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Design your own gingerbread house at the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire during a family gingerbread house workshop. Courtesy photo.




Festive family fun
Santa, crafts, storytimes and more

11/27/14



 Jingle all the way to these family-friendly events throughout December to make sure you and the kids spread the holiday cheer as far as you can. From storytimes to tree lightings to gingerbread house construction days, get fun and festive with the whole family.

 
• All aboard the Santa train! Don’t miss out on the special holiday train rides at the Hobo Railroad (64 Railroad St., Lincoln) running every weekend starting on Friday, Nov. 28, at 1 p.m., and concluding on Sunday, Dec. 21. The train ride lasts about an hour and 20 minutes. The cost is $20 for coach class, $25 for first class. Call 745-2135 or visit santatrains.com.
• If the family is heading out for the Holiday Stroll in downtown Nashua on Saturday, Nov. 29, start the evening with a candlelight procession beginning at City Hall and ending with the lighting of the city tree. New to the festivities this year will be a winter craft fair at the gymnasium across the street from City Hall, from 3 to 9 p.m. Don’t miss out on the gingerbread house contest organized by the teen youth group of St. Philip Greek Orthodox Church, and stick around for all the festive fun, including face painting, karate, artists, star-gazing and plenty of music, not to mention a visit with Santa Claus! Admission is free. Visit downtownnashua.org.
• Pollard Libary (401 Merrimack St. in Lowell, Mass., pollardml.org) will offer kids a chance to do some shopping during Children's Shopping Day on Saturday, Nov. 29, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (kids ages 4 to 14 can shop from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; the public is welcome from 2 to 4 p.m.; members of the Friends of the Library get their chance from 2 to 4 p.m.). Items will range in price from $1 to $5 and kids will get help wrapping gifts. Contact friends@pollardml.org.
• Mr. and Mrs. Claus will join the Laconia Holiday Parade on Saturday, Nov. 29, along with marching bands playing holiday tunes. Check out dozens of floats rolling through the streets during the parade, which starts at Wyatt Park and continues through downtown Laconia to Veterans Square. It all starts at 1 p.m. and ends with the lighting of the Christmas tree. See lakesregionchamber.org.
• Join Santa Claus and all his friends (including Frosty, some polar pals and even the Grinch) on weekends from Saturday, Nov. 29, through Sunday, Dec. 21, at Charmingfare Farm (774 High St., Candia). Check-in times run from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and admission costs $17 per person (free admission for children under 23 months old). To get to Santa’s Big Party, guests have to take a 30-minute horse-drawn ride through the Christmas trail. There’s music, performers, sugar cookies, hot cocoa and a bonfire. When families are ready to leave, they can hop aboard the Tractor Train Ride to see Santa’s reindeer. See visitthefarm.com.
• He’s as cuddly as a cactus and as charming as an eel. Local Barnes & Noble stores will be holding special How the Grinch Stole Christmas storytime events, including a craft and refreshments, on Monday, Dec. 1, at 4 p.m. at the Manchester store (1741 S. Willow St.), at 4 p.m. at the Nashua store (235 Daniel Webster Hwy) and at 1 p.m. at the Newington store (45 Gosling Road). Go to barnesandnoble.com and click on the Stores & Events link.
• Rodgers Memorial Library (194 Derry Road, Hudson) will be hosting holiday story events to get kids into the holly jolly mood. The first is on Tuesday, Dec. 2, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., and is recommended for ages 13 to 23 months; the second is on Wednesday, Dec. 3, from 10 to 10:30 a.m., and is recommended for 2-year-olds; and the third is on Thursday, Dec. 4.
• This is your chance to really deck the halls. The Friends of the Library will be hosting a Christmas decorating party at the Meredith Public Library (91 Main St., Meredith) on Wednesday, Dec. 3, from 3 to 5 p.m. Decorate the library while munching on snacks. Please bring your favorite party dish or dessert. Call 279-4303 or visit meredithlibrary.org.
• Kids are invited to the Nashua Public Library (2 Court St., Nashua) for a special holiday celebration on Thursday, Dec. 4. Enjoy holiday stories, a craft, a puppet show and refreshments. The event for kids ages 3 through 5 is at 1 p.m.; for 6- through 10-year-olds, the event starts at 4 p.m. Register at tinyurl.com/nplkid.
• Kids and families are invited to build gingerbread houses this December to display at the Rodgers Memorial Library (194 Derry Road, Hudson). Houses can be dropped off through Friday, Dec. 5, at the library, and there will be a special reception and prize ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 18, at 6:30 p.m. The base of the house cannot be more than 24 inches by 24 inches. The contest is broken into several categories, like professional bakers, families, kids and groups, like youth groups, clubs or Scouts. Houses must be decorated with edible materials. Call 886-6030, or visit rodgerslibrary.org.
• All aboard The Polar Express. The Barnes & Noble stores in Manchester (1741 S. Willow St., Manchester), Newington (45 Gosling Road) and Nashua (235 Daniel Webster Hwy., Nashua) each will be holding a special storytime evening on Friday, Dec. 5 (Manchester will host a second event on Saturday, Dec. 6) with a pajama contest for ages 10 and under, plus hot cocoa, sugar cookies, activities, crafts and a raffle. It all starts at 7 p.m. Free admission, visit barnesandnoble.com.
• The Pine Hill Waldorf School annual Holiday Fair starts on Friday, Dec. 5, with an adult shopping event from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., but the fair opens up for the whole family on Saturday, Dec. 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There are seasonal crafts, storytelling, puppet shows and even a circus performance. The Pocket Lady will be there, and kids can pick a small gift from one of her pockets. Then, check out the machine that pumps out jumps ropes, and have homemade waffles for lunch. Admission is free, and Pine Hill Waldorf School is located at 77 Pine Hill Drive, Wilton. Call 654-6003 or visit pinehill.org.
• Pollard Memorial Library (401 Merrimack St. in Lowell, Mass., pollardml.org) has several holiday events to keep kids in the spirit. For the older kids, there will be an anime holiday party on Friday, Dec. 5, at 2:45 p.m. The library will also host a wonderland pajama storytime on Monday, Dec. 15, at 6:45 p.m. Call 978-674-4120
• Before the parade in downtown Manchester, visit the Holiday Open House at the Millyard Museum on Saturday, Dec. 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., families can enjoy hands-on holiday crafts, guided tours, raffles, Christmas music and holiday shopping. Admission is free but guests are encouraged to bring a nonperishable item to donate to the New Hampshire Food Bank. The Millyard Museum is at 200 Bedford St., Manchester. Call 622-7531 or visit manchesterhistoric.org.
• Tuscan Village (63 Main St., Salem) will be welcoming the Christmas season during its third annual Christmas tree lighting and visit from Santa on Saturday, Dec. 6. Starting at 1 p.m., children can get their picture taken with ol’ Saint Nick. Stick around at 4 p.m. to watch the lights on the tree come to life. Toys For Tots will be there to collect donations for their charity. Call 912-5467 or visit tuscanbrands.com.
• It’s holiday fun for everyone during the holiday parade and tree lighting ceremony in Merrimack on Saturday, Dec. 6. The parade will take off from the Commons Shopping Plaza (515 Daniel Webster Hwy., Merrimack) starting at 3 p.m. Head over to the Abbie Griffin Park after the parade for the lighting of the tree. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be waiting to hear what you want for Christmas. Call 882-1046 or email mcasparius@merrimacknh.gov.
• Sit with Santa and make your Christmas wishes on Saturday, Dec. 6, from 10 a.m. to noon at St. Joseph Hospital (172 Kinsley St., Nashua) for its Santa’s Workshop event. The atrium lobby is transformed for the holidays. Families will have the opportunity to have their picture taken with Santa, create a letter to put in his mailbox and decorate gingerbread cookies. Call 595-3168, or visit stjosephhospital.com.
• Santa and his Christmas elves will be joining the march during the first annual Seacoast Toys For Tots Christmas Parade on Saturday, Dec. 6, at noon. The parade starts at the Hampton Falls/Seabrook town line and finishes at Seabrook Commons shopping center, where marchers can donate a toy, enjoy hot chocolate, listen to live Christmas music and take photos with Santa. Call 394-7073.
• The Nashua Parks & Recreation Department will hold the Sixth Annual Santa in the Park event on Sunday, Dec. 7, from noon to 2 p.m. at the Greeley Park Gazebo. Kids can have their photos taken with Santa Claus (parents must bring their own camera). The event is free.
• The Weare Historical Society and Weare Library will hold their annual holiday party on Sunday, Dec. 7, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Weare Town Hall (15 Flanders Memorial Road in Weare). The event will feature crafts, face painting, a program by Wildlife Encounters, a sing-along, tree lighting and a meeting with Santa. Refreshments will be served. Contact info@wearehistoricalsociety.org.
• Nancy Godbout and Aimee Lindh will help make the holidays come alive with a holiday decorating event at the Manchester City Library (405 Pine St., Manchester) on Tuesday, Dec. 9, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Registration is required. Children 12 and older are welcome with a parent. Call 624-6550 ext. 311.
• Santa knows if you’ve been naughty or nice, and his elves help, too. On Friday, Dec. 12, at 10 a.m., staff from the Nashua Barnes & Noble bookstore (235 Daniel Webster Hwy) will read from The Elf on the Shelf by Carol V. Aebersold. Elf “adoptions” are available during the reading. Call 888-0533 or visit barnesandnoble.com.
• Roll on over to the Culinary Playground (16 Manning St., Suite 105, Derry) on Friday, Dec. 12, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., or Saturday, Dec. 13, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. for a special coconut snowball cookies baking workshop. The cost is $16 per child, and the workshop is geared for kids ages 3 to 5. Registration is required, so visit culinary-playground.com or call 339-1664.
• The Pontine Theatre (959 Islington St., Portsmouth) is hosting A New England Christmas, on Friday, Dec. 12, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 13, at 4 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 14, at 2 p.m. Get in the spirit with Christmas stories and poems told through storytelling, puppetry and seasonal music. Tickets cost $24. Call 436-6660 or visit pontine.org.
• Families can make their own sugary homes during a Gingerbread House Workshop at the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire on Saturday, Dec. 13, where creative kids will receive all the materials to make their gingerbread homes from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Pre-registration is required. Admission costs $40 per family. The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire is located at 6 Washington St., Dover. Call 742-2002 or visit childrens-museum.org.
• Santa may love cookies, but he also can’t resist a waffle with maple syrup. The Friends of Chester Library host an annual breakfast with Santa, and this year, Santa will be visiting on Saturday, Dec. 13, from 8 to 11 a.m. at the Chester Municipal Center (84 Chester St., Chester). Admission costs $6 per person, or $25 maximum for a family of six. Admission includes breakfast and a free family photo with Santa, crafts, games, holiday stories and raffles. Families can purchase additional photos with Santa for $2 each. See chesterlibrary.com.
• Santa and friends will be visiting the Hooksett Public Library on Saturday, Dec. 13, from 10 a.m. to noon. Kids can meet Mrs. Claus, jolly ol’ Saint Nick and a special reindeer friend. The Santa and Friends Party will also include crafts, games, food and hot cocoa. Hooksett Public Library is located at 31 Mount Saint Marys Way, Hooksett. Call 485-6092 or visit hooksettlibrary.org.
• St. Nick will be visiting Hopkinton on Saturday, Dec. 13, for a breakfast with Santa, from 8 to 11 a.m. at the Slusser Senior Center (41 Houston Drive, Hopkinton). Admission costs $18 for families with more than four family members, $5 for ages 12 and up, $3 for ages 5 to 11 years old, and kids 4 and under eat for free. See hopkintonrec.com.
• Find your Reason for the Season at DeMeritt Hill Farm, 66 Lee Road, Lee, on Saturday, Dec. 6, at 11 a.m., noon, 1 and 2 p.m.; on Sunday, Dec. 7, at 11 a.m., noon, 1 and 2 p.m.; on Saturday, Dec. 13, at 11 a.m., noon, 1 and 2 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 14, at 11 a.m., noon, 1 and 2 p.m.
• Strawbery Banke Museum (14 Hancock St., Portsmouth) is carrying on tradition with their 35th annual candlelight stroll on Sunday, Dec. 14, at 4 p.m. Check out the decorated historic houses, costumed role-players, strolling carolers and more. The cost is $23 for adults, $11.50 for children ages 5 through 17 and $58 for families. Call 433-1100 or visit strawberybanke.org.
• Visit the Chester Public Library (3 Chester St., Chester) for a Polar Express storytime on Thursday, Dec. 18, at 6:30 p.m. Kids can wear their pajamas, just like the children in the story, for this special storytime. See chesterlibrary.com.
• There’s nothing cuter about kids during the holiday season than that they can be made out of gingerbread. Stop by the Culinary Kitchen (16 Manning St., Suite 105, Derry) for a gingerbread kids workshop on Saturday, Dec. 20, from 10 a.m. to noon. The cost is $40 per person and the workshop is recommended for kids ages 6 through 11. Registration is required, so visit culinary-playground.com or call 339-1664.
• Experience a Victorian Christmas at the New Hampshire Farm Museum (1305 White Mountain Hwy., Milton) on Saturday, Dec. 20, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tour the historic Jones Farmhouse with costumed role players, enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride, roast chestnuts over an open fire, munch on gingerbread, and drink hot cider. The cost is $10 for adults, $5 for children. Member ticket prices are $6 for adults, $3 child. 
Call 652-7840 or contact info@farmmuseum.org.
• The Amoskeag Fishways (4 Fletcher St. in Manchester, 626-3474, amoskeagfishways.org) will celebrate the year with an open house on Tuesday, Dec. 30, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. See the presentations “Active Winter Birds" and "Bald Eagles and Peregrine Falcons," do crafts, eat yummy treats and win door prizes. Bring your binoculars for a short winter break. The event is free.
• Join the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire to ring in 2014 on Wednesday, Dec. 31. The museum hosts early countdowns, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a glittering ball drop, ginger ale toast, confetti, noisemakers and New Year’s wishes. It’s one of the museum’s most popular events, with crowds of 800 to 1,200 people. The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire is located at 6 Washington St., Dover. Call 742-2002, or visit childrens-museum.org.
• Celebrate good times at Pat’s Peak (686 Flanders Road, Henniker) during its New Year’s Eve celebration on Wednesday, Dec. 31, starting at 6 p.m. Hit the slopes for an evening of skiing, snowboarding and snowtubing, then stick around after for a comedy show, raffles, live music, party favors, a champagne toast and more. There are two ticket options. For skiing and the party, the cost is $90 for adults, $50 for juniors and seniors; for the party only, the cost is $70 for adults, $35 for juniors and seniors.Call 428-3245 or visit patspeak.com.
• Check out the special fireworks displays near the Sea Shell Stage (170 Ocean Boulevard, Hampton Beach) on Wednesday, Dec. 31, at 9:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Call 926-8718 or visit hamptonbeach.org. 
 
As seen in the November 27, 2014 issue of the Hippo.





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