Welcome to ski season

What to expect on the slopes this winter

As the crisp winter air settles in and the first snowflakes begin to fall, winter sports fans eagerly anticipate the start of the ski season. We talked with Aly Coakley, marketing director of McIntyre Ski Area in Manchester where they kicked off the season on Dec. 9, to get an insider’s perspective on gearing up for the winter months.

How are you getting ready for the season?

We have all the snowmaking [processes] on, and our staff is out there at every cold window of opportunity making snow. We have top-to-bottom on the Queen’s Trail open, and our beginners’ area is also set. We have quite a bit of snow stacked up. We haven’t seen a ton of cold snow days, but at this point there’s plenty of snow out there for people to get out and enjoy.

What is your expectation for the length of this season?

We’re anticipating operating all the way until the end of March. That’s usually our goal. Last March we experienced a “miracle March” with so much snow. We’re hoping for the same this year, maybe with more frequent snowstorms throughout the season, so we can keep going through March.

What are the environmental considerations in your snowmaking process? Is that something you have to think about?

Yes, paying attention to the weather is really important because we don’t want to be making a lot of wet snow when it’s too warm, as it’s a waste of electricity and resources. We are very conscious of when and how we operate. Using better snowmaking equipment, like better snow guns and snow fans, allows for more effective operations. It’s really important to stay on top of the latest technology to ensure that our environmental impact is as limited as possible.

Do you notice a difference between man-made and natural snow?

One of the big differences with man-made snow is that it’s squeaky. The nice thing about natural snow is that it’s all caught in the trees, and it just looks beautiful. There’s nothing better than waking up to a powder day with a nicely groomed trail of man-made snow underneath and natural snow on top. That combination makes the perfect powder day.

Are there any special events or unique attractions planned for the upcoming season?

Yes, we have some really cool events coming up. One highlight is our Park Affair event, a women’s snowboarding competition that’s open to any skiers and riders who identify as she/her/they/them. The first prize is $5,000, which is a big deal. Park Affair is a great partner, and they’ll be here on Sunday, Jan. 14. We’ll have everyone from the youngest in our backpack program to really talented athletes who compete in larger competitions. In January, we also have our Gilman race, followed by several other exciting events with great prizes. Then, in March, we have our Little Max Jamboree, which is like a fun race where kids from our snow sports programs participate, dress up in costumes and compete for various prizes, like Best Costume. We also host our pond skim event, where people dress in Hawaiian outfits or any crazy costume they want and skim across a man-made pond we create at the end of the season. Last year we had a big balloon arch, which was wild. At the end of March we have the Vertical Challenge, a fun, free race. Participants who perform well can win tickets to go to Jay Peak for the finals. Alongside these, we have ongoing programs like our learn-to-ski and Tuesday night adult race league. Another popular program is our One Great Race, where for $68 you can ski, snowboard, snow tube, take lessons, and it includes rentals. This program starts in January and has become hugely popular.

How does McIntyre engage with the local community or collaborate with other ski areas?

We collaborate quite a bit with other ski areas. Through Ski New Hampshire, which is our collective, we work together to address any issues we’re facing as a group. In addition to that, we engage in a lot of reciprocal activities. We’re part of the Freedom Pass program, which is included with our junior or adult season passes. This offers 30 free days on the mountain at any of the Freedom Pass partner locations. We’ve also partnered with places like Pats Peak, Plattekill in New York, Ragged Mountain and Great Glen Trails. All these partners offer different ticket options to our passholders, which is a fantastic benefit for those skiing at McIntyre. If they’re going on a ski vacation up north, they can check out Great Glen Trails or visit Ragged Mountain. We all work together to ensure that skiers get great value from their investment in our passes.

Looking ahead, are there any new technologies or innovations you’re considering to enhance future ski seasons?

We’re always looking to enhance our facilities and have a wish list of upgrades and what’s actually feasible. We’re considering RFID options and new lift technologies. Upgrades in snowmaking and the system itself, beyond just the fans, are on our radar. We’re also focusing on expanding our programs in ways that are affordable for families but also cater to their varying needs. We’ve added a new rental fleet of snowboards from Burton and are looking to expand the snowboard line in our retail shop. Our seasonal lease program has grown with additional perks for those opting for seasonal rentals. We’re staying on top of what consumers and our guests are looking for, as well as what makes sense for McIntyre. In the lodge, one small but significant change is adding a water bottle refill station. As a mom with two kids, I find it hugely convenient to fill up water bottles right there. We’re doing these small things where we can, and then tackling bigger projects as they fit into our budget. The biggest future enhancement from my perspective would be implementing RFID technology, not just for smoothing operations but for our hill as well. This would reduce lines at the ticket counter and provide a more accurate count of guests going up and down the hill, among other benefits.

Snow making

President and general manager Ross Boisvert

Can you explain the technology and process involved in making man-made snow and its impact on activities like skiing, snowboarding and tubing?

Our system includes an air system and a fan gun system, which is water to our fan guns. These fan guns are state-of-the-art, pretty new within the last three to five years. They have onboard weather stations that measure temperature, barometric pressure, humidity and wet bulb temperature. This allows the guns to give us readings to operate them at their highest capacity. The colder and drier the air, the more snow we can make. For instance, last night, when [the temperature] was in the teens, we had much better productivity compared to the night before, which was evident just walking in from one morning to the next. Warmer temperatures and higher humidity decrease the productivity of snowmaking.

When we turned one of the guns on last night, which we had shut off during the day, we made more snow in an hour than we did all of the previous night. This morning we walked into about a 10-foot pile at the base, compared to a couple of inches the night before. So we had a very productive night versus a very expensive night with low productivity previously.

We run fan guns, which look like cannons. They have big fans that push out air and water molecules, with onboard compressors that provide compressed air to help make the snow. Essentially, there’s what’s called a nucleus that puts out a bead of water. As more water is added, those crystals bond with other water molecules, creating snow quickly. Man-made snow has more density than natural snow. If you compare a pile of natural snow and a pile of man-made snow under a burner, the natural snow would melt quicker due to its lower density. Natural snow is smoother and quieter to ski on, but if we didn’t have snowmaking abilities in this day and age, ski resorts really wouldn’t exist. We rely heavily on our snowmaking system and, more importantly, our snowmakers, our staff that’s out there at all hours of the night, making sure the guns are running efficiently. It’s always great to go and hug a snowmaker.

Winter forecast

Derek Schroeter, a meteorologist at the U.S. National Weather Service office in Gray, Maine, which covers weather predictions for northern New Hampshire, offered what insights he could into the winter 2023-2024 season, emphasizing, first, the uncertainty in long-term snowfall predictions.

“We cannot make any definitive predictions on snowfall,” he said.

The NWS is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NOAA’s role is to provide weather forecasts up to a week in advance, Schroeter said, and while the Climate Prediction Center offers seasonal outlooks, it focuses mainly on temperature and precipitation trends rather than specific snowfall predictions. For the December to February period, “Northern New England is likely to experience above-normal temperatures, with equal chances for precipitation,” Schroeter said.

These forecasts are influenced by El Niño conditions in the Pacific, he said, typically leading to warmer temperatures in the northern U.S.

Despite the general trend, however, Schroeter recalls that past El Niño events have sometimes led to above-normal snowfall in New Hampshire.

“Statistically, the majority of El Niño events favor below-normal snowfall, but this does not rule out the possibility of this El Niño event leading to above-normal or near-normal snowfall,” he said.

Regarding the potential for repeat snow events, Schroeter noted the current absence of a favorable storm track, but remains optimistic.

“It’s too hard to pin down at this time range,” he said, “but typically, every winter, even in below-normal snowfall years, we tend to get into a favorable pattern for snowstorms that can lead to at least a short window of good skiing.”

WHERE TO SKI

Here are some of the New Hampshire spots to hit the slopes. Did we miss your favorite? Let us know at adiaz@hippopress.com.

Abenaki Ski Area
390 Pine Hill Road, Wolfeboro
Hours of operation: Regular: Wednesday through Friday 4 to 7 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Holiday/Vacation: Dec. 26 through Jan. 1: Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; New Year’s Eve: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; New Year’s Day: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; MLK Day and Presidents Day: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
Pricing:
• Day passes: kiddie tow $5, resident $8, non-resident $16, resident (weekend, holiday, vacation) $10, non-resident (weekend, holiday, vacation) $20
• Season passes: youth $50/$100, senior (55+) $50/$100, adult $75/$150, family $250/$375 (resident/non-resident rates)
• Rentals available
More info: 569-5639, wolfeboronh.us/abenaki-ski-area

Attitash Mountain Resort
775 Route 302, Bartlett
Hours of operation: weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; weekends and holidays 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Pricing: Pricing and availability are date-specific; visit the resort website for the most up-to-date lift ticket pricing
More info: 223-7669, attitash.com

Bear Notch Ski Touring Center
Where: 1573 Route 302, Bartlett
Hours of operation: Open daily 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Pricing:
• Lift: adult $22/day, junior (age 16 & under) free with a paying adult; senior (age 65+) $20/day.
• Season passes: adult $195, senior $175
• Rentals: skis/snowshoes $23/day; skate skis $28/day
• Lessons: private instruction $50, group lessons adult $60 adult, child $40
More info: 374-2277, bearnotchskitouring.com

Black Mountain
Where: 373 Black Mountain Road, Jackson
Hours of operation:
• Monday, Thursday and Friday (non-holiday) 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, Sunday and holiday periods 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Holiday periods include Dec. 26 through Jan. 1; Jan. 13 through Jan. 15; Feb. 17 through Feb. 25
Pricing:
• Adult (18-64) weekend and holiday $91, weekday $71; Junior (6-17) weekend and holiday $65, weekday $55; senior (65+) weekend and holiday $60, weekday $60; tot (5 and under) free.
• Surface lift: $25
• After 2 p.m. ski free with purchase of full-price next-day ticket
• Locals ski on Sunday afternoon for $25 (with valid ID from specific counties)
• Group sales: Special rates available, contact for more information
More info: 383-4490, blackmt.com

Bretton Woods
Where: 99 Ski Area Road, Bretton Woods
Hours of operation:
Through Dec. 21, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; starting Dec. 22, Friday to Sunday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Thursday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Pricing:
• Lift tickets: Early season (before Dec. 22): adults $91 to $109, teens $72 to $82, juniors $52 to $62, seniors $42 to $105; Regular season (after Dec. 22): adults $111 to $139, teens $72 to $92, juniors $52 to $72, seniors $42 to $124
• Season passes available for purchase with various options and benefits, including discounts at resort retail shops and unlimited use of certain lifts
More info: 278-3320, brettonwoods.com

Cannon Mountain
Where: 260 Tramway Drive, Franconia
Hours of operation: Depends on Mountain Report; see website
Pricing:
• Lift tickets: adult (18-64) $96 to $111, teen (13-17)/college $83 to $98, military $58 to $73
• Two-day lift tickets: adult $177 to $192, teen/college $151 to $166, military $101 to $116
• Season passes: Adult Cannon Pass starts at $591, prices vary with purchase date and age categories
More info: 823-8800, cannonmt.com

Crotched Mountain Ski Area
Where: 615 Francestown Road, Bennington
Hours of operation: Sunday to Monday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Tuesday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Pricing: Daily lift tickets: junior (7-17) weekday $70, weekend $84; adult (18-64) weekday $80, weekend $94; senior (65+ years) weekday $70, weekend $84
More Info: 588-3668 or visit crotchedmtn.com

Gunstock Mountain Resort
Where: 719 Cherry Valley Road, Gilford
Hours of operation: weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., weekends 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Pricing:
• Season passes: child (0-5) $49, junior (6-22) $599, adult (23-59) $899, senior (60-69) $599
• Daily lift tickets: junior weekday $63, weekend $75; adult weekday $87, weekend $99; senior weekday $63, weekend $75
More Info: 293-4341, gunstock.com

Loon Mountain Resort
Where: 60 Loon Mountain Road, Lincoln
Hours of operation: Non-holiday Monday through Friday lifts open at 9 a.m.; Saturday, Sunday and holidays lifts open at 8 a.m. Individual lift closure times vary. Check the Mountain Report for times.
Pricing:
• Season passes: child (0-5) $30, junior (6-18) $919, adult (19-64) $1,449, senior (65-79) $1,099
• Daily lift tickets: junior weekday $59, weekend $89; adult weekday $71, weekend $107; senior weekday $63, weekend $95
• Two-day pass: junior $102, adult $123, senior $108
More info: 745-8111 or loonmtn.com

McIntyre Ski Area
Where: 50 Chalet Way, Manchester
Hours of operation: full day 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; night 4 to 9 p.m.; half-day morning 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; half-day afternoon 1 to 6 p.m.
Pricing:
• Season passes: adult (18-64) $439; junior (4-17) $419; senior (65+) $35; toddler (age 3 & under) free with purchase of an adult season pass (special offer: buy two junior passes and get up to two adult season passes at $179 each)
• Special tickets $68 for 3:30-to-9 p.m. ticket (includes skiing, snowboarding, tubing, rentals) $58 for 5:30 p.m.+ until 9 p.m.
• Lesson tips are available from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.; après ski with live music, hot cocoa and cash bar.
More Info: 622-6159 or mcintyreskiarea.com

Mount Sunapee
Where: 1398 Route 103, Newbury
Hours of operation: weekends and holidays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; midweek 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Pricing: Daily lift tickets for child (5-12) weekday $64, weekend $69; adult (13-64) weekday $95, weekend $103; senior (62+) weekday $76, weekend $82. Two-day pass for child $128, adult $190, senior $152
More info: 763-3500, mountsunapee.com

Pats Peak
Where: 686 Flanders Road, Henniker
Hours of operation:
Pats Peak plans to be open daily until 4 p.m. Night skiing starts on Dec. 26.
Pricing:
• Weekend/holiday lift tickets: adult (18-64) $95 (8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.), $85 (12:30 p.m. to close), $72 (4 p.m. to close); junior (6-17) and senior (65+) $85, $75, $62 respectively; child (5 & under) $18
• Weekday, non-holiday lift tickets: adult (18-64) $76 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.), prices range from $66 to $79 for other time slots; junior (6-17) and senior (65+) $62 to $69 depending on time slot and area; child (5 & under) free Monday through Thursday, $18 Friday
• Valley Area lift tickets (weekend/holiday and weekday, non-holiday) adult/junior/senior $62
• Bluster Area lift tickets (weekend/holiday and weekday, non-holiday) adult/junior/senior $39
• Beginner Area lift tickets: Friday/weekend/holiday $39 (adult/junior/senior), Monday through Thursday, non-holiday free
More info: 428-3245 or visit patspeak.com

Ragged Mountain Resort
Where: 620 Ragged Mountain Road, Danbury
Hours of operation: Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Pricing:
• Lift tickets (window rates): adult (13-64) $99 to $119; junior (6-12) $72 to $89; senior (65-79) $72 to $89
• Half-day tickets (noon to 4 p.m.): adult (13-64) $59 to $69; junior (6-12) $49 to $59; senior (65-79) $45 to $55
• Advance rates also available
More info: 768-3600 or raggedmountainresort.com

Waterville Valley Resort
Where: 1 Ski Area Road, Waterville Valley
Hours of operation:
• Through Jan. 15: weekdays 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; weekends and holidays 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
• Jan. 15 to mid-March: weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; weekends and holidays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Mid-March to Closing Day: weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; weekends and holidays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Pricing:
• Adult (18-64) lift tickets: full day $116, half day $106, two-day pack $204, three-day pack $288
• Teen (13-17)/college/military lift tickets: full day $106, half day $96, two-day pack $181, three-day pack $255
• Junior (6-12)/senior (65+) lift tickets: full day $96, half day $86, two-day pack $159, three-day pack $222
• Tyke (5 & under)/80+ lift tickets: full day, half day, two-day pack, three-day pack: free
More info: 800-468-2553, waterville.com
• Lesson tips are available from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.; après ski with live music, hot cocoa and cash bar.
More Info: 622-6159 or mcintyreskiarea.com

Mount Sunapee
Where: 1398 Route 103, Newbury
Hours of operation: weekends and holidays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; midweek 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Pricing: Daily lift tickets for child (5-12) weekday $64, weekend $69; adult (13-64) weekday $95, weekend $103; senior (62+) weekday $76, weekend $82. Two-day pass for child $128, adult $190, senior $152
More info: 763-3500, mountsunapee.com

Pats Peak
Where: 686 Flanders Road, Henniker
Hours of operation:
Pats Peak plans to be open daily until 4 p.m. Night skiing starts on Dec. 26.
Pricing:
• Weekend/holiday lift tickets: adult (18-64) $95 (8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.), $85 (12:30 p.m. to close), $72 (4 p.m. to close); junior (6-17) and senior (65+) $85, $75, $62 respectively; child (5 & under) $18
• Weekday, non-holiday lift tickets: adult (18-64) $76 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.), prices range from $66 to $79 for other time slots; junior (6-17) and senior (65+) $62 to $69 depending on time slot and area; child (5 & under) free Monday through Thursday, $18 Friday
• Valley Area lift tickets (weekend/holiday and weekday, non-holiday) adult/junior/senior $62
• Bluster Area lift tickets (weekend/holiday and weekday, non-holiday) adult/junior/senior $39
• Beginner Area lift tickets: Friday/weekend/holiday $39 (adult/junior/senior), Monday through Thursday, non-holiday free
More info: 428-3245 or visit patspeak.com

Ragged Mountain Resort
Where: 620 Ragged Mountain Road, Danbury
Hours of operation: Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Pricing:
• Lift tickets (window rates): adult (13-64) $99 to $119; junior (6-12) $72 to $89; senior (65-79) $72 to $89
• Half-day tickets (noon to 4 p.m.): adult (13-64) $59 to $69; junior (6-12) $49 to $59; senior (65-79) $45 to $55
• Advance rates also available
More info: 768-3600 or raggedmountainresort.com

Waterville Valley Resort
Where: 1 Ski Area Road, Waterville Valley
Hours of operation:
• Through Jan. 15: weekdays 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; weekends and holidays 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
• Jan. 15 to mid-March: weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; weekends and holidays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Mid-March to Closing Day: weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; weekends and holidays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Pricing:
• Adult (18-64) lift tickets: full day $116, half day $106, two-day pack $204, three-day pack $288
• Teen (13-17)/college/military lift tickets: full day $106, half day $96, two-day pack $181, three-day pack $255
• Junior (6-12)/senior (65+) lift tickets: full day $96, half day $86, two-day pack $159, three-day pack $222
• Tyke (5 & under)/80+ lift tickets: full day, half day, two-day pack, three-day pack: free
More info: 800-468-2553, waterville.com

Featured Photo: Courtesy photo.

Millions of lights

Where to find holiday displays big and small

Season of lights

Planning, scenery and tons of twinkles make up professionally crafted displays

By Mya Blanchard

mblanchard@hippopress.com

As I stepped into the world of LaBelle Lights at LaBelle Winery in Derry, I was greeted by the voice of Eartha Kitt singing “Santa Baby.” The entrance to the lights — a new addition this year — is an illuminated present you walk through to continue up the path, under the Gateway Bridge, to the Tasting Room. Once you emerge on the other side of the building, you’re immediately immersed in a winter wonderland among classic Christmas songs and a total of 1½ million lights.

“This is our third year and we’ve been growing it steadily year over year so this is the biggest yet,” said Amy LaBelle, the founder of the winery. “[There are more than] 25 displays along the [half-mile] walk.”

The idea of LaBelle Lights first came to mind at the end of the summer in 2021 during the pandemic, LaBelle says. The idea was to find a way to serve and unite the community and create memories while staying safe.

“It just became such an awesome, successful, fun event where people are making these great family memories, taking great pictures, reminiscing, creating new family traditions, and so we just decided to keep growing it and leaning into it,” LaBelle said.

As you progress along the path, you walk through bright Christmas ornaments and travel through Candy Cane Lane and Snowflake Forest before coming across one of my personal favorite displays, a 15-foot-tall shimmery gold teddy bear. Preparing all these displays and the golf course they inhabit for LaBelle is nearly a year-long process.

“It is a project that starts for us in February,” LaBelle said. “We look at all the catalogs … we order the things we want to add, we order commercial strings of lights for things we’re going to build and we order any big pieces that we’re going to be putting on the course. … We have a 45-foot-tall Christmas tree, we have ornaments that you’re able to walk through that are 20 feet high, tunnels, it’s just quite a spectacle.”

While the displays are being custom built prior to being shipped, trees are cut down, cables are hung, items in storage are refurbished, and bridges and tunnels are prepared. Once the golf course closes at the end of October, there’s just two and a half weeks to get everything assembled.

Around the corner from the teddy bear is the bubble bridge, a sleigh and a light tunnel that brings you to the new giant Merry Mushrooms before you come across — another favorite of mine — two sparkling 20-foot-tall reindeer pulling a present-filled sleigh and a family of silver and gold squirrels.

“Every week has a different theme … to add a bit of extra fun,” LaBelle said. “There’s ugly sweater week, there’s dress like Santa week … [and] one of the weeks … we’ll be hiding elves along the course.”

Two charities, Toys for Tots and End 68 Hours of Hunger, benefit from LaBelle Lights to bring toys and food to families in need.

“I really hope people that come through LaBelle Lights will be aware of this so they can help support these charities because they’re so desperately needed in our community,” LaBelle said.

“The goal of LaBelle Lights is to create an experience for our guests that will create beautiful family memories … with [their] loved ones and to have a great time [and] to kind of be an oasis from the crazy world and just have a good old-fashioned night together.”

lit Christmas decorations of elves loading presents into sleigh
New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Courtesy photo by Alan MacRae.

Now through New Year’s Eve, New Hampshire Motor Speedway brings us the Gift of Lights, a two-and-a-half-mile route featuring more than 3 million lights along the New Hampshire Motor Speedway property in Loudon.

“The community of speedways across the country likes to not only celebrate the holidays, but do different things to raise funds for local charities,” said Scott Spradling, a representative of the Speedway. “There was a group that essentially spearheaded using the different NASCAR track facilities across the country to do this kind of effort, so we were approached several years ago to join and offer this local, really neat way to celebrate the holidays, so we jumped in and this is Year 13.”

Assembling more than 520 displays and 80 scenes — including 12 Days of Christmas among others — takes the crew more than 650 work hours to complete. Other highlights include the 130-feet-long infield entrance and the exit tunnel with 25,000 lights. Once you come out, you will be able to roast marshmallows and make s’mores over open fire pits.

“It started off shorter with fewer lights,” Spradling said. ‘I … remember the first time around we were excited when we got to a million of the twinkling lights and now we’ve tripled that size, so it has grown precipitously over the years.”

The Gift of Lights is a way to celebrate the holidays while also giving back to the community. A portion of the proceeds from the Gift of Lights goes to the New Hampshire Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities and since 2011 they’ve raised more than $400,000. Goods are collected for the Loudon food pantry — anyone who brings three or more non-perishable food items will get $5 off a single vehicle’s admission on weeknights.

“One thing that’s new this year is the company that’s running the Gift of Lights for us — a company called Winterland — [is] going to give $5 coupons to local schools and then donate a dollar per car that redeems their school code,” Spradling said. “The school that rallies the most cars and families to go attend the Gift of Lights will win $1,000 for their school to be able to spend on whatever school activity they would like, so there’s a fun little competition.”

Attendees can also save $5 by participating in the different theme nights, such as Christmas sweater night on Wednesday, Dec. 6. On Sunday, Dec. 10, is Yule Light Up The Night, where you can run or walk the path.

“We’ll have thousands of families that will come and participate every single year,” Spradling said. “I think it harkens back to an innocent time … [of driving] around the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights … [and] holiday traditions that many families can remember doing and so we like to think that it becomes not just a destination for seeing pretty lights but it becomes a really fun family tradition.”

Lights by the pros

LaBelle Lights at LaBelle Winery
Where: 14 Route 111, Derry
When: Tuesdays through Saturdays, 4:30 to 9:30 p.m., through Sunday, Jan. 7.
Cost: Tickets range from $4 to $18 and are free for children 3 years old and younger.
More info: Visit labelle.com/lights.

Gift of Lights at NH Motor Speedway
Where: 1122 Route 106, Loudon
When: Hours are 4:30 to 10 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 1, and Saturday, Dec. 2; Thursday, Dec. 7, through Monday, Dec. 25; and Friday, Dec. 29, and Saturday, Dec. 30.; 4:30 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 30; Monday, Dec. 4, through Wednesday, Dec. 6; Tuesday, Dec. 26, through Thursday, Dec. 28; and Sunday, Dec. 31.
Cost: Tickets are $35 per car load, $60 per bus, limousine or RV, and cost $2 in addition per person when there’s more than 15 guests.
More info: Visit nhms.com.

Charmingfare Farm
Where: 774 High St., Candia
What: Charmingfare illuminates the season with Santa’s Christmas, when the farm transforms into a festive wonderland with a horse-drawn sleigh ride through a trail adorned with holiday lights and 12 holiday scenes leading to the North Pole. Families can visit the Reindeer Barn, send Christmas letters and enjoy Mrs. Claus’ Bakery.
When: The event runs on Saturday, Dec. 2, and Sunday, Dec. 3; Friday, Dec. 8, through Sunday, Dec. 10; Friday, Dec. 15, through Sunday, Dec. 17; Wednesday, Dec. 20, through Saturday, Dec. 23. Pick a time when you buy tickets for either a four-person or a 10-person sleigh ride. The week post-Christmas, Charmingfare holds an Encore of the Lights event, where attendees can “climb aboard our horse-drawn ride and travel 30 minutes through our Christmas light displays and see the Reindeer at the North Pole,” according to the website. The event also includes Mrs. Claus’ Bakery, a visit to the barnyard, a campfire and more. And ring in 2024 with a New Year’s Eve Ride. This evening event features a fireside meal, music and a ride along the trail of holiday lights.
More Info: visitthefarm.com.

9th annual Hollis Luminaria Stroll & Tree lighting
Where: Monument Square, Hollis
When: Saturday, Dec. 9, at 4 p.m.

Candlelight Stroll/Vintage Christmas at Strawbery Banke
Where: 14 Hancock St., Portsmouth
When: Fridays, Dec. 8 and Dec. 15, and Saturdays, Dec. 2, Dec. 9 and Dec. 16, from 5 to 9 p.m., and Sundays, Dec. 3, Dec. 10 and Dec. 17, from 4 to 8 p.m.
Cost: Tickets are $32 for adults, $16 for children 5 to 17 years old and free for children under 5 years old.
More info: Visit strawberybanke.org.

LIGHTS AND ENERGY

Different lighting options can significantly impact both your energy bill and the environment. Doran Dal Pra, co-founder of The New England Holiday Light Co., a decorative lighting design and installation service based in Hooksett, shared some expert tips to help you ensure that your holiday lights shine brightly without putting extra strain on your wallet or the planet.

A critical aspect of setting up holiday lighting, according to Dal Pra, involves assessing the electrical load of the circuit used.

“[For] a homeowner, knowing where things are plugged in and how everything is run is important,” he said.

Pairing holiday lights with outdoor outlets already powering high-energy appliances such as refrigerators and dryers can risk overloading circuits.

“Those can use a ton of energy, and you can trip something if the lights are on and you start those appliances,” Dal Pra said.

The choice of lighting type can also significantly affect energy consumption.

Though “incandescent lights look nice,” Dal Pra said, The New England Holiday Light Co. uses exclusively LED lights due to their lower energy usage.

“There’s a remarkable difference in the amount of energy drawn by incandescents versus LEDs; LEDs draw a fraction of the power that incandescent lights do,” he said. “You’ll see it on your electric bill; LEDs have a dramatically reduced impact on the end consumer.”

The enhanced efficiency of LED lights not only conserves energy but also enables the use of more lights per outlet

“You can run a lot of lights off a single outlet with LEDs due to their lower power requirements — much more than incandescents,” Dal Pra said.

While LED lights were once thought to be less vibrant and colorful than incandescent lights, Dal Pra said, they have “come a long way” and include new technology that provides more decorating options.

“The range of products available now is enormous, and the level of customization and programmability is really cool,” he said. “You can get standard colors, programmable colors, and do all sorts of effects.”

Finally, consider responsible disposal of your old or unwanted holiday lights.

“Instead of throwing them away, there are places that recycle holiday lights,” Dal Pra said. “Some places will even pay you for them because of the copper in the wires.” — Angie Sykeny

Festive brilliance

Holiday lights bring joy to local neighborhoods

By Renee Merchant

The holiday season is marked by the glow of lights, and some people create bright, eye-catching displays. We talked with homeowners who do these lights to see what goes into creating an extravagant display.

Dan Jobin designs his residential light show, which he calls Jobin Christmas Lights, in Bedford. He has been doing displays since 1982.

“It just grows bigger every year,” he said. “We’re over 100,000 lights now.”

Jobin didn’t acquire his collection of holiday decorations overnight; he said he picks up new pieces and more lights each year.

The most cost-effective way to build a collection, he said, is to buy discounted lights after the holidays.

“I try to pick up a standard type of light and then watch for those to go on sale so that [it’s] consistent,” he said.

Jobin’s light show has more to it than the visual aspect. It is synchronized to music that plays through speakers in the yard, beckoning visitors to roll their windows down or step out of their cars to hear the music.

When the weather is nice, Jobin likes to stand outside to meet the visitors and pass out candy canes, and he collects monetary donations for a local chapter of Make-A-Wish.

“We have a donation bin out front,” he said. “We’ve given Make-A-Wish over $30,000 in the last seven years.”

Mark Mousseu, another holiday lights enthusiast, has been doing his light show in Hudson, called Hudson Christmas, for about 25 years.

Unlike some new types of lights that are computer-generated, like pixels and projections, Mousseu’s collection is mostly wire frames, which are shapes or figures made out of metal that have lights attached to them.

He said the process for setting up his display starts around Nov. 1, and his family helps out.

“Paul … my stepfather … sits down and goes through the pieces we have and figures out what we’re going to use that particular year,” he said.

Once the display is planned out, Mousseu makes sure the wire frames are working properly.

“We check the lights, we check the figures, make sure everything’s all set … dig through the piles of stuff we have, bring them down and set them up,” he said. The lights are turned on each night from Thanksgiving until Christmas.

Jobin puts his lights up before Thanksgiving in the afternoons while the weather is nice.

“Generally, I start with things that are off the ground until the leaves are gone. So on the house, on the roof, on the bushes, on the trees — that typically gets done first,” he said. Once the leaves are cleaned up, Jobin will start putting out the ground displays. Like Mousseu, he lights his display on Thanksgiving night.

A few days after Christmas, Mousseu takes his lights down in one day.

“It’s one day, assuming we don’t have 2 feet of snow,” Mousseu said. “If we have 2 feet of snow, it’s probably a couple of days and it’s a little more difficult.”

When Mousseu takes the figures down, he sets them into two garages to thaw out before stacking them side-by-side in an attic until next season.

When Jobin takes his decorations down, he puts away the things on the ground first, like the arches over the driveway and the decorations along the street. Then he removes the lights from the trees before taking things off the house.

“Some of the stuff on the house stays up,” he said, “But for the most part we take as much as we can down as quickly as we can.”

Mousseu and Jobin both said that they host annual light shows because it gives them an opportunity to connect with the people in their communities.

“[It’s] the joy of seeing people see it for the season,” Mousseu said.

“They were kids when their parents were bringing them,” Jobin said, “and now they’ve grown up … and they’re bringing their kids.”

More local light shows

An Otterson Christmas is at 37 Otterson Road in Londonderry. Visit facebook.com/ottersonchristmas.

Callaway Christmas Light Show is at 15 Pasture Drive in Goffstown. Visit facebook.com/goffstownchristmaslights.

Christmas in the Kings is at 3 King Edward Drive in Londonderry. Visit facebook.com/ChristmasInTheKings.

The Daly Family’s Festival of Lights is at 51 Pond Lane in Fremont. Visit facebook.com/Dalyfamilyfestivaloflights.

Holt Family Christmas is at 118 Marathon Way in Manchester. Visit facebook.com/holtchristmas.

Hudson Christmas is at 75 Pelham Road in Hudson. Visit facebook.com/hudsonnhchristmas.

Jobin Christmas Lights is at 8 Stephen Drive in Bedford. Visit facebook.com/JobinChristmasLights.

Lamprey Village Lights is at Lamprey Village Drive in Epping. See “Lamprey Village Christmas Lights” on Facebook.

Lights on Legacy Drive is at 75 Legacy Drive in Manchester. Visit facebook.com/lightsonlegacydrive.

The Southern NH Tour of Lights features addresses from 14 towns, coordinated by their Parks and Recreation Departments. Put your address on the list by Dec. 4; a master list of addresses will be released Dec. 8, according to merrimackparksandrec.org/nh-tour-of-lights. Participating towns include Amherst, Auburn, Bedford, Danville, Derry, Goffstown, Hampstead, Hudson, Litchfield, Londonderry, Merrimack, Nashua, Pelham, and Windham.

The Southwest NH Tour of Lights features the towns of Amherst, Milford, Troy, Fitzwilliam, Rindge, Greenfield, Swanzey, Antrim, Peterborough, Jaffrey and Keene. Those Parks and Recreation departments will be taking locations through Dec. 3, with a viewing starting Dec. 9

Q&A with Justine Callaway of Callaway Christmas Light Show in Goffstown

When did you start doing this and what inspired you to do so?

I’ve been doing it for about 11 years I would say. My son is almost 13 now and I saw that he enjoyed Christmas lights when he was born. It started a little small [with] a couple of Christmas lights [and] he seemed to really enjoy it and it just kept growing from there. Then I would say about nine or 10 years ago we started collecting money for charity and then it became an additional cause to keep doing it every year. … My son started it and then the charities kept it going.

House, garage and yard decoraded with christmas lights of different colors
Callaway Christmas Lights. Courtesy photo.

How do you go about raising money for those charities?

We’ve always chosen a veterans-based charity and effectively we offer a QR code for people to be able to donate online and we also take donations through a little public service announcement in the middle of the show and people donate with cash in … a little donation bin beneath the mailbox. People have donated a lot. I would say since we started raising money we’re a little over $60,000 in charitable donations that we’ve just passed right on to three different charities over the course of the last few years.

What are the names of those charities?

We started with the Wounded Warrior Project and then we did Homes For Our Troops and now we have a local charity called the Worker Bee Fund and that’s a Goffstown-based charity that does work for local veterans.

What goes into preparing and assembling the light displays?

It’s lots of time out in the cold. … There’s a lot of time spent setting up the lights, probably seven or eight full days of time… . A lot of time … goes into writing the programs that make the music go with the lights and broadcast so people can catch it when they’re at the show.

How do you go about matching the lights with the music?

There’s a software package that I use that allows me to listen to the song and then create effects for each of the lights on the house as I go. So I have to listen to the song … in little five- to 10-second increments. I probably listen to each song that I program 200 times so … when I hear it in the show [it’s] a little less enjoyable since I’ve listened to that same song 200 times over and over again, but it basically is me sitting at a computer telling the software what to do so that it times to the lights every time I change an effect for one of the different parts of the show.

Do you have a background in doing stuff like that or did you learn specifically for this?

No, I’m very bad at it, probably in reality. It may take other people less time than me. I do have an engineering degree but it has nothing to do with this type of programming … I think I have seven networks that I have to run in my front yard and a number of other things that I had to learn as I went along, so it helped that I built it slowly because it was hard to get those things figured out easier.

When did you start incorporating the music with it?

That was probably … 10 years ago so that second year I think I added music. It was very simple, I think I just had 10 windows that would change color with the music and now there’s obviously a lot more in the yard as well.

How do you feel it has grown in popularity?

I think it’s been … pretty steady for the last three or four years. I think people loved it during Covid because they had to stay separate from others … [and] were out looking for something to do, [and] I think people were looking for that sort of display. The best part is … you can hear … the kids screaming ‘There’s Santa!’ or singing along with the songs and that sort of thing. … A lot of people tell me we’ve been doing it long enough that it’s part of their family traditions around Thanksgiving or around Christmas so it’s definitely become a high-pressure situation to get it started on time.

How many lights do you incorporate every year?

We use something called pixels, so each pixel can change the color … any time, and we have about 35,000 pixels. … I also have little blinking strobe lights, probably another 10,000.

How do you keep everything protected from the weather elements?

They’re just laying out there in the grass and … they’re low voltage, most of them, so they don’t end up shorting out when there’s water and moisture.

How will the show be different this year?

This year we’ve added a couple of new elements that I have yet to figure out so I’m reluctant to tell you, but we’re hoping to add something basically every year. This year we’re adding two little trees that will sing along with the music so they’ve got eye motions and mouth motions … just to … tie the music in a little bit better.

Mya Blanchard

Featured photo: The Proposal Ball at the LaBelle Lights. Photo by Mya Blanchard.

Holiday Guide 2023

It’s Hippo’s Holiday Guide — our annual listing of seasonal excitement from Drinksgiving (a.k.a. the night before Thanksgiving) through New Year’s Day. Find your cookie tours, your parades, your Nutcracker productions and your Christmas Vacation screenings plus so much more!

Know of a bit of holiday cheer we missed? Let us know at adiaz@hippopress.com. Now pull up your calendar and start loading your schedule with holiday fun!

The king of pre-gaming

Thanksgiving Eve offers many options

By Michael Witthaus
mwitthaus@hippopress.com

The night before Thanksgiving has a few names, but the event has become an institution. Whether you’re sober (or sober-curious) and think of it as Friendsgiving, or you’re all about the Drinksgiving party, there are plenty of ways to get ready for overeating and hearing far-flung family members overshare. Second only to New Year’s Eve as the busiest night of the year for most bars and restaurants, it’s an evening to reconnect and get ready for the long weekend.

Here’s a varied list of options, everything from sit-down shows to contra dances, trivia or karaoke, even a record swap.

603 Bar & Lounge (368 Central Ave., Dover, 742-9283) Try out your rendition of “I Will Always Love You” at Wings and Karaoke Night.

Angel City Music Hall (179 Elm St., Manchester, 931-3654) Not Fade Away Band mashes up the Grateful Dead with Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Band, The Allman Brothers and more.

Bank of NH Stage (16 S. Main St., Concord, ccanh.com) Dueling Pianos are on stage, with a lively time available in the upstairs lounge.

Bonfire (950 Elm St., Manchester, 217-5600) CMA touring artist Nikki Briar performs country rock hits and a few originals.

Bridgewater Inn (367 Mayhew Turnpike, Bridgewater, 744-3518) Andy Bauer’s band No Shame takes the BINN stage.

Chop Shop (920 Lafayette Road, Seabrook, 760-7706) Karaoke and Cocktails with DJ Manny.

Copper Door (15 Leavy Drive, Bedford, 488-2677) Phil Jacques plays classic rock covers.

Copper Door (41 S Broadway, Salem, 458-2033) Up and coming singer-songwriter Rebecca Turmel entertains.

Derryfield (625 Mammoth Road, Manchester, 623-2880) D-Comp Trio, favorites at this venerable Manchester night spot, perform.

Dover Bowl (887 Central Ave., Dover, 742-9632) Two guys with guitars, M & D Acoustic Duo play rock because they love it.

Earth Eagle Brewings (175 High St., Portsmouth, 502-2244) Modern Records pop-up with vinyl listening, buying and trading.

Fody’s (9 Clinton St., Nashua, 577-9015) Joe McDonald, World Tavern Trivia and DJ Rich Karaoke.

Fody’s (187 Rockingham Road, Derry, 404-6946) Jake Young Duo, Has Beens, Rockingham Boys.

Fratello’s (799 Union Ave., Laconia, 528-2022) Richard Cumming on the piano.

Fratello’s Italian Grille (155 Dow St., Manchester, 624-2022) Jeff Mrozek plays classic rock covers.

Getaway Lounge (157 Franklin St., Manchester, 627-0661) Pulpit plays classic rock that’s not too hard and not too soft.

Giuseppe’s (312 Daniel Webster Hwy., Meredith, 279-3313) Mary Fagan, who’s in the Honey Bees and other groups, performs on guitar and vocals.

Hare of the Dawg (3 East Broadway, Derry, 552-3883) Country girl, singer, songwriter and musician Bella Perrotta debuts.

Hermanos (11 Hills Ave., Concord, 224-5669) Kid Pinky channels the blues.

Homestead (641 Daniel Webster Hwy., Merrimack, 429-2022) Exciting young vocalist and piano player Jordan Quinn performs.

Jimmy’s Jazz & Blues Club (135 Congress St., Portsmouth, 888-603-5299) Blues rock prodigy Quinn Sullivan headlines.

Lafayette Club (34 High St., Nashua, 889-9860) Anyone who misses catching up with old friends at the Grainery Thanksgiving Eve can hang with the Milk Crates, playing classic rock and soul, with a $10 cover.

Lakeport Opera House (781 Union Ave., Laconia, 519-7506) Eric Grant Band performs a big stage show, $15 and up at etix.com.

Liquid Therapy (14 Court St., Nashua, 402-9391) Thanksgiving Eve celebration with beer specials.

Lynn’s 102 Tavern (76 Derry Road, Hudson, 943-7832) Rock Junkies play covers from the ’70s going forward.

Michael’s Flatbread (8 Stiles Road, Salem, 893-2765) “Song Man” Eddie Sands, a favorite at this bar and grill, performs on guitar and vocals.

Napoletana Pizzeria & Bar (14 Market Square, Portsmouth, 570-3610) Redemption Band reggae party.

Pasta Loft (220 E Main St., Milford, 378-0092) Mostly ’90s keeps the party going with cover songs.

Patrick’s (18 Weirs Road, Gilford, 293-0841) Impress your pals with your Game Time Trivia prowess.

Penuche’s Ale House (Bicentennial Square, Concord, 228-9833) It’s the weekly open mic with Curtis Arnett.

Penuche’s Ale House (4 Canal St., Nashua, 595-9831) Thanksgiving Eve party; call for details.

Peterborough Town House (1 Grove St., Peterborough, 924-8000) Thanksgiving Eve Contra Dance with Steve Zakon-Anderson, Oliver Scanlon, Rose Jackson and Helen Kuhar providing the music.

Pipe Dream Brewing (40 Harvey Road, Londonderry, 404-0751) DJ Ache, up late with food and beer specials.

Portsmouth Book & Bar (40 Pleasant St., Portsmouth, 427-9197) Singer-songwriter open mic night hosted by Liza Lynehan.

Press Room (77 Daniel St., Portsmouth, 431-5186) The Bulkheads EP release show w/ Good Trees River Band.

Sabatino’s (52 Merchants Row, Derry, 432-7999) Sunset Rhythm is an acoustic duo playing modern country, pop and classic hits.

Saddle Up Saloon (92 Route 125, Kingston, 347-1313) Thanksgiving Rockin’ Eve featuring Rustfeather.

Sayde’s (136 Cluff Crossing Road, Salem, 890-1032) George Williams Band.

Seasons at The Brook (319 New Zealand Road, Seabrook, 474-3065) James Kennedy, of Vanderpump Rules fame, $30.

Shaskeen (909 Elm St., Manchester, 625-0246) DJ Myth keeps an annual tradition alive at this downtown mainstay.

Stark Brewing Co. (500 Commercial St., Manchester, 625-4444) Karaoke Night with DJ Sharon.

Stone Church (5 Granite St., Newmarket, 659-7700) Geeks Who Drink Trivia is followed by The Milque Pilgrimage hosted by Skunk Jesus.

Strange Brew (88 Market St., Manchester, 666-4292) Music from Slim Volume, which began as a 2021 collaboration between singer-songwriters Trent Larrabee and Jake DeSchuiteneer and grew into a full band this year.

Stripe Nine (8 Somersworth Place, Somersworth, 841-7175) Seacoast favorites Dancing Madly Backwards perform at this craft brewery.

Stumble Inn (20 Rockingham Road, Londonderry, 422-3210) Cutting-edge classic rock cover quintet The Slakas bring the party.

Telly’s (235 Calef Hwy., Epping, 679-8225) The 603s, with Paul Costley and Clint LaPointe, perform rock covers.

The Goat (142 Congress St., Portsmouth, 590-4628) Singer-songwriter Jamie Cain performs.

Thirsty Moose (21 Congress St, Portsmouth, 427-8645) Portsmouth favorites Jamsterdam perform upbeat covers, rap mash-ups and catchy originals.

To Share Brewing (720 Union St., Manchester, 836-6947) Back to the ’80s party with DJ Shamblez starting at 6 p.m., ’80s attire strongly encouraged.

Uno Pizzeria & Grill (15 Fort Eddy Road, Concord, 226-8667) Singer and guitarist Scott King, who many remember from his time in local cover band Without Paris, performs.

Wally’s Pub (144 Ashworth Ave., Hampton Beach, 926-6954) The Bad Wolves and Uncured tour stops by for a 21+ show, $29.50 at ticketmaster.com.

First run, then pie

Turkey trots and other holiday season road races

Compiled by Amy Diaz
adiaz@hippopress.com

Looking to get in a quick 5K before your holiday feast? Here are some of the road races happening this season.

Thanksgiving day races

The Thanksgiving 5K sponsored by Dartmouth Health and the Fisher Cats will take place on Thursday, Nov. 23, at 9 a.m. at Delta Dental Stadium (1 Line Drive, Manchester). Prior to the race there will be a Lil’ Turkey Trot at 8:30 a.m. Early bib pickup will be available at the Millennium Running Retail Store (138 Bedford Center Road, Bedford) the day prior to Thanksgiving (Wednesday) from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pickup for friends/family members is permitted. Race-day registration and bib pickup will be available from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. at the stadium. Registration costs: adult (ages 12+) $35 in advance, $40 race day (based on availability). All proceeds will benefit the New Hampshire Food Bank. See millenniumrunning.com to register.

• The Rotary Club of Merrimack’s 5K Turkey Trot starts at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 23. See merrimackrotary.org.

The 15th annual BAC and Bow Police Department Turkey Trot will be held on Thursday, Nov 23 (Thanksgiving), at 8 a.m. at 55 Falcon Way, Bow. Registration: adult $35, youth $25, kids $15. Same-day registration increases price by $5. See totalimagerunning.com.

• The Dover Turkey Trot starts at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 23, and is described as a 5K race for runners and walkers of all ages and abilities, according to doverturkeytrot.com. The start and finish is at Garrison Elementary School in Dover (to raise money for the Garrison School PTA) and registration costs $25 in advance, $30 on the day for adults; $12 in advance, $15 on the day for fourth grade and under.

• The Hampstead Turkey Trot, a 5K, starts Thursday, Nov. 23, at 8:30 a.m. at St. Anne’s Church (26 Emerson Ave. in Hampstead). Register by Nov. 1 to receive a T-shirt. Registration costs $23 for adults (18 to 61), $18 for seniors (62+) and for children (5 to 17). Registration on race day (from 7 to 8:10 a.m.) costs $28 for adults, $23 for seniors and children. See sites.google.com/site/recreationhampstead.

• The Free Fall 5K starts at 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 23 and begins and ends at the Rochester Community Center (150 Wakefield St. in Rochester). Registration costs $25 for adults, $20 for ages 13 to 17, $15 for ages 7 to 12, and is free for 6 and under (plus $5 to register on race day). See freefall5k.com.

• The 16th annual Gilford Youth Center Turkey Trot 5K Race and Family Walk will start at 9 a.m. (8:45 a.m. for walkers) on Thursday, Nov. 23, at the Youth Center (19 Potter Hill Road in Gilford). Registration costs $26 per person or $90 for a family of up to five people. See gilfordyouthcenter.com.

• The 17th annual Lake Sunapee Turkey Trot, a 5K where costumes are encouraged and proceeds go to the recreation department, starts at 9 a.m. at the Sunapee Harbor gazebo with a 1K Chicken Run for kids starting at 8:15 a.m. and going down Lake Avenue. Registration costs $30 for ages 13 to 64, $15 for ages 65 and up and $10 for ages 12 and under (kids 12 and under running in the Chicken Run are free). See sunapeeturkeytrot.com. The event and a pre-registration event from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 22, will feature a pie sale; pies are $10 each.

• The 28th Annual Windham Turkey Trot,which offers 1-, 3- and 5-mile options, starts at 9 a.m. at 74 Blossom Road in Windham. Registration costs $30. See windhamturkeytrot.org

Thanksgiving weekend races

• The Amherst Junior Women’s Club will hold its Trot Off Your Turkey 5K & 1 Mile Fun Run on Friday, Nov. 24. The fun run starts at 9 a.m. and the 5K starts at 9:30 a.m.; both runs start and end at the Congregational Church in Amherst. Registration costs $30 for the 5K and $10 for the fun run. See ajwcnh.org

• Bishop Brady High School (25 Columbus Ave. in Concord; bishopbrady.edu) will hold its Galloping Gobbler 4-mile race on Saturday, Nov. 25, at 9:30 a.m. Registration costs $30 for ages 16 and up and $20 for ages 15 and under. Bib pickup is 8 a.m. on race day. Find the link to the registration site via Bishop Brady’s Facebook page.

Rest of the season

3 runners, one wearing missus santa claus costume running down road on rainy day
BASC Santa Claus Shuffle. Photo by Jeffrey Hastings.

BASC Santa Claus Shuffle on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 3 p.m. on Elm Street in Manchester before the Manchester City Christmas Parade. The 3-mile out-and-back course starts and ends at Veterans Park and includes four “aid stations” featuring the four favorite Santa food groups: chocolate, cookies and milk, candy and maple, according to the website. The first 1,400 participants to sign up get a Santa suit to run in. Stonyfield Organic Lil’ Elf Runs (of 100 yards) start at 2:30 p.m. Registration costs $30 for adults (12+) in advance, $35 on race day; $25 for youth (12 to 20), $30 on race day, and $10 for kids (11 and younger) in advance or on race day. See millenniumrunning.com to register.

• The 2023 Jingle Bell Run, a 5K where festive costume dress is encouraged, will be held Sunday, Dec. 3, at 8:30 a.m. at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester. Registration costs $45 after Nov. 1, $50 on the day for timed runners; $40 after Nov. 1 and $45 on the day for untimed runners (both include shirt and jingle bells), according to events.arthritis.org.

Yule Light Up the Night on Sunday, Dec. 10, at 4:30 p.m. at the New Hampshire Speedway in Loudon. Run the 2.1-mile course through the “Gift of Lights” display. Registration costs $25 for adults (12+) in advance, $30 on the day; $15 for youth (4 to 11) in advance, $20 on the day, and $10 for kids (3 and younger). See millenniumrunning.com to register.

Apple Therapy and Derry Sports & Rehab Millenium Mile on Monday, Jan. 1, at 2 p.m. Start off 2024 with a one-mile downhill race. The first 1,250 participants will receive winter hats. Registration costs $20 for adults (12+) in advance, $25 on race day; $10 for youth (11 and under), $15 on race day. See millenniumrunning.com to register.

Christmastime in the city

Head to downtown Nashua for annual Holiday Stroll

By Mya Blanchard
mblanchard@hippopress.com

Nashua will ring in the holiday season with its 28th annual Winter Holiday Stroll, spanning approximately half a mile of the downtown area, on Saturday, Nov. 25, from 4 to 9 p.m.

The streets will be closed as of 2 p.m. and a shuttle service will be available to bring people to the downtown area leaving from Rivier University and Holman Stadium beginning at 3 p.m.

“Nashua’s Holiday Stroll is a cherished tradition that has been taking place since the 1990s,” said Paul Shea, the executive director of Great American Downtown. “It is a homecoming of sorts for a lot of people who are back for the holidays visiting family, who grew up in the area, as well as a great way for residents to connect with each other and see each other out and about at the event and a great way to explore downtown Nashua.”

The event begins with a candlelight procession along Main Street for the lighting of the holiday tree. More than a dozen food vendors will be present, as well as Santa at the Nashua Center for the Arts from 1 to 4 p.m.

“We [will] have a variety of offerings … from fried dough carts to full-service food trucks and everything in between … as well as, of course, an opportunity to meet Santa and for kids to let him know what they would like most for Christmas,” Shea said.

In addition there will be rides, games, ice sculpture carving, the annual Holiday Stroll Craft Fair at St. Patrick’s Church from 3 to 9 p.m. and live entertainment indoors and outdoors.

“There’s over 40 [performances] scheduled, everything from choral singers to rock bands to hip-hop groups. It’s an eclectic mix of entertainment,” Shea said. “We really appreciate … [our] partnership [with] the City of Nashua, all of our talented performers, our sponsors and vendors [and] the whole community coming together to make an exciting night in downtown Nashua possible.”

Winter Holiday Stroll
When: Saturday, Nov. 25, 4 to 9 p.m.
Where: downtown Nashua

Three ghosts and the Mouse King

Where to find A Christmas Carol & The Nutcracker

Compiled by Angie Sykeny
asykeny@hippopress.com

They’re the pillars of holiday season theatrical productions: A Christmas Carol and The Nutcracker. Want to see one of these classics or a riff on same? Here are some of the productions on offer.

• Gerald Dickens, the great-great-grandson of Charles Dickens, brings his one-man performance of A Christmas Carolto the Nashua Center for the Arts (201 Main St., Nashua) on Tuesday, Nov. 28, at 7 p.m. Tickets range from $37 to 47. Visit nashuacenterforthearts.com. Dickens will also perform at the Dana Center (Saint Anselm College, 100 Saint Anselm Drive, Manchester) on Wednesday, Nov. 29, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $45. Visit tickets.anselm.edu to purchase tickets online.

man dressed in victorian clothing, sitting on chair on stage during performance
A Christmas Carol at the Nashua Center for the Arts. Courtesy photo.

• The Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., Manchester) presents A Christmas Carol from Nov. 24 through Dec. 23, with showtimes on Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., with an additional show on Wednesday, Dec. 20, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $28 to $59. Visit palacetheatre.org or call 668-5588.

• The Methuen Ballet Ensemble performs The Nutcracker on Saturday, Nov. 25, at noon and 4 p.m. at the Dana Center (Saint Anselm College, 100 Saint Anselm Drive, Manchester). Tickets cost $35. Visit tickets.anselm.edu.

• New England Dance Ensemble presents The Nutcracker on Saturday, Nov. 25, and Sunday, Nov. 26, at 4 p.m. at the Seifert Performing Arts Center (4 Geremonty Drive, Salem). Tickets cost $35 to $55. Visit nede.org for more info.

• The Players’ Ring Theatre (105 Marcy St., Portsmouth) presents What the Dickens, an improvised comedy version of A Christmas Carol, on Saturday, Nov. 25, at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $15. Visit playersring.org/shows/stfdickens.

• Safe Haven Ballet performs The Nutcracker at the Colonial Theater (609 Main St., Laconia) on Saturday, Nov. 25 at 4:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 26, at 1 p.m., at the Nashua Center for the Arts (201 Main St., Nashua) on Friday, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m. and at the Capitol Center for the Arts (44 S. Main St., Concord) on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 4:30 p.m. Tickets cost $45 for adults and $40 for students and seniors. Visit safehavenballet.org/events for more info.

• Sole City Dance presents The Nutcracker at the Rochester Opera House (31 Wakefield St., Rochester) on Thursday, Nov. 30, and Friday, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 2, at 2 and 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 3, at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $26 for adults and $22 for students and seniors. Visit solecitydance.org.

• The Hatbox Theatre (Steeplegate Mall, 270 Loudon Road, Concord) presents Dickens’ A Christmas Carol from Dec. 1 through Dec. 17, with showtimes on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $25 for adults, $22 for students, seniors and members and $19 for senior members. Visit hatboxnh.com.

• The Players’ Ring Theatre (105 Marcy St., Portsmouth) presents A Christmas Carol from Dec. 1 through Dec. 23, with showtimes on Thursday at 7 p.m., Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m., with an additional performance on Wednesday, Dec. 20, at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $31 for adults, $28 for students and seniors and $18 for children under 12. Visit playersring.org/shows/carol-23.

• The Bedford Dance Center presents The Nutcracker on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 6 p.m. at the Dana Center (Saint Anselm College, 100 Saint Anselm Drive, Manchester). Tickets cost $25. Visit tickets.anselm.edu to purchase tickets online.

• Portsmouth School of Ballet presents The Nutcracker on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 5 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 3, at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Exeter High School auditorium (1 Blue Hawk Drive, Exeter). Tickets cost $25, can only be purchased with cash or check and can be purchased at the box office or in advance at 95 Brewery Lane in Portsmouth. Visit psb-nh.com/nutcracker.

• North Country Center for the Arts presents A Christmas Carol: The Musical Ghost Story at Jean’s Playhouse (34 Papermill Drive, Lincoln) from Dec. 8 through Dec. 10, with showtimes on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $32 for adults, $28 for seniors and $25 for juniors. Visit jeansplayhouse.com/shows/a-christmas-carol to purchase tickets.

• The Rochester Opera House (31 Wakefield St., Rochester) presents A Christmas Carol from Dec. 8 through Dec. 23, with showtimes on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 5 p.m. and additional performances on Saturday, Dec. 9, and Saturday, Dec. 23, at 2 p.m. Tickets range from $22 to 32. Visit rochesteroperahouse.com.

• Northeastern Ballet Theatre performs The Nutcracker on Saturday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 10, at 2 p.m. at the Kingswood Art Center (396 S. Main St., Wolfeboro). There will be additional performances at the Paul Creative Arts Center (30 Academic Way, Durham) on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 17, at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $30 for adults, $25 for seniors and $17.50 for students and children. Visit northeasternballet.org.

• Turning Pointe Center of Dance presents The Nutcracker at the Concord City Auditorium (2 Prince St., Concord) on Saturday, Dec. 9, at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $25 at the door or $23 in advance at the dance school (371 Pembroke Street, Pembroke). Visit turningpointecenterofdance.com.

• Dance Visions Network presents The Nutcracker Suite Acts I & II on Sunday, Dec. 10, at 12:30 and 5:30 p.m. at the Dana Center (Saint Anselm College, 100 Saint Anselm Drive, Manchester). Tickets cost $24. Visit tickets.anselm.edu to purchase tickets online.

• Ballet Misha presents The Nutcracker on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 1 and 6 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 17, at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Dana Center (Saint Anselm College, 100 Saint Anselm Drive, Manchester). Tickets cost $35 for adults and $30 for children under 18. Visit tickets.anselm.edu to purchase tickets online.

• New England School of Dance presents The Nutcracker on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 6 p.m. at the Stockbridge Theater at Pinkerton Academy (5 Pinkerton St., Derry). Tickets cost $32.50. Visit facebook.com/newenglandschoolofdance.

• The New Hampshire School of Ballet presents The Nutcracker on Sunday, Dec. 17, at 2 p.m. at the Concord City Auditorium (14 Canterbury Road, Concord). Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance at the studio (183 Londonderry Turnpike). There will be an additional performance on Sunday, Dec. 27, at 6 p.m. at the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., Manchester). Tickets cost $25 and can be purchased at the box office or online at palacetheatre.org.

Santa and the Grinch

More theatrical productions this season

Compiled by Angie Sykeny
asykeny@hippopress.com

The Grinch, George Bailey and the Herdman family will be on the stage this holiday season. Here are some of the non-Christmas Carol, non-Nutcracker productions.

• Pontine Theatre presents A New England Christmas at the Plains School (1 Plains Ave., Portsmouth) with performances on Friday, Nov. 24, at 7 p.m.; Friday, Dec 1, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Dec 2, at 3 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec 3, at 2 p.m. The show includes an original adaptation of Frank Stockton’s “Captain Eli’s Best Ear,” the story of a widowed sea captain’s quest for a new family, with musical accompaniment by Ellen Carlson of the New Hampshire Fiddle Ensemble. Tickets are priced at $32 for general admission and $29 for seniors and students. Visit pontine.org.

• Theatre Kapow will presentThe Thanksgiving Playon Friday, Dec. 1, through Sunday, Dec. 3, (7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. on Sunday) at the Bank of NH Stage in Concord (16 S. Main St. in Concord; ccanh.com).

• The New Hampshire Theatre Project (959 Islington St., Portsmouth) presents It’s a Wonderful Life: Live Radio Play from Saturday, Nov. 25, through Sunday, Dec. 10, with showtimes at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays, 4 p.m. on Saturdays, and 2:30 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets cost $28 to $32. Visit nhtheatreproject.org.

• The Seacoast Repertory Theatre (125 Bow St., Portsmouth) presents I’d Rather Be Naughty Than Nice featuring Tina Burner on Sunday, Nov. 26, at 7:30 p.m. The show includes a musical performance examining the relationship between Mrs. Claus and Kris Kringle, with arrangements by Blake Allen. Tickets are priced between $47 and $87. Visit seacoastrep.org or call 433-4793.

• Safe Haven Ballet presents The Grinch, a ballet choreographed by Miranda Bailey, at the Colonial Theatre (609 Main St., Laconia) on Sunday, Nov. 26, at 6 p.m. Ticket prices are $30 for adults, $25 for seniors 60+, and $25 for students age 17 and under. Visit coloniallaconia.com.

• The Seacoast Repertory Theatre (125 Bow St., Portsmouth) presents The Truth About Santa! from Nov. 29 through Dec. 20, with performances on Wednesdays and Sundays at 7:30 p.m. The apocalyptic holiday tale is a comedic take on Santa’s marital woes and is recommended for “grownups who want a naughty giggle,” according to the website. Viewer discretion is advised. Tickets cost $37 to $62. Visit seacoastrep.org or call 433-4793.

• Bedford Youth Performing Company presents The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at the Derryfield School Theatre (2108 River Road, Manchester) with performances on Friday, Dec. 1, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 2, at 1 p.m. The play is an adaptation of Barbara Robinson’s holiday classic that tells the story of the Herdmans, the worst kids in the history of the world, who take over the annual Christmas pageant. Ticket prices are $17.50 for adults and $15 for students and seniors. Call 472-3894 or visit bypc.org.

• Get ready for holiday chuckles with Ken Sheldon’s Frost Heaves Christmas, returning on Friday, Dec. 1, and Saturday, Dec. 2, at 7:30 p.m., to The Park Theatre (19 Main St., Jaffrey). Tickets are $20. Call 532-9300 or visit theparktheatre.org/frostheaves.

• Break a Leg Legally presents A Nice Family Christmas by Phil Olson at The Strand (20 Third St., Dover). Performances are scheduled for Fridays, Dec. 1 and Dec. 8, and Saturdays, Dec. 2 and Dec. 9, at 8 p.m., and Sundays, Dec. 3 and Dec. 10, at 2 p.m. The play follows a young newspaper reporter on Christmas Eve as he encounters family antics and drama. Tickets are $20 for evening shows and $18 for matinee performances. Visit breakaleglegally.com.

• The Concord Dance Academy invites you to the Spectacular Holiday Show at the Concord City Auditorium (2 Prince St., Concord). Performances are on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 1 and 6 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 3 at 1 p.m. The event also features a family baked goods sale, a holiday 50/50 raffle and a complimentary Santa photo. Tickets are $25. Call 226-0200 or visit concorddanceacademy.com.

• The New Hampshire School of Ballet presents its Annual Holiday Performance at the Dana Center (Saint Anselm College, 100 Saint Anselm Drive, Manchester). The event will feature students performing dances to festive seasonal songs on Sunday, Dec. 3, with shows at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tickets are priced at $18. Call 641-7700 or visit anselm.edu/dana-center-humanities.

• Majestic Productions brings to stage Miracle on 34th Street The Musical at Derry Opera House (29 W. Broadway, Derry). Performances are on Friday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 9, at 2 and 7 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 10, at 2 p.m. Tickets are priced at $22 for adults, $18 for seniors 65+ and $15 for children age 17 and under. Visit majestictheatre.net.

• Peacock Players present the Holiday Spectacular at Court Street Theatre (14 Court St., Nashua). This musical cabaret features holiday favorites and musical theater classics. The shows are scheduled for Friday, Dec. 15, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 16, at 2 pm. Ticket sales are TBA. Visit peacockplayers.org.

Midnight Merriment returns for 30th season

Concord downtown lights up the night

By Mya Blanchard
mblanchard@hippopress.com

Downtown Concord will be decked for the holidays during the 30th Midnight Merriment on Friday, Dec. 1, from 5 p.m. to midnight.

“Midnight Merriment is basically your quintessential hallmark shopping experience that you are looking for for the season,” said Jessica Martin, the executive director of Intown Concord, the organizer of the event. “We have lights, Santa, music echoing through the main street and downtown Concord. … It’s basically that holiday experience that you’re looking for.”

Music will be played from a local radio station and there will also be strolling carolers from the Concord High School Chamber Singers, The Derryfield School and other local singing groups. DJ Nazzy will also return for the holiday dance part on City Plaza, as will Santa for pictures from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The downtown businesses are getting into the spirit with promotions and giveaways. Twelve 31 Cafe will give out free mini cannolis and Eatxactly Sweet Cafe in Eagle Square will supply hot chocolate and host the gingerbread competition. The Concord Art Market Winter Giftopolis will be in the atrium of Eagle Square starting at 5 p.m.

“Gibson’s [Bookstore] does a progressive discount throughout the night, [starting] with 5 percent off from 5 to 8 p.m., 10 percent at 8 p.m., 15 percent at 9 p.m., 20 percent at 10 p.m. [and] 25 percent at 11 p.m. until they close,” Martin said. “Their whole staff wears evening wear. It’s really fun.”

Wine on Main is doing a similar promotion, wine and gifts being 5 percent off from 7 to 10 p.m. and 10 percent off from 10 to 11:45 p.m.

New this year is story time with Santa at Gibson’s Bookstore from 4:15 to 5 p.m., right before Midnight Merriment begins.

“This holiday shopping season we’re teamed up with the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce and NBT Bank to do a shop local campaign … called ‘Spread Joy, Shop Concord,’” Martin said. “It’s a marketing campaign for the whole season letting people know the joy it brings to the downtown businesses [and] local businesses owners by choosing to shop locally. … Each Saturday in December in downtown Concord we’ll be piping in music from noon to 5 p.m. so that the holiday experience … can carry out after Midnight Merriment … to keep the festivities alive.”

Midnight Merriment
When: Friday, Dec. 1, 5 p.m. to midnight
Where: downtown Concord

Holiday parades, tree lightings and other festivities

By Mya Blanchard
mblanchard@hippopress.com

Find parades, tree lightings and more mostly outdoor celebrations of the season.

LaBelle Lights at LaBelle Winery (14 Route 111, Derry) are now on display and will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays (closed Christmas Eve) from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. until Sunday, Jan. 7. with different themes each week including holiday pajama week, ugly holiday sweater week, Santa costume and ’80s ski week. Tickets range from $4 to $18 and are free for children 3 years old and younger. Visit labelle.com/lights.

Bektash Shriners Feztival of Trees (189 Pembroke Road, Concord) features decorated artificial trees and wreaths up for silent auction. Refreshments will be available at Candy Cane Cafe. Hours are Saturday, Nov. 18, and Sunday, Nov. 19, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Monday, Nov. 20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Tuesday, Nov. 21, and Wednesday, Nov. 22, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 24, and Saturday, Nov. 25, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 26, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are $5 for those 12 years old and older and free for children under 12. Visit bektashshriners.org.

Gift of Lights at NH Motor Speedway (1122 Route 106, Loudon) consists of more than 250 light displays spanning 2½ miles throughout a 150-foot tunnel from Thursday, Nov. 23, through Sunday, Dec. 31. Tickets are $35 per car load, $60 per bus, limousine or RV, and cost $2 in addition per person when there’s more than 15 guests. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the New Hampshire chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities. Hours are 4:30 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 23, through Saturday, Nov. 25; Friday, Dec. 1, and Saturday, Dec. 2; Thursday, Dec. 7, through Monday, Dec. 25; and Friday, Dec. 29, and Saturday, Dec. 30. Hours are 4:30 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 26, through Thursday, Nov. 30; Monday, Dec. 4, through Wednesday, Dec. 6; Tuesday, Dec. 26, through Thursday, Dec. 28; and Sunday, Dec. 31. Visit nhms.com.

Plaistow Festival of Trees (18 May Ray Ave., Plaistow) is on Friday, Nov. 24, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 25, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 26, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be a raffle table drawing and a tree drawing as well as a craft fair, snack bar and breakfast with Santa Saturday morning at 8 a.m. The money raised will benefit Children Less Fortunate. Visit their Facebook page @PlaistowFestivalofTrees.

Concord’s Christmas tree lighting celebration (107 Main St.) is on Friday, Nov. 24, from 4 to 7 p.m. There will be a magic show and a kids’ costume contest, and food will be available from Big Al’s Food Truck. Visit their Facebook page @ConcordChristmasTreeLightingCelebration.

• Goffstown’s annual tree lighting event, Friday Night Under the Lights, will take place on Friday, Dec. 1, on Main Street from 5 to 8 p.m. Visit goffstownmainstreet.org.

14th Annual Southern NH Festival of Trees (6 Village Green, Pelham) includes trees up for raffle, food, a scavenger hunt, a Polar Express train ride, entertainment by local schools, theaters, church groups and dance studios, baked goods and Santa. The festival will run from Friday, Nov. 24, through Saturday, Dec. 2, and will be open from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 am. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $5 for those 12 years old and older and free for children under 12. Raffle tickets are $5 for 25. Visit snhfestivaloftrees.pelhamcommunityspirit.org.

Very Derry Holiday is on Saturday, Nov. 25, with activities from 10 am. to 9 p.m. like live performances, cooking decorating and pictures with Santa. The Nutfield Holiday Parade will start at 1 p.m. at Veterans Hall and the tree lighting will be at 5 p.m. at Benson’s Lawn (1 West Broadway). Visit the event’s Facebook page @VeryDerryHoliday.

Christmas in Wolfeboro parade on Saturday, Nov. 25, from 3 to 4 p.m. goes from Brewster Academy (80 Academy Drive, Wolfeboro) to Mill Street, where Santa will light the community Christmas tree. Before the parade, there will be a craft fair at Kingswood Regional High School (396 S. Main St., Wolfeboro) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Gingerbread House Jubilee at Harmony Coffee House (21 Central Ave.), a toy collection for Wolfeboro Children’s Christmas Fund, carolers and musicians and Santa and Mrs. Claus from 4 to 5 p.m. Visit wolfeborochamber.com/events.

• Celebrate Laconia hosts the Lights Festival holiday parade on Saturday, Nov. 25, starting at 5 p.m. with floats, bands, cars and a float contest. The parade begins at Laconia High School (345 Union Ave., Laconia) and ends at Stewart Park for the annual tree lighting, where trees will be lit for the City on the Lakes Holiday Walk. Food trucks, music and activities will take place from noon to 8 p.m. It costs $50 to enter the float contest. Visit celebratelaconia.org.

• The 52nd Salem holiday parade (Main Street, Salem) will start at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 26. This year’s theme is Superhero Christmas. Visit salemnhparade.org.

• The Town of Bow holiday tree lighting ceremony is on Sunday, Nov. 26, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Bandstand (1 Knox Road, Bow). The Bow Middle School chorus will be performing holiday songs, Santa will be there for visiting and there will be games, crafts, refreshments and food and a letter to Santa station. Free bus transportation from Bow Middle School and White Rock Senior Living to the Bow Community Center. Visit bownh.gov.

25th Annual Festival of Trees is free and open to the public on Wednesday, Nov. 29, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursday, Nov. 30, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Exeter Town Hall (10 Front St., Exeter). Decorated trees will be up for silent auction including a special tree filled with gift cards and certificates. Proceeds go to The Community Children’s Fund. Visit exeterareacharitablefoundation.org.

• The Penacook tree lighting on Wednesday, Nov. 29, starts with singing by the Penacook Elementary School chorus at 5:45 p.m. followed by the tree lighting at 6 p.m. and an appearance from Santa at 6:30 p.m.

• Enter a haunted house with rabid reindeer and cannibalistic elves at Fright Kingdom’s Fright Before Christmas on Friday, Dec. 1 (7 to 9:30 p.m.), Saturday, Dec. 2 (6 to 9 p.m.) and Sunday, Dec. 3 (6:30 to 9 p.m.). Tickets are $35. Visit frightkingdom.com.

• Experience what Christmas was like 400 years ago at the Candlelight Stroll/Vintage Christmas at Strawbery Banke (14 Hancock St., Portsmouth) with historic houses decorated with dried flowers, role players and holiday traditions. There will be a bonfire, hot apple cider, performances by Ice Dance International’s Currier and Ives Vintage Skaters, shopping at Pickwick’s at the Banke and the ‘History Lights Our Way’ candlelight stroll. The dates are Fridays, Dec. 8 and Dec. 15, and Saturdays, Dec. 2, Dec. 9 and Dec. 16, from 5 to 9 p.m., and Sundays, Dec. 3, Dec. 10 and Dec. 17, from 4 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $32 for adults, $16 for children 5 to 17 years old and free for children under 5 years old. Parking is available at Hanover Street Garage and Foundry Place Garage. Visit strawberybanke.org.

• The theme for Merrimack’s holiday parade and tree lighting on Sunday, Dec. 3, is “Rock & Roll Holiday Thru Time.” The parade begins at 3 p.m. at the Commons Shopping Plaza (515 Daniel Webster Hwy.) and will end in the Town Hall parking lot (6 Baboosic Lake Road), where the tree lighting will take place. Visit merrimackparksandrec.org.

• Portsmouth’s Illuminated Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting is on Saturday, Dec. 6. The tree lighting is at 5:30 p.m. and the parade begins at 6 p.m. from Islington Street to Market Square. Visit cityofportsmouth.com/recreation.

• The 8th annual Raymond Festival of Trees will be at New Life Church (84 Nottingham Road, Raymond) on Thursday, Dec. 7, and Friday, Dec. 8, from 3 to 8 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 9, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 10, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visit their Facebook page @RaymondFestivalofTrees.

9th annual Hollis Luminaria Stroll & Town Band Concert on Saturday, Dec. 9, will include more than 2,000 luminaria lanterns, a Santa tractor parade, holiday craft shopping, a chili and cornbread dinner, music performances in Monument Square, a gingerbread house contest and a bake sale. The stroll and tree lighting will be at 4 p.m. at Monument Square. Visit hollisluminaria.org.

• The Gilford Village Candlelight Stroll is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 9, from 5 to 7 p.m. with an extended route. The Gilford Community Band will be performing at the Gilford Community Church. Make s’mores and visit Santa at Village Field, enjoy hot chocolate, cookies and craft making at Gilford Public Library and more. Visit their Facebook page @GilfordVillageCandlelightStroll.

• This year’s Hampstead Christmas parade is Colonial Christmas in celebration of the town’s 275th anniversary. The parade starts on Main Street on Sunday, Dec. 10, at 1 p.m. with refreshments and an appearance from Santa afterward. Visit @HampsteadColonialChristmasParade on Facebook.

Pats Peak will have New Year’s Eve fireworks on Sunday, Dec. 31, from 10:20 to 10:40 p.m. The McMurphy’s will provide live music in the Sled Pub from 6 to 10 p.m. Visit patspeak.com.

Winter Wonderland

Santa Claus Shuffle and Manchester Holiday Parade return

By Mya Blanchard
mblanchard@hippopress.com

The Manchester Holiday Parade will make its way down Elm Street from Brady Sullivan to Victory Park on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 4 p.m. following the annual 3-mile BASC Santa Claus Shuffle put on by Millennium Running. The race starts at 3 p.m. at Veterans Park, where it will also end. Along the way, Granite State Dairy Promotions will provide participants with chocolate, milk and cookies, and Maple UnTapped will offer candy and maple treats, according to the organization’s website. Beverages and bananas will be offered after the race. Participants can get their Santa suit at the Millennium Running retail store in Bedford.

people on firetruck covered in lights in parade
Manchester Holiday Parade. Photo by Jeffrey Hastings

“[It’s] a very fun day [starting] off with the Santa Run … and then after that we have the parade of floats and walkers,” said Sophia Koustas, who is part of the Manchester Holiday Parade Committee. “Participants can be businesses or individuals. … We’re hoping it will be nice so people can stay throughout the two events. … This year’s theme is Winter Wonderland.”

Around 80 to 85 organizations usually participate, among them New Hampshire Roller Derby and New Hampshire Junior Roller Derby, Motley Mutts Rescue, Miss Manchester and Greater Plaistow Scholarship, Manchester Firemen’s Relief Association, New Hampshire Fisher Cats and many more. Both the Manchester Memorial High School and Manchester Central marching bands are set to perform. Accessible viewing and parking areas include the bus station area at Victory Park and across the stage area.

“[We hope] for people to come together as a community to enjoy the day, have fun … for businesses to be able … to be a different part of the community by attending and participating [and] for spectators to enjoy and see the strength of the community,” Koustas said. “[We invite people to come and … be part of a community-wide event that has become a tradition … in our city [and] we need everybody’s support for it to continue happening.”

Manchester Holiday Parade
When: Saturday, Dec. 2, 4 p.m.
Where: Downtown Manchester; the parade will head down Elm Street, beginning at the Brady Sullivan tower (1750 Elm St.) and ending at Victory Park (91-139 Concord St.)
More info: Visit the Facebook event page @MHTHolidayParade.

BASC Santa Claus Shuffle
When: Saturday, Dec. 2, 3 p.m.
Where: The race will start and finish at Veterans Park (723 Elm St.)
More info: Visit millenniumrunning.com.

Santa season

Where kids can find holiday fun

Compiled by Angie Sykeny
asykeny@hippopress.com

Here are some events tailored to kid and family fun.

Santa’s Wonderland 2023 at Bass Pro Shops, running now until Dec. 24, offers free Santa photo sessions (advance reservations required), a free shareable video with Santa photos, a Christmas Toy Shop for holiday gifts and more. Visit basspro.com/shop/en/santas-wonderland to reserve a time slot.

Charmingfare Farm (774 High St. in Candia; visitthefarm.com) has lots of holiday family fun on the calendar. The Christmas Tree Spree runs Friday, Nov. 24, through Sunday, Nov. 26. Admission costs $22 per person or $159 for four people and a tree. The day will also include visits with the barnyard animals, a horse-drawn ride, a visit with Santa’s Reindeer, a campfire, and pony rides that can be purchased online. Santa’s Christmas runs Saturday, Dec. 2, and Sunday, Dec. 3; Friday, Dec. 8, through Sunday, Dec. 10; Friday, Dec. 15, through Sunday, Dec. 17; Wednesday, Dec. 20, through Saturday, Dec. 23. Pick a time when you buy tickets for either a four-person or a 10-person sleigh ride. The event also includes a stop at the North Pole, Mrs. Claus’ Bakery, a visit to the barnyard, an opportunity to shop for Christmas trees, a campfire, a special mailbox for letters to Santa and the big man himself. The week post-Christmas, Charmingfare holds an Encore of the Lights event, where attendees can “climb aboard our horse-drawn ride and travel 30 minutes through our Christmas light displays and see the Reindeer at the North Pole,” according to the website. The event also includes Mrs. Claus’ Bakery, a visit to the barnyard, a campfire and more. And ring in 2024 with a New Year’s Eve Ride. This evening event features a fireside meal, music and a ride along the trail of holiday lights.

• Loon Preservation Committee’s annual Holiday Open House at The Loon Center (183 Lees Mill Road, Moultonborough) is on Saturday, Nov. 25, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It’s a day of family fun with horse-drawn wagon rides, holiday treats, balloon animals, kids’ crafts and a visit from Santa. The event is free and open to all. Visit loon.org/loon-center.

• Mercy Hill Church (750 Pine St. in Manchester) is hosting its Christmas Fest on Fridays throughout December. Festivities kick off with a Community Dinner on Friday, Dec. 1, at 6:30 p.m., followed by a Fireside S’mores Party on Fridays, Dec. 8, Dec. 15 and Dec. 22, at 7 p.m. A special Wacky Tacky Sweater Soiree for ages 13 and up is set for Friday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m., and Breakfast With Santa will take place that same day starting at 8:30 a.m. for children age 12 or younger. Visit manchesterchristmasfest.com.

• The Educational Farm at Joppa Hill (174 Joppa Hill Road, Bedford) will host a Santa visit on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Visit theeducationalfarm.org.

• Experience the magic of a Victorian Christmas at the Jones Farmhouse at the New Hampshire Farm Museum (1305 White Mountain Hwy., Milton) on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Explore the decorated farmhouse and join in the holiday spirit with volunteers dressed in period attire. Help decorate the barnyard animals and the outdoor Christmas tree, and enjoy horse-drawn wagon rides, a visit to the Blacksmith Shoppe, mulled cider by the outdoor hearth, popcorn roasting, carol singing and crafting fragrant pomander balls. Don’t forget to visit the 1940s kitchen for cookie decorating. Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for seniors (65+), $6 for juveniles (age 4 to 17), and children under age 4 enter for free. Additionally, there’s a family pass available for $30, which includes admission for two adults and kids or grandkids. Visit nhfarmmuseum.org/event/victorian-christmas.

• The Millyard Museum’s (200 Bedford St., Manchester) holiday open house is on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will include children’s holiday crafts, cookies and cider, old-fashioned board games, and a special visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Admission is free. Visit manchesterhistoric.org.

• Londonderry Access Center TV (281 Mammoth Road) will host Santa Live 2023 on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 1 to 3 p.m. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be present in the studio for children to visit and will be broadcast live on television. The event is free of charge and does not require Facebook access for attendance. It operates on a first come, first served basis. Refreshments and coloring activities are provided for children while they wait. Each child will receive a gift and a candy cane. Parents are allowed to take pictures during the visit. Visit facebook.com/LondonderryAccessTV.

• Millyard Museum (200 Bedford St., Manchester) is hosting the American Girl Doll Christmas Tea Party on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Participants are invited to bring their dolls and join in a tea party that includes refreshments and crafts, featuring portrayals of Manchester’s notable women from history as depicted by American Girl Dolls. Santa Claus will also be visiting. Tickets are $20 per person. Visit manchesterhistoric.org.

S’mores with Santa is returning to New Boston on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 4 to 6 p.m. Attendees can enjoy meeting Santa, making s’mores and sipping on hot chocolate or cider while mingling with friends and neighbors. The gathering will also include singing Christmas carols and the official lighting of the Christmas Tree. Santa will be present in the gazebo for the tree lighting at 4 p.m., and children are invited to visit with Santa afterward and bring an ornament from home to place on the town tree. Toasty fire pits for roasting marshmallows will be available, with all the fixings for s’mores, hot chocolate and cider provided by the Recreation Department. In case of inclement weather, the backup date is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 3. Visit newbostonnh.gov.

• The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire (6 Washington St. in Dover) is hosting its annual Jingle Bell Extravaganza on Sundays, Dec. 3 and Dec. 10, with sessions from 1 to 2:30 p.m. and from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Visitors can meet Santa, participate in hands-on holiday craft activities, experience a magical science experiment, and receive a special treat. Pajama attire is welcomed for this festive event. Ticket prices are $18 for members and $22 for non-members; children under 1 year old are free. Online ticket sales end 24 hours before the start of each event. Photos can be taken by the museum staff with visitors’ own cell phones. For more details and to reserve a spot, visit childrens-museum.org.

Elf Training sessions are back at the Derry Public Library (64 E. Broadway, Derry). The sessions will occur Monday, Dec. 4, through Wednesday, Dec. 6, with multiple time slots each day: On Dec. 4 and Dec. 5, there are sessions at 3:30, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m.; on Dec. 6, an additional session for infants starts at 10 a.m., followed by sessions at 3:30 and 5 p.m. Activities include elf-themed crafts, songs, snacks and storytelling. Interested participants are required to register as a family, with all children’s names listed under a single registration “space.” Visit derrypl.org to sign up.

• Join the Milford Recreation Department for Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at the Milford Town Hall Auditorium (1 Union Square, Milford). Guests can enjoy a breakfast of pancakes and sausage and have the chance to visit with Santa. The event costs $10 per person, but children age 2 and under can attend for free. Seating is limited, so be sure to register by Dec. 3 to secure your spot. Visit milfordnh.recdesk.com.

Santa Claus will helicopter in to make a stop at the Aviation Museum of New Hampshire (27 Navigator Road in Londonderry, aviationmuseumofnh.org) on Saturday, Dec. 9, according to a press release. Santa is slated for touchdown at 11 a.m. and scheduled to stay for two hours (he’s scheduled to leave by fire truck at 1 p.m.). The event will feature hot chocolate, coffee, donuts and other holiday treats, the release said. Santa-fans are asked to arrive at the museum by 10:45 a.m., the release said. The museum will be open free to visitors from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (admission will be charged from 1 to 4 p.m.).

• Celebrate New Year’s Eve with a family-friendly event at the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire (6 Washington St., Dover). The festivities include two “countdowns to midnight,” one at 10:30 a.m. during the morning play session (9 a.m. to noon) and another at 2 p.m. during the afternoon session (12:30 to 3:30 p.m.). These sessions are designed to make everyone feel as if they are in Times Square, complete with noisemakers, the creation of sparkly party hats and a photo booth for lasting memories, according to the website. The highlight is the glitter ball descent from the museum’s 30-foot-high Build-It-Fly-It towers as the countdown reaches zero. The event is included with standard museum admission and is free for museum members. Reservations and pre-payment are required. Visit childrens-museum.org.

Christmas classical

Symphonies, choruses and more

By Angie Sykeny
asykeny@hippopress.com

’Tis the season for the classics. Here are some of the classical music performances on the schedule this season.

• Majestic Theatre presents Robert Dionne’s Piano Christmas, an interactive sing-along cabaret. This annual holiday tradition is set for Sunday, Nov. 26, at 2 p.m. at the Majestic Studio Theatre (880 Page St., Manchester). Tickets are $20. Visit majestictheatre.net.

• The Vienna Boys Choir will bring Christmas in Vienna to the Colonial Theatre (609 Main St., Laconia) on Wednesday, Nov. 29, at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices range from $49 to $89. Visit coloniallaconia.com or call 800-657-8774.

• The Manchester Community Music School’s (2291 Elm St., Manchester) Holiday Pops Concert is on Friday, Dec. 1, at 6:30 p.m. Enjoy an evening of holiday music, cash bar, refreshments and raffle prizes. Individual tickets are $45, or reserve a table of 10 for $400. Visit mcmusicschool.org or call 644-4548.

• The Rockingham Choral Society will perform A Star Still Shines on Saturday, Dec. 2, and Sunday, Dec. 3, at 3 p.m. at Christ Church Episcopal (43 Pine St., Exeter). The concert will include seasonal works and holiday carols by Michael Fink, Dan Forrest, Sarah Quartel and Conrad Susa. Tickets are $20 for general admission, $18 for seniors and students, with children under age 12 admitted for free. Advance tickets can be purchased from members or online, with remaining tickets available at the door. Visit rockinghamchoral.org.

Handel’s “Messiah” will have an open rehearsal on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 10 a.m., followed by a performance on Sunday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m. at St. Paul’s Church (22 Centre St., Concord). The performance, conducted by Benjamin Greene, will feature professional soloists and a community chorus. Visit walkerlecture.org.

• The New Hampshire Gay Men’s Chorus presents its 2023 Holiday Concert Series: Holly Jolly Folly at Christ the King Lutheran Church (3 Lutheran Drive, Nashua) on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 7:30 p.m.; Stratham Community Church UCC (6 Emery Lane, Stratham) on Sunday, Dec. 3, at 3 p.m.; the Park Theatre (19 Main St., Jaffrey) on Saturday, Dec. 9, at 7:30 p.m.; and Derryfield School (2108 River Road, Manchester) on Sunday, Dec. 10, at 3 p.m. Adult tickets are $25, and admission for children age 12 and under is free with a ticket. Visit nhgmc.com.

• Kenny G will perform Miracles Holiday and Hits at the Nashua Center for the Arts (201 Main St., Nashua) on Sunday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m. Ticket prices range from $59 to $129. Call 800-657-8774 or visit nashuacenterforthearts.com.

• The Nashua Choral Society presents Gloria! A Christmas Festival on Sunday, Dec. 3, at 3 p.m. at Immaculate Conception Church (216 E. Dunstable Road, Nashua). The concert, under the direction of Reagan G. Paras, will feature Vivaldi’s “Gloria,” selections from Ola Gjeilo’s “Winter Songs” and other holiday favorites. Adult tickets are $20, students $10, and admission is free for children. Tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite or Darrell’s Music Hall and at the door. Visit nashuachoralsociety.org.

• The New Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra presents a Holiday Pops Preview at LaBelle Winery (14 Route 111, Derry) on Sunday, Dec. 3, at 4 p.m. The concert will feature a brass quintet and string quartet, offering renditions of classical melodies and popular holiday tunes. Tickets are priced at $30. Visit nhphil.org.

• The Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra and Conductor Keith Lockhart will perform the “Unwrap the Magic” Boston Pops Holiday Tour at the SNHU Arena (555 Elm St., Manchester) on Saturday, Dec. 9, at 7:30 p.m. The concert features “Sleigh Ride,” among other festive pieces, and is accompanied by the Metropolitan Chorale. Ticket prices range from $79.50 to $149.50 and are on sale now. Visit snhuarena.com.

• Join the Souhegan Valley Chorus for their holiday concert “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” on Saturday, Dec. 9, at 5 p.m. at the First Congregational Church (10 Union St., Milford). Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for students and seniors, with children age 12 and under admitted free. Visit souheganvalleychorus.org.

• Lakes Region Symphony Orchestra invites you to Christmas Belles featuring guest artist Sheree Owens on vocals, on Saturday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m., at the Colonial Theatre (609 Main St., Laconia). Enjoy a blend of traditional carols and modern holiday pieces in a grand orchestral presentation. Ticket prices range from $22 to $32 for adults and $12 to $22 for students. Visit coloniallaconia.com.

• Symphony NH is set to hold their Holiday Pops concert conducted by Maestro Roger Kalia on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the Keefe Center for the Arts (117 Elm St., Nashua), and Sunday, Dec. 10, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the Concord City Auditorium (2 Prince St., Concord). The performances will feature an assortment of seasonal works and carols. Tickets start at $10. Visit symphonynh.org.

Irish Christmas In America will take place on Thursday, Dec. 14, at 7:30 p.m. at the Dana Center (Saint Anselm College, 100 Saint Anselm Drive, Manchester). It features music by master fiddler Oisín Mac Diarmada as well as photo backdrops, history and humor that celebrates Irish culture during the holiday season. Tickets are $45. Call 641-7700 or visit anselm.edu/dana-center-humanities.

• Saint Joseph Cathedral (145 Lowell St. in Manchester) will present a performance of “Amahl and the Night Visitors” and Handel’s “Messiah” on Friday, Dec. 15, at 7:30 p.m. featuring chamber orchestra, choristers and soloists from the Diocesan Festival and Chamber Choirs, according to a press release. Tickets cost $20 per person (children under 10 get in for free). Tickets will be on sale at the parish office, at the door and at stjosephcathedralnh.org/cathedralconcert.

• The New Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra’s Holiday Pops concert at Seifert Performing Arts Center (44 Geremonty Drive, Salem) is on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 17, at 2 p.m. Ticket prices are $35 for adults, $30 for seniors and $10 for students. Visit nhphil.org.

• The Manchester Choral Society will hold its winter concert Starry Night featuring “Stella Natalis” by Karl Jenkins along with a selection of holiday pops at First Congregational Church (508 Union St., Manchester), with performances on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 17, at 3 p.m. Ticket prices are $30 for adults, $25 for seniors and military members, while students from kindergarten to undergraduate level can attend free of charge. Visit mcsnh.org.

• The Rochester Opera House (31 Wakefield St., Rochester) hosts the Strafford Wind Symphony for its 2023 holiday concert, White Christmas, on Wednesday, Dec. 20, at 7 p.m.. The performance will showcase a variety of traditional and new arrangements celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah and the new year, with vocal accompaniment and a full cinematic display. Tickets are $20 for adults, with free admission for children under age 12 (ticket still required). Visit rochesteroperahouse.com.

A jazzy, rockin’ holiday

More musical takes on the season — plus comedy

By Amy Diaz
adiaz@hippopress.com

It’s not all Nutcracker. Here are some rock ’n’ roll, jazz and other musical approaches to the holiday — plus some comedy shows to keep you laughing through the season.

Capitol Center for the Arts has several holiday musical events planned. At the Chubb Theatre (44 S. Main St., Concord, 225-1111, ccanh.com) the lineup of seasonal events includes:

The Capital Jazz Orchestra presents the Holiday Pops on Sunday, Dec. 10, at 4 p.m.

The radio show Greg and the Morning Buzz presents its annual Buzz Ball on Thursday, Dec. 14, at 7 p.m.

Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy Present: A Celtic Family Christmas on Friday, Dec. 15, at 7 p.m.

At the Bank of NH Stage in Concord (16 S. Main St., Concord, 225-1111, banknhstage.com), the schedule features:

Mr. Aaron Holiday, a holiday party from the local family entertainer, on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 11 a.m.

The Heather Pierson Trio plays a Charlie Brown Jazz Christmas on Friday, Dec. 22, at 7 p.m.

• At Chunky’s Cinema Pub(707 Huse Road, Manchester; 151 Coliseum Ave., Nashua; 150 Bridge St., Pelham, chunkys.com), live performances include:

Life’s a Drag 21+ drag show with multiple entertainers on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 9 p.m. in Manchester

Family-friendly comedy illusionist Ben Pratt, whowill perform in Pelham on Dec. 28 at 6:15 p.m., in Nashua on Dec. 29 at 6:15 p.m. and in Manchester on Dec. 30 at 6:15 p.m.

All three locations will host live comedy on New Year’s Eve (Sunday, Dec. 31) at 7 p.m.

• At Dana Center (Saint Anselm College, 100 Saint Anselm Drive, Manchester, tickets.anselm.edu) catch Irish Christmas in America on Thursday, Dec. 14, at 7:30 p.m. featuring master fiddler Oisin Mac Diarmoda.

• Holiday shows at The Flying Monkey (39 Main St., Plymouth, 536-2551, flyingmonkeynh.com) include:

Eileen Ivers: A Joyful Christmas on Friday, Dec. 8, at 7:30 p.m.

Christmas with the Celts on Saturday, Dec. 23, at 7:30 p.m.

And on New Year’s Eve (Sunday, Dec. 31, at 8 p.m.) catch comedian Preacher Lawson.

Fulchino Vineyard (187 Pine Hill Road, Hollis, 438-5984, fulchinovineyard.com) will feature Christmas with Franco Corso on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m.

Headliners Comedy Club (headlinerscomedyclub.com) has events for New Year’s Eve (Sunday, Dec. 31).

At the DoubleTree by Hilton Manchester Downtown catch either Dueling Pianos (doors open at 6 p.m. for a dinner option, show is at 8 p.m.) or comedians including Rob Steen, Ken Rogerson, Tim McKeever and Alex Giampapa (with shows at 8 or 9 p.m.).
Headliners also has comedy on Dec. 31 at Chunky’s in Manchester, Nashua and Pelham (at 7 p.m.).

Dueling Pianos will also perform at Fratello’s in Manchester as part of a Rockin’ Eve 2024 featuring dinner, dancing and a toast.

New Year’s Eve 2023 Gala at Sky Meadow Country Club in Nashua runs from 6:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. and includes comedy (with Mark Scalia and Joey Carrol), a buffet and dancing.

Find tickets for all these events on the website.

• At Jimmy’s Jazz and Blues Club (135 Congress St., Portsmouth, 888-603-JAZZ, jimmysoncongress.com) holiday-themed shows include:

Jane Monheit — Holiday Show on Tuesday, Dec. 5, at 7:30 p.m.

Kat Edmonson — Holiday Swingin’ on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 7 and 9:30 p.m.

John McLaughlin Holiday Show on Wednesday, Dec. 20, at 7:30 p.m.

LaBelle Winery (345 Route 101, Amherst, and 14 Route 111, Derry, 672-9898, labellewinery.com) has a packed holiday schedule, though many events are already listed as sold out on the website. Musical events that may still have a seat for you include:

The Granite State Ringers Holiday Handbell Concert in Amherst on Sunday, Nov. 26, at 3 p.m.

Holiday Pops Concerts: Brass and Strings featuring members of the New Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra in Derry on Sunday, Dec. 3, at 4 p.m.

The Big Little Holiday Party, featuring DJ entertainment from Get Down Tonight, in Derry on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 6 p.m.

The Freese Brothers at a New Year’s Eve party that will feature dinner, dancing and LaBelle Lights in Derry on Sunday, Dec. 31, at 6 p.m.

• At the Lakeport Opera House (781 Union Ave., Laconia, 519-7506, lakeportopera.com), upcoming events include:

Thanksgiving Eve with the Eric Grant Band on Wednesday, Nov. 22, at 8 p.m.

A Holiday Evening with Clay Cook on Saturday, Dec. 23, at 7:30 p.m.

The Majestic Theatre (880 Page St., Manchester, 669-7469, majestictheatre.net) will hold A Piano Christmas featuring interactive piano sing-along cabaret with Robert Dionne on Sunday, Nov. 26, at 2 p.m.

The Music Hall (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) will feature a production of The Sound of Music for much of the holiday season but you can catch Juston McKinney’s Comedy Year in Review 2023 on Tuesday, Dec. 26, at 7 p.m.; Wednesday, Dec. 27, at 7 p.m. and Thursday, Dec. 28, at 8 p.m. On Saturday, Dec. 30, see Dawes: The Night Before NYE at 8 p.m.

At The Music Hall Lounge (131 Congress St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org), catch:

Taylor O’Donnell Trio on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m.

Abrielle Scharff’s Abby’s Holidays on Thursday, Dec. 21, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 23, at 7 p.m.

Nashua Center for the Arts (201 Main St., Nashua, 800-657-8774, nashuacenterforthearts.com) has performances by the Vienna Boys Choir and Kenny G listed as sold out but tickets are still available to holiday shows including:

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy with a “wild and swingin’ holiday party” on Wednesday, Dec. 6, at 7:30 p.m.

Eileen Ivers on Sunday, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m.

Juston McKinney wraps up the year on Sunday, Dec. 31, at 8 p.m.

• The month-long production of A Christmas Carol will keep the stage busy at Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., Manchester, 668-5588, palacetheatre.org) but you can still catch:

The annual Chanukah at the Palace show featuring UV Circus Show, ventriloquist Jack Williams and a Chanukah Musical Interlude on Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 6 p.m.

Recycled Percussion will begin its multi-show run on Thursday, Dec. 28, running through Jan. 7; see the website for showtimes (see the Nov. 9 issue for an in-depth interview with Justin Spencer)

Meanwhile at the Rex Theatre (23 Amherst St., Manchester, 668-5588, palacetheatre.org), the schedule is packed:

Comedian Emily Ruskowski’s Thanksgiving Leftover Laughs on Friday, Nov. 24, at 7:30 p.m.

The Scott Spradling Band Rockin’ Big Band Christmas on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 7:30 p.m.

Compaq Big Band Christmas Show on Sunday, Dec. 3, at 2 p.m.

Queen City Improv Holiday Show on Thursday, Dec. 7, at 7:30 p.m.

A Celtic Christmas on Saturday, Dec. 9, at 2 and 7:30 p.m.

Anthony Nunziata: My Italian Christmas on Sunday, Dec. 10, at 2 p.m.

Eric Mintel Quartet: A Charlie Brown Jazz Christmas on Thursday, Dec. 14, at 7 p.m.

John Denver Christmas: Chris Collins & Boulder Canyon on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2 and 7:30 p.m.

A Very Soulful Christmas with Morgan James on Sunday, Dec. 17, at 4 p.m.

Candlelight: Holiday Special featuring The Nutcracker and more on Thursday, Dec. 21, at 6 and 8:30 p.m.

Comedian Kelly MacFarland’s Christmas Party on Friday, Dec. 22, at 7:30 p.m.

A Sinatra Christmas with Rich DiMare and the Ron Poster Trio on Saturday, Dec. 23, at 7:30 p.m.

Swiftie Dance Party on Saturday, Dec. 30, at 2 and 7:30 p.m.

Comedian Jimmy Dunn’s New Year’s Eve on Sunday, Dec. 31, at 7:30 p.m.

At the Park Theatre (19 Main St., Jaffrey, 532-9300, theparktheatre.org), the holiday offerings include:

Granite State Ringers on Wednesday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m.

New Hampshire Gay Men’s Chorus on Saturday, Dec. 9, at 7:30 p.m.

Symphony NH Holiday Brass on Thursday, Dec. 14, at 7:30 p.m.

The Heather Pierson Trio with A Charlie Brown Christmas on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 7:30 p.m.

Freese Brothers Big Band — Swinging Into the Holidays on Sunday, Dec. 17, at 4 p.m.

Irish Christmas in America on Wednesday, Dec. 20, at 7:30 p.m.

• The New Hampshire Gay Men’s Chorus (nhgmc.com) also has shows on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 7:30 p.m. at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Nashua; Sunday, Dec. 3, at 3 p.m. at Stratham Community Church UUC in Stratham, and Sunday, Dec. 10, at 3 p.m. at the Derryfield School in Manchester. See the chorus’ website for tickets.

• Get some laughs at the end of the year at Rochester Opera House (31 Wakefield St., Rochester, 335-1992, rochesteroperahouse.com) with comedian Bob Marley on Tuesday, Dec. 26, at 8 p.m.; Wednesday, Dec. 27, at 5 and 8 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 31, at 8 p.m.

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Ghosts of Christmas Eve returns to SNHU Arena (555 Elm St., Manchester, 644-5000, snhuarena.com) on Friday, Nov. 24, at 3 and 7 p.m. Other holiday shows include the Boston Pops Holiday Concert on Saturday, Dec. 9, at 7:30 p.m.

And, while it’s not exactly holiday, in that liminal week between Christmas and New Year’s catch the Harlem Globetrotters 2024 World Tour on Thursday, Dec. 28, at 2 and 7 p.m.

• Head to the Stone Church (5 Granite St., Newmarket, 659-7700, stonechurchrocks.com) for the Truffle: Annual Turkey Jam 2023 on Friday, Nov. 24, at 8 p.m.

The Strand (20 Third St., Dover, 343-1899, thestranddover.com) will feature the Strafford Wind Symphony with a holiday concert on Sunday, Dec. 17, at 6 p.m., and two New Year’s parties — Club Vinyl presents the Eve of New Year’s Eve on Saturday, Dec. 30, at 8:30 p.m., and a New Year’s Eve party on Sunday, Dec. 31, at 8 p.m. will feature the band Neon Wave and comedian Dave Sheehan.

3S Artspace (319 Vaughan St., Portsmouth, 766-3330, 3sarts.org) offers holiday happenings including:

Model Airplane’s Funksgiving on Friday, Nov. 24, at 8 p.m.

Club3: Wintry Mix (dance and karaoke party) on Friday, Dec. 1, at 8 p.m.

Oy to the World with Sherry Vine on Wednesday, Dec. 6, at 8 p.m.

Secret Santa, A Holiday Spectacular on Friday, Dec. 15, at 7:30 p.m.

Harsh Promadillo: Harsh Armadillo’s New Year’s Eve Party on Sunday, Dec. 31, at 9 p.m.

Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St., Derry, 437-5100, tupelomusichall.com) celebrates as they often do with Gary Hoey’s Ho! Ho! Hoey! show on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 8 pm. Other holiday offerings include:

Wizards of Winter on Sunday, Dec. 10, at 3 p.m.

Naturally 7 — the Holiday Hits Tour on Sunday, Dec. 17, at 1 p.m.

Adam Ezra Group will play New Year’s Eve with dinner that begins at 5:30 p.m. and a show that starts at 9 p.m.

• At The Word Barn (66 Newfields Road, Exeter, 244-0202, thewordbarn.com) holiday offerings are at the Orchard Chapel (143 Exeter Road in Hampton Falls) and include:

Dallas Corbin’s Country Christmas Classic on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m.

Rock My Soul Holiday Concert on Sunday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m.

Jordan TW Trio Celtic Christmas on Thursday, Dec. 7, at 7 p.m.

A Cappella Christmas Mixtape on Friday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m.

Ed Gerhard Christmas on Saturday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m.

The Heather Pierson Trio with A Charlie Brown Christmas on Sunday, Dec. 10, at 3:30 and 7 p.m.

Kat & Brett Holiday Show on Thursday, Dec. 14, 7 p.m.

A Celtic Christmas with Lunasa on Friday, Dec. 15, at 5 and 8 p.m.

The Orchard Chapel Candlelight Carol Sing on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 3 p.m.

Home for the Holidays with Session Americana with Eleanor Buckland on Saturday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m.

Zachariah Hickman’s Handsome Holiday Happening on Sunday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m.

The Orchard Chapel Candlelight Carol Sing on Wednesday, Dec. 20, at 5:30 p.m.

A Nova Scotia Christmas with Cassie and Maggie on Thursday, Dec. 21, at 7 p.m.

Tastiest time of year

Food events for your holiday season

Compiled by Amy Diaz
adiaz@hippopress.com

Find treats to eat and treats to give at these holiday events.

• The Holiday Shoppes at Tuscan Village (9 Via Toscana in Salem; www.tuscanvillagesalem.com/holiday-shoppes-2023) opens Friday, Nov. 24, and runs through New Year’s Eve with hours Thursday and Friday 3 to 8 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Vendors’ offerings include hot chocolate, arancini, kettle corn and other treats as well as jewelry, home goods, seasonal decorations and more.

• The YMCA Allard Center of Goffstown (116 Goffstown Back Road; find information about the event on the center’s Facebook page) will hold its annual Holiday Food & Arts Market Friday, Nov. 24, through Friday, Dec. 22, in the center’s lobby. The market will feature food as well as handmade crafts and art created by the center’s staff and members, according to the post.

• See the world in cookie at the 33rd Annual Gingerbread House Contest and Exhibition at the Portsmouth Historical Society (10 Middle St. in Portsmouth) Friday, Nov. 24, through Saturday, Dec. 30, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (open until 7 p.m. on Fridays). Vote for your favorite house between Nov. 24 and Dec. 13 (winners will be announced on Dec. 15). Community judges will award their favorite of the displayed gingerbread structures at the Vintage Christmasin Portsmouth kickoff celebration on Friday, Dec. 1, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., according to portsmouthhistory.org/exhibitions/gingerbread2023.

There will also be a downtown gingerbread scavenger hunt — find houses throughout downtown Portsmouth and collect stamps by Dec. 19 for a chance to win a prize.

On Saturday, Dec. 9, from 1 to 3 p.m. the Portsmouth Historical Society will hold an Ugly Sweater Cookie Swap (see website for details and to sign up; bring two dozen cookies to share). Win a gingerbread house by participating in a raffle; tickets cost $1 and winners will be notified on Tuesday, Dec. 19.

• The New Hampshire Jingle Bells Winery Tour is running weekends through Sunday, Dec. 17, from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. For $55 for a single admission or $100 for a couple, sample wines and light hors d’oeuvres at 10+ New Hampshire wineries and receive an ornament at each location, according to the eventbrite description. See facebook.com/NHJingleBellsWineryTour to purchase tickets and see the list of participating vineyards.

• Get local produce, baked goods and more at the Downtown Concord Winter Farmers Market open Saturdays, including Nov. 25, from 9 a.m. to noon at 7 Eagle Square in downtown Concord. See downtownconcordwinterfarmersmarket.com.

• The New Hampshire Farm Museum (1305 White Mountain Hwy. in Milton; nhfarmmuseum.org) will hold a Country Store Holiday Bazaar on Saturday, Nov. 25, from 11 am. to 3 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. featuring maple syrup, Vermont cheese and other food items as well as homemade crafts such as mittens, hats, afghans, scarves, soaps, ornaments and more.

Fulchino Vineyard (187 Pine Hill Road, Hollis, 438-5984, fulchinovineyard.com)is holding a Small Business Sunday tasting and market with tasting sessions starting at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 26. For $15, shop the market, enjoy wine tastings (21+) and receive a souvenir wine glass, according to the website. The Fulchino Vineyard Christmas Festival will run Friday, Dec. 8 (5:30 to 7:30 p.m.); Saturday, Dec. 9 (noon to 2 p.m., 3 to 5 p.m.) and Sunday, Dec. 10 (12:30 to 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Tickets cost $15 for adults (includes a wine glass and tasting), $7.50 for ages 12 to 20, and 1 cent for children under 12. Enjoy indoor and outdoor activities including artisan food vendors, crafts vendors, fire pits and family photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, according to the website.

• The Culinary Playground (16 Manning St., Derry) has adult+child cooking classes including:

Gingerbread House Decorating (for ages 4+) on Sunday, Nov. 26, at 4 and 5:30 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 2, at 9:30 and 11 a.m. The cost is $48 per house.

Holiday Cookie Tray (for ages 10+) on Saturday, Dec. 23, at 3:30 p.m. making iced orange cookies, fruit & nut biscotti and coconut macaroons. The cost is $80 per two-person team.

Cinnamon Rolls (for ages 6+) on Wednesday, Dec. 27, at 10 a.m. The cost is $58 per team.

Classes for ages 3 to 6 include:

Gingerbread House Decorating on Tuesday, Dec. 5, at 10 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. The cost is $48 per house.

Christmas Tree Fruity Hand Pie on Friday, Dec. 15, at 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. or 2 p.m. The cost is $20 per child.

Adult class offerings include a Holiday Small Plates couples cooking class on Friday, Dec. 15, or Saturday, Dec. 16, at 6:30 p.m. (the cost is $165 per couple) and workshops Pierogi Ruskie (Friday, Dec. 8, at 10 a.m.; the cost is $58); Bread Making (Thursday, Dec. 7, at 9:30 a.m.; cost is $75, for ages 16+); Holiday Pies (Tuesday, Nov. 21, and Thursday, Dec. 21, at 10 a.m.; cost is $75, for ages 16+), and Holiday Cookie Tray on Tuesday, Dec. 19, at 9:30 a.m. (cost is $80, for ages 16+).

• Enjoy a holiday afternoon tea with the Cozy Tea Cart (104 Route 13 in Brookline; thecozyteacart.com, 249-9111) at Gatherings (29 Mont Vernon St. in Milford) on Sunday, Dec. 3, at 1 p.m. The cost is $39.95 per person. The meal will feature tea breads and savories, tea sandwiches, pastries and, of course, tea, according to the website.

LaBelle Winery (345 Route 101, Amherst, and 14 Route 111, Derry, 672-9898, labellewinery.com) has a packed holiday schedule with events including:

Hogwarts Yule Ball Wine Dinner and Dancing in Amherst on Sunday, Dec. 3, at 5:30 p.m. Enjoy a four-course wine dinner with Harry Potter- and holiday-themed decor, a DJ and dancing. Hogwarts ball attire is encouraged. Tickets cost $95 per person

Cooking with wine class: holiday recipes will be held in Derry on Wednesday, Dec. 6, at 6 p.m. and Wednesday, Dec. 13, at 6 p.m. in Amherst. The cost is $40.

The Big Little Holiday Party, featuring DJ entertainment from Get Down Tonight, in Derry on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 6 p.m.

The Freese Brothers at a New Year’s Eve party, which will feature dinner, dancing and LaBelle Lights in Derry on Sunday, Dec. 31, at 6 p.m.

• The Very Merry Holiday Gift Festival will take place Saturday, Dec. 9, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Manchester Downtown Hotel (700 Elm St. in Manchester), according to verymerryfestival.com. Admission to the event, a revamping of the Made in New England Expo, costs $7 ($6 for 65+ and kids 14 and under get in free).

Zorvino Vineyards (226 Main St. in Sandown; zorvino.com, 887-9463) has holiday events on the schedule including Holiday Sip N Shop on Sunday, Dec. 3, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. featuring local vendors (admission is free but register for a ticket online in advance) and the Tidings & Tinsel group holiday party, starting with a cocktail hour at 6:30 and featuring dinner and dancing (the cost is $70 per person).

Chunky’s Cinema Pub (707 Huse Road, Manchester; 151 Coliseum Ave., Nashua; 150 Bridge St., Pelham, chunkys.com) will screen The Polar Express (G, 2004) at all three area Chunky’s Friday, Dec. 8, through Thursday, Dec. 14, with at least one screening daily and three on Saturday, Dec. 9, and Sunday, Dec. 10. Buy a “Milk & Cookies Movie Ticket” to get a box with milk, cookies and a bell during the movies. “Dinner with Santa,” where guests will be greeted by Santa before and after the show, with opportunities to take photos with him, will take place at some screenings Dec. 13, Dec. 14 and Dec. 21. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (PG-13, 1989) will screen with a five-course dinner party in Manchester on Sunday, Dec. 17, at 6 p.m. The cost is $75 for the dinner only (with a vegetarian option), $110 for dinner with wine.

• The Canterbury Farmers Market will hold its final market of the year indoors on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Canterbury Elementary School (15 Baptist Road in Canterbury). See canterburyfarmersmarket.com.

• The Currier and Ives Cookie Tour will run Saturday, Dec. 9, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and feature 16 stops at inns, restaurants, galleries and more in the Monadnock region. Tickets cost $20 and can be purchased, starting Dec. 1, at the Inn at East Hill Farm in Troy and Frogg Brewing in Swanzey. At each stop, ticket holders get cookies, cookie recipes, refreshments and a look at the holiday decorations of the location. Visit at least 10 stops on the tour to be entered to win a gift certificate, according to currierandivescookietour.com, where you can find a map of the locations and more information.

• Or make a weekend of cookie adventures with the Annual Holiday Inn to Inn Cookie Tour on Saturday, Dec. 9, and Sunday, Dec. 10, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day at nine White Mountain inns stretching from Jackson to Eaton, with inns at least 15 minutes apart. Reserve a ticket as part of a lodging package for the weekend or, starting Monday, Nov. 27, at this website for single tickets: cookietour.square.site. See countryinnsinthewhitemountains.com/annual-holiday-inn-to-inn-cookie-tour.

Averill House Vineyard (21 Averill Road, Brookline, 371-2296, averillhousevineyard.com) will hold a Snowman Felting Workshop & Wine Tasting on Thursday, Dec. 21, at 6 p.m. (the cost is $50) and a Christmas Tree Macramé Workshop & Wine Tasting on Saturday, Dec. 23, at 6:30 p.m. (cost is $50).

• The Bedford Village Inn (2 Olde Bedford Way in Bedford; bedfordvillageinn.com, 472-2001) will hold its Feast of the Seven Fishes on Thursday, Dec. 21, starting at 6 p.m. This 21+ dinner costs $125 per guest. The meal features passed and stationary hors d’oeuvres, three savory courses and a dessert station and is held in the Great Hall. Call or go online to reserve tickets.

Other holiday meals include a Christmas Eve three-course menu ($125 for adults, $75 for ages 10 and under) plus a Grand Dessert Buffet (4:30 to 8:30 p.m.); a New Year’s Eve dinner with seating times from 5 to 9:30 p.m. ($110 per adults; see the website for the menu) and a New Year’s Day Brunch from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Birch Wood Vineyards (199 Rockingham Road in Derry; birchwoodvineyards.com, 965-4359) will hold its Jingle Ball Holiday Party on Thursday, Dec. 21, at 6 p.m. featuring a four-course meal and dancing. Tickets cost $85 (with a “duet” or vegetarian meal option).

Browse & shop

Holiday art shows and events

Compiled by Angie Sykeny
asykeny@hippopress.com

• Twiggs Gallery (254 King St., Boscawen) presents the annual Sleighbell Studio holiday showcase now through Dec. 16. The exhibit features a diverse range of local fine art and crafts for holiday gift buying. Visit twiggsgallery.wordpress.com.

• The “Small Works — Big Impact” holiday exhibit is up at Creative Ventures Gallery (411 Nashua St. in Milford) now through Dec. 31 and showcases work in various media from more than 30 area artists, with most pieces smaller than 12 inches in diameter, making them ideal for holiday gifts. The gallery’s hours are Tuesday and Wednesday from noon to 4 p.m., Thursday from noon to 6 p.m., Friday from noon to 4 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Visit creativeventuresfineart.com or call 672-2500.

• The Seacoast Artist Association (130 Water St., Exeter) presents its themed group show “Big Gifts Come in Small Packages” for November and December. Artists are challenged to create beautiful and affordable work, with each piece priced at no more than $100 to make for perfect holiday gift buying. The gallery is open Wednesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. Visit seacoastartist.org.

• The Craftworkers’ Guild will host its annual Holiday Fair Shop at the historic Kendall House (3A Meetinghouse Road, Bedford). The fair opens Friday, Nov. 24, and runs through Wednesday, Dec. 22, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, along with an online shop. The fair will feature a variety of items including seasonal decor, photography, fine art and prints, cards, gourmet treats, woodworking, fiber and fabric, stained and fused glass, mixed media and jewelry, all created by juried local artists and craftspeople. Visit thecraftworkersguild.org.

• The Nashua Holiday Stroll Craft Fair will be held on Saturday, Nov. 25, from 3 to 9 p.m. at the Gym Entrance on Main Street across from City Hall (29 Spring St., Nashua). The fair will showcase a variety of vendors offering unique items. Visit downtownnashua.org/holidaystroll.

• The Milford Holiday Craft Fair, supporting veterans, will take place on Sunday, Nov. 26, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Milford VFW (1 VFW Way, Milford). The event will include free pictures with Santa and the Grinch, along with a variety of crafters and vendors. Admission is free. Visit facebook.com/nevendorevents.

• The Winter Giftopolis by the Concord Arts Market will take place on Friday, Dec. 1, from 5 to 11 p.m. during Intown Concord’s Midnight Merriment. This year’s event is located at the Atrium at 7 Eagle Square. Local artists and craftspeople will be selling their handmade gifts. Visit concordartsmarket.net.

• The Contoocook Artisans Holiday Fair is set for Friday, Dec. 1, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 2, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 3, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the American Legion Post No. 81 (E.R. Montgomery Event Center, 169 Bound Tree Road, Contoocook). Email contoocookartisansnh@gmail.com.

• High Mowing School (77 Pine Hill Drive, Wilton) will host its annual Pine Hill Holiday Fair featuring an artisan market on Friday, Dec. 1, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. and family festivities on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit pinehill.org

• The Two Villages Art Society will host its 2023 Winter Members Show and Sale from Dec. 1 to Dec. 23 at 846 Main St. in Contoocook. This show, part of Hopkinton’s town-wide Starry, Starry Weekend, will include an opening reception on Saturday, Dec. 2, from noon to 2 p.m. The show features works from more than 30 member artists, including paintings, pottery, sculpture, jewelry and more. Gallery hours are Thursday to Sunday from noon to 4 p.m., with extended hours of 10 to 4 p.m. during Starry, Starry Weekend (Dec. 1 to Dec. 3). Visit twovillagesart.org.

• Pipe Dream Brewing (49 Harvey Road, Londonderry, will hold a holiday craft fair Saturday, Dec. 2, and Sunday, Dec. 3, from noon to 4 p.m., featuring local vendors selling handmade crafts. See pipedreambrewingnh.com.

• The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Milford (20 Elm St., Milford) announces its holiday fair on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., including handcrafted items and a bake shop. Visit uucm.org/community/holiday-fair-2023.

• Arlington Street United Methodist Church (63 Arlington St., Nashua) will celebrate its Holly Town Fair on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The fair will feature handmade items, crafts, candies, baked goods, and a cookie walk, with lunch available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visit asumc.org or call 882-4663.

• Caya Reiki & Healing will present the Gingerbread Craft Market & Psychic Fair on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Derry-Salem Elks Lodge (39 Shadow Lake Road, Salem). The event will feature more than 30 vendors and artisans. Visit caya-healing.square.site.

• New England Vendor Events is organizing a Nashua Holiday Craft Fair for Saturday, Dec. 2, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Hunt Memorial Library (6 Main St., Nashua). Visit facebook.com/nevendorevents.

• The Concord Arts Market is hosting its annual Holiday Arts Market on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Kimball Jenkins School of Art (266 N. Main St.). Visit concordartsmarket.net.

• The Unitarian Universalist Church of Manchester (669 Union St., Manchester) invites you to its Holiday Gift Faire on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the fellowship hall. Visit uumanchester.org.

• The Somersworth Festival Association will host its Holiday Craft Fair on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Somersworth High School (11 Memorial Drive, Somersworth). Visit nhfestivals.org.

• The 34th annual Christmas in Strafford event, showcasing more than 50 artists and craftspeople across 29 locations, is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 2, and Sunday, Dec. 3, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days. Visit christmasinstrafford.com.

• The Holly Jolly Craft Fair will be held at the DoubleTree Hilton (2 Somerset Plaza, Nashua) on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. More than 75 artisans will be selling their holiday crafts. Visit joycescraftshows.com.

• The Very Merry Holiday Gift Festival is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 9, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Manchester Downtown Hotel (700 Elm St., Manchester). Tickets are $7, with a discounted price of $6 for those 65+ and free entry for children age 14 and under. Visit verymerryfestival.com.

• Caya Reiki & Healing will present a Winter Wonderland Craft Market & Psychic Fair on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Hooksett American Legion Post 37 (5 Riverside St., Hooksett). Visit caya-healing.square.site.

• The Wrong Brain Holidaze Bizaare is happening on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at North Country Hard Cider (38 Littleworth Road, Dover). The entry fee is $1. Visit facebook.com/wrongbrain.

• A Hudson Holiday Craft Fair organized by New England Vendor Events is set for Saturday, Dec. 9, from noon to 5 p.m. Visit facebook.com/nevendorevents.

New Hampshire Audubon’s Holiday Craft Fair will take place on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the NH Audubon McLane Center (84 Silk Farm Road, Concord). Visit nhaudubon.org.

• The Nashua Holiday Craft & Vendor Festival Fair will be held on Saturday, Dec. 16, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at Eagles Wing Bingo Hall (10 Spruce St., Nashua). See Bazaar Craft Fairs Facebook page.

• The Manchester Holiday Craft Fair, hosted by New England Vendor Events, will take place on Saturday, Dec. 16, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Club Canadian (128 S. Main St., Manchester). The fair will feature photo opportunities with Santa and the Grinch. Visit facebook.com/nevendorevents.

• Join Cisco Brewers (35 Corporate Drive, Portsmouth) on Sunday, Dec. 17, from noon to 5 p.m. for a holiday market. The market will feature festive food specials, jolly drinks including a hot chocolate bar, and live music. Shop local with an array of vendors selling gifts, flowers, wreaths, holiday foods and more. Visit ciscobrewersportsmouth.com.

‘Santa, here? I know him!’

Elf, A Christmas Story and more holiday movie classics

Compiled by Amy Diaz
adiaz@hippopress.com

For some movie nerds, the end of the year is all about figuring out how many Oscar-hopefuls you can see before award season starts. For some, it’s about trying to convince your family that Gremlins is a Christmas movie. But we can all agree that now is the season to say “Merry Christmas, Mr. Potter” and “You’ll shoot your eye out.” Here are some seasonal favorites you can find on a big screen.

The Flying Monkey (39 Main St., Plymouth, 536-2551, flyingmonkeynh.com) will feature screenings including Warren Miller’s All Time, a film about skiing and ski culture, on Friday, Nov. 24, at 3 and 7 p.m., Elf (PG, 2003) on Friday, Dec. 15, at 6:30 p.m., and It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) on Friday, Dec. 22, at 6:30 p.m.

LaBelle Winery (345 Route 101, Amherst; 14 Route 111 in Derry 672-9898, labellewinery.com) has multiple screenings throughout the season of The Polar Express (G, 2004) featuring an appearance by Santa Claus. The screenings are listed as sold out but email tickets@labellewinery.com to be put on a waitlist.

Fathom Events (fathomevents.com) has several holiday-themed screenings scheduled at theaters including the AMC Londonderry (16 Orchard View Dr., Londonderry, amctheatres.com), Cinemark Rockingham Park 12 (15 Mall Road, Salem), O’neil Cinemas at Brickyard Square (24 Calef Hwy., Epping, 679-3529, oneilcinemas.com), Regal Concord (282 Loudon Road, Concord, regmovies.com) and Regal Fox Run Stadium 15 (45 Gosling Road, Newington, regmovies.com).

The Magic Flute, recorded live in 2006 at the Metropolitan Opera, will screen on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 12:55 p.m. at Regal Fox Run in Newington.

A Christmas Story (PG, 1983), a 40th anniversary presentation, will screen on Sunday, Dec. 10, at AMC Londonderry (4 p.m.), Cinemark in Salem (4 p.m.), O’neil Cinemas in Epping (4 and 7 p.m.) and Regal Fox Run in Newington (4 and 7 p.m.), and on Wednesday, Dec. 13, at all four of those locations at 7 p.m.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas(PG, 2000), the Jim Carrey version, will screen on Sunday, Dec. 3, at AMC Londonderry (1 and 7 p.m.), Cinemark Rockingham Park (1 p.m.), O’neil Cinemas (1 p.m.) and Regal Fox Run (1 and 7 p.m.); and on Wednesday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m. at AMC Londonderry, Cinemark Rockingham Park and Regal Fox Run.

Max Lucado’s Because of Bethlehem, music and story based on the faith-based book, will screen on Tuesday, Dec. 5; Wednesday, Dec. 6, and Thursday Dec. 7, mostly at 7 p.m. at Cinemark Rockingham Park, Regal Concord and Regal Fox Run (the movie starts at 7:10 p.m. at Cinemark on Dec. 6 and 7:15 on Dec. 7).

Waitress: The Musical, a filmed presentation of the Broadway musical starring Sara Bareilles, may not technically be a holiday story but it’s cute as pie and screening Thursday, Dec. 7, through Monday, Dec. 11, at AMC Londonderry (3:30 and 7 p.m.), Cinemark Rockingham Park (3:25 and 7:10, every day except Dec. 11, when it’s 3:55 and 7 p.m.), Regal Fox Run (2:30 and 7 p.m.) and O’neil Cinemas (2:30 and 7 p.m.).

A Christmas Story(PG, 1983) will screen on Sunday, Dec. 10, at AMC Londonderry (4 p.m.), Cinemark Rockingham Park (4 p.m.), O’neil Cinemas (4 p.m.) and Regal Fox Run (4 and 7 p.m.) and Wednesday, Dec. 13, at those theaters, all at 7 p.m.

Christmas with the Chosen: Holy Night, a faith-based feature film with musical performances by Andrea and Matteo Bocelli, will be in theaters Tuesday, Dec. 12, through Sunday, Dec. 17. Sign up on the website to receive ticket information.

• As part of its Dickensfest programming Park Theatre (19 Main St., Jaffrey, theparktheatre.org) will screen Oliver! (1968) on Saturday, Dec. 9, at 1 p.m. and The Man Who Invented Christmas (PG, 2017) on Sunday, Dec. 10, at 6:30 p.m.

On Saturday, Dec. 16, at 1 p.m., Santa’s Party will feature a screening of Arthur Christmas (PG, 2011) as well as an opportunity to meet Santa.

It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) will screen on Saturday, Dec. 23, at 2 and 7 p.m.

Chunky’s Cinema Pub (707 Huse Road, Manchester; 151 Coliseum Ave., Nashua; 150 Bridge St., Pelham, chunkys.com) has multiple holiday films on the schedule — some for all ages and some presented for 21+ audiences.

The Polar Express (G, 2004) will screen at all three area Chunky’s Friday, Dec. 8, through Thursday, Dec. 14, with at least one screening daily and three on Saturday, Dec. 9, and Sunday, Dec. 10. Buy a “Milk & Cookies Movie Ticket” to get a box with milk, cookies and a bell during the movies. “Dinner with Santa,” where guests will be greeted by Santa before and after the show, with opportunities to take photos with him, will take place at some screenings Dec. 13; Dec. 14, and Dec. 21.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (PG-13, 1989) will screen with a five-course dinner party in Manchester on Sunday, Dec. 17, at 6 p.m. There will be a 21+ screening and Ugly Sweater party on Thursday, Dec. 14, at 8 p.m. at all three locations. There will also be a 21+ Christmas Vacation trivia night in Manchester on Thursday, Dec. 21, at 7:30 p.m.

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) will screen at all three locations on Sunday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m.

Elf (PG, 2003) will screen at a family screening on Wednesday, Dec. 20, at 7 p.m. and on Thursday, Dec. 21, at 8 p.m. at a 21+ screening — at all three theaters for both screenings. There will also be a 21+ Elf trivia night in Manchester on Thursday, Dec. 7, at 7:30 p.m.

Also at Chunky’s:

There will be a 21+ trivia night for A Christmas Story on Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m. in Manchester.

An all-ages family trivia night for Home Aloneis on Sunday, Dec. 3, at 6 p.m. in Manchester.

Family-friendly theater candy bingo will take place in Pelham on Dec. 27 at 6:15 p.m., in Nashua on Dec. 28, at 6:15 p.m. and in Manchester on Dec. 29, at 6:15 p.m.

Family-friendly comedy illusionist Ben Pratt will perform in Pelham on Dec. 28 at 6:15 p.m., in Nashua on Dec. 29, at 6:15 p.m. and in Manchester on Dec. 30 at 6:15 p.m.

21+ year in review trivia will take place Thursday, Dec. 28, at 7:30 p.m. in Manchester

All three locations will host live comedy on New Year’s Eve (Sunday, Dec. 31) at 7 p.m.

Red River Theatres (11 S. Main St., Concord, 224-4600, redrivertheatres.org) is still filling its schedule with holiday screenings — the theater may have family-friendly screenings on weekend mornings, still TBD but keep an eye on their website. So far the theater, which will be open on Thanksgiving, plans to screen It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) on Wednesday, Dec. 20, at 6:30 or 7 p.m. and Elf (PG, 2003) on Saturday, Dec. 23, at 10 a.m., according to executive director Angie Lane.

The Music Hall (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) has holiday films on the schedule including:

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) on Friday, Dec. 22, at 1 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 24, at 3:30 p.m.

White Christmas (1954) on Saturday, Dec. 23, at 1 p.m.

The Holiday (PG-13, 2006) on Saturday, Dec. 23, at 7 p.m.

Rise of the Guardians (PG, 2013) on Sunday, Dec. 24, at 1 p.m.

The Strand (20 Third St., Dover, 343-1899, thestranddover.com) will screen Elf (PG, 2003) as part of its annual Christmas Break on a Budget event, which will also include family activities and a storytime starting at noon on Saturday, Dec. 23. Admission costs $20 for a family (up to five people).

Pop-up art show: Artists Charlotte Thibault and Byron Carr will have a pop-up art show starting Friday, Nov. 24, and running through Dec. 29, according to an email. The show will feature New Hampshire landscape paintings and take place at the old CVS, 46 N. Main St. in Concord, the email said. Find work by Carr, which includes oil and watercolor of landscapes and waterfalls, at byroncarrfineart.com and find work by Thibault, who also works in oils and does landscapes, seascapes, harbor scenes, still life and concept paintings, at charlottethibault.com, the email said. The show will feature paintings, prints and cards and will be open Wednesdays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (open until 8 p.m. on Fridays).

Three ghosts: The Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St. in Manchester; palacetheatre.org, 668-5588) will kick off its month-long production of A Christmas Carol on Friday, Nov. 24, with a show at 7:30 p.m. The production will run through Saturday, Dec. 23, with shows Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 2 and 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $28 through $49.

Holiday show: The New Hampshire Antique Co-Op (323 Elm St. in Milford; nhantiquecoop.com, 673-8499) will hold its annual holiday open house on Friday, Nov. 24, through Sunday, Nov. 26, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. featuring raffles, a scavenger hunt, refreshments and more. Current exhibits include “Celebrating the American Landscape,” featuring works from artists of the late 1800s through the present, according to a press release.

A life: The Hatbox Theatre (Steeplegate Mall, 270 Loudon Road in Concord; hatboxnh.com, 715-2315) will present Man on the Hill, a musical theater production that follows the life of one man from boyhood through old age by New Hampshire composer and playwright John Stanley Shelley, on Friday, Nov. 24, through Sunday, Nov. 26. The show’s music is performed by the Duncan Idaho Band, according to a press release. Tickets cost $22 to $28. The show runs Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

A Nutcracker: The New England Dance Ensemble will present The Nutcracker on Saturday, Nov. 25, and Sunday, Nov. 26, at 4 p.m. at the Seifert Performing Arts Center (44 Geremonty Dr. in Salem) in a show featuring live music by the New Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra. Tickets cost $35 to $55 and are available at nede.org.

Pops: The New Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra will return to the Seifert Performing Arts Center in Salem for its Holiday Pops shows on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 17, at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $35 for adults, $30 for seniors and $10 for students. The Dec. 17 show will have a streaming option for $15. See nhphil.org.

Winter show: The Greater Salem Art Association will hold its 2023 Winter Art Show & Sale Thursday, Nov. 30, through Saturday, Dec. 2, at Kelley Library (234 Main St. in Salem) featuring original works of fine art by local artists and a fine art raffle, according to a press release. The show will be open Thursdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Admission is free. See gsaa-nh.com.

Holiday pops: The Manchester Community Music School (2291 Elm St. in Manchester; mcmusicschool.org, 644-4548) will present its Holiday Pops concert on Friday, Dec. 1, at 6:30 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.). The evening will feature a cash bar, refreshments, raffle prizes and a silent auction as well as performances by the Dino Anagnost Youth Symphony Orchestra of New Hampshire, the Flute Choir, the Queen City Youth Choirs and the NH Jazz Orchestra, according to a press release. Tickets cost $45 per person or $400 for a table for 10. Call or go online for reservations.

Holiday spirit: Theatre Kapow will present the New Hampshire premiere of The Thanksgiving Play by Native American playwright Larissa FastHorse (a MacArthur Genius) Friday, Dec. 1, through Sunday, Dec. 3, at the Bank of New Hampshire Stage in Concord (Main Street in Concord; ccanh.com). “Three really REALLY well-meaning teachers and one actress walk into a school. The work at hand: a Thanksgiving pageant that won’t ruffle any features,” according to a press release description of this comedy. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. See tkapow.com for tickets.

Contoocook Artisans fair: The annual Contoocook Artisans Holiday Craft Fair will be held Friday, Dec. 1, through Sunday, Dec. 3, at the American Legion Post 81 E.R. Montgomery Event Center (169 Bound Tree Road in Contoocook). A juried fine arts and crafts fair, the event will feature more than 30 artisans with locally made items including gifts for the home, baked goods, maple sugar and honey, baskets, holiday items, dolls and children’s toys, wooden items, jewelry, leather items, clothing, oil cloth accessories and handbags, specialty paper and books, felted treasures, pottery, photography, soaps, folk art, beadwork, quilts, Shaker items, Christmas ornaments and more, according to a press release. The fair will run Dec. 1 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A Celtic holiday: The Manchester Community Music School will also present upcoming faculty shows — “Spanish Renaissance” featuring Adriana Ruiz (voice) and Pablo Kennedy (lute and theorbo) on Thursday, Nov. 16, and “A Celtic Holiday” featuring Aubrie Dionne (flute), Erin Dubois (flute and piccolo), Kylie Elliot (flute) and Rose Hinkle (flute), according to a press release. The shows start at 7 p.m. and are free with preregistration, which is required. See mcmusicschool.org.

Holiday sounds: The 35th annual Messiah Sing! performances will take place at Mont Vernon Congregational Church on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 7:30 p.m., and at the Milford United Methodist Church on Sunday, Dec. 3, at 4 p.m., according to a press release. The performance will feature a live orchestra as well as the chorus. Admission is free (donations accepted).

The Dickens, you say: Theatrical company Carpe Diem will present A Dickens of a Christmas, the tale of a writer’s-blocked Charles Dickens, at the Old Salt Restaurant (Lafayette Road in Hampton) Monday, Dec. 4, through Wednesday, Dec. 6, and Monday, Dec. 11, through Wednesday, Dec. 13, according to a press release. The doors open at 5:30 p.m., show starts at 6 p.m. and includes a three-course dinner as well as live music and holiday carols. Tickets cost $59.99 and must be reserved by calling the restaurant at 926-8322, the release said.

Featured Photo: Courtesy photo.

54 recipes

Ooh, that recipe looks good; I wonder what’s in it.

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OK, this looks like the right recipe.

Uh, huh. Yes, I’m sure your Uncle Oswald was very fond of this recipe. I might like to make it myself.

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Yes, that’s a very nice photo of the finished dish—

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and of your Uncle Oswald.

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No, I don’t want to buy all the ingredients for the recipe. You haven’t even told me what they are yet.

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Yes, I’m glad your family likes it, too. Especially your picky 8-year-old.

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Yes, I’m sure he’s very precious to you, and I’m glad he’s gotten over his night terrors.

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OH, COME ON!!!

This has happened to all of us. We want a recipe and end up having to wade through a lot of non-recipe exposition to get to it. It’s very frustrating.

Because it’s a couple of weeks before the holidays (possibly the most recipe-intensive time of year) here are 54 recipes — for breads, desserts, main dishes, feed-a-crowd food, tastiness for when you in this season just need tastiness — with virtually no (additional) exposition.

1) Sesame Crunch Ice Cream

  • 1½ cups (190 grams) tahini paste. I like Krinos brand.
  • 1 scant cup (180 grams) white sugar
  • 3 cups (660 grams) half-and-half, or non-dairy cream
  • large pinch coarse sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon dark sesame oil

Blend all ingredients in your blender.

Chill the mixture for several hours or overnight.

Churn according to your ice cream machine’s manufacturer’s instructions.

This is excellent and very sesame-y, but even better when you mix in:

2) Sesame Brittle

  • ¾ cup (160 grams) white sugar
  • ¼ cup (85 grams) rose jam
  • pinch of coarse sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground sumac
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1 ¾ cups (125 grams) sesame seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon rose water

Cook the sugar, jam, salt, sumac, water and sesame seeds over medium heat, stirring often. Everything should melt together. Cook until it reaches 305ºF.

Quickly stir in the remaining ingredients — the oil, baking soda and rose water.

Pour onto an oiled silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Smooth out so it’s very thin.

Let cool, then break into small pieces.

This is a delicious, nutty and floral hard candy that will last about one week in an airtight container. If you have one of those little “Do Not Eat” dehydration envelopes, put it in the container with the sesame brittle. It will help keep it from getting too sticky. Even better, break it into smaller pieces and mix it in with your sesame ice cream before hardening it in your freezer.

3) Totally Delicious, Yes-I’m-Serious, Cilantro Ice Cream for the Brave of Heart

  • ¾ cup (188 grams) whole milk
  • 1¾ cups (113 grams) white sugar
  • 1½ cups (376 grams) heavy cream
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 bunch (about 90 grams) cilantro leaves and stems, roughly chopped
  • 4 egg yolks

Heat the milk, salt, sugar and half the cream (¾ cup/188 grams) to just below boiling, about 175ºF.

Remove from heat. Steep the cilantro, covered, for 1 hour.

Strain to remove the spent cilantro.

Add the egg yolks to the now green mixture and, stirring constantly, bring back to 175º.

Or — Bring the mixture back to 175º, then temper in the egg yolks.

Strain the mixture into the remaining cream. Stir, then chill for several hours or overnight.

Churn according to your ice cream machine’s manufacturer’s instructions.

4) Fortune Cookie Brickle for Topping Ice Cream With

  • 2 cups (106 grams) lightly crushed fortune cookies with the wrappers and fortunes removed
  • 3 Tablespoons melted butter
  • ¼ cup sugar

Mix all ingredients together.

Bake on a baking sheet for 20 to 25 minutes at 275º F.

Cool, and store in an airtight container for several days.

triangular piece of cheesecake on green plate, more cheesecake
Rustic Basque Cheesecake. Photo by John Fladd.

5) Rustic Basque Cheesecake

  • 3 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, or 24 ounces of soft goat cheese
  • 1 cup (200 grams) white sugar
  • 5 whole eggs (minus, you know, the shells)
  • ¾ cup (170 grams) heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt

Preheat your oven to 500ºF.

Line a springform pan with parchment paper.

Blend all the ingredients in your blender for 5 minutes.

Pour into your lined springform pan, and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. It will be very brown. Don’t let that shake you.

Remove from oven and cool thoroughly before de-panning.

This is delicious, rustic and not too sweet. It is excellent with a large glass of very cold milk.

6) Marzipan Sorbet

  • ⅔ cup (180 grams) almond butter
  • ⅗ cup (180 grams) white sugar
  • 3 cups (660 grams) unsweetened almond creamer. You could use half-and-half for this, but the almond-based creamer will make this even almondier.
  • 4 Tablespoons/2 ounces (72 grams) orgeat (almond syrup)
  • ½ loaf (99 grams) marzipan, cubed. (Marzipan is a sweetened almond paste. You can find it in the baking section of your supermarket, or online.)

Blend all the ingredients except the marzipan.

Chill for several hours or overnight.

Churn according to your ice cream machine’s manufacturer’s instructions.

During the final minute of churning, add the cubes of marzipan.

If you are not yet a fan of marzipan, you will be after trying this. It is especially good with a slice of banana bread.

7) Apple Bundt Cake

  • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced (about 440 grams)
  • 3 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg. If you’ve never grated your own nutmeg, try it. You’ll never go back to pre-ground again.
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups (360 grams) sour cream
  • 1½ cups (275 grams) white sugar
  • ½ cup (64 grams) brown sugar
  • 3 eggs

Heat your oven to 325ºF.

Butter and flour your Bundt pan.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

In another bowl, mix the sugars and sour cream. Mix in eggs, one at a time.

Mix in the diced apples by hand.

Pour mixture into your pre-gunked Bundt pan. Lift the pan and bonk it on your counter 10 times.

Bake for 70 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 200º F.

Remove from the oven. Let it cool for 20 minutes, then remove from the pan.

This is an outstanding Bundt cake. The apples are tart and still a tiny bit crunchy. The cake itself is rich but not too sweet. The nutmeg and cinnamon shine through. This is especially good with Custard Sauce.

8) Custard Sauce

  • 1½ cups (340 grams) half-and-half
  • 1/3 cup (56 grams) white sugar
  • 7 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Combine the cream and sugar, then heat over medium heat until just before boiling (175ºF/80ºC), then temper in the egg yolks.

Or — Heat the cream, sugar and egg yolks to 175ºF, whisking constantly.

Strain, to make sure there aren’t any bits of cooked egg, then add the vanilla and chill.

This is delicious on anything British, or on Apple Bundt Cake.

9) Orange Crinkle Cookies (18 vegan cookies)

six cookies, bright color inside, covered in powdered sugar, one baking sheet
Orange Crinkle Cookies. Photo by John Fladd.

These are excellent, and especially good if you are baking for a classroom, Girl Scout troop, etc., and don’t know who is dairy-intolerant or allergic to eggs.

  • 1 Tablespoon flax meal or egg replacer, mixed with 3 Tablespoons water
  • 1 box orange cake mix
  • ½ teaspoon orange extract
  • ½ cup orange soda
  • ½ cup (70 grams) chopped, candied orange slices. Trader Joe’s has excellent ones.
  • powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Prepare the egg substitute.

Mix all ingredients together.

Chill in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Roll 1-Tablespoon balls of dough in powdered sugar, and place six to a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes.

Cool briefly, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Delicious. Orangey. Crinkly.

10) Cheese Crumb Pudding from an Obscure Antique Cookbook

  • 2 cups (110 grams) bread crumbs (I feel like you could blitz Triscuits in the food processor in lieu of fresh bread crumbs)
  • 2 cups (250 grams) shredded, smoked cheddar – I went with an Australian brand called Old Croc, and I was not disappointed
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoon jarred salsa (this is playing pinch hitter for pimientos)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (225 grams) whole milk
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika

Heat oven to 375º.

Generously butter a 9×9” baking dish.

Mix the mustard, pepper and paprika together in a small dish.

Spread 1/3 of your crumbs over the bottom of the baking dish. Look at them critically. Do they look cold and lonely?

Cover them with a blanket of cheddar — half the cheddar. Sprinkle half the seasoning on top of the blanket. You know, like a blessing.

Repeat with another layer of crumbs, the rest of the cheddar and the rest of the seasoning. Top with a final layer of crumbs.

Mix the milk, eggs and salsa; gently pour over the top of the guys you already have in the baking dish.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Imagine very good macaroni and cheese, intensified, and with the macaroni mysteriously absent. This is extremely decadent, one of the few dishes that will satisfy everyone, including picky children and fathers-in-law.

11) Crumpets – Sort of Like a Cross Between English Muffins and Buttered Toast

  • 1 cup + 1 Tablespoon (235 grams) warm water
  • 1½ teaspoons (6 grams) white sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon (4 grams) yeast
  • 1½ cups (180 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) coarse sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) baking powder
  • lots of butter

Combine the water, sugar and yeast. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes to give the yeast a head start.

Combine flour, salt and baking powder in a medium-sized bowl, preferably a metal one.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and whisk thoroughly to combine.

Leave the batter to rise in a warm-water bath for 45 minutes.

Heat a frying pan or skillet to about 375º — about as hot as you would for pancakes.

Butter the inside of a pastry ring or a small can with the top and bottom removed. Place it on the hot skillet.

Add a dollop of butter, then three large spoonfuls of batter into the ring/can.

Using pancake-making skills, fry the proto-crumpet in the browning butter, until it is ready to flip over. I usually wait until there are a few non-popping bubbles on the surface.

Remove the ring/can — if you buttered it liberally enough, it should slide right off.

Flip your crumpet and cook in more butter, until it is golden brown on the other side.

Remove to a plate and cover with a tea towel, then rebutter your ring/can and make another. Once you have gotten good at this, you might cook two or more crumpets at a time, but because this recipe only makes six, you might want to focus on them individually.

These are buttery and salty and chewy. They make excellent Sunday morning treats, or housewarming gifts. Everyone you give them to will insist on putting butter and or jam on them, and they are delicious that way, but also a treat as is.

12) Sourdough Starter – Yes, for Sourdough Bread, But We’ll Worry About That Another Time

  • Equal amounts, by weight or volume, of flour and yeast

In a large container — I use a 1-quart plastic takeout container — thoroughly mix the flour and water.

Cover it and set it aside for 24 hours.

As you do this, tiny yeast cells from the air in your kitchen and clinging to tiny flour particles will start to wake up and do what they do best: give off gas and multiply.

The mixture won’t look much different than it did the day before.

Pour out half the mixture, then add the same amount of flour and water as the previous day.

Stir thoroughly, then set aside for another day.

Repeat this every day for a week or so. You will start to notice a yeastiness to the mixture. At that point you can use it in sourdough-y recipes, like sourdough biscuits. The longer you keep your starter — feeding it regularly — the more sour and delicious it will get. Once it is thoroughly established, you can reduce the feedings to three per week. If you are going away on vacation, you can store it without feeding for several weeks in the refrigerator.

13) Sourdough Biscuits

  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • ¾ cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons (7 grams) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 cup (264 grams) sourdough starter

Freeze the butter in your freezer for at least 1 hour.

Preheat your oven to 425º.

Combine the sugar, flour, salt and baking powder.

Using a box grater, grate the butter into the flour mixture. If it starts getting melty on your hands, roll it around in the flour.

With your hands, toss the butter in the flour mixture until it is thoroughly combined. (This is the technique I’ve been using for my pie crusts lately, and it works very nicely.)

Add the sourdough starter, and mix to combine. You will end up with a very shaggy dough. Turn it out onto a floured countertop.

Pat the dough into a 5×7” rectangle, about the same size as a postcard. Flip it over so that both sides are floury and not too sticky.

Fold the dough in half, then pat it out to postcard-size. Flip it around in the flour as necessary.

Fold, pat and flip the dough a total of eight times. As you do this, you are building up layers in the dough. Each time you do this, it will become a little smoother and biscuit-doughy.

Pat the dough out into a 7×9” rectangle. Using a large knife or a bench scraper, cut the edges off. As you’ve been patting the dough out, you’ve been pinching the edges a little. Cutting the edges off will allow the biscuits to rise, with lots of layers.

Cut the dough to make six biscuits. Use the off-cuts to make spiral-shaped, wonky biscuits. These will not rise as well or look as pretty, but they will also be delicious.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. This will vary, depending on how accurate your oven is. Watch very carefully the first time you do this to get your specific time. In my kitchen, it is 17 minutes.

Nobody from the South will believe you, but these might be the best biscuits you ever have.

14) Strawberry Ice Cream

  • 2⅔ cups (450 grams) frozen strawberries, thawed (The freezing makes the berries give up more juice. Plus, the frozen ones are less expensive than fresh.)
  • ½ cup (175 grams) strawberry preserves
  • 1 generous cup (240 grams) heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon (18 grams) lemon juice
  • More strawberry preserves for layering in

Blend all the ingredients in your blender.

Strain — otherwise the ice cream might be a little too seedy.

Churn according to your ice cream machine’s manufacturer’s instructions.

Layer the soft ice cream with more strawberry preserves before freezing.

This is extra strawberry-y and not too sweet. It’s totally worth making once per week, especially in the winter, when you are feeling sun-deprived.

15) Potatoes au Gratin

  • 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1½ pounds (700 grams) potatoes – waxy red potatoes would work well for this, but there really are no wrong potatoes for this dish – peeled and sliced thin
  • 2 cups (200 grams) grated cheese – I like the pre-grated, bagged cheese from the supermarket, but again, there really is no wrong cheese for this
  • salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 425º.

Warm the evaporated milk and one crushed clove of garlic, and leave it to steep for 30 minutes.

Rub the inside of a casserole dish with the other clove of garlic, then butter it thoroughly with 2 Tablespoons of the butter.

Put down the potatoes and cheese in three layers, salting and peppering each one.

Strain the warm milk mixture over the potatoes. Dot the top with the remaining Tablespoon butter.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. The top should be golden brown.

You’ve got your french fries, your Tater Tots, even your mashed potatoes, but this may be the prince of potato dishes.

16) Coffee Ice Cream

  • 2 cups (454 grams) heavy cream
  • 1½ cups (375 grams) half-and-half
  • ½ cup (100 grams) white sugar
  • pinch of coarse sea salt
  • ¾ cup (50 grams) ground coffee
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla

Set aside 1¼ cups of heavy cream, and the vanilla.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in a small saucepan, and heat to hot-but-not-boiling (about 150º).

Remove from heat and let it steep, covered, for about an hour.

Strain the coffee mixture into the rest of the cream. Add the vanilla.

Chill for several hours or overnight.

Churn according to your ice cream machine’s manufacturer’s instructions.

This is outstanding coffee ice cream, but be warned that two scoops of it before bed kept me awake until 4 a.m.

17) Corn Chowder

  • 1 stick (8 ounces) butter
  • 1 small or ½ large white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 ears sweet corn, cut from the cob; alternatively, one small bag of frozen corn
  • 1 hatch/poblano chili, chopped
  • ½ gallon milk
  • 1 large baking potato, peeled and diced
  • salt, pepper and smoked paprika to taste

Melt the butter in a large soup pan. (If you are a bacon-eater, half a package of bacon, chopped, fried and rendered, will work well too.)

Add the onion and corn. Sauté until they have some color.

Add the pepper, potatoes and smoked paprika. If you are using bacon, you can skip the paprika at your discretion. You really want a rich, smoky flavor in the background, though. Cook for another five minutes or so.

Add the milk. If you are using fresh sweet corn, chop the cobs in half and use them, too. They will make the chowder extra-corny.

Bring to a simmer, then cook on low heat for 60 minutes.

Season to taste and serve with bread and butter.

This is probably the easiest soup you will ever make from scratch. If you wanted, you could make this entirely from frozen vegetables and still impress picky chowder purists.

18) Scallion Pancakes

  • ½ cup (170 grams) sourdough starter
  • 2 Tablespoons (28 grams) water
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 or 3 scallions, finely chopped
  • a large handful of fresh herbs, chopped – I like chives and basil; cilantro is always good
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • oil for frying

Heat the oil in a frying pan until shimmering.

Combine all the ingredients, reserving half the scallions.

Fry the batter in 3 to 5 batches, sprinkling the reserved scallions on top.

Fry on both sides, drain and serve.

The more quickly you eat these, the crisper they will be.

19) Paneer – Fresh Indian Cheese

  • 1 gallon whole milk
  • ⅓ cup vinegar

Heat the milk in a large soup pot, stirring occasionally to keep it from bonding too firmly to the bottom.

Bring to a boil. Remove from heat immediately.

Stir in the vinegar. Stir for another minute or so, until the milk solids separate from the watery liquid. (This is whey, as in “Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet.”)

Line a large colander with a tea towel. Strain the clumpy milk mixture into the towel.

After a minute or so, squeeze some of the moisture out of the towel. Set the towel aside to drain for another hour or so.

You just made cheese. Cut it into cubes, and store it in your refrigerator to make curries with, like a Paneer-Pistachio Curry.

20) Paneer-Pistachio Curry

  • ½ cup (75 grams) cashews
  • 1 bag frozen onions and peppers
  • 8 to 10 cardamom pods, crushed and placed in a tea strainer
  • 2 or 3 serrano chilies, stemmed, seeded and chopped
  • 1½ teaspoons coarse sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup (75 grams) salted, roasted, shelled pistachios
  • 8 ounces paneer cubes
  • 1 bunch of cilantro leaves and stems, rinsed and chopped

Boil the cashews, peppers/onions, serranos and cardamom in 2 cups of water for 10 minutes.

Remove the tea strainer, then puree the mixture with an immersion blender or in your regular blender. Return to the pot.

Stir in the pistachios, paneer, salt and cayenne. Warm for five minutes.

Stir in the cilantro and serve with naan.

This is spicy, nutty, hearty curry. If you think you don’t like curries because you don’t like curry powder, this may change your mind. This is a gateway drug to Indian cooking.

21) Granola

  • 2½ cups (225 grams) rolled oats
  • ¼ to ½ cup (75 grams) coarsely chopped nuts
  • ¼ to ½ cup (70 grams) poppy seeds, sesame seeds, or a mixture of both
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) vegetable oil
  • ⅓ cup (112 grams) honey
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla

Preheat your oven to 305º.

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

Add the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. You might be able to do this with a spatula; you will probably end up using your hands.

Drop the mixture onto a silicone sheet or parchment paper on a large baking sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula. Press the mixture down, especially in the corners of the pan.

Return to oven and bake for another 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool before breaking into clumps.

This is a salty, spicy, lightly sweet granola that will make itself remembered.

22) Peppermint Stick Ice Cream

wide bowl shaped glass with stem, on table surrounded by colored pencils and markers, pink ice cream with spoon
Peppermint Stick Ice Cream. Photo by John Fladd.
  • 3 cups (680 grams) half-and-half
  • pinch of salt
  • ⅓ cup (65 grams) white sugar
  • 4 crushed candy canes (about 70 grams)
  • 1 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • Another 4 (70 grams) crushed candy canes

Combine cream, salt, sugar, the first batch of candy canes, and cornstarch in a medium saucepan. Heat until the candy canes have completely melted and the mixture has thickened. It should look like pink hot chocolate.

Chill for several hours or overnight.

Churn according to your ice cream machine’s manufacturer’s instructions.

About five minutes before the mixture is done churning, add the second batch of peppermint candy.

This is an outstandingly pepperminty ice cream and an excellent way to use up late-season leftover candy canes.

23) Peanut Butter and Jelly Bundt Cake

Butter for generously greasing your Bundt pan

  • ⅓ cup (75 grams) finely chopped dry-roasted peanuts
  • ½ cup (114 grams) sour cream
  • 1¼ cup (213 grams) brown sugar
  • ½ cup (135 grams) peanut butter
  • 1¾ cup (210 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • ⅓ cup (76 grams) half-and-half
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • ¾ cup (255 grams) strawberry jam
  • 11 (60 grams) maraschino cherries, stems removed

Preheat your oven to 350°.

Prepare a Bundt pan — lavishly butter the inside surface with butter, then dust it with crushed peanuts.

Measure or weigh out the sour cream, brown sugar and peanut butter in the bowl of your stand mixer, or the bowl that you’re going to finish the cake batter in. Now leave it alone until you are ready for it.

Combine all your dry ingredients in a separate bowl. If you worry about such things, go ahead and sift them together; otherwise just stir them together with a spoon.

Beat the sour cream, sugar and peanut butter together into a fine goop.

When your goop is as light and fluffy as it is going to get, continue beating, adding the eggs one at a time, followed by a glug of vanilla.

At this point your mixture is pretty soupy. You’ll be happy to know that it’s time to add the dry ingredients, alternating with the half-and-half.

Scrape the sides of your bowl down to make sure that everything has gotten mixed together, then pour a little more than half of your batter into your Bundt pan.

Bonk the Bundt pan firmly on the top of the counter twice. This is to make sure that there are no air pockets. If you want to, you could wait until you’ve added all the ingredients. In this particular recipe it might also drive your jam and cherries downward, to what will be the top of the cake, and make visible jam inclusions. In any other cake this would be a bug. In this cake it would be a feature.

Gently spoon the jam in a ring around the Bundt pan, on top of the batter you just poured in. Place the cherries in a ring on top of the jam.

Pour the rest of the batter into your pan, making sure to cover the jam and cherries. Don’t worry about being particularly neat; the batter will level itself out.

Bake at 350° for about half an hour. If you are worried about whether it is completely baked, stab it with a probe thermometer. If it reads over 200° F, you’re fine. Don’t worry about it being overbaked; that’s what the sour cream is there for. It has your back.

Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 to 20 minutes, then invert it onto a plate. I find that I rise up onto my toes as I make the flip, then come down hard on my heels. I don’t know if that does anything productive, but I like to think that it lets the finished cake know that I mean business.

This is a moist, not too sweet snack cake, ideal for sharing with a special friend over coffee.

24) Roasted Banana Sorbet

  • 3 tired bananas, the type you might find in the sale rack at a supermarket or by the cash register at a convenience store, the type that has seen too much of life – these are the sweet, flavorful ones
  • ⅓ cup (70 grams) brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1⅔ cups (375 grams) non-dairy half-and-half
  • 2 Tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon créme de banana
  • 1½ teaspoons lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt

Preheat your oven to 400º.

Slice your bananas, and mix with brown sugar and coconut oil.

Transfer to an oven-proof pan or dish, and roast for 40 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Combine all ingredients, including the banana mixture, in your blender and blend thoroughly.

Chill for several hours or overnight.

Churn according to your ice cream machine’s manufacturer’s instructions.

Your kitchen will smell amazing while you roast the bananas. If you have a child who complains about not liking bananas, sympathize with them and eat it all yourself.

25) Blackberry Syrup

  • 1 bag frozen blackberries
  • An equal amount (by weight) of white sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Combine the sugar and frozen berries in a medium saucepan over medium heat. At this point you will be extremely skeptical: This mixture looks far too dry to ever turn into syrup. Have patience.

Keep stirring the mixture occasionally. As the berries thaw, they are going to give up a surprising amount of liquid. When they froze, ice crystals pierced all the cell walls, and now you get all that juice, with very little work.

Keep stirring, crushing berries wherever possible. Bring to a boil.

Let the syrup boil for five or six seconds to make sure that the sugar has all been dissolved, then remove from the heat.

Pour the hot syrup through a fine-mesh strainer to remove all the seeds. There will be a lot of them.

Stir in the lemon juice.

Let the syrup cool, bottle it and store it in your refrigerator for a month or so.

This is an excellent topping for ice cream or pancakes, but also a surprisingly wonderful ingredient for cocktails.

26) Rich and Decadent Peanut Butter Soufflé

  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • ½ cup + 1 Tablespoon (120 grams) brown sugar
  • ¼ cup minus 1 teaspoon (55 grams) peanut butter
  • Small glug of vanilla, about 1 teaspoon
  • pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 350°.

Separate your eggs. Do this over the bowl of your stand mixer, or the bowl you will be beating the egg whites in. Everyone has their own method for separating eggs. My preference is to break the shell on a flat surface, like a countertop. (This pretty much eliminates small pieces of shell in the bowl that I have to fish out.) I crack the egg open and pour it into my open hand. I keep my fingers just far apart enough that the egg white will eventually release its hold on the yolk and slip through them into the bowl. Remember to wash your hands before and after doing this.

Place the egg yolks in a separate large bowl. Add the brown sugar and peanut butter. Mix well with a spoon. The mixture will be really stiff, so it will be more a matter of mashing than mixing.

Add the salt and vanilla to the egg whites, then whisk them to medium peaks. Have you ever seen a cooking show or competition where a baker beats their egg whites, then holds the bowl over their (or a competitor’s) head to show that they are stiff enough? This is what bakers call stiff peaks. That’s a little stiffer than we want for this recipe. We want them to be the consistency where the TV baker starts giggling and it is just enough to make the egg whites slowly glop onto somebody’s head.

With a silicone spatula, scoop out about a third of your egg whites and mix them into the peanut butter mixture. This is what professionals call loosening up a stiff base. Go ahead and mix everything together. As the mixture becomes more liquidy and stir-able, the doubt you’ve been feeling about your ability to pull this whole soufflé off will ease up by about 15 percent.

This next step is the closest thing to tricky. Use the spatula to scoop out about half the remaining egg whites and put them in the peanut butter bowl. Run the edge of the spatula through the middle of the mess, then sweep it around the edge of the bowl. A tiny bit of the whites will mix together with the base. This is called folding in the egg whites. Even though you can’t see it easily with the naked eye, beaten egg whites are made up of a gazillion tiny bubbles, held together by the sticky proteins in the egg white itself. Remember when your hands felt sticky and gross after separating the eggs? That stickiness is what’s holding those tiny bubbles together. Those bubbles are what’s going to lighten your soufflé and give it lift. By folding the egg whites into the mixture, instead of just stirring it, you are preserving as many of the bubbles as possible. Keep folding until the whites are mostly incorporated with the base.

At this point, your peanut butter mixture should be looking a lot lighter. Your soufflé stress will also lighten up, probably another 15 percent. Fold the rest of the egg whites into the mixture.

Gently spoon the mixture into two large ramekins and put them into your preheated oven.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Your oven and mine are probably different by a few degrees, so you might have to make this recipe a couple of times before you perfect the timing. The good news is that even sub-optimal soufflés are awfully good.

Pull the puffed-up soufflés from the oven and serve immediately. The now-baked bubble matrix is proud and puffy, but it will collapse within the next 10 minutes. Serve with something fruity, like Rhubarb Compote.

27) Rhubarb Compote and Rhubarb Syrup

This recipe is very much like the one for Blackberry Syrup, but at the end of the process you get syrup and compote.

  • rhubarb – cleaned and chopped
  • the same amount of white sugar, by weight
  • juice of half a lemon

Freeze the chopped rhubarb for several hours or overnight. This will allow ice crystals to pierce all the cell walls.

Heat the frozen rhubarb and sugar in a saucepan. As it thaws, the rhubarb will give off quite a bit of liquid. If you want to help the process along, you can crush the rhubarb with a potato masher.

Bring the mixture to a boil to ensure that the sugar has dissolved completely.

Remove from heat. Stir in the lemon juice.

Strain the mixture with a fine-meshed strainer.

The liquid is your rhubarb syrup, which makes a delightful Rhubarb Margarita, and the solids are a very nice compote that is delicious on toast or with a Peanut Butter Soufflé. Both will last for two or three weeks in your refrigerator.

28) Rhubarb Margarita

  • 2 ounces blanco tequila – I like Hornitos
  • 1 ounce rhubarb syrup
  • ¾ ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
  • Combine all three ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker.
  • Shake until the shaker becomes painful to hold.
  • Strain into a cocktail glass, and drink while listening to flamenco music.
  • 29) Carrot Pie
  • purée of two large carrots – about 1½ cups, or 300 grams
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup (99 grams) sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • ½ cups (1 can) evaporated milk
  • zest of 1 large orange
  • 1 pie crust

Preheat the oven to 450º F.

Whisk all ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl.

Pour into the pie crust. Much as with a pumpkin pie, the crust does not need to be blind-baked.

Bake at 450º for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 325º and bake for a further 50 to 55 minutes or until the blade of a knife comes out more or less clean.

30) Sweet Lemon Buns

  • 1 cup (227 grams) whole milk
  • 1½ Tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) white sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon yeast
  • zest of 2 lemons (about 7 grams)
  • juice of ½ lemon (40 grams)
  • ½ cup (85 grams) golden raisins
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt

In a small saucepan, heat the milk, butter and sugar, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat.

Stir in the yeast, then leave the mixture to proof for 10 to 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture, lemon rind, lemon juice, raisins and egg. This will make a gloppy mess.

Add the flour and salt. Knead with the bread hook on your stand mixer, or by hand for five to 10 minutes.

Pull the still-sticky dough into a tight ball, then place in an oiled bowl to rise.

Let the dough rise for one to two hours, until it has doubled in size.

Preheat your oven to 350º.

With a large knife or bench scraper, divide the dough into 12 portions.

Form the portions into proto-buns and leave to rise a second time on parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet, about 20 minutes.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Eat, warm from the oven, with too much butter, or with Egg Foo Yung Salad.

31) Egg Foo Yung Salad

I am passionately fond of eggs, but not hard-boiled ones, or, as I like to call them, “sulfur-flavored Jell-O.” This is an excellent work-around egg salad.

  • 1 order takeout egg foo yung, minus the sauce
  • mayonnaise
  • pickled red onion
  • pickled jalapeños
  • canned water chestnuts
  • roasted, salted pecans
  • a tiny amount of sesame oil
  • salt and pepper

Chop the egg, onion, jalapeños and water chestnuts. Place in a medium-sized bowl.

Add the mayo, sesame oil and pecans to taste.

Season to taste.

There are no specific amounts of any ingredient in this recipe, because egg salad, like tuna or potato salad, is entirely dependent on individual preferences. About once per month I stop for takeout egg foo yung just to make this.

32) Boston Brown Bread

rectangular loaf of dense brown break on cutting board, one piece cut and slathered in butter
Boston Brown Bread. Photo by John Fladd.
  • generous ½ cup (60 grams) whole wheat flour
  • generous ½ cup (67 grams) rye flour
  • generous ½ cup (75 grams) fine corn flour or masa harina
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ cup (85 grams) golden raisins or dried blueberries
  • 1 cup (227 grams) buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup (170 grams) molasses

Heat your oven to 325º.

Generously butter a loaf pan or large coffee can.

Combine all dry ingredients in one bowl, and the wet ingredients in another.

Combine the contents of the two bowls.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan or coffee can. Cover the top with foil and tie it with twine.

Put the pan or can in a large roasting pan or Dutch oven, and fill 1/3 of the way up with boiling water.

Cover the roasting pan or Dutch oven, and bake for two hours and 15 minutes. Check in on the water level from time to time, and refill as necessary. The bread will be ready when a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes before serving with a truly inordinate amount of butter.

Use any leftovers the next day for Brown Bread French Toast.

33) Boston Brown Bread French Toast

Make French toast from your leftover Boston Brown Bread.

34) Flame-Grilled Vegetables

cooking tray with chopped vegetables sitting on grill, smoke rising
Flame-Grilled Vegetables. Photo by John Fladd.
  • 2 red potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 yellow or red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can artichoke bottoms, diced – artichoke hearts are fine, but if you can find the bottoms, they will be a revelation; they taste the same, but with a meaty texture
  • 1 can jumbo black olives, strained
  • 1 package haloumi cheese, diced
  • ½ bottle balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing
  • salt and pepper

Several hours before you want to eat, boil the potatoes until they are just al dente — maybe five minutes from being perfectly cooked.

Add the potatoes and all the other ingredients to a gallon-sized zip-lock bag. Squeeze as much air out as possible. Leave the bag on the kitchen counter to let the vegetables marinate for two to three hours.

Half an hour before dinner, start the charcoal in your grill.

When you have a good set of coals, march outside with a determined expression, a grill pan, a pair of tongs and a cold beer.

Place the grill pan — it looks like a metal basket with a lot of holes in it — over the coals, then pour the contents of the bag into it.

There will be a huge hiss, but don’t worry, the coals have not gone out.

Grill the vegetables until the onions and haloumi have some good color. Move them around with the tongs from time to time. You will probably have to change position from time to time to escape the worst of the smoke. This is the price you pay for delicious grilled vegetables.

Sneak a piece of potato or pepper occasionally. You will know when everything has cooked.

Finish your beer, then make way too big a production of bringing the hot grill pan back into the kitchen for service.

35) Homemade Hummus

  • 2 15.5-ounce cans of chickpeas, sometimes labeled as garbanzo beans
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 clove fresh garlic
  • ½ cup (117 grams) tahini paste, sort of like a peanut butter made from sesame seeds
  • 1 lemon, squeezed
  • olive oil and paprika to garnish (optional)

Using a colander, drain and rinse the chickpeas to wash away any metallic taste from the cans.

In a blender or food processor, combine the chickpeas, salt, garlic and a generous cup of water. Blend or process on low speed for two minutes or so. The mixture will be a tan color and look a little grainy.

Add the tahini and lemon juice, then blend or process again for three to four minutes.

Pour into a serving dish. Garnish with a splash of olive oil and a sprinkling of paprika, then surround the bowl with olives, pickled turnips and torn or sliced pieces of flatbread.

36) Homemade Chocolates

You’ve probably watched a cooking competition and been scared off from ever trying to mold your own chocolates because the judges kept going on about properly “tempering” your chocolate and made it seem like glass-blowing or something.

Buy some silicone chocolate molds, or soap molds, or even ice cube trays from a craft store, or online.

Ingredients:

  • chocolate

That’s it. You can, of course add pretzel pieces or crushed peppermint, or white chocolate chips, but all you really need is chocolate. Dark chocolate chips do very nicely.

Fill a small, microwave-safe bowl with chunks of chocolate. Microwave for 20 to 30 seconds.

Stir. At this point the chunks are probably just a little melted around the edges.

Microwave for 15 more seconds. Stir. More melty…

Let’s go 10 more seconds, then really stir. The warm chocolate will melt the rest of the pieces.

When you have a bowlful of melted chocolate, pour it into the molds. Make sure that you jab at it with your spoon or craft stick a little to get into any crevices.

Cool for an hour or so in your refrigerator, then de-mold.

Bask in the admiration of friends and co-workers.

And as long as you’re melting chocolate, you might as well make some Chocolate-Covered Cherries.

37) Chocolate-Covered Cherries

  • melted chocolate (see above)
  • maraschino cherries, stems removed.

One at a time, drop cherries into the melted chocolate, and roll them around with a fork until they are completely covered.

Transfer to wax paper or parchment paper to set.

Eat them, or use them to woo an attractive, dark-eyed stranger.

38) World’s Greatest Breakfast Sandwich

  • 1 slice of ordinary sandwich bread (seriously, don’t try to get fancy with this), toasted
  • peanut butter
  • pickled jalapeños
  • 1 egg, scrambled (I cook mine in the microwave oven for 67 seconds)
  • salt and pepper to taste

OK, go ahead. Be skeptical, but once you’ve tried this you will make it again: Toast, peanut butter, jalapeños, scrambled egg, salt and pepper.

39) Taco Variations – Which Absolutely Should Be the Title of a Piece of Classical Music

So, the key to an extended family get-together, like on Christmas Eve, or Eid al Fitr, is feeding everyone generously, and keeping grumbling to a minimum. One of the best ways to do that is with tacos. Everyone likes some sort of tacos, so set up a taco bar in the kitchen with crispy shells, traditional grilled tortillas, and a variety of different ingredients. Here are a few ingredients that you probably haven’t thought of:

Pan-Fried Hominy – Drain a couple cans of hominy (alkali-treated corn that you can find in the canned vegetable section of the supermarket, near the beans), and fry them in butter until they are golden brown. They have a chewy texture and carb-y flavor that adds a whole new dimension to a taco.

Pulled Chicken – Buy a rotisserie chicken at the supermarket and pull it apart into taco-sized chunks. Half the work, all the flavor. You can set some golden-brown skin aside for a relative you actually like.

Plant-Based Hamburger Substitute – It is highly likely that you have at least one member of your extended family who is vegetarian or vegan and generally sulky about being left out at family gatherings. It is just as easy to make hamburger taco filling from Impossible or Beyond Burger. You wouldn’t even need to tell any of the huffier members of the family; just whisper in the ear of your relative-arian, and let them know that you have their back.

40) Another Cocktail – A Cranberry Cobra, Made with Cranberry Syrup

The Cranberry Cobra

  • ½ ounce lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce golden rum
  • ½ serrano chile
  • 1½ ounces blisteringly cold vodka
  • 1 ounce cranberry syrup (see below)
  • ½ ounce unsweetened cranberry juice
  • 1 bottle Fever Tree Aromatic Tonic

Muddle the serrano in the bottom of a cocktail shaker.

Add the rum and vodka, and dry-shake (without ice). Capsaicin, the fiery chemical in chiles, is alcohol-soluble, so dry-shaking it will allow the rum and vodka to strip out more heat and flavor from the serrano.

Add the lemon juice, cranberry syrup, cranberry juice and ice, then shake again, as vigorously as you see fit.

Strain into a tall Collins glass, over fresh ice.

Top with tonic and stir gently.

41) Cranberry Syrup

  • 1 part sugar
  • 1 part 100% cranberry juice – NOT cranberry juice cocktail

Bring both ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan and cook until the sugar dissolves completely, about two minutes.

Actually that’s it. You will probably want to let it cool before actually using it in a cocktail.

So, right now, if you are a thoughtful reader, you are asking why you can’t just use cranberry juice and simple syrup in the Cranberry Cobra and skip the syrup-making altogether. Seven words for you: Apple. Pie. Ala. Mode. With. Cranberry. Syrup.

42) Thumbprint Cookies

  • 1½ cups (3 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 cup (198 grams) white sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3½ cups (163 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fruit preserves, any flavor – the key here is to find some sort of really unusual jam that people won’t be expecting: ginger preserves, hot pepper jelly, rose jam, lime marmalade — these are all excellent choices

Preheat your oven to 350º

In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, white sugar, then the eggs.

Mix in flour a little bit at a time until a soft dough forms.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet.

Use your finger or an instrument of similar size to make a well in the center of each cookie. Fill the hole with 1/2 teaspoon of jam.

Bake for 14 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown on the bottom. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.

43) Failure Cookies, aka Blank Canvas Cookies

This recipe was adapted from another 100-year-old newspaper clipping, and something was definitely lost in the translation. The filling burned and the dough turned out to be impossible to roll out. And yet — think of this as a Blank Canvas cookie. It has a mild, shortcake-like flavor that lends itself to modification. Add some peppermint oil? It would work beautifully. Lemon zest and lemon oil? Please. Bourbon? Why not?

1 cup (227 grams) whole milk

  • 1 cup (198 grams) sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 3½ cups (420 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • pinch salt
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder

Preheat your oven to 375º

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt and baking powder together. Set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar in your stand mixer until light and fluffy.

Add the milk and the egg.

Gradually add the flour mixture and mix until it has been incorporated.

Drop 1-Tablespoon dollops of the batter onto parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet, six at a time.

Bake for 10 minutes. Cool briefly before eating, or making a Trifle.

44) Failure Cookie Trifle

glass bowl filled with layers of broken cookies and whipped cream, on talbe with striped table cloth, spoons lying beside
Failure Cookie Trifle. Photo by John Fladd.

The amount of each ingredient will be determined by the size of your trifle dish.

  • Failure Cookies
  • heavy cream
  • maple syrup
  • frozen cherries
  • amaretto

Thaw and drain frozen cherries. Soak overnight in amaretto.

Whip the cream until stiff with maple syrup as a sweetener.

In a large, or whatever size you have, glass dish, layer Failure Cookies, maple whipped cream, and marinated cherries.

Repeat as many times as you have ingredients and room in the bowl.

Dust the top with nutmeg or chocolate shavings.

45) Chocolate-Orange Cookies, Also From a 1923 Newspaper Clipping

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup (114 grams) powdered sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 4 teaspoons melted butter
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup (about 1½ slices, 68 grams) fresh soft bread crumbs – a food processor or blender will crumb bread very nicely
  • ½ cup (85 grams) chopped candied orange slices – Trader Joe’s has very good ones
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Mix the cocoa and butter into a stiff paste. Set aside.

Beat the egg whites to medium peaks.

Slowly mix in the powdered sugar…

Then the salt and cocoa paste…

Mix in the cinnamon, bread crumbs, chopped orange pieces and vanilla, until combined.

Chill the dough for 30 minutes.

Heat your oven to 350º.

Bake 1-Tablespoon balls for 10 minutes.

Cool and eat.

46) Browned Butter Cookie Bars

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 cup (213 grams) packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup (99 grams) white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup (76 grams) whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2½ cups (300 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (170 grams) chocolate chips
  • 4 ounces (about 1 large bar) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • sea salt flakes

Grease and line a 13×9” baking pan with parchment paper.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter, and cook until it turns light brown and smells nutty. Pour into a bowl to cool.

Add both sugars and the salt to the browned butter until completely combined.

Beat in the milk and vanilla, then the flour and chocolate chips.

When this has turned into cookie dough, transfer it to the baking dish and smash it down flat with a spatula, making sure to fill the corners. Put this in the refrigerator to chill while you play with melted chocolate.

In a small saucepan, maybe the one you used to brown the butter, heat the dark chocolate, cream and corn syrup. When it has turned to a melted saucy consistency, take the cookie dough from the refrigerator and pour the chocolate onto it. Tilt the pan to completely cover the dough. Sprinkle the top with sea salt.

Chill overnight, then cut into bars.

47) Gooey Butter Rum Bars

  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter
  • ½ cup (99 grams) white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons dark rum
  • 1¼ cups (150 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 2½ cups (284 grams) powdered sugar

Heat your oven to 350º.

Grease and line a 9×13” baking pan with parchment paper.

Beat ½ cup (1 stick) of the butter with your mixer. Add the white sugar, baking powder, and half the salt. Beat until light and fluffy.

Add one egg and 1 Tablespoon of the rum. Keep mixing.

Beat in the flour until everything is combined.

Smush this dough into the bottom of the baking pan. Make an even layer, including the corners.

Clean out the mixing bowl, then beat the remaining butter and the cream cheese until light and fluffy.

Add the rest of the ingredients, being careful to add the eggs one at a time.

Pour the batter on top of the crust in the baking pan.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes.

Cool, cut and eat gleefully.

48) 1970s-era Nuts & Bolts (Chex Mix)

  • ½ cup salted butter (1 stick)
  • 2 Tablespoons full-sodium soy sauce
  • 1¼ teaspoons seasoned salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt (if there was any way to cram more salt into this, we didn’t know about it in the ’70s)
  • 2¾ cups Corn Chex
  • 2¾ cups Rice Chex
  • 2¾ cups Wheat Chex
  • 1½ cups cocktail peanuts (oh, wait – apparently there is a way)
  • 1½ cups sesame sticks

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.

Melt butter in a shallow pan. Stir in soy sauce, seasoned salt and garlic salt.

Add cereal, peanuts and sesame sticks. Mix until all pieces are coated.

Place on a shallow baking pan with sides.

Bake for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

49) Switches and Coal, a Krampus-Themed Holiday Drink

tall dark glass of cocktail, smaller glass beside, on counter with pine needles and cork, ipad showing image of krampus in background
Switches and Coal. Photo by John Fladd.

This is a take on a classic drink called a Black Satin, but boilermaker-y:

  • 3 ounces very dark beer – stout or porter
  • 3 ounces Brut Champagne
  • 2 ounces of the darkest rum you can get your hands on – I like Cruzan Black Strap

Gently pour the very dark beer into a tall glass.

Float the Champagne on top of it. Pour it over the back of a spoon. It will not make visibly separate layers, but it makes a difference.

Pour a shot of very dark rum, then drop it into the mixture.

Drink, while complaining to your husband about your day.

50) Greyhound – A Retro Cocktail that Will Make You Feel Better About Things in General

  • 2 2-inch slices of grapefruit rind (just the thin outer layer – the grapefruit will bring enough bitterness without using any of the white pith under the surface)
  • 1½ ounces good gin – I like Death’s Door
  • 1 ounce St. Germain, an elderflower liqueur
  • 2 ounces unsweetened ruby grapefruit juice

Muddle the grapefruit peel thoroughly in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. This will release citrus oil and add an extra layer of grapefruitiness to the finished drink. Feel free to really smash the peel.

Add the other ingredients and four or five ice cubes to the shaker, and shake thoroughly.

Strain over ice in a rocks glass.

Sip while thinking about that one time when you met that guy with that crazy idea. What would have happened if you’d thrown caution into the wind?

51) Lady In Blue – A Classic Cocktail With a Touch of Sophistication

  • 1½ ounces very cold gin
  • ¼ ounce créme de violette
  • ¾ ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 3 drops orange blossom water

A “slip” of blue curaçao

Combine all ingredients except the blue curaçao with ice in a cocktail shaker.

Shake until frost forms on the shaker and your hands become uncomfortably cold.

Strain into a martini glass. This is one occasion where you should not frost the glass first; you will want to show this cocktail off. The frosted glass would mess with that.

Pour a small slip of blue curaçao down one side of the glass. It is denser than the rest of the drink and will pool in the bottom of the glass.

52) Existential Luau – A Tiki Drink That Brings Up Difficult Questions

  • 1 ounce lime syrup (see below)
  • 1 ounce Campari
  • 2 ounces gin (I like Death’s Door)
  • 4 ounces pineapple juice

cracked ice or tiny ice cubes

Fill a tall glass — a pint glass or a Collins glass — with ice.

Add lime syrup, Campari and gin.

Top off with pineapple juice.

Stir with a bar spoon.

Drink while thinking what you would name your boat, and then the bar you would run when you got to a tropical island, sold the boat and opened a bar.

53) Lime Syrup

  • juice of 3 or 4 limes
  • An equal amount (by weight) of white sugar
  • zest of 2 limes

In a small saucepan, bring the lime juice and sugar to a boil. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 10 to 15 seconds, once it’s boiling.

Remove from heat and add lime zest. Let it steep for 30 minutes.

Strain the zest from the syrup, so it doesn’t get bitter.

Label your jar so you won’t have an awkward moment a week from now, when your wife wants to know what’s in that jar in the door of the fridge.

54) Navy Grog

  • 1 ounce black rum, the darker the better – I like Cruzan’s Black Strap for this
  • 1 ounce golden rum – I’ve got a bottle of Kirk and Sweeney that I save for special occasions like this
  • 1 ounce white rum – Bacardi is fine for this; the white rum in this recipe is like the friend who is seriously underdressed to get into a club but is able to brazen her way through because of her fancy friends
  • 1 ounce honey syrup
  • ¾ ounce grapefruit juice
  • ¾ ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice, plus half a lime for garnish
  • 1 ounce aggressively bubbly seltzer – I like Topo Chico
  • 1 sprig fresh mint for garnish

Fill the large half of a cocktail shaker to the top with ice.

Pour the ice into a clean tea towel. Wrap the ice in the towel, then beat it brutally with something heavy (I use the billy-club-sized pestle from my largest mortar and pestle for this). Beat the towel until you have a variety of ice shards, from half cubes to pebbles to legitimate snow. Pour this ice back into your cocktail shaker. It will take up significantly less room than before.

Add the rums, honey syrup and citrus juices to the shaker, and shake thoroughly.

Add the carbonated water, then stir gently with a bar spoon.

Pour the entire contents into a glass. Does it have to be a Tiki mug? It could be; again, who’s going to judge you? But frankly, any large-ish glass, mug or mason jar will do.

Squeeze the remaining half lime into the glass, then drop the carcass in to class the joint up a little. Finish it off with the fresh mint.

Featured Photo: Courtesy photo.

Good and loud

Justin Spencer talks about Recycled Percussion on their own stage and giving back

By Michael Witthaus
mwitthaus@hippopress.com

In 1995, Justin Spencer put together a three-man band called Recycled Percussion and entered a talent show at Goffstown High School. They finished in second place, but soon after that they began receiving appearance offers. This would become common for the pioneer junk rockers, whose drumming on trash cans, ladders and other non-instruments delighted audiences.

The group came in third on Season 4 of America’s Got Talent and parlayed that success into a Las Vegas residency, the only contestant to do that. For 10 years Recycled Percussion were regulars on The Strip; when that ended, the group returned to New Hampshire, Spencer’s home state.

Their thoughts were now focused on more than performing. They had a charity, Chaos and Kindness, along with a television series showcasing its deeds. The effort grew into a lifestyle brand, with two retail stores, one in Laconia, the other in Keene. Their crowning was The CAKE Theatre — the acronym stands for Chaos and Kindness Experience.

When Recycled Percussion played that 1995 talent show, it consisted of Spencer and two buddies who would not go on to be part of the band. The current lineup is Spencer, his cousin Ryan Venzina (who was 11 years old when the Goffstown competition happened, but joined three years later), Spencer’s wife Quinn, former Miss New Hampshire Ashley Marsh, Jimmy Luv and Davin Cox.

“There was no definitive original cast because Justin just had random friends playing gigs with him whenever someone was interested and we’ve been through over 20 members since then,” said Ryan Venzina. ”I always thought it was interesting that he chose non-drummers who were just really good friends to join the band instead of good musicians. It was always about fun and chemistry. I think I was the first person to join that was actually an experienced musician.”

In a wide-ranging interview at his Manchester home, band hangout and playroom, Justin Spencer looked back and forward, as the group prepares for its traditional “out with the old, in with the new” run of late December and early January shows across the Granite State.

What got you into playing and percussion? When was the first time you picked up drumsticks, do you remember that?

Yeah, yeah. So, my dad was a drummer. There were always drumsticks laying around the house and there’s pictures of me playing at 2 years old, of course I don’t remember that. There’s certainly the evidence that I was playing drums at a young age, and I can remember by at 5, 6 or 7 performing on stage with my dad — he was in a local cover band, and I’d go on stage and do drum solos. So I don’t really know a life without music. It’s been something I’ve done since I can remember.

Any other instruments you’re proficient with?

No, very much not so. I can’t do anything else besides drums.

But you’re really, really good at drums.

Yeah, but I have no other talents,

When you did the talent show, you came in second, which seems to be a trend in your life you don’t finish in first place, and you go out and rule the world right after that.

My whole life I’ve been second.

It just makes you hungrier, right?

Yeah.

There was a period after that when you were contacted by different entities to perform. Tell me about that; was there a moment in time when you knew you were on to something special?

In the early days, even when I was still in high school, this was 1997, 1998, those years, we really spent a lot of our time going to elementary schools and middle schools and high schools, for a couple of hundred bucks here and there, doing assemblies. Really, that’s how we kind of got started. In 2001 we got a big break when we were able to perform a halftime show for the San Francisco 49ers. It was two days before 9/11 happened. Up until that point, I would spend my days after school calling a lot of schools — back then it was open a phonebook and find schools and call and say, ‘I have a band, Recycled Percussion, can I come perform at your school for two hundred bucks,’ or a hundred bucks or whatever. Sometimes we’d get paid in free lunch. We’d go to every school we possibly could. That lasted a few years before we got a break and started touring our show around the country.

So this was in San Francisco?

Yeah, it was a big deal for us. I remember they paid us five thousand bucks and we thought we were rich. We were excited. It was a couple of days before 9/11 and we got stranded there, and we had to drive home. It was a very interesting time, and even at that time we didn’t really have … you can have aspirations, but in the music world, it can end at any time. At that point it was like, yeah, we made it, we did a halftime show and it was really cool. I would have been content with that. It was bigger than anything I’d ever seen. Of course, being from a small town in New Hampshire, you don’t really think you have the ability to. Nowadays, with the advent of technology, it’s a lot easier to be seen no matter where you live, but back then if you didn’t live in a big city or have money there was no way people would ever see you.

What you do is so unique, too. Some kids start a band, you started something that no one was doing. The closest thing maybe was Stomp! Were you aware of that?

No, because I think we came before that or Blue Man Group, or maybe they came around that time, I don’t remember. Our inspiration came from a kid named Larry Wright. He was an African American teenage boy who had won the Buddy Rich Memorial Scholarship, which was given every year to an individual who had shown unique percussive talent. We had seen a VHS tape of him in 1994 or ’95 and I’d seen this kid playing buckets and thought this is really cool. Eventually I said why don’t we do something like that at our high school talent show, but three of us do it? At that time, I’d never seen anything like it. That’s really where we came up with the idea of RP, and we were only going to play one show. It was only for the talent show. That was it. It wasn’t until a few years later I heard of Stomp! and the Broadway show.

Fast forward to AGT, that was a back and forth, there was a moment where you thought it wasn’t going to happen, it was out of your hands and then it did. Then you lost

We lost to a singer. At that point, it was Season 4, we were the highest non-singing act in the history of the show. Traditionally singers win, their stories are more — people are more compelled by singing in general. So, the guy who won, Kevin Skinner, had this great story, he was a chicken catcher, this very sympathetic, Middle America, Kentucky guy. Second place was Barbara Padilla, who had just come back from cancer, and she was an opera singer. Right when that was done, we moved to Las Vegas.

Right after AGT and before Las Vegas, you came back and performed at Goffstown High School and it was an event, I remember the energy. What are your recollections of that?

We’d been in Los Angeles for a few months filming AGT, and it was a very trying time emotionally for us. When we came back, we thought, we’re just going to do free tickets and we’ll go back to where we started, Goffstown High School, and I’ve always proclaimed that our last show will be at Goffstown High School, it will come full circle. I want my last show to be there, whether it’s this year or next year, the end is coming soon, at least for me, and when that time comes. So the right choice is to go back to Goffstown High School. I remember we said for people to go to Shaw’s for free tickets and my stepmom called to say they had to shut down the road because people couldn’t get tickets. It basically caused traffic jams; it was such a big deal at the time. Nowadays, these reality shows, there’s so many of them, it’s really based on social media anymore. Back then, AGT was getting 24 million viewers a night, it was a big deal. The show was at its apex. We were in one of the biggest seasons, the top three seasons in history of that show. Now hardly anyone even knows it’s happening anymore; it happens so often. But back then it was a year process to find that winner. So it was a big event at Goffstown, I’ll never forget it. It was like the Beatles, the volume of people screaming. It was one of my favorite shows that we’ve ever done. It was a celebration, it was crazy.

How did the Vegas offer happen, and how did you feel about it when it came?

It happened with a guy named Steve Levine, who is VP of ICM, one of the largest agencies, and Steve represents some very profound entertainers, Ellen, Chris Rock, Carrot Top. He’d seen us on AGT and showed up to say, of all the acts that are here, you’re the only one that could actually be a Vegas show. We don’t need a singer; we need someone who is diversified to be a performer. So, at that time, they said ‘we think you can be a Vegas show.’ So within those 48 hours — as you can imagine AGT has 300-page contracts, and Freemantle, which is owned by Simon Cowell, said the only act we are going to sign is RP, and we didn’t want to be signed because we knew we could go to Las Vegas on our own. In order to get out of that contract we said we’d go to Vegas for two months to perform in the AGT Celebrity Show. When that’s done, we want to open up our own show in our own name. Steve Levine brokered that deal with the MGM Grand, and we went and performed for two months like we said we’d do with AGT, and they started to realize in that time frame that some of the other AGT acts weren’t — a lot of these singing acts can be good on TV for two minutes or this guy’s a bow and arrow trickster for two minutes, but they couldn’t diversify. So they started to put RP with those acts. Kevin Skinner, who won, is kind of boring, so they have to put RP as his backing band. Then when that was done, we went to the MGM Grand for a year, and then we moved on to be at the Tropicana for the next six years and ultimately Caesar’s for five years. Once we got to Vegas, we were the only band that owned our own show.

And you were the cheapest when it came to equipment you could buy it all at Home Depot.

Yes, but the production was not cheap; it took millions of dollars to build these stages. It wasn’t like we were playing bars in Vegas; we were a perennial headline show in big theaters. We did 5,000 shows.

I’d think the amount of time you spent on the road, paying dues and getting your 10,000 hours, made you Vegas-ready.

Once we got to AGT, we were 13 years in, we were prepared. A lot of those acts, they were discovered online, and we were already playing hour-long shows in other places. We knew how to really be prepared to run a show in Vegas. If you look at the shows we did on AGT, they were very complex, and we had to write those in advance. A singer had the whole week to do what? Find a song to sing. We had to write an entire new piece, coming off the ceiling with big water tanks and all that. We had to develop and build these enormously difficult things and that came into play when we went to Las Vegas.

How did Vegas end?

With exhaustion.

Did you decide it was time to go, was it a mutual thing?

It was me. I was dealing with a lot of mental illness at the time, something I’m a big advocate for. It’s something I’ve had to deal with for a long time, but 500 shows a year for 10 years … I wasn’t happy for the last couple of years. It wasn’t anybody’s fault. You also have kids and your family’s always in New Hampshire and you’re like how much longer am I going to be away from them? And my parents, I want my kids to be with their grandparents. It just had run its course. We’ve had multiple offers to go back to Vegas and perform but I don’t have the desire right now.

In the next chapter, Recycled Percussion became focused on philanthropy and helping people out. When did you decide to do that? Was it something you always wanted to do; did you see it growing to that point? What led you into Chaos & Kindness and the charitable things you do for people?

That really started back in Las Vegas. I wrote a book called One Life, One Legacy and the idea was here’s this kid, I didn’t grow up with money and grew up in a small town and didn’t always have the easiest path forward and I found a way to live my dream. I thought this is really cool, I think I can inspire other people to make their dreams come true. I’m a big believer in you only live once, what are you going to do with that life? I came up with this idea of helping people and I found it so rewarding. In Las Vegas it wouldn’t be uncommon on weekends that I’d pick up women and children from homeless shelters and bring them to my house and do pool parties. Every Christmas I’d give toys out to thousands of kids. I would donate thousands of tickets every year to people who couldn’t afford to come to shows, visit hospitals, visit people with cancer. It made me feel more alive, being kind, than even on stage. I kind of think that’s where it started. The Chaos & Kindness brand … we had a TV show that was going to be called Junk Rockers, and it was this idea that A&E was looking at doing on a national level. It was a very unique situation where our entire band, we all live in one house, with our family, wife and kids. I said what about kindness? They said, kindness isn’t going to sell. I said I just want to do this cool thing where half the show is these guys, we’re crazy, we’re in a rock band, we’re the kind of guys who’d go streaking one day and the next go help some guy with cancer. That’s how the idea of Chaos & Kindness came to be. I pitched it to WMUR, I said I’ll do the show for free; I don’t want to get paid for it, you just give me a 7 o’clock time slot and I’ll produce the whole thing myself. We’ve done over 106 episodes, all of them for free.

The production I imagine it costs you because it’s a very well-produced show.

It does and it’s won over 20 Emmys now, and they’re everywhere. I gave some to my mom and dad. We do it all. I’m very fortunate that I’ve been able to follow my heart. It’s a very personal journey for sure.

What you’ve done with the brand is so impressive. There’s a kid named Viktor who was on the show, he’s autistic and he draws great pictures, which you put on the hoodies and shirts you sell. Was this part of it or did you just realize it would be a good way to raise money to donate to causes?

Chaos & Kindness is our clothing line, it’s more of a way of life that brings a lot of people together. We have a lot of different artists that create stuff for us. Through Covid we were able to keep a lot of print shops and things in business, because 90 percent of our items are made in New Hampshire, printed in New Hampshire, our candles, mugs are all New Hampshire-based companies, so we were able to give a lot of small businesses work. A lot of our random acts of kindness comes from that. Chaos & Kindness is the band, it’s like we wear different hats. They cross into each other a lot. Sometimes I’ll see someone and they’re like oh it’s the guy from Recycled Percussion, or sometimes it’s oh it’s the guy from Chaos & Kindness. They associate us with different things. Chaos & Kindness is so much bigger than us, it’s everybody in our band but it’s also got dozens of employees, we’ve got people with disabilities that work for us that get paid, we’ve got all genders … it’s a lot of different — I don’t even know what Chaos & Kindness is right now, we sell hoodies, we do all kinds of great things, it’s a great business.

What’s your favorite act of kindness of all the ones you’ve done?

One that hits home was there was a man named Michael, he’s passed away. We learned his story, he had terminal cancer, and he had these two amazing young boys, under the age of 10 or 11. We built a life-sized metal statue of him and his kids, and we surprised him and his family with it, and it now resides up in his favorite Chili’s that he used to walk up to in northern New Hampshire. His kids and their mother, Sharon, I still hear from them frequently, go visit often. Stuff like that. We went to Puerto Rico when the hurricane hit, and helped down there, and went to Houston when the hurricane hit there, we wound up literally carrying people out of houses. Sometimes it’s simple acts of kindness, you do something nice for somebody. I just hope people find ways to be kind to each other.

You set a good example. As far as chaos, you find some interesting ways, like having Ryan ride a boogie board on the Merrimack in the cold weather. What other chaotic things stand out? That’s got to be tough, 45 shows in one day, going around the world.

We performed 25 countries in seven days, and that was tough. It was dangerous because we were in Eastern Europe, Ukraine and Romania, those areas. That was kind of challenging. I was buried underground for 24 hours in a wooden box under 20,000 pounds of sand. That was not the greatest of my life, for sure.

One question: Why?

Well, we raised a bunch of money, and took a bunch of kids back-to-school shopping. Which is also great.

People are strange — that would motivate them to donate money, watching someone get buried alive.

Another thing I want to touch on is the return to New Hampshire. You don’t do anything small; you built your own theater in Laconia, The CAKE, for Chaos and Kindness Experience. It’s a great name. What led you to choose Laconia?

Well, I was born in Laconia, I still have a house there. I always found that area to be really beautiful. We’re the only band in the world that owns their own venue. Nobody’s ever done it. It would have made more sense to do it in Boston, a place where there were more people, but we’ve had it great. Every weekend, people come up there, it sells out. What’s really great about it is it’s just like Vegas. My whole idea was can we bring Vegas to a small town. We do about 60 to 80 shows a year ourselves. Can we bring people there? It’s been a rewarding experience. We spent a lot of time and money to build that place, it’s a state-of-the-art venue. I live down in Manchester during the week, because my daughter wants to go to school at Central. So we live here during the week, I go there on the weekends and we still travel and do shows. This is primarily where we’re based now, Manchester and Laconia are where we live.

It’s pretty remarkable … the whole downtown area of Laconia has been revitalized by the arts. Do people come from far-flung places to see you?

Every weekend people come to our show from out of state. It’s like a bucket list for them.

End of year, your residency at Palace is a thing, and a few other places. Tell me about plans for this year.

Yeah, so we’re going to do a record-breaking amount of shows at the Palace this year, 15 shows will take place right after Christmas. They always sell out, there’s always this big energy, this holiday and New Year’s Eve party that goes on for two weeks. We write a whole new show just for that, we take December off and spend three weeks in the creative process. Then we travel around New Hampshire, we go to Keene, Rochester, Lebanon, Claremont, Nashua, we go to some other places too. We basically take two months to travel outside of the CAKE, because Laconia is really busy in the summer. Then we take some time off, write new shows and then open back up. We’re always writing new stuff.

Are you off the road?

No, we still do shows around the country. We just got back from filming a few weeks in Cincinnati, Kentucky….

Chaos and Kindness?

Yeah, but we performed in Alaska a couple of months ago, we performed in Oregon. We go back to Vegas; we can pick and choose a lot. We don’t want to travel as much, but we can if we want to.

Are there other things ahead?

It’s always amazing to me the amount of people that have never seen us live. When we do a show, I’ll ask people, and half the crowd hasn’t seen us. What’s great is we have this show that does well for all ages. I think that’s because we like to pay tribute to a lot of the old classic rock and a lot of our entertainment, our humor is fresher and more exciting. We work seven days a week all year, I literally never stop working. We always believe the next show is better than the one before and I think right now we’re the best we’ve ever been.

Well, I don’t know many people on the planet with the kind of energy you have, Justin. Final question of all that’s happened, what’s the most surprising to you?

All the friendships I’ve made. I’ve made some very rewarding friendships over the years. I’ve changed a lot as a person, and I have a lot of perspective. That’s the greatest gift, I’ve got great people around me and it’s not any one particular thing that was surprising. Nothing surprises me. We’ve performed at the Grammys, the Super Bowl, TikTok, in 50 countries. That doesn’t move my needle, that’s not what surprises me. But just the relationships we’ve made, with our fans. We have great friendships with our fans, we see a lot of people at a lot of shows, know them by name, know their problems and struggles. It’s great to see those people. Sometimes we don’t see faces and we say where’s that person? That’s probably been what’s most surprising is to have that intimate relationship with our fans.

One more question, because you are such an advocate for mental health. What do you want people to know about that?

I think the world could be a better place in how we think about each other. I think we cast too much judgment, certainly I’ve made million mistakes in my life, and you could judge me, like pretty much anybody in this world. When you have to live with that every day, it’s taxing, and it’s easy to sit behind a keyboard and say things, and those things hurt people. I think we could take a little extra time to realize there are people out there suffering. Going through difficult times. Your comments might make or break their life. Choose wisely. Every day you wake up and have to find that purpose. Money can’t buy you happiness — I’ve tried — or being on stage. You have to be surrounded by people that love and care about you and understand your value, and always be a better version of yourself. Hopefully, it will keep you alive and healthy.

Featured Photo: Courtesy photo.

Crafts in NH

Local artisans talk about making cool stuff — and how their hobbies became a business

Plus Shop for unique finds at craft fairs

By Angie Sykeny and Renee Merchant
asykeny@hippopress.com

In New Hampshire, the crafting scene is a testament to the passion and persistence of its artisans. From hand-completed diamond paintings to custom maps and repurposed fabric crafts there is a broad range of creations in the craft and fine craft category. These artisans, through a blend of traditional and modern techniques, have successfully bridged the gap between personal hobbies and entrepreneurship, contributing to the state’s vibrant local markets.

Michael Lindskog of Mountain Man Handpan in Milford

See mountainmanhandpan.com.

Describe your craft and what makes it unique.

My craft is taking flat pieces of sheet metal and then turning it into a singing-sound sculpture. The instrument’s uniqueness is, in part, the exclusivity that exists around the instrument. It was invented in the year 2000 in Switzerland. I’m one of only a few hundred makers in the world and the only one in New England. The sound that the instrument brings forth is one that truly has to be experienced in person in order to fully appreciate the acoustic nature of the instrument.

round metal shield looking thing sitting on grass near rock wall
Mountain Man Handpan. Courtesy photo.

How did you first discover your passion for your craft?

I’m a self-taught musician from the age of 13, and I discovered the handpan in 2007. A friend of mine sent me a video of an instrument I had never seen or heard before. It intrigued me so much that I wanted to find out more about it. Where everyone [who plays] was located at that time … was a place called handpan.org, which is an online forum. Then it took me another several years after that and a long drive before I was able to hear one in person.

Could you walk us through your creative process and share any essential materials or techniques you use when crafting?

The instrument starts as a flat piece of steel, and it’s either hydroformed, air-hammered or pressed with a stamp to create tone fields that are then tuned and balanced … to make the whole instrument a cohesive piece. As far as building goes, it took me four years and thousands of hours to figure out how to do what I do. And really, ‘keep hammering’ was the … best advice I ever have received from other builders because you can’t really relay in words what the steel … can actually teach you about how it needs to be hit. … Just keep hammering and eventually ‘a-ha’ moments come along, and you take those and move on to the next.

Could you describe the process of turning your craft from a hobby into a business?

That’s honestly still a work in progress; 2023 is Mountain Man Handpan’s first business year, and I’ve taken several steps, [like] being juried and accepted into the New Hampshire League of Craftsman and marketing locally … to create more handpan enthusiasts. … We take it one instrument at a time and try to focus more on the quality and longevity of the instrument.

What challenges have you encountered with your craft business and how do you deal with those?

The primary challenge is there are next to no people that have come before me that can teach the way, so to speak. [Creating] an instrument that’s on par with the other best makers in the world is an accomplishment that was really the first major challenge that we’ve overcome.

Nurit Niskala of NuArt Jewelry in Londonderry

See nuritniskala.com and the Bedford High School Handmade Fair on Nov. 12.

Describe your craft and what makes it unique.

My jewelry is created from recycled metal scrap. … The professional old techniques and working by hand, using recycled metal then uplifting the look with patina make the designs stand out.

How did you first discover your passion for your craft?

From a young age I learned from my dad, who is a jeweler himself, how to create metal jewelry. I was drawing and playing with metal and other material from a young age; it’s part of me.

Could you walk us through your creative process and share any essential materials or techniques you use when crafting?

I use patina to uplift the look of my jewelry … using techniques [such as] forging, forming, texturing and shaping according to my inspiration. My pieces have a contemporary tradition of craftsmanship that was passed down to me.

Could you describe the process of turning your craft from a hobby into a business?

intricate, colorful metal necklace showing abstract fish and four hanging beads
NuArt Jewelry. Courtesy photo.

The transition from a hobby to a business requires dedication, hard work and a strategic approach. It’s essential to balance your passion for jewelry-making with effective business practices to achieve success. A few steps I went through [are] creating a business plan; opening a business account; and ensuring your jewelry pieces are of high quality and that you have a range of designs.

What challenges have you encountered with your craft business and how do you deal with those?

Marketing has been my most significant challenge. I pour my heart and soul into every piece of jewelry I create, so negativity has had a slight impact on my sense of self. … Creating a professional online presence [through] social media, a website and online marketplaces to showcase and sell your jewelry and networking … [through] craft fairs and local markets or partnering with boutiques or online retailers … is very important.

Amanda Cairns of Pure Pixie Dust in Manchester

See pure-pixie-dust.myshopify.com and the Hudson Fall Into the Holidays Craft & Vendor Fair on Nov. 4.

Describe your craft and what makes it unique.

I make fun beaded items that can be customized for almost any occasion … or theme. These items can include bookmarks, badge reels, pens, keychains, beaded wristlets and more.

How did you first discover your passion for your craft?

I am a serial crafter. I love to try new crafts and fail miserably! I am not an artist by any means, but something about the beaded items allows me to express not only myself but my clients. I love when a client gets a sassy pen that matches their energy, or a teacher gets something special to use that their kids love.

Walk us through your creative process and share any essential materials or techniques you use when crafting.

While I do think I am self-taught, I did a lot of research on where to buy materials such as silicone beads, nylon string, metal keyrings, etc. I also found joining an online community of people who do beaded items was essential to my success. You learn from each other’s failures and success. I started with a wide audience making items for everyone but slowly found my niche with keychains and pens. I like to make items with themes, matching colors and relatable sayings. I cater to my clientele by paying attention to what they like and always taking feedback as a learning opportunity.

What was the process of turning your craft from a hobby into a business?

I am a Disney Travel Agent and wanted to find something special to extend the Disney magic. I began by making Disney themed pens that I sent in my ‘You’re going to Disney’ package. I extended my craft to special keychains and before I knew it I was making bulk orders for companies, selling at vendor fairs, online and on TikTok.

What challenges have you encountered with your craft business and how do you deal with those?

I think competition would be the largest challenge I have faced so far. Vendor fair and craft markets tend to be smaller events, and it’s difficult when you have a similar company to yours selling a few booths over. I remind myself there are hundreds of restaurants in Manchester, some small and some large, but they all have different clientele. It’s their unique style that keeps them in business. I like to think my style and unique clientele does the same.

Alise Philbrick of Alise’s Pieces in Manchester

See AlisesPiecesCo on Etsy and Alises Pieces on Facebook.

Describe your craft and what makes it unique.

I focus on three types of crafts: diamond painting, puzzles and cross stitching. All are hand completed projects by me and are great for gifts. Some are personalized specifically for loved ones, while others strike toward collectors.

How did you first discover your passion for your craft?

I first began my love of puzzles and cross stitching with my grandmother when I was a child.

Walk us through your creative process and share any essential materials or techniques you use when crafting.

beaded mosaic of marvel comics character Groot wearing sunglasses, American Flag background, art in black frame
Alise Philbrick art. Courtesy photo.

Many people love the completed picture regardless of what method of craft. I usually hunt and search for the perfect frame to match the product. I’ve heard that most don’t have the time or can’t see it well enough to complete these items, so now anyone can have something special.

What was the process of turning your craft from a hobby into a business?

About 10 years ago working in the medical field I was helping a resident with a puzzle and saw that she glued hers, framed them and hung them up. So I began doing that with my puzzles. Fast forward to the pandemic: Nursing was brutal and my hobby was always a good way to unwind from stress. I was working on some pattern I had picked up, and a coworker of mine asked if I could make one for her to give her grandmother for Christmas, as she did not have the patience to work with the small fabric and needle and thread. That was my first sale. Later I heard about the success and happiness it brought her grandmother and gave me the idea to offer the completed works for sale. … My fiance came up with the name for the business and has pushed me out of my comfort zone and put more time in advertising and marketing and display. For Christmas he made my first set of business cards and with enough encouragement got me to get a Facebook page and an Etsy page up.

What challenges have you encountered with your craft business and how do you deal with those?

Personal anxieties and fear, and I can only work on it while I’m not working 50 hours a week, plus I also have a 4-year-old — juggling work, home and small business life. Many artisans can sustain themselves off just their small business, but I don’t think mine has gotten to that point yet, nor am I sure I will take it to the next level or what that level might be. Also [challenging is] trying to find craft fairs to join before they are at deadline and avoiding the scammers who post fake fairs.

Kelly Mitchell of The Traveled Lane in Deerfield

See thetraveledlane.com.

Describe your craft and what makes it unique.

I actually don’t love the word ‘craft’ as it tends to make people envision kids with markers and crayons and construction paper. I prefer to use the word ‘art.’ My art is travel- and literary-inspired art, often customized and printed on functional home goods. Most often I create custom maps of places that are special to my customers and then I print these maps on coasters, drinkware or ornaments. In creating my coaster packaging I also created and patented a cork tray that allows four of my coasters to be used either individually or all together in the tray as a trivet while also being functional packaging that displays the artwork.

How did you first discover your passion for your craft?

4 coasters set as tiles to make one image of New Hampshire map.
Kelly Mitchell art. Courtesy photo.

I did not go to art school but I have a bachelor’s degree in English and I have a love for antique book stores. My husband and I would spend hours early in our marriage exploring dusty bookshelves, and it was on these trips that I began to discover the beauty in vintage maps and old book pages. So when it came to decorating our home I wanted to incorporate my love of literature and the special memories and stories of our favorite travels in our home decor. … I began drawing and painting scenes from the places we loved, sometimes including favorite book quotes to express the memories and stories that were special to us. But I wanted to display this artwork in a way that could be enjoyed in my home in a useful way to remind me of the stories of where we’ve been, who we are and what we love on a daily basis.

Walk us through your creative process and share any essential materials or techniques you use when crafting.

The first step to creating custom map artwork is to try to get as much information as possible about not only the location that my customer desires but also any special landmarks, monuments, scenery, buildings or anything else that is important to my customer. Sometimes I may include a particular quote or maybe a favorite animal from the area and of course there will also be questions about colors and styles to help me better create exactly what they have envisioned. Then I will research the area for the map requested to better get a sense of anything else that might seem special to the area. Then comes the initial drawing, which is done digitally using an iPad using a drawing app and Apple Pencil. My artwork has evolved over the years as technology has evolved. This allows me to create my art quickly and without the mess and cleanup of paint, pens, paper, but it also allows me to share my art easily digitally with customers and make changes quickly and easily if they have revisions or suggestions to better match the picture in their head.

What was the process of turning your craft from a hobby into a business?

I started creating artwork for our own house as a newly married couple and a new mom and then gave them as gifts for family and friends and then eventually realized that I could probably sell it and turn my hobby into a business that would allow me to stay at home with my children when they were little. I opened an online shop and had great success with selling directly to customers online and in person at art fairs. As the years went on I expanded to selling wholesale to local businesses and eventually all over the U.S. to gift shops, boutiques, souvenir shops and art galleries. The business has grown so much that I now sell primarily wholesale business to business.

What challenges have you encountered with your craft business and how do you deal with those?

It is always a challenge to balance work and life when working from home. My business has grown alongside my children over the years and they have had to learn that mom’s studio time is work time. The other challenge that comes with growth is sometimes needing help when my two hands are not enough. If a particularly big order demands all hands on deck, I am able to actually employ my three teen boys to help with product prep, packaging, shipping, delivery and shop maintenance tasks, which allows me more time to create the artwork and still maintain my sanity.

Linda Simpson of Phoenix Creations in Hillsboro

See phoenixcreationsllc.biz and the American Legion Auxilliary Post 59 Fall Craft Fair (Nov. 4) and the Christmas Craft Fair at United Church of Penacook (Nov. 11).

Describe your craft and what makes it unique.

I make a large variety of toys, clothing, housewares and other personal and gift items. Most of the items are made primarily of repurposed and salvaged materials. I believe my craft is unique from other fabric and yarn creators because my main ‘ingredient’ is repurposed materials. I spend almost as much time locating materials to use as I do actually creating the items. The items I make are also from my own imagination more than widely accessible patterns. That’s not to say I never use commercial patterns, but I like to put my own artistic spin on the finished items.

group of stuffed toy elephants and cat dolls in colorful fabrics
Linda Simpson art. Courtesy photo.

How did you first discover your passion for your craft?

I learned to crochet when I was about 10 years old and started sewing at 12, when I took a home economics class. Once I learned to sew, there was no stopping me. I started making my clothes through high school and creating my own fashion designs. … I did some sewing work for some people in my spare time as a young adult. Once the kids came along, I would make things for them. This is really when I started repurposing clothing into new items — pretty much because that’s what the budget allowed back then. Fast forward to Covid and work furloughs that allowed time to really get back into crafting for fun again. People were looking for someone to make the masks and even the nurse and scrub hats. I had liked the idea that I could help during that time, so I would make masks and caps in exchange for some extra material. Then a sister-in-law asked me to make some pillowcase sundresses for two little girls she was fostering. She gave me more than enough material for what she needed.

Walk us through your creative process and share any essential materials or techniques you use when crafting.

Quite honestly, I’m not sure there is any method to my creative ‘madness.’ I tend to think about something I want to make next. I try to make many different things because I would get too bored if I only worked on one or two basic types of things. I might work on teddy bears for a couple weeks, then move on to tote bags and wallets for a while. I do have some basics that I always try to have in stock, such as teddy bears and tote bags. Generally I like to listen to what event customers mention — things they are looking for or ideas they think would be fun to make.

What was the process of turning your craft from a hobby into a business?

It really started snowballing when I mentioned to a few close friends that I was interested in starting a craft business. These friends had lots of scraps and leftover fabrics and yarns and some other items like bedsheets and pillowcases that they gladly gave me to get started. Remember, at that time [of Covid] lots of people were stuck in their homes and cleaning out their closest and storage areas. I spent a year creating all kinds of things — teddy bears, dolls, hats, aprons, pillows, dresses for kids and adults. … I didn’t have any idea what I was going to do with most of the things I was making. By the time craft fairs were starting up again, I thought I’d try a fair or two and see how it went. Originally I only intended to maybe earn some money back to support my hobby, but as time went on I realized it was time to transition from a hobby into a business. So I did. I still have my ‘real’ job, but now this hobby is my second almost full-time job too.

What challenges have you encountered with your craft business and how do you deal with those?

Lack of time and poor organization are probably the biggest challenges. I seem to always have multiple projects in process and have had to really learn to schedule time. When I was creating as a hobby, I didn’t really put any emphasis on when I would need to finish a piece of work. … Once I really started vending at fairs and events, I did have to schedule my time better. … I realized that I had to organize my materials and supplies better also. Too much time was spent trying to find things. … Figuring out what to charge for the items or services I offer continues to be a challenge. I have been told by friends, family and even customers that I am not charging enough, but I like to keep the prices lower. I’d prefer to see others enjoying the items I make than to have to store them away in buckets and boxes. And since I try to source my materials from things other people no longer want, I’ve been able to do this. Sometimes it is a challenge to find the right materials for something I have been commissioned to make.

Erin Sweeney of Lovely in the Home Press in Hancock

See erinsweeney.net.

Describe your craft and what makes it unique.

Handmade artist’s books, prints, dolls. Lots of different materials and unusual combinations make it unique.

How did you first discover your passion for your craft?

When I was in third grade, I made sculptures from a scrap wood pile at my house during a barn renovation. My dad gave me a hammer and some nails and I got busy. I thought they were so great and gave them all to my mom. I was making from that point on — cards and gifts and hand-lettered signs, paper boxes, wooden paper towel holders. Art and home economics classes in middle school are where I learned to sew. When my high school guidance counselor suggested I look into art school, I couldn’t believe it. I went to Maine College of Art and majored in sculpture, and it was a life-changing experience for me.

Walk us through your creative process and share any essential materials or techniques you use when crafting.

I’m a materials ‘attacker,’ digging in, trying new things and playing with materials as inspiration. I have lots of bits around me and then I start assembling. I don’t usually have a pre-plan, but I like to play with layers and structures and then bring them together in new combinations. I do have a lot of favorite tools, and those are always with me. I have a favorite bone folder that was made by a dear friend, favorite scissors for both paper and fabric, and I have a fantastic paper cutter that made my workshop prep so much easier.

textile art hanging on wall, showing nature scene
Erin Sweeney art. Courtesy photo.

What was the process of turning your craft from a hobby into a business?

It started when I started my workshop business, teaching from my former studio in downtown Peterborough. I hadn’t been that great at selling my work, but my book arts and sculpture workshops started to do well in the years that I was there. Those successes, which led to teaching at other craft schools like Haystack and Maine Media Workshops, made me realize that I could do this more formally. I also really paid attention to what other artists and crafters were doing when I took their workshops, learning from what they were doing as well.

What challenges have you encountered with your craft business and how do you deal with those?

Accessing information around business practices, insurance needs, taxes, etc. It’s been a learning curve, but there are lots of resources available — seek them out. I hadn’t taken any business courses in college, but in grad school we talked a lot about living as an artist and business person and figured out business plans, grant writing, keeping really good records and being a part of your community. There have been a lot of people in my area who offer advice and their experience for me to learn from, and it’s been really helpful. My focus now is to try to find some new venues to sell my work. I recently moved my studio to Hancock and was confronted by just how much stuff I have and have made. Time to move it on!

Craft & artisan fairs

It’s craft fair season! Find craft and holiday fairs most weekends now through mid-December-ish. Here are some of the fairs on the schedule. If you know of a craft fair, let us know at adiaz@hippopress.com.

Fall Craft Fair agt the American Legion Auxilliary Post 59 (538 W. Main St. in Hillsborough) will take place Saturday, Nov. 4, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• The 23rd Annual Merrimack KofC Craft Fair is on Friday, Nov. 3, from 5 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 4, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Mastricola Upper Elementary School (26 Baboosic Lake Road, Merrimack). The fair will host more than 40 crafters showcasing a diverse array of handmade crafts. Admission to the event is free. Visit olmnh.org/kofc.

• The Tilton Silver Bells Craft Fair is on Saturday, Nov. 4, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 5, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Tanger Outlets (120 Laconia Road, Tilton). The fair will host more than 90 arts and crafts exhibitors showcasing a wide variety of items including chainsaw wood carvings, cedar wood furniture, hand-painted glassware, maple syrups, pottery, leather jewelry, gourmet foods, children’s toys, and much more. Attendees can also enjoy demonstrations, face painting and a selection of gourmet foods. The event is set to proceed rain or shine with free admission. Visit joycescraftshows.com/silver-bells-craft-fair-at-tanger-2023.

• The Shop Til You Drop Craft Fair Fundraiser is on Saturday, Nov. 4, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the James W. Foley Memorial Community Center (150 Wakefield St., Rochester). This event is hosted by the Granite State Choral Society, a community-based non-auditioned singing group. Attendees can browse a range of items from local crafters and vendors, including jewelry, artwork, knit/crochet items, soaps, ornaments, essential oils, jams, cosmetics, sweet treats and more. Admission is free, with no tickets required. Visit gschoral.org.

• The Hampstead Craft Fair is on Saturday, Nov. 4, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Hampstead Middle School (School Street, Hampstead). The fair will feature nearly 80 crafters and artists presenting and selling their creations. Attendees can also expect children’s activities and food options. Visit hampsteadmothersclub.org/34th-annual-craft-fair.

• The Raymond Fall Craft Fair is on Saturday, Nov. 4, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Raymond High School Cafeteria and Gymnasium (45 Harriman Hill Road, Raymond). More than 50 vendors will be present offering items such as jewelry, artwork, bath and beauty products, candles, ceramics, pottery, woodworking, clothing and more. Additionally, attendees can explore a range of crafts including crochet, embroidery, knitting, needlecraft and quilts as well as dolls, miniatures, furniture, housewares, paper goods, photography, vintage items, toys, books and accessories. Admission and parking are both free. Visit facebook.com/troop101craftfair.

• The Northwood Holiday Craft Fair is on Saturday, Nov. 4, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Gerrish Gym at Coe-Brown Northwood Academy (907 First NH Turnpike, Northwood). The fair will host an array of crafters and artisans selling a variety of wares. Visit coebrown.org/craft-fair.

• The Goffstown Fall Craft Fair is on Saturday, Nov. 4, and Sunday, Nov. 5, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day at the Mountain View Middle School (41 Lauren Lane, Goffstown). Attendees will find a variety of crafters and vendors selling their wares. A food truck will be on site. Admission is $3, with children under 12 entering for free. Visit e-clubhouse.org/sites/goffstown.

• The Girl Scout Craft Fair is on Saturday, Nov. 4, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Bedford Presbyterian Church (4 Church Road, Bedford). Explore a range of crafts and support the local Girl Scouts.

• Star Events Fall Into the Holidays Craft & Vendor Fair will take place Saturday, Nov. 4, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hudson Memorial School. See facebook.com/stareventsnh.

The Craftworkers’ Guild in Bedford (5 Meetinghouse Road in Bedford, the building at the bottom of the library parking lot; thecraftworkersguild.org) will open a Veterans Day Weekend pop-up shop Friday, Nov. 10, through Sunday, Nov. 12, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily as well as online.

• The St. Ignatius Spirit of Christmas Fair will be held on Friday, Nov. 10, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 11, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish Holy Trinity Church (404 High St. in Somersworth) featuring sales by artisans, a penny sale, raffles, jewelry, a cookie carousel, baked goods, Christmas decorations and more, according to the church bulletin available via stignatius-stmary.org.

• The Pleasant View Retirement Community (270 Pleasant St. in Concord) will hold an indoor craft fair on Saturday, Nov. 11, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. featuring baked goods, handmade items and more, according to a Facebook post

• The Bow Snowman Fair is on Saturday, Nov. 11, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bow Mills United Methodist Church (505 South St., Bow) featuring crafts and handmade goods as well as food.Visit bowmillsumc.org.

St. Paul’s United Methodist Church (335 Smyth Road in Manchester) will hold a craft fair on Saturday, Nov. 11, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with crafts, a cookie walk, a bake sale, a children’s table and more, according to a press release.

• The Gilford Fall Craft Fair is on Saturday, Nov. 11, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Gilford Youth Center (19 Potter Hill Road, Gilford). The event will feature more than 50 vendors. Concessions will be available. Admission is free. Visit gilfordyouthcenter.com/lr-fall-craft-fair.

Memorial High School (1 Crusader Way in Manchester) will hold a craft fair Saturday, Nov. 11, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., according to posts by participants.

• The United Church of Penacook (21 Merrimack St.) will hold its Christmas Craft Fair Saturday, Nov. 11, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. See ucpnh.org.

• The Meredith Holiday Craft Fair is on Saturday, Nov. 11, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church (300 Route 25, Meredith). Visitors can explore a wide range of unique crafts and one-of-a-kind homemade gifts. Visit stcharlesnh.org/events/craft-fair.

• Pure Springs Church in Raymond and the RayFre Senior Center (64 Main St. in Raymond) will hold a Christmas Craft Fair on Saturday, Nov. 11, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the center.

• The Seacoast Artisans Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Show will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11, at Great Bay Community College at the Pease Trade Port in Portsmouth. Admission costs $6 (kids 14 and under get in for free). See seacoastartisansshows.com.

• Saint Kathryn Parish (4 Dracut Road in Hudson; stkathryns.org) will hold its annual Christmas Bazaar and Penny Sale on Saturday, Nov. 11, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 12, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The fair will include raffles, bake sale, crafts, a scavenger hunt and photos with Santa, according to the website.

• The Bedford Handmade Fair is on Sunday, Nov. 12, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Bedford High School (47B Nashua Road, Bedford). The event will host local artists and artisans selling one-of-a-kind products and unique holiday gifts. Admission is free. Visit sites.google.com/bedfordnhk12.net/bedfordhandmade.

• Thorton’s Ferry School (134 Camp Sargent Road in Merrimack; 889-1577) will hold its 41st Holiday Craft Fair with more than 80 crafters and vendors on Saturday, Nov. 18, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a raffle room and silent auction, concession cafe, bake sale and photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., according to pttf-events.com

Lil Iguana (liliguanausa.org/craft-fair) will hold its annual craft fair at Nashua High School North (8 Titan Way) on Saturday, Nov. 18, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free and the event features more than 100 crafters, vendors and area businesses as well as raffles, according to the website.

• The 12th annual Meredith Community Holiday Craft Fair is on Saturday, Nov. 18, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Meredith Community Center (One Circle Drive, Meredith). The event will showcase more than 30 vendors with crafts as well as a bake sale, slow cooker luncheon items for sale, raffles and more. Visit meredithnh.org/parks-recreation/pages/2023-craft-fair.

• Deerfield’s Holiday Craft Fair will take place Saturday, Nov. 18, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Deerfield Community Church (15 Church St.), according to deerchurch.org.

• The Hampton Holly Berry Fair is on Saturday, Nov. 18, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Trinity Episcopal Church (200 High St., Hampton). Visit trinityhampton.org.

St. Patrick Church (34 Amherst St. in Milford) will hold a craft fair Saturday, Nov. 18, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. In addition to crafts, the event will include a silent auction, a raffle, a bake sale and food concessions, according to saintpatrickmilfordnh.org.

• The First Parish Church (47 E. Derry Road in Derry; 434-0628) will hold its annual Sugar Plum Fair Saturday, Nov. 18, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., according to fpc-ucc.org. The day will include live music, lunch, a white elephant sale, raffles and a cookie walk, according to a church Facebook post.

• The 44th annual Bow PTO Craft Fair is on Saturday, Nov. 18, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 19, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Bow High School (55 Falcon Way, Bow). The event will host more than 150 artists displaying and selling their unique handmade artwork and crafts. Admission is $5. Visit bowpto.org/craft-fair.

• The Hampstead Christmas Fair is on Saturday, Nov. 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at PhanZone Sports Center (142 Route 111, Hampstead). The event will feature more than 100 vendors selling a variety of items. Visit facebook.com/stareventsnh.

• The Great New England Holiday Arts and Crafts Show is on Saturday, Nov. 18, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 19, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Rim Sports Complex (311 Winnacunnet Road, Hampton). Shop more than 125 local specialty food vendors, craftsmen and artisans showcasing their handmade products. The event will also feature holiday music, door prizes, demos, food samples, food trucks and holiday cocktails. Visit gnecraftartisanshows.com/seacoast-holiday-hampton.

• The Portsmouth Holiday Arts Tour will take place at seven Portsmouth studios featuring 15 artists on Saturday, Nov. 18, and Sunday, Nov. 19, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Find the map at portsmouthartstour.com.

• The Salem Holiday Psychic and Craft Fair is on Sunday, Nov. 19, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Derry-Salem Elks No. 2226 (39 Shadow Lake Road, Salem). The event will feature more than 30 vendors, including readers, crafters and artists. Discover unique hand-crafted gifts, psychic readings, healing, aura photography and more. Visit facebook.com/CAYAHealing.

• The Peterborough Holiday Craft Fair is on Sunday, Nov. 19, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Conval High School Gym (184 Hancock Road, Peterborough). Visit cvhs.convalsd.net.

The Craftworkers’ Guild in Bedford (5 Meetinghouse Road in Bedford, the building at the bottom of the library parking lot; thecraftworkersguild.org) will open its annual Holiday Fair Shop Friday, Nov. 24, through Wednesday, Dec. 22, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily as well as online.

• The Exeter Holiday Parade Committee will present a craft fair on Saturday, Nov. 25, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Exeter Town Hall, both floors, according to the organizer’s Facebook post. See exeternhholidayparade.com.

• The Nashua Holiday Stroll Craft Fair is on Saturday, Nov. 25, from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Gym Entrance on Main Street across from City Hall (29 Spring St., Nashua). Visit downtownnashua.org/holidaystroll.

• The Milford Holiday Craft Fair, benefiting veterans, is on Sunday, Nov. 26, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Milford VFW (1 VFW Way, Milford). Santa and the Grinch will be available for free pictures. The fair will host numerous crafters and vendors. Admission is free. Visit facebook.com/nevendorevents.

• The Contoocook Artisans Holiday Fair will take place Friday, Dec. 1, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 2, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 3, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the American Legion Post No. 81 (E.R. Montgomery Event Center, 169 Bound Tree Road in Contoocook). Contact contoocookartisansnh@gmail.com.

• High Mowing School (77 Pine Hill Drive, Wilton) holds its annual Pine Hill holiday fair with an artisan market for adults on Friday, Dec. 1, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. and family festivities on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit pinehill.org.

• The Winter Giftopolis by the Concord Arts Market will be on Friday, Dec. 1, from 5 to 11 p.m. during Intown Concord’s Midnight Merriment, at the Atrium at 7 Eagle Square. See concordartsmarket.net.

• The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Milford (20 Elm St. in Milford; uucm.org) will hold a holiday fair on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. featuring handcrafted items, a bake shop and more, according to uucm.org/community/holiday-fair-2023.

• Arlington Street United Methodist Church (63 Arlington St., Nashua; asumc.org, 882-4663) holds its Holly Town Fair Saturday, Dec. 2, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. featuring vendors with handmade items, crafts, candies, baked goods and a cookie walk and lunches from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., according to the website.

• The Amherst Lions Club holds its Craft Fair Saturday, Dec. 2, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Amherst Middle School (14 Cross Road), according to e-clubhouse.org/sites/amherstnh.

• The Somersworth Festival Association will host a Holiday Craft Fair on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Somersworth High School (11 Memorial Drive in Somersworth) according to nhfestivals.org.

• The 34th annual Christmas in Strafford, an event featuring 29 locations and more than 50 artists and craftspeople, runs Saturday, Dec. 2, and Sunday, Dec. 3, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days; see the map at christmasinstrafford.com.

• The Unitarian Universalist Church of Manchester (669 Union St. in Manchester; uumanchester.org) will hold its annual Holiday Gift Faire on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Star Events Holiday Craft & Vendor Fair will take place Saturday, Dec. 2, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Tabernacle Baptist Church (Route 102 on the Hudson/Litchfield line). Seefacebook.com/stareventsnh.

• The Concord Arts Market is hosting its annual Holiday Arts Market on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Kimball Jenkins School of Art (266 N. Main St.). See concordartsmarket.net

• Caya Reiki & Healing (caya-healing.square.site) will hold a Gingerbread Craft Market & Psychic Fair on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Derry-Salem Elks Lodge (39 Shadow Lake Road in Salem) featuring more than 30 vendors and artisans, according to the website.

• New England Vendor Events will host a Nashua Holiday Craft Fair on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Hunt Memorial Library in Nashua, according to a post at facebook.com/nevendorevents.

• The Grinnell School PTA will hold a Holiday Craft Fair at Grinnell Elementary School (6 Grinnell Road in Derry) on Saturday, Dec. 2, from noon to 4 p.m., according to a PTA facebook post.

• The Bishop Brady Craft Fair will take place Saturday, Dec. 9, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Bishop Brady High School (25 Columbus Ave. in Concord). See bishopbrady.edu.

• Head to the DoubleTree Hilton (2 Somerset Plaza, Nashua) for the Holly Jolly Craft Fair on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be more than 75 artisans there selling their holiday wares. Visit joycescraftshows.com.

• The New Hampshire Audubon’s Holiday Craft Fair will take place on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the NH Audubon McLane Center (84 Silk Farm Road in Concord; nhaudubon.org).

• The Very Merry Holiday Gift Festival will take place Saturday, Dec. 9, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Manchester Downtown Hotel (700 Elm St. in Manchester), according to verymerryfestival.com. Admission to the event, a revamping of the Made in New England Expo, costs $7 ($6 for 65+ and kids 14 and under get in free).

• Caya Reiki & Healing (caya-healing.square.site) will hold a Winter Wonderland Craft Market & Psychic Fair on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hooksett American Legion Post 37 (5 Riverside St. in Hooksett), according to the website.

• The Wrong Brain Holidaze Bizaare (facebook.com/wrongbrain) will take place Saturday, Dec. 9, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at North Country Hard Cider (38 Littleworth Road in Dover). Admission costs $1, according to the Facebook post.

• New England Vendor Events will host a Hudson Holiday Craft Fair on Saturday, Dec. 9, from noon to 5 p.m., according to a post at facebook.com/nevendorevents.

• The Nashua Holiday Craft & Vendor Festival Fair will be held Saturday, Dec. 16, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Eagles Wing BingoHall at 10 Spruce St. in Nashua, according to the Bazaar Craft Fairs Facebook post.

• New England Vendor Events will host a Manchester Holiday Craft Fair on Saturday, Dec. 16, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Club Canadian (128 S. Main St. in Manchester) featuring pictures with Santa and the Grinch, according to a post at facebook.com/nevendorevents.

Featured Photo: Courtesy photo.

Want s’mores

Exciting new adventures in graham cracker, marshmallow and chocolate

S’mores seem like a good bet.

They only have three ingredients. You have access to sticks. And even though the leaves have turned and the nights are cold, s’mores, with their accompanying campfire, give you a good reason to keep the deck furniture out a few more weeks. What could possibly go wrong?

Aw, jeez, I just jinxed it, didn’t I? Now even roasting marshmallows seems like too much to wrap your head around. OK, let’s break this down to its essential components: graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate and fire. We’ll ease into it.

The Graham Crackers

Graham crackers are a good place to start. They were designed to be non-threatening. They were invented by the followers of Sylvester Graham, a 19th-century preacher and nutritionist, who was convinced that white flour, sugar and meat of any kind led to poor health and impure thoughts. If you think that you wouldn’t have been likely to get along with him, an angry mob of bakers and butchers in 1837 Boston would agree with you. They laid siege to his hotel while he was on a speaking tour, and were only dispersed when Graham and his followers dropped bags of cement on them from the hotel roof.

Commercial graham crackers, the ones we remember from kindergarten, are delicious, inexpensive and easily available, so who would make them from scratch?

You would. As long as you don’t expect perfection.

Lindsey Bangs, the baker of I Whisked It, a homestead bakery in Raymond, says that the secret is rolling the dough to a consistent thickness.

“If you don’t get the dough completely even, the edges will be a little crispy while the center isn’t done yet.”

This isn’t a huge problem for home bakers but would be a logistical headache for a commercial baker, which is why you don’t see house-baked graham crackers in bakeries very often, she says. But making them yourself also allows you to take some liberties in how you flavor them — adding cardamom, or even a little black pepper.

“Adding more cinnamon would really bump the flavor profile up,” Bangs says.

She likes her marshmallows gently toasted and golden brown.

Homemade Graham Crackers

homemade graham crackers on cooling rack beside baking tray
Homemade graham crackers. Photo by John Fladd.

Lindsey isn’t kidding about how fiddly graham crackers can be. They are straightforward enough to make at home, but making them professionally would be like juggling ice cubes. If you follow each step, though, you will be very pleased with the result.

A note on substitutions:

When making comfort foods, it is very tempting to jazz up a recipe. By their nature, comfort foods are basic; they are there to comfort, not to inspire or excite or intrigue the eater. This is why there are so many recipes and articles about mashed potatoes. Everyone wants to mess with them, but when someone is burned out from work or nursing a broken heart or feeling homesick, they do not want blue cheese in their mashed potatoes.

Most of the ingredients in this recipe lend themselves to intriguing substitutions. I would recommend restraint; feel free to change one ingredient. More than that will muddle the flavor of your graham crackers. Even one substitution will probably get you a pointed comment from a graham cracker purist.

  • 1 cup (113 g) Whole wheat flour – You could use stone-ground whole wheat flour for this, but that would be your one substitution.
  • 1 cup (120 g) all-purpose flour – Don’t experiment with this; you don’t want to toughen or soften the texture of your graham crackers by using bread or pastry flour.
  • ¼ cup (50 g) white sugar – or brown sugar, or maple syrup, but that would be your one substitution.
  • ½ teaspoon salt – I like kosher salt, but again, well, you know.
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon – I like smoked cinnamon.
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder – There isn’t really a substitution here, but did you know that you should replace your baking powder every six months? Weird.
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup (50 g) vegetable oil – or hazelnut oil
  • ¼ cup (85 g) honey – or hot honey
  • 2-3 Tablespoons (28-43 g) milk
  • more milk to make cinnamon sugar cling to the top of your crackers
  • cinnamon sugar for topping (optional)

In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients – the flours, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients – the sugar, egg, oil, honey, and milk. I don’t know why sugar is considered a wet ingredient, but it is, and it works better when you treat it that way. Chemistry is weird.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, then stir to combine. You might have to knead the dough a little to bring it together.

Wrap the dough, and chill it for at least an hour.

Preheat your oven to 300º (150º C).

Divide the graham cracker dough in half.

Roll each batch of dough to 1/16 inch thick. It is important that the dough is consistently thick. Is there an easy way to do that? And how thick is 1/16 inch, anyway?

Here’s how you’re going to preserve your sanity. Lay down a sheet of parchment paper, and weigh it down with half your dough. Flatten it out a little with the heels of your hands. It turns out that the wire in most clothes hangers is made of 12-gauge steel, 1/16 of an inch thick. Place a clothes hanger on either side of your dough, then cover everything with another layer of parchment paper.

Using the wire as a guide, roll the dough out as thick as the hangers. As you get your dough thinner and thinner, each end of your rolling pin will rest on one of the hangers.

Peel the top layer of parchment paper from each batch, then slide the bottom layer onto a baking sheet, then repeat the whole process with the other half of the dough.

If you are going the cinnamon-sugar route, brush each sheet of dough with milk, and sprinkle it with the cinnamon-sugar.

Bake the sheets of dough for five minutes, rotate them, then bake them for another five minutes.

Remove each sheet from the oven and cut to shape with a bench scraper or a pizza cutter.

Return the dough to the oven, and bake for another 20 minutes or so.

This is the part that seems really fiddly, but it’s important if you want your graham crackers to be crisp and not bendy:

Turn off the heat, and open the oven door all the way. Let it cool for five minutes, then close the door again, and let the crackers cool in the oven for another 20 minutes.

Transfer the graham crackers to a cooling rack. At this point they are exquisitely crispy. They should stay crispy, though not crunchy, for a couple of days, depending on how humid the air is. If you have any of those “Do Not Eat” dehydration packets saved, put those with the crackers in an air-tight container, and maybe store them in your refrigerator, which is the driest place in your kitchen.

So, the natural question: Is making your own graham crackers worth the trouble?

First of all, the number of steps involved is misleading. Tying your shoes or organizing your sock drawer would probably involve 72 separate steps if you broke it down. None of these graham cracker steps is very complicated. I know that there are days when you feel like opening an oven door is at the outer limit of your ability, but you can totally do this.

Secondly, these are delicious. Most of us have never had a thoroughly crisp graham cracker, warm from the oven. It is warm, but crunchy, gently sweet, but with tiny bursts of salt, and — depending on how well you were able to restrain yourself — with a little something extra.

This recipe is based on one from King Arthur Flour, my first stop when looking for any baking recipe. Their recipes are pretty much bullet-proof, but here’s something that even they won’t tell you: Flip a warm-from-the-oven graham cracker upside-down, and smear the bottom with butter. It is the most decadent legal experience you are ever likely to have.

The Marshmallows

When it comes to marshmallows, Sherrie Paltrineri knows what she’s talking about. She runs Sweet & Sassy, a small candy company specializing in pre-made s’mores. It’s fair to say that she’s not a s’more purist.

“Right now we’re making s’mores with up to 12 flavor profiles per week,” she says. “As we get into the fall season, we have pumpkin spice, of course, but we play around with Dark Chocolate with Raspberries, Orange Cranberry, and even Mochaccino.” According to Paltrineri, the surprise sleeper hit of this past summer was made with root beer flavored marshmallows.

She likes her marshmallows completely torched. “I love them burned; I want them to go up in flames,” she says.

Cooking with Marshmallows

There are a lot of people who will assure you that making your own marshmallows from scratch is relatively easy and very rewarding. I am not saying that those people are wrong, but my most recent attempt at home marshmallowing went badly. The term “fiasco” is too kind to describe it accurately.

I am not saying not to try it. There are many very nice instructors who can walk you step-by-step through the process — Martha Stewart springs to mind — but they could speak to this much more authoritatively than I can.

But is there a marshmallow-forward recipe that we can tackle that will help guide you toward s’morehood?

As it turns out, there is:

Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream

  • 1 10-ounce bag of mini marshmallows
  • 4 egg yolks
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • ½ cup (99 g) white sugar
  • 3 cups (735 ml) half and half
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Toast the marshmallows under the broiler in your oven, or with a blowtorch, either one of the tiny kitchen ones or a regular no-pretense plumber’s blowtorch from a home center. (I like the one with a pistol grip; it has a great sound. Hissssssss, click, WHUMP!) The torch will allow you to get a little more variety in how dark you toast the marshmallows, but in any case, if you prefer them toasted a gentle golden brown, cook them a little darker than you might otherwise do. The ice cream base will dilute the flavor slightly, and a darker marshmallow will bring more marshmallow flavor.

large round mug being used as bowl, filled with ice cream sitting on tablecloth, spoon sticking out
Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream. Photo by John Fladd.

Combine egg yolks, salt, sugar and cream in a small saucepan.

Heat, whisking, until the mixture reaches 175ºF/80ºC.

Strain the hot mixture over 2/3 of the toasted marshmallows. Add the vanilla, and whisk the mixture until it is as smooth as it’s going to get. Do not let this step worry you; clumps of semi-melted marshmallows in this ice cream is not a bad thing.

Chill the mixture for at least three hours or overnight, then churn according to your ice cream maker’s manufacturer’s instructions.

When spooning the soft-serve-textured ice cream into containers, layer with the remaining toasted marshmallows, before hardening it off in the freezer.

Even die-hard marshmallow fans will admit that they can be a little (unrelentingly) sweet. This ice cream carries the toasted marshmallow flavor gently, in a just-sweet-enough base. The flavor is delicate enough that you will probably not want to eat this with any topping that might overpower it.

This is a definite winner.

The Chocolate

Let’s face it: It’s the chocolate that makes or breaks a s’more. The graham cracker provides texture, and the marshmallow provides sweet stickiness, but it is the chocolate that sets the tone for the whole enterprise.

Should you go with a classic milk chocolate, or something darker? Should you let it melt completely, or let your marshmallow cool a little so you still have some resistance to your teeth? Should you use a classic American candy bar or something a little shmancy?

According to Jeffrey Bart, the owner of the Granite State Candy Shoppe in Concord and Manchester, most people don’t put enough thought into this.

“Many times, someone will just break up a chocolate bar and hope for the best,” he says. His suggestion is to either use two types of chocolate or to finely chop some, but not all, of the chocolate, and use both in a s’more. The little pieces, having more surface area, will melt easily. “That hits the perfect ratio of totally melted and fused with the graham cracker,” he says, “and something to still bite into.”

He prefers his marshmallow gently toasted.

“I’m of the Low and Slow camp,” Bart says.

Rob Delaney and Maggie Pritty of Worldwide Chocolate in Brentwood agree that texture is important but stress the importance of picking the right flavor profile.

“Personally I’d go with a dark milk chocolate,” Delaney says, “which is not a thing that a lot of people are even aware exists.” He says that some dark milk chocolate can have as high a cocoa percentage as 55 to 70 percent, as opposed to the usual 35 percent or so for a typical grocery store chocolate bar. “That would have that milky, caramelly character, without being so sweet.”

Pritty stresses the importance of reading the label on a bar of chocolate. “Make sure to look at the ingredients,” she says. “You want to see that it’s made with cocoa butter and sugar, not hydrogenated palm oil or anything like that.”

She likes her marshmallows dark brown but not quite burnt.

So is there something chocolate-forward and s’moresy that will build your confidence back up?

Yes. Yes, there is.

Dark Chocolate Cheesecake with Graham Cracker Crust and Toasted Marshmallow

Crust

  • 403 g graham cracker crumbs – this is almost exactly equal to one box of graham crackers
  • 4 Tablespoons (56 g) butter, melted – this is half a stick

Cheesecake Filling

  • 24 ounces (678 g) cream cheese, room temperature – this is three 8-ounce packages
  • 1 cup (207 g) sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons (43 g) dark cocoa powder
  • 1 cup (230 g) sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces (227 g) dark chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
  • 4 eggs, room temperature

Marshmallow Topping

  • 1 7.5-ounce jar of marshmallow cream

Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan with parchment paper in the bottom and grease the sides.

plate with piece of chocolate cheesecake, beside round cheesecake with piece cut out
Dark Chocolate Cheesecake with Graham Cracker Crust and Toasted Marshmallow. Photo by John Fladd.

Combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a small bowl. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan. It will seem like too much crust, until it doesn’t.

Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool

Put your chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat, 15 seconds at a time, to melt it. Stop when it still has a few lumps. If you stir it at that point, everything will melt without getting too hot.

Cover the outside of the pan with aluminum foil. This is to more-or-less waterproof it, when it goes into a water bath. (Yes, there will be a water bath. Don’t panic. As the Winter Warlock® once put it, put one foot in front of the other.)

Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F (148°C).

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and cocoa until completely combined. If you use an electric mixer, use your lowest speed for this. Because Reasons.

Add the sour cream and vanilla, then mix to incorporate them.

Add the melted chocolate in three parts, stirring to combine each time.

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition.

When everything is completely combined, pour the cheesecake batter into your foiled-up springform pan.

This is where the water bath comes in. In old recipes, it will be called a bain marie. Put your foiled-up pan inside a larger pan, maybe a turkey-roasting pan. (If, like me, you don’t have a pan that big, use your largest non-melty mixing bowl.) Gently fill the larger pan or bowl with hot water that reaches about halfway up the side of your springform pan.

Bake for about 70 minutes. Don’t panic and open the door too much. The whole reason for the water bath is to provide gentle steady heat to your cheesecake. It will have your back for one or two viewings, but try to exercise some restraint. Set a timer, and go clean out your refrigerator. You will not believe what there is in there.

After your timer goes off, check on your cheesecake. It shouldn’t be ready yet, but it will have a nice skin on top of it and be a little wiggly in the middle. Turn the oven off, but leave the cheesecake inside with the door closed, to finish cooking gently. Leave it for another hour.

When the oven is much cooler and your cheesecake has an internal temperature of 150º-175º F (65º-80º C), remove it from the oven, and let it cool on your countertop, then refrigerate for three to five hours or overnight.

When your cheesecake is completely cooled and firm, take it out of the refrigerator and de-pan it. You will rightfully feel proud.

But you’re not done yet.

Coat the top of the cheesecake with marshmallow cream. Use your own judgment as to how much you want to use.

Toast the marshmallow layer. Yes, you could do this under your broiler, but I prefer to use a blowtorch, either one of the mini ones designed for kitchen use or a plumber’s torch from the hardware store.

Serve immediately. If you aren’t serving a dozen people — though if you aren’t, why aren’t you? — wait until service before topping each slice with Fluff individually, then torch it in front of your guests, which is probably more dramatic anyway.

Much like a s’more, this is a very rich, deeply chocolatey treat. Even if you are a “more is more”-type person, you might want to start with a small slice of this. Its intense chocolateness is balanced by the sour tang of the cream cheese and sour cream, but it is still very, very rich. If you wanted to freeze this (and why wouldn’t you?) small slices might be even better.

The Fire

The only element left to discuss is the fire.

Yes, you could toast your marshmallow over the last coals in a charcoal grill, or even a gas one. In an emergency, you could toast it over one of the front burners in your kitchen, especially if you have a gas stove.

But half the experience of making s’mores is navigating actual flames — flirting with disaster, if you are a gently-toasted-golden-brown person, or plunging your marshmallow into the heart of the flame if you belong to the go-for-broke, fully-torched school of marshmallow toasting.

The key to a good marshmallow fire, according to 15-year-old Eagle Scout candidate Hailey Hansen, is starting small: “When I make a fire, I like to make a log-cabin fire, with sticks stacked like walls to a house, but you have to start from the bottom first, with tinder, then kindling, and larger and larger sticks, before you get to that stage.”

She says that coals are better for any campfire cooking, as they provide a steady, dependable heat, which lets a marshmallow roaster confidently choose how done they want to roast their marshmallow, but it’s not a binary situation:

“Your fire doesn’t have to be all coals. You can have half with flames, but let the other half burn down to safer” — by this, she clearly means “old person” — “coals,” she says.

Hailey likes her marshmallows golden brown and crispy but thoroughly melted inside.

At this point you must be feeling pretty confident s’mores-wise. If you can handle that cheesecake, you can host a s’mores party with one hand tied behind your back. But maybe you would like one more easy recipe to keep you bucked up until then. Is there an easy recipe that you can make to keep everyone on a short leash until it’s actually S’mores Time?

As a matter of fact, yes, there is.

S’mores Candy

  • Some marshmallows — the big ones, the mini ones, whatever you have around
  • Some graham crackers — you know you’re going to have to buy a new box, anyway, so you might as well use up what you have handy at the moment
  • Some peanut butter — all natural, or the kind that children actually like, it’s up to you.
  • Some chocolate — any chocolate: white, milk, dark, whatever you have stashed away in that cupboard that the kids can’t reach.

Crush the graham crackers into crumbs. A food processor is good for this.

plate on table, 2 pieces of round chocolate covered candies, one piece cut in half to show center with marshmallow inside, drink sitting beside plate
S’mores Candy. Photo by John Fladd.

Mix the crumbs with peanut butter — however much it takes to make a nice, stiff dough. You will almost certainly start doing this with a spoon, but almost as certainly end up mushing it altogether with your hands. You decide when it is the right consistency; this is one final exercise to get in touch with your s’mores instincts.

Melt the chocolate in your microwave. (See cheesecake recipe, above)

If you are using large marshmallows, cut them into quarters or eighths. If you are using mini-marshmallows, just let them be themselves.

Coat the marshmallows with the peanut butter dough you just made. You will probably need to play with it in your hands a little, before it reaches the consistency you want, and more-or-less covers the marshmallow. This doesn’t have to be perfect (because of the next step).

Drop the marshmallow/graham cracker/peanut butter ball into the melted chocolate, and then roll it around with a fork, until it is completely coated.

Remove the candy from the melted chocolate with your fork, then gently place it on a plate covered with a piece of waxed or parchment paper.

Repeat this until you run out of an ingredient. Don’t worry if you have some left over; any extra will mysteriously disappear.

Refrigerate the candies for at least 20 minutes. They are very good with tea.

Putting It All Together

At this point you might expect step-by-step instructions on how to make s’mores, but that would be silly. You have known how to make a s’more since you were 5 years old. It was probably the first food you learned to cook. It is less complicated to put together than toast.

Step 1: Toast a marshmallow

Step 2: Put a piece of chocolate on half a graham cracker, then sandwich the marshmallow between the two cracker halves.

(I do have a preference for Mexican chocolate — the gritty stone-ground kind — but when I mentioned this to our three chocolate experts, they stared at me in shock, then started to speak to me in very small words, so use whatever kind suits you personally.)

However, I do have one final recipe:

S’mores Martini

Graham Cracker Vodka

  • 1 sleeve (135 g) graham crackers
  • 3 cups 80-proof inexpensive vodka
cocktail with marshmallow garnish in martini glass with decorative stem, sitting on square plate on long table
S’mores Martini. Photo by John Fladd.

Combine graham crackers and vodka in a blender. Blend at whatever speed pleases you for about one minute. Feel free to chuckle evilly as the graham crackers meet their fate.

Pour into a wide-mouthed, air-tight jar.

Store in a warm, dark place for a week, shaking twice daily.

This is really important: On Day 7, DO NOT SHAKE THE JAR.

Gently pour the clear liquid through a fine-meshed strainer, let it settle, then pour it through a coffee filter, into a labeled bottle.

Chocolate Vodka

This is very similar to the previous recipe.

  • ¼ cup/1 ounce/30 g cocoa nibs. Cocoa nibs are the raw ingredient for chocolate-making. You can find them in an upmarket grocery store or online. I like ones from Guittard. They come with this warning: “May contain shell, kernel, plant material or other material from the growing process. Inspect or re-clean before using. This is not a Ready-to-eat food.” In other words, just exactly what we’re looking for in this application.
  • 2 cups middle-shelf vodka

Combine the cocoa nibs and vodka in a large wide-mouthed jar, seal, shake vigorously, then place in the basement or under the sink, with the graham cracker vodka.

Shake twice per day for four days.

Strain, filter, and bottle, as above.

S’mores Martini

  • 1 ounces crème de cacao
  • 2 ounces chocolate vodka
  • 2 ounces graham cracker vodka
  • a toasted marshmallow, for garnish

In a mixing glass, rinse several ice cubes with crème de cacao, then pour it off.

Pour equal amounts of chocolate and graham cracker vodka over the liqueur-rinsed ice.

Stir gently but thoroughly.

Pour off, into a chilled martini glass.

Garnish with toasted marshmallow, much like you would a conventional martini, with an olive.

The surprising thing about this martini is how well the flavor of graham crackers comes through. Make no mistake; this is a strong, fully adult cocktail. It is not nearly as sweet as you might be tempted to think. This is a s’more to drink in small sips.

Featured Photo: Courtesy photo.

Fun for big kids

Adult Halloween options abound

By Michael Witthaus
mwitthaus@hippopress.com

If you’re a grownup who wishes trick-or-treating were an all-ages affair, you can still have fun on Halloween. This year most parties will happen before the official day. The good news is that options run the gamut, from a sober party preceded by an AA meeting to drag shows, decades-themed parties and lots of live music. Here’s a day-by-day rundown of area gatherings.

Friday, Oct. 20

  • The Red Rivers Theatres (11 S Main St., Concord; redrivertheatres.org) will show the cult classic Rocky Horror Picture Show (R, 1975) on Fridays and Saturdays from Oct. 20 through Oct. 28, at 10 p.m. Costumes and audience participation are encouraged and tickets are $25 for this 18+ event.
  • Catch the Live Dueling Pianos Halloween Party at 8:30 p.m. at Chunky’s Cinema Pub (707 Huse Road in Manchester; chunkys.com).

Saturday, Oct. 21

  • MV Mount Washington (211 Lakeside Ave., Laconia, cruisenh.com) Annual masquerade ball on a three-hour cruise with buffet dinner, entertainment, seasonal snacks and beverages, and a costume contest. $70. 6 p.m. • The Rocky Horror Picture Show (R, 1975) will screen on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 9 p.m. at all three area Chunky’s Cinema Pubs (707 Huse Road, Manchester; 151 Coliseum Ave., Nashua; 150 Bridge St., Pelham, chunkys.com). Props allowed and dressing up encouraged; tickets cost $10.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show (R, 1975) will screen on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 9 p.m. at all three area Chunky’s Cinema Pubs (707 Huse Road, Manchester; 151 Coliseum Ave., Nashua; 150 Bridge St., Pelham, chunkys.com). Props allowed and dressing up encouraged; tickets cost $10.

Wednesday, Oct. 25

  • Beetlejuice (1988) Chunky’s Cinema Pubs (707 Huse Road, Manchester; 151 Coliseum Ave., Nashua; 150 Bridge St., Pelham, chunkys.com) will have a 21+ screening Wednesday, Oct. 25, at 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 26

  • To Share Brewing (720 Union St. in Manchester; tosharebrewing.com) will be offering a Beer & Candy Pairing today through Sunday, Oct. 29 (the brewery will close at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28), according to its website.

Friday, Oct. 27

  • Hocus Pocus (PG, 1993) will screen for a 21+ audience at Chunky’s in Nashua and Manchester (707 Huse Road, Manchester; 151 Coliseum Ave., Nashua; chunkys.com) at 8 p.m.
  • Henry J. Sweeney Post (251 Maple St., Manchester, 623-9145) Dance with The Stray Dogs Band. Costumes encouraged but not mandatory. Finger foods provided; members and guests. 8 p.m.
  • Newfound Lake Inn (1030 Mayhew Tpk., Bridgewater, 744-0911) BOO’s Fest in SAL’s Birch Bar featuring DJ Jeff Lines. Prizes awarded for best couple, scariest and most creative costume. $55 at evenbrite.com. 6 p.m.
  • The Park Theatre (19 Main St., Jaffrey; theparktheatre.org) will host an 18+ Halloween dance party from 9:30 p.m. to midnight. Costumes are mandatory and tickets are $10.
  • Pasta Loft (241 Union Sq., Milford, 672-2270) Grateful Dead tribute band Winterland NH performs at 8 p.m.
  • Portsmouth Elks Lodge No. 97 (500 Jones Ave., Portsmouth, 436-9606) Three Man Band plays covers, with prizes for best costume; bring an appetizer. 6 p.m.
  • Rumors Sports Bar & Bowling (22 N. Main St., Newmarket, rumorsnewmarket@gmail.com) Halloween drag show with costume contests and free giveaways. $20 at eventbrite.com. Two shows, 7 and 10 p.m.
  • Saddle Up Saloon (92 Route 125, Kingston, 347-1313) Bite the Bullet plays covers, with costumes encouraged but not mandatory. 8 p.m.
  • Shaskeen (909 Elm St., Manchester, 625-0246) Halloween bash with DJ Myth playing the best in Top 100 and throwbacks, Jameson promo. 9 p.m.
  • Stone Church (5 Granite St., Newmarket, 659-7700) Two-day Grateful Dead bash has Stone Dead, a group of New England musicians with roots and associations going back to the Stone Church scene of the ’80s and ’90s, from acts like Percy Hill, Groove Child, Thanks to Gravity and Trade. $25 in advance, $30 day of show, $45 two-day pass. 7 p.m.
  • The Word Barn (66 Newfields Road, Exeter, 244-0202) Lullafrights – The Rough & Tumble performing spooky songs they wrote as part of an album about various monsters and creatures of lore, all created to make children obey and behave. The show will be accompanied by stories put together and told by John Herman, James Patrick Kelly, Jen Whitley, Tara McDonough and Mark Michael Adams. $16 to $25 at portsmouthnhtickets.com. 7 p.m.
  • Wally’s Pub (144 Ashworth Ave., Hampton, 926-6954) Heady Halloween presented by Granite Lion has TreeHouse, Adriya Joy, Caylin Costello and Green Lion Crew playing a free 21+ party. 6 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 28

  • American Legion Post 8 (640 Central Ave., Dover, 742-9710) Stiletto – tribute to ’80s hard rock. 21+. 7 p.m.
  • Angel City Music Hall (179 Elm St., Unit B, Manchester, 931-3654) Prospect Hill Halloween party with Red Crown, Psycle and DJ Chris Drake. 21+, $20 at ticketweb.com. 7:30 p.m.
  • Ash Cigar Lounge (92A Route 125, Kingston, 285-5174) Cigars and costume party with My Father Cigars at 6 p.m.
  • Auspicious Brew (1 Washington St., Dover, 953-7240) Tarot on Tap precedes a party with Lovesick, Catwolf and The Bumbling Woohas. Costumes encouraged; $10 at the door. 8 p.m.
  • Averill House Vineyard (21 Averill Road, Brookline, 244-3165) Get some laughs with comedian Will Noonan; The Wine Bar opens 30 minutes before showtime, with more than 15 wines to choose from. Charcuterie board served with cheese, meat, nuts and crackers may be purchased ahead of time. $15. 5:30 p.m.
  • Bedford Events Center (379 S. River Road, Bedford, 997-7741) 4th Annual Witch’s Gala Monster Mash Masquerade benefit for Granite State Dog Recovery and Corey’s Closet with raffles, 50/50, DJ, dancing, grazing tables, readers, costume contest and more. 6 p.m.
  • Bonfire Country Bar (950 Elm St., Manchester) Halloween costume party has country-flavored music from Maddi Ryan. 7 p.m.
  • Bridgewater Inn (367 Mayhew Tpk., Bridgewater, 744-3518) 23rd annual Halloween party with Stray Dog playing covers and cash prizes for best male and female costumes. 8 p.m.
  • Brookline Events Center (269 Route 130, Brookline, 582-4491) Halloween DJ dance with Bernie & Bob, $10 at the door. 7 p.m.
  • Capitol Center for the Arts (44 S. Main St., Concord, ccanh.com) Family-friendly daytime experience with Laurie Berkner performing a pair of Halloween concerts. 11 and 3 p.m.
  • Chunky’s Cinema (151 Coliseum Ave., Nashua, 880-8055) Grab the popcorn and settle in for the seasonal fave Hocus Pocus at this 21+ viewing party; enjoy the Sanderson Sisters without having to smell the children. 8 p.m.
  • Derryfield (625 Mammoth Road, Manchester, 623-2880) Popular cover band Mugsy is joined by D-Comp for the Halloween Monster Bash. Come in costume; prizes will be given for best overall, most creative and honorable mention. $30 at eventbrite.com. 21+ event. 7 p.m.
  • Flight Coffee Dover (478 Central Ave., Dover, 842-5325) Music from Maine’s Lepra, NYC’s Ultor and Agenbite from Dover. Costume contest will be judged by the bands and baristas. $12 at the door; $10 with a costume ($2 refund for anyone who buys a presale ticket at eventbrite.com and shows up in costume). 8 p.m.
  • High Octane Saloon (102 Watson Road, Laconia, 527-8116) EXP Band performs at this bash, with costume prizes for sexiest, scariest, best team, funniest, strangest, best handmade, best face paint and best overall. 8 p.m.
  • Jewel (61 Canal St., Manchester, 836-1152) Hallowubs Weekend with a musical performance by Smith. Prizes for best costume.21+. Tickets $23 to $28. 9 p.m.
  • Lithermans Limited Brewing (126B Hall St., Concord, 219-0784) Halloween party with costumes, craft beer and food trucks. 7 p.m.
  • Loaded Question Brewing (909 Islington St., Suite 12, Portsmouth, 852-1396) Halloweeen party at 8 p.m.
  • Lone Wolf Brewing (36 Mill St., Wolfeboro, 515-1099) 8th annual bash has live music with Supernothing and a dance party with DJ Synths, specialty cocktails, costume contest and more. 7 p.m.
  • Lynn’s 102 Tavern (75 Derry Road, Hudson, 943-7832) Workin’ Stiffs perform, prizes for best costumes. 7 p.m.
  • Manchester Elks Lodge 146 (290 Granite St., Manchester, 623-9126) Gemstones Jukebox Jamboree playing ’50s hits, $10 per person. 6 p.m.
  • Marker 21 (33 Dockside St., Wolfeboro, 569-8668) Small Town Stranded rocks out in the Lakes Region. 7 p.m.
  • McIntyre Ski Area (50 Chalet Court, Manchester, 622-6159) The Morning Buzz crew hosts Buzz Brews & Boos. Come in costume for this 21+ event. $35 tickets at mcintyreskiarea.square.site includes an appetizer buffet, DJ, Halloween contest, games and prizes. 7 p.m.
  • Merrimack Biergarten (221 Daniel Webster Hwy., Merrimack, 595-1202) Wolves Halloween party at 6 p.m.
  • Newport Opera House (20 Main St., Newport, 863-2412) Masquerade dance with Last Kid Picked. Dress up in your most bewitching costume, and prizes will be awarded for the best in different categories, from boo-tiful to bone-chilling. Cash bar, 21+, $35. 8 p.m.
  • North Country Hard Cider (38 Littleworth Road, Dover, 343-2422) Mid-day Halloween Sweat & Soul (formerly Buti Yoga) throwdown. Werk it out and then enjoy a tasty cider in costume. $25 at eventbrite.com. 11 a.m. to noon.
  • Palace Theatre – Spotlight Room (96 Hanover St., Manchester, 668-5588) Witch, Please! Halloween dance party with Queerlective. Spooky art activities, costume contest (categories TBD), live music, dancing, cash bar. This is a safe and inclusive event. All are welcome, ages 18 and older. Costumes must be appropriate (not hateful, no nudity, etc.). Failure to comply may result in ejection from the event with no refund. 7 p.m.
  • Pasta Loft (241 Union Sq., Milford, 672-2270) Slakas play this fun Halloween party. 8 p.m.
  • Peddler’s Daughter (48 Main St., Nashua, 821-7535) Fox & the Flamingos perform at this costumes-encouraged event. 9:30 p.m.
  • Portsmouth Gas Light (64 Market St., Portsmouth, 430-9122) Halloween party in the third-floor nightclub. 8 p.m.
  • Press Room (77 Daniel St., Portsmouth, 431-5186) Crush, a Dave Matthews Band tribute act, helps get a spooky spirit started. 8:30 p.m.
  • Revolution Taproom (61 N. Main St., Rochester, 244-3022) Paint Nite: Halloween BOO-quet. Local artist Katrina Reid guides participants through all the steps of creating an original painting in less than two hours. $35. 5 p.m.
  • Saddle Up Saloon (92 Route 125, Kingston, 347-1313) Throwback Bash has All That ’90s performing and a ‘90s pop culture reference themed costume contest; come as a TV character, musician or movie icon and take home the prize for most creative costume. Costumes of all kinds (especially ‘90s-themed) strongly encouraged but optional. 8 p.m.
  • Salsa Secrets Studio (2800 Lafayette Road, Portsmouth, 584-2985) Halloween dance social begins with an intermediate dance class followed by social dancing until 10:30 p.m. Starts at 7:30 p.m.
  • Salt hill Pub Lebanon (2 W. Park St., Lebanon, 448-4532) Scarey-oke with Amy Alexander. Costumes encouraged. 8 p.m.
  • Sayde’s (136 Cluff Crossing, Salem, 890-1032) Big Blue Sky provides the music at this party. Costumes encouraged but optional and there will be prizes for the best ones. 7 p.m.
  • Shaskeen (909 Elm St., Manchester, 625-0246) Emo Night with The Black Charade. 9 p.m.
  • Strange Brew (88 Market St., Manchester, 666-4292) Son Hobbs & the Mystery Horns Halloween bash. 6:30 p.m.
  • The Bar (2B Burnham Road, Hudson, 943-5250) Crave Halloween Bash. 8 p.m.
  • The Big House (322 Lakeside Ave., Laconia, 767-2226) Drag brunch, $40 to $135 at evenbrite.com. 6 p.m.
  • The Rugged Axe (1887 S. Willow St., Manchester, 232-7846) Ax-throwing Halloween party, with costumes strongly encouraged, drinks specials and a raffle; reservation at theruggedaxe.com. Noon.
  • Triumphant Cross Lutheran Church (171 Zion Hill Road, Salem, nhscypaa.com) NHSCYPAA Halloween dance kicks off with an AA meeting at 6:30 p.m. followed by fellowship, fun, music and dance. $15 suggested donation. 6:30 p.m.
  • Veterans Club Auxiliary Post 25 (118 John Stark Hwy., Newport, 863-3945) Roadhouse rocks out with prizes for best costume and raffles. $15 per person, $25 per couple. 7 p.m.
  • Village Trestle (25 Main St., Goffstown, 497-8230) Halloween costume party with Bob Pratte. 8 p.m.
  • Wally’s Pub (144 Ashworth Ave., Hampton, 926-6954) Night of the Living Dreads with Korn and Rage Against the Machine tribute acts. 6 p.m.
  • WSCA Radio (909 Islington St., Suite 1, Portsmouth, 430-9722) Teenage Halloween performs. 7 p.m.

Featured Photo: Courtesy photo.

Halloween for everyone

Happenings for ghosts and ghouls of all ages

Compiled by Renee Merchant
listings@hippopress.com

Check out these Halloween events that anyone can enjoy, no matter their age.

The Allenstown Economic Development (EDC) Committee presents a Halloween lighting contest. From Wednesday, Oct. 18 through Friday, Oct. 27, the Allenstown EDC, Fire Department and Police Department will choose the winners. On Saturday, Oct. 28 at 4 p.m., there will be a Halloween lighting awards ceremony at Town Hall (16 School St.) where the winners will be announced. See allenstownnh.gov.

The Rochester Opera House (31 Wakefield St.) presents the musical comedy The Addams Family now through Sunday, Nov. 5, with showtimes on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m. Tickets range from $18 to $30. Visit rochesteroperahouse.com to purchase tickets.

J&F Farms (124 Chester Road in Derry; jandffarmsnh.com) has a Halloween-themed corn maze through October. The farm is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., according to the farm’s website; on Saturdays and Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. the farm will also feature a food truck and cider doughnuts, according to the farm’s Facebook page. The cost is $10 per person.

Concord Parks and Recreation will show 1993’s A Nightmare Before Christmas (PG) on Friday, Oct. 20, at 6 p.m. in Keach Park (2 Newton Ave. in Concord). See concordnh.gov.

Hocus Pocus (PG, 1993) The original Hocus Pocus will screen at all three area Chunky’s Cinema Pubs (707 Huse Road, Manchester; 151 Coliseum Ave., Nashua; 150 Bridge St., Pelham, chunkys.com) Friday, Oct. 20, through Thursday, Nov. 2, with at least one screening per day and three screenings Fridays through Sundays.

The Strand (20 Third St., Dover) presents live performances of Dracula for some “Halloween fun for the whole family.” Shows on Friday, Oct. 20, Saturday, Oct. 21; Friday, Oct. 27, and Saturday, Oct. 28, are at 8 p.m. and tickets cost $20. On Saturday, Oct. 21; Sunday, Oct. 22; Saturday, Oct. 28, and Sunday, Oct. 29, shows are at 2 p.m. and tickets cost $18. Visit breakaleglegally.com to purchase tickets.

The Players’ Ring Theatre (105 Marcy St., Portsmouth, playersring.org) presents Gay Bride of Frankenstein Friday, Oct. 20 through Sunday, Nov. 5. Shows are from Friday to Sunday — 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday — and tickets are $28.

Devriendt Farm (178 S Mast St. in Goffstown; devriendtfarm.com) opens its corn maze (and its pumpkin patch) on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at its 47 Story Road in Goffstown location. The cost is $8 for ages 13 and up, $4 for ages 4 to 12; kids 3 and under get in free, according to the website.

Coppal House Farm (118 N. River Road, Lee; nhcornmaze.com) has a Flashlight Night Corn Maze on Saturday, Oct. 21, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Tickets must be purchased ahead of time and are $15. Flashlights will not be provided. Additionally, there is a daytime maze that is open on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays from noon to 5 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Daytime admission can be purchased at the farm stand and costs $10 for adults and $8 for children, students, seniors, and military. For both events, children under age 4 get in free. On Sunday, Oct. 22, the farm will feature Wildlife Encounters from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., according to the website.

The Portsmouth Farmers Market (1 Junkins Ave.) will host a Pumpkin Smash on Saturday, Oct. 21, from 8 a.m. to noon. For $5, participants can choose a pumpkin to smash with a mallet, a two-by-four or “the trusty ol’ Louisville Slugger.” All pumpkins will be fed to pigs after the smash, and the proceeds will go to the Portsmouth Halloween Parade. Visit facebook.com/Market03801.

The Exeter Parks and Recreation department is hosting a Halloween Parade and Costume Contest on Saturday, Oct. 21, at Swasey Parkway. The costume contest will be judged at 10:30 a.m., and the parade will begin at 11 a.m. From noon to 3 p.m. there will be trick-or-treating downtown. Visit exeternh.gov.

Join Applecrest Farm (133 Exeter Road, Hampton Falls) for their Fall Harvest Festival on Saturday, Oct. 21, and Sunday, Oct. 22, from 1 to 5 p.m. featuring live music, a corn maze, barnyard animals and more. The following weekend, on Saturday, Oct. 28, and Sunday, Oct. 29, the farm will host a Hunter’s Moon Fall Harvest Festival from 1 to 5 p.m., which will feature the Viking reenactor group Straumfjordr and the carving of an 800-pound pumpkin. Admission and parking are free for both events. Visit applecrest.com.

The Wilton Main Street Association will host The Haunting of Wilton on Saturday, Oct. 21, with various events throughout the day. At 1 p.m. there will be a costume parade down Main Street, followed by trick-or-treating with Main Street merchants until 2:30 p.m. From 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., enjoy burgers, cider, s’mores and live music at the police station parking lot (7 Burns Hill Road) followed by a $5 haunted trail from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Visit visitwilton.com.

Prayers of Nature (33 Howard St., Wilton) will host a Bizarre Bazaar during the Haunt of Wilton on Saturday, Oct. 21, from noon to 7 p.m. Visitors will receive a free gemstone or wire wrap gemstone (while supplies last) and be entered in a raffle for a free tarot reading. From noon to 6 p.m. there will be 20-minute tarot readings by Victoria of Eye of Ethereal for $25, which can be booked at prayersofnature.com/tarotbazaar. Additionally, local jeweler Earthly Elan will host a pop-up shop and there will be spooky displays created by artist Little un Miniatures. From 3 to 6 p.m., there will be a meet-and-greet with Brittany Batchelder, author of Avian Tarot.

The American Independence Museum (1 Governer’s Lane in Exeter; independencemuseum.org, 772-2622) will host Ghosts of Winter Street Cemetery, featuring a tour through Winter Street Cemetery in Exeter led by a colonial tour guide on Saturday, Oct. 21, with start times every 30 minutes from 4 to 5:30 p.m. with a family tour at 3 p.m. Tours are about 45 minutes long and guests are encouraged to bring flashlights, according to a press release. Children in costume receive a special colonial treat, the release said. Tickets cost $10 ($7 for ages 6 to 8; children under 6 get in free), family-tour tickets (the 3 p.m. event) cost $15 for a family of four — tickets include a return pass to visit the museum, the release said.

Back to the Future (1985) will screen on Saturday, Oct. 21, 7 p.m. at Cinemark Salem, O’neil Cinemas in Epping, AMC Londonderry and Regal Fox Run in Newington (as well as at 4 p.m. at Cinemark). See fanthomevents.com.

The Birds (1963) from director Alfred Hitchcock will get a 60th anniversary screening on Sunday, Oct. 22, at 1 p.m. and Monday, Oct. 23, at 7 p.m. at O’neil Cinemas in Epping, AMC Londonderry, Cinemark in Salem and Regal Fox Run in Newington. See fathomevents.com.

The Seacoast Repertory Theatre (125 Bow St., Portsmouth) presents Bat Boy on Sunday, Oct. 22, at 2 and 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, Oct. 26, at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 27, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 28, at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 29, at 2 p.m. Ticket prices vary from $35 to $60 based on seating. Visit seacoastrep.org to purchase tickets.

The 17th Annual Celebrate Samhain Festival will be held on Sunday, Oct. 22, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hilton in Nashua (2 Somerset Pkwy.). The Samhain Festival is a celebration of the final harvest and of those who have passed and will feature vendors, artisans, psychic readings and a ritual led by Serenity Coven to honor the dead. Admission is $12 or $10 with the donation of a nonperishable food item. Visit facebook.com/NHSamhain.

Join Golden Dog Adventure Co. for their 3rd Annual Corn Maze & Halloween Pawty at Beech Hill Farm (107 Beech Hill Road, Hopkinton) on Saturday, Oct. 22, from 10 a.m. to noon (rain date Oct. 29). Tickets are $35 for members and $50 for non-members for one dog and one human. Tickets are $10 for additional humans, but children under age 3 are free. There will be various activities, including a costume contest, visiting farm animals, a custom illustration of your dog (an additional $15) and a peanut butter licking contest for your dog. Visitors must pre-register at goldendognh.com.

Nosferatu (1922), the classic vampire tale from director F.W. Murnau and starring Max Schreck, will screen at Wilton Town Hall Theatre (40 Main St., Wilton, wiltontownhalltheatre.com, 654-3456) on Sunday, Oct. 22, at 2 p.m. with live musical accompaniment by Jeff Rapsis.

Root Up & More (Concord, rootupconcord. com) is holding Guided Haunt Tours in downtown Concord on Sunday, Oct. 22; Monday, Oct. 23; Sunday, Oct. 29, and Monday, Oct. 30, beginning at 7 p.m. Sign up for a specific date via Root Up’s Facebook page.

Beetlejuice (1988) will have multiple screenings at area Chunky’s Cinema Pubs (707 Huse Road, Manchester; 151 Coliseum Ave., Nashua; 150 Bridge St., Pelham, chunkys.com). On Sunday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m. the movie will screen with a five-course dinner from The Farmers Dinner; the cost is $75 or $110 with wine. The movie will also screen on Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. in Nashua. The movie will screen at all three locations on Monday, Oct. 23, and Tuesday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. A 21+ screening will be held Wednesday, Oct. 25, at 7:30 p.m.

The Rex Theatre (Amherst St., Manchester) presents a silent film with live music on Wednesday, Oct. 25, at 7:30 p.m. Jeff Rapsis will provide musical accompaniment for the silent film The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) starring Lon Chaney. Tickets are $10. Visit palacetheatre.org.

Join the town of Canterbury for a theatrical presentation titled Canterbury Tales: Famous and Infamous, which is a 35-minute tour, running every 10 minutes. On Thursday, Oct. 26, and Friday, Oct. 27, the event will run from 6 to 7 p.m. and on Saturday, Oct. 28, it will run from 1 to 2 p.m. at Center Cemetery (5 Center Road). Admission is $10 and all proceeds will benefit the Canterbury Cemetery Association. Tickets are available on eventbrite.com and are limited, so preregistration is recommended. Strollers, costumes and pets will not be permitted.

On Friday, Oct. 27, Saturday, Oct. 28, and Sunday, Oct. 29, Shaker Village (288 Shaker Road, Canterbury) will host Ghost Encounter Tours at 5, 6 and 7 p.m. The 45-minute tours will explore the evolution of spiritualism in Shaker faith and will include “firsthand accounts of otherworldly encounters,” according to the website. Tickets purchased in advance are $20 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. Tickets cost $25 day of. Register at shakers.org.

On Friday, Oct. 27, there will be a Downtown Trick-or-Treat and Zombie Walk on Main Street in Rochester. Businesses downtown will be handing out candy from 4 to 6 p.m. The Zombie Walk will feature “dozens of dancers from several local dance studios,” according to the website. The walk will begin at the Citizens Bank parking lot (90 N. Main St.) and proceed down Bridge Street to River Street and back to North Main Street.

The Majestic Theatre (880 Page St. in Manchester; majestictheatre.net, 669-7649) presents Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play Friday, Oct. 27, through Sunday Oct. 29, with showtimes at 7 p.m. on Friday, 2 and 7 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets cost $20 for adults, $15 for 65+ and 17 and under.

Catch the Murder Mystery Dinner: Best Laid Plans at the Bank of NH Stage (S. 16 Main St. in Concord; ccanh.com) on Friday, Oct. 27, at 6:30 p.m. Or check out Murder Mystery Dinner: Midnight Masquerade on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 6:30 p.m.

Join the town of Merrimack for their 31st Annual Halloween Party on Saturday, Oct. 28, from noon to 3 p.m. at Wasserman Park (116 Naticook Road). There will be a costume contest and a Pumpkin Race Car Derby along with free games, crafts and face painting. Nonprofit organizations Merrimack Friends & Families and Less Leg More Heart will have food for sale. Visit merrimackparksandrec.org.

The Park Theatre in Jaffrey (19 Main St.) is hosting a Halloweenie Weekend featuring some scary movies. Tickets are $10 for adults and $9 for children, seniors, students, military and teachers. On Friday, Oct. 27, there will be a showing of the 1973 film The Exorcist (R) at 7 p.m. On Saturday, Oct. 28, Ghostbusters (PG, 1984) will play at 1 p.m., followed by a showing of the 1982 American slasher film Friday the 13th Part III (R) at 7 p.m. On Sunday, Oct. 29, at 4 p.m. the theater will show What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962). On Monday, Oct. 30, at 7 p.m., Jeff Rapsis will perform a live music score to accompany a screening of Dracula (1931). Visit theparktheatre.org/halloweenie for event details and to purchase tickets.

Intown Concord will host a Halloween Howl on Friday, Oct. 27, on Main Street. At 5 p.m. there will be a free kids’ fun run in Bicentennial Square, followed by activities including trick-or-treating, witch hat ring toss, Trunk or Treat and a Pumpkin Photo Op from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. At 5:45 p.m. there will be a “not so scary” costume parade, and participants will gather at City Plaza in front of the Statehouse arch. Additionally, there will be a costume contest at 6 p.m. on Capitol Street. Pre-registration is required for the costume contest. Visit members.intownconcord.org.

Fritzy’s Fright Fest is a free haunted attraction located at 37 Maple Ave. in Newton. The event will run on Friday, Oct. 27, and Saturday, Oct. 28, from 6 to 9 p.m. Visit facebook.com/Fitzysfrightfest.

The Witch of Weston Tower will haunt McIntyre Ski Area (50 Chalet Court, Manchester) from Friday, Oct. 27, through Sunday, Oct. 29. Activities will run on Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. For a scenic chairlift to Weston Tower, tickets are $22 for adults, $15 for children and seniors, and $5 for children 5 and under. Those who do not wish to ride the chairlift to Weston Tower may purchase a witch ticket, which is a $10 donation per family. For an additional cost there will be food trucks, face painting and pumpkin painting. The proceeds from the event will benefit the Manchester Historical Association. Additionally, on Saturday there will be a touch-a-truck and a trunk-or-treat event that are free to attend. See mcintyreskiarea.com for a detailed schedule of events.

The Park Theatre (19 Main St., Jaffrey; theparktheatre.org) will host a free costume contest for adults, kids and pets on Saturday, Oct. 28,, at 2:45 p.m. The contest will be judged on stage, and participants are asked to arrive by 2:30 p.m. in the lobby, according to the website.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (PG, 2001) will screen at all three area Chunky’s Cinema Pubs (707 Huse Road, Manchester; 151 Coliseum Ave., Nashua; 150 Bridge St., Pelham, chunkys.com) Saturday, Oct. 28, through Monday, Oct. 30, at 6 p.m.

CAKE Theatre (12 Veterans Square, Laconia, 677-6360) will host a Spook N’ Groove hangout and dance party with mixed drinks, root beer floats, doughnut ice cream sundaes and more on Friday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m.. The theater level dance party has a DJ and laser lights. Kids 12 and under free with a paid adult. Teens and adults 13+ are $10 per person. Costumes welcome but not required.

The 17th Annual Dover Zombie Walk will take place on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 2 p.m. The walk will begin at the Greater Dover Chamber of Commerce (550 Central Ave.) and activities include eating Jell-O brains and a costume contest. Dress in a zombie costume or another Halloween costume. Visit facebook.com/doverzombiewalk.

• The City of Nashua will host its Halloween Boo Bash on Saturday, Oct. 28, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Greeley Park (100 Concord St.). Activities include hay rides, pumpkin decorating, a haunted house and a bonfire. Costumes are encouraged and admission is free. Visit nashuanh.gov.

The Amherst Orthodontics Trick or Trot 3K will be held at Arms Park (10 Arms St., Manchester) on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 11 a.m. Participants ages 9 and up are welcome to participate in the race and preregistration is encouraged. 21+ adult tickets cost $25 in advance and $30 on race day. Youth (ages 12 to 20) tickets cost $20 in advance and $25 on race day. Kids (ages 9 to 11) cost $15 in advance and on race day. Admission includes a T-shirt for the first 850 registered participants, refreshments, free race photos and a finish line video. For participants over the age of 21, registration includes a beer ticket. Additionally, at 9:30 a.m. there will be a Kids Halloween Festival featuring vendors, magic and animals. At 10:15 a.m. children ages 8 and under can participate in the 100-meter dash Stonyfield Lil’ Pumpkin Fun Runs for $10. Visit millenniumrunning.com/trick-or-trot to register. Bibs can be picked up on race day from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. at Race Day HQ in Arms Park or on Friday, Oct. 27, from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Millennium Running Retail Store (138 Bedford Center Road, Bedford).

The 2nd Annual Halloween Howl Hustle for Housing is a 5K that will benefit Fellowship Housing Opportunities. The adult 5K costs $30 and will take place from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Oct. 28, at Masonic Lodge (53 Iron Works Road, Concord). Registration will end on Thursday, Oct. 26, at 11:59 p.m. To register, visit runsignup.com/halloweenhowlhustle5k.

The Groovy Witch is hosting Dover’s Second Annual Witches Market (288 Central Ave.) on Sunday, Oct. 29, from noon to 5 p.m. The market will feature more than 50 local vendors who specialize in witchcraft, spiritual readings and handmade goods. There is no admission fee. Visit groovywitch.com.

On Monday, Oct. 30, at 6 p.m., Lane Memorial Library (2 Academy Ave., Hampton) will host presenter Margo Burns for a presentation titled “The Capital Crime of Witchcraft: What the Primary Sources Tell Us,” which focuses on the colonial witch trials in New England. The event is free to attend and registration is available via hampton.lib.nh.us/calendar.

The Portsmouth Halloween Parade will take place on Halloween, Tuesday, Oct. 31, at 7 p.m. Visit portsmouthhalloweenparade.org for the parade route and details.

More pumpkins, more patches
Still looking for that perfect pumpkin to turn into a jack-o’-lantern?
Check out the story about pumpkins in the Oct. 12 issue of the Hippo for a list of area pumpkin patches. See hippopress.com for the e-edition; the story is on page 21. Brookdale Fruit Farm (41 Broad St., Hollis, 465-2240, brookdalefruitfarm.com) — whose expert Rick Hardy spoke about pumpkins for last week’s story — offers its picked pumpkins daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the farm stand, where you can grab a photo with the large “pumpkin man” (and on weekends, check out Brookdale’s corn maze, open from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays). Here are some farms where you can go into the patch to choose your gourd. Know of any not mentioned here or in our story? Let me know at adiaz@hippopress.com.

Devriendt Farm (178 S. Mast Road in Goffstown; devriendtfarm.com, 497-2793) offers pumpkin picking and a corn maze at its 47 Story Road location in Goffstown on Saturday and Sundays, starting at 10 a.m. with the last entry into the maze at 4:30 p.m. Take a free hay ride to the pumpkin patch; admission to the maze costs $8 for adults (13 and up), $4 for ages 4 to 12 and kids under 3 get in free.

Elwood Orchards (54 Elwood Road in Londonderry; 434-6017, ElwoodOrchards.com) is open daily from 9 to 6 p.m. and offers a pumpkin patch as well as a 15-acre corn maze

McQuesten Farm (330 Charles Bancroft Hwy. in Litchfield, 424-9268) offers free hay rides to its pumpkin patches on weekends — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., according to a Facebook post.

Featured Photo: Courtesy photo.

A little spookiness

Special events for the younger crowd

Compiled by Angie Sykeny
askyeny@hippopress.com

Here are some Halloween happenings geared specifically at kids and families.

Kids special events

Hotel Transylvania (PG, 2012) will screen on Friday, Oct. 20, at 3:30 p.m., a “Little Lunch Date” screening at all three area Chunky’s Cinema Pubs (707 Huse Road, Manchester; 151 Coliseum Ave., Nashua; 150 Bridge St., Pelham, chunkys.com). Admission is free but reserve a seat with a $5 food voucher.

The New Hampshire Audubon’s McLane Center (84 Silk Farm Road in Concord; nhaudubon.org, 224-9909) will hold its annual Enchanted Forest Friday, Oct. 20, and Saturday, Oct. 21, with admission times from 5 to 7:45 p.m. Follow a trail in the forest illuminated by jack-o-lanterns, watch skits, hear stories by the campfire and more, according to the website, where you can purchase tickets for $15 per person.

Kids age 12 and under are invited to the Aviation Museum of New Hampshire (27 Navigator Road, Londonderry) on Saturday, Oct. 21, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when they can meet the ghosts of aviation past, enjoy Halloween treats and receive their “Broomstick Pilot License.” The experience is free with admission to the museum; admission costs $10 for visitors age 13 and up. Visit aviationmuseumofnh.org or call 669-4820.

The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire (6 Washington St., Dover) hosts its Not-So-Spooky Spectacular on Saturday, Oct. 21, with sessions from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 4 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to wear costumes and explore the museum’s exhibits. The event will feature interactive science experiments, crafting in the STEAM Lab, photo opportunities with a moonlit backdrop and a pumpkin scavenger hunt that offers a special prize. A highlight of the afternoon session includes a concert and dance party with kids’ musician Mr. Aaron at 2 p.m. No candy will be given out. Admission is covered by the regular museum entry fee, which is $12.50 for adults and children over age 1 and $10.50 for seniors age 65 and up. Register in advance online at childrens-museum.org.

Charmingfare Farm (774 High St., Candia) will offer its Children’s Trick-or-Treat experience on Saturdays, Oct. 21 and Oct. 28, and Sundays, Oct. 22 and Oct. 29, with start times available on the hour between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. In addition to trick-or-treating, families can meet a friendly witch, see wildlife exhibits and barnyard animals, take a horse-drawn wagon ride, decorate pumpkins, ride a pony and watch a juggling show. Tickets cost $29 per person — admission is free for children under age 2 — and must be purchased online in advance. A Harvest of Haunts offering spookiness that’s not too scary (geared toward ages 12 and under) will take place on the evenings of Saturday, Oct. 21, and Saturday, Oct. 28. Visit visitthefarm.com.

LaBelle Winery (14 Route 111, Derry) hosts its Kids’ Halloween Bash on Sunday, Oct. 22, from 10 a.m. to noon. The event will feature a performance by kids’ musician Mr. Aaron. Attendees are invited to wear costumes and can expect treats, crafts and games suitable for the entire family. Tickets cost $35 for adults, $29 for children ages 2 through 12 and are free for children age 1 and under. Visit labellewinery.com.

The 2nd annual CPL Comic Con at the Concord Library (45 Green St.) is set for Monday, Oct. 23, from 6 to 7 p.m. Teens and tweens ages 11 through 17 are invited to dress as their favorite comic characters and enjoy an evening of snacks, crafts and art. Costumes should be library-appropriate, and no weapons are allowed. Registration is required at concordnh.gov.

The Educational Farm at Joppa Hill (174 Joppa Hill Road, Bedford) will host Halloween on the Farm on Tuesday, Oct. 24, from 4 to 6 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to come in costume to enjoy a bonfire, scavenger hunt and Halloween music. The event is free, and fireside treats such as s’mores, apple cider, hot cocoa and hot dogs will be available for purchase at the farm stand. Each child will receive a complimentary Halloween treat. Visit theeducationalfarm.org.

Downtown trick-or-treating in Manchester will take place Friday, Oct. 27, from 3 to 6:30 p.m. The afternoon will feature family-friendly activities, treats and more, according to a press release from Mayor Joyce Craig’s office. Craig will hand out books to kids, who are encouraged to dress up, and visit participating businesses. Stanton Plaza will feature children’s activities, a live DJ and more, the release aid.

Join kids’ musician Laurie Berkner for a Halloween show at the Capitol Center for the Arts (44 S. Main St., Concord) on Saturday, Oct. 28, with performances at 11 a.m.and 3 p.m. Laurie will blend her hits with Halloween tunes. Attendees are encouraged to wear dancing shoes and bring a stuffed animal. Tickets cost $31.75 to $86.75 at ccanh.com/show/laurie-berkner.

Join the Kiwanis Club of Manchester at the Bookery (844 Elm St., Manchester) on Oct. 28, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for a Trick-or-Treat-themed storytime and craft session. Visit bookerymht.com to register.

• Families with children of all ages are invited to participate in the family costume parade at the Nashua Public Library (2 Court St.) on Saturday, Oct. 28, from 11 a.m. to noon. Attendees are encouraged to don their costumes and parade around the building. Each department of the library will offer a special treat for the participants. Visit nashualibrary.org.

Trick-or-treat/trunk-or-treat events

Amherst: Trunk-or-treat on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 4 p.m. in the Clark-Wilkins School parking lot (80 Boston Post Road). Visit amherstnh.gov.

Auburn: Trunk-or-treat on Tuesday, Oct. 31, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Safety Complex (55 Eaton Hill Road). Visit auburnparksandrec.com.

Barnstead: Trunk-or-treat on Saturday, Oct. 28, from 4 to 8 p.m. at T.L. Storer (1513 Province Road). Visit barnsteadnhparks-rec.com.

Bedford: Trunk-or-treat on Sunday, Oct. 29, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Murphy’s Tap Room parking lot at 393 Route 101. See bedfordnh.myrec.com.

Boscawen: Trick-or-treat on Monday, Oct. 30, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Elektrisola (126 High St.). Visit boscawennh.gov.

Bow: Trunk-or-treat on Sunday, Oct. 29from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Bow High School parking lot (55 Falcon Way). Visit bownh.gov.

Brookline: Trunk-or-treat on Saturday, Oct. 28, from 3 to 4 p.m. at Brookline Public Library (16 Main St.). Visit brooklinenh.gov.

Canterbury: Trick-or-treat on Friday, Oct. 27, from 5 to 6 p.m. at Canterbury Woods (15 West Road; on Saturday, Oct. 28, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., in the Town Center; and on Sunday, Oct. 29, from 3 to 5 p.m., at Sherwood Forest. Visit canterbury-nh.org.

Concord Farmers Market: Wear costumes and trick-or-treat at vendors at the Saturday, Oct. 28, market, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Capitol Street (next to the Statehouse).

Concord: Trunk-or-treat (part of the Halloween Howl event) on Friday, Oct. 27, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Main Street. Visit intownconcord.org.

Deerfield: Trick-or-treat on Sunday, Oct. 29, at 1 p.m. at the Deerfield Fairgrounds (34 Stage Road). Visit townofdeerfieldnh.com.

Derry: Trick-or-treat on Saturday, Oct. 28, from noon to 3 p.m. downtown. Visit derrynh.org.

Epping: Brickyard Scare Trick-or-Treat on Thursday, Oct. 26, from 4 to 7 p.m. in the town’s Brickyard Square. Visit brickyardsquarenh.com.

Exeter: Trick-or-treat on Saturday, Oct. 21, from noon to 3 p.m. downtown. Visit exeternh.gov.

Hudson: Trunk-Or-Treat on Sunday, Oct. 29, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Hudson Mall (77 Derry Road in Hudson; thehudsonmall.com)

Manchester: Trick-or-treat on Saturday, Oct. 28, from noon to 2 p.m. at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium (1 Line Drive). Visit milb.com/new-hampshire/events/trick-or-treat-at-the-ballpark.

Milford: Trick-or-treat at the Oval on Friday, Oct. 27, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. downtown. Visit milford.nh.gov.

Newton: Trunk-or-treat on Saturday, Oct. 21, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. behind Memorial School (31 W. Main St.). Visit newton-nh.gov.

Northwood: Trunk-or-treat on Saturday, Oct. 28, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Northwood Athletic Fields (611 First NH Turnpike). Visit northwood.recdesk.com.

Tilton: Trunk-or-treat on Saturday, Oct. 28, from 3 to 5:30 p.m. on Main Street. Visit tiltonnh.org.

Wilton: Trick-or-treat on Saturday, Oct. 21, from 1:15 to 2:30 p.m. on Main Street. Visit visitwilton.com.

Trick-or-Treat Times

Sunday, Oct. 29
New London: 4 to 6 p.m.
Sanbornton: 4 to 7 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 30
Barrington
: 5 to 7 p.m.
Lee: 5 to 7 p.m.
Newington: 5 to 7 p.m.
Penacook: 5 to 7:30 p.m.
Strafford: 5 to 8 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 31
Atkinson
: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Bedford: 6 to 8 p.m.
Belmont: 5 to 8 p.m.
Bennington: 5 to 7 p.m.
Bow: 5 to 8 p.m.
Brentwood: 6 to 8 p.m.
Brookline: 6 to 8 p.m.
Candia: 5 to 8 p.m.
Chester: 6 to 8 p.m. on Chester Street
Danville: 6 to 8 p.m.
Derry: 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Dunbarton: 4 to 7 p.m.
Epping: 5 to 7 p.m.
Goffstown: 6 to 8 p.m.
Hampstead: 6 to 8 p.m.
Henniker: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Hill: 6 to 8 p.m.
Hollis: 6 to 8 p.m.
Hooksett: 6 to 8 p.m.
Hopkinton: 5 to 7 p.m.
Kensington: 5 to 7 p.m.
Kingston: 5 to 8 p.m..
Litchfield: 6 to 8 p.m.
Londonderry: 6 to 8 p.m.
Manchester: 6 to 8 p.m.
Merrimack: 6 to 8 p.m.
Milford: 6 to 8 p.m.
Mont Vernon: 6 to 8 p.m. on Main Street
Nashua: 6 to 8 p.m.
New Boston: 6 to 8 p.m.
Newfields: 5 to 7 p.m.
Northfield: 5 to 8 p.m.
Nottingham: 5 to 7 p.m.
Pelham: 5 to 8 p.m.
Pittsfield: 5 to 8 p.m.
Plaistow: 5 to 7 p.m.
Raymond: 5 to 7 p.m.
Salem: 6 to 8 p.m.
Stratham: 5 to 7:30 p.m.
Warner: 5 to 8 p.m.
Wilton: 6 to 8 p.m.
Windham: 5 to 7:30 p.m.

Featured Photo: The Aviation Museum. Courtesy photo.

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