By Aasha Amber Bhatnagar

Christmas music is playing in stores and holiday events are in full swing across the city. With only about two weeks left in the semester, there’s still plenty to do in Boston to get you in the holiday spirit.

Here are four things you can do before you go home for winter break.


Watch a tree lighting 

If you celebrate Christmas — or even if you don’t — going to a tree lighting ceremony can be a magical experience. From the festive music to the hot chocolate to the twinkling Christmas lights, tree lightings are one of my favorite holiday activities. There’s just something about watching the colorful lights on the tree beam while cheery music is playing that gets me in the holiday mood. 

On Dec. 5 from 6 to 8 p.m., stop by the Boston Common to watch the lighting of a huge Christmas tree and enjoy the start of the Christmas season. There will be music, drinks, festive activities, ice skating shows at the Boston Frog Pond and a fireworks display. Santa Claus and members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police will also be making an appearance, so you won’t want to miss out on this magical experience.


Twirl around the ice

Speaking of ice skating, Boston has a lot of places where you can lace up your skates with friends. In December, the Boston Frog Pond in Boston Common turns into a huge ice skating rink decorated with Christmas lights. You can rent ice skates there or bring your own. 

The Seaport Ice Skating Rink is another seasonal addition to town. It’s in the same lot as the Cisco beer garden occupied in the summer and looks like a rustic outdoorsy rink. Stop by the Seaport for some ice skating and shopping in the newly developed area. 


Attend the Jingle Ball

Do you love Christmas music and want to see some of the most popular top 40 artists in the world perform live? Grab tickets to the KISS 108 Jingle Ball, taking place at the TD Garden, where stars like Niall Horan, 5 Seconds of Summer, Charlie Puth and Lizzo will be performing Dec. 15. 


Shop ‘til you drop

Since the semester ends right before Christmas, it’s time to start holiday shopping for our friends and family. Want to show off Boston University? Head over to Barnes and Noble on West Campus and buy your family some BU merch. Newbury Street is dripping in festive lights and store displays this holiday season. There are plenty of stores to shop for Christmas gifts for family, friends or even just for yourself. Most stores are having Christmas sales now, so head over to the shops and get in the gift-giving spirit.