The Christmas season can be magical anywhere, but no more so than in the mountain towns of New England. Regions such as the Mount Washington Valley of New Hampshire, the village and resort of Stowe and the town of Woodstock, both in Vermont, are picturesque at any time of year.
But when they are decked out for the holidays, with colorful lights, wreaths and garlands, decorated trees, and especially with snow on the ground, the holiday vibe is everywhere. The seasonal decorations, Santa appearances, sleigh rides, holiday music and performances, crackling fires and hot chocolate let visitors of all ages immerse themselves in the holiday spirit.
In the Mount Washington Valley, towns from western Maine to Bretton Woods offer a variety of activities to highlight the season and enchant the kids. A returning favorite is the Inn-to-Inn Cookie and Candy Tour, Dec. 11-12. Nine inns, stretching from Fryeburg, Maine, to Jackson, N.H., offer sweet treats, holiday recipes and a myriad of decorating ideas. This event has been held annually for 24 years and is open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. each day.
The Conway Scenic Railroad presents Santa’s Holiday Express, a scenic hour-and-a-half ride from North Conway to Conway and back joined by Santa and Mrs. Claus. It’s a must for the youngsters and fun for adults too. The train runs weekends in December through Dec. 19. Reservations are required.