CANDLELIGHT STROLL - Anchoring "Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth"
December 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 2017
Saturdays, 5-9 pm. Sundays, 4-8 pm.
For the Dec 3-4 program, click here.
For the Dec 10-11 program, click here.
For the FRI Dec 16 program, click here.
For the Dec 17-18 program, click here.
Visiting Dec 3: the horses of Historic Runnymede Farm in Victorian costume
To hear selections performed by Richard Spicer on his harpsichord, click here.
Avoid lines by purchasing tickets in advance! Tickets can be purchased in advance online starting November 1.
Tickets are $25/adults, $12.50/children (ages 5-17), and $60/family (covers 2 adults + 2 children age 5-17). Children under 5, free. Active duty military and their families, and veterans, free. Group and corporate rates are available.
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.
Figtree Kitchen at Strawbery Banke café offers seasonal food and beverages during Candlelight Stroll in the TYCO Visitors Center.
Pickwick’s at the Banke, complements the museum with a shopping experience reflecting Portsmouth’s colonial maritime heritage. Pickwick's also presents a ticketed, costumed holiday dining experience in Pitt Tavern -- visited by George Washington, John Hancock, and the Marquis de Lafayette.
Weather Information: Candlelight Stroll will be held regardless of weather conditions. Tickets are nonrefundable and non-transferable.
Parking & Other Information
There is ONLY handicapped parking available at the Museum for Candlelight Stroll. All other visitors should utilize the free Vintage Christmas Trolley and public parking areas. The City of Portsmouth provides the free Vintage Christmas trolley, which runs on a 20-minute loop, on each evening of Candlelight Stroll. The heated and decorated trolley will pick up and drop off visitors at parking lots, hotels, and other sites around town. There is a trolley stop right at Strawbery Banke Museum as well as The Music Hall. Please click here for a map for the free Vintage Christmas Trolley. Please click here for a map with additional parking information. For a downloadable PDF of the Vintage Christmas Trolley route and parking locations, click here.
* The free Vintage Christmas trolley will be in the City of Portsmouth Holiday Parade on Saturday, December 1 and will not be available from 4-8pm.
Guided Holiday House Tours, weekdays, Dec 26-31
Guided tours of five decorated historic houses at Strawbery Banke Museum offered on the hour, 10 am to 2 pm. Adults $15, children 5-17 $9, children under 5 free. For tour tickets, click here.
Candlelight Stroll is a signature event of Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth . Travel + Leisure says Portsmouth has good reason to claim the title of "Christmas Capital of North America" and the Boston Globe says Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth is "One of the top ten holiday things not to miss in New England. " For complete details of the Vintage Christmas events please visit the Vintage Christmas website.
Strawbery Banke Museum celebrates the theme of “Gift from the Sea” during the 37th annual Candlelight Stroll in 2016. Stroll support comes from season sponsors Lincoln Financial Group, CPManagement, Proulx Oil & Propane, R.M.Davis.