Christmas time is (almost) here, and we couldn’t be more thrilled! From Santa trains and Christmas-themed events across our entire region to kid-friendly holiday activities, it’s looking undeniably holly and jolly this season.
What about festive tree lighting ceremonies in NH? We have plenty. Looking for places to see Santa in the White Mountains? Keep scrolling.
We’ve found the best holiday dining and festive shopping opportunities to see you well through the twelve days of Christmas and beyond!
Attractions & Santa TrainsBack to Top of List
SANTA’S VILLAGE (Jefferson, NH)
Santa’s Village offers pure joy, family style year-round, but there is something extra special about the holiday season at this beloved attraction. During Christmastime at Santa’s Village, the park is resplendent with millions of glittering lights to better illuminate your adventures in the park after dark. There are also Christmas carols, festive rides, and heartwarming snacks to immerse you in the spirit of the season. If this sounds like a holiday dream come true, snag your Christmastime tickets online ASAP! They move as quickly as Santa’s famed reindeer.
Christmastime at Santa’s Village: 11/18 & 11/19, 11/24 – 11/26, 12/2 & 12/3, 12/9 & 12/10, 12/16 & 12/17, and 12/23. For specific times and ticket prices, visit the Santa’s Village’s website. Tickets sold online only. Several dates have already sold out for this year.
CONWAY SCENIC RAILROAD (North Conway, NH)
The Conway Scenic Railroad's Santa’s Holiday Express is a seasonally themed hour and half round trip experience that offers wintry views of the Mount Washington Valley. Upon arrival in Conway young guests can enjoy cookies and hot chocolate capped off by a greeting from Santa.
11/24 -11/26, 12/2 & 3, 12/9 & 10, 12/16 & 17 and 12/23. All departures are from the North Conway Station. Trains board at 11am and 1pm.
HOBO RAILROAD (Lincoln, NH)
All aboard for an old-time train ride that will get you in the Christmas spirit! Enjoy First Class or Coach Seating, a meet and greet with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and a gift from Santa during your Santa Express Train Ride on the Hobo Railroad. Young children are also invited to complete a letter for Santa, giving the rest of the family time to enjoy the sights of wintertime along the scenic Pemigewassett River.
11/24 -11/26, 12/2 & 3, 12/9 & 10, 12/16 & 17, and 12/23. 1pm to 2:30pm. Book your tickets online ahead of time.
BELIEVE IN BOOKS LITERACY FOUNDATION (Intervale, NH)
Do you believe in the magic of the holiday season and a good book? Take a “Journey to the North Pole” with the Believe in Books Literacy Foundation! This White Mountains nonprofit is hosting its annual holiday train trip at two different locations: the Hobo Railroad (Lincoln, NH) and the Conway Scenic Railroad (North Conway, NH). Board your train of choice, and you’ll be whisked along for two hours of festive merriment, including elf sing-a-longs, a visit to the North Pole, and even a meet and greet with Mr. Claus himself.
Town EventsBack to Top of List
MT. WASHINGTON VALLEY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE (North Conway, NH)
Christmas in North Conway truly kicks off with Black Friday and Christmas at Schouler Park. Visit with Santa, enjoy a reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, and delight in a traditional Christmas tree lighting. The backdrop of one of Mount Washington Valley’s most charming towns is just an added bonus!
TOWN OF BETHLEHEM (Bethlehem, NH)
It’s about to get downright delightful on Bethlehem, NH’s main street. That’s right, Christmas in Bethlehem is back at it again! Nostalgic events, games, entertainment, and food will make this celebration one to fondly remember throughout the holiday season and beyond. What are we most looking forward to? The Illumination Parade, a new tradition featuring an abundance of festive, twinkling lights.
Saturday, 12/2. Events throughout the day. The parade encourages float participation and vehicle decoration with Christmas lights, and is open to everyone free of charge. Visit the Christmas in Bethlehem website for more information.
TOWN OF GORHAM (Gorham, NH)
What is Christmas without a finely decorated tree? Experience a magical holiday wonderland during Gorham, NH’s Festival of the Trees, and try your luck at winning your favorite fir of them all!
11/27 – 12/1. For more information, visit the Town of Gorham’s website.
WATERVILLE VALLEY TOWN SQUARE (Waterville Valley, NH)
Save space in your calendar for the Saturday after Thanksgiving; a festive lineup of events awaits! Waterville Valley Town Square has covered it all for this fantastic celebration: a Cold Turkey Plunge to kick off the day, followed by a visit with Santa in the Waterville Valley Adventure Center, and fireworks and a tree lighting to light up the chilly night skies over town.
Saturday, 11/25. 3:30 – 7pm. Suggested donation of $5 during your visit with Santa (to benefit the Whole Village Family Resource Center in Plymouth, NH).
Additional Kid-Friendly ActivitiesBack to Top of List
RIVERWALK RESORT AT LOON MOUNTAIN (Lincoln, NH)
Cookies, cocoa, and Santa – we dare you to name a more iconic trio! If you are anywhere in the vicinity of Lincoln, NH on Saturday, 12/16, make your way to Riverwalk Resort at Loon Mountain for some games, treats, and Santa visits. Bonus points if you bring your letter to Santa do drop in the North Pole Letter Box!
Saturday, 12/16. 5 – 7pm. Free event open to the public. Located in the Owners Club.
WREN – LOCAL WORKS MARKETPLACE AND GALLERY (Bethlehem, NH)
Saturday, 12/2 is a big day for Bethlehem. In addition to the much-loved Christmas in Bethlehem activities, WREN’s Local Works Marketplace is hosting a Holiday Open House, which includes a drop-in holiday crafts activity for kids of all ages. Choose from making a holiday card or a paper star; after that, don’t forget to swing by the attached gallery for a viewing of “Welcome to the Table”, WREN’s annual member show.
Saturday, 12/2. 10am – 3pm. Free activity.
Festive Live EntertainmentBack to Top of List
INN AT ELLIS RIVER (Jackson, NH)
Cozy up at the Inn at Ellis River for a special reading of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. As you listen to the inspiring journey of one iconic grump known as Scrooge, you can partake in some scrumptious hors d’oeuvres, hot drinks, and desserts.
Saturday, 12/2. 3pm. $35 plus tax (per person). Reservations required. Please call 603-383-9339.
M & D PLAYHOUSE (North Conway, NH)
A Christmas Carol is one of the most treasured stories of the holiday season, and we always love watching a retelling. This season, the place to see Charles Dicken’s classic work is onstage at the M & D Playhouse, so if you have a hankering to say hey to Tiny Tim, Ebenezer Scrooge, and three very timely ghosts, don’t delay! Call the box office today.
11/30 – 12/3, 12/7 & 12/8, 12/9 & 12/10, 12/14 – 17. 7:30 – 9:30pm. All seats: $29.
OMNI MOUNT WASHINGTON RESORT (Bretton Woods, NH)
Glad tidings and good humor go hand in hand, and particularly so at the Omni Mount Washington Resort’s Fa-La-La-Ha-Ha Comedy Night. The venue is the opulent Grand Ballroom, and the entertainers of the evening are three of Boston’s favorite comedians, so come prepared for quite the merry, spectacular show!
Wednesday, 12/13. Doors open at 7:30pm; show begins at 8pm. General admission. Public: $25. Resort Guests: $20. Ages 18+.
NORTH COUNTRY CENTER FOR THE ARTS AT JEAN'S PLAYHOUSE (Lincoln, NH)
Who doesn't love another wonderful opportunity to see these classic characters come to live on stage? NCCA at Jean's Playhouse will be presenting their musical re-telling of A Christmas Carol . This "ghostly" musical adaption of the Dickens tale brings original music and an imaginative retelling of the story by director Joel Mercier.
Holiday DiningBack to Top of List
CHRISTMAS FARM INN & SPA (Jackson, NH)
Can you dream up a better way to enjoy a Christmas meal than with an exclusive event at the Christmas Farm Inn & Spa? Get your reservations ASAP for the Wine Dinner with Mrs. Claus on Sunday, 12/10. The setting is a historic barn, and the evening includes a live jazz trio, a buffet meal and wine pairings in special collaboration with The Inn at Thorn Hill & Spa (another wonderful Jackson, NH property), and even a gift from Mrs. Claus.
Sunday, 12/10. 5 – 8pm. $250 per couple, plus tax and 20% service charge. Must be booked with room. 21+ only. Reservations required.
OWL’S NEST RESORT (Thornton, NH)
Owl’s Nest Resort is hosting a Holiday Gala to delight this season, and you’re invited. Watch a dueling piano performance, take part in a silent auction to benefit charity, and wine and dine over a 3-course gourmet dinner. The dress code? Classy holiday attire. Your festive mission? Have a great time while also doing good!
Friday, 11/15, 5 – 10:30pm. Ticket price: $80 per person. Ticket includes a complimentary champagne toast, custom tree ornament, passed hors d’oeuvres during Happy Hour, 3-course dinner, and dueling piano performance. Non-perishable food donations are welcomed, and will be collected upon entry to the event.
Holiday ShoppingBack to Top of List
ADAIR INN (Bethlehem, NH)
WREN’s Holiday Fair is back at the Adair Inn, and it’s perfectly timed to coincide with Christmas in Bethlehem! This holiday pop up located inside a charming local inn will show you that the season of shopping is anything but humdrum – in fact, connecting with and supporting local artists can be downright magical.
Saturday, 12/2, 11am - 3pm.
CLARK’S BEARS (Lincoln, NH)
Check off all the “nice” ones on your list with a visit to the Clark’s Bears gift shop. This iconic stop has holiday items alongside signature White Mountains souvenirs, and they are open several select weekends leading up to Christmas day.
Open 11/24 – 26, 12/2 & 3, 12/9 & 10, and 12/16 & 12/17. Hours vary by date; check the Clark’s Bears website for more information.
FIG TREE NORTH (North Woodstock, NH)
Celebrate the holidays before the busy Thanksgiving weekend with a visit to Fig Tree North in North Woodstock, NH. This whimsical shop is hosting a Holiday Open House, and we are so excited to sample some local libations, enjoy special additions to the shop, enter the festive raffle, and even get some free gift wrapping while we’re at it. Come show your support for shopping local – we’ll see you there!
Saturday, 11/18. 12pm – 5pm. Free event.
GREAT GLEN TRAILS OUTDOOR CENTER (Gorham, NH)
If a bit of shopping mixed with some sightseeing sounds like your perfect way to spend the Saturday after Thanksgiving, head to the Holiday Craft Fair at Great Glen Trails. You can show off your support for local artisans and crafters, snag some super unique presents for under the Christmas tree, and also enjoy the sights of snow-capped Mount Washington just across the street.
Saturday, 11/25. 9am – 3pm.
SETTLERS GREEN (North Conway, NH)
Add some extra merriment to your tax-free holiday shopping with a visit to Settlers Green this holiday season! The big draw this year? Settler’s Holiday Festival & Tree Lighting on 12/2, complete with a mini tubing park sponsored by Cranmore Mountain Resort, special family-friendly activities throughout the day, a holiday light show and light tunnel, and the aforementioned tree lighting to cap off the day. Might we also add, there’s a chance to win a $500 holiday shopping spree if you stick around ‘til the end?
Saturday, 12/2. 11am-4pm. Free event.
WREN – LOCAL WORKS MARKETPLACE & GALLERY (Bethlehem, NH)
Local art and tidings of joy are all on display at “Welcome to the Table”, the Annual Member Show hosted by WREN’s Local Works Marketplace & Gallery. The marvelous artwork is all for sale (and all local!), and $10 from each gallery sale benefits local food security organizations.
Through Sunday, 12/31.
TOWN OF LANCASTER (Lancaster, NH)
Head north of the notches to Lancaster, NH: the Lancaster Shop Hop awaits. As the name suggests, hopping from shop to shop is encouraged. Pick up a shopping passport along the way and get it stamped at each participating location; five stamps just might earn you some free gift certificates and goodies! Just don’t forget to swing by the historic Rialto Theater on main street for a free 10am showing of The Grinch while you’re at it.
Saturday, 11/25. 10am – 4pm. Free event. Grand prize drawing will be held at the Lancaster Motel at 4:30pm.
WOODSTOCK FIRE DEPARTMENT (North Woodstock, NH)
The Woodstock Fire Department’s annual Wreath Fundraiser returns! Stop by Soldier’s Park Common in North Woodstock, NH to pick out your own beautifully decorated balsam fir wreath.
Saturday, 11/25, 10am – 12:30pm. Wreaths are $35 each. Call Anne Englert at 603-745-3216 to place your order; wreathes can sell out quickly.
Other Holiday ExperiencesBack to Top of List
CASTLE IN THE CLOUDS (Moultonborough, NH)
You’ll be humming “deck the (castle) halls” long after your holiday visit to Castle in the Clouds. This historic estate set high in the Ossipee mountains is hosting Christmas at the Castle, and 2023’s Winter Wonderland theme is sure to delight. View the elegantly decorated rooms sponsored by local businesses, enjoy the Artisan Fair in the nearby Carriage House, and even make a day of it with onsite dining at the Carriage House Restaurant and photos with Santa.
11/18 & 19, and 11/24 – 26, 10:00am – 4:00pm each day. Adults: $25. Youth (ages 5 - 17): $15. 4 & Under: free. Tickets will be sold in advance online and in person at the Carriage House until 3 pm each day of the event. Tickets purchased are redeemable for any day of Christmas at the Castle this year.
PRESIDENTIAL MOUNTAIN RESORT (Bethlehem, NH)
If you haven’t caught on yet, Christmas in Bethlehem is kind of a big deal. Presidential Mountain Resort has hopped in on the holiday festivities with their own Festive Celebration just down the street from the big event. A DJ, dancing, property tours, campfires, and complimentary cookies and hot cocoa will get you in the spirit for a full day of celebrating the season in NH’s highest elevation town.
Saturday, 12/2, 12 – 3pm. Free event. For more information on Presidential Mountain Resort’s offerings (including a Holiday Package, where guests can cut their own tree and pick up a holiday wreath, and discounted rates for merchandise and rentals at Drummonds Ski Shop upon booking), call 603-253-2222.
FRANCONIA INN (Franconia, NH)
“Dashing through the snow”….you know how it goes! Add a one-horse open sleigh ride to your Christmas plans this season, and you will fall in love with the winter wonderland that is the White Mountains in a brand-new, breathtaking way. Want a ride? Call the Franconia Inn for more information on this can’t-miss experience made possible thanks to one truly beautiful Belgian draft horse.
30-minute horse-drawn sleigh ride. $160 per sleigh (which holds up to 4 adults). Complimentary hot cocoa included. Add on a champagne toast for an additional fee. Rides are dependent on snow. Call 603-823-5542 to make a reservation.
FOUR YOUR PAWS ONLY (North Conway, NH)
Bring your four-legged pal to Four Your Paws Only to get their picture taken with Santa Paws! This annual event is a fundraiser for the Conway Humane Society. The cost is $10 and you receive a hard copy of your pets photo in a frame in addition to a bag of holiday treats.