Here's a look at what's happening around the Granite State during the 2018 holiday season. From caroling to visits with Santa, Christmas Parades and tree lightings, this list will show you what's happening in your community. 

Ho, Ho, Ho....we're almost there! 

This page is currently being updated. Last update: December 15, 2018

Please contact us if you know of an event that is not appearing here. We are still gathering dates/times. Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 15

Hampton: Breakfast and Selfies with Santa - Ashworth Hotel, 295 Ocean Blvd., Hampton - Now is your chance to take your annual selfie with Santa! Enjoy our festive, bountiful breakfast buffet complete with your traditional favorites at The Breakers. Santa has been practicing his 'selfie-smile' and is ready to grant your Christmas wish this holiday season. Cost: $18.95 per adult, $12 for children ages 5-12, free for children 4 and under.  

Sunday, December 16  

Portsmouth: 28th Annual Gingerbread House Exhibit / Join Discover Portsmouth for Snowflake and Gingerbread Making - 10 a.m. - noon - Discover Portsmouth, Discover Portsmouth, 10 Middle St., Portsmouth - Come see this fantastical and whimsical Gingerbread House Exhibit - Created by local businesses, artists, families and kids, the gingerbread houses will be nestled into a winter wonderland in the first floor gallery surrounded by large format photographs: David J. Murray’s images of Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth and photographs of trains in New Hampshire winters by Andy Dolph. This event and viewing the exhibit are free.

ONGOING:

Bethlehem: Christmas at the Rocks 2018 - The Rocks, 4 Christmas Tree Lane, Bethlehem - November 17 - December 24, 2018 - There’s no better place to get into the holiday spirit than on Christmas Lane, home of The Rocks Christmas tree farm, located in a town appropriately called Bethlehem. The feeling of Christmas magic is strong here, with fields of fir trees to trim, two shops full of gifts, visits from Santa, and horse-drawn wagon rides past snow-frosted scenery. The Rocks opens for cut-your-own trees Nov. 17 and will be open daily (closed Thanksgiving Day) through Christmas Eve. Two gift shops on site are open daily. They feature an array of ornaments, an assorted plethora of hand-crafted items from local artisans, and gifts from whimsical to everyday useful, as well as hand-made wreaths. The Rocks’ own Green Father Christmas will be here each Saturday through the season. Guests are also invited to make their way through the Christmas Tree Maze in the main field. Horse-drawn wagon rides – a favorite among visitors for years – will be available from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m on the following days: Dec. 1-2, Dec. 8-9, and Dec. 15. Reservations are recommended. Hungry Christmas tree hunters will find treats served up by the good folks at Second Chance Animal Rescue.

Portsmouth: 28th Annual Gingerbread House Exhibit - Discover Portsmouth, Discover Portsmouth, first floor gallery, 10 Middle St., Portsmouth - November 30 - December 22, 2018, Daily 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. (until 8 p.m. on Nov. 30th, Dec 1st & 7th). Vote for your favorite creation for the People's Choice Award. The public can continue vote until Friday, December 14th. Come see these magical creations and find holiday gifts in the Museum Shop. On Monday, December 17 the People’s Choice Award will be announced by 3 p.m. on Facebook. Created by local businesses, artists, families and kids, the gingerbread houses will be nestled into a winter wonderland in the first floor gallery surrounded by large format photographs: David J. Murray’s images of Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth and photographs of trains in New Hampshire winters by Andy Dolph.

Portsmouth: Candlelight Stroll - Strawbery Banke Museum, 14 Hancock Street, Portsmouth - Dec 1, 2018 - Dec 22, 2018 - Strawbery Banke Museum welcomes visitors to travel through 300 years of daily life in the waterfront neighborhood of Puddle Dock. Along candlelit dirt lanes, visitors will walk through a historic portrayal of winter among the glowing historic homes and costumed role players. Dates: December 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16 and 22.

Wolfeboro: Festival of Trees - Wright Museum, 77 Center St, Wolfeboro. The Festival was started in 1999 as a benefit for the LIFE Ministries Food Pantry in Wolfeboro. The event was such a success that it was held again in 2000. Subsequently, the Festival committee has organized the festival each year to benefit various other charitable causes in the greater Wolfeboro area. The 2018 Festival will be held on December 8, 9 and 12, 15, 16. This year is the 20th Wolfeboro Festival of Trees, an annual charity benefit featuring more than sixty five trees, uniquely decorated by area businesses and organizations, and displayed on two levels at the Wright museum. In addition to the trees, the exhibit features continuous entertainment and light refreshment.

  

December 31, 2018 - NEW YEAR'S EVE!

Hampton: Fireworks on the beach at 8 p.m.

North Conway: New Year's Eve Fireworks - 9:30 p.m., fireworks at Schouler Park, North Conway Village.

Portsmouth: First Night Celebration - You have to purchase a button to get in on the events planned for First Night, but Portsmouth is one of the best places to spend New Year's Eve so you won't find us complaining. Kicking things off, you can watch an ice sculpture being built in Market Square. The activities include a street dance, stargazing with the NH Astronomical Society, magic, music, dance and puppets to entertain all ages, and so much more! Ring it in right!    

Waterville Valley: New Year's Eve Fireworks in Town Square - 7:30 p.m., Ring in the New Year in Waterville Valley! There are all kinds of events happening in Town Square for everyone to enjoy. Featuring: Fireworks over Corcoran Pond at 7:30 p.m., Sleigh Rides, Ice Skating.

Wolfeboro: Fireworks over Wolfeboro Bay - 6:30 p.m.

PREVIOUS EVENTS:

Friday, November 23

Berlin: 7 p.m. - Parade of Lights - The annual Parade of Lights will be in downtown Berlin starting on Glen Avenue and then moves up to Main Street. This year's theme: "A Magical Disney Christmas."

Bretton Woods: All Weekend - A Holly Jolly Christmas Celebration - Experience the majestic beauty of Christmas spent in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Magical in its snowy splendor, The Omni Mount Washington Resort welcomes the holiday season with a warming embrace. Enjoy a festive celebration of sleigh rides, snowshoeing, skiing, stories with Santa, holiday treats and a bundle of other holiday-themed activities. Snuggle in front of the fire with loved ones before Santa arrives to read classic holiday books and after the sun sets, join us for evenings filled with games, movies and treats ... or just relax in the conservatory as you prepare to do it all over again tomorrow!

Claremont: 6-8 p.m. - Tree Lighting - Santa Claus will be coming to Claremont on Friday, November 23, 2018 to visit and light up Broad Street Park.

Concord: 4 p.m. - Tree Lighting - New Hampshire State House, North Main Street.

Keene: 5:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. - Annual Tree Lighting Celebration - Central Square. Guests can enjoy music, caroling, cocoa, cookies and visiting with Santa and Mrs. Claus. This event is hosted by the Keene Kiwanis Club.

Littleton: 12-2 p.m. - Christmas Parade - The parade will start at the Hitchner Parking Lot on Beacon Street and proceed down Union, Main and West Main Street to the Littleton Fire Station. The parade welcomes the Stars of the day, Santa & Mrs. Claus!

Saturday, November 24

Bretton Woods: All Weekend - A Holly Jolly Christmas Celebration - Experience the majestic beauty of Christmas spent in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Magical in its snowy splendor, The Omni Mount Washington Resort welcomes the holiday season with a warming embrace. Enjoy a festive celebration of sleigh rides, snowshoeing, skiing, stories with Santa, holiday treats and a bundle of other holiday-themed activities. Snuggle in front of the fire with loved ones before Santa arrives to read classic holiday books and after the sun sets, join us for evenings filled with games, movies and treats ... or just relax in the conservatory as you prepare to do it all over again tomorrow!

Derry: 1 p.m. - 32nd Annual Holiday Parade - The parade starts in front of the Adams Memorial Building & The Halligan Tavern on W Broadway. It continues down Broadway, turns left on Crystal Ave and ends at Hood Commons. The Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, featuring Santa Claus, will be at 6:30 p.m. at Pocket Park in Downtown Derry (at the corner of Broadway and Manning Streets).

Jackson: 4:30 p.m. - Santa's First Visit to Jackson - Gather at the Jackson Village Gazebo and watch as Santa arrives in an Austrian Horse Drawn Sleigh. Santa always has a special candy cane for all those who visit with him and Santa promises to stay until the last child has had a chance to share their Christmas dreams with Santa. (If there is inclement weather - a sign will be posted on the Gazebo alerting you to the fact that Santa will be visiting at the Whitney's Community Center.) Santa is planning on making the Village Gazebo an especially sparkling and Christmas Holiday decorated environment this year. Come see what special things he has done for your enjoyment.

Laconia: 3:30 p.m. - Laconia Holiday Parade - Parade route starts at Wyatt Park and proceeds down Main Street to Veterans Square for a tree lighting held immediately after the parade (or at dusk).

North Conway: 4 p.m. - Annual Spirit of the Holidays Parade - The parade begins on Depot Road and heads to Schouler Park for a 5 p.m. tree lighting. The feeling of an "Old Fashioned Christmas" continues at 5 p.m. while Santa leads the way down Main Street from Schouler Park to Eastern Slope Inn for the lighting of the Inn’s traditionally decorated tree, and readings of "Twas the Night Before Christmas" by Santa Claus with hot chocolate and cookies at the Eastern Slope Inn Playhouse.

Wolfeboro: 3 p.m. - Annual Christmas in Wolfeboro Parade - Wolfeboro's Parade is part of its month-long Christmas In Wolfeboro celebration! Parade departs Brewster Memorial Field traveling North on Main Street. Clearlakes Chorale will be singing carols around the Tree! Santa Claus travels in the Parade and will use his magic to light the Community Christmas Tree after the Parade, immediately followed by the opening of Santa's Hut for visits with Santa.

Sunday, November 25

Bretton Woods: All Weekend - A Holly Jolly Christmas Celebration - Experience the majestic beauty of Christmas spent in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Magical in its snowy splendor, The Omni Mount Washington Resort welcomes the holiday season with a warming embrace. Enjoy a festive celebration of sleigh rides, snowshoeing, skiing, stories with Santa, holiday treats and a bundle of other holiday-themed activities. Snuggle in front of the fire with loved ones before Santa arrives to read classic holiday books and after the sun sets, join us for evenings filled with games, movies and treats.

Dover: 2 p.m. - Annual Holiday Parade - begins on Central Avenue.

Dunbarton: 5:30-6:30 p.m. - Christmas Tree Lighting - Town Common.

Jackson: 4:30 p.m. - Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony - Santa will arrive at the Gazebo in Jackson Village by way of the 4 PM Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour. Anyone interested in riding with Santa can book their Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour Tickets separately and will have the opportunity to have a special first visit with Santa.

Laconia: 3:30 p.m. - Light-Up Laconia Holiday Parade - Wyatt Park - Festive floats and dancing elves will proceed from the park on a 0.7 mile route to Veteran’s Square, where the city’s main Christmas tree will be illuminated at 5 p.m. after a countdown from Santa.   

Salem: 11:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. - Salem Holiday Parade - Salem High School, 44 Geremonty Dr., Salem. The Salem Holiday parade gathers 10,000+ people in their community for an afternoon of holiday fun! They are going to have themed float with Christmas tunes, goody bags for kids, invite cards and about 100+ people walking wearing Granite gear and holding signs like "you are awesome" "you are a champion" and you’re doing better than you think." The parade STARTS at 1 p.m. but they will be lining up by 11:45 a.m.

Thursday, November 29

Amherst: 6-7:30 p.m. - First Annual Christmas Tree and Vineyard Lighting - La Belle Winery, 345 State Route 101, Amherst. Join us for our first annual Christmas Tree & Vineyard Lighting to benefit SHARE Outreach! We'll be lighting the Arboleda Vineyard and a large evergreen tree while enjoying hot chocolate, cookies, and caroling. Help us support local families this holiday season via SHARE! We ask that each member of your party bring an item from their specified list. Visit the link below to view the list of requested items. **Severe Weather date: Friday, November 30.  

Friday, November 30

Gilford: 5 - 7:30 p.m. - Santa Land - Gilford Youth Center, 19 Potter Hill Rd, Gilford. The Gilford Youth Center and Gilford Parks and Recreation will once again be hosting "Santa Land" at the Gilford Youth Center on November 30th and December 1st. Santa Land is a FREE event. Children can enjoy games, arts & crafts, cookie decorating, face painting, bounce houses and more! After stopping at the many interactive stations that Santa Land has to offer, children will enter the story room. Here, children will listen to their favorite Christmas stories. Children, in small groups, will then be invited to Santa’s room, where they will meet, talk, and have their picture taken with Santa. We Invite parents to bring their own camera. If you don't have one, we will take a picture and email it to you.

Rochester: 5:30 p.m. - Annual Rochester Tree Lighting - Central Square, Downtown Rochester. There will be cookies to decorate, carolers singing, hot cocoa and a visit from Santa Claus.

Saturday, December 1

Conway: 4 p.m. - Conway Village Tree Lighting and ice show - Journey Church - 15 Hutchins Drive, Conway.

Exeter: 5:30 p.m. - Holiday Parade - The theme this year is "Land of the Misfit Toys."

Gilford: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. - Santa Land - Gilford Youth Center, 19 Potter Hill Rd, Gilford. The Gilford Youth Center and Gilford Parks and Recreation will once again be hosting "Santa Land" at the Gilford Youth Center on November 30th and December 1st. Santa Land is a FREE event. Children can enjoy games, arts and crafts, cookie decorating, face painting, bounce houses and more! After stopping at the many interactive stations that Santa Land has to offer, children will enter the story room. Here, children will listen to their favorite Christmas stories. Children, in small groups, will then be invited to Santa’s room, where they will meet, talk, and have their picture taken with Santa. We Invite parents to bring their own camera. If you don't have one, we will take a picture and email it to you.

Hampton: 1 p.m. - Hampton's 2018 Christmas Parade - The annual parade starts on Lafayette Road and ends at Winnacunnet Road. The Hampton Beach lifeguards will be the grand marshals and lead the parade, which is run by Experience Hampton, a non-profit group. "The committee has been working hard all summer to plan a wonderful parade," parade chair Nancy Waddell said in statement. "The Hampton Beach Lifeguards were an instant front runner in our discussion for Grand (Marshal) this year as they received accolades for their saves this summer." This year's parade theme is "Believe."

Hillsborough: An Olde Fashioned Christmas - All day - Come celebrate the spirit of the Christmas season in Downtown Hillsborough. The day is full of fun family activities and holiday shopping, with many specialty items and great holiday sales at our Downtown merchant locations. Experience the Olde Fashioned feel of the holiday season with entertainment, crafts and food that make for a very fun traditional event. And, come support the civic organizations that make Hillsborough such a special community. The schedule of events starts at 8 a.m. with breakfast, and ends in the evening with Santa & the Christmas tree lighting in Butler Park. Join us for various activities throughout the area. The day will be tons of fun for all ages. Many of our Hillsborough merchants will be participating by having extended hours and promotional offers.

Lebanon: 2-5 p.m. - Lebanon Recreation's Holiday Celebration - City Hall, The tree lighting will take place at 5:15 p.m.

Manchester: 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. - BASC Santa Claus Shuffle - Veterans Memorial Park, Elm St., Manchester. Join 2,000+ of your friends all dressed up as Santa and shuffle your way down Elm Street prior to The City of Manchester NH Christmas Parade. Don't have a Santa suit? No worries, all registrants will receive a FREE Santa Suit to run in for our Bedford Ambulatory Surgical Center Santa Claus Shuffle. Word is there will be closer to 4,000 Santas this year so look out!  

Manchester: 4 - 7 p.m. - 2018 Manchester Christmas Parade - Downtown, Elm St., Manchester. The 2018 Manchester Christmas Parade will take place on Elm Street in downtown Manchester. Come by for a rocking parade full of light, fun and music.

Nottingham: 10 a.m. - Town of Nottingham Parade and Party.

Plymouth: 5 p.m. - Plymouth Hometown Holiday Parade - Come join Plymouth NH's Classic Christmas Holiday kickoff event. Parade, decorated town, BBQ, bonfire and fireworks in the downtown area.

Portsmouth: 5-8 p.m. - Portsmouth NH Holiday Parade & Tree Lighting 2018 - The Portsmouth Illuminated Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting is also a FOOD DRIVE so don't forget to bring a bag of food items for our local food pantries. Tree Lighting in Market Square begins with music at 5 p.m. and at 5:25 p.m. a short ceremony with the Mayor. At 5:30 p.m. the switch is flipped for the annual lighting of the tree in Market Square. At 6 p.m. the parade steps off from Goodwin Park at the corner of Summer/Islington and marches towards Market Square down Congress Street and then to Pleasant and ends at Junkins. This is a festive, family friendly event that you don't want to miss! This year's theme is "Spirit of Portsmouth."

Somersworth: 2 p.m. - Christmas Parade and Winter Gala - Berwick/Somersworth. This year's theme is "Deck the Decades."

December 2, 2018

Londonderry: 3-6 p.m. - Annual Christmas on the Commons - Londonderry Commons - Please join us for the Annual Christmas on the Commons. We will be enjoying Christmas Carols sung by the Boys and Girls Scouts. We invite the Scout Troops, Per-school groups and any youth groups who would like to decorate a tree to come and join the holiday fun. If you are interested in decorating a tree this year, please contact Faye Sell at (603) 434-4989 for more information.

Merrimack: 2 p.m. - Candy Cane Hunt - Twin Bridges Park, 485 Daniel Webster Highway, Merrimack. This FREE event will be held immediately before this year's Annual Holiday Parade and Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. Please join us at Twin Bridges Park & Kids Cove at 2:00 pm where thousands of candy canes will be scattered around the park and hidden for children ages 0-10. We will break off into two age groups (0-4 & 5-10). If you find a Gold Candy Cane you can redeem it for a special Grand Prize! Please register for FREE with the Eventbrite link so we can get an accurate head count! 

Merrimack: 3 p.m. - 25th Annual Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting - The Annual Holiday Parade will kick off from the Commons Shopping Plaza (515 Daniel Webster Highway) at 3 p.m. The Parade will travel down Daniel Webster to Baboosic Lake Road. It will turn right on to Baboosic Lake Road and then turn left onto McElwain Street and end in the Town Hall parking lot in front of Abbie Griffin Park. The Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony will begin with the arrival of Santa & Mrs. Claus to Abbie Griffin park at approximately 3:45 p.m.

New Boston: 4-6 p.m. - New Boston Tree Lighting - Town Common and gazebo - Come to New Boston for the tree lighting and S'mores with Santa event.

New London: 12-3 p.m. - Dashing through the Snow Holiday Open House - New London Historical Society, New London. Holiday fun at the Village! Crafts, musical performances, hearth side cooking, refreshments, raffle, and a carol sing along.There will also be a Teddy Bear Parade! Dress up your teddy bear, visit the bears on display and parade through the Carriage and Sleigh Museum - parade begins at 2:45 p.m.

Rochester: 3-5 p.m. - Rochester Holiday Parade - The theme of this year's parade is "Christmas Around the World" and entries are invited to decorate their floats with the theme. Rochester's Holiday Parade is held each year to kick-off the holiday season in Rochester. Rochester offers one of the largest and most spectacular parades, from marching units, youth, organization and commercial floats, VIPs, color guard and decorated mobile units, equestrians and marching bands.

Rye: 1 p.m. - 47th Annual Holiday Parade - The theme this year is "Let it Snow!"

Suncook: 1-4 p.m. - Christmas in Suncook Village - Main St., Suncook. This event is organized by Pembroke Women's Club Annual Christmas in the Village. It's a free event that has the local shops open with on going activities for local kids and families to attend.

December 7, 2018

Amherst: 6 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. - Tree Lighting Festival - Village Green across from Amherst Town Hall. The Village Bible Church will provide Popcorn and Homemade cookies. Boy Scout Troop 22 will be serving Cocoa & Roasting Chestnuts (donations accepted). Songs and readings by local groups and Amherst residents. Santa arrives and lights the tree!

Concord: 5 p.m. - Intown Concord presents Midnight Merriment - Shop ’til you drop with thousands of your neighbors, friends and community members! You’ll enjoy shopping, carolers, s’mores station, a beard contest and so much more! This is an event for all ages, and it’s FREE!

Goffstown: 5-8 p.m. - Friday Night Under the Lights Tree Lighting - The tree lighting will take place at 6:30 p.m. and there will also be a living nativity scene, hayrides, reading of "The Polar Express," cookies and hot chocolate and, of course, Santa.

Hanover: 5:15 p.m. - Tree Lighting - at the Dartmouth Green - The tree will be lit at 5:15 p.m. Cookies and hot chocolate will be served and Trumpeter Glenn Griffin and the Christmas Revels will be performing traditional carols. The event is free and open to the public and will be held rain or shine.

December 8, 2018

Gilford: 5-7 p.m. - Gilford Village Candlelight Stroll - Downtown Gilford -  Come stroll the village lit by 1000 candle lights along Potter Hill Road & Belknap Mountain Road. Open houses, View the Grange, Union Meeting House, and The Rowe House, all dressed up in the holiday finest. Warm cookies, carolers, hot cider, & entertainment. Gilford Fire Rescue hosts the annual bonfire with S'mores at the village field with Santa. Carolers of all ages will be roaming, Horse drawn wagon rides, Our library open house with entertainment and refreshments. The SAU will hold an art display featuring a portrait of K-9 Ike, Gilford Village Store open house, be on the look out for Gilford's new K-9 Mr. Kai and his Officer Curtis,The Town Crier, Gunstock Nordic Booth, The Memorial Candle lights lit in honor of, or in memory of, at Union Meeting House, Denutte's Delights at the Bickford Home, Bells ringing and so much more! This is a free event for all thanks to all the donations and support. This years stroll is dedicated to Jerry Lacroix and K-9 Ike.

Hollis:  4 p.m. - 7 p.m.  - 4th Annual Hollis Holiday Luminaria Stroll - Monument Square, 7 Monument Square, Hollis. This is an event that will prelude the Hollis Town Band’s Concert.  The HWC, Hollis Agricultural Commission, HB Rotary Club, Interact Club, Boy Scout, Girl Scouts and Hollis town people will volunteer placing the luminaria bags around the square at 1:00p.m. Come, help and prepare for the excitement. A Gingerbread House display and contest will open the doors of Town Hall from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., then there will be story time for children at the Library. Candles will be lit at 4 p.m. and church chimes will begin ringing with holiday music. At 4:15 p.m., Middle School Choir Members will sing carols. This will be followed by a tree lighting in the Square, a lit tractor parade with Santa Claus, a sing-a-long with Carolers in the Square, a chili and cornbread supper in Hardy Hall (basement of the church). Santa will arrive at Lawrence Barn at 4:45 p.m. to greet his young friends until 6:30 p.m. and there will also be Hay Rides at Nichols Field. The Holiday Hollis Town Band Concert begins at 7 p.m. at the HB Auditorium.  

Hudson: Photos with Santa - Benson Park, Elephant Barn, 19 Kimball Hill Rd, Hudson. Photos taken by a professional photographer. A small donation of $5 is requested, but no one will be turned away! Light refreshments will be served to our guests. Please join us! We decorate a portion of the Elephant Barn for Christmas! It's a fun event. Well behaved dogs are welcome. Santa likes to have his photo taken with families, too! Rain date: Sunday Dec 9

Newport: 4-7 p.m. - Annual 'Twas Just Before Christmas, a holiday festival -  The Newport Area Chamber Of Commerce is pleased to sponsor this year's festival. Children will visit participating Main Street businesses to collect holiday stamps on their Passport to Santa (to be provided free at the event to all children). With their completed Passport to Santa, children will enter the Newport Opera House to meet Santa on stage a get a free picture taken with him. The Newport Recreation Department will have their annual Chili Walk happening from 4 to 6 pm. The festival will also include face painting, a bonfire with marshmallows, horse and wagon rides and a vendor fair inside of the Opera House. All are welcome to participate in this fun filled family event. 

December 9, 2018

Hampstead: 2 p.m. - 54th Annual Hampstead Firemen Association's Christmas Parade. Downtown. This year's theme is: "Charlie Brown Christmas."