Shop Over Weekend 2023

December 15th – 17th

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and there is no better place to spend it than historic Harvard Square. With so much to see and do, come for the weekend!  For a full list of accommodation in the Square, please visit:  Stay Archives – Harvard Square.

Hotels! Shopping! Dining! Ticketed Events! Outdoor family-friendly free events! Come Friday and stay for the weekend. Shop until you drop! Dine on the run or sit down for a luxurious dinner. When you’ve shopped and eaten your way through the Square, take some time to enjoy a show, concert, movie or a play.

Grafton Street Pub & Grill, Russell House Tavern, The Hourly Oyster House
Gift Card Promotion
Thru December 31st

Purchase a gift card for $100 or more at The Hourly Oyster House, Grafton Street Pub & Grill, Russell House Tavern and receive an additional 10% free!

For gift card purchases of $500 or more receive 20% added to your card. This offer is also available on each restaurant’s website and gift cards can be used at all Grafton Group restaurants.

Life Alive Organic Cafe
Gift Card Promotion
Thru December 31st

Buy $50 in gift cards and receive a $10 bonus card. 

This promotion is available in person at all Life Alive Cafes or online at

Noir at The Charles Hotel
Maccabee Bar
Thru December 31st

Maccabee Bar is meant for anyone who wants to experience a different side of the holidays, whether you grew up celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza or anything else. While hosting Maccabee Bar, Noir at the Charles Hotel will be transformed into a Hanukkah wonderland with special decor, Hanukkah themed cocktails, and traditional bites, including latkes, hummus, and more. Monday and Tuesday 4pm to 12am and Wednesday through Saturday 4pm to 1am.
Make a Reservation

American Repertory Theater
Real Women Have Curves
Thru  January 21st

Based on the play by Josefina López that inspired the iconic hit film, Real Women Have Curves: The Musical is an empowering new show that explores life’s unexpected curves. Directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Sergio Trujillo (Arrabal, Ain’t Too Proud, Jersey Boys), this world-premiere musical features a book by award-winning playwright Lisa Loomer (Roe; The Waiting Room; Girl, Interrupted) with an original score by Grammy-winning recording artist Joy Huerta (from world-renowned Mexican pop duo Jesse&Joy) and Fred Ebb Award winner Benjamin Velez (Kiss My Aztec).

Mount Auburn Cemetery
2023 SOLSTICE: Reflections on Winter Light
December 9th & 10th; 12th & 13th; 15th & 17th; 19th & 21st

Join us as we welcome back SOLSTICE: Reflections on Winter Light to Mount Auburn Cemetery in December 2023! The three outdoor light and sound artworks return with renewed approaches and integrations. A new feature this year is the interactive Hortus Gateway; four imprinted towers that will welcome visitors to enter the landscape through symmetrical illumination. We have also added an extended pathway on Central Ave which will give guests the opportunity to slow down, contemplate, and enjoy the night sky.

Each piece may be perceived on its own or intertwined with one another to create a holistic experience. Connect to a landscape of exceptional beauty, consider an intention for the new year, or commemorate the memory of a loved one. Let the solstice light your way as you encounter the unique spirit of Mount Auburn.

St. Paul’s Choir School
Christmas in Harvard Square
December 17th 

CHRISTMAS IN HARVARD SQUARE celebrates the old and the new this Christmas season, featuring music by composers such as Benjamin Britten, Franz Biebl, Herbert Howells, and more. The evening will include Theodore Marier’s beloved setting of “Silent Night,” plus beloved carols, sung by the Boys and Schola of Saint Paul’s Choir, the Music Scholars of Saint Paul’s Boys Choir, and the Pre-Choristers of Saint Paul’s Boys Choir.

Longfellow House Washington’s Headquarters
Holiday Open House
December 15th

Guests of all ages are invited to celebrate children’s joy around the holidays, and to embrace the playful spirit of the season amid the decked historic halls of the Longfellow House. Enjoy a luminaria display on the grounds and stroll the halls of the Longfellow House, decorated in period style and featuring live harp music and special seasonal objects from the site’s museum collection that celebrate childhood and play.

Then, follow the festive front path to the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy President’s House at 115 Brattle Street – the other big yellow house – to enjoy Big Smile Entertainment’s Holiday Victorian Carolers and Rosalita’s puppet shows, in addition to parlor games, a festive tree, “take-and-make” crafts, and treats for the whole family. Refreshments, including cookies and hot beverages, will be served.
Free; no reservations required. 4:00 PM-8:00 PM

Longy School of Music of Bard College
Winter Solstice Recital
December 15th and 16th

Longy Logo

Winter Solstice concert performed by students of the Keyboard Studies Department.


Blue Heron
Christmas in Medieval England
December 15th – 16th

Our program offers a selection of music for the Christmas season—plainchant, carols, and polyphonic antiphons and settings of the Mass—that might have been heard in England in the 1440s, when the most modern of the works on the program were composed. The carols, drawn from several manuscripts, are written in a robust popular style with graceful melody and simple harmonies, while the polyphony dazzles with complex cross-rhythms, dashing melodies, and clangorous harmonies, all in celebration of one of the most glorious seasons of the Christian year.

Blue Heron is happy to offer 20% off all ticket prices to the evening showings of our Christmas In Medieval England Concert:

Friday December 15th, 8:00PM and Saturday December 16th, 8:00PM

HSBA friends can use the code HBSAFRENZ at checkout to get tickets at all price levels to those two show times at a discount.

Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts
Black Business Holiday Pop-Up
December 15th – 17th

The Brattle Theatre
It’s A Wonderful Life
December 15th – 18th

A Holiday Tradition! Jimmy Stewart plays George Bailey, a forlorn small-town banker who, while considering suicide, meets Clarence, an angel in training. Clarence shows George what life would be like if he had never been born, and through this George is able to realize how valuable one person’s life can be. Forget about watching this classic film at home on TV, we’re showing it the way it was meant to be seen: on the Big Screen on real-live 35mm film!

Harvard Square Holiday Fair
1 Brattle Square
December 15th – 17th and December 21st – 23rd  

One of the oldest and most popular fairs in the Boston area. Held in Harvard Square for 8 or 9 days with free admission. Juried, with a mix of craftspeople from the region and world traveling importers. A great selection of beautiful, original, affordable gifts. Talking with the artist gives us a connection to what we are buying. A high energy marketplace with a great soundtrack. See old friends and make new ones.

Hours: Thurs./Fridays 12-7, Saturdays 11-7, Sundays 12-6.

Midwinter Revels: The Feast of Fools
December 15th – 28th

Our 53rd Midwinter Revels drops us into the colorful medieval Feast of Fools, where everything is topsy-turvy by design. The status quo quickly becomes the status disruptus as the body politic officially lets off steam. Rulers are temporarily deposed by servants, wit triumphs over power, and a fool finds himself steering the ship of state. This musical feast will feature vibrant processionals, lively carols, delicate harmonies, vigorous dances, and a full ritual serving of the wild and the holy.

Come sing favorites old and new and dance your way with us into the lobby of Sanders Theatre and out into the brand new year! On this shortest day of the year, what could possibly go wrong?

Santa Claus Jazz Band and Treats
December 16th, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
The Pit

Join the Harvard Square Business Association as we present the Santa Claus Jazz Band performing from 1pm – 3pm in the “pit” in the center of the Square. Bask in the glow of the sights, smells and sounds of the season! Plenty of hot chocolate and cookies will be available to give you that extra energy boost as you holiday shop!

Longfellow House Washington’s Headquarters
Holiday Tours
December 16th

Reserve your spot on a free, 30-minute guided tour of the Longfellow House first floor, decked out for the holidays! Space is limited and reservations are required.

Scullers Jazz Club
Sun Music & The Record Co present Lezlie Harrison – Holiday Rhythm
December 16th

Ms. Harrison will be performing songs from her Jazzweek, Top 20 album release, Let Them Talk, along with other holiday treats. 
Lezlie is her own personal renaissance. Her constant state of evolution and growth brings with it, gifts for those paying attention. As a vocalist both bold and subtle, her vulnerability attends to the fragile matters of our collective human affairs while her optimistic momentum inspires us to rise above any tribulation to rejoice. Be it Jazz, Blues, Gospel, Soul, The American Song Form, original compositions, or any song in ANY form, Ms. Harrison imbues it with her distinctive stamp and makes a very personal delivery.

Live Music Holiday Brunch
December 17th