PORTSMOUTH — Don’t forget to visit the 8th annual Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth throughout the entire month of December. Presented by cultural anchors Strawbery Banke Museum and The Music Hall, it’s a month of Strolls, Shows and Stayovers in the historic working seaport of Portsmouth. The map/calendar of events is available online at www.vintagechristmasnh.org.
Don’t miss the Candlelight Stroll that Strawbery Banke Museum has created for thirty-two years, the live holiday shows, opera broadcasts and films in The Music Hall’s landmark Historic Theater and the intimate Music Hall Loft on Congress Street, and the welcoming stays in the elegant and delightful holiday downtown. Get ready to cuddle up with a free trolley ride through red-bricked Market Square, stroll through the snowflakes to the many eclectic shops, step back in time through living history at the festively decorated Strawbery Banke Museum, sample Portsmouth’s famous culinary specialties, or enjoy a first-class show at The Music Hall. Back by popular demand - the free Vintage Christmas Trolley shuttles patrons around the historic seaport each Saturday and Sunday afternoon and evening for the first three weekends in December.
The free city trolley is wildly successful. Patrons use it to not only ferry themselves from free parking lots to the center of town, between The Music Hall and Strawbery Banke Museum, but also to give themselves a brief overview of what Portsmouth has to offer. The trolley’s scheduled route - to run the first three weekends of December on Saturday and Sunday, from 1:30-10:30 p.m. is a quick twenty-minute loop with several stops to jump on/off for shopping, and to get a bite to eat and drink. Day visitors will be able to park at various lots around town and jump on the trolley, while overnight visitors in downtown hotels will be able to walk to convenient trolley stops.
The holiday decorations, vignettes and role-players at Strawbery Banke Museum’s Candlelight Stroll (December 14 and 15; 5:00-9:00 p.m. on Saturdays and 4:00-8:00 p.m. on Sundays) are designed to carry visitors into holiday lives from the past as the ten-acre museum and its forty historic buildings recreate December through the centuries in the Portsmouth neighborhood of Puddle Dock. Beyond the Candlelight Stroll, there will be Holiday House Tours December 26-30. Ticket prices for Strawbery Banke Museums’ Candlelight Stroll are $20.00 for adults, $10.00 for children, and $50.00 for families (two adults and their children ages 17 and under). Tickets can be purchased online at www.strawberybanke.org or by phone at 603-433-1107. Tickets may be used any night of the Stroll. Tickets are available online at www.strawberybanke.org.
Historic Theater: Step over the threshold of this landmark Victorian theater - the oldest in New Hampshire - and into the Beaux Arts Founders Lobby featuring superlative patron amenities. Upstairs, the newly renovated upper lobby leads into the elegant 900-seat auditorium - now restored to its 1878 splendor - has welcomed artists ranging from Mark Twain to Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show. Full concessions are available in both lobbies. Just around the corner from the Historic Theater, the Music Hall Loft features the same fabulous programming, but in a smaller more intimate (125-seat) setting, with gourmet food and cocktails that can be taken right to each seat. Tickets for all Music Hall holiday shows can be purchased at The Music Hall box office at the Historic Theater (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth), on the phone at 603-436-2400, or online at www.themusichall.org.