photo caption: Santa visiting sign at white lights home on Reynard St. Dec 17-23. 5:30-7pm (no pix with Santa)
Holiday Lights and Cocoa Drives Map 2020 edition features 250+ decorated residential homes with Christmas light displays in Gloucester. Massachusetts. The map was viewed more than 30,000 times within 7 days of going live this year.
Gloucester is tough to match for winter lights charm and show stopping homes. From Beach Court to Stage Fort; West Gloucester to East; Magnolia to Annisquam; and Portuguese Hill to Plum Cove- Gloucester is illuminated. Many neighborhoods join in together glittering, and have for years. With each passing new day more join in.
Concentrated streets include:
Essex Avenue is beautiful and long– and it’s good driving from both directions. I split it up into Essex Ave stretch between Causeway Restaurant and Richdale and
Essex Avenue stretch (between Richdale and Rt.128 and then to Farnham’s)
Elizabeth Road neighborhood block
Reynard Street neighborhood block and Spruce Street expansive, elaborate displays
Hartz street charming sweet little block
Finch Lane delightful little block
Annisquam for an old timey route, mostly white & gold lights with multi colored trees at turns on the road.
Mad Merry Highlights Tour
as in deck the halls, doors, windows, roofs and yards with boughs of holly-holidays! These 20 or so Gloucester homes are LIT! Bedecked, top twinkling in 2020 (alphabetized by road):
6 Abbott Road
Centennial Road – Hope 2x
12 Concord St (next to West Parish-near Essex Ave.)
4 Elizabeth Road (entire block, multiple homes)
326 Essex Ave (all of Essex Ave is great/multiple homes)
2 *Goose Cove Lane (end of block) & Holly Street
Grove (and Maplewood)
6 Harbor Road at Bass Ave
Hesperus Ave (all trees- next to Hammond Castle)
29 High Popples
9 Lowe Drive
22 Magnolia Ave and 124 Magnolia Ave
Luzitania Ave (off Friend St.)
79 *Perkins Street
Reynard St. whole block (#22 white lights; #42 blue house)
8 Spruce Road
15R Stanwood Ave
6 Abbott Rd
Centennial – HOPE
Centennial & Emerson -look up to – HOPE
12 Concord (off Essex Ave.)
Elizabeth St block – Frosty projected on the belly
Elizabeth St block (neighbors merge their light displays)
326 Essex Avenue (from Kent Circle past Pauline’s, both sides)
This year’s trends include peace signs, illuminated words, melting multis, and a particular blue-green light (outlining windows in photo below).
Clear, mild nights make it easier to park, walk and linger. Snow and rain make for lovely routes, too.
photos below: Lanesville added, and homes missing from prior neighborhood batches
and pretty by day
Also **NEW** for 2020 — Gloucester with Manchester, Essex and Rockport (the Four Communities of Cape Ann) have collaborated to share beautiful Winter Lights on Cape Ann – 150+ businesses and organizations are merry and bright into January
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This is the sixth and final in a series featuring Christmas lights on 200+ decorated homes throughout neighborhoods in Gloucester Massachusetts for the 2020 season. Festive displays range from draped garland lights & wrapped trees to elaborate tableaus. Gloucester is beautiful! Streets that are covered in this post:
Magnolia area of Gloucester including Magnolia Ave., Hesperus Ave., Western Ave., Linden Ave., Lowe Drive
downtown Gloucester blocks including: Centennial Drive, Maplewood Ave., Prospect St., Riverside Ave. block, Washington St., Gloucester Avenue, Mystic Avenue, Madison Avenue (w/ Madison Sq. and Ct., and Springfield St.)
neighborhood additions: nearby Elizabeth Road; Abbott Road; East Gloucester- Mt. Pleasant area and East Main; and West Gloucester – Essex Ave.
CENTENNIAL DRIVE ADDITIONS
Abbott Road | East Gloucester additions
West Gloucester additions
Follow links to see scenes from other Gloucester neighborhoods (or follow through to the end of the post and look for/select page 1,2)
Update 5- Magnolia, downtown, additions to E. and W. Glouc. (this post)
Holiday Lights and Cocoa Drives Gloucester Massachusetts map 2020. Photos have been added to the Google maps: tour by car or keyboard!
FAQ – how to print
The map is smart phone ready with house pictures. If you want to print the map see below: (1) navigate to the map page URL and (2) click on the three dots menu bar on the upper right. Pull down and select “print” PDF as of 12/7/2020
Scenes of Annisquam: Annisquam Village Hall; Annisquam Bridge; white lights and wreaths and trees at junctions. Followed with en route detours off Washington Street via Cherry, Spruce, Gee, Finch Lane, Reynard, Holly Street | Goose Cove Lane (near Willow Rest), Dennison
Washington Street plus detours via Cherry, Spruce, Gee, Finch Lane, Reynard, Holly Street | Goose Cove Lane (near Willow Rest), Dennison
The map is smart phone ready with house pictures. If you want to print the map see two pictures below: (1) navigate to the map page URL and (2) click on the three dots menu bar on the upper right. Pull down and select “print” PDF as of 12/5/2020
The map is smart phone ready with house pictures. If you want to print the map see two pictures below: (1) navigate to the map page URL and (2) click on the three dots menu bar on the upper right. Pull down and select “print”. PDF as of 12/3/2020 here
NEW photos in this post include: the second stretch of Essex Avenue from Richdale heading up to Farnham’s; Portuguese Hill neighborhood; don’t miss Happy Santa indigo up on Perkins; Harrison; and sweet charm of Hartz. Check the map for updates. Still to come: East Gloucester, Annnisquam, Lanesville, Magnolia.
What a gift our neighbors have shared for the community! There are so many festive houses in Gloucester it’s easy to plan multiple merry excursions.
For families and friends, eyespy challenges could switch nightly. Can you find a Santa? A peace sign? Snoopy?
How about a Bring the Cuddlies Christmas Light Tour- children can help their toy friends see out the car window. This one may be a given: Happy to share photos of your precious travelers :).
Pick a specific route by color lights or house style.
Bring art supplies to sketch a view.
Older homes make it fun to wonder about what it was like in the past. For families that like Old Timey winter scenes–imagine New England Little Women, Little House on the Prairie, Winslow Homer, and Currier& Ives– pretend the car is a sleigh or horse and buggy. Find some dress up attire that looks vintage (or go all out and find some duds at Bananas). Add a hot water bottle for the feet. A towel or blanket can wrap around like a hand warmer muff. For fans of Louisa May Alcott, point to Braewood* on Essex Avenue (across from Pauline’s gifts) and Rocky Neck, where she stayed on Gloucester holidays. Picture a winter skating rink in front of the UU Church on Middle Street. *For more about the history of Braewood and Alcott in Gloucester, search “Braewood” in this prior post.
For the train and dinosaur train enthusiasts, all aboard! The express car might even time with the T or train.
Switch off date night driving so the passenger can enjoy a festive eggnog.
These are special outings just outside your door. Don’t miss them!
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When I was a girl, my family, like many other families, considered every nocturne drive a chance to look for Christmas lights. Of course we carried on this tradition with our own children. The magic of the season is so easy to find in neighborhoods throughout Gloucester and all of Cape Ann. Coasting past classic New England home styles decorated for the holidays– while driving along bends and dips in the roads by charming coves– is sheer visual delight. There is a surprise around every corner.
Plus the season’s early nightfall is most welcome for little ones’ bedtime enchantment. Throw on some comfy holiday attire and toss in a thermos of hot chocolate to make it an extra special treat for the youngest, and the young at heart, and the perfect outing for social distancing in this year of Covid. Repeat visits are encouraged because there’s so much to see and more added every day.
Last year readers asked for a map. Here are some of the homes spreading cheer NOW with their Christmas lights and holiday yard displays, and it’s not yet December 1, 2020! Is your favorite friendly seasonal character out there? Or favorite color lights twinkling bright? I’ll continue to update the map and photographs, including specific requests and location recommendations from GMG readers.
Holiday lights & cocoa drives Gloucester Mass as of November 30, 2020
What I wrote in 2019 still holds true in 2020: “If you’re wondering about holiday lights near you, in addition to the city’s beautiful seasonal trees and sparkle downtown, rewarding drives through Gloucester neighborhoods abound.”
These local homes were shining bright and it’s only the week before Thanksgiving. GRAB SOME HOT CHOCOLATE AND GO! The drives are festive, free, and social distancing safe for all. Perfect for 2020.
I’ll add more photographs of merry lights and displays as days go by and maybe a map if there are enough. Which houses and streets will be most lit up in 2020? Which ones not to miss?
‘Tis the Season. Gloucester’s Annual Lobster Trap Tree
Gloucester’s Lobster Trap Tree adorned with hundreds of “ornaments”- buoys hand-painted by local children– is no doubt the sweetest and charming tree around.
I thought this Scotland effort was a pretty kindred spirit. Like Gloucester, the smaller* town of Newburgh, Fife, loves celebrating art by local children for their Annual Christmas Lights Display. A public appeal for funding this year surpassed its goal.
*Gloucester population 30,000 | Newburgh population 2100
Our village Christmas lights are designed by the local primary kids and they are the single best thing about the festive season. pic.twitter.com/kDhfLk3Dcb
Due to Covid-19 precautions, Cape Ann Art Haven buoy painting started early this year.
“It’s buoy painting time! We are instituting reservations for buoy painting. We will be open Saturdays from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. starting November 7th. For health and safety reasons, we will have a maximum of 10 people at any one time. Masks will be required as well as social distancing. Please sign up on our Events page or click the reservation button below and come paint!”