The Hippo


May 29, 2020








Watch an old-time magic show during Christmas at Canterbury. Photo courtesy of Canterbury Shaker Village.

Holiday cheer all around
Festivities, tours, shopping, trees, lights and more


 Take a break from the hustle and bustle and walk through a winter wonderland or do your holiday shopping on Main Street this December. There are a lot of ways to be merry and bright, from church craft fairs and decorated tree festivals to shopping tours and live nativities.

• The 13th annual “Fez”tival of Trees runs now through Sunday, Nov. 30, at the Bektash Shrine Center (189 Pembroke Road, Concord). The annual “Fez”tival includes over 100 decorated trees, each with its own theme. Visitors can purchase raffle tickets for a chance to take home a tree, and the annual silent auction includes mini decorated trees and wreaths. Children’s games, a gift shop, refreshments and visits with Santa are part of the event. The Bektash Shrine Center is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. but will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, and hours run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 30. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, free for children ages 12. See
• Castle in the Clouds will be hosting its Christmas at the Castle event Friday, Nov. 28, through Sunday, Nov. 30. Experience a vintage Christmas at Historic Lucknow and enjoy festive decor, special exhibits, live music and more. Admission costs $20 for adults, $10 for kids ages 5 through 17, and $15 for Friends of the Castle. Call 476-5900 or visit
• Tour the decorated trees in Pelham during the fifth annual Southern New Hampshire Festival of Trees from Friday, Nov. 28, through Saturday, Dec. 6. The festival is held in Sherburne Hall in the town’s Municipal Building (6 Village Green, Pelham), with a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, and entertainment each day. Admission costs $5 for adults (free for kids under 12). Multiple-day passes are also available. Hours and entertainment vary, so check the schedule at
• Visit the James A. Tuttle Library in Antrim (45 Main St.) for the fourth annual Festival of Trees. The festival starts with an open house on Saturday, Nov. 29, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and continues through New Year’s Day. Over 100 trees will be on display on all three floors of the library. Refreshments will be served during the open house, and there will be entertainment acts like Antrim’s own Ukulele Orchestra. Kids can participate in the scavenger hunt to earn a prize. The festival is open to view during regular library hours and admission is free. See
• Decorated wreaths, crafts and a quilt raffle are some highlights of the Christmas Fair at the First Unitarian Congregational Society in Wilton (598 Isaac Frye Highway, Wilton). The fair is held across the street from the chapel at The Red House on Saturday, Nov. 30, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There are also homemade soups, sandwiches and baked goods, and kids’ room crafts are available for a small fee. See
• Pick up a fresh Christmas tree on Thursday, Dec. 4, at the Rotary Club of Merrimack’s annual Christmas Tree Sale. Over 350 Fraser and Canadian Balsam firs fresh from Nova Scotia will be on sale from Thursday, Dec. 4, until they are sold out. Weekday hours run from 4 to 8 p.m., and weekend hours are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the old Shaw’s parking lot on Daniel Webster Highway in Merrimack. See
• Manchester's annual Holiday Market will be held inside Brady Sullivan Plaza at 1000 Elm St. in downtown Manchester Thursdays, Dec. 4, Dec. 11 and Dec. 18, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 13, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. More than 50 craftsmen and vendors will be at the markets along with food purveyors and Santa Claus.
• The Wright Museum (77 Center St., Wolfeboro) transforms each year into a winter wonderland during the Wolfeboro Festival of Trees. It all starts with a Preview Gala on Thursday, Dec. 4, from 6 to 8 p.m., with cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and entertainment. Tickets for the gala are only available in advance. Tickets cost $50. This year, the festival will be held on the weekends from Saturday, Dec. 6, through Sunday, Dec. 14, as well as Wednesday, Dec. 10. Entertainment is scheduled throughout the duration of the festival, including musical performances by Lance MacLean and the Moose Mountain String Band, holiday carolers, Harold Chamberlain and the New England Country Boys and performances by Expressions Dance Academy and Perform It! Young People’s Stage Company. Hours and entertainment vary by day, so visit, or call 515-1088. Tickets cost $5, or $12 for a family of four, and $2 for children ages 8 and under.
• Take a hay ride and watch the tree lighting on the Goffstown Common on Friday, Dec. 5, during Friday Night Under the Lights in Goffstown Village. The annual holiday event runs from 5 to 8 p.m., with special festivities across town, like a River Fire, a fire display on the Piscataquog, visits and photos with Santa Claus, hot cocoa, a living nativity at the Congregational Church (8 Main St., Goffstown), a reading of The Polar Express at the Goffstown Public Library (2 High St., Goffstown), plus music and cast members from A Children’s Nutcracker. The tree lighting starts at 6:30 p.m. See
• The third annual Winter Giftopolis returns to Concord in the atrium at 7 Eagle Square on Friday, Dec. 5, from 6:30 to 11 p.m. It’s part of Midnight Merriment; the annual Giftopolis features a warm indoor market with visiting local and regional artists. See
• On Friday, Dec. 5, visit Dover City Hall (288 Central Ave., Dover) for the fourth annual Festival of Trees. Decorated trees are on display throughout the auditorium from 4:30 to 8 p.m. Admission is free. Visit
• Shop and relax during the Pine Hill Waldorf School Holiday Fair. The two-day fair runs Friday, Dec. 5, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Friday, the fair is just for adults, with artisan crafts, desserts and musicians. On Saturday the fair opens up with family-friendly activities and kids’ entertainment. Admission to the fair is free. Visit
• This year marks the 10th anniversary of Starry, Starry Weekend with shopping and festivities in Contoocook and Hopkinton from Friday, Dec. 5, through Sunday, Dec. 7, including church fairs, food, gingerbread house making workshop and more throughout the two villages. Visit
• The holly and the ivy are on display during the Warner Festival of Trees, at Warner Town Hall (5 E. Main St., Warner). An adults-only preview party starts at 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 5, and the festival runs Saturday, Dec. 6, through Saturday, Dec. 27. The decorated hall is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends, for viewing. Visit
• The Friends of Symphony NH are hosting a festive holiday house tour on Saturday, Dec. 6, and Sunday, Dec. 7. Visit several houses in Nashua that have been professionally decorated for the holidays. At any point during the tour, participants can meet up at the Hunt Memorial Building (6 Main St., Nashua) for the gift boutique. Tickets cost $17 in advance, $20 on the day of the event. Visit
• The New Castle Village Christmas Fair will be on Saturday, Dec. 6, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the New Castle Recreational Building (301 Wentworth Road, New Castle). The fair includes a selection of decorated wreaths, greens, boxwood trees, holiday baskets and centerpieces, a bake table with homemade goodies, a candy store, the New Castle Cookbook, jewelry, Red Elephant section, silent auction, gift baskets and hand-crafted items. Santa and Mrs. Claus will pay a special visit from the North Pole. Call 436-1776.
• Longmeadow Congregational Church will host its annual Snowflake Fair again with crafts, baked goods and raffles on Saturday, Dec. 6, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 4 Wilson Crossing Road, Auburn. Call 483-2907 or visit
• Pick up your holiday greens on Saturday, Dec. 6, at the Greens Fair at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Concord, located at 247 Pleasant St. The fair runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with wreaths, swags and holiday shopping, including baked goods and crafts. See
• Check out the holiday shopping, music, crafts, bake shop and wassail at the Christmas in the Village Christmas fair on Saturday, Dec. 6, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Chester Congregational & Baptist Church (4 Chester St., Chester). From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., a Loaf and Ladle Luncheon will be served at Stevens Memorial Hall. Call 887-4799, email or visit
• The Community Congregational Church of Greenland will hold its annual Christmas Fair on Saturday, Dec. 6, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Parish House, located at 44 Post Road, Greenland. Call 436-8336 or visit
• Christmas at Canterbury returns on Saturday, Dec. 6, and Saturday, Dec. 13, from 3 to 8 p.m. at Canterbury Shaker Village (288 Shaker Road, Canterbury). The annual event demonstrates how Christmas was celebrated during a simpler era. Festivities include storytelling, music, cookie decorating, hot cocoa and cider, horse-drawn wagon rides and interaction with Village characters. Admission is $18 for adults, $8 for children ages 6 to 17, free for children under 5. See
• Visit Santa’s mailroom on Saturday, Dec. 6, and Sunday, Dec. 7, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the New Hampshire Antique Co-op (323 Elm St., Milford). The co-op has decked the halls for the holidays, and visitors can visit its Holiday Open House, sample cookies and punch, and kids can write letters to Santa. The annual Christmas display is Santa’s Mailroom, and there are special sale prices throughout the store. Admission is free. Call 673-8499 or visit
• The Mills Falls Marketplace (312 DW Highway in Meredith, will hold its annual holiday open house on Sunday, Dec. 7, from 1 to 4 p.m. The afternoon will feature horse and wagon rides, strolling carolers, refreshments, an appearance by Mary Poppins, Santa Claus and more.
• Explore local businesses of Warner during the town’s seventh annual Holiday Shopping Gala on Saturday, Dec. 13, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Warner Village. Shoppers can pick up a passport to be stamped at each shop along East Main Street, like the Farmers Market, Warner Pharmacy, the New Hampshire Telephone Museum, Kidz Galore & More and other businesses and organizations. Different stops along the route will be featuring specials, like cookies, cider or pictures with Santa. Visit
• Celebrate the season of lights on Saturday, Dec. 13, with Candia’s annual Lights on the Hill. Admission is free, and guests are invited to donate hats, warm gloves or socks. The historic 19th-century buildings are lit up for the season. Festivities start at the corner of Route 27 (High Street) and South Road in Candia. Guests can toast marshmallows, visit live nativity animals and view crèches from around the world. Call 483-0506 or visit
• The Peace Light from Bethlehem will be visiting Meriden Congregational Church (5 Mitchell Drive, Meriden) on Saturday, Dec. 13, at 10 a.m.The public is invited to bring an oil lantern or enclosed candle to share the peace light. Scouts and leaders are asked to wear their uniforms. See
• The Middle Street Baptist Church (18 Court St., Portsmouth) is hosting its ninth annual living nativity on Saturday, Dec. 20, at 3:30 and 4:30 p.m. Actors and animals will portray the nativity set to music. Cocoa and baked goods will be provided indoors. Admission is free. Call 436-2337 or visit
• Celebrate Christmas at The Rocks at the Rocks Estate (4 Christmas Tree Lane, Bethlehem), open daily through Dec. 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving). Harvest your own trees, explore the New Hampshire Market Place, create handmade wreaths, and enjoy wagon rides, marshmallow roasting and more. Call 444-6228 or visit 
As seen in the November 27, 2014 issue of the Hippo.

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