Skip to Content

18 Magical Things to Do in New Hampshire in Winter

Charlotte Bailey

New Hampshire in winter is a magical place. 

This state is one of the snowiest in the USA, so there are endless cold-weather adventures. 

It is the ultimate winter vacation with diverse landscapes and activities.

This destination reels you in with its breathtaking snowcapped mountains and charming towns. 

While many places become dreary during the winter, New Hampshire inspires you to go out and explore.

18 Magical Things to Do in New Hampshire in Winter

If you’re planning a New Hampshire winter getaway, here are 18 magical things to do.

1. Hit the Slopes at One of New Hampshire’s Ski Resorts

Hitting the slopes at one of New Hampshire's Ski Resorts is one of the fun things to do in New Hampshire in winter

Hit the slopes at one of New Hampshire’s many ski destinations. The state has 19 ski resorts, most within a 30-minute radius of each other.

You can plan an entire New Hampshire winter getaway around skiing alone. It’s the perfect activity for all types of groups – couples, families, and friends!

In southern New Hampshire, Mt. Sunapee and Pat’s Peak are convenient resorts easy to reach from anywhere in New England.

However, it’s worth driving north to the breathtaking Mt. Washington area. Top ski resorts here include Bretton Woods and Cannon Mountain.

Loon Mountain is another excellent choice for skiing, with 61 trails and a 2,100-foot vertical drop.

Pssst: Needless to say, Mt. Washington is one of the best places to visit in the Northeast, USA!

2. Hike for Incredible Views

Hiking for incredible views is one of the fun things to do in New Hampshire in winter
Hiking for incredible views is one of the fun things to do in New Hampshire in winter

Get your blood pumping and see some panoramic views by going hiking. Many people think of this activity as a summer pastime.

However, hiking in New Hampshire in winter is ideal because it is less crowded and has beautiful snowy landscapes.  

The state has stunning mountain ranges with trails for every skill level.

Beginners can enjoy trails like the 2.7-mile Lincoln Woods Trail or Diana’s Baths in the White Mountains.

Hikers looking for moderate paths will enjoy West Rattlesnake Mountain.

Those looking for a challenge will love Mount Moosilauke. There are incredible views of the surrounding countryside, and on a clear day, Vermont.

3. Spend the Day Snow Tubing with the Family

Spending the day snow tubing with the family is one of the fun things to do in New Hampshire in winter

Entertain your whole family by taking them on a snow tubing trip. Children two feet tall and above can participate in this family-friendly, budget-friendly activity.

New Hampshire in winter has plenty of snow, so countless places offer snow tubing.

Families who want to combine more than one winter activity in the same trip will enjoy Great Glen Trails. Not only can you go snow tubing here, but you can go snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

McIntyre Ski area is another excellent choice. Their eight-lane tubing hill has carpet lift service and snowmaking. 

4. Go on a Thrilling Snowmobiling Adventure

Going on a thrilling snowmobiling adventure is one of the fun things to do in New Hampshire in winter

New Hampshire is a snowmobiling enthusiast’s paradise. With over 6,820 miles of trails, you’ll find the perfect one for you!

The state is ideal for this sport because there are diverse trails to explore.

One of New Hampshire’s most popular snowmobile areas is the Pittsburg Ridge Runners system. It is one of the state’s largest and best-maintained snowmobile systems, with over 200 miles of groomed trails. 

The White Mountains region is another famous snowmobiling area because of high snow levels.

The 48-mile Northern Recreational Rail Trail is an exciting snowmobiling site to visit, and it crosses the Mascoma River on nine bridges between Enfield and Canaan.

5. Catch Fresh Fish While Ice Fishing

Going ice fishing is one of the fun things to do in New Hampshire in winter

If you’re willing to brave the cold, it is fun to ice fish in New Hampshire in winter. It is a beloved tradition that is peaceful and rewarding.

You can encounter some incredible catches under the surface of its icy lakes. Common finds are lake trout, landlocked salmon, and small-mouth bass.

Anglers set up on a frozen lake and drill holes into the ice. Many rent ice shacks to keep them warm while they fish.

A few popular locations for ice fishing in New Hampshire include Lake Sunapee, Lake Tarleton, Winnipesaukee, and Squam Lakes.

6. Explore New Hampshire’s Winter Wonderland by Snowshoeing

Exploring New Hampshire's winter wonderland by snowshoeing is one of the fun things to do in New Hampshire in winter

Another way to experience New Hampshire in winter is by snowshoeing. It is a family-friendly activity that will get your legs moving and challenge you. Compared to skiing, snowshoeing is less crowded and less expensive. 

There are snowshoe trails for all ages and skill levels in New Hampshire. The Washington Valley Ski Touring Foundation and Appalachian Mountain Club offer guided excursions perfect for people unfamiliar with the trails.

You can also snowshoe on your own. A few easy trails include the Old Bridle Path and Heald Pond Trail.

Moderate hikers can enjoy Peaked Mountain and Arethusa Falls.

Finally, experienced snowshoers seeking a challenge will love Mount Washington and Mount Lafayette via Franconia Ridge.

7. Visit Mount Washington in White Mountain National Forest

Visiting Mount Washington in White Mountain National Forest is one of the best things to do in New Hampshire in winter

Mount Washington is one of New Hampshire’s most iconic natural landmarks.

During your New Hampshire trip, stop by Mount Washington State Park to see this mountain. 

The park includes 60-acres of the 750 thousand-acre White Mountain National Forest, and its summit soars over 6,000 feet into the New Hampshire sky.

Chances are, if you are planning on doing any of the winter activities in New Hampshire listed in this article, you’ll end up at Mount Washington. 

The mountains have backcountry and alpine skiing, beautiful resorts, winter tubing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, snowing, and ice skating.

It’s a spectacular natural wonder you must see while in New Hampshire.

8. Sip Some Local Beer at a Craft Brewery/Budweiser

Sipping some local beer at a Craft Brewery is one of the fun things to do in New Hampshire in winter

New Hampshire is known for more than just its outdoor adventures. It also has a thriving brewery scene.

You can find every type of establishment in the state – from nano breweries to name-brand beers. In the past six years, the number of breweries in the Granite State has doubled to around 72.

Almost everyone in the States knows about Budweiser beer. This household name has a brewery in Merrimack, New Hampshire. Visitors can tour the facilities while in town.

Other local favorites include Stoneface Brewing Co., Woodstock Inn, and Schilling Beer Co.

It might seem counterintuitive, but a nice glass of beer always hits the spot after spending a day in the snow.

9. Dash Through the Snow in a One-Horse Open Sleigh

Going on a one-Horse open sleigh ride is one of the fun things to do in New Hampshire in winter

Dashing through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh isn’t just a song lyric. In New Hampshire, you can live this experience.

Going on a horse-drawn sleigh ride is something couples, families, and friends can enjoy.

Partners looking for a romantic winter date can go on a two-person sleigh ride at Charmingfare Farm or Coppal House Farm.

Groups can ride a custom-crafted Austrian sleigh through the 650-acre Victorian estate at Nestlenook Farm or have a real-life fairytale experience at Bretton Woods.

Nothing sparks joy like a sleigh ride through the snow in New Hampshire in winter, no matter your age. 

10. Experience the Ride of Your Life on a Mountain Coaster

Riding on a Mountain Coaster is one of the fun things to do in New Hampshire in winter

It’s not too often you can ride through the forest at top speeds on a roller coaster. New Hampshire has taken the European mountain coaster model and has made it a local tradition.  

Three mountain resorts in New Hampshire offer this type of ride – Cranmore, Attitash, and Gunstock.

Tracks typically range from 2,000-4,000 feet long and can go up to 25 miles per hour. These coasters have unbeatable views and will get your adrenaline pumping.

Mountain coasters are different than your typical amusement park ride because they have individual breaks and hold two passengers.

The entire family can participate in this thrilling activity because children over three can ride.

11. Skate Under the Open Sky

Skating under the open Sky is one of the fun things to do in New Hampshire in winter

Almost every state has ice skating, but New Hampshire has excellent open-air rinks.

These venues are natural rinks on frozen ponds surrounded by quaint towns and forests.

One popular destination is the three-acre Victorian skating park at Nestlenook Farm. Its enclosed warming center offers hot cocoa next to a crackling fire.

You can also visit a massive natural skating rink at the 25-acre Dorrs Pond in Manchester. This rink has been hosting skaters since 1934!

Finally, the Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond is a stunning rink in the center of Portsmouth, surrounded by the Strawberry Banke Museum’s historic houses.

12. Board the Snow Train to Attitash Mountain Resort

Boarding the snow Train to Attitash Mountain Resort is one of the fun things to do in New Hampshire in winter

All aboard the Snow Train to Mount Attitash Mountain Resort. Stepping onto this train will make you feel like you have teleported to another time.

Your ride for this one-and-a-half-hour journey is in a 1950s era passenger car that recreates the experience of being on a post-World War II Transcontinental streamlined train.

Passengers travel from North Conway in the Mount Washington Valley to Attitash Mountain Resort and back.

The ride follows several rivers and passes through New Hampshire’s small towns, snowy mountains, and incredible landscapes–truly winter views.

There are luxury and dining cars on the train to make the ride even more memorable.  

13. Go on an Off-Road Alpine Safari

Going on an Off-Road Alpine Safari is one of the fun things to do in New Hampshire in winter
White Mountains in New Hampshire

Safari adventures aren’t just for warm-weather destinations. In New Hampshire, you can go on a thrilling off-road Alpine Safari in the winter season at the White Mountains.

These rides take place in an all-weather convertible top vehicle to accommodate 11 guests. Because of the uneven terrain, it feels like a roller coaster ride!

Tours last for about an hour to an hour and a half and run in all weather conditions. Every trip is unique, so you’ll never know what to expect.

There is a knowledgeable guide to educate and entertain you during your experience.   

14. Eat Delicious Pancakes

Eating delicious Pancakes is one of the  things to do in New Hampshire in winter
Eating delicious Pancakes is one of the things to do in New Hampshire in winter

Pancakes in New Hampshire are serious business. These aren’t just plain Jane boxed pancakes from the grocery store. People in this state take pride in concocting the perfect, fluffy cake.

A name that is on almost every New Hampshire pancake list is Polly’s Pancake Parlor. This eatery makes theirs with freshly milled stone-ground flour and tops them with housemade maple syrup.

If you want a variety of flavors, try Heritage Farm Pancake House in Sanbornton. They serve up mouthwatering pumpkin, gingerbread, and chocolate chip pancakes.

The last spot you should add to your list is Parker’s Maple Barn. They do a fantastic job with classic buttermilk pancakes and also have tasty seasonal concoctions.  

15. Go on a Road Trip on the Kancamagus Highway

Going on a road trip on the Kancamagus Highway is one of the fun things to do in New Hampshire in winter
The view of White Mountain from Kancamagus Highway, New Hampshire

If you want a highlight reel of New Hampshire, going on a road trip on the Kancamagus Highway is the way to go.

This 34.5-mile scenic byway gives travelers a window into New Hampshire’s history, culture, and natural beauty.  

On this path, you’ll pass through the White Mountain National Forest and see the Swift River, Rocky Gorge, Sabbaday Falls, and Lower Falls. At its highest point, you’ll reach an elevation of just under 3,000 feet.

The route is historical Native American land that is untarnished by civilization. As a result, you can appreciate the wilderness without interruption. It’s a one-of-a-kind drive you must experience if you’re visiting New Hampshire in winter.

16. Traverse the Snow on a Fat Bike

Traversing the snow on a Fat Bike is one of the fun things to do in New Hampshire in winter

Mountain biking might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of winter activities in New Hampshire. 

However, special fat bikes allow you to trek through the snow. It is an increasingly popular winter sport that provides endless fun.

Riding on a fat bike is similar to riding on a mountain bike. There are trails carved out for bikers that traverse New Hampshire’s mountains and woods.

Bretton Woods is an excellent place to go fat biking. They have groomed trails and bike rentals available for visitors. Besides, you can enjoy the scenery of the Omni Mount Washington Resort on a fat bike.

Another well-known spot is the Gunstock Mountain Resort. Around 15.5 miles of groomed trails are open to bike riders.

17. Discover the Awe-Inspiring Ice Castles

Discovering the awe-inspiring Ice Castles is one of the fun things to do in New Hampshire in winter
Keith J Finks /

New Hampshire in winter has activities you wouldn’t be able to find any other time of year. The awe-inspiring Ice Castles are one of those attractions.

There are only five official Ice Castle locations across North America. Professional ice artists placed hundreds of thousands of icicles to build this impressive structure by hand.

Inside the Ice Castles are LED-illuminated sculptures, ice tunnels, frozen thrones, fountains, slides, and more.

You can find this winter attraction in North Woodstock in the scenic White Mountains region.

18. Warm Up By Sipping Hot Chocolate/Cocoa

Warming up with hot chocolate is one of the fun things to do in New Hampshire in winter

Your New Hampshire winter getaway would not be complete without sipping on a steaming cup of hot cocoa. No matter where you are in the state or what activity you’re doing, this sweet treat will warm you up.

You can get hot cocoa almost everywhere in New Hampshire in the winter months. However, there are a few places that stand out.

Waterville Valley Resort serves its hot cocoa with a mountain of homemade whip cream. They also have home-baked goods and warm meals to complement your drink.

Aroma Joe’s serves both traditional hot cocoa and delicious white hot cocoa. You can customize your drink with their flavor infusions, including mint patties, caramel, coffee, and cookies.

Winter in New Hampshire

From Nordic Skiing to fat biking, winter in New Hampshire is magical. Don’t let the winter weather stop you. There are many outdoor adventures and incredible things to do in the winter here.

So layer up, pack a warm coat, prepare for many snow feet, and venture out on alpine adventures in the Granite State.

Did you enjoy reading about New Hampshire in winter? Then share this blog post with your friends on social media!