’Tis the Season for Holiday Fun in Bedford

December 1, 2023

Get into the holiday spirit with fairs, frivolity, and fun as Bedford kicks off the season on Saturday, Dec. 2. The festivities will continue throughout the month of December. 

Here is a list of the holiday/winter events that are happening around town this weekend and beyond:

Saturday, Dec. 2

  • 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. ~ St Paul’s Advent Fair

The hall at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 100 Pine Hill Rd. will be filled with handmade crafts, homemade baked goods, creative gift baskets, raffles for local restaurants and businesses, silent auction of goods and services, and more – come find the perfect gifts for family, friends, and you. Visit https://www.stpaulsbedford.org/community/advent-fair for more information.

  • 10 a.m. to noon ~ Christmas Cookie Decorating Party at First Baptist Church 

Families and friends are invited to enjoy a morning of carols, crafts, and cocoa and take home a treat box while celebrating the warmth of Christmas. 

The event will be held in the First Baptist Church Connections Building at 153 Concord Rd. RSVP and for more information, email FBC Children’s Ministry Coordinator Alex Flett at [email protected]. Visit https://thebedfordcitizen.org/2023/11/christmas-cookie-decorating-party-at-first-baptist-church for more information.    

  • 1 to 4 p.m. ~ Holiday Book Sale hosted by Friends of the BFPL

The Friends of the Bedford Free Library will host a holiday book sale featuring gift-ready fiction, non-fiction, holiday, and children’s books plus CDs and DVDs. The library is located at 7 . Members only from noon to 1 p.m. (become a member; join at the door.) 

The book sale will continue on Sunday, Dec. 3.

An exhibit of 24 members of the Bedford Center for the Arts Photo Group will be on display through Jan. 10.

Visit https://bedfordlibrary.assabetinteractive.com/calendar/friends-holiday-book-sale.

  • 2 to 6 p.m. ~ Bedford Town Museum Open House at Old Town Hall

Visit Bedford Town Museum at the Old Town Hall, 16 South Road. Take the museum tour hosted by the Town Historical Society and find out why Bedford’s history is so unique. Take a look at the new exhibit “Bedford at Work” on the first floor and the “History of Bedford” panels in the Great Room on the third floor. The museum gift shop will also be open for holiday shopping.

Visit www.facebook.com/BedfordMaHistory for more information.

  • 2 to 4 p.m. ~ Children’s Fair at First Parish Bedford

The Girl Scouts will host a Children’s Fair downstairs at the First Parish Bedford, 75 The Great Road. Kids can select from an array of colorful items arranged on multiple tables for gifting to parents and other significant adults in their life. The scouts will provide courtesy gift wrapping and child-care will be available for potty-trained kids. After selecting their gifts, kids can try their hand at creative card-making.

  • 2 to 6 p.m. ~ Holiday Artisan’s Market at First Parish Bedford

More than two dozen local artisans will exhibit and sell a wide range of original handcrafted items, including jewelry, ceramics, stained-glass works, mini-paintings and photographs, handknits, and much more at the First Parish Bedford, 75 The Great Road (Elm St. Entrance). Enjoy live season music provided by a classical guitarist/singer and holiday carols sung by volunteers of the parish choir. A Children’s Fair will be held downstairs from 2 to 4 p.m. (See details in entry above).

  • 2 to 6 p.m. ~ Holiday Storybook Trail 

Visit 14 outdoor locations on Great Road and to read a page from the classic tale, Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner. There is a free paper bookmark listing the easily walkable locations, beginning at the Bedford Free Public Library and ending at the Town Common on Elm Street.

(This will also be happening on Sunday, Dec. 3.)

  • 2 to 6 p.m. ~ Winter Walkabout, Downtown Bedford

Enjoy a flurry of activities and twinkling lights while strolling, shopping, savoring, and socializing to kick off the winter season. Participating establishments include: 

  • Suzanne & Company, 90 The Great Road ~ beer & wine garden, live music 
  • Brown & Brown PC, 110 The Great Road ~ cider and snacks and craft project –

Greenery/Swag Holiday Door decorations 

  • Fetch It, 48 The Great Road ~ warm beverages and snacks 
  • Bedford Historical Society, Old Town Hall, 16 South Road ~ gift shop items for sale, archives and vintage recipes on display, and free candy canes 
  • First Parish on the Common, front steps, 75 The Great Road ~ hot chocolate 
  • Ken’s NY Deli, 72 The Great Road 
  • Bedford Fire Station, 55 The Great Road ~ hot chocolate with marshmallows 
  • Barrett Sotheby’s, 51 The Great Road ~ professional family photos with Santa, warm drinks. Bedford Cupcakes will also be there. 
  • Bedford Free Public Library, 7  ~ Friends of the Library Holiday Book Sale (Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.) 

5 p.m. ~ Annual Tree Lighting and Santa on the Bedford Town Common

Ho-Ho-Ho. Citizen of the Year Angelo Colao will lead the countdown to light the trees on Bedford Common at 5 p.m. sharp. This will be followed by a special visitor from the North Pole arriving atop a fire engine with treats and wishes for a joyous holiday season. Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate, compliments of First Parish. 

Please note that Elm Street between the Great Road and School Way will be closed beginning at 3 p.m. to the completion of the event on Saturday, Dec. 2. Parking is available on the Town Campus. Visit Bedford Cultural District | Bedford, MA (bedfordma.gov) for more information.

Sunday, Dec. 3

  • 1 to 4 p.m. ~ Holiday Book Sale hosted by Friends of the BFPL 

The Friends of the Bedford Free Public Library will host a holiday book sale featuring gift-ready fiction, non-fiction, holiday, and children’s books plus CDs and DVDs. The library is located at 7 .

An exhibit of 24 members of the Bedford Center for the Arts Photo Group will be on display through Jan. 10.

Visit https://bedfordlibrary.assabetinteractive.com/calendar/friends-holiday-book-sale.

2 to 6 p.m. ~ Holiday Storybook Trail 

Visit 14 outdoor locations on Great Road and Mudge Way to read a page from the classic tale, Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner. There is a free paper bookmark listing the easily walkable locations, beginning at the Bedford Free Public Library and ending at the Town Common on Elm Street.    

Monday, Dec. 4

MCC Student Recital will happen at 12:30 p.m. at the Bedford Campus of Middlesex Community College. Courtesy Photo.
  • 12:30 p.m. ~ Middlesex Community College Student recital

A student recital will be held at the Middlesex Community College Concert Hall, located in Henderson Hall at 591 Springs Road in Bedford. MCC student singers and instrumentalists will perform a variety of music, ranging from J. S. Bach to blues improvisations to works by music technology students. The concert is part of the Fall 2023 “A World of Music” concert series.

Go to https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/worldofmusic for more information.

  • 3:15 p.m. ~ Annual Hanscom Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony

The annual holiday tree lighting ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. outside the base chapel at Hanscom Air Force Base. Base officials will be joined by Santa Claus to officially light the Hanscom AFB tree. The tree lighting will follow a parade through base housing, beginning at 3:15 p.m., ending at the chapel. There will be reserved parking inside the Sartain Gate off Route 2A, just a short distance from the tree lighting site at the chapel. (Sartain Gate is located off Vandenburg Drive). Visitors to the base must present a valid driver’s license or state ID upon arriving at the gate.

Wednesday, Dec. 6 

  • 7 p.m. ~ JGMS Vocal Concert

The JGMS Grade 6 Chorus and Grades 7 and 8 Chorus will present their winter concert at John Glenn Middle School, 99 McMahon Road.

For a listing of the Bedford Schools Winter Concerts, go to https://www.bedfordps.org/sites/g/files/vyhlif2786/f/uploads/performingartscalendar2023_2024_sept.pdf.

Thursday, Dec. 7 

5 p.m. ~ Menorah Lighting at the Hanscom Air Force Base Chapel 

Base officials will host the annual Menorah Lighting at the chapel at 5 p.m. The Menorah Lighting commemorates the eight-day celebration of Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights. During each night of the festival, an additional candle is lit. All are welcome to join base leadership in the celebration. Hanukkah-related refreshments will be served.

Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP no later than Dec. 1 to Chaplain (Maj.) Kimberly Hall at [email protected].

Go to https://www.hanscom.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/3258787/upcoming-events for more information.

Saturday, Dec. 9

  • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. ~ Bedford Fire Department Toy Drive (at two locations)

The Bedford Fire Department is collecting donations of unwrapped toys for children. The annual Toy Drive will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9 and Saturday, Dec. 16 at Bedford High School in the rear parking lot (the old varsity softball field) adjacent to Liljegren Way. Gift donations can also be dropped off at Red Heat in the Bedford Market Place on Great Road during their normal business hours: 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays.   

  • 2 p.m. ~ Back Bay Ringers Holiday Concert at First Parish

Ring in the season with the Back Bay Ringers at 2 p.m. at First Parish on the Common, 75 The Great Road. The ensemble will present an afternoon of holiday music featuring handbells, chimes, and other percussion instruments to delight an audience of all ages. The program will include both classical and contemporary favorites. Tickets are available online or at the door (Adult: $25 | Student/Senior: $20).

Go to https://backbayringers.ticketleap.com/christmas-with-the-back-bay-ringers-bedford

 for more information. 

Sunday, Dec. 10

  • 9 a.m. to noon ~ Rotary Club of Bedford’s Winter Community Breakfast 

Celebrate the arrival of winter with a hot pancake breakfast (including scrambled eggs, sausage, and other goodies), winter crafts, live music, and photos with Santa. A commemorative coloring book will be available for the children to take home. Children can enjoy games and activities from several cultural traditions, celebrating together the coming of winter. The event will be held at the Bedford High School, 9 Mudge Way.

Tickets at https://bedford-rotary.square.site ($15 per person; $50 per family)

  • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. ~ Pony Rides and Pictures with Santa at Chip-in Farm

Get into the holiday spirit and add some holiday cheer at Chip-In Farm, 201 Hartwell Road. There will be plenty of photo opportunities and visits with Santa, Mrs. Claus, Santa’s elves, and mini reindeer. Warm up with hot cocoa while enjoying activities that include pony rides and letters to Santa. There is no charge for the event, but a suggested donation of $20 per family to benefit Home at Last Farm is welcome. They are a nonprofit organization that rescues and rehabilitates mini horses, donkeys, and ponies. 

In addition, the Bedford Minuteman Company’s annual fundraiser luminaria kits, which includes 12 bags, votives, and sand, will be available throughout the month while supplies last ($15). 

A festive collection of locally produced wreaths, table decorations, and greens will also be on sale.

Register for the event at https://bit.ly/3R0cyXH.

  • 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ~ Ukrainian Christmas Market in Lexington

Experience the magic of the holiday season and learn about Ukrainian customs and traditions at the Ukrainian Christmas Market at Lexington Depot, 13 Depot Square in Lexington Center. 

Schedule of the day for Ukrainian Christmas Market:

  • 11:30 a.m. ~ The market opens 

There will be a selection of unique handcrafted gifts and traditional Ukrainian items made by Ukrainian vendors, artists and crafters, as well as nonprofit organizations from around New England.

  • 11:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. ~ Visit with St. Nicholas 

*Please reserve free tickets for your children (so St. Nicholas will know how many gifts to prepare). Remember to bring a camera for photo ops.

  • 3 to 4 p.m. ~ Ukrainian Christmas Stars showcase followed by Vertep performance.

Enjoy Ukrainian Christmas carols and performances.

*Market takes a break to restock.

  • 4 to 5:30 p.m. ~ Market reopens, visit with St. Nicholas resumes.
  • 5:30 p.m. ~ Market closes.

This celebration of Ukrainian culture and the spirit of Christmas event is hosted by members of the Bedford-based Ukrainian Cultural Initiative and the Ukrainian Cultural Center of New England. 

Learn more about the event at https://www.facebook.com/uccnorg.

Get tickets at https://events.humanitix.com/ukrainian-christmas-market-2023/tickets ($3).

  • 2 to 7 p.m. ~ Bedford Holiday House Tour

The Bedford Holiday House Tour, hosted by Suzanne & Company, will take place at 90 The Great Road. This is a popular way to get into the holiday spirit while helping families in need. 

The event will take place on two levels: The house tours for adults will be open in the afternoon and the family-friendly fun will take place when the sun goes down and the lights outside twinkle and shine. Enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride, pictures with Santa, a reindeer scavenger hunt, hot chocolate, and other fun, including a map to for the “drive around” holiday lights tour of festively-decorated homes.

Here are some highlights:

  • 2 to 4 p.m. ~ House tours (for adults only)

Come and see the insides of selected homes all decked out for the holiday season. 

  • 2 to 5 p.m. ~ Horse-drawn Carriage Rides (family fun)
  • 3 p.m. ~ Reindeer Scavenger Hunt

Custom-built wooden reindeer will be strategically placed at homes on the tour. Make note of their locations and enter to win a prize. 

  • 4 to 7 p.m. ~ Santa is coming!

Make your way to the winter wonderland at 90 The Great Road for snow, elves, and Santa. He’ll be waiting on the front porch to hear your wish-list and photo time.  

All the money raised will help Bedford families in need. There are many ways to participate and help out – from buying a map to adding your house to making a donation – it all helps.

Visit https://thebedfordcitizen.org/2023/11/the-2023-holiday-house-tour-on-sunday-dec-10 to learn more. 

Tuesday, Dec. 12 

  • 7 p.m. – BHS Instrumental Concert 

The BHS Chamber Orchestra, Concert Orchestra, and Band will present their winter concert in the Bedford High School Auditorium, 9 Mudge Way.

For a listing of the Bedford Schools Winter Concerts, go to https://www.bedfordps.org/sites/g/files/vyhlif2786/f/uploads/performingartscalendar2023_2024_sept.pdf.

Wednesday, Dec. 13

  • 7 p.m. ~ JGMS Instrumental Concert 

Grade 6 Band, Grade 6 Orchestra, Grades 7 and 8 Band, Grades 7and 8 Orchestra, Jazz Band, and the Fiddle Club will present their winter concert at John Glenn Middle School, 99 McMahon Road.

For a listing of the Bedford Schools Winter Concerts, go to https://www.bedfordps.org/sites/g/files/vyhlif2786/f/uploads/performingartscalendar2023_2024_sept.pdf.

Thursday, Dec. 14 

  • 7 p.m. ~ BHS Vocal Concert 

The BHS Concert Choir, Honors Choir, and various a cappella groups will present their winter concert in the Bedford High School Auditorium, 9 Mudge Way.

For a listing of the Bedford Schools Winter Concerts, go to https://www.bedfordps.org/sites/g/files/vyhlif2786/f/uploads/performingartscalendar2023_2024_sept.pdf.

Saturday, Dec. 16

  • 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. ~ The Bedford Community Santa program Gift Drop Day

The Bedford Community Santa program is heading into its 78th season of providing a Christmas Eve visit from Santa to the children of Bedford. 

Registration is open for the 2023 program on the bedfordsanta.com

 website.

  • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. ~ Bedford Fire Department Toy Drive (at two locations)

The Bedford Fire Department is collecting donations of unwrapped toys for children. The annual Toy Drive will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16 at Bedford High School in the rear parking lot (the old varsity softball field) adjacent to Liljegren Way.

Gift donations can also be dropped off at Red Heat in the Bedford Market Place on Great Road during their normal business hours: 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays.   

Wednesday, Dec. 20

  • 7 p.m. ~ Lane School Concert 

Grade 4 Orchestra, Grade 5 Band, Grade 5 Chorus, and Grade 5 Orchestra will present their winter concert in the Bedford High School Auditorium, 9 Mudge Way.

For a listing of the Bedford Schools Winter Concerts, go to https://www.bedfordps.org/sites/g/files/vyhlif2786/f/uploads/performingartscalendar2023_2024_sept.pdf.

Sunday, Dec. 24

  • 4:30 to 7 p.m. ~ A Visit from Santa (The Bedford Community Santa program)

The Bedford Community Santa program is heading into its 78th season of providing a Christmas Eve visit from Santa to the children of Bedford. 

Registration is open for the 2023 program on the bedfordsanta.com

 website.

Sunday, Dec. 31

  • 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. ~ FBCOA New Year’s Eve Premier Brunch Cruise 

The Friends of the Bedford Council on Aging invite seniors to a New Year’s Eve Premier Brunch Cruise on the Boston Odyssey. Guests will take a two-hour cruise around Boston Harbor with a “countdown to midnight” champagne toast at noon. Enjoy a brunch buffet, deejay entertainment, and party favors.

Call the BCOA at 781-275-6825 for more information and advance reservations: $99 per person due at registration time.

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