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
Elf The Musical at The Music Hall 

The Music Hall Historic Theater • 28 Chestnut Street
November 28 – December 16
Tickets & Information

Be The First To Preview Elf The Musical On Stage!
Wed., November 28 • 7:30pm
Thu., November 29 • 2pm & 7:30pm

Opening Night
Fri., November 30 • 7:30pm

Elf The Musical is the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy’s enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. This modern day Christmas classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner Elf.

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

The 39th Annual Candlelight Stroll

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Strawbery Banke Museum
December 1,2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 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 rendition of the beloved Candlelight Stroll will be “A place to Gather.” 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 2018 Kickoff Party

gingerbread-house

Portsmouth Historic Society at Discover Portsmouth, 10 Middle Street
Friday, November 30, 5–8pm
More information

Help celebrate the official start of Vintage Christmas cheer and get the first look at the results of the popular 28th 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. 

 

28th Annual Gingerbread House Contest

November 30 - December 22, 2018
Discover Portsmouth • 10 Middle St

Portsmouth Historical Society celebrates Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth with the kickoff party Friday November 30, 2018 5-8pm when visitors will have the first look at the popular Annual Gingerbread House Contest exhibit running until Sunday December 22 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 November 30 and Saturday December 1 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 14 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


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 1 (Rain date: December 2)
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.

Portsmouth Pro Musica

 

Friday, December 7 • 8:00 pm
First Parish Church, Dover, NH

Sunday, December 9 • 3:00 pm
North Church, Portsmouth NH

 

Using the theme “Dwelling in Unity,” these performances bring together seasonal music from
Jewish, Christian, and Solstice traditions.
Tickets & Information

Family Holiday Pops presented by the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra

The Music Hall Historic Theater • 28 Chestnut Street

Tuesday, December 18 & Wednesday, December 19 • 7:30pm
Tickets & Information

The Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra’s Family Pops Concert is a favorite tradition in Portsmouth’s holiday season. This concert will feature many holiday favorites with new twists, a blend of the old and new with a special performance from artist-in-residence Billy Butler. A holiday favorite, “Sleigh Ride,” will feature guest conductors. This concert is seasonal, musical fun for the whole family.

Juston McKinney’s Last Laugh 2018

The Music Hall’s Historic Theater, 28 Chestnut Street

Friday, December 28 & Saturday, December 29 • 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 2018 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

Vintage Christmas Trolley decorated in greens.

Weekends: Sunday, December 1 through Saturday, 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.

Historic New England Presents "The Evolution of Christmas from the 1600s to the 1900s

The Evolution of Christmas from the 1600s to the 1900s

Sunday, December 9, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m.

Gov. John Langdon House, 143 Pleasant Street, Portsmouth

Join Ken Turino of Historic New England for a delightful exploration of Christmas traditions through 1900, when Woodbury Langdon owned the house on Pleasant Street.  Following the lecture, stay for a reception with the speaker and a chance to tour the first floor of Governor John Langdon House.

Please bring a donation of a new pair of mittens or gloves for the Langdon House mitten tree, all of which will be donated to a local shelter.

Adult $15.00

Advance tickets recommended but may be available at door if there is space. Please call 603-436-3205 or buy online.

Goodwin Mansion at Strawbery Banke in holiday decor.

Guided 90-minute tours of Decorated Holiday Houses

Strawbery Banke Museum, 14 Hancock Street

Wednesday, December 26 through Tuesday, December 31. Tours start on the hour 10 am to 2 pm
Tickets & Information