the music hall

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February often seems little more than a frustrating extension to winter, filled with nothing but slate skies and slushy streets – especially when it starts with such a Super Bowl high, only to have nowhere to go but down (except for the inches of snow). For some, Valentine’s Day and snow sports offer a willing escape, but for others the wait for spring is interminable. Unless, of course, those others are in Portsmouth. As always, this gem of the coast has plenty of exciting events and cozy retreats to fill its time, whatever the season or the weather.

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The towns that nestle along New England’s rocky, spectacular coastline are legendary for many things: remarkable history, breathtaking beauty, and incomparable character. These many towns may all be remarkable, breathtaking, and incomparable – at any time of year, or any moment within that year – but there is one town that shines especially, and never more so than a special time of year. While some may think first of the shimmering, vibrant hues of autumn; the glimmering, dewy blossom of spring; the sparkling, lush flash of summer. But in Portsmouth, there’s one season that glitters more brightly – the wintery holiday season. The glisten of untouched snow, glowing candles in windows, woodsmoke dancing in the crisp air. Nothing shows off our harbor as the Christmas Capital of North America quite as well, unless it’s the bevy of wonderful events that celebrate it all.

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Cool nights and perfect days welcome us to the end of June, where there’s nothing quite like having a locally brewed beer out on the back deck after work. While most of us in Portsmouth depend on the tourist season, there is nothing better than these last few weeks where we have summer all to ourselves. With all that our town has to offer, and with this ideal weather, enjoying the outdoors while it’s still all ours is the best part of this month.

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After months of continuous snow, slate gray skies, and that endless marrow-deep chill in the air, Portsmouth’s classic New England “spring” has finally begun to pass and summer is mere days from being officially here. The days will lengthen, kids will be out of school, and nights will be filled with warm honey light and cool breezes by the sea. What better way to welcome the season than by being involved in the area you love best? Beat the tourists with some amazing insider events around town, and get the most out of these early summer days.

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Though it may not feel like it just yet, spring is here! It’s in the breeze off the harbor, the crocuses peeking up around every foundation, the children pouring out of school doors at the end of each day. Soon enough, summer will rock Portsmouth into full swing . But until then, there is plenty in this town of ours to do as we begin to shake out of that hibernation and into that freshest of seasons.

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With the warmth of Valentine’s Day just past and the days themselves soon to grow longer, it seems like spring should be only a step away, making this sudden arrival of true winter weather even more brisk. While it might seem best to burrow under the quilt covers and wait until the end of April to venture out into that New England pall, don’t let the chilly weather keep you away from all our wonderful town has to offer.

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While freezing gray days might make us all want to huddle inside until the cold season passes, anyone who lives in Portsmouth is lucky enough to experience a beautifully thriving community where there are wonderful events to tempt us from hearth and home, regardless of the weather. With such gorgeous spaces and engaging people, there is no end to the events offered in Portsmouth, even in the seemingly quietest months of the year — and there’s no better New Year’s resolution than getting to know such a town even better.

We had the absolute pleasure of renovating Wentworth by the Sea, a historic hotel with stunning vistas and design that encourages relaxation and refinement. Pair this place with the 2016 Winter Wine Festival, and you have everything you could possibly need for the most dazzling days of the winter season. Kicking off January 22nd, and continuing until February 21st, this festival is New England’s premier winter destination for the complete wine experience, with tastes suited from the amateur to the connoisseur, whether you seek oysters, bubbles, or jazz brunches. Hosted by one of our favorite past projects and a true gem of Portsmouth, winter just became infinitely more enticing.

It’s hard to find the motivation to get out on the town on an icy winter weeknight. Thankfully, Row 34 has a delicious guest chef series in store to help us power through. Every Tuesday from now until March, Row 34 is bringing chefs from the best restaurants throughout New England to make special additions to the menu. Guest chefs include Louis DiBiccari of Tavern Road (1/19), Ben Hasty of Thistle Pig (1/26), and Jamie Bissonnette of Coppa & Toro (2/16). It’s a truly mouthwatering way to spend your evening!

Another favorite project, the Music Hall Loft, has truly earned its place as one of Portsmouth’s most electric venues with this month’s lineup of live performances and special screenings. Whatever you may love, be it the brilliant comedy of Marina Franklin to the thoughtfulness of the award-winning film Mustang, there is the perfect event for anyone and everyone in these next few weeks. Relish these winter evenings in the sumptuous warmth of the lounge, and enjoy a night out with those you love.

With the holidays past, we all might want to just collapse into the couch and stay as warm as possible. But with a town this ideal, you might as well get out on the town and discover some new favorite wine, amazing food, incredible performances, and (best of all) good company.

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There’s a reason this time of year is considered the most wonderful, the most magical. The world is a little kinder, the nights a little cozier. The best part, of course, is being together with the people you love most. Cherish this month with these incredible Portsmouth events — Travel + Leisure called us “Christmas Capitol of America” for good reason, after all!

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