The holidays are rapidly approaching, and people are trying to find out how to safely celebrate the season. Well, staying safe indoors or while maintaining distance doesn’t have to be dull! Although this year’s holidays will undoubtedly look different than last year’s, you can still celebrate and make treasured memories with your loved ones. From the festival of lights in Hanover to Wassail Weekend in Woodstock, here are some ideas to make this holiday season extra special.
1. Hanover Festival of Lights
Located in the picturesque town of Hanover, New Hampshire, the Festival of Lights Celebration is one you can enjoy with the whole family. In the beautifully decorated downtown, you can find 18 decorated Christmas trees, family-friendly activities, and sidewalk shopping, which provides the perfect opportunity for some socially distanced fun. The Hanover Holiday Food Market (8 outdoor food stalls) offers an assortment of local cuisine you can experience and the perfect opportunity to relish the festivities while practicing social distancing. The Festival of Lights will take place every day from now until December 26.
2. Ariana’s Restaurant at the Lyme Inn
Ariana’s Restaurant in Lyme, New Hampshire uses fresh, high-quality ingredients from local farms in their outstanding cuisine. Menu options are inspired by diverse cultures and feature in-season produce. If you want to create some new memories with the family and enjoy an excellent meal, be sure to check out Ariana’s. Following COVID safety rules, there is limited restaurant seating and take-out dining. Guests are encouraged to call ahead for a reservation.
3. Visit Barnard General Store
If you’re looking for a great local shopping and dining experience, be sure to stop by the Barnard General Store located in Barnard, Vermont. With its old-fashioned charm, this store is a testament to the devotion of the community and offers a diverse selection of groceries, local products, and much more. You can also get lunch at the deli where sandwiches and ice cream are served.
4. Wintery Picnic with the Family
Feel like staying in? This holiday season is the perfect opportunity to have an indoor picnic with your family! Order some take-out from your favorite local restaurant or have it delivered to your door. Then lay out a blanket or quilt near the tree in the living room and have everyone join for a fun, new holiday tradition. After that, you can curl up on the couch or by the fireplace and watch some classic holiday movies with the family.
5. Make Holiday Cookies
A great go-to activity this holiday season is making some festive cookies with the family. Grab a bowl, some measuring spoons and cups, and the listed ingredients to whip up something extra-magical. Here are 30 Favorite Christmas Cookie Recipes you can try. Don’t forget to add the sprinkles!
6. Wassail Weekend
Known for its charm and history, the town of Woodstock, Vermont, hosts the much-loved annual tradition of Wassail Weekend. There are a variety of restaurants and shops you can enjoy as well as the phenomenal lights display. For some extra fun, you can mask up and join in the town-wide scavenger hunt with your family. Follow the clues and find some treasure waiting for you at the end! Guests and residents are welcome to join in the fun. Please be sure to wear your face masks and practice social distancing to ensure a safe, healthy holiday celebration for all.
7. Create Homemade Holiday Drinks
Although you might not be able to gather with family and friends this holiday season, you can still make memories and celebrate together by hosting a virtual party and enjoying some great cocktails. Here are recipes for 10 festive holiday drinks you can create together. For fun with your kids, you can make Homemade Hot Chocolate and put together a holiday-themed puzzle. For an extra touch, add marshmallows, peppermint, or whipped topping. These festive drinks will be a sweet addition to your wintery celebrations.
8. Make Homemade Citrus Ornaments
While you’re staying safe by staying indoors, now is the perfect time to flex your creative muscles! Gather together your family and try making these adorable homemade citrus ornaments. All you need are oranges, but if you want to get extra creative, you can also use limes, grapefruits, or lemons. You’ll want to use a serrated knife to cut extremely thin slices of fruit before laying them on a prepared baking sheet approximately ½ inch apart. Pop in a preheated oven at 200 degrees and bake for two to three hours, flipping every 30 minutes. After they have completely cooled, pierce with thin ornament hooks. These simple yet timeless ornaments will be a great gift or perfect addition to your home decorations.
9. Christmas at the Farm
This year, Billings Farm and Museum, also located in Woodstock, Vermont, is hosting their Christmas at the Farm event. You and your family can enjoy lots of festive activities such as candle dipping, tours, cookie decorating, and of course, drinking wassail. On the surrounding property, you can take in the beautiful snow and have some good old-fashioned fun snow-shoeing. Christmas at the Farm is taking place from now until December 28, so bundle up, grab your masks, and head on over to Billings Farm to create some unforgettable memories with your loved ones!
10. Make a Gingerbread House
Another way to have fun together as a family this season is by embarking on a much-beloved holiday tradition: making a gingerbread house! You can buy a gingerbread house start-up kit from the store, or if you want to make one completely from scratch, you can find a recipe here: Gingerbread House. As you and the kids are crafting the gingerbread house, stop to take some pictures of the family to capture the moment. Make sure to stock up on sprinkles, candy canes, and your favorite holiday candies to decorate this masterpiece!
11. Attend a Virtual Event
While in-person activities may be off the table this year, you and your family can still attend events virtually! There are lots of fantastic events happening, such as the virtual Hanukkah celebration being put on by the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. You can enjoy the Kwanzaa festival, which offers shops and dances, or the Washington National Cathedral's virtual Christmas celebrations. If you want to watch the Nutcracker this year, there are a wide variety of ballet companies showing this classic Christmas ballet virtually, so be sure to check out these opportunities as well. By stopping in for one of these virtual events, you can connect with the holidays, learn about how different cultures celebrate, and enjoy quality time with your family.
12. Make a Candy Cane Cake
For the peppermint lovers out there, this Candy Cane Cake Recipe will prove to be a dream come true. If you want something quick and easy, you can pick up an angel food cake mix from the store. The finished cake looks stunning and is sure to be a family favorite in no time. Since it makes 8-10 servings, it is more than enough for a late-night snack while watching a festive film with your family or a midnight treat after the kids have gone to bed. So what are you waiting for? It is time to turn up the holiday tunes and start making this delicious masterpiece.
13. Drive-Through Holiday Lights Extravaganza
How about loading up in the car with your family, putting on your facemasks, and grabbing a cup of coffee or chai to-go from your favorite local coffee shop? While enjoying your hot drinks, you can drive through the neighborhoods and take in the sights of holiday lights and decor. This is a great activity you can enjoy as a family while practicing safety and basking in the spirit of the season. And when you all arrive home again, you will find that good holiday cheer is contagious.
14. King Arthur Baking Company
Located in Norwich, Vermont, King Arthur Baking Company has fantastic opportunities for food-lovers and bakers alike. On their elegant campus, you can stop by the bakery and cafe and enjoy delicious bread and pastries. After that, be sure to check out the King Arthur Baking Company Store, which carries fun treats and high-quality ingredients. And if you’re interested in honing your baking skills, you can take part in their highly acclaimed baking school. For recipes and baking tips this holiday season, be sure to check out their website at King Arthur Baking.
15. Have a Secret Santa with Friends
You may be missing your friends this season, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate Christmas with them. How about having a Secret Santa gift exchange? Simply write down the names of those who wish to participate, put the names in a bowl, and have someone who isn’t playing draw names and tell each individual whose name they received. Then let the shopping begin! This is a fun way to connect with friends over the holidays and let them know you are thinking of them.
16. Make a Homemade Garland
If you feel like embracing your inner artist, how about trying these 48 Best Christmas Garland Ideas to put on your fireplace mantle or stairway banister? This is a fun way to decorate your home for the season, bond as a family, and polish up those craftsmanship skills. You can even make garlands for your porch or create your own table centerpiece. The possibilities are endless!
We feel very fortunate to make our home here and would love to help you find yours. If you’re looking for homes for sale in New Hampshire or Vermont, contact Occom Group Real Estate today. With our experience, expertise and unmatched dedication to our clients, Occom Group will guide you thoughtfully through the home-buying process. In the meantime, we wish you and yours all the best this Holiday Season.