MassDOT’s Holiday Travel Tips, MBTA Schedules & More

The following piece was provided by MassDOT:

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is advising the public to plan ahead for travel during the upcoming holiday season from Dec. 20, 2018 through Jan. 2, 2019, to drive sober and to take note of holiday schedules for the MBTA, use of the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane on I-93 between Boston and Quincy, and for visiting Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) customer service center locations. AAA is forecasting a record-breaking holiday travel season this year, with 2.45 million Massachusetts residents expected to be on the move. In a public statement, AAA said 2.1 million of these travelers are expected to travel by motor vehicle. The highest volume of traffic in the Boston area, according to AAA, is expected to be Wednesday, Dec.

Santa Claus Greeted by Hundreds at Watertown Square Tree Lighting

Hundreds turned out on a cold Friday evening for the annual Watertown Square Tree Lighting Ceremony. Photo by Charlie Breitrose

Delivered on a big red fire truck, the guest of honor at Friday night’s Watertown Square Tree Lighting Ceremony was swarmed by his many fans. The annual event on the Delta in Watertown Square drew a big crowd once again. Before Santa Claus arrived, children got a chance to say hi to Frosty the Snowman, and enjoy some cookies, hot cocoa and cider. 

Town Councilor Anthony Donato, who is also a Rotary Club member, greeted everyone, and remembered longtime community leader and supporter of the event, Paul Airasian, who passed away in September. He also thanked the veterans on the anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day.

Watertown Mall Hosting Winter Wonderland Event

The following information was provided by the Watertown Mall:

The Watertown Mall, located at 550 Arsenal Street, Watertown, with Watertown Families Together will be hosting a “Winter Wonderland” event on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.

Usher in the new season with the Watertown Mall! Children and their parents/caregivers are invited to join us for a fun wintery morning by attending our “Winter Wonderland” event on Dec. 20. Sponsored by Watertown Families Together and led by Arlene Smith, this event consists of crafting projects, singing songs, reading and listing to stories, and will be featuring an appearance by Santa himself.

Commander’s Mansion Adds Some Holiday Cheer to Watertown

Commander’s Mansion Facilities Manager Tammy McKenna takes a photo of a family visiting Santa Claus during the Holiday Open House. Photo by Charlie Breitrose

The Commander’s Mansion was decked out for the season Thursday evening as the historic home in Watertown hosted the annual Holiday Open House. Dozens of families visited the home to view the Christmas trees, enjoy some cookies and hot cocoa, and listen to some carols. Rooms in the historic Commander’s Mansion were decorated for the holidays, including this Christmas tree. Photo by Charlie Breitrose

Santa Claus arrived at the Mansion with a special escort from the Watertown Police Department.

Wartertown Mall Hosting a Variety of Holiday Entertainment This Month

The Watertown Mall provided the following announcement:

The Watertown Mall is proud to present holiday performances by local elementary and high school bands, choral and string groups as well as professional music groups from the Greater Boston area throughout the month of December! The following is an entertainment list for December. Please visit our website at for updates on December events and entertainment. Holiday Entertainment Calendar:
December 2 @ 2:00 pm: Neighborhood Children’s Theatre. December 5 @ 4:30: Boston University Academy Swamp Cats Jazz Band.

Watertown’s Commander’s Mansion Presents Holiday Open House

Watertown’s historic Commander’s Mansion hosts the Annual Holiday Open House on Thursday, Dec. 6 from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m., featuring two floors of fun, food and drink, and visits by Santa and Mrs. Claus. The organizers of the event provided the following schedule and information:

First Floor – South Pole

6:15 to 6:45 p.m. and 7 to 7:30 p.m. – La Bonne Maison presents an intimate tasting demo of holiday cocktails and app

For ages 21+ (limited capacity) $8.00 per person with pre-registration — please call 617-926-7755 to register — and $10.00 per person at the door (cash only)

5:45 to 6:15 p.m. – Perkins Secondary Chorus and Instrumental Ensemble performs Christmas Carols

Second Floor – North Pole – FREE – geared for kids grade K through fifth grade

5:30 p.m. – Let’s welcome Santa! Escorted by theWatertown Police Department
meet in front of the mansion

5:30 to 7:30 p.m. – Visit with Santa and don’t forget your camera thanks to Watertown Savings Bank

Storytime with Mrs. Claus

Elves Workshop with Ms. Smith with take-away kid’s craft

Rudolph’s Café opens at 5:30 p.m. with free hot cocoa and cookies

The Mansion will be open for self-tours

Organizers thank Dunkin’ Donuts, Season to Taste Catering, Tastings Caterers,
Off the Vine Catering, Peppers Artful Events, BG Events & Catering,
Forklift Catering, Cuisine Chez Vou, Sensational Foods, and Better Life Food & Taylor Rental of Haverhill

A Holiday Themed Puppet Show is Coming to the Watertown Mall

The following information was provided by the Watertown Mall:

The Watertown Mall, located at 550 Arsenal Street, Watertown, will be hosting Wayne Martin Puppets on Saturday, December 1, 2018. Wayne will be putting on three shows at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m.

Visit the Watertown Mall to see Wayne Martin perform with his posse of hand puppets and marionettes. Board the North Pole Express and meet a variety of arctic characters including Frosty, Rudolph, Elmer Elf, Peter and Penelope Penguin, and Martin’s trademark juggling Christmas tree who breathlessly lights up and illuminates the way for the holly old elf himself. This is truly a magical holiday
experience for the entire family! This event is FREE to the general public; it will take place in the back hallway, near Carter’s.

Tree Lighting Ceremony Coming to Watertown Square Soon!

The Town of Watertown, Watertown Savings Bank, and the Rotary Club of Watertown are pleased to announce that the eighth annual Tree Lighting event will be held on Friday, December 7 in Watertown Square, according to an announcement from the organizers 

A reception will follow at the Watertown Savings Bank (WSB) main office in Watertown Square. Santa Claus will arrive to the Square by fire truck at 5:15 p.m.; the tree lights come on at 5:30 p.m.; and the reception to follow immediately after at WSB, where attendees will enjoy refreshments, holiday music, and visit with Santa Claus.  Parking will be available at WSB after 5 p.m.

“We’re really excited for this year’s tree lighting, and to continue with this wonderful holiday tradition,” said Kelly Cronin, WSB’s Community Relations Manager. This year, Dan McCarthy/DM Productions will be outside in the Square with holiday music and a special guest of their own beginning at 4:30 p.m. Watertown Rotary will also have refreshments out on the Square. Thank you to all who make this event possible: Russo’s for donating the tree; Watertown Police for providing a police detail; Watertown Fire for transporting Santa Claus; the Pleasant Street Watertown Stop & Shop and Watertown Dunkin’ Donuts for refreshments. For more information, please contact WSB’s Community Relations Office at 617-928-2336.