Throughout December, SouthCoast towns will celebrate the Christmas spirit with events, fun activities for the entire family, and even opportunities to meet Santa Claus.

Whether you are starting new traditions or adding to ones already created, we wanted to share a list of some local events to visit and participate in this year to add to the vault of holiday memories.

To top off our list, one of the most beloved experiences is watching Santa make his way through town on a fire truck.

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For Freetown and Dighton residents, Santa Claus will be ushered through town, ready to greet kids with help from the local fire department.

Freetown and Assonet residents can expect Santa to begin his neighborhood travels on Saturday, December 17. For Dighton residents, his route will start on Sunday, December 10.

Although there is no way to tell when Santa arrives on your roads, families are encouraged to listen for the sirens so they don't miss him.

You can visit the Freetown Fire Department Facebook page and the Dighton Fire Department Facebook page to see Santa's entire route.

As far as Christmas activities, places like Buttonwood Park and Battleship Cove are just a few of the many locations hosting events where kids not only spend time with Mr. and Mrs. Claus but can also participate in fun Christmas festivities.

Buttonwood Park Zoo
Buttonwood Park Zoo
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Downtown New Bedford Tree Lighting

Saturday, December 9

The annual tree-lighting celebration and parade will begin at 4:30 p.m. A parade will march from the bottom of William Street, near the Whaling Museum, to the library steps for the tree lighting. The parade will feature the New Bedford High School marching band and color guard, Santa and Mrs. Claus, and surprise guests.

A sing-along with New Bedford Festival Theater will follow remarks at the library by Mayor Jon Mitchell. The sing-along will feature classic holiday songs and some new hits. Songbooks will be provided.

Free hot chocolate will be offered courtesy of Community Services and New Life Church.

Clasky Common Park Tree Lighting in New Bedford

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELED DUE TO WEATHER.

The annual tree lighting at Clasky Common Park will feature musical performances by the Parker School Chorus and a guest appearance by Santa Claus.

Cookies Claws and Santa Claus: Buttonwood Park Zoo

Saturday and Sunday: December 9, 10, 16, & 17

Celebrate the holiday season at Buttonwood Park Zoo with Cookies, Paws & Santa Claus. Join the zoo for festive fun, where you can unleash your creativity by decorating your sweet treats and partake in holiday magic at craft stations. Enjoy animal encounters and unlimited rides, and indulge in delicious hot cocoa – all while creating lasting memories with your family.

You can visit the website to purchase tickets in advance.

Breakfast with Santa: Battleship Cove in Fall River

Saturday, December 16 at 10 a.m.

A pancake breakfast with Santa on the USS Massachusetts. The opportunity to take photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus will also be available.
Tickets include breakfast and admission to the museum so you can explore after.

Tickets are limited, and advanced registration is required.

'Starry Night': Cultural experiences and holiday festivities in Downtown New Bedford

Thursday, December 14 with the night beginning at 5 p.m.

Visitors can stroll many of downtown's favorite shops and galleries, staying open after hours for Starry Night. Mocktails and cocktails will be available at restaurants and bars to celebrate.

There will be open studios, art and history talks, crafts and gingerbread house making, maker demonstrations, art exhibit openings, film screenings, cookie challenges, star gazing, tours and music experiences.

Breakfast with Santa: St Joseph's School in Fairhaven

Saturday, December 9 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

The meal will include pancakes, sausage, juice, milk, and coffee.
Tickets are $10 for adults and include the meal and crafts. You may also purchase pictures with your child and Santa for an extra fee.

Dinner with Santa: Greater Fall River Re-Creation Gymnasium

Friday, December 8 at 6 p.m.

This event takes place at the 45 Rock Street location. Doors open at 6 p.m. to welcome everyone to enjoy a special winter wonderland.

Limited tickets are available by phone at (508) 679-0922 and in person at 45 Rock Street.

Gifts will be provided to the youth who are in attendance.

Santa Claus at Cervelli Farm Stand in Rochester

Sunday, December 10 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cervelli Farm Stand will have Christmas cookie decorating, a barrel train ride, hot drinks and more. Head down, take a picture with Santa, and join the holiday festivities.

Cervelli Farm Facebook
Cervelli Farm Facebook
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Somerset Winterfest: Somerset Berkley Regional High School

Saturday, December 17 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Activities include ornament decorating, face tattoos, a ski lift photo booth, a roaming train, gingerbread cookie decorating, and much more. Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be arriving at 1:30, so make sure you get there early.

Tickets are free and will be available at Town Hall on December 16 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Christmas at the Farm: Stony Creek Farm in Swansea

Saturday, December 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Wrap up your Christmas shopping by supporting the multiple small businesses that will be in attendance. Enjoy a nice warm campfire with the option for s'mores, take a stroll through the free petting zoo, and so much more.

For just $10 per child, you can enjoy a beautiful holiday experience. Kids will partake in a hay ride and a pony ride. Complimentary hot chocolate is included. Best of all, you can take special photos of your child with Santa.

Holiday Decorations at New Bedford's Clasky Common

We took a stroll around Clasky Common in New Bedford to check out some of the holiday decorations before the lights came on and the crowds arrived. Fans of Edaville Railroad in Carver may recognize a few of these displays.

Gallery Credit: Tim Weisberg

Light Up SouthCoast 2023

Get in the holiday spirit by checking out the amazing holiday displays of your friends and neighbors this year.

Gallery Credit: Ariel Dorsey

The Gift of Giving: Local SouthCoast Charities

Charitable organizations in New Bedford, Fall River and other SouthCoast communities are making this holiday season memorable for children and families. 

Gallery Credit: Ariel Dorsey

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