If you’re reading BostInno, chances are you’re an intelligent, popular person with a lot of holiday parties on your December calendar. Because I respect you, the reader, here are 15 events that don’t suck and are worth leaving the cozy confines of home. Astute readers will notice that only two of the events are after December 15. The holidays are a marathon, not a sprint. Cheers to you and yours.
December 1 — 5:30 p.m. — various neighborhoods — For the 22nd year, the Mayor’s Enchanted Trolley Tour will continue the tradition of lighting holiday trees and bringing holiday spirit to children across the city. The 16 stops on Mayor Walsh’s festive tour of Boston will include visits with Santa, musical performances, the aforementioned tree lightings, and, presumably, holiday cheer. Free.
December 1 — 6 p.m. — North End — As a five-year resident of a fifth-floor Salem St. walk-up, I can attest that this noisy neighborhood is positively beautiful during the holiday season. Start your weekend by exploring the North End’s decorated streets and stopping at its many shops and boutiques to sip, snack, and shop. Stay for a carb-focused dinner, obviously. Free.
December 2 and 3 — 11 a.m. — 540 Harrison Ave. — Housed in the Power Station, the SoWa Winter Festival is the biggest winter shopping village in Boston and will feature more than 100 of the region’s best makers and specialty food vendors. Over on Thayer Street, a heated tent will feature live music and a flower crown station, plus mulled wine, hot chocolate, and cheese specialties from Gaslight Brasserie. Both locations will have plenty to eat and drink. Free.
In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.
December 3 — 2 p.m. — 9 Lansdowne St. — Join Youth Villages to raise funds young people across Massachusetts and New Hampshire can have winter essentials and holiday gifts. You can help by participating in the cornhole tournament, watching the Patriots game on Lansdown Pub’s projection screen, or bringing your family to enjoy kid-friendly activities. With your help, Youth Villages will fulfill holiday wishes for more than 350 children and young adults whose families may not be able to afford gifts. $40 for an individual, $75 for a team.
December 3 through 17 — 4 p.m. — 383 Congress St. — Row 34 is getting festive with their annual Holiday Pop-Up Shop on the first three Sundays in December. Supporting local artist and makers rooted in the Fort Point artists community, these pop-ups will take place from inside Row 34’s Cooler Room. Guests can also enjoy small bites and beverages while finding gifts for everyone on their list. A full list of the participating artists on each date can be found at the link above. Free.
December 4 — 6 p.m. — 100 Hanover St. — GrinchFest at Boston Public Market is the perfect place to celebrate — or lament — the holiday season. A who’s who (get it?) of local chefs will be cooking up a Seuss-inspired slate of dishes including “roast beast” crostinis, green deviled eggs, “Who-Hash” latkes, and more. Cocktails, beer, and wine will also be available for purchase, and Grinch and Who-inspired outfits are encouraged for the costume contest. $20.
December 5 — 6 p.m. — 354 Harrison Ave. — Lion’s Tail is celebrating one boozy year at Ink Block in style with a Repeal Day party where you can party like it’s 1933. Tickets include two drink tickets, complimentary passed appetizers, and the inimitable DJ Ryan Brown on the 1’s and 2’s. $15.
December 5 — 7 p.m. — 44 Cedric St. — DId you really think I was only going to share *one* Repeal Day event? The Bully Boy crew is teaming up with Pennypackers food truck to create a four-course dinner to properly celebrate the repeal of the 21st Amendment. The event ticket includes a complimentary cocktail, plus Bully Boy pairing recommendations for each course. A cocktail hour with live jazz kicks things off at 7. $55.
December 7 — 6 p.m. — 65 Seaport Blvd. — Yotel is celebrating its first holiday season in the Seaport with champagne and shopping — and you’re invited. The hotel that’s inspired by first-class air travel is hosting a curated holiday boutique that will feature wares from Third Piece, Forty Winks, Core Studio Apparel, KieraDearaDesigns, and Sunny Florists, plus dry hair styling by SalonCapri. Free.
December 10 — 9 a.m. — 41 Church St., Cambridge — If you have a nagging guilt about getting in one last race in 2017, Yulefest is the play. The festive 5K starts and ends in front of Harvard Yard and is followed by a block party sponsored by Bantam Cider, Notch Brewing Co., and Slumbrew. $42.50
December 10 and 17 — 1 p.m. — 383 Dorchester Ave. — After a successful first edition in 2016, Grand Ten is back with their second annual Sip & Shop Holiday Bazaar. Come for the local artisans and specialty food vendors, stay for the craft cocktails and live holiday music from Badger & Burgan. Free.
December 12 — 6 p.m. — 446 Harvard Street, Brookline — The December installment of Anna’s Taqueria’s Charity Roller series features a very important celebrity “roller” — Santa Claus himself. Jolly old Saint Nick himself will roll burritos behind the line at Anna’s Harvard Street location, and all the proceeds will go directly to Christmas in the City. The non-profit organization works to bring holiday magic to thousands of children and families in the Boston area who have experienced the uncertainty of homelessness. Anna’s will also provide the food for Christmas in the City’s Annual Party on December 16. $10.
December 13 — 6 p.m. — 350 Mass. Ave., Cambridge — Fact 1: I’ve always wanted to go to NogUp because I know a lot of the awesome people involved. Fact 2: I’ve somehow never been to NogUp! The lesson? Don’t be like me. Organized by man-about-town Jeff Cutler, the longest-running Boston-area tweetup offers the chance to network with some of the coolest people around in a stress-free environment. Pass the nog. Free.
December 23 — 10:15 a.m. — 1250 Massachusetts Ave. — Certified personal Nate Witkowski is bringing his high-intensity, bootcamp-style workout to Dorchester Brewing Company. Join Nate for a 60-minute class that includes stretching, three circuits, an ab finisher, and a cooldown. Hang around after for DBC beer samples and board games. This might be your last workout of 2017 so make it count. $20.
December 31 — Noon — various locations — Let’s face it, your New Year’s Eve plans probably suck. So as we close out this dumpster fire of a year, let’s take a second to salute First Night Boston, which has been helping Boston ring in the new year with music, art, and culture at nominal or free cost since 1975. While most of the action will center around Copley Square, main attractions include the People’s Procession at 6 p.m., Family Fireworks at 7 p.m., and a Copley Countdown pyrotechnics and light show at the stroke of midnight. Free.