December 7 to 10
There’s no sugarcoating it: the three-week stretch between Thanksgiving and winter break can be excruciatingly difficult for college students. It’s demanding, exhausting and stressful. So, sprinkle in some holiday fun this weekend and take a purposeful study break. Whether it’s checking out the SoWa Winter Festival, taking in an on-campus theater production, or skating on the Boston Common Frog Pond, there’s plenty of winter cheer to be found when you look for it.
If you’re in the market for creative, handcrafted, and affordable Christmas gifts this holiday season, head to the SoWa Winter Festival, where there’s something for everyone. Expect live music, festive entertainment, and hundreds of the New England region’s finest small businesses. Browse through specialty food, art, and handmade gifts from sellers like Polkadog, Shindig, and Craic Sauce. Walk three minutes to Thayer Street to enjoy a food truck bazaar, Fridays through Sundays only.
The SoWa Winter Festival is open Thursdays and Fridays, 4 to 9 pm, Saturdays, 10 am to 10 pm, and Sundays, 10 am to 7 pm, at 550 Harrison Ave., Boston. Admission is $10 and can be purchased on-site. Learn more here.
Featuring art depicting Isabella Stewart Gardner, Inventing Isabella is a tribute to the legendary arts patron, hosted by the museum that bears her name. A collection of oil paintings, drawings, and personal and press photographs from her own extensive collection, the exhibition is yet another unique glimpse of the iconoclastic heiress. Wander around the 70-piece collection to learn more about the woman who gave Boston one of its most beloved cultural institutions.
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 25 Evans Way, Boston, is open Thursdays, 11 am to 9 pm, and Friday through Sunday, 11 am to 5 pm. Purchase tickets here; free admission for BU students with a valid ID.
It’s production season at the College of Fine Arts and this weekend two literary adaptations are taking the stage. Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility follows the fortunes, and misfortunes, of the Dashwood sisters—Elinor and Marianne—as they navigate the aftermath of their father’s death, which leaves them destitute. And Virginia Woolf’s Orlando plays with gender and time travel in telling the title character’s epic story, taking him from the Elizabethan era to present day—and from male to female.
Sense and Sensibility runs Friday, December 8, at 7:30 pm, and Saturday, December 9, at 2 pm, in CFA Room 109, 855 Commonwealth Ave. The shows are free and open to the public, and seating is first-come, first-served.
Orlando runs through Saturday, December 9, at the Joan & Edgar Booth Theatre, 820 Commonwealth Ave. See showtimes and purchase tickets here.
If you’re looking for a quintessential Boston holiday activity, be sure to round out the weekend with an evening skate at the Boston Common Frog Pond. On-site skate rentals are available for $15, and don’t forget to pop by the Frog Pond Cafe for a tasty hot chocolate. Don’t know how to skate? That’s what the railing and friends are for.
The Boston Common Frog Pond is open Thursdays and Sundays from 10 am to 9 pm, and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 am to 10 pm. Admission is $10.
It’s all there in the title, folks—all the latkes you can eat, just in time for Hanukkah (which begins Thursday at sundown). This free event entitles all guests to a portion of “thousands of free latkes, literally,” plus a chance to make new friends and celebrate the Jewish Festival of Lights the right way—by stuffing your face with delicious fried potato pancakes. A word of warning: BU Hillel is expecting 500-plus hungry bellies, so be sure to reserve your spot here.
Thursday, December 7, from 5 to 7 pm, at BU Hillel, 213 Bay State Rd.
Black Nativity is one of Boston’s most beloved holiday traditions, bringing the words of 20th-century Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes to life in a gospel music–infused retelling of the birth of Jesus. The five-decade-old show was codeveloped by the legendary Elma Lewis (Wheelock’44) and her National Center for Afro-American Artists; these days, Black Nativity can be viewed at the Emerson College’s Paramount Theatre in all its joyful glory.
Black Nativity runs through December 17 at Emerson College’s Paramount Theatre, 559 Washington St., Boston. Learn more about tickets and showtimes here.