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 2017, holiday celebrations & traditions. Come enjoy classic favorites, like stage performances of “The Messiah” or “The Nutcracker, or local traditions such as 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

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

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

First Night Portsmouth 2017-2018 - Portsmouth, NH

Dec 31, 2017 - Dec 31, 2017 Street dance is at Pleasant Street at Market Square; many other locations Portsmouth, NH
First Night Portsmouth This is a family-friendly night of fireworks, entertainment and fun, including a street dance, live music, storytelling and fireworks at 7:30 p.m. at South Pond.

See: Schedule of events.
Time: 5 p.m. to midnight
Admission: Adults,$15 through December 27, $20 from December 28 to 30, $25 on First Night; children, $3

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

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.

Sweetback Sisters' Country Christmas Swing-Along - Gorham, NH

Dec 13, 2017 - Dec 13, 2017 Medallion Opera House, Gorham Town Hall Gorham, NH
This wildly popular show delivers a veritable explosion of yuletide splendor, complete with trivia, prizes and, of course, all the holiday tunes you know and love. Year-round, the Sweetack Sisters and their band of brothers wow audiences with their precise, family-style harmonies and blazing instrumentals.
Time: 7 p.m.
Admission: $20-$25
Telephone: 603-466-3322

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

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 - Dec 17, 2017 Music Hall, 28 Chestnut Street Portsmouth, NH
Ogunquit Playhouse’s production of Irving Berlin’s "White Christmas" is full of 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.
Time: Curtain times vary; see event website
Admission: $44-$94

“A Christmas Carol” - Rochester, NH

Dec 7, 2017 - Dec 23, 2017 Rochester Opera House, 31 Wakefield Street Rochester, NH
This ghostly tale of the Past, Present, and Future is brought to life in this exciting new musical adaptation. Keeping true to the original text and bringing the atmosphere of Victorian Christmas traditions to the stage, it draws upon the themes of time, family, and society's ills to warm our hearts. Dates: December 7, 8, 16, 17, 21-23.
Time: Curtain times vary; see event website
Admission: $24
Telephone: 603-335-1992

“The Nutcracker” with Sole City Dance - Rochester, NH

Dec 9, 2017 - Dec 15, 2017 Rochester Opera House, 31 Wakefield Street Rochester, NH
This soaring story, framed by Tchaikovsky’s legendary score, captures the wonder and expectation of the night before Christmas when a mysterious gift sparks an extraordinary journey. Dates: December 9, 10, 14, 15.
Time: Curtain times vary; see event website
Admission: $22-$26
Telephone: 603-335-1992