Most people think of Nantucket as a summertime vacation destination, but the first weekend in December is one of the most fun annual events in Nantucket, Massachusetts. The Nantucket Stroll weekend, now in its 40th year, features a Christmas Market, beautiful decorations, a Festival of Trees, and the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus. We’ve attended the stroll in the past, and had such a wonderful time celebrating Christmas in such a quaint and beautiful environment.
The Nantucket Noel/Christmas Stroll weekend is very popular, so it’s essential that you book lodging, the ferry, and restaurant reservations well in advance. Not every restaurant is open during the stroll, making the amount of reservations available limited. You won’t need a car for the festivities since everything is within walking distance, so leave your car at the mainland ferry terminal and book passenger only transportation.
The stroll takes place over the entire weekend of December 6-8th. The annual Christmas House tour takes place on Friday evening. Since we visit with our kids, we skip that not-entirely-kid-friendly activity. The Festival of Trees at the Whaling Museum, however, is very appropriate for kids. My children love walking through the museum, checking out the various creative trees put together by local businesses.
Most of the activities take place on Saturday. Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive via Coast Guard ship by the ferry terminal and are led up to a horse drawn carriage that takes them up Main Street to the Jared Coffin House. There’s usually a long, but quick moving line to meet Santa. Bring your own camera because although we ordered the photographer’s photo to be sent to us, it never arrived.The third annual Christmas Market, with booths from local non-profits, also takes place on Saturday.
If you go:
You’ll want to stay right in downtown Nantucket for the stroll – I’d recommend either the White Elephant or Harborview Place for family-friendly accommodations.
You can learn more about the Nantucket Stroll Weekend on their website.
This is a guest post by Jodi Grundig of Family Travel Magazine. Photos are courtesy of Jodi Grundig.
Disclosure: I was the guest of the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce for the 2011 stroll.