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Best Winter Activities in Portsmouth, New Hampshire


As snow blankets the charming coastal town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, a magical winter wonderland emerges. Far from hibernation, Portsmouth comes alive with myriad activities that celebrate the beauty of the season. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, here are some of the best winter activities to embrace in Portsmouth.

Photo by David Murray/Clear Eye Photo courtesy of The Chamber Collaborative of Greater Portsmouth

Ice Skating at Puddle Dock Pond

Experience the joy of gliding across the ice at the Labrie Family Skate rink on Puddle Dock Pond. Located at Strawbery Banke Museum, this outdoor ice skating rink offers a picturesque backdrop of the downtown’s historic buildings. Whether you’re a seasoned skater or a novice, the rink provides a wonderful opportunity for some frosty fun with friends and family.

Photo by David Murray/Clear Eye Photo courtesy of The Chamber Collaborative of Greater Portsmouth

Winter Strolls in Historic Downtown

Bundle up in your coziest winter attire and embark on a delightful stroll through the historic streets of downtown Portsmouth. Admire the twinkling lights adorning the colonial architecture and explore the quaint shops and boutiques. The festive ambiance makes it a perfect setting for shopping or simply soaking in the winter charm.

Photo by Lee Germeroth courtesy of The Chamber Collaborative of Greater Portsmouth

Cozy Culinary Experiences

Warm up from the winter chill with Portsmouth’s diverse culinary scene. Indulge in comfort food at one of the town’s cozy pubs like BRGR Bar or The Goat, or treat yourself to a meal on the waterfront at places like River House or Martingale Wharf Restaurant & Bar. Some great stops along the way are Hearth Market – a new addition to Portsmouth as of May 2023 that features fare by local purveyors; FIVE81°NE, a newer Thai restaurant just outside of downtown; and high-end sushi restaurant Nichinan. And don’t miss the area’s famous Elephantine Bakery, an elegant, architecturally attractive café serving Mediterranean-style breakfast and lunch and killer breads and pastries.

Photo by Dan Freund


Portsmouth is a haven for beer enthusiasts with its thriving brewery scene. The city is home to a variety of craft breweries, each offering a unique and flavorful experience. From the historic traditions at Portsmouth Brewery to the innovative brews of Earth Eagle Brewings, and the cozy atmosphere of Liars Bench Beer Company, beer lovers can explore a diverse range of tastes and styles while enjoying the welcoming and lively brewery culture in Portsmouth.

Photo by Raya Al-Hashmi/Raya on Assignment courtesy of The Chamber Collaborative of Greater Portsmouth

Indoor Activities

Portsmouth and its surrounding area have a great list of indoor activities to keep your body warm and your mind active. Tax-free retail shopping along Market Square, Congress Street, Market Street, and State Street is a great way to get some exercise while escaping the cold from shop to shop. Monkey Mind Escape Rooms in downtown Portsmouth offers thrilling and immersive puzzle experiences for adventure seekers. Vent Activity Rooms is a unique business where visitors can smash breakable items to relieve stress or get creative in a splatter paint room. Sea Love Candle Bar allows visitors to create personalized candles in a relaxing environment. The Seacoast Science Center in nearby Rye, NH, provides a fascinating exploration of marine life and ecosystems. And the Children’s Museum in Dover, NH, is an interactive hub fostering learning through play for young minds.

Photo courtesy of New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism

Snowshoeing & Cross-Country Skiing

For those seeking a more active winter adventure, head to nearby trails for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. The snow-laden landscapes of Prescott Park and the Urban Forestry Center are popular spots for winter sports, allowing you to connect with nature while staying active.

Photo by David Murray/Clear Eye Photo courtesy of The Chamber Collaborative of Greater Portsmouth

The Arts

Portsmouth boasts a vibrant arts scene with diverse attractions. The Press Room and The Music Hall stand out with winter calendars filled with live music events. The Seacoast Repertory Theater showcases compelling theatrical productions, and Player’s Ring by Prescott Park is a hidden gem offering intimate performances in a small theater setting. Together, these attractions contribute to Portsmouth’s rich cultural tapestry.


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