There’s no need to sit at home and rue the darkness at 5 p.m. This winter, Harvard Square offers a range of things to do, from Christmas music concerts and Balanchine ballets to a display of Chinese ink paintings and a festival of classic Japanese films.

Courtesy of the African Children’s Choir

Photograph of the African Children’s Choir, which will perform at Sanders Theatre

Listings by category:



The Game

  • November 17 at 12:30 p.m.
    (It’s in New Haven this year.)

Harvard Square’s “Festival of Lights” and “Latkes and Storytelling”

  • December 2, 5 p.m. This sixth annual holiday lighting of the old oak tree in Winthrop Park features music and dancing.
  • December 8, 3-5 p.m. Gather in Winthrop Park for treats and tales celebrating the season.

Harvard Glee Club and Radcliffe Choral Society
www.boxoffice.harvard.edu; 617-496-2222

  • December 8, 8 p.m. Christmas and holiday concert at First Church, Congregational, Cambridge.

Harvard Ceramics Program Holiday Show and Sale
www.fas.harvard.edu/ceramics; 617-495-8680

  • December 13-16. Works by more than 40 artists range from the practical to the whimsical.

The Christmas Revels

  • December 14-30. For the first time, the holiday music, dances, and folklore come from the Balkans. Sanders Theatre.

Memorial Church Christmas Carol Services
www.memorialchurch.harvard.edu; 617-495-5508

  • December 16, 5 p.m.; December 17, 8 p.m. The University community attends on Sunday, the general public on Monday. The Christmas Eve service is at 11 p.m.

Harvard College Library ©President and Fellows of Harvard College

One of 200 colorful postcards decorated with maps, on display at the Pusey Library




Pusey Library

  • Opening December 5: Communicating with Geography offers highlights from the 10,000 colorful map-bearing postcards that were collected over many decades by Siegfried Feller and donated recently to the Harvard Map Collection.

Harvard College Library ©President and Fellows of Harvard College

Flamingo parenting skills at the Cabot Science Library

Lamont Library
http://hcl.harvard.edu/libraries/#cabot; 617-495-5324 or 496-5534

  • Continuing: Baby Flamingo Has Two Daddies: Sex, Gender, and Sexuality in the Animal Kingdom features biological research suggesting flexibility in sex and gender roles among animals.



Harvard Museum of Natural History
www.hmnh.harvard.edu; 617-495-3045

  • December 10 at 7:30 p.m.“Raising Tomorrow’s Naturalist” is a film screening and conversation with E.O. Wilson and T. Berry Brazelton. Free and open to the public.

Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology
www.peabody.harvard.edu; 617-496-1027

  • Continuing: Vanished Kingdoms: The Wulsin Photographs of Tibet, China, and Mongolia, 1921–1925.

Semitic Museum

  • Continuing: The Houses of Ancient Israel: Domestic, Royal, Divine features a full-scale replica of an Iron Age (ca. 1200-586 B.C.E.) village house.

Fogg Art Museum

  • Through November 11 : Kara Walker: Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated). To commemorate the inauguration of University president Drew Faust, this exhibit includes Walker’s silhouettes silkscreened onto 15 prints from the 1866 publication.

Harvard University Art Museums ©President and Fellows of Harvard College


Sackler Museum

  • Opening November 3: A Tradition Redefined: Modern and Contemporary Chinese Ink Paintings from the Chu-tsing Collection, 1950-2000 offers 60 works, many never before displayed here.
  • Continuing: Gods in Color: Painted Sculptures of Classical Antiquity (see “Dazzlers,” page 32, for further details).



The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
www.cfa.harvard.edu/events; 617-495-7461
Phillips Auditorium, 60 Garden Street.

  • Lectures and rooftop viewing (weather permitting).
  • November 15 at 7:30 p.m. “Mars Phoenix: Following the Water.”
  • December 6 at 7 p.m. “Family Night: A Star is Born.”

The Arnold Arboretum
www.arboretum.harvard.edu; 617-524-1718. Jamaica Plain, Boston.

  • Walking tours that are free and open to the public continue through November. Visit the website for an up-to-date list of classes, lectures, and events.

American Repertory Theatre



The American Repertory Theatre
www.amrep.org; 617-547-8300

  • Through November 18: Donnie Darko. Directed by Marcus Stern, this is a new adaptation of the 2001 cult film classic about a troubled teenager who meets a giant rabbit who tells him of the world’s end during the 1988 presidential campaign.
  • November 24 through December 23: Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen, directed by Scott Zigler, examines the story of German physicist Werner Heisenberg’s 1941 visit to his old friend and Danish counterpart Niels Bohr. Now on opposite sides in a world war, the men are embroiled in a race to create the atom bomb.



www.fas.harvard.edu/~dance; 617-496-2222

  • December 7 and 8 at 8 p.m. The Harvard Dance Center presents Martha Graham’s “Heretic,” and excerpts from George Balanchine’s Apollo and “Emeralds.” 66 Garden Street.



The Harvard Film Archive
http://hcl.harvard.edu/hfa; 617-495-4700
Visit the website for complete listings.

  • November 17-19: 9 @ Night: The Films of Rob Nilsson
  • December 1-10: Vanishing Points: The Films of Shohei Imamura



Sanders Theatre
www.fas.harvard.edu/~tickets; 617-496-2222

  • November 11 at 3 p.m. African Children’s Choir. The program includes a mix of African song and dance, with popular, gospel, and contemporary music.
  • November 7 at 8:30 p.m. The Harvard Glee Club joins the Academic Choir of the Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznan, Poland, for a concert.
  • December 1 at 8 p.m. The Harvard-Radcliffe Chorus presents a  concert of music written for royalty by George Frideric Handel.

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