Scenic New Hampshire – Statewide ideas on how to spend your next New Hampshire vacation. Travel Ideas, Lodging, and year-round activities for your enjoyment in New Hampshire.

Bundle up, grab your ugly sweater and enjoy the holiday season the New Hampshire way. Here’s a roundup of our favorite holiday events, including a list of on-stage performances and concerts.

Santa Express Trains
Hobo Railroad in Lincoln
Weekends, November 24 – December 23

All Santa Express Trains excursions are approximately 80 minutes long and aboard the train everyone will meet Santa and Mrs. Claus. Additionally, all young children will receive a letter that they can complete for Santa and every young child will receive a gift from Santa on the train. Train rides start and return from Hobo Junction Station in Lincoln.

Santa’s Holiday Express
Conway Scenic Railroad in Conway
Weekends, November 24 – December 23

Ho, ho, ho! It’s time to hop aboard and celebrate the Christmas spirit in the White Mountains. Santa’s Holiday Express offers an hour-long seasonal journey down the Conway Branch and is perfect for families with young children. Guests will arrive in Conway and will be greeted by Santa and every child gets a goody bag, including cookies and milk.

LaBelle Lights
LaBelle Winery in Derry
November 14 – January 7

Get into the holiday spirit at LaBelle Lights located at LaBelle Winery and the Links in Derry. Guests of all ages will enjoy a stunning show comprised of winter-themed lighting displays coordinated with music that will bring a smile to your face and joy to your heart. Special themed weeks include: Holiday Pajamas the week of November 21-26, Santa Costume Week happening November 28 through December 3 and Ugly Holiday Sweater Week happening December 12-17.

Gift of Lights
New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon
November 23 – December 31
Remember when your parents used to stuff you and your siblings in the van to drive around checking out neighbors’ Christmas lights? This is that drive — and then some. More than 400 light displays, 60 holiday scenes and 2 million LED light bulbs light up New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Spectators are urged to drive the route (including the tunnel and part of the track’s road course) and soak in the scenes surrounding them. Tickets are $35 per car load and $60 per bus, limousine or RV up to 15 guests. A portion of proceeds will benefit the New Hampshire Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities.

Wolfeboro Festival of Trees 
Wright Museum of World War II in Wolfeboro
November 30 – December 10

More than 65 exquisitely decorated Christmas trees deck the halls of the Wright Museum for this annual event. Marvel at the colorful conifers (spread across two floors) and enjoy live entertainment from local performing groups.

Midnight Merriment
Main Street in Concord
December 1, 5 p.m. to midnight

Bundle up, grab your shopping list and make your way to downtown Concord for the Intown Concord’s 30th Annual Midnight Merriment. Attendees are invited to shop until they drop while enjoying the lights and sounds of the holidays and supporting local businesses. There will be s’mores, cocoa, music and more for the kiddos — and Santa will be making an appearance from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Jingle Bell Extravaganza
Children’s Museum of NH in Dover
Sunday, December 3 and Sunday, December 10

Families are invited to enjoy a special holiday event at the Children’s Museum where they can meet Santa for photo opportunity and receive a special gift. Kids can engage in hands-on holiday craft activities and a magical science experiment, all while exploring the museum’s many interactive exhibits. Pajamas and festive attire are welcome.

26th Annual Inn to Inn Holiday Cookie & Candy Tour
Various locations
December 9-10

Nine beautifully decorated country inns will open their doors for visitors to taste their best holiday cookies and candies and snag some recipe and décor ideas. Stay at one of the participating inns and you will also receive a keepsake ornament. The tour stretches from Jackson to Eaton and no inn is more than fifteen minutes from the next, with many much closer.

Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour
Various locations in Jackson
Weekends: November 18-19, November 25-26,
December 2-3, 9-10 and 16-17

Find enchantment on a magical sleigh ride through the snowy mountains with delicious chocolate treats from local chocolatiers. The Austrian horse-drawn sleigh winds its way to Jackson Village, halting at various stops for tastes of homemade chocolates.

Gingerbread House Festival
119 Airport Rd. in Concord
December 2-3 and December 9-10

Put on by the NH Home Builders Association, this annual event will be filled with gingerbread houses built by NHHBA members (aka the men and women who build the houses you live in!). Members have traded in nail guns and wood for gingerbread, icing and sprinkles. Come see all of the terrific works of edible art they produce.

Candlelight Stroll
Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth
Weekends: December 2-3, 8-10 and 15-17

Bundle up and take a delightful trip back in time as you experience holiday traditions from hundreds of years ago. Once again, Strawbery Banke’s stroll will focus on the lights, wreaths, roleplayers and magic adorning the exteriors of the museum’s historic buildings. The museum grounds will be glowing with hundreds of lighted candle lanterns, and house doors and railings are decorated with live greens and dried flowers and herbs collected from the museum gardens.

Christmas with the Celts
The Flying Monkey in Plymouth
Saturday, December 23

Celebrating more than 10 years of successful touring, Christmas with the Celts is a wonderful combination of timeless ancient Irish Christmas Carols and lively Irish dance with modern contemporary songs but with Irish instrumentation. Guests will be delighted with new Christmas hits, Celts originals and fresh Irish Dance tunes are always being added, so it’s always a pleasant surprise.

Catch the Christmas spirit onstage

Thursday, November 16 – Sunday, November 19, 2023
“The Nutcracker”
The Palace Theatre
Manchester, NH

Friday, November 24, 2023; shows at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “The Ghost of Christmas Eve”
SNHU Arena
Manchester, NH

Various dates November 24 – December 23, 2023
“A Christmas Carol”
The Palace Theatre
Manchester, NH

Saturday, November 25 and Sunday, November 26, 2023
“The Nutcracker”
Salem High School Seifert Performing Arts Center
Salem, NH

Friday, November 29, 2023
“A Christmas Carol” starring Gerald Dickens
The Dana Center at St. Anselm College
Manchester, NH

Saturday, December 2 and Sunday, December 3, 2023
Portsmouth School of Ballet presents “The Nutcracker”
Exeter High School Auditorium
Exeter, NH

Sunday, December 9, 2023
“Frosty, A Musical Adventure”
Chubb Theatre at Capitol Center for the Arts
Concord, NH

Saturday, December 9 and Sunday, December 10, 2023
Sympthony NH’s Holiday POPS!
Keefe Center for the Arts
Nashua, NH

Saturday, December 9, 2023
Boston Pops Holiday Concert
SNHU Arena
Manchester, NH

Sunday, December 10, 2023
Capital Jazz Orchestra’s “Holiday Pops”
Capitol Center for the Arts
Concord, NH

Thursday, December 14, 2023
The Morning Buzz Christmas Ball
Capitol Center for the Arts
Concord, NH

Saturday, December 16, 2023
Christmas in Killarney: An Irish Christmas Celebration
The Colonial Theatre
Keene, NH

Wednesday, December 20
White Christmas: A Strafford Wind Symphony Concert
Rochester Opera House
Rochester, NH

Categories: Family-friendly things to do, Guide to Holidays, Holiday Guide Events, Things to Do