The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

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Celebrate the holiday season, Boston style

By Maureen Quinlan, News Correspondent

Now that the turkey food baby is gone and the ugly Christmas sweaters are out of storage, it’s safe to say the holiday season is here. So hang those fire-hazardous lights, pour a cup of egg nog and tune in to the Pandora holiday station. ’Tis the season to take advantage of the city’s holiday-themed sights.

Students can start the season off at tonight’s lighting of the tree. Mayor Thomas M. Menino will flip the switch with Santa to light the tree and other lights in the Boston Common at the Boylston T stop on the Green Line. The ceremony begins at 6 p.m. and lasts until 8 p.m.

For some naughty holiday fun, beginning Friday, The Slutcracker will play at Somerville Theater, 55 Davis Square. This vulgar twist on the Christmas classic parodies the Nutcracker scene by scene as a sexual fantasy. The theater is located newar the Davis stop on the Red Line. Tickets are $20. The play runs through Dec. 24 at 7 p.m. with 2 p.m. showings on select days.

To combine a holiday tradition and the challenge of breaking a Guinness World Record, look no further than the Boylston Plaza at the Prudential Shops. Saturday, the Boston Pops and conductor, Keith Lockhart, will be trying to lead the largest group of carolers in the world. If they can con at least 7,515 carolers in participating, they will set the new record. The event begins at 12:30 p.m.

The Prudential Center will have other holiday events throughout the season, including a toy drive and the center’s new 31 Nights of Light celebration; the Pru will be lit a different color each night of December. For more information on Prudential events, visit Prudentialcenter.com.

Closer to campus, the Boston Children’s Theatre will perform “The Velveteen Rabbit,” at the YMCA on Huntington Avenue. The performances will start Saturday at 2 p.m. and continue every Saturday and Sunday until Dec. 19. Tickets are $20.

Tom Brady isn’t the only patriot with funky hair: Paul Revere managed to rock a wig back in the day. At the Paul Revere House in the North End at the Haymarket T stop on the Green and Orange lines, visitors can enjoy festive colonial New England traditions like mulled cider, desserts and carols played on a harpsichord. The Traditions of the Season and Holiday Event at the Paul Revere House will be Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Tickets are $4.50 for college students and $5 for others.

Those who prefer menorahs to overly decked-out fire hazards (or those who just love food) should head up to Cambridge on Sunday, Dec. 5 for the fourth annual Everyone Loves Latkes Party. Enjoy a festival of lights, latkes made by local restaurants, music and stories. The party, presented by the Harvard Square Business Association, goes from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Winthrop Park, located at the intersection of Winthrop and JFK streets.

A less holiday-focused (but still historical) event is the Boston Tea Party Reenactment at the Old South Meeting House located at the State Street stop on the Blue and Orange lines. Admission is $9 for a presentation of the original Boston Tea Party in honor of its 237-year anniversary Dec. 16. The reenactment begins Sunday, Dec. 12, at 5:30 p.m.

The SSRun, previously known as the Santa Speedo Run, can help burn off those holiday cookies. The one-mile jog is Saturday, Dec. 11 at 1 p.m. Students 21 and over can participate in this fundraising run around Boylston and Newbury streets, and younger students can get a kick out of watching half-naked people run in the cold. Registration costs $30 along with a pledge to raise $300, and all the proceeds go to three local charities that benefit Boston youth. Runners must wear only a Christmas colored Speedo and a Santa hat to race. For more information, visit Ssrunners.org.

Holiday weekends can fill quickly, so spend a weekday doing holiday themed activities, students can go ice skating at the Boston Common or go gift shopping at the Downtown Crossing Holiday Market.

The Frog Pond Ice Rink at Boston Common is open most days from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and provides patrons the opportunity to enjoy the fresh air and watch strangers fall on their butts. Entry is $4 and skate rentals are $8. The rink is open now through Mar. 17, 2011.

The Downtown Crossing Holiday Market has 32 vendors selling a variety of items from pottery to jewelry to specialty foods. It will be open until Dec. 24 at the Park Street stop on the Green and Red lines. It is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.

Between the mind-crunching finals and expensive gift shopping, Boston offers students a diverse selection of events and activities for the holiday season. Take a brain break and stop to appreciate the changing weather, a cup of cocoa and the gang of Speedo-clad Santa stand-ins that just whizzed past. Ho, ho, ho.

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