News Briefs

Boston’s Official Tree Arrives November 21

The annual gift of an evergreen Christmas tree from Nova Scotia is scheduled to arrive by police escort at Boston Common at approximately 11 a.m. on Tuesday, November 21. 

This is the 52nd year that a tree has been donated and commemorates 106 years of friendship with Nova Scotia. This recognizes  the people of Boston who provided emergency assistance when Halifax, Nova Scotia was devastated by a maritime munitions explosion in the harbor in 1917. The first Tree for Boston was donated in 1971 by Joseph Slauenwhite from Lunenburg County.

Boston’s official 2023 tree is a 40-year-old, 45-foot-tall white spruce donated by Bette Gourley of Stewiacke, N.S., and her family.

Boston Parks Commissioner Ryan Woods, Santa Claus, and local school children will greet the tree at its final destination near the Boston Visitors Center at 139 Tremont Street. The tree will be lit at approximately 7:55 p.m. on Thursday, November 30, as the City of Boston’s Official Tree Lighting is celebrated on Boston Common from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The ceremony will be broadcast live on WCVB Channel 5 starting at 7 p.m.

The annual Tree Lighting on Boston Common is co-sponsored by the Boston Parks and Recreation Department and title sponsor, The Province of Nova Scotia. Amazon serves as the presenting sponsor, Meet Boston is the signature sponsor, Bank of America, JetBlue, Constellation, and the Downtown Boston Business Improvement District are the Community Sponsors, and media sponsors are WCVB Channel 5 and the Boston Globe.

Celebrate the Holidays on Boston’s Historic Freedom Trail

The Freedom Trail Foundation invites revelers to celebrate this holiday season on the annual Historic Holiday Strolls. The festive atmosphere of the city, set against the unique backdrop of Boston’s historic sites and centuries of history, makes these merry 90-minute tours a perfect way to celebrate the holidays. Walk the Freedom Trail and discover how Boston’s holiday traditions evolved on the Strolls offered Fridays and Saturdays at 3:30 p.m. from November 18 through December 30.

Led by 19th-century Dickensian costumed guides departing from the Visitor Information Center on Boston Common, the Strolls are complete with a tour of holiday lights and Christmas trees along the Freedom Trail while learning about 19th-century holiday traditions. Following the Stroll, guests receive discounts off museum store purchases at Freedom Trail sites, including the Old South Meeting House, Old State House, Paul Revere House, and Old North Church’s Heritage and Gift Shops (valid with any Historic Holiday Stroll receipt from November through December).

“The Freedom Trail helps usher in the holiday season with the annual Historic Holiday Strolls, which gives tour participants a glimpse into the unique holiday traditions practiced throughout history,” said Suzanne Segura Taylor, Freedom Trail Foundation Executive Director. “The Strolls are one of many offerings to experience Boston’s historic sites and the Trail year-round.”

Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children for public tours. The Strolls may also be scheduled as private group tours pending availability. The Freedom Trail Foundation continues to offer daily public Official Freedom Trail Tours® throughout November and December and during the winter months. All Freedom Trail tours are available as private family or group tours by reservation. For more information and to purchase tickets for the Historic Holiday Strolls and Freedom Trail Tours, please visit, and for group tour reservations, please call 617.357.8300.

Upcoming Events Sponsored by the Nichols House Museum

The Nichols House Museum will sponsor its annual Beacon Hill Holiday House Tour on Sunday, Dec. 10, from noon to 4 p.m.

Guests will have the rare opportunity to experience a select group of remarkable private residences at their festive best. Each year, the tour showcases outstanding examples of historic preservation, as well as creative modern interpretations and adaptations in a broad range of architectural and interior design styles throughout Beacon Hill.

For this day full of music and cheer, the museum at 55 Mt. Vernon St. will be open for self-guided tours for guests to experience historically inspired holiday traditions. Throughout the day there will be strolling performances by the Olde Towne Carolers. Solo performances on piano will be held at the King’s Chapel Parish House and the William Hickling Prescott House, headquarters of the National Society of Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The Holiday House Tour reception will be held at the Kings Chapel Parish House from 3 to 5 pm.

Tickets can be purchased online at, or by calling the Nichols House Museum’s offices at 617-227-6993.

Also, the Nichols House Museum will kick off the holiday season with its traditional Eggnog  Party on Wednesday, Dec. 6, from 6 to 8 p.m. at 55 Mt. Vernon St.

Drop by for a cup of cheer and get a sneak peek at the museum’s historically inspired holiday decorations. In honor of Arthur and Margaret Nichols’ passion for handbell ringing, the Back Bay Ringers will be performing. Sponsors of the Holiday House Tour receive complimentary tickets to the Eggnog Pre-Party. Nichols House Museum Members have access to discounted tickets. Patron Members are free. Visit to purchase tickets for the event.

Drop by for a cup of cheer and get a sneak peek at the Museum

Sponsors of the Holiday House Tour receive complimentary tickets to the Eggnog Pre-Party. Nichols House Museum Members have access to discounted tickets. Patron Members are free.

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