Disclaimer: Due to COVID-19 concerns, many events might be canceled, postponed, or changed into limited versions, sometimes at very short notice. Please check with event organizers directly for the latest updates (view the "External Resources" section below).
You won't find big crowds and noisy celebrations here. However, Cape Cod is charming at Christmas time. Its small towns look especially cozy when illuminated with twinkling lights. Quaint shops, art galleries, bookstores, and antique stores offer plenty of gift ideas. Take a walk around Heritage Gardens or along the coast, watch a small-town Christmas parade, and don't forget to stop by one of the famous Cape Cod lighthouses.
Gardens Aglow (November 27–December 27, 2020, tickets are sold online only)
Every holiday season, Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich dress up in thousands of twinkling lights. Gardens Aglow exhibit features more than nine miles of Christmas glow throughout the Heritage Gardens. The exhibit is open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm. The annual Heritage Gardens celebration has become a treasured Cape Cod tradition. In addition to spectacular light displays, there are many activities throughout the gardens, such as marshmallow roasting over an open fire, a reindeer scavenger hunt, a model train display, and visits with Santa Claus at the Outdoor Stage. Cape Cod Donuts, games, and holiday music at the Parade Field are also available.
Holidays at Highfield (November 27-December 13, 2020)
Highfield Hall is a historic 19th-century estate and gardens that is famous for its art exhibits and concerts. Christmas is indeed the most wonderful time of the year in the estate when Highfield Hall transforms into a Winter Wonderland. Natural woodland themes as well as elegant vintage and modern decorations will definitely make an impression. Stop by the Winter Woodland Village installed around the Patrick Dougherty Stickwork sculpture, A Passing Fancy. The Gift Gallery offers artisan gifts for all tastes and ages.
The Giants (late November-December)
The Giants is the annual exhibit of giant lighted sculptures created by the Cape Cod artist Michael Magyar. The unusual lighted display can be viewed along Route 6A in Sandwich, MA, as well as other Cape Cod towns such as Dennis, MA. More than two dozen giant sculptures are on display during the whole holiday season. Magyar also has a glass studio and gallery on Route 6A in East Sandwich.