Happenings on Charles Street: Holiday Safe Stroll and Holiday Wreath Tour Coming to Neighborhood This Weekend

The neighborhood is getting into the swing of the holiday season this weekend, with the return of the Beacon Hill Business Association’s eagerly awaited Holiday Stroll on Saturday, followed by the Nichols House Museum’s first-ever Holiday Wreath Tour on Sunday.

The Beacon Hill Safe Holiday Stroll takes place on Saturday, Dec. 5, from noon to 6 p.m., with participating businesses again welcoming visitors for store events promotions and seasonal cheer, but unlike years past, the event this time will adhere to proper public safety protocol, including mandatory face coverings.

Additionally, the city won’t be shutting down Charles Street to vehicular traffic, as it historically has  done for the Holiday Stroll, while other past event staples will also be absent this year, including traditional music offerings, as well as the complimentary horse-drawn carriage rides.

“It’s going to be a very different ‘Stroll’ this year, but the Beacon Hill business community is working together to keep the tradition alive (while following safety protocol),” wrote Lana Barakat, a Business Association board member and the proprietor of December Thieves at 51 Charles St., as well as its sister establishment and neighbor at 53 Charles St., Thieves Next Door. “Although there won’t be the usual stroll bells and whistle, we are encouraging each participating business to plan their own individual and safe in-store event or promo to entice holiday shoppers to spend a festive day in Beacon Hill.”

The Business Association is promoting individual store promotions and events via its Instagram account @historicbeaconhill. 

Then on Sunday, Dec. 6, from noon to 3 p.m., the Nichols House Museum is offering its inaugural Holiday Wreath Tour of Beacon Hill – an event that will follow the spirit of the longstanding Holiday House Tour, which was postponed this year on account of the ongoing pandemic.

This outdoor, self-guided tour includes stops at a number of neighborhood homes decorated with wreaths, garlands, and window displays, as well as written architectural histories of each featured home, along with a festive performance by the Back Bay Ringers in the Nichols House Museum’s front courtyard. Laura Cunningham, Curator of Collections and Education, will also lead a virtual tour of the museum’s interior, which is decorated for the holidays, as part of the program.

Like the Safe Holiday Stroll, the event will also adhere to all state and city public-safety requirements for walking tours, including required face coverings and social distancing.

“We’re excited about this year’s Holiday Wreath Tour which offers neighbors, community members and visitors a fun and festive stroll around Beacon Hill,” Cunningham wrote. “The tour also celebrates the architectural evolution and uniqueness of the neighborhood. The self-guided format outdoors was intended to offer a safe opportunity to appreciate the beauty of the season.”

Tickets for the Wreath Tour are available for purchase online at www.nicholshousemuseum.org/programs-and-events/, with proceeds benefiting the museum’s ongoing preservation and programming initiatives.

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