Normally, dark, short, and cold days mean that you stay inside. But the prospect is more than a bit welcoming in December. There are several holidays with lights involved, which takes care of the “dark” portion of that phrase. And when we gather, good times can extend well into the night, so the days don’t necessarily have to be short. Food and drink accordingly dispels the chill, too. But with so much holiday activity, being outside isn’t so bad, given the number of markets that crop up around this time of year. And if you aren’t inclined to do any shopping, this is also a prime time for live music both secular and sacred, and to reflect on the best portions of a year we are close to putting behind us.
Wednesdays-Sundays, Nov. 30-Dec. 11
SoWa Power Station
$10 at the door, card only
Hours vary on weekdays and weekends
The SoWa winter festival returns this year, for its annual vendor wonderland. Over one hundred artists and makers present their offerings to curious shoppers, while food trucks and vendors keep energy levels high. Live music will round out the festive ambience, including performances from Northeastern a cappella group Pitch! Please.
Thursday, Dec. 1
Boston Center for the Arts Plaza
Producers Porsha Olayiwola and Cierra Peters have joined forces and collaborated on this artistic exploration of Black joy and futures, for a one-night only performance in an “enchanted garden” at the Boston Center for the Arts Plaza. Bringing together musicians, storytellers, visual artists, and poets, *Alright* is a part of The Earthshot Prize, which recognizes winners’ contributions to ensure the future of our planet.
Saturdays from 2:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m.
Through February 11
Advance RSVP is required
Every four years, it seems the whole world gathers in front of their television to watch what promises to be the source of high-stakes intrigue: Olympic Curling. Now, you can introduce it into your life in a non-olympic year, and join the North End Curling Club as they teach you the basics of the sport. No experience required.
Saturday, Dec. 3
11:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.
Scandinavian Cultural Center (Newton)
See what Northern Europe has to offer during the Christmas season with the Swedish Women’s International Association’s Fair & Holiday Celebration. Get some waffles, drink some glögg, hear some music, and support local vendors. Proceeds will go SWEA Boston Scholarships and local Scandinavian non-profits.
Saturday, Dec. 3
Boston Public Library Central Branch
Free, registration required
Dr. Carolyn Finney, author of “Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors,” joins BPL President David Leonard to discuss her new book, which examines how history and pop culture have created an (assumed) relationship between Black Americans and “The Great Outdoors.”
Sunday, Dec. 4
3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Center Makor (Brookline)
Tickets · $15 – $35
Part of Shakespeare’s legacy is… there’s just so many ways to read the dude, and his stories are easily mapped — seemingly without end — into new societal configurations. That’s quite a roundabout way to set up some information for this stage work, presented by the Lumina Theatre Company. It’s a modern retelling of Richard III, centered on a Ukranian boy trying to read the play while his family is making a pot of Borscht. Bring your family, too.
Opens Monday, December 5
Carol Grillo Gallery (Beverly, MA)
Endicott College hosts this exhibit celebrating the lives and contributions of Black suffragettes, like Sojourner Truth, Mary Church Terrell, and Ida B. Wells.
Saturday, Dec. 10
Rochambeau Library, Hope StreetProvidence, RI 02906
Brown University’s Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice presents this recital by Marian Anderson String Quartet, “On Being Enslaved.” The pieces are thematically linked by their respective explorations of bondage, and include Riahnnon Giddens’s “At the Purchaser’s Option with Variations” and Jonathan McNair’s suite “Follow the Drinking Gourd.” Dvorak’s “American” Quartet rounds out the program.
Saturday, Dec. 10
Ticket prices range from $20 (Student) to $65 for orchestra seats
The Junction Trio are: Stefan Jackiw (violin), Jay Campbell (cello), and Conrad Tao (piano). The young, New York-based musicians are no stranger to Celebrity Series Boston, but this is their first time together as an ensemble for the presenter. On the program are Ravel’s Piano Trio, an arrangement from Gesualdo’s contemplative Tenebrae Responses, and the east coast premiere of Amy Williams’s “Bells and Whistles,” a co-commission from Friends of Chamber Music and Celebrity Series.
Sunday, Dec. 11
12:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m.
Notch Brewing Salem
Notch’s Salem location is revving up its annual holiday market, with a distinctly Teutonic Flavor. Sip the brewer’s offerings, but clear out some last-minute holiday shopping while you’re at it, as you browse the wares of over 20 independent sellers.
Sunday, December 11
Trinity Church Boston
Tickets begin at $40
Despite Handel’s “Messiah” being an easter oratorio, the famed piece has elbowed its way into December, becoming a mainstay of many a concert programmer’s Christmas offerings. This year, the choir of Trinity Church presents it alongside Britten’s comforting “Ceremony of Carols,” and Finzi’s In Terra Pax.
Thursday, Dec. 15 at 7:30PM
Sunday, Dec. 18 at 3:00PM
Tickets start at $15
The Handel and Haydn Society, now in its 208th season, has a gift for those of us that crave baroque goodness: two concert dates featuring soprano Robin Johannsen. Featured in the program is Bach’s cantata “Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen,” a showcase for soprano and trumpet; and a trio of Handel selections, including the (relatively recently) rediscovered “Gloria” for soprano and solo strings.