7 Events to Visit in New Hampshire this December


Dotted with quaint towns and vast expanses of wilderness, New Hampshire certainly isn’t short on charming scenery – nor is it lacking in great events to visit this December.

(Photo: SoWa Winter Festival)

Once December comes round, New Hampshire is well into its festive swing, with the region hosting a huge number of fun-packed events that herald the holiday season. But it’s not just Christmas that brings the kids (and adults) to the New Hampshire yard – there are also plenty of other things to see and do at this time of year. Here are 7 of the best to look out for this December.

SoWa Winter Festival

Taking place across ten days, this magical winter event sees the iconic Power Station in Boston’s vibrant SoWa Art + Design District transformed into a unique marketplace where you can stroll, peruse, purchase and soak up the festive atmosphere at your leisure. More than 100 vendors come here to showcase their wares, which range from arts and crafts to handmade gifts and winter cocktails. Local galleries and artist studios also enter into the spirit of things by hosting special events and putting on enticing offers and promotions.

Power Station, SoWa Art + Design District, Boston / 3-12 December 2021

Form and Relation: Contemporary Native Ceramics

(Photo: Hood Museum of Art)

This exhibition showcases the remarkable versatility of ceramics and the many forms it takes through the hands of six Indigenous artists from various regions within what is now the United States. Through their innovative and critical work, Anita Fields, Courtney M. Leonard, Cannupa Hanska Luger, Ruben Olguin, Rose B. Simpson, and Roxanne Swentzell wrestle with concepts such as community, identity, gender, land, extraction, language, and responsibility that sends visitors on a captivating, educational and thought-provoking journey.

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover / Through 23 July 2022

1940’s Christmas on the Farm

(Photo: New Hampshire Farm Museum)

Come and experience life in rural America as it was during the war years at this evocative one-day event this December. The museum’s parlor will be decorated and the dining table set as it was featuring a 1940’s menu, while guides in period dress will interpret the impact of the war on the home front. Visitors can try out a range of hands-on, interactive activities such as listening to music from the era in the parlor, decorating Christmas cookies in the 1940s kitchen, trying your hand at roasting popcorn over an open fire, and taking a tractor ride to explore the museum’s 60-plus acres.

New Hampshire Farm Museum, Milton / 11 December

‘Shaky Shack’ exhibition

Over the past year the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center and Mount Washington Observatory have joined forces to increase access to meteorological and atmospheric sciences. Among the permanent exhibits now on display throughout this winter and beyond include the “Shaky Shack”, a fascinating replica of the 1930s-era Observatory staff’s mountain-top cabin in which the highest human-observed surface wind speed on Earth was recorded in 1934. This exhibit, and the many others located both at the center and the Observatory’s museum on top of the mountain, invite visitors to dive into the science of weather and understand more about the role the Observatory plays in our understanding of climate, weather and arctic systems.

McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, Concord / Permanent

Fire Safety

(Photo: Cheshire Children’s Museum)

From hoses to uniforms to trucks, firefighters and their specialist equipment have always captivated children – but behind the fun is the serious matter of making sure kids themselves know what to do in the event of a fire. This exhibition serves that very role in an informative, interactive and engaging way, offering little ones the chance to pick up some crucial survival tips, such as learning to crawl through smoke and how to dial 911 in an emergency. They’ll also be the chance to ride a fire engine, turn on different siren sounds and lights, and even operate the controls of a fire hose to put out a fire.

Cheshire Children’s Museum, Keene / Permanent

The Fireside Tavern Night

(Photo: The American Independence Museum)

Featuring colonial music, craft making, fireside cooking demos, hot cider and other refreshments, this is an eagerly awaited event on The American Independence Museum’s busy festive calendar. Local artisans come and set up shop inside the tavern selling an assortment of holiday items including handcrafted and carefully curated gifts – making it an ideal chance to work through that Christmas present-buying list. The event is free to enter for all ages and attendees can also purchase items from the museum’s gift shop inside the tavern.

The American Independence Museum, Exeter 2 December 2021

Festival of Illumination – World of Lights

Chinese Lantern Festivals are a centuries-old tradition and this winter Southwick’s Zoo in the town of Mendon will pay homage to these ancient rituals with its own lantern-themed celebration. Staying loyal to the time-honoured customs while integrating modern technologies and craftsmanship, the result is an occasion rich in cultural and artistic expression. Featuring spectacular illuminated displays, the exhibits are incredibly detailed and intricately constructed, with some lanterns as large as 60 feet tall on show. Guests can also enjoy live entertainment, a typical Asian Night Marketplace, and specialty foods.

Southwick’s Zoo, Mendon / Through 2 January 2022

By Paul Joseph