Celebrate the holidays in one of the world's Christmas capitals!
“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
The holidays in New England are cozy and beautiful, and Portsmouth is no exception. Take a holiday tour around town, or drive through Portsmouth and its neighboring towns for Christmas lights sight-seeing and wintertime fun. See below for some of our recommendations of places to see and things to do!
City of Portsmouth Tree Lighting & Parade
The parade has been cancelled for 2020 due to COVID-19.
Please check back for information on how to watch the tree lighting.
More information to come
Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth
A month long celebration of the holiday season with shows, strolls, shopping and more!
Visit the website below for details!
30th Annual Gingerbread House Contest & Exhibition
Portsmouth Historical Society celebrates the 30th Annual Gingerbread House Contest and Exhibition from November 20 through December 22, 2020
Take a walk through Market Square and see all the houses on display in storefront windows! Visit all locations, collect the stamps, and turn in your stamp sheet for a chance to win a $100 gift certificate to Cure or the Roundabout Diner!
Downtown Scavenger Hunt
Discover Portsmouth Welcome Center open daily, 10 am – 5 pm.
41st Annual Candlelight Stroll Under the Stars at Strawbery Banke Museum
Friday Dec. 11 & 18, 4-8 PM
Saturday Dec. 12 & 19, 4-8 PM
Sunday Dec. 13 & 20, 4-8 PM
An outdoor-only experience. One-hour, self-guided tours departing every 30-minutes. The last self-guided tour departs at 7 PM.
During Candlelight Stroll Under the Stars, Dec 11, 12, 13, & 18, 19, 20, skaters can purchase skating-only tickets — it is not necessary to purchase a Candlelight Stroll Under the Stars ticket to skate.
Get all the details on the website below.
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. (Weather permitting)
Weather permitting; the rink is open daily from 9 AM to 9 PM, except for Christmas Day and shortened hours on Christmas Eve.
Visit the website below for more information and to purchasse tickets.
The Players Ring - A Christmas Carol
A one man production harkening to the days when Dickens himself would travel the world, reading his work aloud.
November 27 – December 20
The Seacoast Rep - Winter Wonderettes
The Wonderettes are back, and just in time for the Holidays! The four fabulous, hilarious Wonderettes take you iconic 60’s versions of classic holiday tunes like “Jingle Bell Rock”, “Winter Wonderland”, “Santa Clause is Comin’ to Town” and more.
Enjoy the show live or livestreamed.
November 27 – December 19
Wentworth By The Sea Illumination
This special, traditional event at the Wentworth will also include an appearance by Santa in his sleigh, with elves to take Christmas lists from children! There will also be live music and carolers for the enjoyment of guests. And another favorite tradition of the resort will also continue – the unveiling of the Gingerbread House! This annual creation is always a favorite with hotel guests and locals who look forward to marveling at the over-sized, magical gingerbread house made by the talented chefs of Wentworth by the Sea.
Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 5 PM.
The Wentworth by the Sea will also be conducting their annual Toy Drive once again this year. Toy drop off will be December 1st through December 17th. Toys can be dropped off only Monday – Thursday from 11:30am to 4pm. Anyone bringing an unwrapped, unopened gift to help support children of the Seacoast will receive 10% off at SALT! (Alcohol excluded).
Portsmouth has many warm & inviting lodging properties to enjoy during your holiday getaway.
Click the button below for lodging deals!
Shop local this holiday season!
Check out shopping page for gift inspiration!