Thursday, April 18, 2024



Aggregation No. 1Get your local holiday chocolate at the Taza Holiday Fiesta Annual Shopping Event from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Taza factory store, 561 Windsor St., near Union Square, Somerville.

There’s not just factory limited and seasonal Taza chocolate here (nor even just free hot chocolate from the Taza Chococycle), but special guests and samples. Saturday brings solid goods from 7ate9 Bakery and Sweet Lydia’s to the factory, as well as sips from Privateer Rum and Counter Culture Coffee; Sunday brings Doves and Figs and Tangerine Custom Cakes and Fine Pastries and sips from Berkshire Mountain Distillers and MEM Tea Imports. And on each day The Latin Spoon Food Truck will be selling empanadas and other foods.



Aggregation No. 2Treat your kids to tea at UpStairs on the Square before it’s gone from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at UpStairs on the Square, 91 Winthrop St., Harvard Square.

This Harvard Square mainstay of 31 years is closing its storybook dining rooms forever after New Year’s, making this virtually your last chance to enjoy a sugary tradition. The Show-Your-Stripes Children’s Tea is $16 for each kid and $30 for their adult accompaniment, which brings marzipan chocolate mice, grilled cheese and PB&J tea sandwiches (crusts off, of course), hot cocoa with homemade marshmallow, black and white brownies and lots of special gingerbread zebras and holiday cookies.

Upstairs hopes you’ll bring a new stuffed zebra or other stuffed animal toy to keep under the establishment’s dazzling tree until Christmas, when they will be donated to Children’s Hospital Boston. Call (617) 864-1933 for reservations.

(If this is all a wee bit decadent, you can instead go for Cookies & Carols from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the New School of Music, 25 Lowell St. In addition to a winter holiday sing-along, this is a seasonal craft and a cookie potluck to which you bring treats to share. No nuts, though, in case of allergies.)



Aggregation No. 3Cruise the Somerville Illuminations Bicycle Tour from at 5:50 to 7 p.m. Saturday, starting by meeting in front of the main entrance to Somerville High School, 81 Highland Ave.

The Somerville Bicycle Committee and Somerville Arts Council are running this a ride, for which you’re encouraged to light your bikes as brightly as the holiday-decorated homes you’ll pass. (Riders are also encouraged to wear warm clothes, of course, and costumes are encouraged but not required.) After the ride, there are hot drinks and treats at City Hall, which is next to the high school. A $5 donation will go to supporting the Somerville Arts Council.

Don’t have a bike? Urban AdvenTours will rent you one for the ride for $10 if you call (617) 670-0637 to reserve it.



Aggregation No. 4Glide around the rink at The Charles Hotel from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at 1 Bennett St., Harvard Square.

This annual community event is open to the public and includes hot chocolate, complimentary skating, a kids’ activity room, skating performances and more!

The kids’ activity room and performances will take place between noon and 3 p.m.; guests can enjoy complimentary skating and rentals all day from noon until 6 p.m.



Aggregation No. 5Hear your DIY holiday party with Lorem Ipsum Books and the Papercut Zine Library from 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday at 1299 Cambridge St., Inman Square.

This evening features Papercut librarians, Lorem Ipsum employees and friends such as Diana Mai reading from their own zines, poetry and stories, all while enjoying mulled cider, hot cocoa, gingerbread and other festive treats. Free.


Were those five events a little heavy on the holiday flavor for your tastes? For some counter programming, try swinging by Gallery 263, 263 Pearl St., Cambridgeport, at 7 p.m. Saturday for a multimedia staged reading of John Osborne’s “Luther,” about the launch of the Reformation, and consider donating $10 toward the Porpentine Players’ production next month of “A Man for All Seasons,” another examinations of lives of morality faith. So … religion-y, but not very Christmas-y.

And there’s an Opensound concert at 7:45 p.m. Saturday at Third Life Studio, 33 Union Square, Somerville. This series features avant-garde, experimental, acoustic and electro-acoustic music by local and touring musicians, sound artists, dancers or video and performance artists. This month’s show, curated by Matt Samolis, features Peter H. Bloom on flute and Mary Jane Rupert on piano; Michael Dobiel on electronics and string bass performing with friends; Peter Gumaskas on a homemade modular synthesizer; and M.J. Patchett on saxophone, Eve Boltax on viola and Caroline Park on electronics.