Buoys on netted fishing shack at Beauport Hotel Gloucester

4 Things To Do on Cape Ann This Winter

The communities of Cape Ann are well known for their beautiful beaches and extensive summer activities. But did you know that the off-season on Cape Ann is just as magical with a coating of snow and a nip in the air? Concerts, stunning scenery, and the holiday activities in each community are just a few of the fantastic things to do on Cape Ann this winter. 

Let’s explore the fun activities and quiet scenes Cape Ann offers this winter season. 

Enjoy Concerts & Films

Music lovers rejoice! Starting at the tip of Cape Ann, in Rockport, MA you will find year-round programs of opera, classical, pop, jazz, and film. The Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport offers amazing acoustics, comfortable seating and performances all year featuring big names and local artists in jazz, orchestral, and chamber music. 

The unique venue of 330 seats isn’t just a jewel for the community due to the spectacular performances and commitment to encouraging blossoming musicians, but it is also situated on the water overlooking the Atlantic with floor-to-ceiling windows and acoustics that can not be beaten. 

Winter events include; Cape Ann Big Band, performing holiday favorites, old and new, infused with a bit of jazz, swing, and rock n’ roll; Vienna Boys Choir, showcasing child vocalists with voices of unforgettable beauty; and Messiah, performed by the incomparable Handel & Haydn Society in a special chamber arrangement for 13-member chamber orchestra and chorus led by Associate Conductor Ian Watson. 

For a full calendar of concerts, performances and films visit the Shalin Liu calendar and reserve your tickets online.

Get In the Spirit with Holiday Events 

Get in the holiday spirit by attending some of the seasonal events across Cape Ann that usher in the holidays. Attend the Gloucester Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend to kick off the holiday season. The ceremony will have festive Christmas music by the North Shore Bell Ringers, free popcorn and cocoa, and a visit from Santa where children will be able to pose for pictures and have the opportunity to talk to him about their holiday wishes. 

Santa will also be making appearances around Cape Ann including during the Rockport Christmas Parade and the Essex Landing where Santa arrives by boat on the Essex River! 

Something unique for our coastal communities includes the painting of buoys that will be displayed on a Lobster Trap Tree. The buoys are painted and hung on the tree as “ornaments” and visitors get to enjoy hot cocoa and goodies on the night of the Lobster Trap lighting. This one-of-a-kind event goes on through the beginning of December and the lighting occurs the second weekend of the month. 

Beach Walking with Fido 

During the summer months, the beaches on Cape Ann are saved for tourists and visitors to the region. During the winter months, man’s best friend is welcome on the beaches for walks, romping around and time to explore the scenery unique to beaches in the winter. Enjoy the juxtaposition of the snow on the sand or the cool breezes as you and your pup walk the beautiful beaches of Rockport, Gloucester, and Manchester-By-The-Sea. 

Browse the Bookstores 

There is no doubt that the shopping along the quaint downtown streets of Cape Ann is wonderful no matter the season. But if you are an avid reader or just love books in general, there are many bookstores that you will want to explore. 

Explore Manchester’s By The Book, Gloucester’s Dogtown Books, or Rockport’s Art Longwood Books. In your browsing, you may discover rare finds, coffee table books, leather-bound books, first editions, or signed copies! 

Don’t let the weather fool you! There are plenty of things to do on Cape Ann during the winter months that will keep you intrigued, entertained, and happy.