Canterbury Shaker Village offers a return to traditional Christmas with its second annual Christmas at Canterbury, Saturdays, Dec. 5 and 12, 3 to 8 p.m. The event is sponsored by Merrimack Savings Bank and New Hampshire State Council on the Arts.
Christmas at Canterbury celebrates Christmas of a simpler era, integrating 200 years of Shaker and historical Christmas traditions.
Hundreds of luminaries will light the way as visitors take candlelight strolls around the decorated village. Visitors can also take horse-drawn wagon or sleigh rides (3 to 6 p.m.). Inside historic Shaker buildings, visitors will find handcrafted Christmas decorations as well as activities, demonstrations and performances.
Performances include Femme M'amie (Dec. 5), Harvey Reid (Dec. 5), Concord Community Music School's The Purple Finches (Dec. 12), Two Fiddles, The Sugar River String Band, a 19th century magic show, Pat Spalding's puppet show, a sing-along with the Canterbury Shaker Singers and traditional Christmas music. Hot cider will be available in the North Shop.
Visitors can visit 19th century physician "Dr. Seth Miller" in the infirmary, the Gingerbread Showcase in the creamery, with a scavenger hunt and traditional recipe sampling. Inside the carriage house, visitors can see traditional arts demonstrations against the backdrop of furniture and craft exhibits. Kids of all ages can try origami, ornament making and holiday decorations made from village-grown greens. Visitors can also see demonstrations on broom making and letterpress printing.
To really get in the Christmas spirit, visitors can bring non-perishable food items and clean, gently worn clothing items to admissions, joining in an important Shaker tradition of holiday giving.
The Shaker Table will serve lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. (reservations recommended). Lighter fare is available at The Shaker Box Lunch and Farm Stand. The Museum Store will offer unique, handcrafted items for holiday shoppers.
Admission to the event is $17 adults, $8 children 6-17, $42 family (two adults and two or more children). No charge for children age 5 and younger. Free admission for members.