NH’s Winter Carnivals and Winter Festivals

Where to find outdoor fun and winter celebrations in the Granite State
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Winter carnivals and festivals are a New Hampshire staple. In the heat of the cold season, when fireplaces roar and Granite Staters become hermits, it’s nice to have an excuse to leave the house, get together and celebrate. Shovel out that driveway and hit the road to experience the best cold-weather carnivals our state offers.

101st Annual Nansen-Milan Winter Festival in Milan, NH

When: Various dates, January 12 – January 30, 2023
More information: skinansen.com
Enjoy the best of winter fun and sports including bon fires, ice skating, hot cocoa, sled races, ski jumping, cross country ski races, snow sculptures, kids races and much more.

Winter Fest Ice Carving Competition in Concord, NH

When: Friday, January 27 and Saturday, January 28, 2023
More information: hotelconcordnh.com
Enjoy ice-carving demonstrations and meet some of New England’s most talented ice carvers on Friday, followed by an ice carving competition and Winter Fest on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

22nd NH Sanctioned & Jackson Invitational Snow Sculpting Competition

When: Friday, January 27 through Sunday, January 29, 2023
More information: jacksonnh.com
A dozen sculptors from around the Northeast gather each January in Jackson to transform 8-foot cylinders of snow into works of art. Visitors are invited to come and watch throughout the weekend as the artisans work on their sculptures. While in Jackson, attendees are encouraged to enjoy cross country skiing, snow coach rides and tubing at Great Glen Trails.

Hooksett Winter Carnival

When: 2023 Date TBD; 2022 Hooksett Winter Carnival took place on Saturday, January 29
More information: facebook.com/Hooksettwintercarnival
Head to the Donati Field and Playground for a full day of outdoor family fun. Enjoy outdoor games, sledding, snowshoeing, corn hole, martial arts demos, ice sculptures and more.

20th Annual Keene Ice and Snow Festival

When: Saturday, February 4, 2023 | 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
More information: facebook.com
The Keene Ice and Snow Festival is held at Central Square in downtown Keene and is free and open to the public. This family-friendly winter carnival includes snowball fights, ice sculpture competitions and plenty of hot cocoa sipping.

113th Dartmouth College Winter Carnival

When: February 9-12, 2023
More information: dartmouth.edu
This annual winter carnival is free and open to Dartmouth College residents as well as locals and visitors. Annual festivities include a snow sculpture contest, snow golf, discounts and special races at Dartmouth Skiway, a polar bear plunge and dogsled racing. This year’s theme is “Winter CAAARRRnival: Shiver Me Timbers.”

107th Annual Newport Winter Carnival

When: 2023 Date TBD; 2022 Newport Winter Carnival took place February 10-13
More information: facebook.com
This year marks the 107th annual winter carnival in Newport. Activities include a fishing derby, ice hockey games, skijoring, murder mystery dinner, fireworks and more. This event is free to attend.

Wolfeboro Bay Winter Carnival: Winter Wonderland

When: 2023 Date TBD; 2022 Wolfeboro Bay Winter Carinval took place Saturday, February 13
More information: lakewinnipesaukee.net
Events are held throughout Wolfeboro and include a big air competition, free ice skating, snowshoeing workshop, sleigh rides, animal tracking, primitive fire building, inflatable obstacle course competition, a pancake breakfast and ski and snowboard races.

Squam Lakes Winterfest at Squam Lakes Association in Holderness

When: 2023 Date TBD; 2022 Squam Lakes Winterfest took place on Saturday, February 19
More information: squamlakes.org
From skating, pond hockey, cross-country skiing, sledding and mini golf to a chili contest, bonfire and live animal programs with the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, this Holderness winter festival is sure to liven up your winter.

24th Annual Derry Frost Festival

When: 2023 Date TBD; 2022 Derry Frost Festival took place on Saturday, February 19
More information: facebook.com
Ice sculptures, sledding, ice skating, a chili contest, a puppet show, a live DJ and a snowmobile exhibit round out the Derry Frost Festival line-up. All activities are free and open to the public.

Alton Bay Winter Carnival

When: Sunday, February 19, 2023 | 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
More information: altonbusinessassociation.com
Check out the Chowder-Fest, horse sleigh rides, ice skating rink, crazy hat contest, beer and chili bar and more.

31st Annual Winter Carnival at Wasserman Park in Merrimack

When: 2023 Date TBD; 2022 Merrimack Winter Carnival took place on Saturday, February 26
More information: www.merrimackparksandrec.org
This fun-filled free day will be filled with snowman building, snow art, an ice fishing derby and various arts and crafts, featuring a combination of indoor and outdoor fun.

Categories: Family-friendly things to do, Winter Events