Strawberry Banke

Marty Watts / Aira

It’s a Saturday night in at the Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth. Hundreds of people are here to experience some vintage Christmas charm at the annual Candlelight Stroll.

Gene Lavoie, dressed in her puffy white coat, is eager to join them. But first, she puts on a pair of futuristic looking glasses.

Lavoie is visually impaired. She has some sight, but not enough to get around on her own. She’s hoping the new glasses she just put on will help that.

***This story has lots of sound -- we highly recommend listening.***

Strawbery Banke Ice Rink Opens At Last

Dec 13, 2014
Emily Corwin / NHPR

  A new skating rink at the Strawbery Banke museum in Portsmouth opened for its first full day on Saturday.

Twenty-four year old Portsmouth resident Melissa Towle was lacing up her boots Saturday afternoon with her stepdaughter.

I haven't ice-skated since I was about her age so I'm just hoping I don't hurt myself!

The rink took two years in development:  advocates overcame a pricey legal battle waged by wary neighbors, and raised over $450,000 dollars.

Barbara MacLeod

A new skating rink at the Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth is set to open Friday morning.

The Puddle Duck Pond rink had been scheduled to open Dec. 1, but was delayed due to issues with construction and the weather.

With heavy rain in the area this week, there was concern about another delay, but museum spokesman Barbara MacLeod says the city gave the rink the green light Thursday afternoon.

Michael Samuels


Winter has finally left New Hampshire, and locavores can get their hands on a spring favorite.

County Judge Sides With Strawbery Banke Ice Rink

Jan 24, 2014
WWIP via Flickr Creative Commons

A Rockingham County judge has upheld a local zoning board’s decision to allow the Strawbery Banke Museum to build an ice skating rink in Portsmouth.  

The judge dismissed an appeal filed by sixteen of the museum’s neighbors, who argued the rink would create noise, light and traffic in their neighborhood. 

Jeff Keefe is a volunteer who dreamed up the ice rink idea and is leading the project. He says he expects to clear the remaining hurdles:

So currently we’re in the site review process with the city of Portsmouth, so really just ironing out the details.  

Emily Corwin / NHPR

  The Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth was bustling on Thursday with its annual 4th of July American Celebration. 

Crowds are gathered around a lemonade vendor, dolling out plastic cups covered in condensation. Nearby, the doors of restored historic houses have been flung open, and visitors go inside for shade.