A Vintage Christmas on New Hampshire’s Seacoast!

Market Square in Portsmouth at night with church on left and decorated Christmas Tree

December has arrived, and with it lots of twinkling lights, and the magical feel of the holiday season.  There are so many fun ways to take in the holidays in New Hampshire. From cookie tours and sleigh rides to tree festivals and of course, there’s some great seasonal attractions.  One of the places that celebrates the season all month long is the Seacoast.  Take a look!

Brimming with holiday cheer, the city of Portsmouth is often referred to as the Christmas Capital of the U.S. so it’s no surprise there’s a month-long event highlighting the holidays here.  Vintage Christmas is a time to celebrate shows, strolls and shopping!

To start things off, we stopped in at Discover Portsmouth, where the halls are decked with an awesome exhibit of homemade Gingerbread Houses. So many crafty creations all nestled in a winter wonderland. Talk about creative! Wow! All 104 are constructed by local businesses, artists, families and kids.  You can vote for your favorite(s) in the People’s Choice competition, which will be announced December 15th, with the exhibit open for viewing until the 23rd.

Kris walking down street, wreaths hanging from lamposts and greens from awnings

Storefront decorated with greenery

Exterior of Prelude Boutique with holiday decorations in window

Head to Market Square for a dose of holiday magic.  From the magnificent tree in the center to all the beautifully decorated storefronts trimmed with wreaths and greens.  Visitors will no doubt find it a very cheery atmosphere.

Inside of Treehouse Toys shop

Inside boutique clothing shop

Inside Kilwins shop with displays of chocolates and other candies and confections

With so many cool shops, you never know quite what you’ll find — you might even check a few items off your holiday shopping list.  And a bonus shopping is tax-free!

Exterior of the historic Music Hall Theater

Inside Music Hall Theater looking at auditorium seats from stage area

Sure way to get in the spirit of the season is by taking in a performance of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas at the Historic Music Hall Theater.  The Ogunquit Playhouse’s Production of this holiday classic takes center stage this month and is packed full of dazzling dance numbers and iconic songs that are sure to get you in the spirit of the season!  Later in the month, the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra will present a Family Holiday Pops at the Music Hall!

People skating at outdoor rink at Strawbery Banke Museum

Sitting outside by the fire on the skating rink

Make your way over to Strawbery Banke for some fresh air and a great winter activity. Ice-Skating at Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond! The rink is open every day in December so sharpen up those skates and head out on the ice for some classic winter family friendly fun!  And for a truly vintage Christmas experience, take the Candlelight Stroll through the Strawbery Banke Museum. The lanes winding through this outdoor living history museum are all lit by candlelight for the occasion and the historic homes are all aglow.  It’s quite a magical experience as costumed role players walk visitors through 300+ years of daily life in the waterfront neighborhood of Puddle Dock.

Carmelized Ricotta dish at Moxy

Trio of three dishes at Moxy

Kale and Granola appetizer at Moxy

Of course no trip to Portsmouth is complete without sampling the local cuisine.  We’ve heard a lot about Moxy, a modern American Tapas restaurant, so wanted to check it out for ourselves.  Since it’s tapas style, they focus on smaller plates. The menu is inspired from local farmers, culture and history. We tried a trio of plates and they were very creative (and might I add, delicious!) There are hundreds of restaurants to choose from, so there’s dining options for every palette!

Vintage Christmas is in its 13th year.  This is the schedule of the events happening throughout the month. Be sure to check out some of the other fun, festive holiday happenings and events taking place around the state!  Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram!  Stay tuned to see where in NH we’ll be next time.





2018-08-27T10:55:34-04:00Tags: , , , , , |


  1. Bill February 18, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    Please send as much info. On villages,antiques, and flea markets as possible. My wife and I will be visiting in October. We are both disabled, but ambulatory.
    William Bray
    109 Rhodes Hill Drive
    Dayton, Virginia

    • kneilsen February 20, 2018 at 9:05 am

      Hi Bill, Thanks for reaching out. We will send you a New Hampshire’s Visitor’s Guide and NH State Map which has some great information in it. Look forward to your visit this fall! Best to you!

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