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Top 6 Holiday Activities in New Hampshire’s Monadnock Region

With all the hustle and bustle of the busy holiday season it’s easy to forget to slow down and enjoy the some of its magic. Below are 6 of our favorite unique local activities to do in southern New Hampshire’s Monadnock Region – each sure to help get you into the spirit of the holiday season (activities are in no particular order).

1. Cut-Your-Own Christmas Tree: Although Christmas trees are available nearly everywhere nowadays, have you ever cut-your-own? Take a walk through the woods, enjoy the scenery and views and select a fresh, perfect-for-you tree all while supporting a local tree farmer. There are too many tree farmers in our area to list. Some have a larger selection than others (type of tree as well as numbers), some provide free wagon rides to collect your tree while others encourage the exercise, but will transport your tree back for you. Most have pre-cut trees available as well as other related items, like wreaths, swags, roping and often a warm drink to round out the experience. We’re happy to help you find the right tree farm to search for your special tree.

2. Candy canes, anyone? Watch the candy masters of Ye Goodie Shoppe on Keene NH’s beautiful Main Street make candy canes from scratch right before your eyes. The sweet sticks of sugar are hand crafted in a variety of colors and flavors to suit any sweet tooth. Candy cane production is typically done on weekends, but production is weather and supply dependant so call ahead if you want to be sure to catch sight of their production.

3. Take part in a 150 year old Christmas Classic: Watch the local talent of the Walpole Players put on their 4th annual production of Charles Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol. This annual production put on in Walpole’s historic Town Hall is free, but tickets are required due to limited space in the theater. A cash donation to area food shelves is requested at the door. The production takes place at 7pm on December 14, 15, 16 &17 and the free tickets are available at area local businesses including Real to Reel Video, Galloway Real Estate, Village Booksellers, Costume Ladies, Murray’s and Jake’s or call us at the Inn and we’d be happy to pick them up for you.

4. Holiday Light Spectacular: The holiday light display at “the Farm” in Chesterfield is a collection of hundreds of thousands of outdoor lights creating a wondrous, winter fantasyland for all to enjoy. Truly a “sight to see” and a fun evening to share with family or friends as you drive through this spectacular display of glittering lights. Thursday, December 8th- Sunday, December 18th, 6-9pm. Donations of canned goods or cash collected at the gate to benefit Joan’s Food Pantry. The light display is located off of Route 9 at Pond Brook Road in Chesterfield, NH. For more information contact Valerie Starbuck, 603-762-3447 or

5. The Walpole live nativity is one of my favorite events of the year. The nativity begins shortly after 8pm on Christmas Eve just after the three Walpole church services (Unitarian, Congregational and Episcopal) conclude. Hundreds of people gather on the quaint town common holding white candles around a full size crèche with live animals and numerous role players including sweet little angels and a baby “Jesus”. Words are spoken, carols are sung and warm holiday wishes are exchanged with friends, neighbors and strangers alike. This annual event has been going on for decades and is one of many Walpole traditions that make this community so special.

6. Savor a warm drink: And here’s where that “slow down to enjoy the season” bit comes in. Take a moment and savor a cup of likely the best hot chocolate you’ll ever have the pleasure to consume at the Café at Burdick Chocolates. Their Christmas display is just as impressive as the hot chocolate and sure to help get you into the spirit of the season! Certainly, if you’ve built up an appetite doing any of the above activities they have a wonderful selection of offerings for lunch and dinner in their restaurant too.

Of course there are many other great reasons to come to the picturesque village of Walpole now or any other time of the year including wine tastings at Walpole Mountain View Winery, unique gifts in local shops like the Walpole Art Cooperative and Ruggles and Hunt, miles of hiking trails, Walpole Farmers’Market, Alyson’s Orchard, the highly acclaimed 9-hole Hooper Golf Course, and more.

Spend the night at the Inn at Valley Farms and relax by a roaring fire in the library of our New Hampshire Bed and Breakfast and wake up to a three course candlelight breakfast before heading back to reality – almost enough to wish it was holiday time year-round!

Happy Holidays!

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