Vintage Christmas Events in Portsmouth

Get your holiday fix at festive Vintage Christmas events happening through December in Portsmouth

Photo by David J. Murray/Clear Eye Photo

One town in New Hampshire really pulls out all the stops for Christmas with a month of events ranging from musical performances to ice skating.

Vintage Christmas once again showcases the magical Candlelight Stroll, now in its 43rd year, at Strawbery Banke Museum and live small gathering holiday shows at The Music Hall’s landmark Historic Theater and the intimate Music Hall Loft on Congress Street. It all takes place in elegant and festive downtown Portsmouth, which also happens to have some excellent independent stores for Christmas shopping.

Here are a few of this year’s events:

November 25 through December 22: 32nd Annual Gingerbread House Contest

Celebrate the sweetest season by joining Portsmouth Historical Society for the 32nd Annual Gingerbread House Contest and Exhibition. Gingerbread creations will be displayed at the Discover Portsmouth Welcome Center and throughout downtown in the windows of shops and restaurants. This year’s theme is “Fictional Places and Characters.” Vote for your favorite designs in the People’s Choice awards and participate in a downtown scavenger hunt with a chance to win a gift card to a variety of Portsmouth retail locations.

Every day in December: Labrie Family Skate

The entire family will love skating at Strawbery Banke’s Puddle Dock Pond, a seasonal outdoor ice skating rink at the heart of the 10-acre living history museum. Puddle Dock Pond at Strawbery Banke opens in late November/early December (weather permitting) and will be in full operation seven days a week. Make sure to check their Facebook page for COVID-19 protocols, closures and changes to their weekly schedule. The target opening date for the 2022-2023 season is November 25 at 9 a.m.

Puddle Dock Pond offers 12,500 square feet of professionally maintained ice surface combining an 80-by-125-foot oval and a 60-foot diameter circle, all surrounded by a post and rail fence. A seasonal pavilion houses ticketing and skate rentals. Puddle Dock Pond offers public skating (including several free sessions each week) and skating lessons for all ages. Skate rentals, sharpening services and private pond rentals are available.

December 3-4, 10-11, 17-18: The Candlelight Stroll

In the spirit of a truly Vintage Christmas, Strawbery Banke Museum welcomes visitors to travel through over 300 years of daily life in the waterfront neighborhood of Puddle Dock. This year, Strawbery Banke returns to its classic tour of its furnished historic houses, featuring handmade decorations and costumed performers roleplaying as the families who once lived in the neighborhood’s houses.

The museum grounds glow with hundreds of lighted candle lanterns, and house doors and railings are adorned with live greens, dried flowers and herbs collected from the museum gardens. Visitors stroll along candlelit pathways, absorbing the season’s greetings of past and present.

Step back in time at the delightful Strawbery Banke Museum Candlelight Stroll

Ticket prices for the Strawbery Banke Candlelight Stroll are $25 for adults and $12.50 for children. Tickets can be purchased online at or by phone at (603) 433-1107. All tickets MUST be purchased in advance. Tours are on Saturdays from 5 to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 4 to 8 p.m.

December 26-29: Juston McKinney’s A Year in Review 2022

End the year with laughter as the Seacoast’s own Juston McKinney performs four hilarious nights at The Music Hall. He has appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Conan O’Brien” and two Comedy Central specials — including his own one-hour special. McKinney has also been named Best Comedian of NH by New Hampshire Magazine. Have the last laugh of 2022 with Juston as he dishes on New England life and looks back at the year that was. Tickets are $28 to $34. The Music Hall, 28 Chestnut St. Visit their website for tickets and more information.

Learn More

Want even more Vintage Christmas information and events? Click here for a complete schedule and more information.

Categories: Guide to Holidays, Holiday Guide Events