The Hippo


Feb 27, 2020








Bedford Village Inn dressed in its Christmas finery. Courtesy photo.

 Kiddie Treats

Take the whole family to kid-friendly events like breakfast with Santa.
• Old Saint Nick will make his way to The Red Blazer (72 Manchester St., Concord, 224-4101, for Breakfast with Santa on Sundays, Dec. 6, Dec. 13, and Dec. 20, from 9 a.m. to noon. Offered on a first-come, first-serve basis, the Sunday breakfast buffet is $11.99 for adults, $7.99 for children ages 4 to 10.
• Kids ages 8 and up are invited to Holiday Sweet Treats weekly cooking series at The Culinary Playground (16 Manning St., Suite 105, Derry). The young bakers will learn kitchen skills like reading recipes, kitchen safety, cooking techniques and creativity, all while making holiday cookies. Class meets Mondays, Dec. 7, Dec. 14, and Dec. 21, from 5:30 to 7:15 p.m. Cost is $35 per class. Visit
• Don’t let the adults have all the festive cooking fun. Kids ages 6 to 10 will make their own holiday cookie sampler on Saturday, Dec. 12, from 10 a.m. to noon at The Culinary Playground (16 Manning St., Suite 105, Derry). Part of the Sweet Saturdays series, this class costs $38. Visit
• Have a ho-ho holiday Breakfast with Santa in Hopkinton (Slusser Senior Center, 164 Houston Drive) on Saturday, Dec. 12, from 8 to 11 a.m. Dine with the big man in red over a meal of eggs, pancakes, bacon, muffins, hash browns and more. Family rate is $18, $5 for ages 12 and up, $3 ages 3 to 11. Visit to register.
• The Friends of the Chester Public Library (3 Chester St., Chester, 887-3404, have arranged a visit with jolly old St. Nicholas on Saturday, Dec. 12, from 8 to 11 a.m. during the annual Breakfast with Santa. The big man will be there from 9 to 10:30 a.m. and kids can enjoy crafts, games, holiday stories, a photo with Santa and of course, breakfast. Tickets cost $6, maximum $25 for a family of six.
• Preschoolers (age 3 to 6) will love making reindeer food, a crunchy snack coated in melted white chocolate, on Friday, Dec. 18, and Saturday, Dec. 19, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at The Culinary Playground (16 Manning St., Suite 105, Derry). The one-hour class covers a recipe along with a food-themed story or craft. Cost is $16 per child. Visit
• Make a special treat to give as a gift or keep for yourself during the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire (6 Washington St., Dover, 742-2002, holiday treat workshop on Saturday, Dec. 19, from 11 a.m. to noon and 2 to 3 p.m. Parents and children are invited to make graham cracker gingerbread houses, chocolate-dipped pretzels and more. Cost is $10 per pair for members, $12 per pair for nonmembers (plus $5 per additional child). Call to register. 
• Make memories in the kitchen at The Culinary Playground (16 Manning St., Suite 105, Derry) with a parent-and-child Holiday Sugar Cookies class on Saturday, Dec. 19, from 4 to 5 p.m. Adults and children (age 3+) will make, frost and decorate together. Cost is $28 per pair. Visit
Jolly Gingerbread
Check out these displays, contests and workshops, all starring gingerbread!
• Frederick’s Pastries (109 Route 101A, Amherst, keeps the sweet tradition going with its annual gingerbread village display, which kicks off on Wednesday, Nov. 25, and continues through the first week of January. Staff from all three bakeries volunteered their time to create a completely edible house for this year’s game board-themed village. See the houses during regular hours or enjoy the lighted display through the window after hours. Vote for your favorite by Christmas Eve.
• Love gingerbread houses but not the house assembly process? The Culinary Playground (16 Manning St., Suite 105, Derry) will host two gingerbread house decorating workshops for adult-and-child pairs on Saturday, Nov. 28, and Saturday, Dec. 5, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Start with a pre-built house and add your own designs and decorations. Enjoy holiday music and hot cocoa while you work. Cost is $45 per house. Visit
• Start off the season right with a Family Gingerbread House Decorating Workshop at Goffstown Public Library (2 High St., Goffstown, 497-2102). Choose one of five sessions —  Saturday, Nov. 28, at noon; Wednesday, Dec. 2, at 6:30 p.m.; Thursday, Dec. 3, at 3:30 p.m.; Wednesday, Dec. 9, at 6:30 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 12, at 11 a.m. Friends of the Goffstown Library will provide the houses and decoration goodies. Visit to register.
• Put your house-making skills to the test for the second annual gingerbread house contest at Main Street Art (75 Main St., Newfields). Participants must hand in an entry form and $5 fee by Monday, Nov. 30. Houses will be on display Sunday, Dec. 6, from 2 to 7 p.m. and prizes will be awarded to the winners. Visit
• Check out gingerbread houses made by the community during the 25th annual gingerbread house contest that is part of Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth. Entries made by kids, families and local businesses will be on display at the Discover Portsmouth Center (10 Middle St., Portsmouth) from Tuesday, Dec. 1, through Thursday, Dec. 24, from 5 to 8 p.m. daily. Visit
• Start your ovens and get ready to crumble for the Chamber Children’s Fund 8th Annual Gingerbread House Contest on display during the downtown holiday celebration on Thursday, Dec. 3, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Congregational Church (21 Front St., Exeter). Structures must be made primarily of gingerbread and edible ingredients. Registration is $20 and goes toward supplying local children in need with winter clothes. Visit
• Rodgers Memorial Library (194 Derry Road, Hudson, 886-6030, invites all ages to enter its gingerbread house competition. Individuals, families and groups can build their house out of any material, as long as the exterior decoration is entirely edible (house must fit on a 24-by-24 inch platform). Drop the houses off anytime through Friday, Dec. 4. They’ll be displayed in the children’s room until the gingerbread party and prize ceremony on Monday, Dec. 21, at 6:30 p.m.
• Enjoy a family-fun outing making gingerbread houses at the Gingerbread House Workshop on Saturday, Dec. 5, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and noon to 1:30 p.m. at Slusser Senior Center (164 Houston Drive, Hopkinton). Assemble and decorate houses together for $15 per house ($20 for non-residents). Visit
• Manchester City Library hosts Gingerbread Houses – Holidays Around the World on Tuesday, Dec. 8, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Winchell Room at the library’s main branch (405 Pine St., Manchester,, open to kids in K through grade 2. Call 624-6550, ext. 328, to register. Supplies are provided.
• Amherst Town Library (14 Main St., Amherst, 673-2288, will host holiday gingerbread house construction on Thursday, Dec. 10, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 12, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Johnson Meeting Room. Families with kids of all ages are invited to make a graham-cracker gingerbread house. The library will provide the graham crackers and frosting. Families are encouraged to bring a bag of candy to contribute. See website to sign up. 
• Get creative and festive with a friend, family member or partner at The Culinary Playground’s (16 Manning St., Suite 105, Derry) adult gingerbread house decorating workshop on Friday, Dec. 18, from 7 to 9 p.m. Enjoy holiday music and hot cocoa or BYOB. Cost is $45 per house. Visit

Season's Eatings
Get in the spirit with foodie events, fairs and classes

By Allie Ginwala

 Stay merry and bright with all sorts of culinary classes, cookie tours, gingerbread house workshops and food festivals.

Dinners and events
• Have a bazaar weekend filled with wine tastings, Winemaker’s Kitchen cooking demos, wreath-making workshops from Beaver Brook Association and handcrafted gifts from members of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen at the 4th annual Holiday Bazaar Weekend at LaBelle Winery (345 Route 101, Amherst, 672-9898, on Saturday, Nov. 28, and Sunday, Nov. 29, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit
• Head to The Quill, a student-run fine-dining restaurant on the Southern New Hampshire University Campus (2500 N. River Road, Manchester), on Thursday, Dec. 3, for a classical French Christmas dinner. Doors open at 5 p.m. and service starts at 6 p.m. Cost is $35. Visit or call 629-4608.
• Sample signature dishes at the 5th annual Homeward Bound Food and Beverage Festival on Thursday, Dec. 3, from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at Radisson Hotel Ballroom (11 Tara Blvd., Nashua). Guests have the chance to taste from local restaurants, wineries and breweries and bid on items in the live and silent auctions. Enjoy music and hear from Anne-Marie House graduate families. Tickets cost $50 for an individual, $90 for a couple. Visit
• Exchange Christmas goodies with fellow library-goers at Goffstown Public Library’s (2 High St., Goffstown, 497-2102, cookie swap on Saturday, Dec. 5, at 11 a.m. The event is open only to library cardholders. Participating bakers must present homemade cookies with flour as the main ingredient. Bring five dozen cookies (no plain chocolate chip, cookie mixes, no-bakes, meringues or brownies) and be sure to share the recipe with the library before Dec. 1. Space is limited. Call or visit the website to register.
• Savor a four-course colonial holiday meal during Historic Holiday Dinners at The William Pitt Tavern (directly next to Pickwick’s at Strawbery Banke, 43 Atkinson St., Portsmouth), held alongside Strawbery Banke’s annual Candlelight Stroll. Guests can step back in time to revel in a meal prepared by chef Evan Mallet, live holiday music and libations by the Portsmouth Brewery. Dinner is held on Saturday, Dec. 5, Sunday, Dec. 6, Saturday, Dec. 12, Sunday, Dec. 13, Saturday, Dec. 19, and Sunday, Dec. 20, with seatings at 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Cost is $65 per person, $25 per child. For reservations, visit Pickwick’s Mercantile (call 427-8671) or Pickwick’s at The Banke. Visit
• The ladies of Riverside Christian Church (27 Depot St., Merrimack, 424-1711, will host the annual Ladies Tea in the main sanctuary on Saturday, Dec. 5, from noon to 3 p.m. with special guest speaker Kathy Benjamin. Tickets cost $12, $6 for children under 12. Registration is required.
• The Concord Food Co-op (24 S. Main St., Concord, will host the Snowflake Social on  Thursday, Dec. 10, from 4 to 6 p.m. Enjoy a special seasonal hot bar menu all day and seasonal samples throughout the store. 
• Help others in the community this season at the Greater Hudson Chamber of Commerce’s Silent Auction & Dinner for Charity on Thursday, Dec. 10, from 6 to 10 p.m. at White Birch Catering & Banquet Hall (222 Central St., Hudson). Bid on items including event tickets, gift certificates and gift baskets. Proceeds benefit the Hudson Food Pantry. Visit
• Celebrate the season with coworkers, friends or family at Brookstone Park’s (14 Route 11, Derry, The More the Merrier Holiday Celebration on Friday, Dec. 11, from 6:30 to 11 p.m. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres; a dinner of pear and goat cheese salad, slow-roasted prime rib, Atlantic haddock, chocolate mousse and fruit tartelette; music from DJ Tommy Demers, and a cash bar. Cost is $59 per person. Call 328-9255 for reservations.
• Enjoy an Italian Christmas dinner at The Quill on the Southern New Hampshire University Campus (2500 N. River Road, Manchester) on Friday, Dec. 11. Doors open at 5 p.m. and service starts at 6 p.m. Cost is $35. Visit or call 629-4608.
• Let the cookies be your guide during the 11th annual Currier & Ives Cookie Tour on Saturday, Dec. 12, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Stop at over a dozen shops in Fitzwilliam, Jaffrey, Rindge, Troy, Peterborough and Swanzey and see how they decorate for Christmas. The self-guided tour can begin at any stop on the tour (your ticket is the map). Make sure to bring a cookie tin to store your sweets from each location. Tickets cost $12 and can be purchased at The Inn at East Hill Farm, The Little River Bed and Breakfast, The Monadnock Inn, The Woodbound Inn and Swanzey Historical Society. Visit
• Indulge in holiday cookies and candies at the 19th annual Inn to Inn Holiday Cookie and Candy Tour on Saturday, Dec. 12, and Sunday, Dec. 13, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit inns in Eaton, Intervale, Jackson and North Conway adorned in their holiday finest and get signature holiday sweets and recipes on this self-guided tour. Advance tickets are available by reserving a lodging package with one of the participating inns. Remaining tickets are available Dec. 1 through Dec. 7 for $30 by calling Old Red Inn (800-338-1356 or 356-2642). Visit
• Take a break from the pre-holiday rush and indulge in a Holiday Afternoon Tea at The Cozy Tea Cart (104 Route 13, Brookline, on Sunday, Dec. 13, from 1 to 3 p.m. Cost is $34.95. Call 249-9111 to register.
• Pasquale’s Ristorante (143 Raymond Road, Candia, 483-5005, will host The Feast of the Seven Fishes on Sunday, Dec. 13, at 1 p.m. Tickets for the special dinner cost $65 per person.
• Step back in time for a jolly night of dinner theater during A Dickens of a Christmas at the Old Salt Restaurant (490 Lafayette Road, Hampton, 926-0330, from Monday, Dec. 14, through Thursday, Dec. 17, at 6 p.m.; doors open at 5:30 p.m. for the 6 p.m. show. Written by George Hosker-Bouley, the annual production includes live music and holiday songs performed alongside a three-course dinner. Tickets cost $39.99. Call the Old Salt for reservations. Visit
• Brew your own seasonal holiday beer at split a batch of Pilgrim’s Christmas Ale at IncrediBREW (112 Daniel Webster Highway, Nashua, on Thursday, Dec. 3, from 6 to 8 p.m. Get all the spices of the season packed into a hearty amber ale and return in two weeks for bottling. Cost is $30 per person. RSVP to 891-2477 or
• Enjoy tasty holiday treats and wine samples while making six bottles of wine to take home during the Holiday Wine Fest on Thursday, Dec. 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. at IncrediBREW (112 Daniel Webster Highway, Nashua, The wine selection includes Granny Smith riesling, Amarone, Italian pinot grigio, Chianti and Super Tuscan. Cost is $65 per person. RSVP to 891-2477 or
• Spend an evening dining and dancing at Zorvino Vineyards’ (226 Main St., Sandown) annual Jingle Ball Holiday Party on Saturday, Dec. 19, from 6 to 11 p.m. The night starts with a cocktail hour and assorted hors d’oeuvres followed by a four-course dinner featuring wild mushroom bisque, roasted apple salad, roasted beef tenderloin and chicken oscar, and pecan and golden raisin bread pudding. Dancing continues until 11 p.m. Tickets cost $58, reservations required. See or call 887-8463.
Cooking classes and workshops
• Learn how to make traditional Italian Christmas cookies at The Culinary Playground (16 Manning St., Suite 105, Derry) on Sunday, Dec. 6, from 3 to 6 p.m. The adults-only workshop features a menu of hazelnut biscotti, anise cookies, pignolis and Italian wedding cakes. Everyone will make two varieties, join in the cookie swap and take home at least four dozen cookies. Cost is $45. Visit
• Learn how to make treats you feel good about indulging in at the Concord Food Co-op’s Wholesome Holiday Treats class with Integrative Registered Dietitian Ruth Goldstein on Tuesday, Dec. 8, from 6 to 7 p.m. at City Council chambers (37 Green St., Concord). Get recipes and sample maple cashew drizzle over winter fruit compote and almond apricot snack cake. Class is free, but registration is required. Visit or call 225-6840.
• Make tasty appetizers at LaBelle Winery (345 Route 101, Amherst, 672-9898, on Wednesday, Dec. 9, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. during The Winemaker’s Kitchen Cooking Series: Holiday Appetizers. Cost is $25.
• Learn how to add a new secret recipe to your holiday meals at The Cozy Tea Cart’s (104 Route 13, Brookline, Cooking with Tea Holiday Menu lecture on Thursday, Dec. 10, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Sample seasonal foods made with tea and hear how tea can enhance food with its essential nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants. Cost is $25. Call 249-9111 to register.
• Wow your guests at holiday parties by serving up a tasty menu from Chez Boucher Culinary Arts Training Center’s one day, hands-on workshop Holiday Hors D’Oeuvres on Saturday, Dec. 12, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Make cilantro chicken bites with red pepper jelly glaze, espresso-rubbed pork tenderloin crostini with Kahlua cream, and more, at Chez Boucher (32 Depot Square, Hampton, 926-2202). The class costs $99. Visit
• Enjoy a hands-on baking experience at Chez Boucher Culinary Arts Training Center’s Holiday Desserts workshop on Saturday, Dec. 19, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Held at Chez Boucher (32 Depot Square, Hampton, 926-2202), class costs $99. Visit
• Have a culinary night out at Chez Boucher’s New Year’s Early Celebration: Wine Pairing Cooking Class Dinner Pairing on Sunday, Dec. 27, at 3 p.m. The demonstration dinner includes a four-course meal paired with different wines. Start in the kitchen learning a variety of new techniques and skills before enjoying the plated meal around 5 p.m., at Chez Boucher (32 Depot Square, Hampton, 926-2202). The class costs $200. Visit 

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