City of Boston To Host Third Annual Ship Lighting at Martin’s Park on November 25

Boston’s newest holiday tradition will once again be held on Saturday, November 25, from 4-6 p.m. in Martin’s Park at the Smith Family Waterfront. Located in the Seaport District and Fort Point neighborhoods, this third annual children’s celebration is hosted by the Friends of Martin’s Park and the Boston Parks and Recreation Department.

Located at 64 Sleeper Street and visible from the Northern Avenue Bridge, Martin’s Park at the Smith Family Waterfront is a climate-resilient park built in memory of eight-year-old Martin W. Richard, the youngest victim of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. The accessible park provides play opportunities for children, families, and visitors of all abilities. 

The Park’s wooden playship is the centerpiece of the space and will be transformed into a beautiful holiday display when the ship, surrounding beach fencing, and pedestrian bridge are illuminated with over 5,000 feet of white and blue LED lights. 

Visitors are encouraged to head inside the park for the celebration, sponsored by the Friends of Martin’s Park and the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, with additional support from Nan Fung Life Sciences Real Estate, MacKay Construction, WS Development, Cambridge Trust, Barking Crab, and Lusterity Design + Events. Refreshments will include eggnog from H.P. Hood, hot cocoa from Tuscan Kitchen, and coffee from Caffe Nero Seaport.

Santa Claus and The Grinch will arrive by boat with the Boston Police Harbor Unit at the Harborwalk and enter the park to switch on the lights. Entertainment will be provided by the acapella group Ball In The House, performing a selection of holiday classics. Special guests include the Boston Red Sox official mascot Wally the Green Monster, and the Seaport’s own Betty the Yeti. In addition, the Boston Park Rangers Mounted Unit horses will be on hand, along with a fire truck from the Boston Fire Department.

The City of Boston celebrates the lighting of Boston’s official 2023 Christmas tree from Nova Scotia on Boston Common on Thursday, November 30, beginning at 6 p.m. This year’s tree is a 40-year-old, 45-foot-tall white spruce donated by Bette Gourley of Stewiacke, N.S., and her family. The celebration will be immediately followed by the lighting of the trees on Commonwealth Avenue Mall at Arlington Street and Commonwealth Avenue at 8:15 p.m.

Visit or call (617) 635-4505 for more information or visit for information on other holiday lighting events. To stay up to date with news, park improvements, and events, sign up for our email list at and follow our social channels @bostonparksdept on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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