A Few of our Favorite Things: Festive Holiday Traditions on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard & Nantucket

Cape Cod-Enchanted Village xmas e2

Cape Cod Enchanted Village takes place December 6, 2019-January 2, 2020. Free and open to the public! Thousands of lights, a Santa’s Village and the Cape Cod Surftone Carolers sing holiday music every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night from 5 pm to 8pm. Bonfire nightly (weather permitting). Holiday lights go on at dusk. Please bring a gift card of new, unwrappped toy for the “Giving Tree”. Proceeds go to Independence House. (www.capecodderresort.com/packages/enchanted-village-package)

By StoryStudio

Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket bring the classic spirit of the season to life every Thanksgiving through New Year’s, each putting their special stamp on beloved holiday traditions.

Bundle up by the seashore this season and make some of these unique Cape & Islands traditions your own:

  1. Illuminations: The Town Crier leads the dramatic countdown to the Nantucket Tree Lighting(November 29), when more than 150 trees light up the night sky to the sounds of joyous caroling. Featured in Smithsonian Magazine’s article “Seven Places Reinventing the Christmas Tree,” Provincetown’s Lobster Pot Treeis stacked with over 100 real lobster pots borrowed from local lobstermen; adorned with 3,400 LED lights, the display comes to life on November 30. And the December 7 Lighting of the Edgartown Lighthouse is the official kickoff to the Vineyard’s Christmas in Edgartown celebration, with holiday sing-a-longs led by Dickens Christmas Carolers.
  2. Santa’s Arrival:It’s the Cape & Islands, so we can hardly expect Santa to make much of a splash arriving in his traditional mode of transport. Grab a cup of hot cocoa and get ready to greet Old St. Nick dockside! Local harbors are the place to be as Santa cruises into various town ports by boat, including Orleans on November 30, Chatham on December 1, both Falmouth and Nantucket on December 7 and Vineyard Haven on December 8.
  3. Nantucket Christmas Stroll: Glittering fir trees, strolling minstrels and Victorian carolers are just some of the sights you’ll see at the highly anticipated 46th Annual Nantucket Christmas Stroll(December 6-8). The festivities include extended shopping hours, special menus at local restaurants, craft shows and a magical talking Christmas tree.
  4. Festive 5Ks:’Tis the season to be jolly, which often means overindulging in eggnog and Christmas cookies. Burn off those calories (and more importantly, make room for some more) at the Santa Stampede and Family Fun Runon December 7 in Orleans and the Teddy Bear Trot on December 15 in Edgartown. Runners and walkers should dress in their festive best; if you don’t cross the finish line first, you could still win for best costume!
  5. Christmas in Edgartown:Downtown Edgartown comes alive December 12-15 for the 38th Annual Christmas in Edgartown. Twinkle-lit architecture sets the scene for cookie contests, wreath making, amazing store promotions, The Great Chowder Contest, and a parade down Main Street.
  6. Old-Fashioned Family Fun: Take a guided ride along a winter wonderland route in an over-sand vehicle to the remote Cape Poge Lighthouse for Christmas at the Lighthouseon Martha’s Vineyard (December 7-8). The Nantucket Whaling Museum is ablaze with color during the Nantucket Historical Association Festival of Trees(December 6-31), featuring creatively decorated trees by local merchants, artists and children. And nine miles of twinkling lights greet visitors to Heritage Museums & Gardens’ Gardens Aglow, where you can visit with Santa in a 1913 Model T Ford, roast marshmallows over outdoor fire pits and stroll through the grounds on a reindeer scavenger hunt (November 29-December 29, Fridays-Sundays).
  7. Shop Local: Quaint boutiques, charming bookstores and eclectic galleries adorn downtown areas, making it easy to tackle your holiday shopping list. One-of-a-kind gifts by local artisans can be found at Featherstone’s Holiday Gift Show(November 15-December 15), the Vineyard Artisans’ Annual Holiday Fair(December 21) and the Holiday LoveLocal Fest in Hyannis (December 7-8). Peruse the beautiful glass-blown ornaments at Sandwich Glass Museum’s Glassblowers’ Christmas, featuring handmade ornaments available for purchase (November 15-December 30). And if you shop on Nantucket between November 1 and December 24, you can earn red tickets and enter for a chance to win up to $11,000 through the Holiday Red Ticket Program.

If you’ve been searching for some holiday magic ― along with festive village centers, fireside dining and cozy inns ― your Cape & Islands Christmas experience awaits! Visit the links below to learn more about spending the holidays by the sea:

CapeCodChamber.org
MVY.com
NantucketChamber.org

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