You don’t have to travel to the North Pole or search the Candy Cane Forest to find ways to celebrate the holiday season in the Lakes Region!
Year after year, annual events and brand-new experiences pack the calendar – from holiday festivals to community tree trimmings and classic live performances, there’s no shortage of holiday magic around here. We’ve gathered a few of our favorite ways to kick off the holiday season and get the whole family in the spirit.
Get In The Spirit
Thanksgiving Eve Eric Grant Band
On Thanksgiving Eve, November 22nd, from 8 – 10 p.m., celebrate with old and new friends at Lakeport Opera House listening to live music featuring top 40 hits and country music with the Eric Grant Band. Sip on fall cocktail specials and dance the night away before tucking into the big meal. Purchase your tickets online here.
Christmas at Castle in the Clouds
Castle in the Clouds annual Christmas tradition is back! See the historic Lucknow Mansion transform into a winter wonderland, complete with an Artisan Fair, photos with Santa, hot cocoa, holiday cookies, and vintage trolley rides to the Carriage House Restaurant! The event kicks off on Friday, November 17th for a preview night from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., and goes through the weekend on November 18th and 19th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and November 24th to 26th 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Purchase your tickets online ahead of time.
Lakes Region Art of Christmas
Join the Lakes Region Art Association Gallery now through December 24th to experience the “Art of Christmas” at the Tanger Outlets in Tilton! Artists will be designing original ornaments for a Christmas Tree displayed during Christmas at the Castle in late November, then brought to the Art Gallery in early December for you to purchase the beautifully designed ornaments from various artists. Visit the Art Gallery at Tanger Outlet Thursday – Sunday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Loon Center Holiday Open House
This season’s Holiday Open House at the Loon Center features festive entertainment for all ages on Saturday, November 25th, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Face painting, balloon animals, crafts, horse-drawn wagon rides, holiday refreshments, a scavenger hunt, and a visit from Santa are sure to get the whole family in the holiday spirit.
Laconia Lights Festival
Get in the holiday spirit with Laconia’s Lights Festival! On November 25th from 12 p.m.-8 p.m., take part in this day-long celebration that includes food trucks, activities, tree decorating, a holiday parade, and a holiday walk tree lighting! Register for the City on the Lakes Holiday Lights Walk ahead of time and decorate your tree between November 20-27 to enter to win!
New Hampshire Motor Speedway Gift of Lights
Drive through 2.5 miles of twinkling Christmas light displays at this family-friendly holiday favorite! Running from November 23rd to December 31st, this year’s event will feature a 150-foot Tunnel of Lights, arches, toys, holiday scenes, including the 12 Days of Christmas, and much more. The 130-foot entrance and exit tunnels hold over 25,000 lights, and guests can roast marshmallows and make s’mores over open fire pits. Tickets are $35 per car and $60 per bus, limo, or RV. A portion of all admission proceeds will benefit the New Hampshire Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities.
Hours of Operation (Weather Dependent):
4:30-9 p.m.: Nov. 26-30, Dec. 4-6, Dec. 26-28, Dec. 31
4:30-10 p.m.: Nov. 23-25, Dec. 1-2, Dec. 7-25, Dec. 29-30
Catch a Classic
The Nutcracker at Laconia Colonial Theatre
See a classic everyone loves in the theater – the full-length ballet of the Nutcracker comes to The Colonial Theatre of Laconia this holiday season! Presented by the Safe Haven Ballet, this festive performance features all your favorites, from Clara to the Sugar Plum Fairy. See the show on November 25th from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. or the 26th from 1 – 3 p.m.
Hang Out With Santa
Hobo Railroad’s Santa Express Trains
Gather the whole family to experience the magic of Christmas on this 80-minute roundtrip train ride in Lincoln, NH! Beginning the Friday after Thanksgiving at 1 p.m. and running through December 23rd, your ticket will get you a scenic ride with a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus as well as holiday treats! Tickets are $25 for Coach and $33 for First Class.