Christmas parades, tree lightings and holiday strolls

Dates for Christmas parades and holiday stroll events in New Hampshire

Santa Claus will be coming to New Hampshire soon! Here are dates and times for some of our favorite Christmas parades, tree lightings and holiday strolls.

Note: In 2020, due to the ongoing pandemic, several events have been canceled or the format changed to allow for social distancing.

We do our best to keep this list robust and accurate, but if we’ve missed your town’s event or an event needs to be corrected, then please e-mail Morgen at with the information.

The information below is organized in alpha order by town or city name.

Concord, NH holiday parade

The 69th Annual Concord Christmas Parade is on Saturday, November 21, 2020, at 9:30 a.m.

Derry, NH Nutfield Holiday Parade (cancelled by the Chamber 11/16)

The annual Holiday Parade in Derry is on Saturday, November 28, 2020 at 1 p.m. This year’s plan is for a stationary parade at Pinkerton Academy. Parade entries will be set up/parked in an assigned spot along our route. Cars will enter from one end, drive through the parade at a safe speed to view the parade and exit the other end. Traffic will not stop along the parade route and will be asked to keep their windows closed.

More information: Greater Derry Londonderry Chamber of Commerce

Exeter, NH Christmas parade

The traditional Holiday Parade in Exeter has been canceled. An alternative Drive Thru Holiday Celebration is planned for Saturday, December 5, 2020 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Exeter High School.

More information: Facebook

Goffstown, NH Tree Lighting

Goffstown’s Friday Night Under the Lights event will be held on Friday, December 4, 2020 from 5-8 p.m.

More information:

Hampstead, NH Christmas parade

The annual Hampstead Christmas Parade is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, but changes are being made so that people can socially distance. Details are forthcoming. See story here.

More information:

Hampton, NH Christmas parade

The Experience Hampton Christmas Parade in Hampton has been canceled due to the pandemic. See the story here.

More information:

Hanover, NH Christmas tree lighting

The Hanover Christmas Tree Lighting is on Friday, December 4, 2020, at the Dartmouth Green.

The tree will be lit at 5:10 p.m. Cookies and hot chocolate will be served. The event is free and open to the public and will be held rain or shine.

More information:

Jackson, NH tree lighting

The Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in Jackson is on Sunday, November 29, 2020, at 4 p.m.

Gather at the center of Jackson Village across from the Jackson Grammar school on Black Mountain Road. Tree lighting is at 4:30. Caroling provided by Da Capo Choir (you are invited to sing along). Kids will have the opportunity to see Santa as he always assists with the tree lighting. Santa will arrive by an Austrian Horse Drawn Sleigh. Santa will say a quick hello and then… light the tree. Immediately following the tree lighting our sponsors Christmas Farm Inn & Spa invite you to join them in their festive, warm and inviting barn.

More information:

Laconia, NH Christmas parade

The Light-Up Laconia Holiday Parade is Sunday, November 29, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. The parade will kick-off the Celebrate Laconia Lights Festival and holiday season for the City of Laconia. This year, there will be a “reverse” holiday parade with decorated cars and floats that are COVID-19 friendly and safe to join in the rolling fun!

More information:

Lebanon, NH Holiday Happenings

The Lebanon Recreation Holiday Celebration is still planned to happen in 2020. Check website for details.

More information:

Littleton, NH holiday parade

The Christmas Parade in Littleton is on Friday, November 27, 2020, and begins at noon.

More information: Facebook

Merrimack, NH Christmas parade and tree lighting

The annual Holiday Parade in Merrimack is still being planned for 2020. Details at website.

More information:

Nashua, NH Holiday Stroll

The 26th Annual Holiday Stroll in Nashua has been canceled. See website for alternative holiday events taking place in 2020.

More information:

Nottingham, NH Christmas parade and party

The town of Nottingham Holiday Parade and Party is Saturday, December 5, 2020, at 10 a.m.

More information:

Portsmouth, NH Christmas parade

The Portsmouth Illuminated Holiday Parade has been canceled in 2020.

A small tree-lighting ceremony is taking place on Dec. 5, 2020.

More information: City of Portsmouth

Plymouth, NH Christmas parade

The Plymouth Hometown Holiday Celebration has been canceled.

More information:

Rochester, NH tree lighting

View the 2020 tree lighting this year on the Chamber and City websites, Facebook pages and more. This year’s virtual Holiday Tree Lighting, sponsored by First Seacoast Bank. will feature a special holiday dance performance from Studio 109, reading of The Night Before Christmas by Mayor Caroline McCarley, carolers, the lighting of the tree and more. Be sure to tune in on December 4 or after to see this special holiday tradition which will be broadcast throughout the season.

More information:

Salem, NH Christmas parade

The 48th Annual Holiday Parade in Salem has been canceled. Instead a “reverse parade” will be held in 2020. Residents, schools and businesses can decorate their properties to go with this year’s theme, “Christmas in Whoville.” Judging is Dec. 4 through 6, 2020.

More information:

Categories: Family-friendly things to do