It’s time to dust off your menorah, decorate your “Chanukah bush” (if you’re into that sort of thing), and start perusing the interwebs for online shopping bargains: in other words, Chanukah is right around the corner! Chanukah is a time when we commemorate the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem by eating lots of latkes and jelly doughnuts, chanting traditional blessings over the menorah, and enjoying quality time with family and friends. Oh, and then there’s the presents. We get eight of them, one for each night the oil remained burning in the holy temple–a true miracle!

At it’s core, though, Chanukah is all about camaraderie. We’ve reached that time when Boston is positively slushy, damp, and perpetually shrouded in gray, so Chanukah is the perfect excuse to bear the cold and find warmth among a group of like-minded Jews. The bright lights, steaming latkes, and welcoming blessings provide a much needed respite from the harsh realities of winter in New England. So, if you’re looking to celebrate with your fellow Bostonians and ensure a festive and fun Chanukah season, be sure to check out these upcoming local events:

Boston:

The Boston Synagogue (55 Martha Road) will be hosting a Children’s Chanukah Celebration (December 18, 10:30 AM), complete with dreidel games, singing, dancing, and crafts projects. This is a great way to commemorate the holiday with your family. Also, don’t miss an enlightening talk with Getzel Davis of Hebrew College entitled A Single Candle Illuminates Much Darkness (December 20, 6:30 PM). Join a group of enthusiastic young Jewish adults to look at Chanukah through zionist, social justice, and mystical lenses. Of course, latkes and dougnuts will be provided!

Temple Israel of Boston (477 Longwood Ave) will be housing a Chanukah party sponsored by the newly-formed Boston chapter of the Jewish Multiracial Network (December 11, 3:00 PM). If you’re a Jew of color, of you’d just like to come support this new initiative, come out to learn more about the JMN, and enjoy some family-friendly Chanukah activities.

Vilna Shul (18 Phillips St) is having a Chanukah lights celebration (December 18, 3 PM), featuring performances by artists from the Boston University School of Music. Come hear some fabulous renditions of the traditional Chanukah songs and other Jewish favorites.

Boston University Hillel (213 Bay State Rd) will be ushering in the holiday with Latkes & Vodkas (December 8, 7:00 PM), an annual blowout for graduate students and young professionals. Complete with a cash bar and heaping amounts of latkes and doughnuts, this is a great opportunity to mingle with the young Jewish crowd.

CJP (along with Congregation Kehillath Israel, Temple Israel of Boston, and Jewish Community Centers of Greater Boston) is hosting Boston’s biggest Chanukah event at the Back Bay Events Center (200 Berkeley St) this year. Chanukah in the City (December 11, 10:00 AM) is all about dancing, singing, art projects, and eating with a large and diverse crowd of Jewish Bostonians. Don’t miss this!

Head to Nick’s Comedy Stop (100 Warrenton St) to see Gary Gulman’s special comedy show, “All I want for Chanukkah is Christmas” (December 24 & 25, 8:00 PM). Commemorate our favorite time of the year with some much-needed Jewish humor.

Suburbs:

Temple Israel of Natick (145 Hartford St, Natick) will be hosting a Hanukkah Hop (December 18, 10:00 AM), geared mainly towards families with young children. The Hop promises lots of family-friendly activities and a good time for children and parents alike!

Boston Workmen’s Circle (19 Kennard Rd, Brookline) is ringing in the holiday with a Family Hanukkah Party (December 18th, 11:00 AM), with games, art, singing, and holiday treats geared towards families with children ages 3-10.

Temple Shalom of Medford (475 Winthrop St, Medford) is having a Hanukah Party (December 18, 1:00 PM) with menorah making, a magic show, balloon twisters, latkes, and much more! Don’t miss this one.

Temple Emeth (194 Grove St, Chestnut Hill) is very excited about its upcoming Chanukah Celebration (December 22, 6:00 PM), complete with a festive dinner and desert. Participants are encouraged to bring their own menorahs to participate in a community-wide lighting.

The Chai Center of Brookline (145 Ipswich Rd, Brookline) is hosting its biggest social event of the season! Don’t miss the Lights and Strikes Chanukah Party (December 22, 7:30 PM), a huge soiree for young adults featuring endless champagne and cocktails over a fun game of bowling. Come out for food, fun, and new friends.

Chabad Jewish Center of Mansfield & Bristol County will be hosting Chanukah on Ice (December 25, 2:00 PM) at 2 Patriots Place in Foxborough, right outside of Gilette Stadium. Take over the rink as you commemorate the holiday with plenty of crafts, games, and hot latkes, as well as a visit by our biblical hero, Judah the Maccabee!

 

If you have additional suggestions for fun Chanukah activities in the Boston area, feel free to add them to the “comments” section below!