5 Local Holiday Activities You Can Do With Infants & Toddlers

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Can you believe that 2021 is already coming to a close, and the holidays are here? I definitely can’t! If your family is anything like mine, you know that the holiday season in New England is one of the best times of the year. Unlike other parts of the country, we get to experience all that winter has to offer. From cooler temperatures to massive snowstorms, sledding excursions, and ending the day with mugs of hot chocolate with heaping helpings of marshmallows, what’s not to love?

This year, my family has added a brand new member to participate in all the festive fun. So instead of our typical holiday trips, we have swapped them out for more infant (and toddler) friendly options.

Here is a round-up of 5 of the best infant-friendly local holiday activities in or around Central Mass. 

Magic of Lights at Gillette Stadium
Foxborough, MA

This is an image of Pat Patriot sticking out of a black cars sunroof. The car is driving through a tunnel of LED lights.
Even Pat Patriot enjoys the Magic of Lights at Gillette! Image credit: Magic of Lights Foxborough

Returning this year from November 19th to December 24th is Magic of Lights at Gillette Stadium. Every night from 5 to 10 pm, visitors will become enchanted by over 40 themed displays of twinkling LED lights. From the festive soundtrack to the illuminated mega trees and the massive 200-foot light tunnel, there is something everyone in the family will enjoy.

The best part? You will see this entire light display from the comfort and safety of your own vehicle so, even the smallest family members can experience the show (or enjoy a cozy nap)!

Christmas Festival of Lights at Edaville Family Theme Park
Carver, MA

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Edaville Family Theme Park is back open to delight guests with their yearly holiday display, The Christmas Festival of Lights. On select nights, from November 13th thru January 1st, families are invited to explore the park and enjoy 18 different rides among the festive twinkling lights. Included with admission, every visitor can enjoy an illuminated train ride around the park on a functional steam engine. Before you leave, make sure to stop by the newly added Alpaca store where little ones, and adults too, can visit alpacas. You may even get a chance to pet one, if you’re lucky! 

For parents of infants and toddlers, anyone under the age of 2 enters the park for free.

Zoolights at Stone Zoo
Stoneham, MA

A mother and child are looking at brightly colored lights at the yearly Zoolights display at stone zoo
A mother and her child enjoy the twinkling lights at Zoolights. Image Credit: Zoo New England

It may not be your first thought when planning winter activities for the family, but what little one doesn’t love visiting the zoo? Back again this year, from November 19th to January 9th, is Zoolights at the Stone Zoo! Each night from 4 to 9:30 pm, guests can explore the festively decorated Yukon Creek pathways while visiting with some of their cold-weather animal friends (like reindeer, arctic foxes, and black bears). Between the zoo exhibits, large-scale lantern displays illuminate the night. If that wasn’t enough, little ones are welcome to meet with Mrs. Claus on select evenings!

A mother and her young child, sitting in a stroller, are smiling at the camera
Stone Zoo’s yearly holiday display, Zoolights, is fun for all ages! Image Credit: Zoo New England

A bonus for infant and toddler parents? Children 2 and under get to join the family fun for free.

The Polar Express Train Ride at Cape Cod Central Railroad
Buzzard Bay, MA

At Cape Cod Central Railroad, the magic of the classic story comes to life on the yearly Polar Express Train Ride™. On select nights from November 26th thru December 23rd, passengers of all ages are transported into the beloved book and get to take a ride to The North Pole to visit Santa Claus for themselves! During this 1 to 1 ½ hour trip, passengers will delight in the festive entertainment options. Between the conductor punching your commemorative golden ticket, getting to watch the dancing chefs and waiters performing, and snacking on delicious hot chocolate with fresh cookies, there are many memories to be made. Once you arrive at your destination, Santa and his elves will board the train to meet with passengers, pose for pictures, and give each guest the first gift of Christmas, a keepsake sleigh bell.

Make sure to encourage the kids to wear their holiday jammies for added fun (and even more memorable pictures)!  

Bright Lights at Forest Park 
Springfield, MA

An arch decorated with colored LED lights. The center reads "Seuss Land".
Bright Nights welcomes you to the wonderful world of Dr. Seuss. Image Credit: Bright Nights

Last but certainly not least is Bright Lights at Forest Park. Since 1995, this drive-through holiday experience has been enchanting visitors with its wide variety of extravagant lighting displays. From November 11th thru January 2nd, families will drive along the trail and experience the magic from 5 to 9 pm nightly, with extended hours on weekends and holidays. Along the route, guests explore Seuss land, Toy land, and even Jurassic world through the displays that promise to charm every family member. A musical accompaniment completes the show by tuning your radio to their dedicated FM station.

As a bonus for families with young children, Bright Lights is open on all major holidays to add some family-friendly fun to your festivities!

Do you see something on this list that you would like to do with your little ones this holiday season? Remember to tag @CentralMassMom on Facebook and Instagram so we can hear all about the fun (and see some of those adorable pictures)!
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As of 2021, Darian is a new mom, wife, and business owner. Talk about making a lot of changes all at once! Born and raised in Marlborough, Darian knew that when she got engaged to her now-husband, Nick, they needed to find a place to call their own. They found the perfect spot in early 2021, a quiet Worcester neighborhood in the heart of Central Mass! Soon after moving, they planned to wed before the birth of their daughter. However, little Elinor wanted to crash the wedding and made her debut over a month early in March. They were married a few short months later. After the wedding, Darian leaned into becoming a work-from-home mom, balancing a baby with the launch of her copy and content writing business, Pentiki Copy. When she’s not busy writing, you can find her trying out new instant pot concoctions or snuggled up on the couch with Ellie singing along to their favorite Disney movies!

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