New Hampshire is known for its beautiful scenery, beautiful mountain hikes, great food, and friendly locals – and there are tons of things to do during the cold months.
Whether you prefer indoor activities or outdoor adventures, New Hampshire has something for everyone; check out these awesome ideas for some fun winter activities that will suit every preference.
Skiing & Snowboarding
Skiing in New Hampshire is a favorite pastime among many residents. The state offers skiing at over 100 different ski resorts, including Cannon Mountain, Loon Mountain, Wildcat Mountain, Bretton Woods, and more.
If you’re looking for a little adventure, try your hand at snowboarding! There are several spots around the state where you can learn how to snowboard, from beginner areas like Franconia Notch State Park to intermediate slopes like Mount Sunapee.
You can also hit the dizziest heights – Mount Washington is one of the highest peaks in the northeastern United States. During the winter, skiers head up the mountain to enjoy the fresh powder and breathtaking views.
Many visitors come to ski down the mountain, but skiing up takes skill and practice, so it’s important to choose a reputable company before attempting this feat.
If you want to skate outdoors but don’t have access to an ice rink, head to one of the many ponds and lakes across the Granite State.
Many towns offer public skating sessions on local ponds throughout the year. You’ll find them listed on town websites and online directories – this is a great way to enjoy ice skating in a safe place.
Cross-country skiing is another popular winter activity in New Hampshire. The state boasts nearly 200 miles of groomed trails, which makes it easy to get outfitted with all the necessary equipment.
Popular destinations include the White Mountains, Monadnock Region, Lakes Region, and the Seacoast area.
Ice fishing is a popular sport in New Hampshire because of the large number of lakes and rivers throughout the state.
Most people fish for northern pike, lake trout, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, muskellunge, perch, crappie, bluegill, pumpkinseed sunfish, and catfish.
Some of the best places to catch fish include Lake Winnipesaukee, Squam Lake, Piscataquog River, Merrimack River, and Lake Massabesic.
See Snow Sculptures
The New England region is home to hundreds of snow sculptures, many of which are created by professional artists. These works of art can be found in parks, museums, and other public spaces throughout the state.
Check out the following links for information about New Hampshire’s most famous snow sculptures:
Hire A Snowmobile
Snowmobiles are a great way to explore the backwoods of New Hampshire. Rentals are available through a number of companies such as NH Sledventure (www.nhsledventures.com), and New Hampshire Snowmobile Association (nhsa.com).
Watch For Wildlife
During the winter months, wildlife enthusiasts flock to New Hampshire to see deer, moose, foxes, rabbits, squirrels, birds, owls, and even bears. The state also hosts numerous festivals and events dedicated to celebrating nature and wildlife.
Visit The Mighty Ice Castles
New Hampshire has long been known for its impressive ice castles, located in the White Mountain region of the state.
Visitors travel from all over the world to see these frozen masterpieces, which are constructed of thousands of lights and icicles to create an incredible frozen winter wonderland, with slides, tunnels, and chutes that will delight kids of all ages – not to mention their parents and families!
Try A Spot of Dog Sledding
Dog sledding is a fun winter activity in New Hampshire for both children and adults. It’s a unique way to experience the snowy wilderness during the holiday season.
Dog Sledding tours usually depart from Bar Harbor or Wolfeboro, depending on the tour operator, and most will give you a chance to try your hand at driving the team, as well as meeting the dogs and learning more about the history of dog sledding.
Go On An Ice Climbing Trip
If you’re looking for something active and adventurous to do during the winter, consider booking a trip to go ice climbing. Several companies offer guided trips to some of the most beautiful locations in the Northeast.
This is a great way to spend time outside while getting a good workout and will give you a chance to really make the most of the sights and scenes that North Hampshire has to offer.
Ride The Mountain Coaster
One of the newest attractions in New Hampshire is the new mountain coaster at Gunstock Mountain!
With space for two people per cart, you can whiz through the frozen mountain landscape at up to 25 miles an hour – or use the built-in breaks to slow things down and really take in the scenery.
Enjoy Christmas Lights
There’s no better place to celebrate the holiday spirit than in New Hampshire. From coast to coast, visitors enjoy the beauty of the state’s Christmas light displays.
Some of the best include those along Route 101A in Hampton Beach, the Portsmouth waterfront, and downtown Dover.
Cut Down Your Own Christmas Tree
Add a little Hallmark magic to your Christmas by choosing and cutting down your very own festive Christmas tree.
You’ll find plenty of places where you can cut down your own tree throughout the state, including Forsters Christmas Tree Farm, Gardens and Gift Shop – a firm favorite amongst many families in the area.
Take A Seasonal Sleigh Ride
Nothing says “Christmas” like a traditional horse-drawn sleigh ride. Many towns across New Hampshire offer this classic seasonal treat, such as Hanover, Dover, Keene, and Stratham, with the famous Charmingfare Farm remaining a firm favorite.
Watch A Live Nativity Scene
The tradition of watching a live nativity scene continues in New England. Families gather around town squares and other public areas to watch the story unfold before them.
Scenes are often performed all through the festive period, giving you plenty of chances to get into that holiday spirit.
New Hampshire offers so much to do during the holidays, whether it be skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, or just relaxing by a traditional nativity performance.
Whatever you choose to do, we hope you have a wonderful time celebrating the season!
Other NH Guides that may be of interest: