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The holiday season is here, and there is plenty to do with the whole family on the New Hampshire Heritage Museum Trail.

27th Annual Gingerbread House Exhibit – Portsmouth

Gingerbread image from 2016, by Morgan Karanasios for New Hampshire Home Magazine

Created by local businesses, artists, families and kids, gingerbread houses will be nestled into a winter wonderland from December 1 to December 3 at Discover Portsmouth. The exhibit will be surrounded by large format photographs: David J. Murray’s images of Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth and photographs of trains in New Hampshire winters by Andy Dolph.

Open from 9:30 am to 5 pm, the exhibit will have extended hours on Friday, December 1 and Saturday December 2 until 8 pm. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

Jurors’ selections are announced at 6 pm during the Kickoff Party on Friday December, 1, while the public can vote until Friday, December 15 with the People’s Choice Award announced at noon on Monday, December 18 via FacebookLive.

For more information, visit www.PortsmouthHistory.org.

Ring in the Season – Exeter
Celebrate the season in Colonial style at the American Independence Museum’s historic Folsom Tavern from December 1 to December 3. All events are part of the Town of Exeter’s Ring in the Season celebration.

Sponsored by The Provident Bank, the weekend’s festivities kick off on December 1 with Tavern Tours from 10 am to 4 pm followed by a Holiday Celebration from 5 pm to 8 pm. Toast the holidays with light snacks and adult refreshments, create Colonial holiday gifts, enjoy seasonal music, visit the museum’s pop-up gift shop, and place your bids on exciting items in a silent auction.

Admission is free for members, $5 for non-members, and $3 for non-member children.

On Saturday, December 2, Tavern Tours will take place from 10 am to 4 pm with Folsom Tavern open from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm with refreshments available for purchase for those watching the town’s Holiday Parade. On Sunday, December 3, the tavern will be open from 1 pm to 5 pm as part of Womenade of Greater Squamscott’s Holiday Home Tour with tickets available at www.exeterareaholidayhousetour.com.

For more information about either event, visit www.independencemuseum.org.

Homestead Christmas – Tamworth Village
On Saturday, December 2 from 11 am to 3 pm, Remick Country Doctor Museum & Farm will host tours of the holiday-decorated Captain Enoch Remick House (c. 1808), which includes the original doctors’ office shared by Dr. Edwin “Doc” Crafts Remick (1903–1993) and his father, Dr. Edwin Remick (1866–1935). Watch costumed interpreters prepare and then bake cookies in the homestead wood stove with fresh-from-the-oven samples available along with a serving of wassail.

Wagon rides will transport visitors from the house to the Museum Center for seasonal exhibits, a children’s craft, apothecary tastings and products, and an open-hearth cooking demonstration complete with tastings of roasted chestnuts and gingerbread. Animal meet and greets will also take place across the farmstead, while visitors can continue on with a town-wide Holly-Day scavenger hunt and Santa Claus display search.

For more information, visit www.remickmuseum.org.

Christmas at Canterbury and Candlelit Tours – Canterbury
On December 9 and 16 from 3 to 8 pm at Canterbury Shaker Village, visitors can watch an old-time 19th Century magic show, meet Father Christmas, make Christmas crackers, decorate cookies, admire a toy train display or listen to fiddlers. At the event, visitors may also enjoy hot cider and sing Christmas carols during the lighting of the Village Christmas tree.

The cost for this event is $18 for adults, $9 for children ages 6-17, and under 5 is free. Village members are half price.

Holiday fun continues at Canterbury Shaker Village with Candlelit Tours at 6:30 pm and 7:30 pm from December 11 to 15. Guided tours last approximately 1 hour and explore some of the ways in which the Shakers celebrated the holidays—from simple Christmas gatherings in the nineteenth century to elaborate theatricals in the twentieth century.

This tour is suggested for ages 10 and over with advance registration required.
The cost is $12 for adults, $6 for children ages 6-17, and under 5 is free. Village members are half price.

For more information about either event, visit www.shakers.org.

With numerous events, exhibits and programs for all ages, the NH Heritage Museum Trail expects close to 250,000 visitors by the end of this year. Find The Trail on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/nhheritagetrail.