go to see some dogs and sip some (free) hot chocolate. The event will be from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm!

All About McDonald's

Global Immersions Recruiting - Friday, August 03, 2018

In America, fast food began in 1916 at a White Castle in Wichita Kansas.  By the 1920's, people would deliver food to cars as curb service starting at A&W Root Beer Shop. Roller skates were worn by the waitresses called car hops. Drive through windows were invented in the 1940's becoming a quick and easy way to order and receive food. 

McDonald's, one of the most successful companies in the world, started out as a hot dog stand, which then became a drive in barbecue restaurant. In 1948, it became the burger place we know of today. 

Let's learn about a few facts about McDonald's.

The Golden Arches of McDonald's became the logo in 1968. 12.5% of the population has worked at McDonald's at some point in their life. Every second, 75 hamburgers are sold and 68 million customers are served each day. You can find a McDonald's in 119 out of 196 total countries in the world. Ronald McDonald is the most universal character in the world besides Santa Claus. 3.4 billion pounds of potatoes a year are purchased and used to make McDonald's infamous french fries. 550 million Big Macs are sold a year globally.

Whether you're craving a Big Mac or nuggets, you can have an inexpensive, quick and easy meal at McDonald's in the U.S. Most everyone obviously knows and has eaten at McDonald's, no matter where you're from. Here in the U.S., there are over 1.5 more McDonald's than hospitals. In Hong Kong, you can even get married in a McDonald's starting at $1,200. In 1961, Hamburger University was opened where over 5,000 people attend every year to learn how to become a manager of McDonald's. Did you know that McDonald's is the world's largest distributor of toys? Over 1.5 billion toys are given out in Happy Meals a year.

McDonald's menus varies from country to country around the globe reflecting the culture.  In Japan, you can find a teriyaki burger, squid ink burger and McChocolate potato fries. A McRice burger in Singapore, mashed-potato burger in China, and McSamurai pork burger in Thailand. In Germany, there's the McSasuage burger, a McFalafel in Israel, and a McCurry pan in India. The McLobster can be found in Canada, Gazpacho soup in Spain, and McNoodles in Austria. Would you be up for trying some of these meals at your McDonald's? For more global McDonald's foods, click here. 


Watch Americans taste and provide feedback on menu items at McDonald's in Japan here and Dubai here

Whether you are traveling abroad or in Boston for the first time, visiting a McDonald's to check out the menu should be on your itinerary. 



Happy National Ice Cream Day!

Global Immersions Recruiting - Thursday, July 12, 2018

                                                                           

National Ice Cream Day is this Sunday, July 15th!

Ever curious about the difference between soft serve vs. regular ice cream? Here's a little history lesson on the two:

   

Soft Serve 

Who doesn't love the soft, smooth and creamy taste of soft serve ice cream? It was originally invented in 1934 by Tom Carvel after his ice cream truck broke down in Hartsdale, New York.  His ice cream melted, yet customers still bought it. Carvel realized a lighter version of ice cream was a brilliant business idea. He created a secret recipe and opened a store called Carvel  within two years. Dairy Queen  had similar ideas when developing a soft serve recipe in 1938 in Moline, IL.  In a sample tasting of their new product, 1,600 servings were consumed within two hours. Still today, soft serve is a hit among ice cream lovers. It is lower in milk fat and stored at a lower temperature than regular ice cream.  Soft serve is up to 45% air in volume which gives it the fluffiness that melts in your mouth.

Regular Ice Cream 

Variations of ice cream can be traced back centuries to the ancient world.  It began in China around 200 BC where they used a mixture of milk, rice and snow. In 400 BC, Persians ate ice flavored with fruit and rose water. At this time in Ancient Greece, snow with honey and fruit was served at markets in Athens. In Rome, Emperors carried ice from mountains to combine it with fruit. During the sixteenth century, Mughal Emperors in India had ice transported to make fruit sorbets. By the 1600's, ice cream became popular in Europe appearing in recipes in French cookbooks. Ice cream finally reached North America by the mid 1700's as it was introduced by Quaker colonists. Fast forward to the 1840's and ice cream makers were invented in England and America by Agnes Marshall and Nancy Johnson. Today, the average American eats anywhere from 19-23 pounds of ice cream annually. It contains at least 10% milk fat and 16% sweeteners. 12% is milk and 55% is water.



    

Looking for the BEST ice cream in Boston?

There's obviously the infamous Ben & Jerry's,  Emack and Bolio's, and J. P. Lick's, but what about some other local shops?  Here are a few to try around Boston: Gracie's Ice Cream, Christinia's Homemade Ice Cream, Forge Ice Cream Bar,  Lizzy's Ice Cream, Tipping Cow Ice Cream,  BerryLine, Amorino, Toscanini's, Cold Stone Creamery, Juicy Spot Cafe, Blackbird Doughnuts,  Molly Moo's Ice Cream and Cafe.  

Looking for non-dairy options? Try FoMu which serves dairy free ice cream, vegan, gluten free, soy free and kosher sweets.

For more detailed information and the top 10 list check out these links below:

https://www.bostonmagazine.com/restaurants/2018/06/29/best-boston-ice-cream/

https://boston.eater.com/maps/best-new-ice-cream-boston

     

Craving Gelato and the Italian experience

Head to the North End to be transported to Italy to enjoy some delicious gelato.  During the summer, you can stroll the streets of the North End while enjoying a cone without the airfare!  Click here for a list of places in the North End where you can find the best gelato.

Fun Facts about Ice Cream

  • Chocolate ice cream was invented before vanilla
  • Vanilla is the most popular ice cream flavor
  • In Norway, the record for the tallest ice cream cone was over 10 feet tall
  • 90 % of American's have ice cream in their freezer
  • New Zealand consumes the most ice cream
  • A record holding 1.75 gallons of ice cream was eaten in eight minutes 
  • Some of the strangest ice cream flavors are lobster, octopus, horseradish and raw horse flesh... ew!

Whether you're chilling at home or out at the beach, we hope you beat the heat and celebrate a day for eating ice cream!

   


Super Bowl $tats: The Cost of Super Bowl LII

Global Immersions Recruiting - Tuesday, January 30, 2018

This Sunday, The New England Patriots will face off against the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII. The Patriots have won 5 out of the 9 total Super bowls they have played in. Sunday will determine if Patriots' quarterback, Tom Brady, will receive his 6th Super Bowl win in his 8th Super Bowl appearance.

The Eagles have appeared in 2 previous Super Bowls, though have never emerged victorious. The team took on the Patriots once before in 2004, losing 21-24 in Super Bowl XXXIX.

Sunday's game is sure to be exciting as the Patriots fight to hang onto their title as reigning Super Bowl Champions.

Super Bowl Sunday is definitely a heavily advertised event, but just how popular is it? You may be surprised to learn exactly how much money is spent by Americans on game day every year.

Super Bowl Stats

Over 100 million people watch the Super Bowl every year. This means that over 100 million people see Super Bowl Ads. 

Over the last 50 years corporations have spent a total of $4.9 billion dollars on advertising during the Super Bowl. The current average cost of airspace for a 30- second commercial is $5 million dollars. 


Americans spend $1.2 billion dollars on beer for the Super Bowl and $1.1 billion on other alcohol.

$82 million dollars is spent on chicken wings alone - the most popular game day snack. 

Americans spend $1.4 billion dollars on Super Bowl parties, most of which is spent on food and drink. 

Snacks by State

According to Thrillist the most popular Super Bowl snacks in the states of Massachusetts and Pennsylvania (where the Patriots and Eagles have their home fields) are buffalo chicken dip and Potato Soup, respectively. In Minnesota (where they will play on Sunday) the most popular snack is Tater Tot Casserole.

Here is the most popular game day snacks by state: 

Alabama -- Mississippi Roast
Alaska -- Potato Salad
Arizona -- Chili
Arkansas -- Queso Cheese Dip
California -- Chicken Wings
Colorado -- Taco Pie
Connecticut -- Slow Cooker Chicken Wings
Delaware -- Butter Cake Bars
Florida -- Sausage Cheese Balls
Georgia -- Sliders
Hawaii -- Crescent Sloppy Joes
Idaho -- Little Smokies
Illinois -- Chex Mix
Indiana -- Root Beer Chicken
Iowa -- Pigs In A Blanket
Kansas -- Dill Pickle Soup
Kentucky -- Buffalo Chicken Casserole
Lousiana -- Crab au Gratin
Maine -- Clam Dip
Maryland -- Pizza Sticks
Massachusetts -- Buffalo Chicken Dip
Michigan -- Potato Soup
Minnesota -- Tater Tot Casserole/Hot Dish
Mississippi -- Beef Stew
Missouri -- Hamburgers
Montana -- Buffalo Chicken Dip
Nebraska -- Hot Wings
Nevada -- Sausage Cheese Balls
New Hampshire -- Chili
New Jersey -- Chili
New Mexico -- Seven Layer Taco Dip
New York -- Buffalo Chicken Wings
North Carolina -- Sausage Cheese Balls
North Dakota -- Bacon-Wrapped Smokies
Ohio -- White Chicken Chili
Oklahoma -- Stuffed Mushrooms 
Oregon -- Taco Soup
Pennsylvania -- Potato Soup
Rhode Island -- Chili
South Carolina -- Cowboy Caviar
South Dakota -- Hummus
Tennessee -- Skillet Dips
Texas -- Sausage Cheese Balls
Utah -- Pulled Pork
Vermont -- Bruschetta
Virginia -- Deviled Eggs
Washington -- Jalapeno Popper Dip
West Virginia -- Sliders
Wisconsin -- Pinwheels
Wyoming -- Sliders

Super Bowl LII airs this Sunday, February 4th, at 6:30 pm on NBC

Don't have cable? Don't worry. Learn about other viewing options here.

Source: Parade

Christmas: Then and Now

Global Immersions Recruiting - Thursday, December 21, 2017

The winter solstice marked the short, harsh and dark winter days were coming to an end. Longer days and extended hours of sunlight are highly anticipated and brought hope to those seeking comfort in the sun. This Pagan celebration was soon absorbed by others and transitioned into a Christian holiday. The winter holiday became an anniversary celebration of the birth of Jesus. From one religion to another and constantly evolving, Christmas of today has religious implications but the commercialized aspects have far outgrown the religious ones. Narratives once revolved around Jesus, but Santa Claus has since become the integral character for Christmas stories.

Not always the popular holiday it is today, Christmas was outlawed in Boston from 1659 to 1681. Puritan beliefs countered the celebration and those participating in Christmas festivities were fined five shillings. While other settlements did not have these strict regulations and Christmas slowly gained popularity. Christmas was declared a federal holiday in the United States in on June 26, 1870. Globalization and developing technologies have changed and spread traditions. Each family has different traditions, as does each country. Other traditions and celebrations are unique to a country or town.

Christmas trees have become a symbol of Christmas. Christmas trees were first seen in Germany and immigrants brought the concept to the United States. Thought of as a Pagan tradition, it was not widely embraced initially. The first record of a Christmas tree being publicly displayed was in the 1830s. This display in Pennsylvania was created by German immigrants who had been decorating such trees in their communities for years. Popularity of Christmas trees grew after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who was German, were photographed with their children around one.

St. Lucia (Lucy) Day is celebrated widely, but most common in Scandinavia on December 13. The name Lucy refers to “light” and the celebration initially coincide with the winter solstice. To commemorate her death, a girl will dress in a white gown with a red sash around the waist. A crown of twigs and nine lit candles adorn her head. Processions are common in towns and one girl is selected for the honor of leading it. She will dress with the sash and crown of candles, but the other participants will carry a candle


Gävlebocken, the Gävle Goat, is a holiday display in Gävle, Sweden. Comprised of straw, the goat has cost upwards of a quarter of a million dollars to create and maintain. Since the tradition was introduced in 1966, the Gävle Goat has been destroyed by vandals 35 times in the past 50 years. Increased resources have been allocated to the protection of the display.  

While everyone might be dreaming of a white Christmas, some have white sandy beaches. In the Southern Hemisphere, Christmas is in the middle of summer. Australians  tend to go to the beach and have a picnic as their Christmas meal. The weather permits plenty of outdoor activities for the whole family to enjoy.


All in all, Christmas around the world is celebrated in various styles and fashions, but most people would agree that the most important part of Christmas is the time we spend with family!

Merry Christmas to all!

The Story of Hanukkah

Global Immersions Recruiting - Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a centuries-old Jewish celebration that commemorates the rededication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem. As legend goes, in 166 BC, the Jewish people rose against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt. First led by father and priest, Mattathias Maccabee, and then by his son, Judah, the rebellion lasted for well over two years, and ended in what is considered the 'miracle' of light.

The Greek-Syrian oppressors had desecrated the holy Temple in Jerusalem by erecting a statue of Zeus and sacrificing pigs upon its altar. Their leader, Antiochus, gave the Jewish people an ultimatum: conversion or death. Though outnumbered, Judah Maccabee and his followers won two important battles, virtually ridding the city of the Greek-Syrian oppressors.

At the end of the Maccabean Revolt, Judah called upon his followers to cleanse the Temple, rebuild its original altar, and light its menorah. To everyone's dismay, there was only enough untainted oil to keep the menorah lit for a single day. The flames, however, continued to flicker for eight nights, allowing the Jewish people enough time to find a fresh supply of oil. This miracle inspired the annual eight-day festival of lights, Hanukkah, which means 'dedication' in Hebrew, and reminds Jews today to rededicate themselves to the Jewish religion, culture, and people.

Today, the celebration of Hanukkah revolves around lighting the menorah, eating foods cooked in oil (such as latkes and jam-filled donuts), playing with toy dreidels, and spending time with family. Though it is not considered a Jewish "high holiday", in which restrictions are placed on school, work, or other activities,  Hanukkah has seen an explosion of commercial attention, as it usually lands near Christmas. This year, Hanukkah began on Tuesday, December 12, and will go through Wednesday, December 20.

Happy Hanukkah to all!

Sources: History and RJ

A Boston Holiday Season

Global Immersions Recruiting - Wednesday, December 06, 2017

As many of you know, the start of December is the official kick off for the Winter holiday season, and Boston is as charming a city as they come this time of year. If you're looking for fun things to do this month, then look no further because we've compiled a list of the best activities this season.

Light shows:

Greenway Carousel: From December 1, 2017 through January 1, 2018, head over to the Greenway Carousel to take a spin against the backdrop of bright, festive light shows and favorite holiday tunes. Beginning at 4:45pm and running until close, these light shows are sure to brighten up a cold winter's evening.

Somerville Illumination Trolley Tours: Several homes in Somerville go all out with their holiday decorations, and the Somerville Arts Council created a trolley tour to shuttle interested parties from house to house to check them out. Tour is Saturday, December 16, from 4:30pm to 10:00pm. 

ZooLights, Stoneham: Every year, the Stoneham Stone Zoo puts on a dazzling holiday light show from 5:00pm to 9:00pm each evening through December 31. This spectacular display is in addition to wonderful holiday-themed decorations added to many animal enclosures.

The Lynn Fells Parkway, Saugus: For over 60 years, families pile into their cars for a slow drive down the Lynn Fells Parkway on the North Shore. Most residents on this mile-long stretch of road gave up counting the number of bulbs on their property, though their estimates are in the thousands.

Blink! Faneuil Hall: Holiday shoppers around the Faneuil Hall area have been able to enjoy an audiovisual show called Blink!, where 350,000 LED lights dance to the music of the Holiday Pops. The spectacle lasts about 7 minutes, but plays throughout the night from 4:30pm to 9:30pm until January 1.

La Salette Shrine: For over 60 years, La Salette Shrine in Attleboro has amazed visitors with displays of over 300,000 lights spread across 10 acres. There is also an international crèche museum with more than 1,000 crèches. Open daily from 5:00pm to 9:00pm though January 1.

Your OWN! If you can, take your visitor along for a drive around the neighborhood to see all of the holiday decorations near your home! And for a more comprehensive list of the best light shows around Boston, follow this link!

More holiday activities:


December can be a brutally cold month, and you won't always want to enjoy the holiday cheer outdoors. Instead, perhaps purchasing tickets to Boston Ballet: The Nutcracker, or the Holiday Pops show, or to Black Nativity, or to the Disney on Ice: Dream Big tour will fill you with the holiday spirit while keeping your hands and toes warm. Either way, any of these shows will prove to be quite fun. The Nutcracker and the Holiday Pops show run through December 31, Black Nativity will run through December 17, and the Disney on Ice tour will be here until January 1!

Another fun way to get into the holiday spirit is on the Northern Lights Boston Harbor cruise. There are three different holiday cruises this year: the Irish Christmas Carols Cruise, the Holiday Jazz Cruise, and the Cocoa & Carols Holiday Cruise, all featuring live music, holiday decor, and delicious beverages. Take your pick of these cheerful holiday cruises!


If you're downtown completing your holiday shopping, you should also check out the different ice skating opportunities! Frog Pond is an age-old favorite for many Bostonians. Bring your own or rent some skates and twirl on the rink surrounded by holiday lights covering Boston Common's trees. The city's newest skating venue is right in City Hall Plaza for Boston's Winter Wonderland. Open 7 days a week, Boston Winter offers a skating opportunity as well as an outdoor holiday shopping market!

Love to ski or snowboard? Nashoba Valley Ski Area is only 45 minutes away from Boston and has a lovely relaxed environment. The Blue Hills in Canton, MA is a family-oriented, good-for-learners mountain, and Pats Peak is another mountain in Southern New Hampshire that has lots of ski/snowboard instructors on site and homemade food in the cafeteria. If you'd like a longer list of nearby skiing and snowboarding opportunities, follow this link!

If you're interested in Boston's history, then come out to the 244th Boston Tea Party Reenactment. On December 16, 6:30pm, meet at the Old South Meeting House near State Street to join more than 100 volunteer reenactors, including Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, and John Hancock. The procession will gather at the Old South Meeting House for a debate and proceed with fifes and drums in tow to Griffin's Wharf to dump a load of tea in the Boston Harbor. Rain or shine, it should be a sight to see!


Last and certainly not least, welcome in the New Year at First Night 2018! Join the million or so people who come to celebrate the New Year in Boston at this huge city-wide event. There will be entertainers, food, performances, a parade, fireworks, and ice sculptures. Be sure to bundle up and head into the city on December 31 for some great eats and even better experiences!


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