The Best Non-Holiday Events of the Holiday Season

Where to go when you're tired of reindeer and elves

Catch Leland Faulkner at Pontine Theatre's Zest Fest New Vaudeville Festival in Portsmouth.

Courtesy photo

The flu isn’t the only affliction to watch out for this time of year. Behind the office parties and family dinners, holiday fatigue is waiting to sap you of your goodwill to all. Ward it off by checking out these events with no connection to “the most wonderful time of the year”  — and, when you’re ready to brave all things merry and bright, you can find all kinds of great holiday events in our Holiday Guide and our calendar.

Glen Scheffer: The Performance of Space Exhibition
December 2-23, Peterborough

Local artist and NHIA faculty member Glen Scheffer spent 2009-2011 traveling the East Coast to photograph the interiors of the region’s most iconic buildings. The resulting photos (including the Boston Public Library and New Hampshire’s own Peterborough Players theater) are displayed on a grand scale for this exhibit.

Dartmouth vs. UNH Hockey
December 10, Hanover

OK, so this one’s kind of seasonal — but at least it won’t find you building any snowmen. The Granite State’s two D-1 squads square off at Dartmouth’s Thompson Arena in their quest for the RiverStone Cup this year. If you can’t get enough of the matchup, worry not: the schools meet again in basketball on New Year’s Eve, and the women’s hockey teams take the ice next month.

“Jack and the Beanstalk”
December 16-31, Meredith

In the tradition of England’s rollicking “panto,” this kid-oriented production uses the fairy tale as a frame for over-the-top special effects, popular songs and big laughs. Don’t be afraid to jeer the villain and whoop for the hero — audience participation is encouraged.

Judy Collins
December 17, Plymouth

More than 50 years after the release of her first album, folk music star “Judy Blue Eyes” is still going strong. Catch the singer-songwriter-activist as she performs numbers such as “Both Sides Now” from her many decades of hits.

Zest Fest New Vaudeville Festival
December 26-30, Portsmouth

If you thought vaudeville died off with Uncle Miltie, you thought wrong. A class of entertainers has reclaimed the genre, and today’s new vaudeville encompasses everything from miming to yo-yo tricks. This showcase features three of the field’s biggest acts: King Pong, the Yoyo Show and Leland Faulkner.

“I Love the ’90s” Tour
December 29, Manchester

Break out your hammer pants and Walkmans. This multi-act concert is truly what ’90s-kid dreams are made of: Salt N Pepa, Vanilla Ice, DJ Spinderella, Kid ‘n Play, Rob Base, All-4-One and Young MC are all in the lineup. Prepare to groove to “Shoop” and croon along to “I Swear” like it’s prom 1995.

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