“For all the beauty Portsmouth offers during the summer, the holiday season just may be its finest time of year. The Christmas spirit you find here isn’t garish or overblown. It’s tasteful and subtle, more vintage than big-box store.”

Yankee Magazine

2018 Holiday Events in Portsmouth


Join the Wentworth Hotel for one or all of their festive holiday meals in December.

Festive Sunday Brunch held in the Wentworth Ballroom. A special guest will join each Sunday, so bring the kids so they can finalize their Christmas lists with Santa. Reservations are required | $54.95++ per adult, $25.95++ per child aged 2 – 12.

Festive Christmas Holiday Buffet | Wentworth Ballroom
If you are looking for a spectacular setting to have a Christmas Day Holiday Buffet with all the holiday trimmings, then don’t miss this one! Enjoy a seemingly endless display of mouth-watering delicacies, glimmering lights, sparkling fountains, complimentary champagne, and much more. Reservations are required | $59.95++ per adult, $25.95++ per child aged 2 – 12. More Information
Festive Christmas Dinner, SALT Kitchen & Bar and the Grand Dining Room | 1pm – 10pm. Enjoy an elegant three-course prix-fixe plated Christmas dinner prepared by our team of award-winning chefs.Reservations are strongly recommended | $59.95++ per adult, $25.95++ per child aged 2 – 12. More Information

Mombo Restaurant, Open Christmas Eve and New Years Eve for dinner.

Ri Ra Irish Pub & Restaurant, Open Christmas Eve 11 AM – 6 PM.

IKKO Japanese Restaurant Open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for Lunch & Dinner


More Restaurant Hours & Menus Coming Soon!


28th Annual Gingerbread House Contest Exhibition  

Created by local businesses, artists, families and kids, the gingerbread houses will be nestled into a winter wonderland in the first floor gallery surrounded by large format photographs: David J. Murray’s images of Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth and photographs of trains in New Hampshire winters by Andy Dolph. Featuring intricate creations by local residents and businesses, exhibited in the first-floor gallery from November 30 to December 22. More information

39th Annual Candlelight Stroll at Strawbery Banke Museum

3,000 holiday decorations handcrafted from natural materials, lanes lined with hundreds of wooden candle boxes with real candles, strolling carolers, bonfire, costumed role-players portraying December in Portsmouth 1695-1954 (including Mrs. Shapiro’s 1919 Hanukkah). More Information

Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond

Provides seasonal outdoor ice skating at the heart of the 10-acre living history museum. The rink operates seven days a week, 9 am to 9 pm throughout December and on New Year’s Day, and the months of January and February. More Information

Elf The Musical at the Music Hall

Elf The Musical is the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy’s enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. This modern day Christmas classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner Elf. More information


It’s a Wonderful Life: The movie at the Music Hall

Frank Capra’s beloved “holiday classic to define holiday classics.” After George Bailey (James Stewart) wishes he had never been born, an angel (Henry Travers) is sent to earth to make George’s wish come true. George starts to realize how many lives he has changed and impacted, and how they would be different if he was never there. More Information

NH Theater Project: It’s a Wonderful Life Live Radio Play

It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play Adapted from the original screenplay by Joe Landry Directed by Robin Fowler. The beloved perennial classic re-visited as a 1940’s live radio show. Five seasoned actors play 40 different roles. It will still make you cry. More Information

Portsmouth Christmas Tree Lighting & Illuminated Holiday Parade and Food Drive

Experience this magical event in the heart of downtown Portsmouth. Excitement builds as the community counts down to the lighting of the Portsmouth Christmas Tree and the festive fun continues with a dazzling illuminated holiday parade down Islington Street through Market Square. More Information

Pickwick’s Holiday Dinner at Strawbery Banke’s William Pit Tavern

Pickwick’s Mercantile is proud to present the 3rd annual Holiday Dinners at the William Pitt Tavern in Strawbery Banke.  Join the spirited revelry for an unforgettable evening with our family and yours.

Fezziwig’s Food & Fountain prepares a delectable, four course colonial fare fit for only the most joyous of occasions. Vegetarian & children’s menus are also available! More Information

Players Ring Theater: A Christmas Carol

Spend the holiday season gathering with your favorite people and watching some of the season’s most beloved characters come to life before your eyes! The Players’ Ring is proud to present Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol for this 25th Anniversary Season. More Information

Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra: A Brassy Baroque Christmas

This year the PSO invites to celebrate the season with Holiday favorites old and new! Tickets for these performances sell out quickly, get your ticket early. More Information

Prescott Parks: Miracle on 34th Street

Break out the eggnog and join us this holiday season as Prescott Park Arts Festival and Exeter Hospital present Miracle on 34th Street, A Live Musical Radio Play in Exeter’s Historic Town Hall!

When a department store Santa claims he’s the real Kris Kringle, his case gets taken all the way to the Supreme Court and a little girl’s belief makes the difference in the ‘miracle.’ Based on the movie of the same name, Miracle on 34th Street is a heart-warming tale of the triumph of holiday cheer over cynicism. Miracle’s message of love, magic, and Christmas cheer will have you singing “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas.” More Information

Portsmouth Pro Musica: Dwelling in Unity Winter Concert

Local chorus Portsmouth Pro Musica celebrates the 100th birthday of Leonard Bernstein with a performance of the composer’s Chichester Psalms, along with selections of seasonal music from Jewish, Christian, and Solstice traditions. More Information

Annie at the Seacoast Repertory

Annie, the story of the hopeful little red-headed orphan who goes from rags to riches, comes to Seacoast Rep for the holidays. The winner of a whopping 7 Tonys, including Best Musical, Annie is a Broadway smash featuring the Seacoast’s best musical theater performers on the Seacoast’s most acclaimed stage. A perfect family outing. A great production for the whole family! More Information

Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris at the Seacoast Repertory

From the mind of American humorist, author, and NPR heavy-hitter David Sedaris and adapted by Joe Mantello comes Santaland Diaries, a sardonic, hilarious, subversive, and surprisingly poignant tale of Holiday spirit, or lack thereof. More Information

The River House

Join The River House in the season of giving by visiting the Chase Home Giving tree starting on Black Friday. Children of the Chase Home are filling out wish lists. Employees and guests are encouraged to fill these wishes and return them to the tree by December 14th unwrapped.

Also offering a Build Your Own Cocoa Bar all December long! Start with a spirit (or not) add hot cocoa, eggnog or mulled cider and then get creative with all the fixings you can think of. 

Tuscan Kitchen Tree Lighting

Join Tuscan Kitchen for their annual Tree Lighting & a visit from Santa! Photos with Santa at 4pm and lighting the tree at 5! Complimentary Italian Cookies, Coffee, Hot Cocoa & Carols! Please, we ask you to bring Adult Hats, Mittens & Coats that will be donated to the Crossroads house. Don’t miss it! November 30th, at 4:00 pm.

Warner House Annual Christmas Open House

Enjoy this historical home beautifully decorated just as the traditions prior to 1929. December 1st from 12 PM – 3 PM. More details to come.

Wentworth’s Annual Illumination

Wentworth’s annual Illumination makes a festive occasion of lighting up the grand Victorian hotel, symbolizing the beginning of the holiday season in New Castle. This free, family event, will be held on Tuesday, December 5th, 2017 from 5:00 – 7:00pm, and will welcome strolling carolers, a horse-drawn carriage with Santa, the Portsmouth High School Marching Band Ensemble, costumed members of the Great Bay Ballet “An 1836 Portsmouth Nutcracker” cast, and complimentary holiday refreshments. We will also have crafts and games available for children before the big unveiling of our giant gingerbread house! More Information

Wreaths Across America

Join Albacore Park in the effort to support the mission to Remember, Honor, Teach in the Wreaths Across America Program on Saturday, December 15, 2018 from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. This is a public event and we will be honoring and laying wreaths for those veterans who served with the Navy, Army, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines, Air Force, National Guard, and the MIA/POW. More Information


Portsmouth has many warm & inviting lodging properties to enjoy during your holiday getaway. See the list here.

Running through December 25th, all Port Hospitality Group Hotels (Port Inn Portsmouth, and The Garrison Hotel) will be offering discounts on gift certificates. The deal is pay $100 get $120 gift certificate, or pay $200 get $250 gift certificate. They can be purchased over the phone and mailed to recipient, or in person at the hotel.

The Sailmaker’s House & The Water Street Inn are offering a special deal this holiday season! Get your tickets for a drink at Fezziwig’s and tickets to Strawberry Banke’s Candlelight Stroll right when you book! Room add on price $60. Dates for this deal: December 1,2,8,9,15,16, & 22, 2018.


G. Willikers is offering 20% off 1 item through December 21st, Check them out!

Take home the perfect holiday gift by visiting our local shops.