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By Cheryl Fenton
| December 5, 2019
This winter, if you make a visit (or two or three) to Seaport, you’ll find plenty of inspiration for novel ways to create holiday memories. Boston’s newest neighborhood—some 20 acres nestled between the waterfront and Fort Point—is set to transform into a winter wonderland in the coming chilly months.
“We’re so excited to breathe new life into the holiday season in Boston,” says Debra Brodsky, director of Seaport marketing at WS Development, the local developer responsible for Seaport’s bustling growth over the last few years. “We want our community to really feel the magic and build new traditions even on the coldest days.”
Jump start your coziest winter ever by exploring Seaport’s seasonal events and activities on the map below.
Hello to new holiday traditions
It wouldn’t be winter in New England without a spin on an outdoor ice rink. Boston’s Seaport is happy to provide the venue, with its new Snowport Winter Village in partnership with Fjällräven & Capital One Café. Snowport’s 3,000-square-foot ice rink offers skate rentals and a cozy haven of seasonal food and beverages (hello, Waffle Cabin). A plethora of outdoor activities in the village includes iceless curling and seasonal workshops, and visitors can enjoy live music, themed skate nights, and special holiday programs for weeks on end.
Now in its fourth year, the annual Light Up Seaport invites the public to enjoy holiday cheer on Friday, December 6 on Seaport Common. The neighborhood’s centerpiece, a 54-foot Norway spruce, is dressed up in 10,000 white lights, and magnified by Sound Sculpture, an interactive sound and light art installation by MASARY Studios located in the One Seaport Courtyard. Local jazz singers Rich Dimare and Lydia Harrell, The Ron Poster Trio, and Berklee’s Pitch Slapped will take to the stage to perform holiday favorites. And the neighborhood’s first-ever holiday stroll will take place from 5pm to 9pm. Throughout the evening, Seaport’s stores, restaurants, and local businesses will open their doors and serve up special holiday treats, activities, and inspiration for unique gift ideas.
This year, another tradition will light up the Seaport Common later in the month: the Menorah Kindling. In celebration of Hanukkah, Seaport has partnered with the Chabad of Downtown Boston to host a special celebration with live music, traditional Hanukkah treats, and more on December 26 at 5pm.
Say farewell to 2019 and welcome in the new year with a wintry stroll among glistening ice sculptures. The New Year’s Eve Ice Sculpture Stroll, in partnership with Boston Harbor Now, takes you around One Seaport Courtyard, onto Seaport Common, and all through the neighborhood, as you view a collection of amazing natural works of art.
Entre les rangs by KANVA provides another twinkling experience. This interactive art light installation features thousands of flexible white stems topped with white reflectors that capture the rhythm of the changing wind and human interaction. It is on display at Seaport Common until February 2, 2020.
“Bringing internationally recognized works of public art into the public realm for all to enjoy is a top priority,” says Yanni Tsipis, senior vice president, Seaport, WS Development.
On the exterior of One Seaport, facing Seaport Boulevard, you’ll discover one of the largest public art installations of Frank Stella’s 60-year career—a mural reproduction of his 1970 painting, Damascus Gate (Stretch Variation I). This new installation coincides with the first birthday of Air Sea Land, Okuda San Miguel’s largest public art project of seven monumental sculptures that, even at a year old, are a contemporary representation of the neighborhood.
“The Seaport has done an amazing job in their planning to create open spaces that are great for congregation,” says Kaity Cimo of For Now, a collective that curates digital-first brands in the Seaport. “These spaces are an invitation for connection with friends and strangers alike.” At For Now, you’ll discover gift ideas from such local e-commerce brands as Alice Walk, Eye to Eye, and Welden.
The Current pop-up village also has a powerful presence just off of bustling Seaport Boulevard. Hosted through December 31, this miniature village is inspired by the popular tiny house movement. Think big playful ideas set up in tiny angular structures. Inside you’ll find wares from native companies and heritage brands, culinary trailblazers, socially responsible fashion and, of course, beloved local businesses, including DADA Daily, Olivela, Le Creuset, Legit Activewear, and Booty by Brabants.
This year’s holiday shoppers welcome the arrival of software-powered retailer b8ta. Full of wish-list-worthy futuristic technology, b8ta is like stepping into the home of that impossibly gadget-savvy friend. Shoppers will find breakthrough items such as Boolean Box, a build-it-yourself computer that teaches young girls and boys, through play, to code and build electronics; Ember, a mug that allows users to set precise beverage temperatures, track caffeine consumption, and more; and open-ear bone conduction headphones by Trekz Air.
When your gift ideas include satisfying snacks, look no further than Cardullo’s Gourmet Shoppe down the boulevard. They offer beautiful gift baskets (including create your own custom orders) packed with fine foods and beverage products from around the globe. They also have a variety of international wines, as well as local craft beers, ciders, and spirits, perfect for holiday party host gifts.
You can also check off presents for the traveler, fashionista, and outdoorsy one on your list with visits to hot-spot shops like Away, Warby Parker, and Filson.
For a more traditional kind of decking the halls, the Seaport Tree Market is brimming with holiday spirit. They have anything and everything holiday décor—from trees to wreaths, tree stands and tree skirts to kissing bells, and lights galore. EverGreen Delivery is on-call for home delivery of your trees and cheer via bicycle until December 21.
Whether you need to fuel up before a gift-shopping marathon, or warm up after laps around the ice rink, you won’t be disappointed by the eatery options in Seaport. You can get your fill of warm brews and sweet treats at Caffé Nero, La Colombe, and Paris Creperie. And for something heartier, Tuscan Kitchen always serves up a memorable meal.
Enjoy views of the neighborhood and holiday happenings below from one of Seaport’s favorite rooftop bars. The Lookout Rooftop at The Envoy Hotel is bringing back its crowd favorite igloos, plus a new heated enclosure available throughout the winter season. The new layout allows you to book one of the five LED illuminated igloos or hang out in the enclosure and bar area on your own schedule. Consider this the toasty inside of your own personal snow globe.
Right down the street is The Sky Bar at YOTEL Boston, with both an indoor and outdoor rooftop bar and terrace on its 12th floor. This high-above escape is fully outfitted with heaters, blankets, and hot water bottles to keep you warm outside on chilly nights.
Shake off some holiday stress with friends and family by spending time at one of Seaport’s entertainment destinations. Enjoy retro-inspired Kings Dining & Entertainment, with bowling, billiards, foosball, hockey tables, shuffleboard, hoops, and retro arcade games, or the brand new Flight Club — a social darts venue with a full-service bar, restaurant, and an immersive gaming experience.
As the decade comes to a close, sparkling Seaport is the perfect place to revel in past traditions while also creating a few new ones.
“Something as simple as the tree lighting has been an inspiring gathering for people to enjoy the festive spirit and create memories,” Cimo says.
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