Candlelight Stroll, an annual holiday tradition at Strawbery Banke since 1979 showcases 350 years of seasonal and holiday traditions against the backdrop of the Museum’s furnished historic houses. On these weekend evenings, the Museum grounds glow with hundreds of lighted candle lanterns, the houses are adorned with thousands of hand-made decorations crafted from live greens and dried flowers and herbs collected from the Museum gardens, and the air is filled with the sound of holiday music and scent of woodsmoke from the bonfire. Its authenticity is the foundation for the claim that the Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth holiday celebration, echoed by Travel + Leisure magazine, makes Portsmouth ‘the Christmas capital of North America.’
Visitors stroll from house to historic house, greeted by costumed role players and performers who recreate the traditions of times past, rediscovering the joys of simpler times. Mrs. Shapiro prepares a Hanukah celebration her 1919 Russian Jewish kitchen. Mrs. Goodwin, her family and servants prepare a Victorian Christmas. Father Christmas, the night watchman, “Mayor Frank Jones” and other role-players make their rounds along the dirt lanes; and the Abbotts await news of their soldier fighting in Europe in the Second World War. Carolers, chestnuts and holiday crafts bring all the sounds, scents and moments for family ‘stopfulness’ to this event that is a cherished New Hampshire tradition. Complimentary refreshments and hot apple cider are offered at the Cider Shed. Traditional hearth-cooking demonstrations, crafts demonstrations, and winter projects for kids provide interactive fun for multiple generations.
Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond, provides seasonal outdoor ice skating at the heart of the 10-acre living history museum. The rink operates seven days a week, 9 am to 9 pm throughout December and on New Year’s Day, and the months of January and February.
CANDLELIGHT STROLL – Anchoring “Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth”
December 3, 4, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18
Saturdays, 5-9 pm. Sundays, 4-8 pm. Friday Dec 16, 5-9 pm
Avoid lines by purchasing tickets in advance! Tickets can be purchased in advance in person at the Strawbery Banke Visitors Center at 14 Hancock Street up to the date of the event. Advance tickets may also be purchased online starting October 1. Tickets are $25/adults, $12.50/children (ages 5-17), and $60/family. Group and corporate rates are available. $5 off the ticket price on all tickets purchased by November 30, 2016.