20+ not-to-miss, family-friendly holiday events
From "The Nutcracker" performances to holiday strolls, here's a roundup of our favorite holiday events
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 Saturday, November 23. Expect your favorites like “Christmas Cannon” and “Christmas Eve Sarajevo” to be among the set list.
- The Ogunquit Playhouse presents “Annie” at the Music Hall in Portsmouth happening Wednesdays through Sundays from November 27 through December 22.
- Don’t miss this magical holiday tradition of “The Nutcracker” with the Southern New Hampshire Dance Theater, accompanied by a live orchestra, at the Palace Theatre in Manchester from Friday, November 29 to Sunday, December 2.
- “A Christmas Carol” at the Palace Theatre in Manchester on Fridays through Sundays from December 6 through December 22.
- “A Christmas Story” on the big screen at the Village Players in Wolfeboro on December 20-21.
- Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra Holiday Pops at the SNHU Arena in Manchester on Saturday, December 21. 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 21-22.
Tree lightings and holiday parades
- 26th Annual Nashua Winter Holiday Stroll on Saturday, November 30.
- Ring in the Season, Exeter’s 4 Day Celebration includes a flurry of festive events to get everyone into the holiday spirit. Event highlights include a holiday celebration at the American Independence Museum, the festival of trees at the Exeter Town Hall, holiday parade, breakfast with Santa and more on November 30 through December 3.
- Plymouth’s Hometown Holiday Celebration Parade on Saturday, December 7.
- Manchester Christmas parade on Elm Street on Saturday, December 7.
- Portsmouth Christmas Tree Lighting and Illuminated Holiday Parade on Saturday, December 7.
Holiday fun at our favorite attractions
- Christmastime at Santa’s Village in Jefferson on Saturdays and Sundays from November 16 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 29 and 30 and December 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 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 29-30 and December 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28 and 29.
- 40th Annual Candlelight Stroll at Strawberry Banke in Portsmouth on December 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 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 Saturdays, December 7 and December 14. 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 Friday, December 21. Cozy up with loved ones around a crackling fire and enjoy sledding (if there’s snow!).
More of our favorite seasonal events
- Midnight Merriment in downtown Concord on Friday, December 6. 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 7. 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.
- Step back in time at a Farmstead Christmas at the Remick Museum in Tamworth on Saturday, December 7.
- Inn to Inn Cookie and Candy Tour in the White Mountains on December 14 and 15. Families will love touring gorgeously decorated inns as they sample homemade cookies, candy and holiday cheer. Tickets are only guaranteed tothose staying at the participating inns, so consider taking your sweetheart for a pre-holiday getaway. Or, this would be a fun mom and daughter experience.