Discover December 2017 at Discover Portsmouth

Shop at Discover Portsmouth

Artists, gifts, quilts, books, photos, gingerbread -and much more.

Discover Portsmouth wants to thank tens of thousands of visitors for making the centennial year of Portsmouth Historical Society, well — historic. And we’re still celebrating daily through December 23 with a Santa’s bag full of events, exhibitions & museum shop treasures. In the spirit of Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth, we’re making your next holiday stop at Discover Portsmouth a must for the whole family — and it’s free.

Jay GoldsmithTwo new exhibitions fill our upstairs galleries. The Academy Gallery in the 1810-era historic building features the third and final year of “What Artists Look Like.” Portsmouth photographer Jay Goldsmith has once again created a powerful portrait gallery of popular seacoast artists whose works are also on display. A bonus exhibition includes stunning hand-crafted art quilts on loan this month only from the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA.

Shop Discover Portsmouth NHDownstairs the Museum Shop offers a carefully selected array of surprises and keepsakes for everyone on your list. You’ll find cool stuff for kids, plus unique jewelry, artwork, and apparel by local artisans. Discover Portsmouth proudly offers one of the best selections of Portsmouth-area books, including Patricia Wall’s revealing new study of “lost” African-Americans entitled Lives of Consequence, recently released by our own Portsmouth Marine Society Press.

Gingerbread House ContestAnd, of course, there’s a cityscape of gingerbread architecture to delight all ages. Take an indoor walking tour of the most colorful and edible Portsmouth exhibition to date. Vote for the winners of the 27th Annual Gingerbread House Contest. And stay warm and toasty in our spacious welcome center, no matter how chilly the weather outdoors. Surrounding the gingerbread exhibition, hand-crafted by young-at-heart contributors, the walls are decorated by David J. Murray’s large format images of Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth and photographs of trains in New Hampshire winters by Andy Dolph.

Free Family Programming

Stop by anytime between 10am and 12:30pm for family fun on the mornings of Sunday, Dec. 10 and Sunday, Dec. 17

Karel Hayes Winter Visitors

Sunday, December 10, 10am-12:30pm

Book Signing 10am-11am
Author / Illustrator Karel Hayes will be in the Museum Shop signing two of her children’s books.
The Winter Visitors and The Christmas Visitors
Snowflakes 11am-12:30pm
Children will play with paper, craft sticks, tissue paper, and pipe cleaners to create all different kinds of snowflakes. Take your snowflakes home and design a winter wonderland.

Sunday, December 17, 10am-12:30pm

Gingerbread Man
Decorate and create your very own paper gingerbread man. Use your gingerbread man as a greeting card or an ornament.

Our other free Holiday special events include:

Plaid Friday

Friday, November 24
Enjoy cider and cookies while you shop at Discover Portsmouth!

Museum Store Sunday

Sunday, November 26
Come taste olives and olive oil from Lakonia Greek Products, a Maine family-owned gourmet food importer.

Art Around Town & Vintage Christmas Kick-off

Friday Dec. 1, open to 8 pm

Portsmouth Tree Lighting and Illuminated Holiday Parade

Saturday, Dec. 2, 5:30pm
We are open until 8pm – Stop in before or after the City’s Illuminated Holiday Parade

Sketching in the Gallery

Saturday December 2, 10 am to 12 pm
With local artist Kim Massaro [MORE INFO]

Tote Around Portsmouth

Dec. 9, pick up your free tote bag

Farewell Historic 2017

Saturday December 23
Last day to shop, view gingerbread houses, and see exhibitions.

For more information on events, exhibitions, and the Museum Shop, call Discover Portsmouth, 10 Middle Street, at 603-436-8433.

And Happy Holidays to all!