The shortest day of the year,
signaling the beginning of winter, has been celebrated throughout the world in
any number of ways: with music, prayer, bonfires, and other festivities. This
year, the solstice falls on December 22.
Since the solstice is on a
Tuesday, which may not be ideal for kids, many places are celebrating a bit
early. You can also celebrate in your own way. Why not bundle everyone up and
head outside for a bonfire, take a walk in the winter night to look for
animals, or make a bird feeder to hang in your yard? It’s nice to take time
out from all of the commercialism the season can bring and reconnect with your kids
in a natural setting.
Below are a few places you can
celebrate with your family; call or check the websites for
4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015
Winter Solstice Stroll, Ravenswod Park in Gloucester, Mass. This candlelit stroll at twilight celebrates cultural diversity and the winter solstice in a woodland park setting. The stroll will be followed by a fire, hot
chocolate, and s'mores. Lanterns will be provided, but bring your own if you have
5:30 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015
Night, Governor Hutchinson's Field in Milton, Mass. Mark the
winter solstice with a campfire and
treats, followed by a tree lighting to help illuminate the darkest
days of the year.
5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015
Solstice Celebration at the Old Manse in Concord, Mass. Join staff members for a
walk through the Old Manse, one of the nation's most significant historic homes.
Experience the house on a late winter's afternoon and hear impressions of
Concord winters recorded by the Hawthornes, Emerson, and Thoreau. Outside, on
the back lawn, there will be candles, torch-lit pathways, singing, a ceremony,
and light snacks.
4 to 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21, 2015
Stones Soiree at the Ward Reservation in Andover, Mass. This candlelit solstice soiree starts with a trail walk followed by a gathering around the solstice stones with a warm fire,
hot chocolate, and s'mores.
5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015
Solstice Tree Lighting at Francis William Bird Park in Walpole, Mass. Grab a
cup of hot cider or cocoa and circle around for a tree-lighting ceremony celebrating the arrival of the winter season.