5 winter events in New Hampshire to put on your calendar

Plan ahead for cold-weather fun that lasts as long as there’s snow on your roof. Here are five ideas for you to try this winter.

We all know that winter goes on way beyond the holidays in New Hampshire, so plan ahead for cold-weather fun that lasts as long as there’s snow on your roof. Here are five ideas for you to try this winter. What better place to start than outdoor ice skating? Glide through 350 years of history at Strawbery Banke Museum, 14 Hancock Street Portsmouth where the Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond is situated. The rink offers traditional, New England outdoor skating with the backdrop of New Hampshire’s oldest preserved neighborhood dating back to the 17th century — now an outdoor museum. There is daily public skating, adaptive ice time, private rink rentals, skating lessons, and pick-up hockey on a professionally maintained ice surface supported by a chilling system and Zamboni. Ice skate rentals, training aids, and sake sharpening are available. If you plan to go, check the daily ice conditions on the Labrie Family Skate Facebook page. New Hampshire Sanctioned & Jackson Invitational Snow Sculpting Competition – Jan. 26-28  Great Glen Trails, 1 Mount Washington Road, Gorham. When New Hampshire gives you snow, make art. That’s the goal of teams of cold-weather Michaelangelos who head to Jackson each year to morph 8-foot pillars of snow into artsy sculptures. The competition begins Friday, Jan. 26, and finishes at noon on Sunday. Spectators are welcome to watch throughout the weekend. While in Jackson, visitors are encouraged to enjoy cross-country skiing, snow coach rides, and tubing at Great Glen Trails. Children are more than welcome and can participate in a scavenger hunt. Admission is free. Donations are welcome. Hooksett Winter Carnival — Jan. 27, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Hooksett Memorial School, 5 Memorial Dr. This event features arts and crafts vendors, outside games, karate and dance demonstrations, and raffles. The 114th Dartmouth’s Winter Carnival — Feb. 8-11,  Dartmouth College, Hanover. This three-day shout-out to winter fun is free and open to Dartmouth students and staff as well as the public. Activities include live music, skiing, snowboarding, ice sculpture, outdoor movies, ice skating and food, of course.  The Lakes Region Sled Dog Club’s Championship Sled Dog Derby — Feb. 16-18 —Opechee State Forest, Corner of Old N. Main St and Rt. 106, Laconia. Bundle up and head to the Lakes Region to watch these canines race through the snow. Spectators are welcome to attend but it’s important to check the site before attending. Last year the derby was canceled because of unseasonably warm weather. Sled dog racing first started in Laconia 94 years ago and has become a winter tradition in New Hampshire ever since. 21st Keene Ice & Snow Festival — Saturday, Feb. 3, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Central Square, Keene. Head to the Monadnock regions and enjoy a free day of family fun including ice carving,  snow sliding, a children’s train ride, roaming circus acts and buskers, s'mores roasts, find-the-yeti scavenger hunt, hot chocolate stations, and more.  

By Stacy Milbouer

December 6, 2023

We all know that winter goes on way beyond the holidays in New Hampshire, so plan ahead for cold-weather fun that lasts as long as there’s snow on your roof. Here are five ideas for you to try this winter.

What better place to start than outdoor ice skating? Glide through 350 years of history at Strawbery Banke Museum, 14 Hancock Street Portsmouth where the Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond is situated. The rink offers traditional, New England outdoor skating with the backdrop of New Hampshire’s oldest preserved neighborhood dating back to the 17th century — now an outdoor museum. There is daily public skating, adaptive ice time, private rink rentals, skating lessons, and pick-up hockey on a professionally maintained ice surface supported by a chilling system and Zamboni. Ice skate rentals, training aids, and sake sharpening are available. If you plan to go, check the daily ice conditions on the Labrie Family Skate Facebook page.

New Hampshire Sanctioned & Jackson Invitational Snow Sculpting Competition – Jan. 26-28  Great Glen Trails, 1 Mount Washington Road, Gorham. When New Hampshire gives you snow, make art. That’s the goal of teams of cold-weather Michaelangelos who head to Jackson each year to morph 8-foot pillars of snow into artsy sculptures. The competition begins Friday, Jan. 26, and finishes at noon on Sunday. Spectators are welcome to watch throughout the weekend. While in Jackson, visitors are encouraged to enjoy cross-country skiing, snow coach rides, and tubing at Great Glen Trails. Children are more than welcome and can participate in a scavenger hunt. Admission is free. Donations are welcome.

Hooksett Winter Carnival — Jan. 27, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Hooksett Memorial School, 5 Memorial Dr. This event features arts and crafts vendors, outside games, karate and dance demonstrations, and raffles.

The 114th Dartmouth’s Winter Carnival — Feb. 8-11,  Dartmouth College, Hanover. This three-day shout-out to winter fun is free and open to Dartmouth students and staff as well as the public. Activities include live music, skiing, snowboarding, ice sculpture, outdoor movies, ice skating and food, of course. 

The Lakes Region Sled Dog Club’s Championship Sled Dog Derby — Feb. 16-18 —Opechee State Forest, Corner of Old N. Main St and Rt. 106, Laconia. Bundle up and head to the Lakes Region to watch these canines race through the snow. Spectators are welcome to attend but it’s important to check the site before attending. Last year the derby was canceled because of unseasonably warm weather. Sled dog racing first started in Laconia 94 years ago and has become a winter tradition in New Hampshire ever since.

21st Keene Ice & Snow Festival — Saturday, Feb. 3, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Central Square, Keene. Head to the Monadnock regions and enjoy a free day of family fun including ice carving,  snow sliding, a children’s train ride, roaming circus acts and buskers, s’mores roasts, find-the-yeti scavenger hunt, hot chocolate stations, and more.

 

Author

  • Stacy Milbouer

    Stacy Milbouer is an award-winning journalist and has covered New Hampshire for many publications including the Boston Globe, New Hampshire Magazine, and the Nashua Telegraph.

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