Footsteps crunching on snow, twinkling white light along footpaths, stately historic buildings, and candlelight flickering through multi-paned windows—this is Christmas at Canterbury, Saturday, Dec. 14 from 3 to 8 pm.  Sing Christmas carols as we light the Village Christmas tree. Enjoy a steaming cup of hot cider to warm you up. Take a selfie with elegantly-robed Father Christmas.  This classic holiday event is a family favorite that will become a yearly tradition!

Shaker Village is transformed with decorations that include Shaker-inspired garlands, trees, wreaths and lights, and brims with festive activity for young and old—crafts, music, shopping, and food.

Candlelight Tours offer two other opportunities to see the Village this holiday season on Friday, December 13 or Sunday, December 15.  Choose from tours at 6, 6:30 or 7 pm.  You’ll visit the Dwelling House and learn about Shakers’ holiday music and bountiful Christmas dinners. Then, explore the Shakers’ practice of gift-giving and charitable work in the Infirmary and their elaborate holiday theatricals in the School House. The evening tour ends at the Creamery Café for complimentary cookies and hot cider. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged and tickets are $15/adults, $7.50/children, and half-price for Village members. Purchase your tickets online at or by calling 603-783-9511 x.284.

During Christmas at Canterbury on December 14, delight to the sleight-of-hand of magician Andrew Pinard, a special musical performance by the Purple Finches children’s chorus, and a 20-foot long model train display. Decorate your own gingerbread cookie, make felt or paper ornaments, or craft a personalized holiday greeting card.  Visit with skilled artisans and learn about the traditional crafts of oval box making, broom making, chair taping, spinning, sewing, and rug hooking.

Maggie Stier, Interim Executive Director, notes that “seeing Shaker Village at night is a much more intimate experience of the Village than during the day, and our visitors love the progression of going from building to building and finding different activities or performances in each one. In the cold of winter, the coziness of the Shaker interiors is really welcoming.”

The Creamery Café will be serving up soups, goodies from Crust & Crumb, hot cider and hot chocolate.  The Museum Store is filled with distinctive gifts and holiday necessities including Shaker boxes, peg rails, beautiful woolen Shaker cloaks for women and children, and hand-woven textiles. Our own artisans craft Shaker-style flat brooms that make unique gifts.  Shop for our popular brass sleigh bells, candles, soup mixes, cards, and books. 

Admission to Christmas at Canterbury is$25 for adults and $10 for children (ages 6-17).  Museum members receive discounted admission ($15/adults, $5/children) as well as 10% off their purchases in the Museum Store and Café.  Special thanks to event sponsors Bank of America, Merrimack Country Savings Bank, The Rowley Agency, and Lindt Chocolatier.