Our Favorite Outdoor New Hampshire Winter Events
Resist the urge to hibernate this winter with these great events
The Snow Scuplting Competition in Jackson takes place on Jan. 24.
It can be tempting to just wait out the winter months by the fire or under your cozy blankets, but then you'd be missing out on tons of fun that happens when the weather turns cold and the snow begins to fly! From ice sculpting and sled dog races to carnivals and ice fishing derbies, there's something to do that celebrates the winter season from now until spring thaw.
This is just a sample of great events pulled from our calendar. Click here for more fun things happening this winter throughout the state.
First Night Portsmouth
December 31-January 1. First Nights are family-friendly celebrations. Enjoy ice sculpting, a street dance, food, fireworks, a countdown to midnight and much more. It all takes place in downtwon Portsmouth starting at 1 p.m. (most events begin around 4 p.m.-5 p.m.). Buttons are $15 through December 26, $20 through December 30 and $25 the day of. Children 12 and under are $2. Click here to purchase a button and for a full schedule of events.
First Night Wolfeboro
December 31-January 1. A First Night celebration is also offered in Wolfeboro. Each button is $7 through December 30, then $15 the day of the event at the Wolfeboro Area Chamber of Commerce and other stores. Click here for more information and a list of stores selling buttons. Events kick off at 2 p.m. in downtown Wolfeboro.
Learn to Ski for Free Week
January 11-17. First-time skiers and snowboarders ages 6 and up can receive a free lesson, rentals and trail pass. Click here to register, download the coupon and for a list of participating ski areas in New Hampshire.
Vintage Snowmobile Race
January 11. A four-race series will be held again this winter and they are waiting for you to dust off that pre- ’74 relic sleeping in the corner of your garage and join in the fun. The series kicks off on January 11 in Pittsburg. Visit thegreatnorthwoodssnowmobilerace.com for more information.
Snow Sculpting Competition
January 24. The 13th Annual Jackson Snow Sculpting Competition features teams of snow sculptors who will create amazing works of art from simple blocks of snow. Black Mountain Ski Resort, 373 Black Mountain Rd., Jackson. Visit jacksonnh.com for more information.
February 2. The Penguin Plunge is a fundraising event entering its 15th year. A Plunger agrees to jump into the Atlantic Ocean at Hampton Beach and solicits support from friends, business associates, family, employers, etc. to benefit Special Olympics New Hampshire. Visit sonh.org for more information.
Newport Winter Carnival
February 2-9. Celebrate all things winter at the 98th Winter Carnival in Newport, New Hampshire. This year's carnival theme is mythology. Click here for more information.
Bedford Village Inn Ice Bar
February 5-8. The BVI builds a large ice bar on the grounds where you can order the coldest drinks around! Try one of the martinis that passes through the luge made of ice or warm up with a hot beverage under the outdoor heaters. The Bedford Village Inn, 2 Olde Bedford Way, Bedford. Click here for more information.
Laconia World Championship Sled Dog Derby
February 7-9. The International Sled Dog Racing Association-sanctioned event has mushers from all over the Northeast and Canada competing on a rigorous 16-mile course of the lakes and into the woods. Cheer on your favorite dogs from one-, three- and six-dog teams. Click here for more information.
14th Annual Snowfest at Loon Mountain
February 7. Who says you can't golf in the winter? Snow golf, that is - on skis, of course. This nine-hole tournament to benefit CASA is always a ton of fun and also includes lunch provided by the Common Man and an après ski party. Visit CASA for more information.
Great Rotary Ice Fishing Derby
February 8-9. Anglers brave the cold for bragging rights and a $5,000 grand prize for catching the largest rainbow trout and other fish at this annual ice fishing derby sponsored by the Meredith Rotary Club. Held on Lake Winnipesaukee in Meredith. Click here for more information.
Mt. Washington Valley Ski Touring Chocolate Festival
February 23. Ski or snowshoe from inn to inn and enjoy chocolate treats at each stop. Fresh chocolate-dipped strawberries, chocolate fountains, fondue, brownie sundaes and chocolate cookies are just some of the delicacies featured. Equipment rentals, courtesy shuttle and lodging packages are available. Held in Intervale and the surrounding towns. Click here for more information.