New Hampshire in Winter: Tons of Snow-Covered Fun + Cozy Indoor Escapes

Two cross-country skiers follow a trail amongst pine trees in Bretton Woods New Hampshire

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New Hampshire in the winter is a wonderland of snow-covered beauty with the tallest peaks and most popular ski slopes in all of New England. If you love a winter adventure outdoors, then you cannot skip New Hampshire!

We cover all the iconic things to do in winter in NH, plus specific recommendations around popular parts of the state including picturesque North Conway right in the heart of the White Mountains.

If the snow melts before your trip, then check out our NH spring guide for fun ideas as the weather turns warmer.

Fun Things to Do in New Hampshire in the Winter

These are the quintessential winter activities in New Hampshire that you just can’t miss!

Snowmobiling at Bear Rock Adventures

Bear Rock Adventures (2638 North Main Street, Pittsburg) is one of the places you can go on snowmobile trips in New Hampshire with your family. 

You can rent a snowmobile and explore the land on your own if you want. 

Or, you can take a guided tour where your guide will take you to some of the best areas and teach you how to stay safe on a snowmobile. 

Santa’s Village at Christmastime

Santa’s Village is a popular family-friendly destination in New Hampshire in the summer, but it should absolutely be on your shortlist for winter, too!

On weekends from mid-November into December, head to Santa’s Village with the kids to get into the festive season.

Both outdoor and indoor shows will entertain all ages, while most of the amusement park rides are open and feel extra atmospheric with snow on the ground.

This is one of the best places to visit in New Hampshire in December to celebrate the holiday season!

Note that online tickets are required.

Note from Amanda: I grew up visiting Santa’s Village during summer vacations but I’ve never visited in the winter; if you’ve been, tell me all about it in the comments below!

Fat Biking at Great Glen Trails

Another winter activity families can enjoy together is fat biking at Great Glen Trails (1 Mount Washington Auto Road, Gorham). 

Fat bikes have softer and wider tires that allow you to bike in the snow, given the conditions are right. 

The center has adult and kid bikes available for rent. 

Note that a trail pass and a helmet are both required of all fat bikers.

Nordic Skiing at Bretton Woods

Bretton Woods Nordic Center (99 Ski Area Road, Bretton Woods) has over 60 miles of trails groomed for cross-country skiing, with various trails for beginner, intermediate, and expert skiers.  

The center is in White Mountain National Forest, and you will ski by ponds, mountains, and the woods. 

Don’t worry, you can rent skis and snowshoes for any of these Bretton Woods winter activities if you do not have your own!

Or you can take a lesson if you are new to any of these winter sports. 

Bretton Woods also features in our guide to skiing in New England.

Two cross-country skiers follow a trail amongst pine trees in Bretton Woods New Hampshire

Skiing at Waterville Valley Resort

Waterville Valley Resort’s Adventure Center also offers Nordic skiing. 

The resort is in the White Mountains, and they have rentals, lessons, and gear for sale.

Enjoy more than 40 miles of trails across the complex.

Other activities at the resort include snowshoeing and fat biking. 

The trails are groomed for different activities, and you can even take your dog with you to explore certain areas of the park. 

Night Snow Tubing at Gunstock Mountain Resort

Gunstock Mountain Resort (719 Cherry Valley Rd, Gilford) has a lot of fun winter activities in New Hampshire. 

Skiing and snowboarding are the main attractions, but there is also cross-country skiing and snow tubing on offer.

Lessons are available for newcomers to these sports. 

But the coolest part of Gunstock is that you can ski or go snow tubing at night!

Enjoy the trails with the stars guiding you…plus a lot of lights for safety. 

Enjoy Peaceful Scenery at Odiorne Point State Park

New Hampshire’s small Atlantic coastline includes the lovely Odiorne Point State Park (570 Ocean Blvd, Rye) which is open to exploring in the winter.

The park is not staffed at this time of year, but you can hike, ski, or snowshoe if you have your own equipment. 

Enjoy beautiful winter scenery along their 135 acres of coastal conservation land.

Fort Constitution Lighthouse or Portsmouth Lighthouse standing along the rocky shoreline with crashing winter waves and a boat navigating past the point

Jackson NH Things to Do Winter

Black Mountain Ski Area

Black Mountain Ski Area (373 Black Mountain Rd) has a lot of New Hampshire winter activities. 

The area has five lifts, 45 trails, and 143 acres of skiable terrain, so you will have plenty to do here,

You can ski, snowboard, take a lift up to see the scenic winter views, or take a lesson for one of the winter sports. 

Honeymoon Covered Bridge

Honeymoon Covered Bridge is at the intersection of NH. Route 16 and 16A on Village Street. 

The bridge is beautiful to see when it is surrounded by snow in the winter. 

This is just one of many covered bridges to seek out in NH during your trip!

Jackson Covered Bridge New Hampshire

Things to Do in North Conway NH in the Winter

Cranmore Mountain Resort

Cranmore Mountain Resort (1 Skimobile Rd. North Conway Village) is one of the best places to visit in New Hampshire in winter because there are so many activities to do there.

They have a ski lift, skiing, snowboarding, and a snow tubing area. 

They also have night skiing, where you can stay at the resort after the sun goes down and ride down the mountains in the dark.

There are also lessons and rentals available.

Echo Lake State Park

Echo Lake State Park (68 Echo Lake Road) is a good place to visit in the winter if you want to enjoy some beautiful scenery. 

The park stays open year-round, even though there is no staff here in the winter. 

You can still explore the park on your own and go for a serene stroll. 

Check out all our other recommendations for North Conway winter fun!

Things to Do in Lincoln NH in Winter

Snow Tubing at Loon Mountain Resort

Loon Mountain Resort (60 Loon Mountain Rd) has snow tubing in NH every year. 

It is a great place for families since they have two different snow hills.

One of the hills is for kids seven and under, and it is easy for kids to walk up. 

The other one is the main hill which is 250 feet high, and there are 1,000 feet of track to slide down. 

You have to take the chairlift up the bigger hill at the top of the Little Sister Trail.

And, there is plenty more to do at the resort, including sow-biking, skiing, and a gondola. 

Loon Mountain Lincoln sign Kancamagus Highway New Hampshire

Zipline at Alpine Adventures

Alpine Adventures (41 Main St) offers fun all year, including winter. 

The most popular winter activity they offer is ziplining, where you can soar over New Hampshire’s winter scenery.

Other activities include off-wheeling, a high ropes course, and a guided trip up Barron Mountain.

Sip at Seven Birches Winery

Seven Birches Winery (22 S Mountain Dr) is a great place to do a winter wine tasting in NH. 

The winery is right by Loon Mountain, and they use local fruits to create their wines. 

You can get a glass of wine or do a tasting where you can try multiple wines. 

Or, you can take an informal winery tour on certain days of the week.

On the tour, one of the winemakers will show you the facility, teach you how the wine is made, and you can sample some of the wines. 

Hobo Railroad

Hobo Railroad (64 Railroad St) has Santa Express Trains between late November and mid-December. 

The 80-minute train ride takes you through the winter New Hampshire scenery with Christmas activities. 

There are visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, letters kids can write to Santa, and kids get a present from Santa. 

Weir Beach Hobo Scenic Train at Lake Winnipesaukee New Hampshire

Franconia Notch State Park

Franconia Notch State Park (Flume Gorge, Daniel Webster Hwy) is another place to explore in the winter. 

You can hike through the park, even in the snow, and some of the trails are part of the popular Appalachian Trail. 

The Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway is also in the park, which takes you to the top of the mountain, where there are 97 ski trails and slopes. 

And, even if you are not skiing, you can still ride the tramway and enjoy the park views from above. 

Tip from Amanda: Fuel up at Franconia Coffee House before you head outside, the breakfast sandwiches will keep you going all day!

Franconia Coffee House in New Hampshire

Things to Do in North Woodstock NH in Winter

Ice Castles

The Ice Castles New Hampshire (24 Clark Farm Road North Woodstock) are one of the most unique winter activities in NH.

The Ice Castles are made up of icicles designed by professional ice artists. 

As you explore the castle, you will come across ice art, slides, and plenty more cool icicles. 

This is one of the most Instagrammable spots in NH in winter!

Pemi Public House

From firepits out on the patio to a cozy interior bar area to grab a drink or a meal, the Pemi Public House (115 Main St) is a great spot to stay warm on a cold winter evening.

Beyond the typical pub fare, expect to see quinoa burgers and smash burgers next to banh mi sandwiches and naan tacos.

It’s all as delicious as it sounds!

They have a great draft beer selection as well.

Note from Amanda: The service was top-notch when I was there recently, I cannot recommend this place enough!

Woodstock Inn Brewery

Just a few doors down, the Woodstock Inn Brewery (135 Main St) is another great place to try some local beers in the winter. 

You can sample the beers at the brewery right where they make them and take a tour. 

Each beer they brew tells a story about New Hampshire and what makes the state special. 

And the brewery is part of a larger resort, so it is one of the good places for New Hampshire winter getaways.

Close-up of four small beers as a sampler

Manchester NH Winter Activities

McIntyre Ski Area

In winter, there is a lot to do at the McIntyre Ski Area (50 Chalet Ct) in New Hampshire.

The area has two ski lifts, 11 trails, a snow tubing hill, and a couple of parks. 

You can learn to ski and snowboard here or rent equipment and go on your own.

And there are events, restaurants, and a cafe to visit. 

The Palace Theatre

The Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St) offers shows all winter long, and the shows are always changing, so you can go often. 

This is a lovely family-friendly place to go in New Hampshire at Christmas for holiday shows, including The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol. 

SEE Science Center

Visiting the SEE Science Center (200 Bedford St) is one of the best things to do in NH during winter to escape the cold. 

The center makes learning about science fun for kids and adults alike with demonstrations, educational displays, and hands-on exhibits. 

Portsmouth NH in Winter

Ice Skate at Puddle Dock Pond

Puddle Duck Pond (14 Hancock Street) is an outdoor ice skating rink that is open each winter for public skating. 

The rink is weather-dependent and is typically open from late November to early March. 

Bundle up and go outdoors for some classic New England fun!

The Music Hall

The Music Hall (28 Chestnut St) has a variety of shows year-round, like concerts, opera dance performances, and musicals.

And, if you are in New Hampshire in December, check out one of their Christmas shows.

Weather in NH in Winter

If you love all things snow, then you’re in for a treat in the winter in New Hampshire!

Expect temperatures to be at or below freezing most of the time between December and February, with days on either side in November and March rising up into the 40s.

Snowfall begins in November and hits its peak in January, so plan your outdoor adventures accordingly!

Final Words

We love New Hampshire in the winter and we’re sure you will, too!

With so many ways to enjoy the stunning natural beauty of this winter wonderland — plus plenty of cozy spaces for indoor fun to warm up — the Granite State never disappoints.

Share your favorite winter spots in the comments below!

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