Country fairs, music and food festivals in New England are fun for families

New England fairs and festivals offer affordable, family friendly fun year round. Discover the newest art, crafts, music, and film. Enjoy live blues, folk, bluegrass, and jazz music. Shop for handmade art and crafts and find vendors selling celebrated New England food like maple syrup, blueberries, cheeses, ice cream, seafood, barbecue, craft beer and wine. Take a fun peek into world cultures at Scottish, Celtic, Italian, Portuguese, Asian, and French Canadian celebrations. Classic cars, books, and glowing hot air balloons are some of New England’s favorite festival treasures.

To find more events, visit our Events Calendar.

December 5, 2015

Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive by boat to help you enjoy holiday craft show, town tree lighting, caroling, live nativity and horse drawn carriage rides. Schedule of events:
Craft Show, Boothbay Harbor Fire Station. 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Festival of Trees at the Opera House at Boothbay Harbor. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive by boat at Boothbay Harbor Town Landing. 1 p.m.
Lap time with Santa at Sherman's Bookstore. 1:15-3:30 p.m.
Wagon rides in downtown Boothbay Harbor. 1:30-4 p.m.
Story Time at Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library, 2-3 p.m.
Christmas Tree Lighting and Carol Sing, Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library Lawn. 4 p.m.
Live Nativity at Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church. 4:30 p.m.
Boat Parade in Inner Harbor. 5 p.m.

Champlain Valley Exposition Center, 105 Pearl Street Essex Junction, VT Phone: 802-878-5545

December 4-6, 2015

A unique, unforgettable celebration of the cultures that make up our community. Visitors will find crafts from all over the world, ethnic and gourmet foods, and traditional international music, dance and stories. Local cultural and ethnic organizations provide information about their programs with exhibits, demonstrations and workshops. Festival admission good for entire weekend! (excludes special programs). Email: cashby@cvexpo.org Time: Friday 5-8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

December 4-6, 2015

The weekend kicks off Friday night with a Parade of Lights down Main Street, and the fun continues all weekend with a Sparkle Express Train, horse-drawn wagon rides, visits with Santa, a talking Christmas Tree, and a holiday light show.
Friday, December 4
Parade of Lights. See Main Street come alive with twinkling lights and song. 6 p.m. Concludes with Santa bringing Freeport’s Talking Christmas Tree to life and visits with Santa . 6:30-8 p.m.
Saturday, December 5
Night Tree at Wolfe’s Neck Farm. A holiday tradition for children, the Night Tree event is inspired by Eve Bunting’s book The Night Tree. Each hour during the day, the story is read, and pine cones are decorated with birdseed, followed by a short hike on the trails to distribute the pine cones. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. $5.
Worldwide Tuba Concert. An annual music concert in cities worldwide that celebrates those who play, teach and compose music for instruments in the tuba family. Freeport Performing Arts Center. 2 p.m.
Sparkle Express on the Amtrak Downeaster. This 30-minute, round trip from Freeport to Brunswick includes a reading of “The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburg. 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. 23 Depot Street. $18 per person.
Sunday, December 6
Jingle Bell Run/Walk. Registration at 9 a.m. Race at 10 a.m. Mast Landing School.

Music Hall Historic Theater, 28 Chestnut Street, and Strawbery Banke Museum, 14 Hancock Street Portsmouth, NH Phone:

December 1-31, 2015

Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth is a month of strolls, shows, and shopping in this historic seaport city. Events include the Candlelight Stroll at Strawbery Banke Museum; live holiday shows, opera, and films at The Music Hall. Free trolley rides travel among the sites. Information: www.vintagechristmasnh.org and www.themusichall.org. Highlights:
The Candlelight Stroll at Strawbery Banke carries visitors into holidays of the past as the museum recreates December through the centuries in the Portsmouth. The holiday decorations in each house will be showcased during holiday house tours. Dates and times: Dates: December 5-6, 12-13, 19-20. Saturdays, 5-9 p.m.; Sundays, 4-8 p.m. Information: www.strawberybanke.org.
Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas,” the beloved holiday classic. Will be performed at the Music Hall December 9-20. Details.
Holiday Dinners at Pitt Tavern on December 5-6, 12-13, 19-20. These cozy evenings include Colonial holiday fare and live music to evoke the holiday cheer! Tickets.
See detailed schedule.

December 4–6, 2015

The town of Stockbridge, made famous by Norman Rockwell’s painting of the village during the holidays, becomes a magical New England. The holiday celebration offers a full range of activities, with highlights including holiday readings, house tours, caroling, and a holiday concert. See detailed schedule.
Capping off the weekend is a re-creation on Sunday of the scene depicted in Main Street at Christmas, complete with vintage automobiles parked in the spots occupied in the painting. The day’s activities include horse drawn rides, a visit from Santa, Roger the Jester, and much more.
Ventfort Hall Tours -- Daily, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Gallery talks – Held daily, 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Holiday Marketplace Cocktail Reception -- 5 p.m.
Tales of Christmas -- 5 p.m.
Holiday Marketplace at Berkshire Botanical Garden (also held Sunday) – 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Children’s Holiday Story Time – 11 a.m.
Holiday House Tours -- 11 a.m.
Adventures in Art with Illustrator Marc Rosenthal – 1 p.m.
Caroling and Luminaria Walk – 6 p.m.
Holiday Concert -- 7:30 p.m.
Santa’s Workshop in Downtown Stockbridge -- Noon
Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas Re-Creation -- Noon
A Very Special Holiday Tea – 3 p.m.
Norman Rockwell’s Stockbridge Main Street – 3 p.m.

December 2-13, 2015

Come for days of indoor and outdoor Christmas fun in this beautiful town on the Maine seacoast.
Friday, December 4
Tree Lighting in Dock Square. Tree Lighting Ceremony in Dock Square begins the season. Join in Christmas caroling with the Kennebunk High School Chamber Choir. 5:30 p.m.
Cape Porpoise Lobster Trap Tree Lighting. Kennebunkport 's most original holiday decoration will be officially lit in Cape Porpoise Square. Join in the caroling with The Church on the Cape Choir. 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 5
Hat Parade in Dock Square. A parade of holiday hats for children and adults led by the Patriot Fife and Drum Duo. All hat wearers welcome! Gather at the town parking lot behind Dock Square by 2:45 p.m. 3 p.m.
Lower Village Tree Lighting and Christmas Stroll. Come to Christensen Lane and Route 35 for the lighting of the Lower Village Tree with carols by the Kennebunk High School Chamber Choir, followed by the traditional stroll to the Franciscan Monastery. 5:30 p.m.
Christmas Candlelight Caroling at the Franciscan Monastery. Join the Franciscans at Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto on the grounds of St. Anthony's Monastery for the story of the birth of Jesus interspersed with Christmas songs by candlelight. 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, December 6
Santa Arrives by Lobster Boat at David’s KPT on Ocean Avenue and then meets children at the Community House on Temple Street for photos. 2 p.m.
Friday, December 11
Fire + Ice at Nonantum Resort. Blazing bonfires, ice bars & sculptures, local food & drinks, and live music. For guests age 21 and older. Tickets required. 5-10 p.m. (This event repeats on Saturday.)
Tree Lighting in Dock Square. Join in Christmas caroling with music by True North. After the tree lighting, gather in the municipal parking lot behind Alisson's Restaurant or huddle on the causeway or the surrounding area to view the Prelude fireworks display. 5:30 p.m. Christmas Fireworks Display in the cove. Fireworks and can be viewed from the bridge and surrounding areas. 6:15 p.m.
Saturday, December 12
The Walk to Bethlehem. Join the candlelight procession that follows Mary and Joseph as they seek shelter at three historic inns only to be turned away and finally shown to a manger; hymns, carols, and scripture readings are followed by hot chocolate and cookies. Procession begins in front of the Captain Lord Mansion off Ocean Avenue. 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, December 13
Pooch Parade in Dock Square. Follow the LL Bean Boot with The Sea Dog's Mascot Slugger and your pooches wearing their favorite holiday attire and join in or simply enjoy watching. Parade begins at Consolidated School, School Street/Route 9 east. 11 a.m.
Santa Arrives by Fire Engine in Cape Porpoise Square. Photos for children of all ages. Hot chocolate and candy canes aplenty. 2 p.m.

December 3-6, 2015

The charm of this historic village comes alive amid thousands of beautiful white lights. Events include an official tree lighting, window decorating contest, hayrides, music, and entertainment, as well as Breakfast with Santa.
Thursday, December 3
Town tree lighting and visit from Santa in Updike Park. The North Kingstown Community Youth Chorus and The Lafayette Band perform. 6 p.m.
Friday, December 4
Santa arrives to the Town Dock aboard The Sea Princess. 5:30 p.m. (Also on Saturday and Sunday, 12:30 p.m.)
Live Nativity at St. Paul’s Church on Main Street. 6-7:30 p.m.
Hayrides with Santa around the Village from the Town Dock. 6-8 p.m. (repeats Saturday and Sunday, 1-4 p.m.)
North Kingstown Community Chorus sings carols in Updike Park. 6:30-7:15 p.m.
The Lafayette Band performs a concert at First Baptist Church, Main Street. 7:15-8:15 p.m.
Musical entertainment about the Village including Ye Olde English Carolers.
Saturday, December 5
Breakfast with Santa. 8-11 a.m.
Elf Parade from The Wickford Collection to the Town Dock. Noon.
Ice sculptor carves sculptures at Updike Park, Brown Street and West Main Street. 12:30 p.m.
Christmas at the Castle. Celebrate Christmas Past at Smith’s Castle. Sip hot cider, listen to live music. Noon-4 p.m. (Repeats Sunday, same hours)
North Kingstown Community Chorus and Youth Chorus Winter Concert at North Kingstown High School. 7 p.m. (Repeats Sunday at 3 p.m.)
Sunday, December 8
Wickford Holiday Kitchen Tour. Historic Wickford presents a walking tour of eight historic homes decorated for the holidays. 12:30-4 p.m.
The Ladies of the Rolling Pin perform at Updike Park. 3:15-4 p.m.

November 27, 2015-January 3, 2016

The central event of this month-long holiday celebration is the Christmas Stroll Weekend, taking place December 4-6 in 2015. On Saturday, Santa Claus arrives via Coast Guard vessel and is escorted up Straight Wharf by the Town Crier to a special whaling boat. Santa will parade up Main Street and across Centre Street to the Jared Coffin House, where he'll meet with children. Entertainment is provided by the Magical Talking Tree at the top of Main Street, carolers in period costume, student choirs and more. Holiday craft shows, exhibitions and performances – including the ever-popular Christmas House tour on Friday evening – add to the festivities. Visit the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce at Zero Main Street for a copy of the 2015 Official Stroll Program, available in late November. Find Ferry schedules.

November 27-29, 2015

During this weekend-long celebration, Santa arrives by Coast Guard boat at the Public Landing in Rockland; historic inns celebrate with a open houses; and the community comes out for the lobster trap tree lighting ceremony, Festival of Lights Parade, and family pancake breakfast with Santa. You may visit Santa at his workshop, take a free horse-drawn carriage ride, and enjoy holiday music and special events at the Farnsworth Art Museum. Schedule:
Friday, November 27
Santa arrives at Middle Pier via Coast Guard vessel at noon.
Free horse-drawn wagon rides happening in downtown Rockland. (This repeats on November 28 and December 5, 12, and 19.)
Visit Santa in his workshop at Harbor Park, Noon to 3 p.m. (This repeats on November 28 and December 5, 12, and 19.)
Lighting of the Lobster Trap Tree at Harbor Park. 6 p.m.
Saturday, November 28
Festival of Lights Parade on Main Street. 6 p.m.
Sunday, November 29
Breakfast with Santa at Eclipse Restaurant. 8:30 a.m.

December 11-13, 2015

The highlight of the weekend is a Wassail Parade through the center of Woodstock with 50 horses and riders dressed in holiday costumes and 19th-century dress (2 p.m. on Saturday). Other events include a Christmas tree lighting, carols, burning of the Yule log, house tours, readings of traditional Christmas stories, and much more. Schedule.

The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, 600 Main Street Hartford, CT Phone: 860-838-4100

December 4-13, 2015

During this ten-day event, holiday trees, wreaths and more decorated by area artists and others are displayed throughout Wadsworth Atheneum. All trees and decorations are for sale, and profits fund the museum’s work.
The Festival opens with First Thursday: "Night of Illumination!" on December 3 from 5-8 p.m. Guests may view and purchase trees or wreaths and enjoy seasonal music by DJ Jon Eastman, a holiday art activity, and a preview of "The Nutcracker Suite & Spicy" by CONNetic Dance. Also: tastings and treats; a screening of the film "White Christmas" begins at 8 p.m.
Entertainment during the Festival will feature visits from Santa & Mrs. Claus on December 6 and 13 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and December 12 from 2 to 5 p.m. Forty music and dance groups from across the state will perform in the galleries. Performance schedule.
Other special events during the Festival include concerts by the Hartford Gay Men's Chorus on December 8 and 9 at 8 p.m., and performances of "The Nutcracker Suite & Spicy" by CONNetic Dance on December 11 and 12 at 8 p.m. and December 13 at 2 p.m. Second Saturdays for Families: Art Holiday will happen December 12 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Admission: Wednesdays to Fridays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The Museum is closed December 7 and 8.
Time: Adults, $10; seniors over age 62, $8; students over age 13, $5; children under age 12, free; first Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m., $5.

November 27, 2015-January 1, 2016

Enjoy inn tours, tree lightings, The Elf Express, children’s concert, lighted tractor parade, christmas community pot luck, holiday cookie contest, historic walking tours, First Friday Christmas Stroll & much more!
Tree Lighting Weekend – November 27 and November 28
Manchester’s shops open the holiday shopping season
Dorset Gingerbread Houses on display
Holiday Tree Lighting with Santa and Mrs. Claus on Manchester’s Town Green
Holiday Cookie Contest -- Cookies must be delivered to the Green by 4:30 p.m.
Carols and singing with Bruce White. 5 p.m.
Town Illumination and visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. 5:30 p.m.
Tractor Parade Weekend – December 4 and 5
Christmas Stroll -- Retailers stay open until 9 p.m. with live music and treats.
Downtown Pub Crawl -- Ye Olde Tavern, Gringo Jack’s, Thai Basil, Depot 62, Ponce, Al Ducci’s, Mulligan’s, Spiral Press, Christos and Seasons’ offering holiday fare until 10 p.m.
Christmas 1912 at Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home -- December 4 to January 3, Christmas Eve 1912. Festive holiday décor, musicians play carols on Aeolian pipe organ and piano on many weekends.
Hooked on the Holidays celebration at the American Museum of Fly Fishing. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Lighted Tractor Parade featuring dozens of floats and lighted tractors. Parade departs the Dorr Farm at 5 p.m.
Advent Workshop: Holiday Crafts for Kids at the Arlington Federated Church. 2 p.m.
Inn Tour Weekend – December 11 and 13
Historic Walking Tours -- Manchester’s Historical Society providing free walking tours of Bonnet Street and Main Street, leaving from the Visitor Welcome Center. 2-4 p.m. (Repeated on Saturday).
Route 11/30 Pub Crawl -- The Perfect Wife, Ravens Den, Bistro Henry, Garlic John’s, Zoey’s Double Hex and Brasserie L’Ousteau offering holiday pub fare until 10 p.m.
Saturday – December 12
Inn Tours -- Inns and lodgings decorated for the holiday will welcome visitors for the afternoon. 1-5 p.m.
Tree Lighting in Arlington with caroling & holiday treats. 4 p.m.
Christmas Community Potluck at Manchester Public Library. Roast beef, turkey and stuffing and seafood bisque at an old fashioned Vermont Community Christmas Pot Luck Dinner in Manchester’s Library. 6-8 p.m.
The Elf Express Weekend – December 21 and 22
Green Mountain Train Rides with Christopher Pop-in-kins. Family entertainment on board from Santa and his elves during five rides each day. Tickets available online or at the Manchester and the Mountains Regional Chamber of Commerce.

December 11-13, 2015

Two weekend celebration of tree lightings, caroling, chowder and chocolate fest, beach bonfire, entertainment, shopping, Santa, and more. Town Tree Lighting at Veterans Park and concert at Ogunquit Baptist Church on Friday; visits with Santa, Basement Bazaar, hay rides, Taste of the Season at the Dunaway Center, Arts and Crafts show and art sale, and wine tasting on Saturday. The main event on Saturday is a Christmas Parade at 3 p.m. followed by a bonfire and fireworks at Perkins Cove. See event website for a full schedule of activities.