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Portsmouth: New Hampshire's Best Kept Christmas Secret
December 7, 2020

Portsmouth: New Hampshire's Best Kept Christmas Secret

by The CE Shop Team

Uncover the Christmas Spirit at Portsmouth’s Vintage Christmas Event

Portsmouth has become the Christmas destination of both New Hampshire and the entirety of New England. Downtown Portsmouth hosts a variety of Yuletide-themed events and activities for residents to enjoy so that everyone can get in the holiday spirit.

Most famously, Portsmouth offers the Vintage Christmas event, which is a month-long celebration to ring in Christmas and the New Year. Visitors are treated to a medley of holiday-themed theatre and comedy performances at The Music Hall. Activities are scattered throughout town for all to try, including a gingerbread house competition, as well as ice skating at Puddle Dock Pond. We’ve created a list (and checked it twice) of the top attractions offered by Vintage Christmas so that you and your clients don’t miss an ounce of holiday cheer.

How Portsmouth Spreads Christmas Cheer

Now in its 15th year, Vintage Christmas has made a lasting impact in Portsmouth that all have felt throughout the holiday season. Because of this annual community Christmas celebration, Portsmouth has been recognized as the Christmas Capital by Travel + Leisure. Portsmouth’s authenticity wraps visitors up in a picturesque winter New England wonderland as they shop, ice-skate, dine, and step back into colonial history.

Top-Vintage Christmas Events to Enjoy

Image provided by vintagechristmas.org

The Music Hall and the Ogunquit Playhouse

Held at the historic 1878 theater, residents of Portsmouth are treated to a month of plays and shows each December ranging from films to symphonies to theatrical performances. The crown jewel of this year’s lineup is the beloved holiday movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

Strawbery Banke Museum

The main sponsor of Vintage Christmas, Strawbery Banke is responsible for many of the events and activities throughout the month. The most popular event every year is the Candlelight Stroll. Since 1979, the Candlelight Stroll has captured what 350 years of seasonal and holiday traditions look and feel like. Using the museum's historic homes as the background for the stroll, this authentic experience does a fantastic job of presenting colonial holidays with historical accuracy.

Due to the pandemic, Strawbery Banke will host a “Candlelight Stroll Under the Stars” this year, which will be a socially-distanced, COVID-19-friendly way for visitors to take in the authentic holiday celebration.

Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond

What’s more festive than ice-skating on a frozen pond? Residents and visitors enjoy gliding over the ice, taking in the Christmas lights, and listening to carolers stroll throughout town. Enjoy the delight of a winter skate at this well-maintained outdoor ice-skating rink right in the heart of Portsmouth. No matter if you’re a jelly-legged beginner or an icy pro, Puddle Dock Pond has an offering for you, which includes:

  • Daily public skating
  • Private parties
  • Skating lessons
  • Skate rentals and sharpening services

Strawbery Banke’s seasonal outdoor ice skating rink keeps on theme with a Vintage Christmas and features costumed Victorian skaters throughout the month.

Gingerbread House Contest

Celebrate the sweetest season by joining the 30th Annual Gingerbread House Contest this year! To keep in line with COVID-19 safety guidelines and keeping large crowds to a minimum, gingerbread creations are on display both at the Discover Portsmouth Welcome Center and are also sprinkled all over downtown in the windows of shops and restaurants.

If smelling the fresh, salty air and ocean breeze tickles your fancy, then Portsmouth is the perfect seaside retreat for you. Just look at this beautiful 4 bed, 3 bath home on a 1.65 acre lot on Regina Rd. Not only are the available properties beautifully situated, but Portstmouth's median home value is $488,758 with a projected 8.4% increase in home value over the next year.

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