Ready or not, the holiday season is upon us and we can say without a doubt, that the White Mountains is THE place to go to get into the holiday spirit. We are sometimes mistaken for the North Pole, with our stunning, snow-capped mountains, quaint, Christmas villages, and Santa sightings throughout the region. Visions of sugar plums are dancing in our heads and we want to help spread the holiday cheer to you and yours. Regardless if you’re Team Holiday Spirit or still need a little nudging, here are 8 ways to start feeling festive this holiday season.
Christmastime at Santa's Village
A summer visit to Santa’s Village has been a tradition for families spanning generations for many years, however, visiting during Christmastime at Santa’s Village should be on your annual holiday list as well. There will be snow on the ground, many of the rides will be open, Santa will of course be there, and the park will be lit by almost 1 million Christmas lights.
Ride the Rails with Santa Claus
Did you know that Santa loves trains? He’s quite the aficionado and has a soft spot for the Hobo Railroad in Lincoln and the Conway Scenic Railroad in North Conway. You and your family can ride the rails and visit with Santa and his elves on either train, weekends starting November 29 -the weekend of December 22. Cookies, cocoa, and a special gift for the kids will be passed out on board. Choo Choo and Ho Ho Ho!
Deck the Halls with a White Mountains Christmas Tree
The annual search for the Christmas tree has become a family tradition for many and a great way to add a personal touch to your holidays. At the Rocks Estate you can either tag your own tree or cut it down yourself! Stay to walk the trails, drink some hot cocoa, or take a horse-drawn sleigh ride. Windy Ridge Orchard is known for their apples in the fall, but also offer a Christmas tree experience in the winter. Take a wagon ride out to their Christmas Tree Plantation and cut your own tree. (Pre-cut trees are available too!) Browse their gift shop and enjoy warm cider and doughnuts. If your family is looking for a fun experience and to make lasting memories, consider purchasing a Christmas Tree Permit from the White Mountain National Forest . Permits are only $5 and can be purchased at the White Mountains Visitor Center or at their office locations in Campton, Conway, or Gorham.
We Love a Parade!
Littleton is celebrating its 33 rd Annual Christmas Parade on Friday, November 29 th . Local businesses will be driving inspired by the theme “Toyland: A Trip to Santa’s Workshop” and of course there will be an appearance by the jolly old elf himself. Berlin hosts its Celebration of Lights Parade the evening of November 29 th . Main Street will come alive with Christmas themed floats, lights, and Santa! Plymouth’s Hometown Holiday Celebration is Saturday, December 7 th and Sunday, December 8 th and features a Festival of Trees, the 5K Jingle Bell Run/Walk, and the “There’s No Place Like Home” holiday parade which ends with cocoa and cookies with Santa.
Jean’s Playhouse-A White Mountains Christmas
Head to Jean’s Playhouse December 7-8 for a White Mountains Christmas . You will be singing along to your favorite Christmas carols as performers sing, dance, and tell Christmas stories. This is a wonderful family event to kick off the holidays and Santa will be available for photos following the performance.
The Remick Country Doctor Museum & Farm brings you a taste of the Christmas season of yesteryear with their new event, a Farmstead Christmas . On Saturday, December 7, learn about the lore of the Remick Gnomes, enjoy wagon rides, hot cocoa and cookies, and get a glimpse into the Remick home complete with vintage food samples, and 1950’s Christmas music and tree. Visit the farm animals and take part in making crafts and decorating the Cattle Barn Christmas tree.
Tree Lighting Ceremonies
There is something magical and oh-so New England traditional about a tree lighting ceremony. Several towns in the region will be participating including Bartlett and Jackson and even Settler’s Green will be getting in on the action. Head back to Settler’s Green on December 13 th for their Holiday Homecoming which includes carolers, fire pits, food, pictures with Santa, and an Ugly Sweater Party.
Christmas at the Castle
You will be transported to Christmas’s of the past as you tour the stunning, historic Lucknow Mansion, also known as the Castle in the Clouds during their special event, Christmas at the Castle . November 29-December 1 each room of the Castle will be decorated by local businesses in the spirit of the holidays. Enjoy lunch in the Carriage House, browse the artisan fair, and visit with Santa.