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 at The Music Hall presents:

Annie

The Music Hall • Historic Theater • 28 Chestnut Street
November 27 – December 22
Tickets & Information

See the heartwarming, hilarious, holiday production of one of Broadway's most beloved musicals!

Annie is the story of a red-headed orphan whose quirky and cheerful demeanor lands her holiday stay with Oliver Warbucks, a billionaire who is trying to do good. With a memorable cast of characters, and beloved songs “Tomorrow” and “It’s a Hard Knock Life,” this is truly a family-friendly musical for the holidays!
Featuring Sally Struthers in her Broadway Tour reprisal of Miss Hannigan.

Group Sales
Plan the perfect holiday party for your friends, family, and colleagues and take advantage of our group sale prices. Save up to $14.55 a ticket!

Go here, or contact Drew Lamoureux for more information. 603.766.2203

Strawbery Banke Museum presents:

The 40th Annual Candlelight Stroll

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Strawbery Banke Museum• 14 Hancock St
December 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22
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 40th presentation of the beloved Candlelight Stroll will be “A Tradition for Every Family.” 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 2019 Kickoff Party

The town Christmas Tree and North Church in Market Square, Portsmouth, NH

Discover Portsmouth • 10 Middle Street
Friday, December 6, 5–8pm
More information

Help celebrate the official start of Vintage Christmas cheer and get the first look at the results of the popular 29th Annual Gingerbread House Contest Exhibition. Created by local business, artists, families, and children, the gingerbread houses are nestled into a winter wonderland in the first floor gallery.

29th Annual Gingerbread House Contest

Discover Portsmouth Center • 10 Middle St
Professional Entries Preview starting November 29, 9:30 am - 5 pm

Kick-off Party & Full Display December 6-22, 2019
More Information

Portsmouth Historical Society celebrates Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth with the kickoff party Friday December 6, 2019 5-8pm, when visitors can view the popular Annual Gingerbread House Contest exhibit running until Sunday December 22 in the first floor gallery at Discover Portsmouth. The Professional Entries are displayed November 29 through December 22. 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 22 from 9:30am – 5pm with extended hours on Fridays December 13 & 23 until 6pm. 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 13 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

Strawbery Banke Museum• 14 Hancock St
Every day in December, 9am - 9pm
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 Illuminated Holiday Parand and Tree Lighting Ceremony, Portsmouth, December 7, 2013

Portsmouth Christmas Tree Lighting & Illuminated Holiday Parade and Food Drive

Market Square
Saturday, December 7 (Rain date: December 8)
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.

Christmas Music for Voices and Brass

Friday, December 13, 8 PM
St. Mary’s Church • 25 Chestnut Street • Dover, NH

Sunday, December 15, 3 PM
North Church - Market Square • 2 Congress Street • Portsmouth, NH

Tickets and more information

Portsmouth Pro Musica presents “Christmas Music for Voices and Brass." The selections span over 400 years and features pieces from Handel’s Messiah, as well as works from noted composers like Heinrich Schutz and John Rutter. In classic style, we’ll be joined on many of these selections by the Portsmouth Brass Quartet. You’ll also be treated to standards like O Tannenbaum and  Candlelight Carol, and to highly entertaining, a cappella renditions of holiday music by The Overtones.

New Year's Eve Champagne Pops
presented by the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra

The Music Hall • Historic Theater • 28 Chestnut Street
Tuesday, December 31 • 7:30pm
Tickets & Information

Rediscover the glamour of New Year’s Eve with a luscious Holiday Pops Concert, including vocalists that will set your spirit swinging. Get swept back into a vintage joie de vivre reminiscent of the 1920s and 30s with perfect musical twists on 2020. With black and white flickering images on the big screen to evoke the mood, a nattily dressed orchestra, dashing conductor John Page, and old fashioned bubble machines with a real champagne bar, this evening is guaranteed to put the fizz into your New Year’s.

Juston McKinney’s Last Laugh 2019

The Music Hall • Historic Theater • 28 Chestnut Street
Friday, December 28 – Sunday, December 29 • 8pm
Tickets & Information

End the year with laughter as the Seacoast’s own Juston McKinney performs three shows at The Music Hall.

Juston has an Amazon Prime Video special Parentally Challenged, and he’s filmed a Showtime special with Rob Gronkowski. He 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 2019 with Juston as he dishes on New England life and looks back at the year that was.

COAST & City of Portsmouth Provide FREE Vintage Christmas Trolley

Weekends: Sunday, December 8 through Sunday, December 22nd, 1:30 - 10:30 pm

FREE Vintage Christmas Trolley makes a 15-minute loop of downtown Portsmouth, stopping at public parking lots, garages, hotels, The Music Hall and Strawbery Banke Museum.

For a PDF of the trolley route, please click here.

Goodwin Mansion at Strawbery Banke in holiday decor.

Guided 90-minute tours of Decorated Holiday Houses

Strawbery Banke Museum • 14 Hancock Street
Thursday, December 26 through Tuesday, December 31
Tours start on the hour 10 am to 2 pm
Tickets & Information

Visitors can keep the holiday spirit alive by touring five beautifully decorated houses at Strawbery Banke Museum. This 90-minute, fast-paced,  multi-sensory program, showcases seasonal and holiday traditions of years past. In small groups guided by a museum educator,  participants trace the history of winter holidays and celebrations in New England and learn how traditions evolved, expanded, and changed over the centuries. Guided tours are offered on the hour and the tour starts at 2 pm.

Tour is recommended for ages 5+.