New Hampshire’s top 8 events this weekend (Dec. 8-10)

As Strawbery Banke celebrates Portsmouth's 400th anniversary, the Candlelight Stroll invites visitors to travel from house to historic house under the glow of hundreds of candle lanterns. Photo courtesy of David J.Murry/


By Katy Savage

December 8, 2023

It’s the time of year for weekends filled with twinkling lights, the crisp embrace of winter, and the cheer of the holiday season. We’ve rounded up the best events happening in New Hampshire this weekend, so grab your mittens, slip into your coziest scarf, and dive into these happenings in the Granite State.

Here are our top eight picks for this weekend:

Merrimack Valley


Winter Wonderland craft market and psychic fair

Dec. 9, 11 a.m.- 4 p.m.

Hooksett American Legion Post 37

5 Riverside St., Hooksett

The Hooksett American Legion is hosting the Winter Wonderland Craft Market and Psychic Fair on Dec. 9, featuring more than 30 vendors, readers, crafters, artists.

‘The Nutcracker: Act II’

Dec. 8-10


St. Paul’s School Ballet Company presents ‘The Nutcracker: Act II’ at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8-9 and Dec. 10 at 3 p.m. Performances will take place in Memorial Hall on the school’s Concord campus. This abridged version of “The Nutcracker” is free. The ballet company invites guests to bring toy donations for local children. Donated toys should not exceed $25 in value and should be new and unwrapped.

Labelle Lights Display

Seasonal, 4: 30 p.m.


Immerse yourself in the magic of winter at LaBelle Lights. Stroll along a path adorned with over a million twinkling lights, transforming the surroundings into a festive outdoor spectacle. Admission covers access to special theme weeks, such as this weekend’s Crazy Holiday Hats theme. Show off your wildest, wackiest, and most festive holiday hat while you’re there! Open Tuesday-Sunday from 4:30- 9:30 p.m. through Jan. 7.



‘A Festival of Dickens’

Dec. 8-10


The first annual New England Dickens Fest will feature five event-packed days of concerts, films, fairs, contests, and more. On Dec. 8, take a Christmas cookie tour at 11 a.m. Then go to Ebenezer’s Best Whiskers Beard contest at 5 p.m. On Dec. 10, see the Fezziwig’s Craft & Food Fair with a non-stop reading of “David Copperfield” from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

White Mountains


Table Holiday Exhibitions

Seasonal, 10 a.m.


Visit this gallery of fine arts and crafts—nestled in the White Mountains—with handmade gifts at all price points, now through Dec. 31. $10 from each gallery sale will go toward local food security organizations.



33rd annual gingerbread house contest

Seasonal, 10 a.m.


Join the Portsmouth Historical Society in celebrating 400 years of Portsmouth’s history with gingerbreads appearing all over town, designed to represent the people, places, and events of yesterday and today. The event runs now through Dec. 30. Shop in the downtown retailers to participate in the Gingerbread House Scavenger Hunt. Find all the houses, collect all your stamps, and return your entry to the Portsmouth Historical Society by Dec. 19 for a chance to win a prize. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite downtown house, too!

‘It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play by Joe Landry’

Seasonal, 7:30 p.m.


The holiday production of “It’s a Wonderful Life” returns to the New Hampshire Theatre Project. Joe Landry has re-envisioned the beloved film classic as a 1940s-style radio play. Seasoned actors bring George, Clarence, Mary, and all the residents of Bedford Falls to life on that fateful Christmas Eve. The show features holiday music and a foley artist playing live sound effects. Shows are scheduled for Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 4 p.m., and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Visit the website for more information.

Take a candlelight walk through decorated historic homes

Seasonal, 4 p.m.


Visit the Puddle Dock neighborhood where, amidst the glow of candle lanterns, guests travel between historic houses and are greeted by musicians and performers reviving traditions of yesteryears. You’ll find costumed roleplayers portraying families from the waterfront neighborhood. Drink hot apple cider, warm up near a bonfire, indulge in old-fashioned holiday shopping at Pickwick’s at the Banke, and be captivated by Ice Dance International’s Currier and Ives Vintage skaters with performances each night (Fridays and Saturdays at 6 and 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 5 and 6:30 p.m.)

Read more: 5 winter events in New Hampshire to put on your calendar




  • Katy Savage

    Katy Savage is an award-winning reporter with more than 10 years of experience working in daily, weekly and digital news organizations as both an editor and reporter. Katy is a New England native and has a passion for telling stories about where she grew up.



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