Candlelight Stroll PDF Print E-mail

Saturday and Sunday, December  6-7, 13-14, 20-21, 2014
Saturdays from 5:00pm-9:00pm & Sundays from 4:00pm-8:00pm


35th Annual Candlelight Stroll in the Holiday Capital of North America

For December 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, 2014.

Stroll through life in a simpler time as 350 years of American history, winter traditions, and holiday celebrations unfolds around you in New Hampshire's oldest waterfront neighborhood.

  • Historic houses from four centuries with decorations hand-crafted from natural materials 
  • Hundreds of wood and glass candle boxes lighting the lanes and landscape
  • Live music and holiday entertainment for all ages
  • Horse-drawn carriage rides
  • Holiday decoration demonstrations
  • Traditional barrel making demonstrations
  • 18th century holiday hearth cooking
  • Tinsmith demonstrations
  • ...and so much more!




PLEASE NOTE: Same day online ticket sales close at 3 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. To purchase tickets in advance, click here. Tickets are $23/adults, $11.50/children (ages 5-17), and $58/family. Group and corporate rates are available. Purchase tickets by November 30, 2014 to receive $2 off each ticket.


Strawbery Banke Museum Celebrates 35th Annual Candlelight Stroll “The Winter Visitor”


Portsmouth, New Hampshire (October 16, 2013) - Strawbery Banke Museum celebrates “Once Upon a Winter’s Eve” during the 34th annual Candlelight Stroll, December 6-7, 13-14 and 20-21, 2014. The event takes place from 5 to 9 pm on Saturdays and 4 to 8 pm on Sundays. Candlelight Stroll is generously supported by the New Hampshire State Council for the Arts, Lincoln Financial Group, Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, Amica Insurance, The Provident Bank, Newburyport Five Cents Savings, R.M. Davis, Inc, The Mark Wentworth Home, Kennebunk Savings, the Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside Hotel, Darrell's Music Hall, Bruce Mast & Associates, Inc., Northeast Credit Union, and Wentworth Greenhouses.


Showcasing 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.


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. A toasty bonfire crackles throughout the event to warm frosty fingers and toes. Complimentary refreshments and hot apple cider are offered at the Cider Shed. The White Apron Café at Strawbery Banke offers light meals and serves a pub menu in Pitt Tavern -- visited by George Washington, John Hancock, and the Marquis de Lafayette. Traditional hearth-cooking demonstrations, crafts demonstrations, and winter projects for kids provide interactive fun for multiple generations.


“Candlelight Stroll is a cherished holiday tradition that offers a charming setting for children and adults to enjoy America’s multicultural holiday activities and customs,” said Strawbery Banke Museum president and CEO Lawrence J. Yerdon. “Candlelight Stroll is a magical event at an enchanting time of year. We are delighted to anchor the city-wide Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth celebration with this authentic and unique experience.”  


Highlights this Year

The theme for this year’s Candlelight Stroll is “The Winter Visitor" and visitors will experience a variety of holiday preparations across cultures and across time:


ALDRICH HOUSE -- 1908 Pineapples & Posies with Mrs. Lillian Aldrich


CHASE HOUSE -- 1818 A Mid-Winter Wedding


GOODWIN MANSION -- 1870 T’was the Night Before Christmas


MARDEN-ABBOTT HOUSE & STORE - 1943 Dreaming of a White Christmas


SHAPIRO HOUSE -- 1919 Fourth Night of Hanukkah


SHAPLEY-DRISCO HOUSE  -- 1795 Snowy Days on Puddle Dock and a 1958 Holiday Avon Party.


- Live music, cookies & hot cider at the Cider Shed.

- Horse drawn carriage rides - bundle up on Puddle Dock and enjoy this age-old tradition.

- Families learn wreath-making and create handmade holiday decorations in the Jones House.

-Savor 18th century holiday hearth cooking and tinsmith crafting handmade lanterns and tin star ornaments in the Wheelwright House.

--Tavern menu served in Pitt Tavern. Select hearty soups, stews and beverages from The White Apron Cafe menu (additional cost.)

--Holidays at Pickwick's on the Banke -- a Victorian holiday shopping experience.

--Ice skating on the outdoor ice rink, Puddle Dock Pond at Strawbery Banke.




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, from 1:30pm - 10:30pm on the first three Saturdays and Sundays in December*. 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.
* The free Vintage Christmas trolley will be in the City of Portsmouth Holiday Parade on Saturday, December 1 and will not be available from 5-7pm.

The trolley is generously provided by the City of Portsmouth as part of a Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth. The Vintage Christmas collaboration aims to highlight the rich seasonal programs of Strawbery Banke Museum and The Music Hall, and is the result of a fruitful collaboration among the City of Portsmouth, Strawbery Banke Museum, The Music Hall, the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce, and local hotels and retail shops. For more information on scheduled activities and participating hotels, visit


Guided Holiday House Tours, weekdays, Dec 26-30
Guided tours of five decorated historic houses at Strawbery Banke Museum offered on the hour, 10am to 2 pm. Adults $15, children 5-17 $10, children under 5 free.

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.

Event Parking Information:

Weather Information: Candlelight Stroll will be held regardless of weather conditions. Tickets are nonrefundable and non-transferable.



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