3 Must-Do Holiday Activities For Everyone In The Merrimack Valley

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It’s that time of the year again. All around us, holiday lights shine bright, lighting up the dark winter sky, and the spirit of giving is in full swing.

Here, in New England, as harsh and cold as it can be at times, heading into the winter season does seem to hold a special place in all of our hearts, especially as the holidays approach. As a result, many towns, local businesses, and organizations have special seasonal events, happenings, and other festive things to do. 

So, today, let’s explore some of the many seasonal outings in the Greater Merrimack Valley area that you can do and attend to celebrate the holiday season.

give a one-of-a-kind gift from a local shop near you

1. Check Off That Holiday Shopping List At Local Businesses

If you’re looking for a special, one-of-a-kind gift for that special someone, look no further than the many small businesses, local stores, and gift shops in the Merrimack Valley. Here, you’ll find unique and often handmade items that you simply can’t find anywhere else, ensuring that you give the special people in your life a treasure to cherish forever. 

Below you’ll find just a few of the many stores to explore this holiday season.

Winter Lights At The Loading Dock

Running throughout the entire month of December (except for the 25th and 26th, of course), The Loading Dock Gallery in Lowell, MA, celebrates the season with their annual Winter Lights event.

Here, gallery visitors have the opportunity to view and shop a vast collection of handcrafted artworks and holiday decorations from over 30 Loading Dock Gallery members, including many participating artists from Western Avenue.

The event features three rooms of artwork and decorations for sale, allowing you to have a fabulous time enjoying a drink, taking in the local art by our incredible artists, and the chance to bring home a one-of-kind, extraordinary gift.

The Crafty Yankee

There are so many treasures to discover at the Crafty Yankee in Lexington, MA. From artwork to jewelry to home decor and bath & body items, here, you’ll find a little something for everyone.

The shop also features gifts specific for all occasions, including engagements, anniversaries, graduations, and of course, holiday presents. In addition, the Crafty Yankee focuses on providing items that are either American-made or responsibly sourced worldwide.

create your own gift

2. Get Crafty And Create The Perfect Holiday Gift

There’s something special about handmade gifts, isn’t there? And at various shops and galleries throughout the Greater Merrimack Valley, you can create an incredible gift yourself, adding that oh-so-special personal touch to your giving this season.

Pottery Mill Clay Studio

At the Pottery Mill Clay Studio in Lowell, MA, this community ceramic studio allows visitors of all ages to take part in various classes and workshops throughout the year. And around the holiday, wouldn’t it be extra special to create a one-of-a-kind ceramic piece for that special someone in your life? 

Workshops and classes include one-time pottery wheel workshops, 7-week handbuilding clay classes, children’s winter break experiences, and much more. Be sure to visit their website for more information and specific class dates.

The studio store also provides visitors the opportunity to shop for Flexi-bats, various pottery pieces (of course), apparel, and take-home clay kits. 

Take A Class With The Artists At Western Avenue

Western Avenue in Lowell, MA, is well known for its community of talented local artists and creatives. Many of these artists and their spaces feature classes within various fields, allowing you to choose whichever fits your interests most.

Here, you’ll find classes in:

  • Drawing/Illustration
  • Jewelry
  • Glass And Ceramics
  • Mixed-Media/Paper
  • Music
  • Painting
  • Wood, Clay, or Sculpture

Skill ranges from beginning to expert, ensuring that there’s a session for anyone who would like to learn from these incredibly talented local artists. Be sure to head over to their website for artist contact information and inquire about class availability. 

Eileen Ivers Joyful Christmas

3. Go See A Local Holiday Performance

All across the region, you’ll find musical and theatrical productions and concerts that genuinely capture the holiday spirit. Planning an outing to one of these holiday performances is an excellent way for you and your family or friends to get out of the house during these darker months.

Eileen Ivers A Joyful Christmas At Lexington’s Cary Hall

Coming up on Sunday, Dec. 12, American fiddler Eileen Ivers visits Lexington’s Cary Hall for a truly unique and exhilarating holiday concert

Here, Eileen’s American and Irish roots shine through to create a magical performance featuring traditional Wren Day songs, stories, poems, and of course, music that will get you out of your seat and those knees-a-shakin’. 

The Grammy and Emmy-Award-winning artist’s previous works include performances with the London Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops and many collaborations with well-known artists, such as Sting, Hall and Oates, and movie soundtracks, including Gangs of New York.

The Rise And Fall Of Holly Fudge At The Merrimack Repertory Theatre

Don’t the holidays always seem like the perfect time to head to your local theatre and take in an outstanding live performance? At The Merrimack Repertory Theatre, you can do just that at their comedy production of The Rise of Fall of Holly Fudge, written by Trista Baldwin and directed by Courtney Sale, with showtimes running through December 19th. Find the official synopsis below:

“Christmas 2020. Carol is a hard-working single mother who makes award-winning “Holly” fudge, named after her daughter. She serves it every holiday. She gifts it to her friends and co-workers. She’s determined that this year won’t be any different, even if she has to wear a mask while whipping up her famous dessert. But with her daughter Holly’s girlfriend crashing Christmas, her neighbor’s new-found love of confectionery, and the protests erupting on her front lawn, Carol is finding it tough to make this the most wonderful time of year.” 

The performance is suitable for ages 14 and older. While the theatre takes strict safety and sanitization precautions for all live shows, those who wish to participate in socially distanced shows can find specific dates on their website.

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