The holidays are expensive enough without shelling out big bucks to enjoy local events during the holiday season. Thankfully, Boston is excellent at providing free activities for individuals and families. In the spirit of giving, the city, locals, groups and businesses spread festive cheer without charging a dime. The entertainment ranges from family traditions to naughty fun, so everyone’s sure to find something suitable.

(Photo Credit: Central Reform Temple)

(Photo Credit: Central Reform Temple)


“A Light Through The Ages”
Central Reform Temple
5 Newbury St.
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 262-1202
www.centralreformtemple.org

Date: Dec. 6, 2015

“A Light Through the Ages” is a Chanukah celebration that is free to attend. The Zamir Chorale will be singing for guests under the direction of Joshua Jacobson. Interwoven with this talented chorus’ holiday songs is a retelling of the Chanukah tradition through the ages. At the end of the history lesson and musical performances, there will be a lighting ceremony in the tradition of the holiday. This year, the temple will be honoring eight individuals from the community with great character that aligns with the temple’s values.

Related: Best Neighborhoods With Holiday Lights In The Boston Area

(Photo Credit: Old North Church)

(Photo Credit: Old North Church)


Old North Church Carols
193 Salem St.
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 523-6676
www.oldnorth.com

Date: Dec. 24, 2015

Every year, Old North Church has Christmas Eve services for anyone who wishes to join the church in celebrating the holiday. These services are not only enjoyable because of the church’s historic roots, but also because Christmas carols are part of the fun. Carolers all over the city provide free entertainment through the holidays, but Old North Church is one of the more popular places to enjoy them. Come hear the songs of the season in the same church where Paul Revere warned the colony that the British were coming.

(Photo from Faneuil Hall/Facebook)

(Photo from Faneuil Hall/Facebook)


“Blink! A Light & Sound Extravaganza”
Faneuil Hall Marketplace
1 Faneuil Hall Square
Boston, MA 02109
(617) 635-3105
www.faneuilhallmarketplace.com

Date: Nov. 21 to Jan. 3, 2015

Blink! is a public light and music show that entertains visitors to the Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall. This is the fourth year that this new tradition will light the city, and it is one of the most elaborate holiday treats Boston offers. More than 350,000 lights are strung around marketplace, blinking to the beat of holiday music from the Boston Pops. The display also includes one of the city’s biggest Christmas trees, which is lit on Nov. 21 at 7 p.m.

Runners in high spirits before the start of the 2013 Speedo Santa Run in Back Bay. (Credit: WBZ-TV)

Runners in high spirits before the start of the 2013 Speedo Santa Run in Back Bay. (Credit: WBZ-TV)


Santa Speedo Run
Lir Tavern
903 Boylston St.
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 778-0089
www.ssrunners.org

Date: Dec. 12, 2015

For a fun run that is really fun to watch, come see the Santa Speedo Run, which has been happening since 2000. The run’s Santas will only be jogging a mile, starting at Lir Tavern. However, they will be running in Speedo-type bathing suits, Santa hats and/or select other festive accessories. The run starts with drinks and ends with a party, so runners must be 21 years of age. Proceeds from the 2015 race will benefit the Play Ball! Foundation.

Related: Boston’s Best Free Winter Activities For Families

(File photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

(File photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)


First Night Boston
All Over Boston
903 Boylston St.
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 778-0089
www.firstnightboston.org

Date: Dec. 31, 2015 to Jan. 1, 2016

First Night Boston is one of the biggest celebrations the city has all year. It is a combination of multiple events across Boston that keep revelers busy all New Year’s Eve into New Year’s Day. Activities include a dance party, ice sculptures, countdown in Copley Square and family fun in Copley Square and Boston Common. All of the events across the city are free to the public. Revelers need only pay for transportation and refreshments if they want to ring in the new year in Boston.

Shelly Barclay is a professional freelance writer and amateur author. She writes on a variety of topics from food to mysteries. She loves to share the culture and rich history of her birthplace and home, Boston, with the rest of the world. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.