The 10 Best Free Events Happening in January

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

Snowshoeing through the Great Glen Trails with a naturalist is a great way to learn more about Pinkham Notch this winter. Courtesy photo

1. Time for a Change, Manchester, January 1-31

This exhibit honors how winter and the New Year are a good time to step back and re-evaluate what’s happening in your life. Over 70 artists were challenged to change their style or medium as well. (603) 668-6650;

2. Votes for Women: A History of the Suffrage Movement, Henniker, January 5

The campaign for women’s right to vote was a long one, from the 1848 Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York, to ratification of the 19th amendment in 1920. Who were the key players in New Hampshire and the nation? What issues and obstacles did they face? How did suffragists benefit from World War I in the final push for passage of the women’s suffrage amendment? Who was left out when women got the right to vote? Using historic photos and documents, Liz Tentarelli will guide us on the journey. Liz is president of the League of Women Voters NH, a non-partisan organization that is the direct descendant of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. (603) 428-3471;

3. In the Beginning, There Was the Word, Nashua, January 12

The relationship between religion and race in America is complex. This panel of theologians will explore the relationship between church, race, and state and the role the church could play in healing the soul of the nation. This program is part of the Black Heritage Trail of NH’s Elinor Williams Hooker Tea Talk series. These dialogues act as a catalyst for deeper excavating of New Hampshire’s Black history, while also facilitating intellectual and communal connections between racism’s grip on our past and its contemporary manifestations.

4. Winter Fest, Concord, January 24-25

Winter Fest is back for a second year, and it’s held in conjunction with a longstanding winter favorite — the Black Ice Pond Hockey Tournament (see info below). You can take advantage of the free shuttle service that will ferry people between the hockey tournament in White Park to the festival activities in downtown Concord. The festival includes ice carving demonstrations and competition, s’mores, a hot cocoa station, corn hole and other games and more. See the website as more details become available. Intown Concord

5. Black Ice Pond Hockey Tournament, Concord, January 23-26

While the teams need to pay to register, you can cheer on your favorites for free. As mentioned in the Winter Fest information above, there’s a complimentary shuttle service from downtown to the tournament at White Park. Hockey fans will come from all over to participate in the 10th anniversary year, so don’t miss out on the wintry fun!

6. New England Pond Hockey Classic, Meredith, January 31-February 2

If you didn’t get your fill of outdoor hockey at the Black Ice Pond Hockey Tournament, head to the Lakes Region for the 11th year of the Pond Hockey Classic. Both events aim to bring the sport back to its basics, and each promises some fierce competition.

7. Snowshoe With a Naturalist, Gorham, January 18

In conjunction with the Appalachian Mountain Club, Great Glen Trails offers you the chance to really get to know Pinkham Notch, with a free tour (trail pass is required). When you snowshoe with a naturalist, you will learn about the flora and fauna that make our corner of the world so special. You’ll scout for tracks in the snow and learn about the different trees in the Glen. While listening for distinct bird calls, you’ll truly begin to understand how the ecosystem works in Pinkham Notch.

8. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, statewide, January 20

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.

9. Nourish? Arts Address Mind, Body, Spirit, Plymouth, January 21-February 15

The arts can provide personal sanctuaries, life-giving inspiration and physical therapy. Simultaneously, art experiences can create common ground and opportunities to connect us to each other. This exhibit brings together creative work from all over New Hampshire that tells the story of the power of art at this time in this place.

10. Snow Sculpting Competition, Jackson, January 24-26

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;

Categories: Features, Winter Events