The 10 Best Free Events Happening in November

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

“Devolve” by Andy Mauery is on view at the 3S Artspace in Portsmouth through November 11.

1. “Devolve,” November 1-11, Portsmouth

Andy Mauery’s exhibit is an “ode to the non-human species that we can’t seem to stop ourselves from destroying, and a sideways look at how we humans keep ourselves at the center of this equation.” The exhibit itself consists of objects and small installations all created in the last three years, and is a curation of personal concerns and visual representations that explore protection and loss;

2. “It’s Pastel,” November 1-30, Portsmouth

With a broad range of styles, vibrant colors and masterful techniques, this exhibit showcases the newfound excitement of a traditional medium. More than 80 pastel paintings from award-winning, critically acclaimed artists across the country will be on view in the landmark Academy Gallery. (603) 436-8433;

3. New Works Exhibition, November 1-December 9, Concord

The NH Furniture Masters and the Institute of Art and Design at New England College (the Institute) present “New Works,” a multimedia exhibition at the Furniture Masters’ Gallery in Concord. This exhibition is the culmination of a summer-long mentorship between members of the Furniture Masters and selected BFA students at the Institute. In its second year, this mentorship offers a unique opportunity for cross-collaboration and real-world experiences for student artists. The students visited the Furniture Masters workshops to learn about fine furniture making and life as a professional furniture maker. Taking what they have seen and learned from the Masters, they reflected to create a response piece in their medium. The Furniture Masters’ work and the student pieces will be on display for the duration of this exhibition;

4. “Unlaunch’d Voices: An Evening with Walt Whitman,” November 1, Hancock

This program opens with the elderly Whitman on the evening of his 70th birthday. The audience is a visitor in his room as he prepares for his birthday celebration. Whitman begins to reminisce during the telling. He transforms into his younger, vibrant self, and we begin to trace back with him the experiences that led to the creation of “Leaves Of Grass,” his life’s work. The first part of the performance explores Whitman’s preoccupation with the self and his resolve to write with “free and brave thought.” In the second part of the performance, Whitman’s life is changed forever by the Civil War. It is here that he finds “the most important work of my life,” nursing the wounded soldiers in the hospitals. Through Stephen Collins’ recitation of poetry and readings of actual letters, we experience Whitman’s movement from selfishness toward selflessness and his growth into a mature artist who is at peace about “himself, God and death.” (603) 525-3394;

5. NH Open Doors, statewide, November 2-3

Like it or not, the holidays are nearly upon us. And while finding gifts for the good boys and girls (and in-laws) on your list may not be free, there’s no admission fee for this statewide fair. Window shop at stores like the League of NH Craftsmen galleries, chat with artists at their studio open houses, and take your little ones to pet some cuddly creatures at the participating farms. This will be a weekend that you won’t want to miss. (603) 224-3375;

6. “Walking in the Whites: A Poet/Painter Dialogue,” Plymouth, November 5-December 13

Featuring works by visual artist Kathryn Field and poet Timothy Muskat, this interactive and dynamic experience will engage visitors in a sense of place through words and images focused on the experience of the White Mountains. Muskat has been hiking in the White Mountains all his life, and has completed 85 rounds of New Hampshire’s highest 48, is working on his seventh so-called Grid and has summited Mt. Washington 416 times. Field has been drawn to wilderness since childhood, and the vastness, scale and raw forms of mountains have informed her work as a sculptor and painter;

7. (Watching) The Manchester City Marathon, Manchester, November 10

Actually participating in this Boston Marathon qualifier race costs a pretty penny and requires you to, you know, run for several hours. But spectating is blissfully cost- and exercise-free. Whip up a “Run Forrest Run” sign and camp out along the route to cheer on your sporty neighbors. After all, downtown Manchesterites don’t have many better options — with 26.2 miles of race course criss-crossing the roads, you’re not going anywhere anyway. (603) 488-1186;

8. Portsmouth Holiday Arts Tour, Portsmouth, November 22-24

Like with NH Open Doors, there are no admission fees, but fair warning: It might be tough to pass up the many lovely items you’ll discover on this self-guided tour. Each year on the weekend before Thanksgiving, a number of artists open their homes and studios to the public in a celebration of art, community and the holidays.

9. Winter Holiday Stroll, Nashua, November 30

After you’ve had your fill of turkey and Black Friday shopping, be sure to head to the southern part of the state for the 26th annual Winter Holiday Stroll in Nashua. The festivities start with a 5 p.m. candlelight procession, which is followed by the lighting of the Nashua Christmas tree. Main Street will be closed to traffic and it will replaced with thousands of people enjoying outdoor entertainment, music, food vendors, shopping and more. Keep an eye out for Santa and Mrs. Claus, who will be taking photos with children;

10. Cold Turkey Plunge, Waterville Valley, November 30

Skip your own wallet and capitalize on the holiday goodwill of your friends and family to meet the fundraising minimum for this charity celebration. In the tradition of the classic polar bear plunge, the brave or crazy participants in this event will run into the wintry waters of Waterville Valley’s Corcoran Pond to raise money for the disability services of Waterville Valley Adaptive Sports Programs. Costumes are welcome, Santa Claus will make an appearance, and, to top it off, the day will end with fireworks. (800) 468-2553;


Categories: Features, Seasonal Guides – Fall