Christmas & Holiday Events 2017

New England covered bridge at Christmas New England’s lively cities, snug towns, and snow-swept mountains are a perfect backdrop for Christmas and holiday celebrations and traditions. Come and enjoy classic favorites, like performances of “The Messiah” or “The Nutcracker, and local traditions, like the festive lighting of the Nubble Lighthouse in Maine. Lodgings offer plenty of ways to combine a holiday getaway with pastimes like skiing, shopping, or theater-hopping.

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All Ages

Brewery Lights at Anheuser-Busch - Merrimack, NH

Nov 17, 2017 - Dec 30, 2017 Anheiser-Busch Brewery, 221 Daniel Webster Highway Merrimack, NH
See a display of holiday spirit at the scenic Anheuser-Busch Brewery. Celebrate the season with food and drink specials, a s'mores station and hot cocoa bar. Enjoy a Bud Light straight from the tank by taking a Day Fresh Tour from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Meet the Budweiser Clydesdales. Gift Shop & Biergarten are open until 9 p.m. Event is held Thursdays to Sundays.
Time: 5-9 p.m.
Admission: Free
Telephone: 603-578-0542

Gift of Lights 2017 - Loudon, NH

Nov 24, 2017 - Dec 31, 2017 New Hampshire Motor Speedway, 1122 Route 106 North Loudon, NH
Extending two miles around the outside of the track's grandstands, the Gift of Lights features over 60 holiday scenes, 400 light displays, and two million LED bulbs. A portion of the proceeds go to benefit Speedway Children's Charities. Closed on December 4 and 25.
Time: 4:30-9 p.m.
Admission: $20 per car
Telephone: 603-783-4931

Christmas in the Valley 2017 - North Conway, NH

Nov 25, 2017 - Nov 25, 2017 2628 White Mountain Hwy North Conway, NH
The Christmas feeling gets underway at 4:30 p.m. with a tree lighting, Christmas carols, a reading by Santa and more.
Time: 4:30 p.m.

An Old-Fashioned Christmas 2017 - North Conway, NH

Nov 25, 2017 - Nov 25, 2017 Schouler Park to Eastern Slope Playhouse North Conway, NH
Festivities begin in North Conway’s Schouler Park at 4:30 p.m. with caroling by Da Capo. At 5:30, a holiday Parade of Carols will move from Norcross Circle to the Eastern Slope Inn. Visitors are encouraged to follow Santa down Main Street to the Eastern Slope Inn Resort for the resort lighting. At 6 p.m., Santa will read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" at the Eastern Slope Playhouse. Cookies and hot chocolate will be served. Children can meet Santa at 7 p.m. The Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery center will be open from 6 to 8 p.m.
Time: 4:30-8 p.m.

Portsmouth Christmas Tree Lighting & Illuminated Holiday Parade 2017 - Portsmouth, NH

Dec 2, 2017 - Dec 2, 2017 Market Square Portsmouth, NH
People count down to the lighting of the Portsmouth Christmas tree and the festive fun continues with a dazzling parade down Islington Street and through Market Square. Rain date is December 3.
Time: Tree lighting, 5:30 p.m.; parade, 6 p.m.

Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth 2017 - Portsmouth, NH

Dec 2, 2017 - Dec 23, 2017 Strawberry Banke, 14 Hancock Street Portsmouth, NH
Vintage Christmas at Portsmouth NH Candlelight Stroll at Strawbery Banke Museum. The theme of this year’s Stroll is “Gift from the Sea.” Guests walk along candlelit dirt lanes, to meet and hear the stories of generations of people who lived in this historic neighborhood, from costumed role players. The magical experience will be accompanied by a full program of musical performances and theatricals. For an extra $10, rent skates and skate on the village’s duck pond. Dates: December 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17. Time: Saturdays, 5-9 p.m.; Sundays, 4-8 p.m.
Kickoff Party for Vintage Christmas. Celebrate the start of Vintage Christmas and get the first look at winners of the Gingerbread House Contest Exhibition. Discover Portsmouth, 10 Middle Street. December 1, 5-8 p.m.
Gingerbread House Contest. Gingerbread houses will displayed winter wonderland in the gallery, surrounded by David J. Murray’s photos of Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth and photographs of trains in New Hampshire winters by Andy Dolph. Discover Portsmouth, 10 Middle Street. December 1-23. Daily, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Time: See description above

Wentworth's Illumination 2017 - New Castle, NH

Dec 5, 2017 - Dec 5, 2017 Wentworth By the Sea Hotel, 588 Wentworth Road New Castle, NH
Wentworth's Illumination is a grand party that includes the lighting up the hotel, strolling carolers, a horse-drawn carriage with Santa, the Portsmouth High School Marching Band , costumed members of the Great Bay Ballet's "An 1836 Portsmouth Nutcracker" cast, and refreshments. Crafts and games will entertain the kids before the giant gingerbread house opens.
Time: 5-7 p.m.

Inn-to-Inn Cookie and Candy Tour 2017 - North Conway, NH

Dec 9, 2017 - Dec 10, 2017 Participating Inns of Mount Washington Valley North Conway, NH
 Inn to inn cookie tour white mountains of NH At your own pace, visit 11 inns all dressed in their holiday finery; taste cookies and candy, and take home recipes in a keepsake book. Artisan sales and gift ideas will be on display at each inn. Stay at one of the inns and receive a custom-made keepsake ornament. Two-night Cookie Tour packages including accommodations, breakfast, two tour tickets, recipe collection, and a collectors ornament. Day tickets go on sale starting November 27.All tickets must be reserved in advance.
Time: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: $30
Telephone: 800-338-1356

Christmas at Canterbury 2017 - Canterbury, NH

Dec 9, 2017 - Dec 16, 2017 Canterbury Shaker Village, 288 Shaker Road Canterbury, NH
 NH-canterbury-xmas-at-canterbury Come to see the simple beauty of Christmas at Canterbury, Meet Father Christmas – also known as Santa Claus -- watch a magic show, make Christmas cards, decorate cookies, and bake Christmas crackers. Music by to fiddlers and the Canterbury Singers raise spirits during the lighting of the Village Christmas tree. Dates: December 9 and 16.
Time: 3-8 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $18; children 6-17, $8
Telephone: 603-783-9511

Arts & Crafts Shows

Great Glen Craft Fair 2017 - Gorham, NH

Nov 25, 2017 - Nov 25, 2017 1 Mount Washington Auto Road Gorham, NH
Crafters take over the base lodge at Great Glen ski area and extend over three floors, presenting woodworking, photography, knitting, specialty soaps and lotions, jewelry, wreaths, and much more—including live demonstrations.
Time: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Admission: Free admission
Telephone: 603-466-2333

Children & Families

Santa’s Holiday Express 2017 with Conway Scenic Railroad - North Conway, NH

Nov 24, 2017 - Dec 23, 2017 Departing from 38 Norcross Circle North Conway, NH
Santa is on board with his mischievous elves, who will share their hot chocolate and cookies with everyone. The round trip takes about one hour. Dates: November 24-26; December 2-3, 9-10, and 16-23.
Time: Daily, 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $17.50 to $26.50; children age 4-12, $12.50 to $22; children under age 4, $9.50 to $14
Telephone: 603-356-5251

Santa Express Trains with the Hobo Railroad 2017 - Lincoln, NH

Nov 24, 2017 - Dec 23, 2017 Hobo Railroad, 64 Railroad Street Lincoln, NH
On selected nights in November and December Santa Trains departs from the Hobo Railroad Station in Lincoln. The train station and cars are decorated for the season, and Santa Claus and his elves join every trip. On board, everyone enjoys hot chocolate and each family receives a box of holiday cookies, and each child receives a special gift from Santa. Dates: November 24-26; December 2-3, 9-10, 16-17 and 23.
Time: 1 p.m.
Admission: $22 to $28 for everyone above age 2.
Telephone: 603-745-2135

Journey to the North Pole Train Ride 2017 - Conway, NH

Nov 24, 2017 - Dec 23, 2017 Conway Scenic Railroad, 38 Norcross Circle Conway, NH
The two-hour The Journey to the North Pole takes you on a magical trip to see Santa in his workshop at the North Pole! Board the train at the Conway Scenic Railroad, and enjoy hot chocolate, a train ride, greetings from elves and Santa, and a dramatic reading of “The Night Before Christmas” poem by Santa himself. Tickets are online . Schedule. Dates: November 24-26; December 1-3, 7-10, 14-17, 22-23.
Time: Consult event website
Admission: $47-$67

Santa Arrives By Dogsled - Waterville Valley, NH

Nov 25, 2017 - Nov 25, 2017 Waterville Valley Town Square Waterville Valley, NH
Santa and his elves ride into Waterville Valley behind a team of sled dogs ready to distribute gifts and candy to kids. Hot cocoa and cookies will be served. A tree lighting ceremony is at 7 p.m., followed by fireworks over Corcoran Pond.
Time: 3:30-7:30 p.m.
Admission: $5 per child, $10 per family
Telephone: 800-468-2553

Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra: Family Pops 2017 - Portsmouth, NH

Dec 20, 2017 - Dec 20, 2017 Music Hall, 28 Chestnut Street Portsmouth, NH
An annual tradition, the Family Holiday Pops has something for everyone - guest choruses, a special performance by resident artist Randy Armstrong, and our favorite holiday sing-along will be sure to fill your spirit with the joy of the holidays.
Time: 7:30 p.m. both nights
Admission: General, $25, $22, $12; students, $12; seniors, $22


Holiday Tavern Dinners at Strawbery Banke Museum - Portsmouth, NH

Dec 2, 2017 - Dec 17, 2017 William Pitt Tavern at Strawbery Banke, 402-404 Court Street Portsmouth, NH
stroll st strawbery banke NH Enjoy a four-course dinner of Colonial fare fit for a grand holiday. The lush music of classical guitar, violins and cheerful Christmas carols fill this historic tavern. Enjoy locally crafted beverages. Last year's brews featured fruits and herbs from the Herb Garden at the Strawbery Banke Museum. Vegetarian and children's menus are also available! Dates: December 2-3, 9-10, 16-17.
Time: Seatings at 4, 5:30, 6, 7:30 and 8 p.m. Dinner begins with a reception a half hour before the dinner time
Admission: Over age 18, $75; under age 18, $35


Candlelit Tours at Canterbury Shaker Village 2017 - Canterbury, NH

Dec 11, 2017 - Dec 15, 2017 Canterbury Shaker Village, 288 Shaker Road Canterbury, NH
The guided tours teach visitors about the Shakers’ Christmas traditions and showcase the Village’s Christmas decorations. See simple gatherings in the 19th century and theatricals in the 20th century. This tour is recommended for ages 10 and older. Advance registration is required.
Time: One-hour tours depart at 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $12; children ages 6-17, $6

Home & Studio Tours

Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour 2017 - Jackson, NH

Nov 25, 2017 - Dec 17, 2017 Nestlenook Resort & Jackson Village, 66 Dinsmore Road Jackson, NH
Inn to Inn Jingle Bell tour jackson NH Board your horse-drawn sleigh at Nestlenook Estate where you will be greeted by carolers and receive your Jingle Bell and Chocolate Treasures. You'll be whisked away to Jackson Village, stopping at the Inn at Jackson, the Backcountry Bakery, The Wentworth, An Elegant Country Inn, the Snowflake Inn, the RiverWood Inn and others. At each stop, you will receive a Chocolate treasure. Two dates: November 25 and December 17.
Time: Sleighs run hourly from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: $25 per person
Telephone: 603-383-9356


Amare Cantare Performs Christmas Music - Portsmouth, Dover, Exeter, NH

Dec 9, 2017 - Dec 13, 2017 Three locations Portsmouth, Dover, Exeter, NH
The chamber chorus Amare Cantare will perform an eclectic mix of holiday music. Choral performances will include Eric Whitacre's "Alleluia," "Four Polish Carols" —two of them sung in Polish—along with works by Tallis, Vaughan Williams, Warlock, and Willcocks. The program will include two women composers: Isabella Leonarda, and Maine composer, Erica Quin-Easter.
December 9 at Immaculate Conception Church, 98 Summer Street in Portsmouth. 7:30 p.m.
December 10 at Saint Joseph’s Church, 150 Central Avenue in Dover. 3 p.m.
December 13 at Christ Church, 43 Pine Street in Exeter. 7:30 p.m.
Time: See description above
Admission: General, $15 at the door, $12 in advance; students and seniors, $12 at the door, $10 in advance.

Boston Pops Holiday Tour 2017 - Manchester, NH

Dec 16, 2017 - Dec 16, 2017 SNHU Arena, 333 Elm Street Manchester, NH
The magic of Christmas rolls into your heart via the Boston Pops, bringing this favorite holiday concert bursting with popular favorites. Treat yourself to a festive evening and a visit by St. Nicholas.
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Admission: $43-$125

Capital Jazz Orchestra Performs Holiday Pops 2017 - Concord, NH

Dec 17, 2017 - Dec 17, 2017 Capitol Center for the Arts, 44 South Main Street Concord, NH
The Capital Jazz Orchestra helps ring in the holidays in grand style. The concert features guest vocalists CJ Poole and Laura Daigle, along with a recitation of "The Night Before Christmas."
Time: 4 p.m.
Admission: $20 – $45

Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra Presents Family Holiday Pops 2017 - Portsmouth, NH

Dec 20, 2017 - Dec 21, 2017 Music Hall Historic Theater, Chestnut Street Portsmouth, NH
The concerts will feature Portsmouth Symphony with the Portsmouth High School Madrigal Choir (on Wednesday) and St. Thomas Aquinas Choir (Thursday) respectively. Highlights from the program include “Sleigh Ride,” Handel’s Hallelujah chorus from the “Messiah,” Lucas Richman’s “Hanukkah Festival Overture” as well as a wide range of familiar favorites.
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $25; seniors, $22; students, $12


Holiday Parade 2017 - Littleton, NH

Nov 24, 2017 - Nov 24, 2017 Main Street Littleton, NH
The parade starts at Hitchiner’s and travels down Main Street. Come and greet Old Saint Nick. This year's theme is "I'll Be Home For Christmas: Honoring Men and Women in Uniform."
Time: Noon
Telephone: 603-444-6561

Christmas in Wolfeboro 2017 Parade - Wolfeboro, NH

Nov 25, 2017 - Nov 25, 2017 Main Street Wolfeboro, NH
Annual Parade travels along Main Street and brings Santa Claus to town! Santa lights the town Christmas tree and then opens Santa's Hut to receive visits from kids.
Time: 3 p.m.
Telephone: 603-569-2200

Performing Arts, Theater, Dance

The Christmas Revels 2017: A Nordic Celebration of the Winter Solstice - Hanover, NH

Dec 14, 2017 - Dec 17, 2017 Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth College, 4 East Wheelock Street Hanover, NH
 Christmas Revels at Dartmouth A young girl in search of her heritage is drawn into the mystical tales of her ancestors in this Nordic celebration of the season! Her quest unfolds through gorgeous traditional songs, dances and pageantry performed by a cast of talented locals and thrilling guest musicians and dancers. Don’t miss this ample helping of hygge (Nordic coziness, pronounced hoo-gah) to brighten up the dark winter night!
Time: Curtain times vary; see event website
Admission: $7.50 to $48; Thursday only: $8 tickets for age 18 and younger; $2 off adult tickets


Irving Berlin’s "White Christmas, The Musical" - Portsmouth, NH

Nov 29, 2017 - Nov 29, 2017 Music Hall Historic Theater, Chestnut Street Portsmouth, NH
Back by popular demand, the Ogunquit Playhouse’s production of Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” returns to The Music Hall this holiday season. Packed full of dazzling dance numbers, iconic songs such as “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep,” “Happy Holiday,” “Sisters,” “Blue Skies,” and the beloved title song, as well as actors straight from Broadway, you aren’t going to want to miss this “holiday card come to life.” Dates: November 29, 30; December 1-3, 6-10, 13-17.
Time: Curtain times vary; see event website
Admission: $44-$91

“The Nutcracker” - Concord, NH

Dec 2, 2017 - Dec 3, 2017 Capitol Center for the Arts, 44 South Main Street Concord, NH
Follow young Clara and her nutcracker on their journey as Tchaikovsky’s cherished score is played by the Concord High School orchestra and danced by Eastern Ballet Institute of Concord. Capitol cente for the arts concord
Time: Saturday, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m.
Admission: $18-23, plus fees for phone/internet sales

Northeastern Ballet Theatre presents "The Nutcracker" 2017 - Durham and Wolfeboro, NH

Dec 2, 2017 - Dec 10, 2017 See description below Durham and Wolfeboro, NH
Exquisite dancing, costumes, and choreography are all part of this spectacular dance performance. The Nutcracker is the perfect family outing that will capture the hearts of both young and old! The beloved Clara and her Nutcracker bring the Land of Sweets to life in Tchaikovsky's classic ballet.
Oyster River High School, 51 Coe Drive, Durham, December 2 at 7 p.m. and December 3 at 2 p.m.
Kingswood Arts Center in Wolfeboro, December 10 at 2 p.m.
Time: See description above
Admission: General, $20; seniors and students, $17.50; family pack of four, $60
Telephone: 603-834-8834