300 Years of Thanksgiving Traditions -- Guided Tours
November Weekends in 2019, 10 am to 2 pm (last 90-min tour starts at 2 pm)
November 2 & 3, 9 & 10, 16 & 17, 23 & 24. Plus Fri Nov 22

November visitors to Portsmouth can trace the evolution of Thanksgiving from the Puritans’ holy day of thanks to today’s family feast and homecoming at Strawbery Banke Museum, the 10-acre outdoor living history museum.  This 90-minute, fast-paced,  multi-sensory program, explains how Thanksgiving transcended time, place and culture to become the uniquely American holiday celebrated today.

Pitt Tavern (1777)

Smells of baking pies, clinking of glasses and the busy Stavers family await you at the Pitt Tavern. See what Thanksgiving was like in 1777 and make your very own harvest craft to take home. 

                                 Goodwin Mansion (1870)

Experience the height of the Victorian period and a Thanksgiving celebration that shares many traditions with celebrations today.  Learn about the Goodwin family, and Governor Ichabod Goodwin’s special November proclamation

Shapiro House (1919)

Share in the experience of a Jewish immigrant family who came from the Ukraine to Portsmouth in the early 20th century. Mrs. Shapiro is learning about American  Thanksgiving with its strange foods like pumpkin pie, while also keeping her traditional customs.   

Abbott House (1943)

Portsmouth is in the midst of World War II. The war has changed jobs, industry, food, and education—few parts of life were untouched. Thanksgiving was no exception.

Tickets, available online and at the door (if space is available) in the museum’s TYCO Visitors Center at 14 Hancock Street are $15 for adults and $10 for children 5 to 17. The tour is free for children under 5 and to museum members, active duty military and their families.

Participants in the tour meet costumed roleplayers, create a harvest craft, and explore homes from three centuries. In small groups guided by a museum educator, find the common themes of this holiday over three hundred years: charity, survival, gratitude, national identity, and the celebration of family and community. The tour is recommended for those age 5 and up.