If anywhere there was a group of towns and villages that take the holidays seriously, it’s here in Mt Washington Valley.  Whether it’s holiday shopping or Santa soirees, visitors to Mt Washington Valley will find the spirit of the holidays throughout Nov. and Dec..

Holiday shopping

Nov. 24: Plaid Friday sponsored by White Mountain Independents: An alternative to Black Friday when small, independently owned businesses encourage visitors to shop local. Citizens wear plaid to show their support for our local economy. Businesses will be serving as Plaid Friday Hubs and acting as Shift Your Shopping ambassadors while taking photographs of plaid clad shoppers for a Plaid Friday Collage. Find them at; Assets Jean Co., Fields of Ambrosia, The Handcrafter’s Barn, Four Your Paws Only, Ragged Mountain Equipment and White Birch Books.

Nov. 24-26: Black Friday Weekend at Settlers Green:  The shops open at 6 a.m. on Black Friday with sales that last throughout the weekend. Stores stay open until 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Stop by Customer Service to receive free gifts while they last.

Nov. 26: Small Business Saturday: White Mountain Independents and small businesses throughout the Mount Washington Valley join in this national endeavor to encourage shopping at locally owned small businesses for the holiday season.

Nov. 27: Cider Monday:  An alternative to Cyber Monday, White Mountain Independents members invite you to step away from online shopping and stop by for a cup of apple cider.

Nov. 30:  Locals Night at Four Your Paws Only: It’s a “howl-i-day” extravaganza including wine, local beer sampling, light appetizers and desserts, free drawings every half hour, and everything will be on sale at 15-percent off.  .

Dec. 2: Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting at Settlers Green. From 10 a.m.-2 p.m., free horse-drawn sleigh loops around Settlers Green every 15 minutes. Jump aboard at the Timberland Factory Store and Kay Jewelers. Free hot chocolate and candy canes will be available at the customer service office, plus free snow tubing at Settlers Green’s own snowtubing hill created by Cranmore Mountain Resort. There will be caroling by local groups and photos with Santa ($12). From 2-4 p.m., Join Santa Claus for the Settlers Green tree lighting at the gazebo.

Dec. 9-10: Holiday Crystal Party: Waterford Wedgewood Royal Doulton will hold a holiday crystal party at Settlers Green on Saturday, Dec. 9, 3-5 p.m., and on Sunday, Dec. 10, 1-3 p.m.

Family holiday fun

Nov. 23: Purity Spring Thanksgiving Day 5K Trail Race: The 5K course is a trail race on rolling terrain over the beautiful, scenic Nordic trails at King Pine Ski Area, Purity Spring Resort. The fitness walk and kids fun run will take place on trails near the running race. It is open to all ages and abilities. Start time: 9  a.m. Kids fun run, free, $20 for 5K (for pre-registered).

Nov. 24-26, Dec 2-3, 9-10 and 16-23: Santa’s Holiday Express: Santa is on board the Conway Scenic Railroad with his mischievous elves, who will share their hot chocolate and cookies. Round-trip one-hour train excursions to Conway leave at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Nov. 24-26, Dec. 1-3, 7-10, 14-17, and 22-23: Journey to the North Pole: A two-hour adventure, takes you on a magical train ride to see Santa in his workshop at the North Pole. Board the train at the Conway Scenic Railroad. For schedules and more information, go to journeytothenorthpole.org.

Nov. 24-Dec. 17: Traditionally Yours Jackson: Celebrate the Christmas and Holiday Season in Jackson, Bartlett, Glen and beyond. Nov. 24 is the official start, with businesses offering open houses, holiday drink tastings, storytelling, fondues and more. On Nov. 25, Santa’s first takes place at 4:30 p.m. at the Jackson Village gazebo. On Nov. 26 is the annual old fashioned tree lighting ceremony with a special invite back to the Christmas Farm Inn & Spa for their annual open house at the varn. The Christmas & Holiday festivities continue over the next four weekends with craft fairs, wine and holiday drink tastings, cookie decorating, jingle bell chocolate tours, breakfast buffets and more.

Nov. 25: Great Glen Annual Craft Fair: From 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the base lodge for the Mount Washington Auto Road. Purchases supports our Great Glen Bill Koch League Ski Club.

Nov. 25: An Old-Fashioned Christmas in North Conway Village: Festivities begin in Schouler Park at 4:30 p.m. and continue with  caroling, tree lighting, parade and a visit with Santa.

Nov. 25: Santa’s Visit in Jackson: Santa will arrive at the gazebo in Jackson Village in a horse-drawn sleigh by way of the 4 p.m. Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour (Anyone interested in riding with Santa can book their Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour Tickets separately). Santa promises to stay until the last child has had a chance to share their Christmas dreams with him. If there is inclement weather — a sign will be posted on the gazebo and Santa will be visiting at the Whitney’s Community Center.

Nov. 26: Christmas Holiday Tree Lighting in Jackson: The gathering for the annual tree lighting ceremony is scheduled for 4 p.m. The Jackson Grammar School children and the Da Capo Singers be caroling. Santa will light the tree at 4:30 p.m. An open house at Christmas Farm Inn and Spa follows. 

Dec. 7-9, 14-16, and 21-23:  “A Christmas Carol” by M&D Productions. An adaptation of the best known Christmas story every written — Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, Dec. 7-23 at Your Theatre, Willow Common, 1857 White Mountain Highway, North Conway. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. To reserve seats go to mdplayhouse.com or call (603) 733-5275.

Dec. 9-10: The 21st annual Inn to Inn Cookie and Candy Tour:  From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., visit 11 inns all dressed in their holiday finery; taste scrumptious holiday cookies and candy, and take home a collection of recipes in a keepsake cookbook Tickets must be reserved in advance. Call (800) 338-1356 or (603) 356-2642 or go to countryinnsinthewhitemountains.com.

Dec. 10: Holiday Concert for Kids at MWV Children’s Museum: Enjoy a special Christmas concert with Sharon Novak and Santa for babies and toddlers at 3 p.m. at the MWV Children’s Museum.

Dec. 26–31: Conway Scenic Railroad Holiday Week Trains: Old-fashioned train rides will be offered twice daily Dec. 26 through 31, to Conway: 11:30 and 1:30 (about an hour round-trip).

For more information on planning a holiday getaway to Mt Washington Valley, go to mtwashingtonvalley.org.  To talk to a vacation concierge, call 1-800-367-3365 (800-DO-SEE-NH).  To plan your New Hampshire holiday trip, go to www.VisitNH.gov.

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