Winter Wonderland, sponsored by the Alumni Association, includes horse-drawn carriage rides around campus. (Caitlin Cunningham)

’Tis the season for holiday merriment on the Heights. A slate of festive annual events provide a welcome diversion from study days, finals, and end-of-semester academic activities for University community members.

The University Chorale and Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of conductor John Finney, will perform “Christmas on the Heights” this weekend. The concerts take place tomorrow and Saturday at 8 p.m., and Dec. 3 at 2 p.m., in Trinity Chapel on Newton Campus. Contact the Robsham Theater Box Office (; ext.2-4002) for ticket information, prices and purchase.     

On Dec. 5, Santa Claus makes his special appearance on campus to celebrate the Christmas tree lighting. Officiated by University President William P. Leahy, S.J., the ceremony on the Plaza at O’Neill Library will take place from 4-6 p.m. Caroling and performances by student groups, including the Heightsmen and the Dynamics, are part of the festivities. 

The Gaelic Roots series will host “A Celtic Christmas,” on Dec. 7 at 6:30 p.m. in the Cadigan Alumni Center, featuring world-renowned singer and keeper of Irish culture Nórín Ní Riain. She and her sons, Owen and Mícheál Moley Ó Súilleabháin, will present an evening of song and story which celebrates the Celtic tradition. According to Ní Riain, the event will be “a great gathering of song, spirit, and a bit of fun too.” The concert is free, but registration is required.

More merriment comes at the Cadigan Center with the Alumni Association’s popular seasonal celebration for alumni, their families and friends: Winter Wonderland, on Dec. 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Among the attractions will be photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, gingerbread house decorating, musical performances and a holiday puppet show, crafts, visits with baby animals, and rides around campus on a horse-drawn carriage or a holiday train.  

Attendees are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys for boys and girls, ages six to 14, for donation to the Italian Home for Children. 

Register for Winter Wonderland at; the cost is $15 for adults and $10 for children under 12; there is no charge for children under age three.  Hot cocoa and cookies will be available for guests; other snacks and lunch items will be sold.

In conjunction with Winter Wonderland, Second Saturdays at the McMullen Museum of Art will feature a holiday celebration with activities throughout its hours of noon to 5 p.m. Visitors of all ages are welcome to enjoy holiday-themed vocal performances by BC’s Madrigal Singers and live music by the Millis Berfield Band, hot chocolate and holiday treats, to tour the exhibitions and listen to Flemish Christmas tales in the galleries, and make tree ornaments and holiday decorations. 

The festivities continue the following day, Dec. 10, when BC Bands presents “A Christmas Festival.” This family-friendly performance will feature seasonal music, a sing-along, treats and a visit from Santa Claus.

Click here more information on these events.

–Rosanne Pellegrini / University Communications