Our Favorite Outdoor New Hampshire Winter Events

Resist the urge to hibernate this winter with these great events

The Snow Sculpting Competition in Jackson takes place from January 29-31, 2016.

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.

*Some of these events depend on weather conditions. Though we will do our best to update events with any postponements or changes, it's best to check ahead before making plans.

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 downtown Portsmouth.

Outdoor events include:
Ice Sculpture in Market Square
Street Dance on Pleasant Street with WSCA DJs
Fireworks' Display South Mill Pond 7:30 p.m.
Countdown to 2016 11:50 p.m.

Indoor events include:
Various events, including Elvis and The J.D. Underhill Band, Pontine Theatre, The New Hampshire Theatre Project, Phil Smith, Magician and T.J. Wheeler and Company.

Visit Pro Portsmouth for more information, a complete schedule of events and to purchase buttons.

First Night Wolfeboro
December 31-January 1. A First Night celebration is also offered in Wolfeboro. Admission buttons include admission to multiple performances. Children 10 and under do not need a button if they are accompanied by an adult with a button.

Outdoor events include:
The 2015/2016 schedule is TBA

Indoor events include:
The 2015/2016 schedule is TBA

Visit the Wolfeboro Area Chamber of Commerce for a schedule fo events and to purchase buttons as they become available.

Learn to Ski Week for First-Time Skiers and Riders
January. Many New Hampshire ski areas are celebrating Learn to Ski & Snowboard month this January by offering a $39 lift, lesson and rentals beginner package for downhill skiing and riding, and a $19 trail pass, lesson and rentals beginner package at cross-country ski areas. *Participating locations will be updated soon for 2016. See the website for more information as it becomes available.

Great North Woods Vintage Snowmobile Series
January 23-March 12. 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 23. More information on the races can be found here.

Snow Sculpting Competition
January 29-31. The 16th Annual Jackson Snow Sculpting Competition features teams of snow sculptors who will create amazing works of art from simple blocks of snow. Other activities planned for the snow sculpture weekend include a cross country ski torch light parade, a bonfire with marshmallow toasting, scavenger hunts for the kids and more. Visit jacksonnh.com for more information.

Black Ice Pond Hockey Championship
January 29-31. This popular winter event is now in its sixth year. Head to White Park in Concord for three days of pond hockey games as teams compete for the Hobey Stick Award. Over the years funds raised at the tournament have benefited Concord Parks and Recreation and Concord Youth Hockey programs. See the website for more information.

Bedford Village Inn Ice Bar
Date TBA. 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.

Newport Winter Carnival
February 5-14. For 10 days, the small town of Newport, New Hampshire will be transformed into a winter wonderland filled with activities. Join the 100th celebration of community and winter fun. Click here for more information.

New England Pond Hockey Classic
February 5-7. The first puck dropped for the New England Pond Hockey Classic in February of 2010. Since then the NEPHC has quickly become one of the most sought after Pond Hockey Tournaments in the country, with teams flying in to compete from all over North America. Situated in the resort town of Meredith, NH, the NEPHC offers participants a tournament experience unlike any other. Find more information here.

16th Annual Snowfest at Loon Mountain
February 5. 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.

Lancaster Grand Prix
February 6-7. The oldest vintage snowmobile race in the US. The thrill and fun of vintage snowmobiling will be on full display at the Lancaster Grand Prix vintage snowmobile racing event at the fairgrounds in Lancaster. Snowmobile racers from New Hampshire and beyond will bring their vintage sleds and compete for $10,000 in cash prizes. Click here for more information.

Penguin Plunge
February 7. The Penguin Plunge is a fundraising event entering its 17th 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.

Laconia World Championship Sled Dog Derby
February 12-14. 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.

Great Rotary Ice Fishing Derby
February 13-14. Anglers brave the cold for bragging rights and a big 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 28. 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.

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More things to do in NH this winter

Help NH Audubon Count Birds

You can help New Hampshire Audubon with the annual Christmas Bird Count in December and the Backyard Winter Bird Survey in February.

Will We See Snowy Owls on the Seacoast This Winter?

For the past two winters snowy owls, which usually remain in the Arctic tundra, appeared on the Seacoast. Will it happen again?

Challenge Yourself with Snowshoe Racing

Put on your snowshoes and run! If you enjoy regular races, you just might like the added difficulty of running on snow.

28 Ways to Have Fun This Winter

This year, why not resolve to make the best of the snow and ice? Here are 28 things to do (outside), from climbing a frozen waterfall and learning how to build a snow shelter to skiing and ice fishing.

It's Time to Hit the Ice

Explore the joys and community of winter fishing.
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