Neighborhood Roundup

Comm Ave Mall Holiday Lights to be Illuminated on Thursday, Nov. 30

The Friends of the Public Garden is working with the community once again to produce Holiday Lights on the Mall. When Mayor Michelle Wu and Friends President Liz Vizza join with the Boston Parks Department to flip the switch on Thursday, Nov. 30, at 8 p.m., the lights will stretch from Arlington Street to Kenmore Square.

The Nov. 30 celebration will immediately follow the lighting of the Boston Common holiday tree and will take place on the Arlington-Berkeley Street block of the Mall. Cocoa and cookies will be provided by The Newbury Boston, and all are welcome.

The Emerald Necklace Conservancy and the Charlesgate Alliance will once again bring their signature green lights to the Charlesgate Park block of the Mall.

Upcoming Events at The Vilna Shul

The Vilna Shul at 18 Phillips St.  will offer “Exploring Sephardi Culture” on Wednesdays, Dec. 6, 13, and 20, and Jan. 10, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Explore the history of Sephardic Jews through music, film, and literature. Experiment with the ancient Jewish language of Ladino, spoken by Jews in Spain and throughout the Ottoman Empire beginning in the 15th century. No background experience is required.

Additionally, The Vilna will offer “American Jewish Women in Television” on Wednesdays, Dec. 13 and 20, and Jan. 10 and 17, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

During this course, which costs $120 per participant, attendees will analyze the ways in which contemporary American television is establishing a new take on Jewish female identity that challenges the stereotypes of Jewish femininity proliferated on television since its inception. Register online at

The Vilna will also offer “A Meeting of The Arts: Live Guitar and Contemporary Dance for 20s/30s” on Thursday, Nov. 30, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Enjoy an evening of music, dance, and art celebrating the mysterious Catalan Mahzor, a 14th century Jewish illuminated manuscript from Spain. This program is offered in partnership with Boston Festival of New Jewish Music and features guitarist Ira Klein, dancer Rachel Linsky, and instrumentalist Beth Bahia Cohen. Admission is $18 per person; register online at

Additionally, The Vilna will offer its sixth annual Hanukkah A Cappella Concert on Sunday, Dec. 3, from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

This special community event features a wide range of exceptional university groups from across the city and is truly a multigenerational concert experience. All are welcome. Admission is $10 per person or $25 per family; register at

Moreover, The Vilna will offer Happy Hour on the Hill on Tuesday, Dec. 5, from 6 to 8 p.m. Admission is $18 per person; register at

In addition, The Vilna will offer its Hanukkah Celebration for Families with Young Children on Sunday, Dec. 10, from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

Admission is $25 per family; register at

For more information on The Vilna Shul, visit or call 617 -523-2324.

Gibson House Repeal Day Celebration, Dec. 1

Gibson House Museum at 137 Beacon St.  will host its Etiquetteer’s 12th annual Repeal Day Celebration on Friday, Dec. 1, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Eagerly awaited by cognoscenti who love historic preservation, Victoriana, cocktail culture, and Perfect Propriety, and proudly sponsored by Rhode Island Spirits, Etiquetteer Robert B. Dimmick’s Repeal Day Celebration returns for a 12th  year to the museum. Any time Kirsten “Miss Kitty” Amann is behind the speakeasy bar is a special event, but 2023 is also the 90th anniversary of prohibition’s repeal, so count on an extra-special evening of celebrating.

Admission is $90 per guest, with all proceeds benefiting the preservation of the Gibson House Museum. Period attire is encouraged. Register at

King’s Chapel to Sponsor ‘Advent Crafts’ on Dec. 3

King’s Chapel invites neighbors to participate in its annual “Advent Crafts,” where participants decorate cookies, make wreaths, and create ornaments, on Sunday, Dec. 3, from 10 a.m. to noon at 64 Beacon St.. This will be a great opportunity for all-age craft fun. Email questions to [email protected].

The West End Museum’s Honoree Night Set for Dec. 8

The West End Museum  will be holding its 2023 Honoree Night on Friday, Dec. 8, at 6 The Hub on Causeway Community Room at 52 Causeway Street (located along the alleyway next to Hub50House, across from the Tip O’Neill Building).

Every year, the museum honors a few people who have made meaningful and lasting contributions to the neighborhood and the city, including this year’s recipient: Richie Hartnett, Claudia and Stephen Edgell, and Cathleen Griffin. Light refreshments will be served.

Young Friends Winter Party Set for Friday, Dec. 8 at 8 Park St.

The Young Friends of the Public Garden will hold its Young Friends Winter Party on Friday, Dec. 8, from 6:30 to 9 8 Park St., fifth floor.

Enjoy drinks and light hors d’oeuvres overlooking the holiday lights in the #threeparks. Gather with friends, meet new ones, and spread festive cheer at this annual celebration benefiting our continued care and maintenance of the Boston Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall.

It’s holiday time, so come dressed to dazzle; no sneakers, jeans, or athletic attire will be permitted inside the venue.

Ticket cost $95 each and include two drink tickets and passed hors d’oeuvres. VIP tickets include four drink tickets, passed hors d’oeuvres, and two raffle tickets.

Visit to purchase tickets and for more information on the event.

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 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.

Join the Hidden Gallery for Holiday Shopping and a Cup of Cocoa

The Hidden Art Gallery at 25 Myrtle St. will offer a warming cup of hot chocolate as you peruse the holiday and seasonal artwork for sale on weekend days, including Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 2 and  3; Dec. 9 and 10; and Dec 16. Hours are on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m.

Greeting cards, prints, small paintings, and watercolors, are offered for unique gift giving this year. Enjoy shopping in person and feel the warmth of the holiday spirit with a cup of cocoa as you discover some of the stories in the creation of the artwork.

Plan Ahead by Shopping for Good at J. McLaughlin.

Shop J. McLaughlin at 34 Charles St. for Holiday Gifts on Saturday, Dec. 16, and your shopping will also benefit the New England Musicians Resource Fund, a non-profit formed in 2020 and dedicated to helping professional musicians. Stop by J. McLaughlin then for shopping, festive sips, music, and good cheer, with 15 percent of sales made from noon to 4 p.m. to benefit NEMRF, as well as your holiday gift recipients. For more about NEMRF, visit

Gibson House Museum’s Annual Open House Set for Sunday, Dec. 17

Gibson House Museum at 137 Beacon St. will offer its annual Holiday Open House on Sunday, Dec. 17, from 1 to 4 p.m.

Come see the Gibson House decorated in all its finery, and experience  19th-century Christmas. Light seasonal refreshments will be served, and select rooms will be open for viewing. The event is free to attend, and no reservation is necessary.

Coffee Hours for City’s Beacon Hill-Back Bay Neighborhood Liaison

Maggie Van Scoy, the city’s neighborhood liaison for Beacon Hill and Back Bay, will hold Coffee Hours on Friday, Dec. 29,  from 10 to 11 a.m. at the West End Branch Library.

Free Lessons in American Mahjong Offered at West End Branch Library

The Friends of the West End Library will be offering lessons in American Mahjong to new and experienced players at no cost.

The group meets on Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m., on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month in the Community Room of the West End Branch Library, 151 Cambridge St.

To sign up or for more information, email Audrey Tedeman ([email protected]) or Julia Forbes ([email protected]).

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