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Holiday Season Festivities return as The Rocks Estate opens for the season Nov. 19

Events include horse-drawn rides, cut-your-own Christmas trees, visits from Father Christmas, and holiday shopping


BETHLEHEM, N.H.—Snowflakes drifting onto evergreen boughs, horses plodding past historic buildings, marshmallows roasting on a fire: visitors to The Rocks Estate this holiday season will find all of this – and more. At this renowned Christmas tree farm, making Christmas memories goes beyond selecting the perfect tree, although you’ll find that here, too.  

“During Christmastime the farm is filled with a festive bustling,” said Nigel Manley, longtime director of The Rocks. “There’s a lot going on through the holidays, especially on the weekends, and we love to see families who return each year to find a tree, as well as first-time visitors.”

The Rocks opens for the holiday season Nov. 19 and will be open daily from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. through Christmas Eve (with the exception of Thanksgiving Day, when the farm is closed). With two gift shops, a lovely variety of handmade-wreaths, and cut-your-own or precut Christmas trees, The Rocks is a one-stop holiday bonanza.

Horse-drawn wagon rides around the historic property are offered weekends through Dec. 17. The Rocks’ own version of Father Christmas will be at the farm Saturdays. The shops – The Rocks Marketplace and The Rocks Gift Shop – are open daily through the season.

Here, shoppers will discover myriad holiday ornaments and decorations, along with an array of locally-crafted and USA-made gift items, from handmade soaps and hand-knit hats to pet items and housewares. Wrought iron wind chimes crafted by Boyd and Doyle of Lancaster, wooden bowls made in Whitefield, nature-inspired jewelry from MAM Creative Designs in Henniker, and Northwoods Naturals soaps and lotions from Maine are among the myriad items filling the festive shelves.

“We have a lot of fun putting together our inventory for the season,” said retail manager Carleen Quinn. “Every year we incorporate a mix of old favorites and new items, and we try to ensure our customers will be able to shop for everyone on their holiday gift list – and maybe find something for themselves, too.”

Shoppers looking for extra convenience will find it in form of The Rocks Estate’s “A Taste of New Hampshire” gift giving program. Choose from select packages – like an assortment of flavors from Vermont’s Kingdom Kernel Kettle Corn or locally roasted coffee paired with a set of moose mugs made by local potter Joan Hannah – and The Rocks will ship right to your doorstep.

Beyond working with local vendors, The Rocks also partners with other area non-profits during the holiday season. This year, the Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country will once again manage food concessions – hot drinks, soups, chili, and more – each weekend of the season. Proceeds from food sales will help ASPNC in its continued work to provide people with disabilities with year-round sports and recreational opportunities.

The Rocks will again be supporting the Trees for Troops program and its national campaign to deliver more than 18,000 farm-grown Christmas trees to members of the United States military and their families at home and abroad this holiday season.

Can’t make a trip to The Rocks? Don’t fret; the Rocks’ shopper-friendly online store offers a variety of Christmas trees and holiday wreaths, along with ornaments, garland, and tree accessories, as well as The Rocks’ own maple syrup. All items include free shipping, and customers may create a holiday wish list and ship to multiple addresses with one order. Mail order shopping is open through Dec. 15.

The Rocks Estate is the North Country Conservation and Education Center of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests ( The Forest Society is a non-profit membership organization founded in 1901 to protect the state’s most important landscapes and promote wise use of its natural resources.

The landmark 1,400-acre Rocks Estate includes numerous buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places and offers Agri- and Eco-tourism opportunities throughout the year. For more information please visit For reservations and other inquiries e-mail or call 603-444-6228.


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