dover tree snow's Winter Photo Contest is now open. photo by Kevin Molloy

Top five things to do: Dec. 31-Jan.3

Top Five Things to Do
A roundup of weekend entertainment on the Seacoast

Bye-bye, 2020! Not surprisingly, live events are sparser than usual this holiday weekend, but the New Year’s Eve edition of our weekly roundup features music, theater, and celebration. Here’s hoping 2021 will be a better year for all.

The Rep’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve Livestream

Celebrate the countdown to the New Year from the safety of home with the Seacoast Repertory Theatre’s New Year’s Eve Livestream on Thursday. The event begins at 9 p.m. with lo-fi beats from Ryan Spellman and stretches until after midnight with dancing and music by Alyssa Dumas, Andrea Lyons, Jason Faria, LaRon Hudson, Tobin Moss, Bay Goulet, Ben Hart, and others. Tickets are $15, with discounts for multiple viewers. Learn more here.

A Bridge to Japan: A Poetry Broadside Contest

The Portsmouth Poet Laureate Program has issued a call for submissions for its digital poetry broadside contest. Write a poem on a sheet of paper with an accompanying illustration (a poet and artist can collaborate) for a chance to win a cash prize. The only thematic criteria is that the work should somehow reflect a Japanese influence.  The submission period opens on New Years Day and goes through the end of January. Learn more here.

Safe Haven Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’ at The Music Hall

Safe Haven Ballet presents four performances of its unique adaptation of “The Nutcracker” at The Music Hall in Portsmouth this weekend. Safe Haven is a non-profit organization dedicated to survivors of sexual assault and trauma. Show times are Saturday from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. Seating in the theater will be socially distanced. Tickets are $45-$50. For more information, click here.

George Barber and Derek Fimbel at The Stone Church

george barber town meeting

The Stone Church’s New Year’s Eve show with Consider the Source is sold out, but the Newmarket venue will follow up with another great concert over the weekend. Americana artist George Barber, fresh off the release of his new album “Where the Trouble Started,” will join folk singer Derek Fimbel on Saturday from 7-10 p.m. Tickets are sold by the table (table of two: $25; table of four: $40; table of six: $60). For more information, click here.’s Winter Photo Contest

One outdoor, socially-distanced activity that is available year-round is’s seasonal photo contest. We recently announced the winners of our fall contest, each of whom receive a gift certificate to the Portsmouth Gas Light Co. The winter contest is now open; our first winter submission this year was the above shot of Memorial Bridge by Samantha Quintal. Read the contest rules here and submit your own local photo here.

See the full calendar for more local events.