Events

We invite you to delight in the magic of the holiday season here in Portsmouth.

Here’s what’s happening this year

The Ogunquit Playhouse production of
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The Music Hall Historic Theater • 28 Chestnut Street
November 29 – December 17
Tickets & Information

Back by popular demand, the Ogunquit Playhouse’s production of Irving Berlin’s White Christmasreturns to The Music Hall this holiday season. Packed full of dazzling dance numbers, iconic songs such as “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep,” “Happy Holiday,” “Sisters,” “Blue Skies,” and the beloved title song, as well as actors straight from Broadway, you aren’t going to want to miss this “holiday card come to life.”

The 38th Annual Candlelight Stroll

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Strawbery Banke Museum
December 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17
Saturdays: 5-9pm, Sundays: 4-8pm
Tickets & Information

In the spirit of a truly Vintage Christmas, Strawbery Banke Museum welcomes visitors to travel through 300+ years of daily life in the waterfront neighborhood of Puddle Dock. This year’s rendition of the beloved Candlelight Stroll will be “Gift from the Sea.” Along candlelit dirt lanes, visitors will walk through a historic portrayal of winter –and, where historically appropriate, the holidays of Christmas and Hannukah – among the glowing historic homes and costumed role players. The magical experience will be accompanied by a full program of musical performances and theatricals.

The Vintage Christmas 2017 Kickoff Party

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Portsmouth Historic Society at Discover Portsmouth, 10 Middle Street
Friday, December 1, 5–8pm
More information

Help celebrate the official start of Vintage Christmas cheer and get the first look at the results of the popular 27th Annual Gingerbread House Contest Exhibition. Created by local business, artists, families, and children, the gingerbread houses will be nestled into a winter wonderland in the first floor gallery. 

 

27th Annual Gingerbread House Contest

December 1-23, 2017 
Discover Portsmouth • 10 Middle St

Portsmouth Historical Society celebrates Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth with the kickoff party Friday December 1, 2017 5-8pm when visitors will have the first look at the popular Annual Gingerbread House Contest exhibit running until Saturday December 23 in the first floor gallery at Discover Portsmouth. 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. The exhibition can be seen every day through December 23 from 9:30am – 5pm with extended hours on Friday December 1 and Saturday December 2 until 8pm. The exhibition is free and open to the public at Discover Portsmouth, located at 10 Middle Street. Jurors selections are announced at the Kickoff Party; the public can continue to vote until Friday December 15 when the People’s Choice Award will be announced. Come see these magical creations and find holiday gifts in the Museum Shop!

The Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond at Strawbery Banke

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Every day in December, 9am - 9pm
Strawbery Banke • 14 Hancock St
Tickets & Information

Enjoy the delight of a winter skate at Strawbery Banke’s professionally-maintained outdoor ice-skating rink. In the spirit of Portsmouth’s rich performing arts culture, the rink hosts a Currier & Ives-inspired show during each of the December weekends of the Candlelight Stroll. Skate rentals and sharpening services are available.

Portsmouth Christmas Tree Lighting & Illuminated Holiday Parade and Food Drive

Portsmouth Illuminated Holiday Parand and Tree Lighting Ceremony, Portsmouth, December 7, 2013
Market Square
Saturday, December 2 (Rain date: December 3)
Tree lighting: 5:30pm • Parade: 6pm

Experience this magical event in the heart of downtown Portsmouth. Excitement builds as the community counts down to the lighting of the Portsmouth Christmas tree and the festive fun continues with a dazzling illuminated holiday parade down Islington Street and through Market Square.

 

Family Holiday Pops presented by the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra

The Music Hall Historic Theater • 28 Chestnut Street
Wednesday, December 20 & Thursday, December 21 • 7:30pm
Tickets & Information

Celebrate the seasons with holiday favorites old and new in this classic production. Special guest artists include Taylor O’Donnell and Chris Klaxton.

Juston McKinney’s Year in Review 2017

The Music Hall’s Historic Theater, 28 Chestnut Street
Friday, December 29 & Saturday, December 30 • 8pm
Tickets & Information

End the year with laughter as the Seacoast’s own Juston McKinney performs two nights at The Music Hall. Juston has been a guest on The Tonight Show and performed in two Comedy Central specials, including his own one-hour show. He was recently named Best (Comedian) of NH by New Hampshire Magazine. Have the last laugh of 2017 with Juston as he dishes on New England life and looks back at the year that was.