The Best Local Ways to Savor an Old-Fashioned Holiday Season

During winter in the Monadnock Region, friends and neighbors embrace the merriest time of year with unique Yankee style and ingenuity. It’s a time for connecting with community and savoring the traditions that make the holidays so memorable.

All around Southwestern New Hampshire, you’ll find diverse ways to get festive and celebrate the season! Whether it’s learning a new skill that’s been passed down for generations or taking part in a time-honored trek to find the perfect evergreen, there’s lots of magic all around.

Visions of Sugar Plums

Why not start with something sweet? The 16th Annual Currier and Ives Cookie Tour is a delicious way to view this corner of New England at its best! 10 local businesses have teamed together to present this delightful day of decadence.

Plate of artfully frosted cookies surrounded by Christmas boughs and decorations

B&Bs, inns, restaurants, boutiques, gift shops, and historical societies will be sharing homemade cookies, refreshments, recipes, and so much more on December 11, 2021. Bring your own cookie tin to fill along the way! This year, proceeds from the tour will benefit Santa’s House in Jaffrey, NH, a program that helps provide holiday gifts for families who need support.

Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

If your family loves to deck the halls with a festive fir tree, there is holiday magic to be found outdoors. Picking out your own perfect tree delights everyone, young and old.

It’s such a holiday favorite that farms have been selling out of trees in record time this year, including Windswept Mountain View Farm in Richmond and Homestead Farm in Walpole. But other favorite farms still have some beautiful pines to choose from, like Crescendo Acres in Surry (though they won’t last long!).

snowy farm with Christmas trees

Crescendo Acres Farm, Surry

At Crescendo Acres, you can enjoy seeing alpacas and mini horses, and also check out their shop that is well-stocked with locally made and sourced items, including handmade Christmas ornaments.

There are other tree farms in the Monadnock Region where you can find fresh Christmas trees. But we strongly recommend calling ahead as trees will continue to sell out quickly.

Merry and Bright

For a truly traditional holiday, celebrate down at the farm! The Inn at East Hill Farm goes over the top for the holidays with a complete schedule of events. Their Christmas on the Farm day, happening December 18, 2021, starts in the dairy barn with the milkers. While you’re busy with edible crafts, ornament-making, visiting ponies, eating s’mores, or winning a winter scavenger hunt, don’t be surprised if you spy the Man in Red himself making a jolly appearance!

And the fun doesn’t stop there! Ring in 2022 at East Hill Farm provides overnight lodging for the whole family featuring a five-course meal with baked salmon and roast beef. This First Night Celebration is held outside by the campfire with s’mores, hot beverages, festive games and a glow dance party. What a wonderful way to say hello to 2022!

Taking Home Tradition

Using old-fashioned tools, Mill Hollow Works of Keene, NH is dedicated to the vision of sharing generational skills. Throughout the season, these Heritage Craft School teachers are offering holiday-themed workshops at gorgeous Stonewall Farm.

Stonewall Farm building - Keene NH

Stonewall Farm, photo by John Phelan

If you have ever wanted to master rustic wreaths, dried garlands, homemade ornaments, gingerbread houses, crochet snowflakes, hand-baked bread, or even festive pomander balls, now is your moment! Taking a class with family or friends is also a beautiful way to slow down and enjoy the season together.

Making a wreath with fresh fir

Winter Wonderland

Traditional lantern lighting is a bright way to enjoy the outdoors, the dark nights, and the traditions of community. For the second year in a row, The Children and the Arts Festival will be creating a stunning lantern installation in Putnam Park in Peterborough December 3rd through December 5th.

The organizers have been hosting home workshops to help create enough of the intricate lanterns to adorn the riverside park. The magic of these lovely lanterns is a must-see event for the whole family, so come take a stroll. Locals are also encouraged to make their own lanterns to light outside their homes.

Eat Papa, Eat!

Of course, one of the best ways to gather together is around a beautiful meal. How about a traditional holiday ham? For the utmost in mouthwatering meat, tempt your tastebuds with locally raised pigs from Paradise Farm in Lyndeborough, NH. These porkers live high off the hog, munching on organic dairy, fruit and high-quality breads. The farm’s grass-fed porterhouse, rib eye, T-bone, and sirloin steaks will also get you out to your grill even in the meanest of Nor-easters.

In addition, find their goods at the Milford, NH Indoor Farmers’ Market, an award-winning market with all the trimmings for your holidays. From Swedish baked-goods and maple syrup, to black garlic and vinaigrettes, there’s something local to tempt every palate. It’s the perfect place to find meaningful local gifts, such as goat milk soaps, jams, bee balm cream, and sheep fleece, as well. A lovely way to spend a Saturday morning (open biweekly through the winter months).

However you keep old traditions vibrant, the season of snow and ice provides a shining backdrop for adventure. Here in the Monadnock Region, we embrace the weather and find ways to stay cozy while connecting with those we love and the traditions that warm our hearts.

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