New Hampshire’s top 13 events this weekend (Dec. 15-18)

Whether you're drawn to outdoor winter activities or prefer the warmth of indoor celebrations, New Hampshire provides a variety of options this weekend. Here are our top 13 picks.

  New Hampshire's top 13 events this weekend (Dec. 15-18)   This weekend, New Hampshire is set to sparkle with top-notch winter and Christmas events, from mesmerizing light displays, Christmas markets, and horse-drawn sleigh rides featuring none other than Santa Claus himself. Whether you're drawn to outdoor winter activities or prefer the warmth of indoor celebrations, New Hampshire provides a variety of options.   Here are our top 13 picks for this weekend:   

Dartmouth 

Attend the Owl’s Nest Resort holiday gala  Dec. 15, 5 p.m.  Thornton  Sing and dance your night away at this holiday gala. The evening features a live dueling piano performance from Jim Tyrell and Gardner Berry, a silent auction with resort items and sports memorabilia, and a three-course dinner. Bring an optional donation of non-perishable food items for the NH Food Bank. All proceeds from the silent auction will go toward local charities.  

 

Merrimack Valley

  Make a holiday tree out of sea glass Dec. 15, 6:30 p.m. Bedford  Make your own light up tumbled sea glass holiday tree with the help of instructors. All supplies are included or bring your own items. Other embellishments will be available for additional charge. This is a beginner-friendly class. You may bring your own beer and wine to enjoy during the workshop. For more information, email [email protected].     Labelle Lights Display  Seasonal, 4:30 p.m.  Derry 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 ugly sweater theme. Open Tuesday-Sunday from 4:30- 9:30 p.m. through Jan. 7. 

 

Manandock

  Celebrate Christmas on the farm Dec. 16, 9 a.m. Troy  Head to the farm to learn how to milk cows and goats, or visit the farm animals. The activities include holiday crafts, s'mores at the campfire, and photos with Santa! Bring your swimsuit and towels and use the indoor pool, whirlpool, and sauna.      See the Symphony New Hampshire Holiday Brass Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m. Jaffrey  Symphony NH orchestra comes to Jaffrey with a special holiday program featuring holiday classics under the direction of music director and conductor Roger Kalia.     Heather Pierson Trio: ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m. Jaffrey  The acclaimed Heather Pierson Jazz Trio will perform “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” The trio has made this live performance an annual holiday event across New England and beyond. Pierson is a pianist, singer/songwriter, songleader, and performer whose inspiring live performances and growing catalog of releases delve into Americana, blues, New Orleans jazz, vocal chants, instrumental piano, and folk.    

White Mountains

Holiday Exhibitions  Seasonal, 10 a.m.  Bethlehem 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.   

Seacoast

33rd Annual Gingerbread House Contest 

Seasonal, 10 a.m. Portsmouth 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.  Portsmouth 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.  Portsmouth 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.)   See acclaimed singer Kat Edmonson perform Dec. 16, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. See award-winning singer and songwriter Kat Edmonson who appeared in Woody Allen's film, "Cafe Society" as a 1930s jazz singer and has performed on the biggest stages across the United States, Europe and Asia, from Carnegie Hall to the Blue Note in Japan.   Listen to the NH Philharmonic Orchestra’s holiday tunes Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m. Salem  The annual Holiday Pops concert has something for everyone, featuring everything from “Nutcracker,” to popular holiday favorites.     Visit Santa by sleigh ride  Seasonal Candia Take a horse-drawn ride through a decorated trail to Charmingfare Farm's North Pole. Visit with Santa and his live reindeer, see Mrs. Claus’ bakery.   

By Katy Savage

December 15, 2023

 

New Hampshire’s top 13 events this weekend (Dec. 15-18)

 

This weekend, New Hampshire is set to sparkle with top-notch winter and Christmas events, from mesmerizing light displays, Christmas markets, and horse-drawn sleigh rides featuring none other than Santa Claus himself. Whether you’re drawn to outdoor winter activities or prefer the warmth of indoor celebrations, New Hampshire provides a variety of options.

 

Here are our top 13 picks for this weekend: 

 

Dartmouth 

Attend the Owl’s Nest Resort holiday gala 

Dec. 15, 5 p.m. 

Thornton 

Sing and dance your night away at this holiday gala. The evening features a live dueling piano performance from Jim Tyrell and Gardner Berry, a silent auction with resort items and sports memorabilia, and a three-course dinner. Bring an optional donation of non-perishable food items for the NH Food Bank. All proceeds from the silent auction will go toward local charities.

 

 

Merrimack Valley

 

Make a holiday tree out of sea glass

Dec. 15, 6:30 p.m.

Bedford 

Make your own light up tumbled sea glass holiday tree with the help of instructors. All supplies are included or bring your own items. Other embellishments will be available for additional charge. This is a beginner-friendly class. You may bring your own beer and wine to enjoy during the workshop. For more information, email [email protected].  

 

Labelle Lights Display 

Seasonal, 4:30 p.m. 

Derry

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 ugly sweater theme. Open Tuesday-Sunday from 4:30- 9:30 p.m. through Jan. 7. 

 

Manandock

 

Celebrate Christmas on the farm

Dec. 16, 9 a.m.

Troy 

Head to the farm to learn how to milk cows and goats, or visit the farm animals. The activities include holiday crafts, s’mores at the campfire, and photos with Santa! Bring your swimsuit and towels and use the indoor pool, whirlpool, and sauna.   

 

See the Symphony New Hampshire Holiday Brass

Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m.

Jaffrey 

Symphony NH orchestra comes to Jaffrey with a special holiday program featuring holiday classics under the direction of music director and conductor Roger Kalia.  

 

Heather Pierson Trio: ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’

Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m.

Jaffrey 

The acclaimed Heather Pierson Jazz Trio will perform “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” The trio has made this live performance an annual holiday event across New England and beyond. Pierson is a pianist, singer/songwriter, songleader, and performer whose inspiring live performances and growing catalog of releases delve into Americana, blues, New Orleans jazz, vocal chants, instrumental piano, and folk.  

 

White Mountains

Holiday Exhibitions 

Seasonal, 10 a.m. 

Bethlehem

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. 

 

Seacoast

33rd Annual Gingerbread House Contest 

Seasonal, 10 a.m.

Portsmouth

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. 

Portsmouth

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. 

Portsmouth

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.)

 

See acclaimed singer Kat Edmonson perform

Dec. 16, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

See award-winning singer and songwriter Kat Edmonson who appeared in Woody Allen’s film, “Cafe Society” as a 1930s jazz singer and has performed on the biggest stages across the United States, Europe and Asia, from Carnegie Hall to the Blue Note in Japan.  

Listen to the NH Philharmonic Orchestra’s holiday tunes

Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m.

Salem 

The annual Holiday Pops concert has something for everyone, featuring everything from “Nutcracker,” to popular holiday favorites.  

 

Visit Santa by sleigh ride 

Seasonal

Candia

Take a horse-drawn ride through a decorated trail to Charmingfare Farm’s North Pole. Visit with Santa and his live reindeer, see Mrs. Claus’ bakery. 

 

Author

  • 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. Based in Enfield, Katy is a New England native and has a passion for telling stories about where she grew up. In her free time, she enjoys running and being outside as much as possible.

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