Here are the latest Back Bay - Midtown neighborhood notes:

Children’s holiday

The French Cultural Center of Boston, 53 Marlborough St., will present a holiday open house for kids and teens from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8.

Children will enjoy ateliers and holiday-themed activities including cookie decorating, arts and crafts, a cooking workshop and French story time. There will be hot chocolate and holiday treats.

All activities are free and open to the public. Walk-ins are welcome, but activity registration is required as space is limited.

A schedule of activities and further information is available at or by calling 617-912-0400.


Music for All at Trinity Church will perform Handel’s masterpiece “Messiah” at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9 at Trinity Church, 206 Clarendon St.

The program will feature the Advent and Christmas portions with the Hallelujah chorus from the “Messiah” as well as Bach’s Cantata 62 “Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 62” and Corelli’s “Christmas Concerto, Op. 6, No. 8 in G minor” performed by the Trinity choirs, soloists and Baroque orchestra. This is the only Boston performance of Handel’s work in a sacred space.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit or call 617-536-0944.

Renaissance Christmas

The Cantata Singers will present “A Renaissance Christmas: Music of Victoria, Lassus and Schütz” at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9 at the First Lutheran Church, 299 Berkeley St.

The ensemble will perform Renaissance and Baroque music for chamber chorus and orchestra by Heinrich Schütz, Giovanni Gabrieli, Dieterich Buxtehude, William Byrd, Henry Purcell and others.

Tickets range from $25 to $75 with discounts for students and seniors.

Call 617-868-5885 or visit to purchase tickets and for more information.

Life of Dr. Warren

The New England Historical Genealogical Society, 99-101 Newbury St., will welcome author Christian Di Spigna in a free talk from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 12.

Di Spigna is the author of “Founding Martyr: The Life and Death of Dr. Joseph Warren, the American Revolution’s Lost Hero.” Warren was an architect of the colonial rebellion and a man who might have led the country as Washington or Jefferson did had he not been martyred at Bunker Hill in 1775. He was involved in every major insurrectionary act in Boston for a decade, from the Stamp Act protests to the Boston Massacre to the Boston Tea Party.

Di Spigna’s biography is the result of 20 years of research and newly unearthed primary source documents. It restores Warren to his rightful place in the pantheon of Revolutionary greats as well as deepens the understanding of the country’s beginnings.

Registration is recommended for this free program; online at or by calling 617-536-5740.

Holiday concert

The Apollo Club of Boston will present a holiday concert at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 12 at Gordon Chapel, Old South Church, 645 Boylston St.

The club, the second oldest continuously active men’s singing group in the nation, will offer a free holiday concert and sing-along.

Further information can be found at or by calling 617-267-7442.

Craft Boston

Craft Boston 2018 will be held from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday from Dec. 14 through 16 at the Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston St.

The preview party fundraiser will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 13. Guests will receive a handmade ceramic or glass cup, libations and appetizers, as well as a preview of the juried show.

The weekend-long fair produced by the Society of Arts and Crafts will feature more than 75 innovative craft artists showcasing one-of-a-kind and limited edition pieces in baskets, ceramics, decorative fiber, art-to-wear, furniture, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media, paper and wood.

There will also be lectures, tours and raffles.

Tickets are $15 for general admission, $12 for seniors, $7.50 for members and free for students and children; re-entry to the show is permitted.

Visit or call 617-266-1810 for further information.

Choral program

Chorus Pro Musica will perform at the Old South Church, 645 Boylston St., at 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 14.

This year’s theme is “Dawn on our Darkness.” The candlelit evening will feature the chorus singing both a cappella and accompanied by the church’s majestic Skinner organ in a program filled with holiday classics, new works and plenty of opportunities for the audience to sing along.

Visit or call 617-536-1970 for more details and to purchase tickets.

Christmas with the Bachs

The Musicians of the Old Post Road will present “Christmas with the Bach Family” at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15 at the Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St.

The period instrument ensemble will offer Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach’s rarely-performed oratorio “Die Kindheit Jesu,” along with a sampling of arias from Christmas cantatas by Bach brothers Carl Philipp Emanuel and Wilhelm Friedemann, cousin Johann Ludwig and of course, Johann Sebastian.

Soprano Jessica Petrus, mezzo-soprano Catherine Hedberg, tenor Jonas Budris, and baritone Bradford Gleim will be the guest soloists.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit or call 781-466-6694.

Candlelight carols

Trinity Church, 206 Clarendon St., will host two free programs of candlelight carols at 4 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15.

The choirs will present their annual offering of lessons, carols and anthems. A free-will offering will be welcome. Doors will open an hour before the program.

In addition, a benefit performance featuring candlelight carols will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16. These tickets are $45, $80 and $120, and childcare will be available.

Proceeds will benefit the programs and ministries of Trinity Church. For more information, call 617-536-0944 or visit

Mansion tour

A public one-hour tour of the Ayer Mansion, 395 Commonwealth Ave., which showcases the striking interior and exterior embellishments designed and created by Louis Comfort Tiffany, will be offered at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15.

Reservations are required as space is limited Admission is $15 for adults, $10 for students and seniors.

To make a reservation, visit or call 617-536-2586.

Bach cantatas

Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St., is presenting its 42nd season of the J. S. Bach Cantatas at 10 a.m. on Sundays now through May 20.

The orchestra and chorus of Emmanuel Music will present weekly performances of the cantatas and motets of J.S. Bach and others, conducted by Ryan Turner.

For more information, call 617-536-3356 or visit

Collections tour

The Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston St., will host tours of the collections of the society at 10 a.m. on Saturdays.

Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the 90-minute tour focuses on the history and collections of the MHS.

The tour is free and open to the public. Reservations are not required for individuals or small groups. Parties of eight or more should contact the MHS.

Further information can be found at or by calling 617-646-0560.

Library tours

Boston Public Library volunteers will give art and architecture tours of the McKim Building, a National Historic Landmark, in its main building, constructed in 1895, throughout the week.

Highlights include the murals of John Singer Sargent, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes and Edwin Austin Abbey and the work of architect Charles Follen McKim.

Self-guided tours are available as well, and literature describing the architectural highlights is available on the web at

For tours by appointment, call 617-536-5400.