December AHA!

Start Your AHA! Adventure At The New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park Visitor Center 
The AHA! website will be available for you to look at along with Park staff and volunteers ready to answer any questions you may have. The Visitor Center (33 William St) is open
10am-8pm on AHA! 

AHA! Happens Rain Or Shine
Be sure to check the AHA! event page, Facebook page and Instagram Stories as well as website and social for participating event partners for info about location changes, program rescheduling and cancellations.

/ahanewbedford   @ahanewbedford

Planning  To AHA! IRL?
All of the AHA! partners have their own masking requirements. We recommend you carry a mask with you at all times so you don’t miss out on any of the AHA! festivities.

Pick up an AHA! Night map at the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park Visitor Center
Thursday 12/2 – Sunday 12/5, 10am-4pm & Thursday 12/9, 10am-8pm

A special AHA! thank you to The Honorable Antonio F. D. Cabral for his ongoing support of arts and culture on the South Coast, and the free AHA! 2nd Thursday night celebration in New Bedford!

AHA! Schedule 

Shop Small on AHA!


noon-8pm at
TL6 the Gallery (100 William St)

Custom Affordable Art & Unique Gifts by Over 20 Local Artists
Check out the latest additions from local artists including vegan soaps by Miriam’s Wellspring, whimsical fimo sculptures by Melissa Oliver as well as a variety of handmade holiday ornaments. Gift wrapping and gift baskets available on request.

5-8pm at Subtext Bookshop
(209 Union St) 

Unique Holiday Shopping for the Book Lovers on Your List
Dedicated to the art of offering previously owned books for the casual reader to the ardent collector, enjoy holiday shopping to find those special gifts.

Find more dining and shopping options at 

History & Architecture
with the NB Preservation Society

Any Time

 New Bedford Victorian Homes Tour The Victorian era ran during the reign of the United Kingdom’s Queen Victoria, from 1837 until 1901. New Bedford boasts many wonderful Victorian era homes. Victorian houses are marked by their prodigious ornamentation, with virtually no area of the house left unadorned.
Click To Watch 
Downtown New Bedford – The Definitive Tour 
Take a walking tour of historic downtown New Bedford with your guide Bruce Barnes. Visit some of the definitive downtown landmarks including the New Bedford Free Public Library, City Hall and many of the most important and beautiful commercial buildings including banks and department stores.Click To Watch
Historic Property of the Week: 
an in-depth look at a historic property in the city.New Bedford Historical Vignettes:
An in-depth look at a historically significant event, place or space. 
This month’s historical vignette features the Railroad Depots of New Bedford’s Past.Click To View

Snowman Craft & Exhibit Opening 


3-9pm at the New Bedford Main Library
(613 Pleasant St)

Stop by the Library for a Snowman Craft 
Starting at 3pm 
Presented by Youth Services. While supplies last. 

Exhibit Opening
Poem and Allegory: Prints from the Thomas Card Collection
This show features 19th century engravings and lithographs focused on illustrations for poems and allegorical subjects. The curator will be available for questions and to give tours of the exhibit. Located in the 3rd floor gallery 

Deck the Halls at the RJD 

4-6pm at the Rotch-Jones-Duff House
& Garden Museum (396 County St) 

Christmas on County
Drop in to see the decked halls of the historic mansion and hear from docents about the holiday customs held by the former famous residents of the house.

Members’ Exhibition Reception


5-8pm at the New Bedford Art Museum (608 Pleasant St)

Explore the Annual Members’ Exhibition
Highlighting the best local and regional artists with works selected by guest juror Stephanie Haboush Plunkett, Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the Norman Rockwell Museum.


Celebrate the Fishing Culture of NB  

5-8pm at the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center (38 Bethel St) 

Holiday Open House 
Shop unique handmade items from local artists Some Things Fishy, Salty Shell Co., and A Stitch of the Sea. Enjoy 10% off in the Gift Shop while sipping hot cocoa.

Holiday Family Fun Night  


4-6pm at the DeMello International Center (128 Union St)

Holiday Family Fun Night presented by the Family Resource & Development Center of the United Way of Greater New Bedford
A full evening of merrymaking that includes festive activities like make your own ornaments, “Snowman Soup” and cookies and cider (while supplies last). 

Gingerbread Houses & More 


5-7pm at Pilgrim UCC (634 Purchase St) 

Crafts, Resources & a History Lesson with Mercy Meals & More
Mercy Meals & More will be opening the Pilgrimm UCC Hall for AHA! night. The hall is a historic building and part of the history includes a visit by Booker T Washington.

Stop by for
– make-your-own gingerbread house activity (while supplies last)
– holiday music 
– a ‘museum-style’ history lesson
– refreshments 
– on-site resources from MM&M 

City Sidewalks  


5-7pm in Custom House Square 

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas with Stage Artistry Studios
Look for the strolling street theatre group performing holiday music.

Hot Chocolate & Cookies from the Oxcart 
Oxford Creamery’s food truck, the Oxcart, will be serving hot chocolate and cookies near Custom House Square fountain courtesy of First Citizens Federal Credit Union.

5-7pm around downtown  

South Coast Brass Band Street Stroll 
New Bedford JazzFest presents the joyous and soulful brass band dedicated to the traditions of jazz and funk that radiate from New Orleans.


The 32nd Gallery Xmas Show  


5-7:30pm at Gallery X (169 William St) 

Celebrate Gallery X, Local Art & the Holiday Season 
Celebrate the holidays by supporting local artists and find the perfect gift for everyone on your list during Gallery X-Mas, an open call community art exhibition. Over 100 works are on display in a variety of styles and media, with new work pieces being rotated in each week.

Annual Student Ceramic Sale 
& Pop-Up Show 


5-9pm at the CVPA Star Store 
(715 Purchase St) 

 Annual Student Ceramic Sale
Support the arts and students in this annual holiday sale — walk away with ceramics and other handmade pieces of art (cash or check accepted, and also open Friday 10am-7pm).

Pop-Up Show
I Pay Thousands of Dollars to Draw Pretty Things All Day
A pop-up exhibition featuring work made by 72 students, across the College of Visual and Performing Arts Foundations Studio Classes and curated by Harry Gould Harvey IV and Brittni Ann Harvey, directors of the Fall River Museum of Contemporary Art. The event will feature vendors, music, a printmaking demo with Katrina Benner (MFA ‘22) and more.

Continuing ExhibitionNancy Holt: Massachusetts
Nancy Holt: Massachusetts explores Nancy Holt’s Massachusetts connections, especially her family history in New Bedford. This exhibition is part of an initiative celebrating the 30th anniversary of Holt’s Spinwinder (1991), a public sculpture on the UMass Dartmouth Main Campus. Spinwinder has artifacts embedded in its foundation that refer to local industrial histories, including an homage to Samuel Holt, faculty member at the New Bedford Textile School and Nancy Holt’s grandfather. The exhibition is accompanied by a companion presentation of Electrical System (1982) in the CVPA Campus Gallery. Electrical System is a room-sized sculpture by Holt that was exhibited at John Weber Gallery in New York City in January 1982 and at the David Bellman Gallery in Toronto in February 1982. The work is part of Holt’s series of Systems Works that reveal infrastructures of the built environment; each presentation works carefully with the exhibition space. UMass Dartmouth is proud to present the first posthumous presentation of Electrical System in the United States. This exhibition and initiative is organized by Dr. Rebecca Uchill and is supported by the Henry Luce Foundation’s American Art Program.


Holiday Music
with Local Student Musicians

5-8pm at the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park (33 William St) 

Sippican School Band
Performing a variety of holiday tunes to get you in a festive mood outside in the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park’s garden.

SouthCoast Children’s Chorus 
The young singers in grades 1-12 will sing joyful holiday songs outside in the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park’s garden.


Swing By The South End

5-8pm at the Kilburn Mill 

13th Anniversary Celebration
at the Judith Klein Art Gallery
Featuring fiber art by Laurie Steger and sculptures by Marita Torbick.

127 W. Rodney French Blvd
Use main entrance
2nd floor Suite 2-87

Live Music, LIve DJ & Members Exhibit


5-9pm at
Co-Creative Center (137 Union St)  

Members Exhibit Launch Party 
with DJ Andy Anello from 5-7pm and 
Sarah Donner performing “She Makes Waves” starting at
New Bedford native and acclaimed singer-songwriter Sarah Donner performs music from “She Makes Waves,” a collection of songs about gritty women, corsets, whalers, and queer folks who made the world a better place. With support from the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, the first 50 people in attendance will receive a free vinyl copy.

AHA! Mini Concert & Holiday Shopping

5:30-7:30pm at the Alison Wells Gallery 
(106 Purchase St)

AHA! Mini Concert with Montage Bleu 
Montage Bleu is an acoustic duo featuring Annette Almeida & Kim Mitchell. Both multi-instrumentalists, Annette’s musical tastes in classic rock and folk combine with Kim’s credentials in classical/jazz vocal studies to present dynamic music with complex harmonies across many genres & decades.

Shop Local Art!
New giclee prints and note cards from Alison’s “In the Neighborhood” series about New Bedford. Plus original artwork by select guest artists in stained glass, woodwork, ceramics & macrame.

Holiday House Tour 

6-7pm at the Nathan & Polly Johnson House (21 Seventh St)

Come for an AHA! holiday tour of this national historic landmark and Underground Railroad site that sheltered many freedom seekers during the anti-slavery period. Decorated in Victorian finery, learn about the history of the remarkable visitors who spent their first “Christmas in Freedom” here.

Live Music


6-8pm at
First Unitarian Church NB (71 Eighth St)  

Stage Artistry Studios presents

Broadway Celebrates the Holidays
Performances at 6:15pm & 6:45pm in the Tryworks Auditorium
Young aspiring artists perform classic and contemporary holiday and Christmas songs by Broadway composers. Join them for a delightful evening of song, dance, and musical merriment.

Afro-Algonquin Ensemble
6:30-8pm in the Sanctuary
Enjoy a performance by internationally renowned Lee Mixashawn Rozie, Native American and First Nations jazz saxophone and flutist, with bassist Wes Brown and percussionist Royal Hartigan.

Virtual Local History Guild Lecture 


6pm on Zoom

Registration Required

Historic Preservation and Urban Renewal:
New Bedford’s Changing Cityscape in the 20th Century

A Virtual Local History Guild Lecture
presented by the New Bedford Whaling Museum 

Join the conversation with the Whaling Museum’s Curator of Maritime History, Michael P. Dyer, as he moderates a discussion with local historians and the people who were present when the face of New Bedford was permanently changed, William do Carmo, Esq., Jennifer Smith, Joan Henderson Beaubian, and David Kennedy. Panelists will discuss this dynamic period, from the 1930s-1970s, including scholarship, firsthand observations, and the records of the New Bedford Chamber of Commerce and Board of Trade as they pertain to New Bedford’s Urban Renewal.

William “Bill” do Carmo, Esq.
A descendant of Cape Verdean immigrant whalers and local South Coast farmers. He served in the U.S. Air Force in World War II and in the Korean War. He was the President of the New Bedford Chapter of the NAACP. Today he is a consultant and a self-described Advocate for Civility.

Jennifer Smith
Superintendent of the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, grew up in New Bedford’s center and as a child played on the construction site, which would eventually become what we know as Route 18. In 2004 she completed a Master’s Degree in Community Planning at the University of Rhode Island focusing on the South Terminal urban renewal project analyzing the once-vibrant community along Water Street in the city’s south end.

Joan Henderson Beaubian
A New Bedford native. Her husband was in the U.S. Air Force, and she traveled extensively before returning in 1980 to a city that bore little resemblance to the home town that as a younger person she couldn’t wait to leave. She served on the New Bedford Historical Commission, and was a co-founder of the New Bedford Historical Society intent upon retrieving and preserving a community decimated by Urban Renewal.

Holiday Open Mic & Youth Created Art 

6-8pm at the Dream Out Loud Center 
(1 Johnny Cake Hill) 

Enjoy Original Works by New Bedford Youth 

Original performances and videos written and created by New Bedford youth. Performances start at 6:30 followed by a holiday-themed open mic.

Artist Profile:

Tracy Silva Barbosa Of Duende Glass

Each month, AHA! showcases the incredible talent of local artists on the SouthCoast. 

As an artist, Tracy Silva Barbosa isn’t easy to define. Her talent shifts like light across the glass paintings she creates; as complex, colorful, and nuanced. Yet, when executing complex, city-sized art installations or large murals, Tracy is all business with grace and ease. Her commissions from corporate, municipal, and nonprofit clients often involve multiple artists and the novel use of materials in challenging settings. Tracy brings an artistic vision, a technical understanding of material, keen logistical skills, and her unique ability to translate between artistic vision and functional purpose. It’s a rare skill set. At her Duende Glass Studio, she transforms a common substance, glass, into ethereal multi-layered paintings depicting delicate urban or natural landscapes. Tracy’s work is currently on exhibit at the Mattapoisett Public Library and available to purchase at

Partner Profile: 

Rotch-Jones-Duff House & Garden Museum

Each month, AHA! programs are produced by a community of over 60 partners.

“Most museums are filled with objects. Here, the building and the garden are the objects, and they tell us personal stories about these New Bedford residents that add another dimension to the local picture,” says Dawn Salerno, Executive Director of the Rotch-Jones-Duff House & Garden Museum. The grounds encompass an entire city block, and visitors are encouraged to wander in and enjoy the award-winning garden. This downtown New Bedford greenspace belongs to picnickers, peace-seekers, and botanical enthusiasts alike. Dawn says, “It’s a place meant to be shared, enjoyed, and stewarded by all.” Their events calendar is filled with fun and interesting activities, especially over the holidays, including a winter greens market, ugly sweater family-friendly Friday nights, a Children’s Tea for kids served in the exquisitely decorated twin
parlors, and more. Tour the mansion’s holiday splendor any time throughout the month. See a complete schedule of events online at

AHA! In The Afternoon 

Our downtown New Bedford museums, galleries and institutions are open for visitors. 
Visit their websites for more info about current hours, programs, exhibits and COVID19 safety protocols.

New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center 
Open on AHA! 10am – 4pm
Plus IRL AHA! programming from 4-8pm (see listing above)
Click For More Info 

New Bedford Port Society
including Seamen’s Bethel & Mariner’s Home 

Open on AHA! 10am – 4pm 
Click For More Info 

New Bedford Whaling Museum 
Open on AHA! 9am – 5pm with reserved timed admission
Plus virtual programming at 6pm (see listing above)
Click For More Info

New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park 
Open on AHA! 10am – 4pm 
Plus IRL AHA! programming from 4-8pm (see listing above)
Click For More Info  

Rotch-Jones-Duff House & Garden Museum 
Open on AHA! 10am – 4pm
Plus IRL programming from 4-6pm (see listing above)
Click For More Info 

New Bedford Art Museum / Artworks! 
Open on AHA! 10am-4pm with reserved timed admission
Plus IRL programming from 5-8pm (see listing above)
Click For More Info 

Please consider shopping or dining in DNB to help support our small biz community.
Follow DNB, Inc. on Facebook /dnbinc or Instagram @dnbinc for updates about downtown dining and retail shopping.