The Mt. Washington Valley of New Hampshire celebrates the Christmas season with gusto and there’s no better place to get the whole family in the holiday spirit. Dusted by recent snowfalls, the towns of North Conway and Jackson make a magical holiday setting for shopping and visiting Santa. Whether you board Santa’s Holiday Express Train, travel through the mountain notches to Santa’s Village in Jefferson, or go on this weekend’s Inn-to-Inn Cookie and Candy Tour, this valley surrounded by Whihte Mountain peaks is simply enchanting!
Here are wonderful upcoming celebrations that will put the Christmas sparkle in your family’s eyes.
White Mountain Country Inn Cookie & Candy Tour, Dec. 9 & 10
Mmmm, Christmas Cookies! Picture yourself traveling from one lovely country inn to another, nibbling on freshly baked Christmas cookies and candies, sipping warm beverages and learning the secrets of making exquisite holiday decorations.
The 21st Annual Country Inn Holiday Cookie and Candy Tour takes place on December 9th and 10th from 11am – 4pm. Ticket holders visit 10 lovely historic inns from Eaton to Jackson NH, sampling confections along the way. Each will receive a holiday cookbook and a chance to win a Mt. Washington inn getaway. Proceeds from this event benefit local non-profit organizations. For an extra treat, plan a weekend getaway and take advantage of special Cookie Tour rates.
Holiday Fairs Abound
Local shops, boutiques and outlet shopping malls in the North Conway area are legendary, but for a more seasonal experience, drop in at one of the local holiday fairs.
Holiday Creations – Mountain Garden Club’s Holiday Boutique – This annual holiday boutique features one-of-a-kind handcrafted gifts, decorations and baked good. Open December 9th, 9:30 -11:30 am at North Conway Community Center. Snowville Country Inn – Craft Fair – December 10th, at 136 Stewart Road, Eaton, NH, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM, free admission. This annual fair welcomes a dozen local artisans displaying handmade gifts from goat milk soaps, jewelry, handmade bags, arts, pottery, silk scarves and much more. Jackson Village, Traditionally Yours Craft Fairs – Just crossing the iconic Jackson covered bridge will have you humming ‘Over The River and Through The Woods’ as you approach the quaint village ahead. Craft fairs, wine tastings, cookie decorating and horse-drawn carriage chocolate tours take place in the village on weekends through December 23rd.
Santa Encounters Around Every Bend
After a visit to the White Mountains and Mt. Washington Valley your children will surely believe that this winter wonderland is where Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus live. Fun opportunities to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus are numerous.
Conway Scenic Railroad – Take a Journey To The North Pole, a family adventure that your kids will talk about for years to come. Purchase your tickets early online, which benefits the Books Literacy Foundation.
Departing from the historic railway station in North Conway at 4:30 pm, it’s all aboard for a magical 2 hour train journey through snow-dusted woods to the North Pole where you’ll meet Santa, Mrs. Claus and the toy-shop elves. Bring along your letters to Santa to leave at Santa’s Post Office and hear a dramatic reading of “The Night Before Christmas” before Santa comes out to greet everyone.
Ride Santa’s Holiday Express train at 11:30 am and 1:30 pm on weekends through Dec 23rd. There’s hot chocolate and cookies for everyone and Santa and his mischievous elves make it a journey to remember. Bring your camera and if you ask nicely the elves may take your picture with Santa. And there are special Holiday Week train journeys as well.
Holiday Stage Performances
On Thursday through Sunday through Dec 23rd, learn Dicken’s lessons of giving by watching “A Christmas Carol” performed at Your Theatre in Willow Place in North Conway at 7:30 pm.
On December 10th, bring the kids to a Christmas Concert with Santa at the MWV Children’s Museum. You’ll all sing songs and be entertained by Sharon Novak and Santa!
Through The Notches to Santa’s Village
Santa resides in Jefferson NH at Santa’s Village all summer long, but a visit here during the holiday season is extra special. Through December 17th, families can talk with Santa and Mrs. Claus, leave their wishlist, and have fun on up to 18 Christmas themed rides including the Skyway Sleigh Monorail and Christmas Ferris Wheel. Dress warmly and plan to stay until dark to see the thousands of beautiful Chrismas lights.
And we haven’t even talked about the fantastic shopping in North Conway! There are miles of outlet stores at Settler’s Green shopping mall and newly opened Settler’s Crossing Marketplace. Wonderful stores and restaurants dot the White Mountain Highway as it winds its way through the Mt. Washington Valley. This destination definitely has entertainment for the entire family!
Photo Source: Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce