Christmas at Canterbury this Saturday and Dec. 15

  • Andrew Pinard performs in his show, "Jonathan Harrington, 19th-century Magician," during the Christmas at Canterbury event held at Canterbury Shaker Village on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz

  • Lindsey Richardson, 11, of Sandown decorates her Scottie dog ornament during the Christmas at Canterbury on Dec. 3, 2016. Elizabeth Frantz / Monitor file

Monitor staff
Published: 12/5/2018 4:44:07 PM

Nicole Laurin wishes everyone could see Canterbury Shaker Village during the winter.

“It just transforms into a winter wonderland,” said the special events and adult programs manager.

Most don’t get the chance though, since the historic location closes for the season the first weekend in December. But over the next two Saturdays, you’ll get your chance. Shaker Village will transform into a holiday destination during the annual Christmas at Canterbury – now in its 10th year.

“There was sort of a need to do more programming at the end of our season,” Laurin said

The old buildings are outfitted with simple decorations, and a wide range of activities make it an event that has become a tradition for families.

“We have families who come back for it every year,” she said.

During the course of the afternoon and evening, you can decorate a gingerbread man, jazz up holiday cards or make a new ornament for the family tree. There will even be time to visit with Father Christmas.

“Our printer has made cards that people can add their own decorations too,” Laurin said of the Village’s print shop.

There will be three magic shows each night (on the hour, beginning at 4 p.m.) performed by Andrew Pinard, portraying a 19th century magician by the name of Jonathan Harrington.

In the Hubbard Education Center, Audrey Budington and Dan Faiella will play a mixture of Christmas and traditional fiddle music from 5 to 7 p.m. this Saturday, while the Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki Trio takes the stage on Dec. 15. Also on Dec. 15, the Concord Community Music School’s Purple Finches Youth Chorus will present a special holiday concert at 4:30 p.m.

Concord Community Music School’s Canterbury Singers will perform as part of Christmas at Canterbury each Saturday at 7 p.m. The group will be singing Shaker music related to Christmas and New Year’s Day, including several songs that originated at Shaker Village. The selections will be interspersed with carol singing for all, and followed by a procession to the Christmas apple tree outside Shaker Schoolhouse for the ceremonial lighting to cap off the evening.

“We try to keep with the historic feel, so its all simple and traditional decorations, nothing too flashy,” Laurin said.

Light refreshments will be available for purchase. Tickets are $18 for adults, $8 for children ages 6 to 17, and under 5 free. Members are half price.

Can’t make it to Christmas at Canterbury? Well, you can still enjoy the holiday season at Shaker Village by attending one of the upcoming candlelight tours. The one-hour tours are offered beginning today, and will also be held Friday and Sunday, as well as Dec. 13 and 14, at 6:30 and 7 p.m. Since group sizes are limited to 15 people, reservations are strongly recommended.

The candlelight tours, led by knowledgeable guides, offer an intimate experience of the decorated Shaker buildings. Groups will explore how the Canterbury Shakers celebrated Christmas in the 19th and 20th centuries, visiting a variety of interior spaces and ending with hot cider and cookies in the Village Creamery.

“The village is really beautiful in the winter,” Laurin said.

Tickets for the candlelight tours are $12 for adults and $6 for children ages 6 to lf price. This tour is recommended for ages 10 and older. For more information and to reserve your tickets, visit Groups of 15 or more may reserve a private Candlelight Tour by advance reservation by calling 783-9511, ext. 284, or emailing

Christmas at Canterbury is from 3 to 8 p.m. this Saturday and Dec. 15.

For tickets, which are also available day of, visit or

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