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 from Feb. 27-28.

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 downtown Portsmouth.

Outdoor events include:
Ice Sculpture in the Square starting 2 p.m.
Street Dance 5 p.m.-midnight
DJs: Portsmouth Community Radio
NH Astronomical Society 5 p.m.-midnight. Make your First Night resolution on a star!
Fireworks' Display South Mill Pond 7:30 p.m.
Countdown to 2015 11:50 p.m.

Indoor events include:
Various events, including caricatures by Bob Nilson, face painting, Pontine Theatre, Rock My Soul 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:
Great Clue Chase Competition noon to 4 p.m.
Family ice skating 12:30 p.m.-5 p.m.
Ice Sculpture starting at 2 p.m.
People’s Procession starting at 6:15 p.m. and fireworks

Indoor events include:
Various events, including Derek Small with Wildlife Encounters, Storytelling with Shawn Middleton, Alejandro’s Olde Time Majic Show, Barbershop Quartet, face painting, hat and mask making.

Visit the Wolfeboro Area Chamber of Commerce for a schedule fo events, more information and to purchase buttons.

Learn to Ski for Free Week
January. First-time skiers and snowboarders ages 6 and up can receive a free lesson, rentals and trail pass. *This year's program is still being finalized. It will be updated here as soon as the information becomes available.

Vintage Snowmobile Race
January 10. 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 the New Hampshire Snowmobile Association's website for more information.

Bedford Village Inn Ice Bar
January 28-31. 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.

Penguin Plunge
February 1. The Penguin Plunge is a fundraising event entering its 16th 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 1-8. Celebrate all things winter at the 99th Winter Carnival in Newport, New Hampshire. This year's carnival theme is red, white and blue. Click here for more information.

15th Annual Snowfest at Loon Mountain
February 6. 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 7-8. 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.

Laconia World Championship Sled Dog Derby
February 20-22. 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.

Mt. Washington Valley Ski Touring Chocolate Festival
February 22. 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.

Snow Sculpting Competition
Feb. 27-28. The 14th Annual Jackson Snow Sculpting Competition features teams of snow sculptors who will create amazing works of art from simple blocks of snow. Sculptors will be stationed at Jackson Village Park and Nestlenook Farm. Other activities planned for the snow sculpture weekend include a cross country ski torch light parade, a bonfire with marshmallow toasting, a welcome reception dinner on Saturday night, sleigh rides at Nestlenook Farm, scavenger hunts for the kids, a silent auction and more. Visit jacksonnh.com for more information.

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More things to do in NH this winter

Small-batch Bourbon and Irish Coffee Recipe

Kennedy Spirit Drink and Berkshire Bourbon are small-batch distillers making big waves. Plus, a recipe for Irish Coffee.

Ski Jumping

What does it take to fly fearlessly through the air? Learn a little more about ski jumping and its place in New Hampshire's winter sports scene.

Great Skiing and Food Await in Lyme

A February snowstorm suggests a weekend of village pleasures and skiing at the uncrowded Dartmouth Skiway.

Where to Find Music and Theatre in the North this Winter

These great venues - including Opera North, the Weathervane Theatre and more - don't turn off the lights when the snow starts to fly.

Winter Fun on the Lakes

Our iconic summer destinations — the Lakes Region and Lake Winnipesaukee in particular — don’t just sit dormant during the winter months, waiting silently for ice out to come alive once again. For those in the know, there’s much fun to be had on these frozen expanses.
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