November and December offer amazing holiday displays and fun events for gardeners in the Northeast. From beautiful light displays to Christmas teas and train shows, you will find a wealth of inspiration for your own holiday celebrations. Below is just a sampling. If your organization has an event that is not listed, please feel free to add it in the Comments.
Christmas at the Newport Mansions
Newport Mansions, Newport, MA
November 23 - January 1
The Breakers, The Elms and Marble House are once again decorated with thousands of poinsettias, fresh flowers, evergreens, and wreaths. Thirty decorated Christmas trees reflecting individual room decor anchor many of the magnificent spaces. Dining tables set with period silver and china complete the elegant setting. Windows of each mansion are lit with individual white candles, in keeping with the colonial tradition.
Hill-Stead Holiday Boutique
Hill-Stead Museum, Farmington, CT
Find unique holiday gifts and support local artists and artisans.
Hildene, Manchester, VT
December 5–January 1
The Lincoln home is decorated for Christmas throughout the month as they might have done when they stayed at Hildene through the holidays in 1912. Musicians will play the Lincolns' 1908 Aeolian organ and Steinway piano.
Festival of Trees and Snow Village
Massachusetts Horticultural Society, Elm Bank, Wellesley, MA
November 29-December 15
The Festival of Trees, displayed in the Hunnewell Building, offers beautifully decorated holiday trees that are donated and decorated by local businesses, garden clubs, and individuals. Snow Village is an enchanting display of model trains winding through villages and vignettes, including Christmas in the Boston, Fenway Park, and hundreds of decorated houses and lights. Visitors can also enjoy the decorated buildings and grounds at The Gardens at Elm Bank with a stroll or a horse-drawn wagon ride. For the young at heart, there are Santa Visits and other activities.
Yuletide at Winterthur
Winterthur, Winterthur, DE
November 23–January 5
Each delightful room on this year’s Yuletide Tour tells a story reflecting the ways in which Americans have celebrated the winter holiday season from the 1800s to the present. Kids of all ages will delight in magical Christmas trees of all shapes and sizes; a remarkable 18-room dollhouse mansion filled with nearly 1,000 miniatures and fully decorated for Christmas; and a display of antique Santas and figures of the mischievous Belsnickel, a gift giver from German folklore who is closely related to Ol’ Saint Nick. Of special note is the majestic dried flower tree, on view in the Conservatory and featuring some 60 varieties of flowers.
Holiday Train Show
New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY
November 23–January 26
Marvel at G-scale locomotives humming past 175 New York landmarks on nearly a half-mile of track. This year’s exhibition showcases Lower Manhattan—the birthplace of New York City—featuring the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and iconic skyscrapers sharing the spotlight among old and new favorites. Making their debut this year are One World Trade Center and the historic Battery Maritime Building along with two vintage ferry boats.
Naumkeag, Stockbridge, MA
Thursdays-Sundays beginning Nov. 21, 5-8 pm
Enjoy the spectacular garden of Naumkeag lit with thousands of shimmering holiday lights. Each weekend features performances and activities for the whole family, from the young to the young at heart.
Heritage Museums & Gardens, Sandwich, MA
November 29 - December 29
Heritage’s expansive gardens will be aglow with beautiful light displays, extensive indoor holiday décor and numerous activities around the grounds and galleries.
Christmas at the Fells
The Fells, Newbury, NH
During this holiday Decorator Showhouse, The Fells is transformed by interior designers, floral artists and decorators. On weekends, enjoy lunch and a holiday gift boutique.
Night Lights: Winter Reimagined
Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston, MA
November 29 - December 30
Outside, visitors have the opportunity to marvel at glittering lights displayed throughout 15 acres of formal gardens. Inside, you can see trees decorated with hand-made, nature-inspired ornaments, a model train village, and two conservatories brimming with subtropical plants and seasonal music.
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay, ME
New England’s biggest and brightest light display! With over 650,000 lights, the central gardens are transformed into an extravaganza of festive lights in a dramatic display of brilliant color.
Christmas at Blithewold
Blithewold, Bristol, RI
November 23 - January 1
Every year, Blithewold transforms into a dazzling display celebrating the magic of Christmas. Each room of the Mansion is filled with elaborate holiday decorations, and the gardens become a glimmering winter wonderland! Enjoy a winter marketplace, holiday teas and musical performances.
Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate, Canton, MA
Weekends November 21–December 29
Enjoy the holidays with thousands of shimmering lights in the garden, scavenger hunts, crafts and refreshments.