Mulled wine by the fire

Looking for a winter drink? Warm up with spices

The days are getting shorter and the nights cooler. The holiday season is upon us and the first snow has arrived. Wish to gather with friends? One way to gather with another couple or two is in your driveway or back yard around the firepit sipping on mulled wine.

Hot spiced wine, or mulled wine, has been around forever, it seems. Depending on its cultural origins, it may be known as glühwein, vino caliente, glögg, vin brulé, bisschopswijn, vin chaud, candola, vinho quente, or by other monikers. Mulled wine exists in just about every European culture and the recipes for making it appear to be limitless. In England mulled wine is known as Wassail, a name whose origins are Anglo Saxon. Like Christmas, this hot punch transformed itself from pagan rites to revolve around the coldest, darkest nights of the year. In its earliest form it was a drink made from mulled ale, curdled cream, roasted apples, eggs, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and sugar. It was served from huge bowls on New Year’s Eve and Twelfth Night (Jan. 6). This warm drink took on a significant cultural identity as through the centuries it was used to toast the holidays.

Hot mulled wine can be a simple concoction prepared in a slow cooker or over the flames of that fire pit. In its simplest forms the ingredients consist of a bottle of robust red wine, an orange (or oranges) sliced into rounds, a half dozen whole cloves, a couple of cinnamon sticks, some star anise, honey to taste, and if you want, a measure of brandy. It takes literally five minutes to make and is scalable from two servings to enough for a large holiday gathering (for next year).

For the wine, I selected Petite Petit by Michael David (originally priced at $19.99, on sale at the New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlets at $12.95). This wine is 85 percent petite sirah and 15 percent petit verdot. It is large and fruity with aromas of dark fruit, raspberry and plum. To the taste the black cherry “jammy” flavor comes through with some oak on the edges. This wine is perfect to use as a base for this concoction, as it will hold up well with the additions of fruit and spices. It is well-stocked throughout the state, and the price is so attractive! The petite sirah produces a deep-colored, robust, full-bodied peppery wine, with some tannins, that ages well. The petit verdot, used in blending the famous Bordeaux wines, has a dry, full-bodied taste of blackberry. Like the petite sirah, the strong tannins and high alcohol in the wine from this varietal allow it to age beautifully. It is perfectly matched to the petite sirah! These grapes are grown in Lodi, in San Joaquin County, in the center portion of California’s Central Valley. With long hot summers, these grapes are allowed to ripen well to produce a lot of sugar.

Now, how to make mulled wine: Combine your ingredients in a saucepan and give them a stir. Heat the wine until it just barely reaches a simmer over medium heat. Remember, alcohol boils off at 173 degrees (F), so be careful. Reduce the heat, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes or so. Using a strainer remove the cloves, cinnamon sticks and star anise, and serve in heat-proof mugs garnished with the fruit and cinnamon sticks. Remember, this recipe is very flexible. You can include apple cider or orange juice in the mix. You can use sugar instead of the honey for a sweetener, although it is not as rich as honey. Additional fruit can include thinly sliced apples or frozen pitted cherries. Additional spices can include ginger, peeled and sliced, and a vanilla bean cut open from end to end. The options are limitless and the possibilities endless.

Don’t let the cold, dark December days (and Covid) get to you. Invite a couple or two to gather around the fire pit and share the warmth of the holidays with a steaming mug of hot mulled wine. Savor the moments and cherish the memories of this time when we must be ever so creative in how we can remain connected.

Featured Photo: Courtesy photo

The Blue Train

Shortly after the end of the First World War, it became fashionable for wealthy British to spend at least part of their winter in Southern France. Their money went further there and the Riviera had been spared the worst of the destruction during the War. They could see and be seen by their peers, while sitting in the sunshine and pretending to be bored by their privilege.

This was so common that a train service developed to pick the Smart Set up in Calais, on the other side of the English Channel, then take them, via Paris, to different stops along the Mediterranean. Because the sleeper cars were painted blue, this train became known as The Blue Train.

One interesting aspect of this was that upper-class British adventurers started challenging each other to race the Blue Train across France in their cars. For a brief period of time this became a standing challenge, like swimming the Channel, or shooting leopards — a chance to show off for their peers and look good doing it. Because, of course, the other members of their social circle would be on the Blue Train itself.

“I say,” one of the passengers might say, pointing at a cloud of dust in the distance, “do you think that is Waldo and Reggie?’

“I believe it is! Oh, jolly good; we must drink a toast to them! Waiter!”

Which, theoretically, is where we get The Blue Train Cocktail.

If you go searching for a recipe for a Blue Train, you will find dozens, which vary wildly in their ingredients and methodology, but the oldest ones are extremely simple:

• Three parts brandy

• One part pineapple juice (Pineapple juice? Where did that come from?)

• An unspecified amount of Champagne

I like the romance of this drink and such a simple formula seemed extremely flexible, so I decided to try various riffs on it. Instead of Champagne, I substituted prosecco – because what am I, fancy? – and several different types of brandy:

• Several sources suggested using apricot brandy and that seemed promising. As it turns out, not so much.

• Ginger brandy was even worse.

• Then I decided to return to the fruit theme and made a batch with blackberry brandy. Please, for the sake of everything that is good and wholesome, do not do this.

After a great deal of experimentation and heartache, I was able to fine-tune this recipe to its ideal proportions:

• Three parts brandy

• One part pineapple juice

• An unspecified amount of Champagne

(1) Shake the brandy and pineapple juice over ice.

(2) Strain into glasses

(3) Top with Champagne

This is not a drink that is meant to be sweet. If you use prosecco and a sweet brandy, it ends up tasting like cider, which is fine, but then, why not just drink cider? This drink calls for a drier, more bracing, more refined set of ingredients. I am a big proponent of using bottom-shelf alcohols; when you are making cocktails with strong-flavored ingredients, the subtler nuances of more serious, expensive labels can easily get overwhelmed and covered up.

Not in this case. If you’ve got good brandy, self-respecting brandy, this is a good time to break it out. The same with the Champagne. I’m not saying to buy the best Champagne, but this is a good opportunity to use a dry Champagne that isn’t afraid to look at itself in the mirror. This is not a drink that was developed by people who cut corners.

Serve this with something salty, like caviar.

Or Cheez-Its.

Cocktail-inspired gift suggestions

Truly excellent cocktail cherries — Bada Bing Cherries from Stonewall Kitchen ($7.95 for 13.5 oz., or $34.95 from 72 oz., if you’re really serious) A good cocktail cherry can save a cocktail. A good cocktail cherry can bring a moment of sunshine and contentment in a gray and sullen world. These are very good cocktail cherries. They are rich and deeply flavored, with the slightest hint of muskiness, like a half-heard whisper. And they fit in a stocking.

A proper kitchen scale — KUBEI Upgraded Lager Size Digital Food Scale ($23.99) Like many people over the past several months, I got sucked into the fraught world of sourdough bread. In theory it’s pretty simple. There are few ingredients. Peasants have been making it for centuries. In the trenches, though, sourdough is a cruel mistress who will toy with your emotions and leave you a spent, whimpering husk.

The secret to establishing detente with her is a good kitchen scale.

Weighing – especially by the gram – gives you freedom and power in the kitchen. Your measurements become precise. You use fewer dishes. You start writing weight-equivalents in your cookbooks.

This is an excellent, affordable scale. It switches easily between grams, ounces and pounds with the press of a button. It is battery-powered but can be plugged in or even recharged. It measures to an accuracy of a hundredth of a gram. It has a tare button.

A tare button!

If you don’t know what that is, you will. Oh, you will…

Featured Photo: A Blue Train. Photo by John Fladd.

Theresa Zwart

Theresa Zwart of Derry is the owner of 603 Charcuterie (, find them on Facebook and Instagram), a new business specializing in customizable charcuterie to-go platters, featuring a variety of cheeses, meats, crackers, jams and other items. She currently operates on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays as well as most holidays, accepting orders via phone, email or social media messages. Charcuterie platters are available in several sizes. 603 Charcuterie is currently offering a special antipasto charcuterie wreath for the holidays.

What is your must-have kitchen item?

The only utensil I use — a knife!

What would you have for your last meal?

Fancy cheeses. Manchego is my favorite. It’s a very dry cheese, similar to Parmesan.

What is your favorite local restaurant?

Gauchos Churrascaria Brazilian Steakhouse [in Manchester]. I love all of the yummy meat and fish choices brought around to you by the waiters. Probably why I love charcuterie boards so much.

What celebrity would you like to see ordering a charcuterie platter from you?

Jennifer Lawrence. I feel like she would aggressively and wholeheartedly love these cheeses and meats.

What is your personal favorite type of platter you’ve made for someone since starting this business?

My first one. I brought it in as a gift for my co-workers … and they all encouraged me to sell these. … It was basically similar to my extra-large order, so it had seven different cheeses, five different meats and a couple of different jams. It was a pretty big variety.

What’s the biggest food trend in New Hampshire right now?

I’m going with breweries. They’re popping up all over the place and almost everyone I know of goes to them. I personally love them as well.

What is your favorite thing to cook at home?

Anything on the grill! Steak tips, turkey tips, any vegetable, chicken, pizza, all of it.

Caramelized onion and fig jam baked brie

From the kitchen of Theresa Zwart of 603 Charcuterie (

1 wheel of brie cheese (4 to 5 inches in diameter)
½ large sweet yellow onion
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch of salt and pepper
3 tablespoons fig jam
1 container/tube store-bought puff pastry
1 tablespoon flour
1 egg
Choice of dipping items (such as apple slices, crackers or baguettes)

Slice onion, then heat in a skillet on medium-high heat with olive oil. After five minutes, turn on low to medium heat, then add brown sugar, salt and pepper. Keep stirring occasionally for 15 to 20 minutes, until onions are nice and caramelized. Preheat the oven at 400 degrees. Roll pastry dough out with the flour, big enough to cover the whole wheel of brie. Place brie in the center of the dough. Top with fig jam and caramelized onions. Wrap the dough all the way on top of the brie, overlapping the edges of dough for full coverage. Paint an egg wash on the outside of the dough. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the dough is golden brown. Let it sit for 15 minutes and serve with dipping choices.

Featured Photo: Theresa Zwart

Island indulgences

Wild Orchid Bakery to open in Manchester

Cake by Shelly-Anne Storer. Courrtesy photo.

Trinidad and Tobago native Shelly-Anne Storer was a cake decorator at Triolo’s Bakery in Bedford up until its permanent closure in late May. In the months that followed, the self-taught baker and cake designer kept a blog on Instagram to stay busy and eventually began working toward starting her own business.
Wild Orchid Bakery, on track to open in the coming weeks in Manchester near the Bedford town line, can best be described as an Island-style bakery and tea boutique. That’s because, according to Storer, many of the sweet and savory offerings are inspired by flavors of her homeland. The bakery’s name, she said, even comes from a connection she made between Trinidad and New Hampshire — both feature an abundance of wildflowers.
“I wanted to open an Island-style bakery because I know that there is a cluster of Islanders here … but they’re lacking this entity in New Hampshire,” said Storer, who has lived in the United States since late 2013. “I have to go to Boston if I’m craving anything Trinidad-oriented, just to get those local products that I miss from home.”
Offerings you can expect at the bakery when it opens include Trinidadian coconut rolls; callaloo, or a boiled dish with spinach, garlic, coconut milk, pumpkin and okra; and saltfish buljol, or a salad dish of chopped fish, tomatoes and other veggies. Seasonal items, like Tobago curry crab and dumplings; and shark and bake, a popular Trinidadian street food, will follow suit.
In addition to cooking some of her favorite dishes she grew up with, Storer will have a regular menu of pastries and baked goods, like cupcakes, cookies, cheesecakes, brownies, scones, sticky buns, pies, tarts, eclairs and sweet breads. She also makes custom cakes and has her own line of gourmet doughnuts, from apple pie and lemon meringue to chocolate chip Oreo flavors.
Many of her doughnuts are regularly stocked at Hometown Coffee Roasters’ coffee bar on Old Granite Street in Manchester, and Storer will likewise partner with owner Mike Brown to feature his coffee at the bakery. Brown has even provided her with a custom espresso machine and will train her staff on how to use his coffee blends.
“It works out perfectly for us,” she said. “You can come here or you can go to Hometown [Coffee Roasters] and get my doughnuts and his coffee at both places. It’s like a synergy that we have going for Manchester, which I’m happy to support.”
On a table in the center of the bakery Storer plans to feature all types of locally made products for sale through partnerships with other area businesses. The bakery will likely close around 4 p.m. each day with the exception of Saturdays, when she hopes to close a few hours early and utilize the space for public events and functions. Within six months, she plans to acquire a liquor license, so mimosas, Island-style daiquiris, sangrias and other cocktails can be served.

Wild Orchid Bakery
An opening date is expected in the coming weeks. Visit their website, call or follow them on social media for updates.
Where: 484 S. Main St., Manchester
Anticipated hours: 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. most days (The bakery will be closed on Sundays and Mondays and will likely close a few hours early on Saturdays to accommodate private functions)
More info: Visit, find them on Facebook and Instagram @wildorchidbakery or call 935-7338

Featured photo: Shelly-Anne Storer. Courrtesy photo.

Gifts for foodies

Delicious gift ideas this holiday season

Looking for some gift-giving ideas for the foodie in your life? Local shops have all kinds of treats and tools that would make great gifts, while many local eateries are offering promotions on gift cards.

Bombs away

Scott Watson of Loon Chocolate in Manchester had never made a “cocoa bomb” before the beginning of November — now he’s making about 1,000 of them per week and can barely keep them in stock for each of his wholesale accounts. A trend that went viral on TikTok back in October, cocoa bombs are small hollow balls of chocolate filled with marshmallows, flavored mixes or other ingredients that you place in any type of heat-safe mug or container. Pouring hot milk or water over the bomb will cause it to “explode” with flavor inside the mug.

“The heat penetrates through the hollow bomb … and as it slowly fills up, the bomb begins to melt from the inside out and you have one of the most decadent cups of hot chocolate you’ve ever tasted,” Watson said. “It’s basically some of the freshest chocolate melted in a cup that’s single-served. It’s both interactive and tastes amazing.”

Watson started making them to sell at the Manchester Craft Market in the Mall of New Hampshire and has since expanded to feature them at other local businesses, like Cafe la Reine on Elm Street in Manchester and The Country Store at the Tilton Outlets. Loon Chocolate’s cocoa bombs come in packages of four — each one is made with 70 percent dark chocolate, filled with eight vegan marshmallows and coated with the company’s house-made cocoa mix.

“We thought [four] was a nice gift size that would work for us, for a family to share them on a special evening during the holidays,” Watson said. “They’ve taken off very quickly. Our wholesale accounts have received an incredible demand from their customers for them and we’ve been running out of chocolate as fast as we can make it.”

In Milford, Emilee Viaud of Culture also started making cocoa bombs of her own less than two months ago. She now offers several flavors, including milk, white or dark chocolate, but also cookies and cream, peppermint bark, peanut butter, gingerbread and salted caramel.

“I actually didn’t even know what they were until my mother-in-law mentioned them to me,” Viaud said. “I started making a few, and all of a sudden I had about 100 orders for them within one day. So that made me say, ‘OK, this is definitely something that people want.’”

You can find cocoa bombs for sale at Culture or at the Manchester Craft Market in tin containers of four, as part of a mug set, or inside of a clear ornament you can put on your tree. Viaud is also offering shipping through her personal business, Emilee’s Sweet Treats (find her on Facebook @emileessweettreats).

Presto Craft Kitchen in Manchester also offers multiple flavors of cocoa bombs, from salted caramel and peanut butter cup to Almond Joy, peppermint and cookies and cream. They’ll be available through about March, owner and chef Joe Grella said.

More local eats

Even though most craft fairs, expos and winter farmers markets across New Hampshire have been cancelled or postponed or have turned virtual, there are still opportunities to support local businesses by purchasing products in-store or online.

Antrim’s Deer Meadow Homestead, for instance, features a line of wine, beer and coffee jellies, in addition to granolas and pancake, biscuit or beer bread mixes, according to owner Grace Rowehl. Around the holidays she’ll have specialty flavors like a hot pepper jelly and cranberry and strawberry jam with orange zest. You can find most of her products at the Manchester Craft Market as well as the Mont Vernon General Store and at Locally Handmade, a store that’s inside both the Mall at Rockingham Park in Salem and the Mall at Fox Run in Newington.

“People always come up with their own ideas to use my jellies,” Rowehl said. “The wine jellies go great on cheese boards. Some people use them for glazes when they’re cooking chicken or fish, or they put them in salads or sandwiches. … I myself like to spread some of the coffee jelly on a nice hearty piece of toasted pumpernickel sourdough bread.”

In Concord, Local Baskit has partnered with the Exeter-based Cherry Bomb Cookie Co. over the last couple of years to offer scratch-made Christmas cookie platters. This year, there are also paint-your-own cookie kits and custom charcuterie board kits available for ordering.

LaBelle Winery of Amherst is once again rolling out its holiday catering packages, which include home cocktail kits for options like white or red sangrias, mulled apple wine and more.

Salem’s Cucina Aurora Kitchen Witchery is offering its own “magical meals” gift set, which can be purchased online and delivered directly to your recipient. The set comes with two bottles of rosemary garlic and oregano olive oils, a bag of garlic and Italian herb risotto, a cookie cutter, an apron and a signed copy of owner Dawn Hunt’s recently released cookbook.

For the at-home cook

Local cooks say kitchen tools and utensils can make good gifts. Chef Keith Sarasin of The Farmer’s Dinner said Wusthof, Miyabi and Shun are all great options for a knife set. For those who already have their own set of knives that they love, a knife sharpener or a bamboo cutting board could also work.

Susan Nye of Around the Table, a New Hampshire-based recipe blog, said one of her favorite kitchen tools to give as a gift is a mini food processor from either Cuisinart or KitchenAid.

“I use it all the time for things like salad dressings, salsas, tapenades, that type of thing,” Nye said. “It also has an attachment for chopping, so I use that to chop things like garlic or nuts.”

Vitamix-brand blenders, Sarasin said, are great tools if you’re making bisques. He also has an Instant Pot multicooker he uses all the time, which can cook anything from rice to slow-cooked meats. They also have air frying attachments.

Silicone baking mats are a favorite of Casie Ulliani of Sweet 23 Confections & Treats, a homestead business based in Derry — she specializes in French macarons and prefers the silicone mats over parchment paper for its reusability and uniformity in baking. Silpat and Fat Daddio’s are her two favorite brands.

When it comes to saving and storing food, Sarasin said reusable meal prep containers have started becoming popular. There are also a variety of vacuum sealers on the market.

Gift cards

It’s been a tough year for local restaurateurs, and you can support them while getting some of your holiday shopping done at the same time. Purchasing a gift card helps ensure cash flow for restaurants in the short term, and several are offering special promotions.

For the first time this season, outdoor holiday sheds have been built and placed outside each of the Great New Hampshire Restaurants locations, which include each of the T-Bones, Cactus Jack’s and Copper Door eateries. On most busy Friday and Saturday evenings, staff members inside the heated sheds sell gift cards to anyone not comfortable going inside, marketing coordinator Raquel Gawron said. From Dec. 19 through Dec. 24 the sheds will be staffed daily, and each location is running a “buy $25, get $5 free” gift card promotion through the end of the year.

At each of the five Tucker’s restaurants, guests are receiving $5 in bonus credit for $25 in gift card purchases, now through Dec. 24, business development manager Meghann Clifford said.

You can also get a free $5 bonus card with every $25 gift card purchase at each of The Common Man’s locations throughout the state. New this year, according to communications and community relations director Erica Auciello Murphy, is an option that allows gift card purchasers to send electronically to their recipients via email.

The year 2021 will also mark the 50th anniversary since the first Common Man location opened in the Granite State. To commemorate the milestone, Murphy said the company’s annual “Do Good” coupon book has been updated with additional offers, like two entrees for $19.71. The books are $10 each, with a portion of the proceeds donated to the New Hampshire Food Bank.

Dark chocolate cocoa bombs from Loon Chocolate in Manchester. Courtesy photo.

Explosive flavors
Here are some more local bakers and chocolatiers offering their own cocoa bombs available to order this holiday season.
• Ashley’s Eats & Sweets (, find them on Facebook) is a homestead baking business based in Raymond, currently offering multiple flavors of its own cocoa bombs, like milk or dark chocolate with marshmallow or peppermint.
• Bearded Baking Co. (819 Union St., Manchester, 647-7150, has a limited supply of homemade hot chocolate bombs, with flavors that include S’mores, peppermint, Funfetti and cookies and cream.
• Benson’s Bakery & Cafe (203 Central St., Hudson, 718-8683, offers multiple flavors of homemade cocoa bombs, like peppermint, Snickers, peanut butter and maple cinnamon. Custom orders are also available.
• Bite Me Kupcakez (4 Mound Court, Merrimack, 674-4459, offers milk or white chocolate cocoa bombs that are dairy-free.
• Granite State Candy Shoppe (13 Warren St., Concord, 225-2591; 832 Elm St., 218-3885; offers multiple flavors of homemade cocoa bombs, including salted coffee, candy cane, and cocoa trio, or a combination of milk, white and dark chocolates.
• Hannah’s Bakery and Cafe (401 Main St., Salem, 898-2233, offers multiple flavors of homemade cocoa bombs, including classic marshmallow, cinnamon, peppermint and mocha. Pre-ordering by phone is available.
• La Cascade du Chocolat (109 Water St., Exeter, 777-5177; 214 State St., Portsmouth; offers a hot cocoa dreidel, or a family-sized hot cocoa bomb made from 68 percent single origin dark chocolate. One dreidel makes between four and six cups of hot cocoa when adding hot water or milk.
• Sugar and Slice NH (find them on Facebook @sugarandslicenh) is a homestead baking business based in Milford, currently offering milk chocolate or peppermint chocolate cocoa bombs.
• Sweet 23 Confections & Treats (find them on Facebook and Instagram @sweet23confections) is a homestead baking business based in Derry, currently offering milk or dark chocolate cocoa bombs, with or without peppermint.
• The Wicked Sweet Sugar Boutique (580 Lafayette Road, Suite 1, Hampton, 601-7204, offers multiple flavors of hot chocolate bombs available to order, like milk, white or dark chocolate, cookies and cream and toasted coconut.

Featured photo: Cocoa bombs from Culture in Milford. Courtesy photo..

The Weekly Dish 20/12/10

News from the local food scene

Easy as pie: Join chef and cooking instructor Liz Barbour of The Creative Feast in Hollis for Demystify the Pie, a hands-on virtual class she’ll be holding via Zoom on Monday, Dec. 14, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. During the class, Barbour will walk participants through how to prepare your own pie dough and apple pie filling. While that’s baking in the oven, Barbour will demonstrate how to prepare a fruit galette you can make on your own. The cost to pre-register is $25; after registering, participants will receive equipment and ingredient lists needed for the class. Visit

Go fish: Get your tickets now for a Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner at the Bedford Village Inn (2 Olde Bedford Way, Bedford) on Thursday, Dec. 17, from 6 to 10 p.m. In addition to a chef-attended pasta station and an Italian dessert station, the dinner will feature several house fish dishes, like haddock puttanesca with roasted Yukon potatoes; oysters on the half shell with cocktail sauce, citrus mignonette, horseradish and lemon; grilled calamari salad with pickled vegetables, radicchio and arugula; and lobster- and crab-stuffed sole with shaved fennel salad and blood orange butter. Tickets are $85 per person and reservations are required (dinner is 21+ only and tables are limited to a maximum of six guests each). Visit

Tea and a show: LaBelle Winery (345 Route 101, Amherst) will host a Nutcracker ballet family tea event on Sunday, Dec. 13, with two sessions available, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. and from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Each will feature hot tea and a menu of sandwiches and sweet treats, as well as choreographed reenactments from Southern New Hampshire Dance Theater performers. Tickets are sold by tables of six only, priced at $25 per person. Also available for purchase will be Nutcracker-inspired cocktails for adults and themed non-alcoholic beverages for kids. Visit

Procrasti(baking): Now through Christmas, Barrington baker and author Erin Gardner is running the “Procrastibakers Super Snuggly Socially Isolated Holiday Baking Club,” a community gathered around her Instagram account @erin.bakes, according to a press release. Gardner is the author of Procrastibaking: 100 Recipes for Getting Nothing Done in the Most Delicious Way Possible, which was released in March and features creative low-stress ways to approach a variety of recipes. Every Wednesday, Gardner posts reduced-size recipes from her book and other pandemic isolation-friendly baking ideas. Users who post pictures of their baked goods with the hashtag #procrastibakersclub will be automatically entered to win weekly book giveaways and other prizes, according to the release. Visit

Kiddie Pool 20/12/10

Family fun for the weekend

Let there be lights

The Gift of Lights is open now through Jan. 3 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway (1122 Route 106 North, Loudon). The drive-thru Christmas light park spans 2.5 miles and features 80 holiday scenes and 520 light displays. It’s open Sunday through Thursday from 4:30 to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 4:30 to 10 p.m. Purchase tickets online or at the gate. The cost is $25 per car. Visit

The Southern New Hampshire Tour of Lights will run from Dec. 11 through Dec. 27. A list of addresses will soon be released for the public to visit holiday light displays at homes throughout Amherst, Antrim, Fitzwilliam, Jaffrey, Merrimack, Milford, Peterborough and Rindge. Visit or call 882-1046.

Fun with gingerbread

The Culinary Playground (16 Manning St., Derry) is hosting a parent-child gingerbread house decorating workshops on Sunday, Dec. 13, from 10 to 11 a.m. or from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 20, from 4 to 5 p.m. or from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Adults and kids will work together with royal icing and all types of colorful treats and edible decorations to design their own houses. The cost is $45 per team and registration is required. Visit

The Amherst Town Library is holding two virtual family gingerbread house workshops via Zoom on Thursday, Dec. 10, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and on Saturday, Dec. 12, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. The library will provide a take-home kit for you to make graham cracker gingerbread houses at home. Registration is required, as space is limited. Visit

Meet Santa

Santa Claus will arrive by helicopter at the Aviation Museum of New Hampshire (27 Navigator Road, Londonderry) on Saturday, Dec. 12, at 11 a.m., where he’ll greet families and take gift requests until 1 p.m. The outdoor event is free and open to the public. Hot chocolate will also be provided courtesy of the Airport Diner in Manchester. Visit

Get a golden ticket

Chunky’s Cinema & Pub (707 Huse Road, Manchester, 206-3888; 151 Coliseum Ave., Nashua, 880-8055; 150 Bridge St., Pelham, 635-7499) will host multiple Polar Express golden ticket screenings on Saturday, Dec. 12, and Sunday, Dec. 13. Showtimes vary depending on the location, but there are several throughout the morning, afternoon and evening at each theater. Kids will be given a special “golden ticket” to hole-punch prior to entering the theater. Visit

Christmas celebrations

Enjoy Christmas at the Farm, reimagined, at Forgotten Farm (23 Goffstown Road, Hooksett). Families can visit from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays, Dec. 12 and Dec. 19, for cookies, cocoa, visits with the farm animals and a free take-home craft. Visit

Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth is an ongoing citywide celebration of the holidays featuring a number of shows at The Music Hall (28 Chestnut St.,, 436-2400); shopping in Market Square; Candlelight Stroll Under the Stars, happening weekends from Dec. 11 through Dec. 20 at Strawbery Banke Museum (14 Hancock St., 433-1100,; Labrie Family Skate at Strawbery Banke’s Puddle Dock Pond; the 30th annual Gingerbread House Contest and Exhibit at the Portsmouth Historical Society (10 Middle St., 436-8433, now through Dec. 22, and more throughout the holiday season. Visit

Creative gifts

Perfect presents for the art-, science- and nature-lovers in your life

Art and craft shops and holiday markets are full of unique gifts for art-lovers, and, for art-makers, art and craft studios sell gift certificates that can be used for all kinds of classes and workshops, many of which have in-person and remote options. You can get your budding musician a gift certificate or package for private lessons in all kinds of instruments at a music school. Performing arts venues offer gift certificates that can be put toward tickets for any show, as well as memberships, which come with all kinds of exclusive benefits for a theater enthusiast. If your gift recipient is more into nature or science, there are gift certificates and memberships for them, too.

Holiday art and craft markets/exhibits

You’ll find one-of-a-kind gifts like jewelry, woodwork, pottery, fiber art, paintings, photography and more at these holiday art and craft markets and special exhibitions.

• The Warner Historical Society has a virtual holiday shop online now at, with curbside pickup on Saturday, Dec. 12, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Upton Chandler House Museum (10 W. Main St., Warner). The shop features hand-painted holiday ornaments, calendars, mugs and drinking glasses, T-shirts, books, jigsaw puzzles and more, plus a holiday raffle. Call 456-2437 or email

• Twiggs Gallery (254 King St., Boscawen) presents its annual “Sleighbell Studio” exhibit now through Dec. 12. It features a curated collection of fine art and crafts affordably priced for holiday gift giving. Gallery hours are Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. Visit or call 975-0015.

• Two Villages Art Society and the Hopkinton Historical Society present “Home for the Holidays: an Art Show & Sale” now through Dec. 20 in Contoocook and online. The show will feature all kinds of art, including oil and watercolor paintings, ceramics, tapestry, woodworking, wearable art, book making and more, created by local artists and artisans. The show will be held in person at the Bates Building (846 Main St.; masks required) on a drop-in and by-appointment basis and virtually at Show hours at the Bates Building are Tuesday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit

• The Seacoast Artist Association presents its holiday exhibit, “Big Gifts in Small Packages, now through Dec. 26, at 130 Water St. in Exeter. The exhibit features a variety of artwork priced under $100 for gift buying. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and by appointment. Visit or call 778-8856.

• Creative Ventures Gallery in Milford presents its annual holiday exhibit, “Small Works Big Impact, virtually now through Dec. 31. The exhibit features small works of art in various media, priced affordably for gift buying. Visit or call 672-2500.

The Craftworkers’ Guild’s Holiday Fair is being held virtually now through Dec. 22, with curbside pickup at the historic Kendall House (3A Meetinghouse Road, Bedford) daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The fair features seasonal decor, photography, fine art and prints, cards, gourmet treats, woodworking, fiber and fabric, stained and fused glass, mixed media, jewelry and more by more than 40 juried artisans and craftspeople. Visit

• Wrong Brain (55 Third St., Dover) is having its ninth annual “Holidaze Bizaare” alternative craft fair now through Dec. 30, with fair hours Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. It features art, apparel, jewelry, ceramics, stuffies, candles, candy and more by dozens of emerging local artists. Virtual shopping with curbside pickup is also be. Call 834-9454 or visit

• The New Hampshire Art Association hosts its holiday exhibition, “This Merry Moment,” online and at the NHAA’s Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery (136 State St., Portsmouth) now through Jan. 2. The exhibit and sale features a variety of artwork and greeting cards created by NHAA members. Gallery hours are Monday and Tuesday by appointment; Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Call 431-4230 or visit

• Pop-up holiday shop Concord Handmade is open now at 2 Capital Plaza in downtown Concord, Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It features handmade gifts by artists from New England and beyond. Visit

Art and craft shops

Stop by these art and craft shops, which sell handmade items by local artists and craftspeople year round.

Currier Museum of Art gift shop (150 Ash St., Manchester, 669-6144,, open Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

The League of New Hampshire Craftsmen Fine Craft Galleries (

Concord (36 N. Main St., 228-8171, open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

Hooksett (530 W. River Road, 210-5181, open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

Nashua (98 Main St., 595-8233, open Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

Meredith (279 Daniel Webster Hwy., 279-7920, open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.)

Manchester Craft Market (Mall of New Hampshire, 1500 S. Willow St., Manchester,, open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.)

Spriggs Shoppe (Twiggs Gallery, 254 King St., Boscawen, 975-0015,, open Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.)

Studio 550 Art Center (550 Elm St., Manchester, 232-5597,, open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from noon to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 3 to 8 p.m.)

Wild Little Art Shop (Wild Salamander Creative Arts Center, 30 Ash St., Hollis, 465-9453,, open Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Private shopping hours for groups of five or less are available by reservation on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday.)

Art and craft classes/workshops

For a more hands-on art gift, try a gift certificate for an art or DIY craft studio, where the recipient can participate in various session classes, one-day workshops and paint-and-sip events. Some studios also offer online instruction and take-and-make kits.

AR Workshop Manchester (875 Elm St., Manchester, 573-9662, Offers DIY workshops and take-home kits for creating custom wood signs, canvas pillows, centerpiece boxes, canvas tote bags and more.

The Canvas Roadshow (25 S. River Road, Bedford, 913-9217, Offers DIY workshops and take-home kits for creating custom wood signs, canvas paintings, sea glass art and more.

Creative Ventures Gallery (411 Nashua St., Milford, 672-2500, Offers various weekly art classes and one-day workshops for all experience levels.

Currier Museum of Art, Art Center (180 Pearl St., Manchester, 669-6144, Offers seasonal weekly classes, master classes and one-day workshops for kids and adults in all kinds of media.

Kimball Jenkins School of Art (266 N. Main St., Concord, 225-3932, Offers weekly classes, master classes and one-day workshops for kids and adults in all kinds of media, starting in 2021.

The League of New Hampshire Craftsmen Fine Craft Galleries (98 Main St., Nashua, 595-8233; 279 Daniel Webster Hwy., Meredith, 279-7920, Offer weekly classes and one-day workshops for a variety of crafts, starting again in 2021.

Muse Paintbar (42 Hanover St., Manchester, 421-6500, Offers paint-and-sip workshops in person as well as take-home kits with instructional videos.

Studio 550 Art Center (550 Elm St., Manchester, 232-5597, Offers private parties, classes, workshops and camps for all ages and experience levels in pottery, clay, painting, stained glass and more.

Time to Clay (228 Daniel Webster Hwy., Nashua, 888-0482, Offers in-studio pottery workshops and take-home kits for all ages.

The Voice of Clay (16 Meetinghouse Hill Road, Brookline, 672-2626, Offers in-studio and online pottery classes for all ages and experience levels.

You’re Fired (25 S. River Road, Bedford, 641-3473; 133 Loudon Road, No. 101, Concord, 226-3473; 264 N. Broadway, Salem, 894-5456; Offers open studio times and materials for pottery and mosaic projects.

Music lessons

Nashua Community Music School (5 Pine St. Extension, Nashua, 881-7030, Offers in-person and remote private lessons for all ages and experience levels in piano, guitar, ukulele, violin, viola, cello and percussion; music therapy sessions and instrument rentals.

Manchester Community Music School (2291 Elm St., Manchester, 644-4548, Offers in-person and remote private lessons for all ages and experience levels in woodwind, brass, percussion and string instruments, as well as voice, music theory and music composition.

Concord Community Music School (23 Wall St., Concord, 228-1196, Offers private lessons, remotely only until further notice, for all ages and experience levels in all instruments and voice, as well as chorus and ensemble opportunities.


These performing arts venues have several gift options. You can buy someone tickets to a particular show, or let them choose their own shows with a season package or general gift certificate. If you’re looking for a larger gift for someone who frequents the theater, consider a membership package. There are usually different tiers to choose from, with perks like reserved seats, access to pre-sales, discounts on tickets, admission to members-only events and more.

Capitol Center for the Arts (44 S. Main St., and Bank of New Hampshire Stage, 16 S. Main St., Concord, 225-1111, Features traveling theater shows, dance performances, musical and comedy acts, film screenings and more. The 2021 schedule includes comedian Juston McKinney, Celtic Woman, Queen and Eagles tribute bands, the Capital Jazz Orchestra performing music of Frank Sinatra, That Golden Girls Show: A Puppet Parody and more.

Hatbox Theatre (270 Loudon Road, Concord, 715-2315, Features live music, theater, comedy and more. The schedule for 2021 is TBA.

Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., Manchester, 668-5588, Features shows by its own professional and youth and teen performing companies as well as visiting theater, music, dance and comedy acts. The schedule for 2021 is TBA.

The Music Hall (Historic Theater, 28 Chestnut St., and Loft, 131 Congress St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, Features live music, theater, comedy, on-screen events, literary events and more. The 2021 schedule includes the Portsmouth Symphony, comedian Kevin Nealon, Giraffes Can’t Dance – The Musical and more.

Science, nature & history

If you’re looking for a gift outside of the arts, think about a gift certificate or membership for a science, history or nature center.

Aviation Museum of New Hampshire (27 Navigator Road, Londonderry, 669-4820, A museum dedicated to the science, technology, history and culture of aviation, with interactive exhibits and educational programs. Members receive a 10-percent discount at the gift shop, a monthly e-magazine, a quarterly newsletter and invitations to special events.

New Hampshire Audubon (Massabesic Audubon Center, 26 Audubon Way, Auburn, 668-2045; McLane Audubon Center, 84 Silk Farm Road, Concord, 224-9909, A wildlife sanctuary and nature center with live animals, exhibits and educational programs. Members receive discounts on NH Audubon camps, programs and Nature Store purchases; a monthly electronic newsletter; invitations to members-only events and more.

SEE Science Center (200 Bedford St., Manchester, 669-0400, A museum focused on technology, engineering, mathematics and more with interactive exhibits, demonstrations and educational programs. Members receive priority admission and discounts to special programs; a discount on a child’s birthday party; 10 percent off purchases at the gift shop; a members-only newsletter and more, depending on the package.

McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center (2 Institute Drive, Concord, 271-7827, A museum focused on astronomy and aviation with interactive exhibits, simulations, an observatory, a planetarium and more. Members receive free admission to exhibit halls, Super Stellar Fridays series and regular planetarium shows; an e-newsletter; discounts on workshops and programs; discounts at the gift shop and more, depending on the package.

Millyard Museum (200 Bedford St., Manchester, 622-7531, A museum dedicated to Manchester history, particularly the history of the Amoskeag Millyard. Members receive unlimited visits to the museum, free or discounted admission to special programs and events, invitations to members-only events and more, depending on the package. The museum is also selling original, limited edition brass-plated holiday ornaments that celebrate Manchester’s history.

New Hampshire Historical Society (30 Park St., Concord, 228-6688, Members receive free admission to exhibits and the research library, free or discounted admission to special programs, invitations to members-only events, a subscription to the biannual Historical New Hampshire magazine and more, depending on the package. The museum is also selling bobbleheads of famous figures from New Hampshire history, such as the sled dog Chinook, John Stark, the Old Man of the Mountain and others.

Featured photo: “Sleighbell Studio” at Twiggs Gallery. Courtesy photo.

The Art Roundup 20/12/10

The latest from NH’s theater, arts and literary communities

Theater suspended …: The Palace Theatre in Manchester has reclosed its doors due to “the surge in Covid-19 cases in Manchester and surrounding areas,” according to an announcement on its website. “After careful consideration of current circumstances, the Palace Theatres announce an intermission in our live performances for December and into the New Year,” it said. “We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates.” The Palace Theatre’s Holiday Spectacular concert, which was set to run through Dec. 20, and the New Hampshire School of Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker that was scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 26, are among the shows that have been canceled. Visit or call 668-5588.

The Hatbox Theatre in Concord has also closed for the remainder of the year, stating on its website that it is “going on hiatus until the end of February [and] will reevaluate conditions in January and announce plans to resume operations when they are feasible.” Call 715-2315 or visit

• … or gone virtual: The Seacoast Repertory Theatre and The Players’ Ring in Portsmouth both announced that they have suspended live shows and will feature view-at-home content only until further notice. The Winter Wonderettes, presented by The Seacoast Repertory Theatre, will give live streamed performances of iconic ’60s versions of classic holiday tunes from Dec. 10 through Dec. 19, with showtimes on Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., and Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m. Tickets cost $20 per viewer. Call 433-4472 or visit

The Players’ Ring will present its one-man adaptation of A Christmas Carol, performed by Christopher Savage, virtually, with a rentable video available starting on Friday, Dec. 11. Tickets cost $24 for adults, $20 for students and seniors and $15 for kids under age 12. Visit or call 436-8123.

Christmastime at the Village: Canterbury Shaker Village (228 Shaker Road, Canterbury) will host A Magic Journey through the North Shop Barn from Dec. 11 through Dec. 23, and from Dec. 27 through Dec. 30, daily from 1 to 5 p.m. The North Shop Barn, which has been transformed into a winter wonderland, will feature art vignettes like a Shaker Christmas, a dollhouse, a skating panorama and snowy forest scenes; a Find-the-Elf treasure hunt; hot cocoa and cider; and shopping at the Village Store. Additionally there will be a Christkindlmarkt-inspired artisan market of handcrafted holiday gifts on weekends; food trucks with sweet treats on Saturdays, Dec. 12 and Dec. 19, and a live musical performance by Massimo Paparello and his Brass Quartet on Saturday, Dec. 12, from 3 to 4 p.m. Admission costs $10 for adults and is free for youth. Visit or call 783-9511.

Different kinds of nature art: The New Hampshire Art Association has three exhibitions going in Concord through Thursday, Dec. 17. “Moments in Nature,” on view at the gallery in the Concord Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center (49 S. Main St.) features oil paintings by BJ Eckardt that capture brief encounters with nature. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. In the Lobby at 2 Pillsbury St., there’s the exhibit “Unseen Light,” featuring infrared photography of New England seaside vistas, pastoral farmland, stark mountain landscapes and other scenery by Mark Giuliucci; and “An Extrapolation of Close Observation,” featuring prints of ponds, meadows and secluded places in nature by Kate Higley, created by painting or rolling inks to a surface which is then printed on paper. Lobby hours are Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Saturday from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday from 7 to 11 a.m.Visit or call 431-4230.

Shop antiques: New Hampshire Antique Co-op (323 Elm St., Milford) has a holiday sale going on now through Jan. 3, with up to 65 percent off prices on vintage ornaments, holiday decor, jewelry, books, fine art, collectibles and more. The shop is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday by appointment, and Christmas Eve from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call 673-8499 or visit

Orchestrating a comeback

Symphony NH presents virtual holiday pops, monthly concerts through May

After its 2019-2020 season was cut short in the spring, New Hampshire’s oldest professional orchestra, Symphony New Hampshire, is returning to a regular schedule of shows albeit virtually beginning with its holiday pops concert, which will be recorded and livestreamed from St. Mary and Archangel Michael Coptic Orthodox Church in Nashua on Saturday, Dec. 12.

“It’s a lot different from what we had in mind, but at the same time we’re fortunate that we can still perform live music in some way, and that we can provide some work for our musicians,” said music director Roger Kalia, who joined Symphony NH in the fall of 2019. “That’s rare right now, because most orchestras have canceled or postponed their seasons. We’re one of very few orchestras still performing during this time.”

Since musical performances in New Hampshire are currently limited to no more than 15 musicians in a shared space, Kalia said, he decided to feature the symphony’s brass ensemble for the holiday pops.

“I think brass has become synonymous with the holidays,” Kalia said. “There is, at least for me, just a real connection between brass and holiday music, because when I was growing up I played in brass choirs and brass quintets during Christmastime, and I remember those times very fondly.”

The musicians will perform at a safe distance from each other with bell covers on their instruments, a new Covid-era accessory for brass and woodwind musicians that acts as a “mask” covering the opening of the instrument from which aerosol would be projected.

“When [Covid] first happened, we knew that any instrument with a bell would be a real superspreader and that we would have to limit their involvement,” Kalia said. “Then these bell covers came out and we said, ‘This is great. The sound might be a little softer, but at least we can incorporate them now.’”

The holiday pops concert program will include holiday favorites like “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “Frosty the Snowman” and “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” as well as sacred works like “O Holy Night” and “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” performed in “a variety of different styles and moods,” Kalia said.

“It’s going to be a fresh take on the traditional holiday repertoire,” he said. “It’s not just classical music; there are also hints of jazz, pop, big band, you name it.”

After the pops, Symphony New Hampshire will continue to perform once a month, virtually until it is safe to perform in person, through May. The following show will be “Mozart Flute Concert, Golijov, and Piazzola” on Saturday, Jan. 30, featuring Symphony NH’s principal flutist, Kathleen Boyd.

“I’d be lying if I said that I don’t miss having the full orchestra,” Kalia said, “but one of the silver linings of that is when we have less musicians we’re able to put more musicians in the spotlight and in soloist roles, which is really exciting.”

February’s show will center on a new hour-long work by American composer Sarah Kirkland Snider that Kalia described as “Radiohead meets Bjork” in that it combines classical music with elements of indie pop and electronic music.

Another perk of the virtual concerts is that with videography they can create a more intimate experience for the audience than a live concert can, Kalia said. Various camera angles will be used and close-up shots of the musicians will be shown throughout the livestream.

“You’re going to see the orchestra up close and personal,” he said. “You can see the musicians’ fingers and faces and emotions as they play.”

Symphony NH concerts beyond February are still in the works, and the 15-musician limit has made developing the programming a challenge, Kalia said, but a welcome one.

“Everything has had to be reimagined,” he said. “Smaller groups [of musicians] means we’ll be doing mostly smaller repertoire and chamber repertoire a variety of new music that we don’t normally do, and we’re excited about that.”

Symphony NH presents Holiday Pops
: Saturday, Dec. 12, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Virtual livestream via YouTube with a shared link
Cost: Minimum donation of $10 per household
More info: Visit or call 595-9156



• “SLEIGHBELL STUDIO” Exhibit features a curated collection of fine art and crafts affordably priced for holiday gift giving. Twiggs Gallery (254 King St., Boscawen). On view now through Dec. 12. Gallery hours are Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Visit or call 975-0015.

• “BIG GIFTS IN SMALL PACKAGES” Artwork priced under $100. Presented by the Seacoast Artist Association. On display now through Dec. 26. 130 Water St., Exeter. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and by appointment. Visit

Fairs and markets

VIRTUAL HOLIDAY SHOP The Warner Historical Society presents an online shop at featuring hand-painted holiday ornaments, calendars, mugs and drinking glasses, T-shirts, books, jigsaw puzzles and more, plus a holiday raffle. Curbside pickup on Sat., Dec. 5, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sat., Dec. 12, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Upton Chandler House Museum (10 W. Main St., Warner). Call 456-2437 or email

• “HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS: AN ART SHOW & SALE Features all kinds of art, including oil and watercolor paintings, ceramics, tapestry, woodworking, wearable art, book making and more, created by local artists and artisans. Up now through Dec. 20. In person at the Bates Building (846 Main St., Contoocook; masks required) on a drop-in and by-appointment basis and virtually at Show hours at the Bates Building are Tuesday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.Visit

THE CRAFTWORKERS’ GUILD HOLIDAY FAIR Virtual shop features seasonal decor, photography, fine art and prints, gourmet treats, woodworking, stained and fused glass, mixed media, jewelry and more. Now through Dec. 22, with curbside pickup at the Kendall House (3A Meetinghouse Road, Bedford) daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit

HOLIDAZE BIZAARE Alternative craft fair features art, apparel, jewelry, ceramics, stuffies, candles, candy and more by dozens of emerging local artists. Wrong Brain (55 Third St., Dover). Now through Dec. 30, with fair hours Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. Virtual shopping with curbside pickup will also be available. Call 834-9454 or visit

Special events

NHAA 80TH YEAR ANNIVERSARY New Hampshire Art Association hosts a silent art auction fundraiser. Bidding runs through Dec. 11. Visit or call 431-4230.

Featured photo: Symphony NH. Courtesy photo.

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