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The Best Events Happening in December

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Santa’s Christmas is back at Charmingfare Farm on December 3-4, 9-11, 16-18 and 21-23.


LaBelle Lights at The Links at LaBelle Winery, Derry, Wednesdays through Sundays December 1-January 15

There’s a festive feel in the air with the magical display of lights in Derry. More than 500,000 twinkling lights light up the night at The Links at Labelle Winery. The outdoor light display is a walking tour along designated paths through the golf course. Sweet and savory snacks, and warm non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages are available for purchase at LaBelle Market and Americus Restaurant offers a heartier fare for a meal before or after your walk. labellewinery.com


Gift of Lights, Loudon, December 1-January 1

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 two million LED 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 revel in the sights around them. (603) 783-4931; nhms.com


Wolfeboro Festival of Trees, Wolfeboro, December 1-11

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 such as Expressions Dance Academy. (603) 948-5504; wolfeborofestivaloftrees.com


4th Annual NH Jingle Bells Winery Tour Bells Tour, Lee, December 1-18

Participants will have the opportunity to visit seven festive wineries throughout New Hampshire over the course of five weekends ending on December 18th. This is a self-guided tour through New Hampshire wine country. The self-guided traveling tasters will have from November 19th through December 18th to receive a wine (or spirits at winery/distillery locations) tasting at each location accompanied by light hors d’oeuvres (available on weekends only). Along with the tastings, festivities will include a unique holiday ornament from each winery, music, and a Holiday Spirit contest. The Holiday Spirit contest will feature the seven wineries and how they best display their holiday cheer. (603) 659-2949; Facebook. New Hampshire Magazine is a proud sponsor of this event.


“A Christmas Carol” at the Palace Theatre, Manchester, December 1-23

Watch your favorite Charles Dickens Christmas novel come to life on the stage at the Palace Theatre. Follow the story of Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas Eve, accompanied by lively song and dance, actors from all over the country and a live orchestra. Don’t miss out on a chance to see an old miser forever changed by holiday joy. (603) 668-5588; palacetheatre.org


Journey to the North Pole, Locations vary, December 1-23

Journey to the North Pole and Santa’s workshop. Sip on hot chocolate and enjoy treats as you take a scenic train ride through the White Mountains. At the North Pole, you’ll be greeted by Santa’s elves, who will make sure you remember to drop your letter to Santa at his workshop. In addition to Christmas carols, enjoy a reading of the tale “The Night Before Christmas.” journeytothenorthpole.org


Christmas with the Celts, Plymouth, December 2

Step dancers, vocalists and a rollicking band combine with Irish instruments such as the bodhran and uilleann pipes to create an evening of classic holiday music from both sides of the Atlantic. (603) 536-2551; flyingmonkeynh.com


Portsmouth Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting, Portsmouth, December 3

Head to Market Square for music and a tree lighting, followed by a hometown holiday-themed parade. This event will illuminate your night and ignite your Christmas spirit with a visit from the jolly star himself, Santa. To help others and spread holiday cheer, bring a nonperishable food item to donate to volunteers walking through the parade with shopping carts for the city’s annual food drive. This event is a part of Vintage Christmas. cityofportsmouth.com


33rd Annual Christmas in Strafford Craft Fair, Strafford, December 3-4

Local artisans and craftspeople from all around Strafford will be safely opening up their homes and studios this holiday season. There will be over 15 locations open and over 50 crafters, including local homes along with the Bow Lake Grange Hall and Bow Lake Church. Watch out for large “Cardinal” signs with marked stop numbers to help guide you to your destinations. (603) 664-5787; christmasinstrafford.com


Santa’s Christmas at Charmingfare Farm, Candia, December 3-4, 9-11, 16-18, 21-23

Charmingfare Farm in Candia hosts this annual Christmas extravaganza where timeless traditions will please the whole family. It all starts with a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the Christmas Trail, which features 12 charming holiday scenes to decorate the way to the North Pole. Santa will wait for families in the Reindeer Barn where the kid can hand off their Christmas letters and feed the live reindeer. Be sure to visit Mrs. Claus for sugar cookies and hot cocoa too. (603) 483-5623; visitthefarm.com 


NH Gingerbread House Festival, Concord, December 3-4 and 10-11

You know the NH Home Builders can build houses of wood, wait until you see what they can do with gingerbread. Over 25 handcrafted gingerbread houses will be on display (and given away). There will also be a People’s Choice Award decided by you. In addition to the homes, there is a hot chocolate station and Santa’s Workshop where you can make your own paper gingerbread house to take home. (603) 969-7077. New Hampshire Magazine is a proud sponsor of this event.


Candlelight Stroll Under the Stars, Portsmouth, Weekends December 3-18

The signature event of Portsmouth’s Vintage Christmas celebrations, Strawbery Banke’s holiday classic encourages families to enjoy a bit of “stopfulness” amid the crazy pace of the season. Watch historical reenactors create scenes of Decembers gone by, while walking along pathways illuminated by candlelight. (603) 433-1100; strawberybanke.org 


Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour, Jackson, December 3-18

Find enchantment on a magical sleigh ride through the snowy mountains of Northern New Hampshire, plus enjoy delicious chocolate treats from local chocolatiers. The Austrian horse-drawn sleigh makes its way to Jackson Village, halting at various stops for tastes of homemade sweets. thewentworth.com


Holly Jolly Craft Fair, Nashua, December 10

Procrastinators, this one’s for you! The last event of the year from Joyce’s Craft Shows, this fair carries both stocking-friendly small gifts and larger items including quilts, gourmet food and holiday floral arrangements. (603) 528-4014; joycescraftshows.com


Holiday Pops Concert, Manchester, December 10

The Boston Esplanade Orchestra visits SNHU Arena for their cherished Holiday Pops concert. The magical music will be the highlight of your holiday season by capturing the special winter charms of New England. Listen and delight to their signature “Sleigh Ride,” as well as other holiday classics and new seasonal arrangements, joined by Metropolitan Chorale and an appearance from the Man in Red during the finale. (603) 644-5000; snhuarena.com


25th Annual Inn to Inn Holiday Cookie & Candy Tour, White Mountains, December 10-11

Nine country lodges 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. (603) 356-2642; countryinnsinthewhitemountains.com


The Greg and The Morning Buzz Christmas Ball, Concord, December 15

The Greg and The Morning Buzz Ball is Back. Join Greg and the Morning Buzz Team as they host an all-star cast of musicians, performers, comedians and special guests. A portion of the proceeds go to Lend a Helping Can – a 501c3 Charity that serves 11 Soup Kitchens in New Hampshire. ccanh.com


A New England Midwinter Revels Celebration, Lebanon, December 16-18

For the first time since 2019, Revels North will bring The Midwinter Revels, an Upper Valley holiday tradition since 1975, back to the stage of Lebanon Opera House in Lebanon. Guest artists for the show include Alex Cumming and Sharon Groblicki. revelsnorth.org

Categories: Family-friendly things to do, Winter Events