Downtown - Fort Point - Leather District - Seaport neighborhood notes
A visit with Jolly Old St. Nick
Kids eager to put their toy lists in with Santa Claus can visit the jolly old elf himself throughout the holiday season, live, in person, and taking orders from noon to 2 p.m. and from 3 to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 20 at the Primark store windows on Washington Street.
Go to www.downtownboston.org for more information.
‘A Winter’s Evening’
An intimate concert A Winter’s Evening featuring rising soprano Gabriella Reyes makes her Boston Lyric Opera (BLO) debut alongside pianist Brett Hodgdon. Hosted by reigning Miss Massachusetts Sabrina Victor, this recital was recorded live at The Crane Estate in Ipswich.
The performance will premiere on Monday, Dec. 21 on BLO’s operabox.tv streaming service and will be available to operabox.tv subscribers two days earlier, on Saturday, Dec. 19.
Visit blo.org for more information.
SNOWPORT | Winter Wonder Walks
Escape to a winter wonderland filled with safe, seasonal daily activities. Follow the trail of festive holiday trees, try your hand at curling* and other complimentary winter games on Seaport Common, and keep an eye out for Seaport’s newest friend, Betty the Yeti.
And there is no better time to experience the magic than during their Winter Wonder Walks from 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturdays.
Experience it all at #SNOWPORT, all season long through Saturday, Dec. 19. *Curling will continue through Feb. 28 (info and reservations at bostonseaport.xyz/events).
Go to eventbrite.com/e/snowport-winter-wonder-walks-tickets-126100045631 for more information and registration.
Holiday Creator Market at BPM
Local artisan pop-ups will be showcasing and selling their specialty foods, jewelry, artwork and home goods from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and from 10 a.m.to 6 p.m. on Sundays right along the Boston Public Market’s year-round vendors at 100 Hanover St.
BPM winter hours: Wednesdays-Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. following health and safety protocols.
Boston Public Market also has online ordering and same or next day delivery service.
Check Instagram for frequent updates.
Go to https://bostonpublicmarket.org for more information, including special events.
Last call for Toys for Tots
New, unwrapped toys to benefit the US Marine Corps Toys for Tots program can be dropped off at any State Police barracks, fire stations or police departments through Wednesday, Dec. 23.
Donations via check can be mailed to: Toys for Tots Coordinator, 21 Drydock Ave., Box 21-810W, Boston, MA 02210. You can also make a donation online.
Go to boston-ma.toysfortots.org for more information, including the link to donate.
Marketplace collects donations for Cradles to Crayons
Marketplace Center and Faneuil Hall Marketplace are collecting donations for Cradles to Crayons. Donation boxes are located at both ends of the Quincy Market food hall.
Cradles to Crayons helps vulnerable children from birth to age 12 for all of their needs including clothing, books, toys and so much more. All donations welcome.
To learn more, go to faneuilhallmarketplace.com and/or cradlestocrayons.org.
2020 Christmas Shop
Christmas Shop needs support to help bring hope and joy to those most in need during the holiday season. Ways to help:
– Provide new gifts and clothing (no food items) to individuals and families in need in Boston - View Wish List online
– Volunteer to help with sorting items and packing them for recipients (adults only).
Go to citymissionboston.org/christmas-shop for more information.
FPAC Small Works Show and Sale
Looking for that perfect holiday gift?
Find works by local artists at the Fort Point Arts Community’s live Small Works Show and Sale through Thursday, Dec. 31.
They have hundreds of pieces (all under 20″ x 20”) from more than 30 artists with more added daily. All works are available for purchase and will be shipped to you by the seller.
Shoppers can visit fortpointarts.org/shop to find the perfect holiday gift.
Ice sculpture stroll
Boston Harbor Now is organizing free, fun, safe activities, including an ice sculpture stroll from 1 p.m. to dusk on New Year’s Eve (Thursday, Dec. 31).
Follow the ice sculpture stroll (maps available) to more than a dozen sites and activities and enjoy waterfront activations such as:
Holiday Lights at the Boston Public Market; Winter on the Waterfront Bingo; Virtual Scavenger Hunts in Charlestown, East Boston and Downtown; and Snowport - Seaport’s new Winter Village. People can also enter the Staycation Giveaway Contest.
Visit BostonHarborNow.org for more details.
CraftBoston Holiday Online
In a world of sameness, craft illuminates difference.
CraftBoston Holiday 2020 presented by The Society of Arts + Crafts is going digital. The online festival will be held through Thursday, Dec. 31.
Meet the artists, visit their virtual booths, and shop their work all season long. They will have hundreds of pieces available in their new SA+C online shop, as well as links to artist websites that you can access through the CraftBoston Artist Profiles.
You'll also have the opportunity to learn more about their practice through artist demos and special events. Does working from home have you particularly stressed? Start your day with Cra(ahhhh)ft: meditative, mesmerizing videos of the making process hosted live by our CraftBoston artists. Looking to connect with the artists you've been missing? Check out Mix + Mingle, a weekly, informal gathering with a handful of artists to chat about their work, studios, and more.
Visit https://societyofcrafts.org for more information.
Learning Circle: Learning English grammar
The Boston Public Library will present a learning circle series that seeks to help participants learn and/or review English grammar by following VOA everyday grammar: How Americans use English grammar in everyday conversation.
Participants will go through each week's course materials, ask questions, and engage in small group discussions at these weekly Zoom sessions.
The program will be offered from 1 to 2 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 4, Jan. 11, Jan. 25 and Feb. 1
Visit bpl.org/events for more information and registration.
‘That Which Was Will Come Again’ exhibition
Stop by the Gallery at the Atlantic Wharf to view the latest art exhibit in partnership with FPAC, That Which Was Will Come Again, on display through Friday, Feb. 5.
In the early months of the pandemic, four visual artists banded together to form Circle Art, a supportive community intended to inspire and encourage each other’s artistic vision. In this exhibit, the four artists share their ties to the natural world and convey a sense of hope and belief that art has healing powers for us all.
For more information visit atlanticwharfboston.com/events-programs/aw-gallery and/or fortpoints.org.
City Mission is collecting new, unused coats in all children’s sizes and all teen sizes (including adult men’s and women’s) that will be given directly to Boston schools and organizations that serve low-income families.
Coats can be purchased and delivered to and/or ordered online and send directly to the
Coat Collection Center, First Parish Westwood, Attn: City Mission, 252 Nahatan St., Westwood, MA 02090.
Go to citymissionboston.org/coat-boston for more information.
Downtown Holiday Magic
“Downtown Holiday Magic” will bring light, art and joy to downtown crossing through Sunday, Jan. 31.
“Stage Windows” boasts unique storefront displays commissioned from some of Boston’s top performing arts organizations. Installations by Boston’s Black Math celebrate Winter Solstice along Washington Street. Festive decorations and a socially-distanced Santa create a fun, safe place for families.
The “Stage Windows” project includes:
- Commonwealth Shakespeare Company will install a projection-based design for an audio performance of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” Location: 467 Washington St.
- Boston Ballet will create a one-of-a-kind infinite jewel box design highlighting the sets and gorgeous handmade costumes that make its version of “The Nutcracker” one of the country’s biggest and most popular. 101 Arch Street; viewable at the corner of Summer and Hawley Streets
- Huntington Theatre Company will build a forward-looking, fantasy New Year’s Eve installation festooned with clocks and calendars. 481 Washington St.
- Cambridge’s legendary Revels troupe will bring an international, fantastical twist to a Winter Solstice theme, with a scene that includes some of the group’s iconic props, costumes and music. 395 Washington St.
The Black Math designs features:
Black Math, the Downtown Boston-based design firm will transform the Downtown Crossing floral kiosk into a glowing, three-dimensional lantern that will light up the intersection of Winter and Washington Streets, in celebration of the Winter Solstice and turn the Downtown Crossing Steps on Washington Street into a 3-D tableau of the harvest sun, with iconic and mythic figures heralding the arrival of winter. Both sites are planned with augmented reality experiences, including photo filters and digital stickers that encourage social media posting and participation.
Boston BID beautification showcase:
The streets will dazzle with lights, holiday flora, wreaths, and more. Along Summer Street, 24 holiday trees, topping 8 feet each, will twinkle to guide viewers along the pedestrian plaza which will complement the Macy’s Christmas tree and window decorations.
Tasteful Boston public art series:
“Tasteful Boston,” a recently installed public art series, features utility boxes throughout the District painted with fresh, colorful imagery celebrating the unique history of Boston’s culinary scene. A map of the sites is available at www.tastefulboston.com.
Go to www.downtownboston.org for more information.
Excited to give it a curl?
Curling Lanes will be open daily and bookable online or in-person in 30-minute increments for up to two hours. Lanes may have up to 12 people (6 on each side). Check in at the Guest Services Gondola for your reservation and to pick up equipment. All equipment will be fully sanitized between use, and sanitizer wipes are available at both curling lanes. Masks must be worn at all times. Signage will be available on-site with curling rules and tips.
Curling hours: Mondays – Fridays: 4 to 9 p.am.; Saturdays: noon to 9 p.m.; Sundays: noon to 8 p.m. through Sunday, Feb. 28.
This activity is free and open to the public.
Go to www.bostonseaport.xyz/event/snowport-curling/2021-02-28 for more information.
Help save a life by donating blood with the American Red Cross. Every blood donation will be complimentary tested for the coronavirus antibody.
Give blood at the Boston Blood Donation Center, 274 Tremont St. The Center is open from 7 a.m. to 8:15 p.m. – time slots vary by day.
Sign up at www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/find-drive or phone 1-800¬-RED CROSS (1-800¬-733-2767).
Bulfinch Crossing projection ‘Float’
“Float” is a visual animation (with color, light and sound) that seamlessly integrates onto the beams and ceiling of the underpass of Bulfinch Crossing (Government Center Garage underpass at 1 Congress St.), transforming the underutilized space into an art exhibit.
The art installation can be viewed on foot, bike or from the safety of your car from dusk to dawn through Spring 2021. All visitors should practice city and state recommendations on social distancing.
Additional information can be found at: www.bulfinchcrossingprojections.com.
ICA – Temporarily Closed
The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at 25 Harbor Shore Drive has temporarily closed its doors to the public.
Continue to connect to art and artists remotely with virtual programs, at-home art activities for kids and families, and by shopping online at the ICA store.
Visit icaboston.org for more information.
Operation ABLE, 174 Portland St. (Fifth Floor) provides employment services and training programs to job seekers from economically, racially and occupationally diverse backgrounds.
All services at Operation ABLE are being conducted remotely, including distance learning, coaching, and wrap-around services. Class enrollments are open for computer skills training and Health Care and Social Services training, among others.
Visit operationable.net for more information and registration.
Faneuil Hall Holiday Marketplace
Although the annual tree lighting and Blink! program has been cancelled for this year, the merchants are getting into the spirit and are decking the halls with festive lights and other adornments to enjoy.
Please support the local merchants at Faneuil Hall Marketplace this holiday season by picking up a gift for that special someone or treating yourself. The Marketplace is full of stores and pushcarts selling unique gift items.
Visit faneuilhallmarketplace.com for more information, including updated hours.
Artists for Humanity has a limited-edition collection – in addition to one of the largest collections of teen-created fine art in Boston and perhaps the nation – that amplifies AFH teen artists' creative expression during these pivotal times, providing them a platform for shaping how society moves forward to create a better, more equitable world.
Visit www.afhboston.org for more information, including links to purchase their artworks. Reduced shipping rates are available.
You can also peruse your daily dose of art on Instagram @AFHBoston.
BHN scavenger hunts
“Explore Boston Harbor: A Waterfront-Wide Scavenger Hunt,” presented by Boston Harbor Now and their partners, will run through winter in four locations: Charlestown, Downtown Boston, East Boston and South Boston.
Go to edventurebuilder.com/BHN to start the hunt.
BPL online Homework Assistance Program (HAP)
The Boston Public Library offers online homework help, mentorship and afterschool activities provided by trained high-achieving high school students from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays through May 14 (except during school holidays and vacations).
Students in grades K-8 are welcome on a drop-in basis, no registration required.
Visit bpl.org/events for more information, including the Zoom link.
Old State House/Old South Meeting House museums – Temporarily Closed
The Old State House (206 Washington St.) and Old South Meeting House (310 Washington St.) museums have closed for the season for walk-up visits.
Visit revolutionaryspaces.org for more information, including virtual experiences.
Virtual Revolutionary Spaces
The Old State House and Old South Meeting House have a new website and will offer virtual experiences, including new exhibits and programs, readings, community conversations and performances.
Reflecting Attucks at the Old State House is a temporary exhibit exploring the life and legacy of Crispus Attucks, a man of African and Native descent who was the first to fall in the Boston Massacre, an act of protest widely viewed as a turning point on the road to American Revolution. This exhibit will be on view through March, 2021.
Subscribe to their newsletter and follow them on social media.
Visit www.revolutionaryspaces.org for more information.
The Boston Cyclists Union
The Boston Cyclists Union invites people to get involved and join a working group or committee.
Volunteer working groups (Activist Group and Programming Group) meet monthly and play an important role in planning and organizing the Bike Union programs and campaigns. Participation in these groups offers a more active, “on-the-ground” influence than traditional volunteer opportunities.
The three board committees (Development, Finance and Operations, and Governance) support the staff in long-term planning and strategy. Each committee meets monthly.
All meetings are open to all interested parties. Dates and locations along with other information can be found on their website at https://bostoncyclistsunion.org.
Free ‘grab-and-go’ meals/food resource information
Boston Eats will continue to provide free nutritious breakfast and lunch to city kids and youth –
18 years of age and under – through Thursday, Dec. 31. No ID or registration required.
Visit www.boston.gov/departments/food-access/boston-eats or phone 1-800-645-8333 for a list of meal locations and other information. A list of food pantries and soup kitchens is also included.
Visit foodpantries.org for a list of current food pantries, food closets, food banks, soup kitchens, congregate meal locations, food boxes, vouchers, etc.
If you need additional food resources, contact Project Bread’s Food Source Hotline at 800-645-8333.
St. Francis House
St. Francis House, 39 Boylston St. – the largest day shelter in Massachusetts – continues to welcome more than 500 poor and homeless men and women a day for emergency refuge services.
Here are ways you can help support the St. Francis House mission:
- Make a gift to the SFH COVID-19 Emergency Fund
- Donate disposable masks, homemade masks, and materials for staff to make masks.
- Support their basic services by purchasing clothing and toiletries for their guests through their Amazon Wishlist.
Your gift has the power to rebuild lives; St. Francis House is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization; all donations are tax deductible.
Visit stfrancishouse.org to learn more, including links to support their mission.
‘Love letters to Boston Chinatown’
Help celebrate and strengthen the API (Asian and Pacific Islander) community of Chinatown and Greater Boston by sharing a love letter to Boston Chinatown. Create a poem, story, or illustration inspired and dedicate it to Boston Chinatown to help uplift their neighborhood during these difficult times.
Pao Arts Center will translate these letters (in English and Chinese) and post them around the neighborhood as they receive them to empower this community through creativity and kind messages.
This project, inspired by Wing on Wo & Co’s Love Letters to Chinatown, will be ongoing through Thursday, Dec. 31.
Visit https://bcnc.net/events for more information, including the link to submit your creation and to view other people’s submissions.
Chinatown presents: ‘Finding Home’
In a video series of interviews and poetry readings, Poet Chen Chen explores issues of home, identity, immigration and coming out. Each poetry reading will be accompanied by interpretive choreography by Chavi Bansal, IJ Chan and Flora Kim.
Catch the release on Pao Arts Center’s YouTube Channel through Thursday, Dec. 31.
‘Homeward Bound: Global Intimacies in Converging Chinatowns’
“Homeward Bound: Global Intimacies in Converging Chinatowns,” curated by queer Chinese American scholars, organizers and artists Mei Lum, Diane Wong and Huiying B. Chan, centers narratives of home, community and intergenerational resistance.
The 3D online/onsite exhibition, which contains multimedia content from written text, video, audio, along with the artworks will be on view at the Pao Arts Center through Thursday, Dec. 31.
The installation uses photographs, oral histories and multimedia archives to highlight stories of migration, displacement and everyday resilience in Chinatowns around the world. This exhibition is the first of its kind to honor, preserve and build on the history and present-day issues of Chinatowns through community-led and curated narratives from residents globally.
Visit paoartscenter.org/events to learn more.
‘i’m yours: Encounters with Art in Our Times’
On view at the Institute of Contemporary Art through May 23, 2021, i’m yours: Encounters with Art in Our Times celebrates the power of experiencing art in person. This exhibition, which borrows its title from a Henry Taylor painting in the ICA collection, is conceived as an invitation to visitors to create a personal connection with works of art.
Collaboratively and virtually organized in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest, i’m yours is presented within a dramatic, raw architectural space as a series of small galleries, each offering a different artistic perspective to emphasize that the stories museums may tell through art are never fixed but always in process.
Comprising unique encounters with new acquisitions and iconic works from the ICA’s collection, the exhibition’s groupings, or scenes, address a range of topics, including ideas of home and history, social and material transformation and frames of identity in portraiture and sculpture.
Including works by Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Kader Attia, Firelei Báez, Louise Bourgeois, Nan Goldin, Simone Leigh, Doris Salcedo and many others, i’m yours sparks wonder, encourages questions, challenges assumptions and provides a space for reflection.
Boston Children’s Museum - Temporarily Closed
The Boston Children’s Museum has temporarily closed through Jan. 7.
Before this voluntary closure due to the latest COVID-19 surge, the museum was open Wednesdays through Sundays with two time slots for visits from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets must be pre-purchased.
TJX $1 Friday night will be back in the future.
Visit bostonchildrensmuseum.org for more information.
Boston Children’s Museum virtual tour and resources
Children can plot their next museum adventure by navigating past fun spots like the three-story New Balance Foundation Climb on the first floor and the Construction Zone on the third floor.
Among the resources are BCM Home Edition with 26 activities that families can do together and 100 Ways to Play – from cooking and crafting (such as origami, beading, paper dolls and accessories), to imagination and observation games, to exploring and movement activities.
The “Big & Little” podcast for adults, about families, kids, and our world, explores relevant topics ranging from play, learning, creativity, resilience, and health through interviews with people from varied professions and who have different perspectives and experiences.
Visit bostonchildrensmuseum.org and/or follow their social media accounts for more information.
Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum – Temporarily Closed
The Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum (306 Congress St.) will be closed for all on-site activities: tours, gift shop, tea room, until March.
The Museum will continue to hold virtual events year-round.
Visit bostonteapartyship.com for more information.
The Greenway Carousel – Holiday Hours
The Greenway Carousel at the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Grove will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Dec. 23, Dec. 24, Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Dec. 30 following COVID guidelines. The Carousel will be closed on Dec. 25.
You can also download a free PDF sample of the Greenway Carousel Coloring Book to bring your favorite Greenway Carousel creature’s home and explore native New England creatures of land, air and sea with their downloadable PDF.
For more information and updates, visit www.rosekennedygreenway.org and/or follow them on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels as well as their latest blog posts.
If you’ve enjoyed ICA’s free Thursday Nights, Holiday Mondays, talks, tours, film screenings and family programs – or would like to see more of them – consider a small donation of $5 or more today. Your support helps keeps programs such as these free and accessible to all.