Tree Lighting Evening in Portsmouth NH

One of the best things about my new home in New Hampshire is our proximity to Portsmouth!! Portsmouth is on the water, but not really the ocean. Its on the Piscataqua River which is an estuary to the Atlantic. There are “the decks”, which is what we call the restaurants that overlook the river, and then Market Square, and Strawberry Banke. Market Square is sort of the hub of walking in Portsmouth, and the Strawberry Banke is this area that preserved all the historic homes there. There is a museum and tours and such there. Then there is Prescott Park which sadly doesn’t allow dogs, but is a nice place to look out at the water.

The tree lighting takes place every year right in Market Square, followed by the annual illuminated holiday parade. The many holiday activities throughout the month are called “Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth” The Strawberry Banke is decorated with carolers and horse drawn carriages and ice skating. In the evening, they put on all their Christmas lights and their tours are called “candlelight strolls“.

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Beautiful Christmas Tree, and yes bottom left corner is an LLBean hat haha
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It was definitely a night for the down jacket!
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All of the light posts in the city have illuminated wreaths with bows, love it.

I loved everything about this night. The tree was great, not as big as the Boston tree, but great. This was the first holiday parade I had ever been to, and I haven’t seen that many lights since the Disney parade. The marching bands even had lights on their instruments.

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There were a bunch of illuminated and decorated antique VW’s. I loved this pickup truck, so cool! Think it would fit under the tree?
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The Grinch and Cindy Lou Who!
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Yep, a Christmas train with a hot tub car. Definitely a fan favorite!
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Santa! I know him! This was the end of the parade, the kids went wild!

We walked around the perimeter of the Strawberry Banke to check it out, and decided that we are going to do the candlelight stroll next year!!

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The ice skating rink, Christmas tree, and crowd around the fire pit at the Strawberry Banke- so festive

It was cooooold out standing to watch the parade. We got hot cocoa at Starbucks after to warm up walking around. Breaking New Grounds is my favorite spot to get a hot drink in Market Sq but sadly the line was out the door! This is a tradition that I hope to go to every year! I need a better camera to take pictures at night huh? That WOULD certainly fit under the tree ❤

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Stroll around historic Portsmouth NH

This past weekend we were up in NH for a cookout Saturday. It was in honor of two of the cutest kids in the world, a little boy who turns six this coming Saturday, and his little sister who turned three in May. My husband’s friends in NH are friends that he has had since high school. They are a really tight knit crew and its always fun getting everyone together for something. It poured on Saturday but Sunday was all sun! We decided to walk around Portsmouth a little bit on Sunday to just enjoy the sunshine and give Mizpah some exercise. We walked down by the Strawberry Banke which is one of my favorite areas of Portsmouth and walked around Market Square. Portsmouth is on the Piscataqua River that separates New Hampshire and Maine and empties out into the Atlantic. Portsmouth isn’t actually on the ocean, Rye and New Castle NH to it’s east have that coastal privilege. I snapped some pics of some of my favorite historic houses and a little bit of the lovely Piscataqua!

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The Governor John Langdon House, a Georgian mansion built in 1784…the portico, the balustrades, the dormers, I don’t even know what I love the most.
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Strawberry Banke.
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The Oracle House, built around 1702 it is one of the oldest houses in New England. It was the home of the first daily newspaper in New Hampshire, The Oracle of the Day, in the 18th century
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The Goodwin House, built in 1811 and owned by Ichabod Goodwin, the governor of NH during the Civil War. This house is right near the Strawberry Banke museum.
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Adorable tea setting in the gardens of the Goodwin House.
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The Treadwell Jenness House, 1818. I love the eagle above the front door.
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The Liberty Pole, standing tall right near Prescott Park in Portsmouth. Again, the gold eagle that sits atop the pole is perfect.
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Market Square 🙂
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Nice little spot to see the Piscataqua near Old Ferry Landing. Mizpah got a lot of love from kids and adults hangin out here!
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My anchor tshirt is an oldie from J Crew Factory, jean shorts are from American Eagle, Sperry Topsiders, and my very first KJP bracelet!
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The Jacob Wendell House, 1789, he was a merchant ship owner and insurance agent. The carving above the door is a whale oil lamp. I love the gabled dormers.
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So this house may not have a plaque announcing its historical significance, but I just love it! It has a cute little backyard/garden and the size is a little understated but the Georgian door! I don’t know, its a favorite for me 🙂

Portsmouth is a really dog friendly city. There is an awesome dog park, Pierce Island has an off leash area, and dogs are allowed in many of the outdoor seating areas for restaurants/cafes. Dogs are not allowed in Prescott Park which is a really pretty park on the Piscataqua, and I don’t think they are allowed in the Strawberry Banke historic area. There are so many beautiful old houses in Portsmouth, it was a perfect day to walk with my husband and pup. Hope you all had a lovely weekend!

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