20+ not-to-miss, family-friendly holiday events

From "The Nutcracker" performances to holiday strolls, here's a roundup of our favorite holiday events

A vintage car from the Nashua Holiday Stroll is decked out with holiday spirit.

Photo by Karen Bachelder.

Holiday spirit on the main stage

  • The ever-popular Trans-Siberian Orchestra is back again in the Granite State to kick off the holiday season at the SNHU Arena in Manchester on Friday, November 23. Expect your favorites like “Christmas Cannon” and “Christmas Eve Sarajevo” to be among the setlist.
  • The Ogunquit Playhouse presents “Elf The Musical” at the Music Hall in Portsmouth happening Wednesdays through Sundays from November 28 through December 16.
  • “A Christmas Carol” at the Palace Theatre in Manchester on Fridays through Sundays from November 30 through December 22.
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord on Tuesday, December 4. Yes, your wishes have come true! The beloved television classic is soaring off the screen and onto the stage and Hermie, Clarice and Yukon Cornelius will all be there.
  • “Miracle on 34th Street” at the Town Hall Theatre in Exeter on December 7, 8, 9, 14, 15 and 16. This live music radio play is put on by the Prescott Park Arts Festival.
  • “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” at the Village Players in Wolfeboro on December 14-16.
  • Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra Holiday Pops at the SNHU Arena in Manchester on Saturday, December 15. Enjoy your favorite Christmas carols, including the pop’s own “Sleigh Ride” and make sure to keep an eye out for Santa Claus himself who will be in attendance.
  • Ballet Misha presents “The Nutcracker” at The Dana Center at St. Anselm College in Manchester on December 15-16.

Tree lightings and holiday parades

Holiday fun at our favorite attractions

  • Christmastime at Santa’s Village in Jefferson on Saturdays and Sundays from November 17 through December 22. Did you know that your favorite summertime attraction is open during the holiday season?
  • Hobo Railroad’s Santa Trains in Lincoln on November 23, 24 and 25 and December 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16 and 22. In addition to a magical train ride with Santa and his elves, each family will also receive a box of cookies and each child will receive a special gift from Santa.
  • Conway Scenic Railroad’s Journey to the North Pole in North Conway on November 23-25, November 30-December 2, December 6-9, December 13-16 and December 21-23.
  • 39th Annual Candlelight Stroll at Strawberry Banke in Portsmouth on December 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16 and 22. Step back in time and celebrate the holidays among the historic buildings of Strawbery Banke Museum. Visitors will love the vintage traditions and decorations.
  • Jingle Bell Express at the Children’s Museum of NH in Dover on Saturday, December 8 and Saturday, December 15. Grab your favorite, cozy pajamas and hope aboard a double-decker bus as classic “The Polar Express” is read.
  • Winter Solstice Celebration at Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center in Laconia on Saturday, December 15. Cozy up with loved ones around a crackling fire and enjoy sledding (if there’s snow!).

More of our favorite seasonal events

  • Storytime and Activities Featuring “How to Catch a Snowman” at Barnes and Noble stores in Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth and Salem on Saturday, December 1.
  • Midnight Merriment in downtown Concord on Friday, December 7. Shop til you drop with thousands of your closest friends at this annual holiday event that’s stocked with carolers, s’mores, sales and fun.
  • Hometown Holiday Party in downtown Dover on Saturday, December 8. Join Dover Main Street for this third annual shop local holiday event featuring hot cocoa, a s’mores station, caroling in the streets, Christmas karaoke and more fun.
  • Inn to Inn Cookie and Candy Tour in the White Mountains on December 8 and 9. Families will love touring gorgeously decorated inns as they sample homemade cookies, candy and holiday cheer.
Categories: Winter Holidays