The 10 Best Free Events Happening in January

Where you can have fun on (less than) a dime this month



courtesy of the great glen trails photo library
First-timers can take a free snowshoe lesson at Great Glen Trails on January 6.

1. Kader Attia: Reason's Oxymorons, Hanover, January 5 - March 18

Kick off your 2017 with some cutting-edge art. The exhibition at Dartmouth's Hood Downtown gallery features the work of internationally acclaimed artist Kader Attia. Peruse this free research-driven video installation that consists of interviews with philosophers, anthropologists, historians and more. The conversations are about ways in which non-Western and Western cultures approach psychiatric conditions and emotional breakdowns. (603) 646-2900; hoodmuseum.dartmouth.edu


2. Winter Trails Day, Gorham, January 6

Celebrations of this snowsports holiday will take place across the US, but we're particularly excited about Great Glen Trails' version. Newcomers to the sports of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing can take an introductory lesson with other first-timers for no cost. Snowshoe rentals are free for newbies too, so gear up and try out a new cold-weather hobby. (603) 466-2333; greatglentrals.com


3. Harnessing History: On the Trail of New Hampshire's State Dog, the Chinook, Madbury, January 9

This program will take a look at how dog sledding has developed in New Hampshire and the role the Chinook played in its history. Bob Cottrell will explain the relationship between man and dog. He will also highlight several famous polar expeditions and the history of Arthur Walden and his Chinooks, the State Dog of New Hampshire. (603) 742-0497; nhhumanities.org


4. Gap Year Fair, Hanover, January 13

Have a teen at home that is interested in taking a pre-college break? Look out for this reputable fair to hear about the dozens of programs that provide kids with a structured year between high school and college. From international service programs to full-time internship opportunities, this will assuage any fears about sending your 18-year-old on an “Eat, Pray, Love” sabbatical. usagapyearfairs.org


5. Edible Landscaping: The Latest Garden Design, Bedford, January 15

We may be in the throws of the winter season, but it is never too early to start thinking about your spring garden. Chef and gardener Liz Barbour will be discussing edible landscaping and how to better utilize your garden space so it can be more productive and beautiful at the same time. Take a break from looking at dreary snow landscapes and come learn about how she has introduced vegetables, herbs, fruit trees, edible shrubs and herbs into her garden. bedfordgardenclubnh.org/monthly-meetings


6. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, statewide, January 15

If your office is closed for MLK Day, use the time off to learn about the man who earned you the holiday. Groups throughout the state will be hosting events to honor Dr. King and his legacy, so find out what's happening in your town or check out free commemoration events on the state's college campuses, such as the "I Have a Dream" speech presentations scheduled at Dartmouth.


7. CGC Art & Bloom, Concord, January 18 - 20

The Concord Garden Club’s (CGC) annual Art & Bloom exhibit will feature floral arrangements that are inspired by a craft piece. The event will be held in conjunction with the League of NH Craftsmen. The lively colors and floral accompaniments will be sure to bring brightness to any dreary winter day. (603) 856-8572; facebook.com/concordgardenclubnh


8. Winter Farmers Market, Greenland, January 20

Who said that farmers markets are primarily for the summer? Rolling Green Nursery’s winter farmers market seeks to promote local agricultural products in the Seacoast area. There will be featured farms, prepared foods and artisans like He Be G-Bees from Northwood. (603) 436-2732; rollinggreennursery.com


9. New Hampshire Wine Week, statewide, January 22 - 26

Sure, the big events of NH Wine Week cost money. But who's to say you can't create your own wine week fun? Warm up the fireplace, break out a bottle of whatever's hiding in your cellar — bonus points if it's locally made — and enjoy NH Wine Week from the cozy (and cost-free) confines of home sweet home. nhwineweek.com


10. Snow Sculpting Competition, Jackson, January 26 - 28

Art lovers, winter sports aficionados and kids who enjoy a good snowman will all find something to enjoy at this free fair. Take advantage of winter festival offerings such as a scavenger hunt and a bonfire for marshmallow roasting, and marvel at the live creation of eight-by-four-foot sculptures carved from towers of packed snow. (603) 383-9356;  jacksonnh.com

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