The Best Holiday Events Happening in December

This month brings a variety of events, from holiday craft fairs and a chocolate tour and a chance to see a magical Christmas light display that will blow your own away
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It’s not a traditional New Hampshire holiday season, but there are still plenty of ways to get into the spirit of the season. Here’s a roundup of our favorite holiday events, including  a list of on-stage performances and virtual concerts.

Gift of Lights, Loudon, November 26-January 3
Remember when your parents used to stuff you and your siblings in the van to drive around checking out neighbors’ Christmas lights? This is that drive and then some. More than 400 light displays, 60 holiday scenes and 2 million LED light bulbs light up New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Spectators are urged to drive the route (including the tunnel and part of the track’s road course) and revel in the sight around them.


Santa Express Trains, Lincoln, November 27-December 20
Find the (socially distanced) magic of the Christmas season with a spirited train ride that departs from the Hobo Railroad in Lincoln. Santa Express train rides are offered in 60 or 80 minute trips on weekends from Thanksgiving through late December. Children will be able to meet with Santa and Mrs. Claus, give Santa their wish list letters and receive a special gift from Santa while aboard the train.


Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour, Jackson, December 5-6, 12-13 and 19-20
Find enchantment on a magical sleigh ride through the snowy mountains with delicious chocolate treats from local chocolatiers. The Austrian horse-drawn sleigh winds its way to Jackson Village, halting at various stops for tastes of homemade chocolates.


A Magical Journey Through the North Shop Barn, Canterbury, December 9-20, 28-30
This holiday season at Canterbury Shaker Village, the North Shop will be transformed into a magical journey for all ages. Featuring a large, decorated maze, the North Shop Barn will become a snowy winter wonderland with artist-created vignettes, and will include an electric train display and a Shaker Christmas.


Holly Jolly Craft Fair, Nashua, December 12
OK, procrastinators, here’s your final chance. The last event of the year from Joyce’s Craft Shows, this fair carries both stocking-friendly small gifts and larger items like quilts and holiday floral arrangements.


Winter Solstice Celebration, Laconia, December 12
Celebrate the longest night of the year at Prescott Farm, and discover the science of the solstice while participating in solstice traditions. There will also be warm beverages, games, crafts, storytelling and guided walks. prescottfarm.org


Catch the spirit of Christmas on stage (in-person or virtually)

Virtual Christmas concerts and performances:

December 4
Eileen Ivers, Joyful Christmas

December 10
Boston Pops Holiday Celebration

December 12:
Symphony NH’s Holiday Pops

December 15
Dan + Claudia Zanes Holiday Sing Along

December 18
Trans-Siberian Orchestra

In-person performances:

December 4-6, 11-13 and 18-20
The Palace Holiday Spectacular

December 5, 6, 12, 13
The Nutcracker”
Barn Z’s Drive-in Movie Theatre
Barrington, NH

December 5, 6, 11, 12, 13
“The Little Town of Christmas”
Franklin Opera House
Franklin, NH

December 5-6
“The Nutcracker”
Exeter High School Auditorium
Exeter, NH

December 12
“Home for the Holidays”
Concord City Auditorium
Concord, NH

December 13
Symphony NH’s Holiday Pops
Concord City Auditorium
Concord, NH

December 19-20
“The Nutcracker”
Dana Center at St. Anselm’s College
Manchester, NH

December 20
Alex Preston’s Holiday Show
The Rex Theatre
Manchester, NH

Categories: Guide to Holidays, Holiday Guide Events, Things to Do