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Top 10 Things to do at Winterfest

Portsmouth Ohio Winterfest

With Winterfest in full swing in Portsmouth, Ohio we wanted to make your visit more enjoyable by pointing out our top memory making activities. Thanks to the hard work of The Friends of Portsmouth this year Portsmouth has been named the 2019 Hallmark Channels' Hometown Christmas Town. With that designation it feels like you step into an original Hallmark Christmas movie, starring You. So, fire up those Christmas Carols, throw that red and black flannel on and try out our top 10 suggestions.

10. Ice Skating- This year the Friends of Portsmouth brought to town a larger rink, with REAL ice. This activity is fun for all ages and skill levels. Not too steady on your feet? No worries hold onto the side rails or grab an assistive whale and away you go. If you don't like to compete with the crowds, or don't want many witnesses should you fall, we recommend skating during the weekdays. The rink is open all week long, just check out the official events calendar linked at the bottom of this page.

Owner Emily and Daughter Scarlett Ice Skating in Portsmouth, Oh

9. Horse and Carriage Ride - Nothing says Hallmark Christmas like a ride on a horse drawn carriage. This activity is great for all ages, and we recommend riding it twice. During the day you can really enjoy the trip down 2nd Street and take in the famous murals depicting the history of Portsmouth. At night, you can take this romantic ride through town while the Christmas lights twinkle down the street. Looking to propose this holiday season? This would be a trip to remember.

8. Shop Local - Looking for that special gift, this is the place to find it. Not only is 2nd street home to some great boutique stores, and antique shops all year round, there are also some Winterfest specific vendors nearby. We recommend stopping into the official Winterfest gift shop to find some wonderful Portsmouth Winterfest gifts. Also take a stroll through the vendor booths to cross off those Christmas gifts. You will want to check these vendors out several times throughout the month as their selection will likely change.

7. Eat Local - After a long day of skating and shopping you will need to grab a bite to eat. Luckily there are many great options just minutes from Market Square. Looking for a great burger and brew, stop in at Patties and Pints to enjoy their prohibition era themed menu. Does the family enjoy more home cooked meals? Drive a couple blocks to Fork and Finger to get your fried chicken and mashed potato fix. From an Irish Pub on Chillicothe Street to a cafe on Market Street, there are many local options to enjoy including the vendors surrounding the rink. Also, don't forget to indulge your sweet tooth. Grab a cup cake from '83 Sweets, or roast a marshmallow for the perfect S'mores.

6. Special Events - How can you enjoy Winterfest even more? Check out the special events going on throughout the month of December. Patties and Pints has a couple breakfast events with different characters. You can choose one Saturday to have breakfast with the pups from Paw Patrol, or on a different Saturday breakfast with Star Wars and Santa. Into exercise? Sign up for the Reindeer Run, or "OM, what fun" Yoga. You can Mingle with the Friends of Portsmouth, or Skate with your favorite Frozen characters. Regardless of the event, you are sure to have fun. Keep in mind, these are ticketed events, and will likely sell out. Get your tickets now on the Friends of Portsmouth webpage or Facebook page.

5. Candyland Children's Museum - Looking for a unique interactive experience for the little ones? Check out the Pop-Up children's museum at the corner of Market and 2nd. In this space your children can play and learn. Here they can make music, play veterinarian to a reindeer, and write their letters to Santa, just to name a few of the activities. On top of the fun for the kids, there is also a great shop to grab Christmas presents while the children are occupied. There is a cost of $5 for an all-day pass to enjoy this space. All the money is going to create a permanent Children's Museum in Portsmouth. We can't wait to see this new addition to our town.

4. Santa - Be sure to stop in and sit on the big guy's lap. How else is he going to know what to get you for Christmas? Besides, you can also relive the classic movie scene from A Christmas Story. After the kids give Santa their list, they can then take a ride down the slide. This is a perfect, local location to get those yearly pictures with Santa of the kids smiling (or crying). Santa's workshop is in the Friends of Portsmouth gift shop.

Santa has the list, Mission accomplished.

3. Escape Rooms - Ready for some excitement and a challenge? Book an escape room with your family and friends. Portsmouth is fortunate to have 2 excellent escape room options, and both have created winter/Christmas themed rooms this holiday season. Check out Mr. Boneyfiddle's Riddle Room, and Deadbolt Escape Room and Mysteries. Jump on their websites, and book your time in advanced. Mr. Boneyfiddle even has a mobile escape room parked on Market Square for your enjoyment. Are you able to escape in time?

Winterfest is Coming

2. Guinness Record Breaking Attempt- How often can you give a Guinness Record as a Christmas gift? On December 14th at 3:00PM you and your loved ones will have this opportunity. People from all over will descend on Market Square to attempt to break the record for the Most People Wrapping a Gift. More details are coming out on this one, but for now know that with your ticket you get a commemorative ornament, and The Hallmark Channel will provide the special wrapping paper for the event. This is a ticketed event, so purchase those tickets now. The cost is $25, but the memory of knowing you broke a Guinness record is priceless. Any age can participate, if they can tie a bow. You can get tickets on the Friends of Portsmouth website or Facebook page.

1. Make Memories - The biggest and best must do of Winterfest is to make memories. Sure, it sounds cheesy, but there is no shortage of events and activities that you will talk about for years to come. With Winterfest lasting all month, don't feel like you need to rush to get it all done in a day. Go back multiple times, take in the sights, take tons of pictures. Most importantly, make memories with your families that will last a lifetime.

If you feel like we left out your favorite activity please comment below.

For more, and official information regarding Winterfest go to

About Emily and CP Destinations: As a former Disney College Program (CP) Cast Member, Emily Powell came back home to Portsmouth, Ohio with a passion for all things Disney. Before she knew it, she became the Disney guru for many families and friends, and at the nudging of her husband she became a Travel Agent specializing in Disney Destinations in 2014. In 2018, she launched her own travel agency in her hometown of Portsmouth called, CP Destinations. CP Destinations focuses on hiring other College Program cast members to be travel agents, because they have the unique Disney training and intimate understanding of the Disney Parks, Resorts, and Cruises. Her services are 100%, but her knowledge is priceless. Contact her for your Disney Travel needs.

In 2020, CP Destinations will be expanding travel services to book travel for all cruise lines, Universal Studios, and other resorts.

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