New Hampshire’s top 7 events this weekend (Dec. 22-24)

Gingerbread houses appear all over Portsmouth as the Portsmouth Historical Society celebrates 400 years.

By Katy Savage

December 21, 2023

New Hampshire is full of winter and Christmas festivities this weekend, showcasing enchanting light exhibitions, markets, and horse-drawn sleigh rides starring none other than the one and only Santa Claus. Whether you’re inclined towards outdoor winter pursuits or favor the cozy ambiance of indoor revelries, New Hampshire offers a diverse array of choices.

Check out our top seven recommendations for the upcoming weekend:


Merrimack Valley


Make a holiday tree out of sea glass

Dec. 21, 6:30 p.m.


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. 


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.


White Mountains

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!


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.)


Visit Santa by sleigh ride 



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




  • 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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