Our annual Holiday Pops concert combines classical and popular seasonal favorites to put you in that holiday mood. This concert is great for all ages and always an audience favorite. This year’s concert will also introduce the music of Florence Price, the first major black woman composer. Her “Dances in the Canebreaks” introduces dance music themes she knew in her lifetime. Her music is now regularly performed by major orchestras.
Population 50+: 46%
Days of sunshine a year: 201
Median home price: $406,600
Salem might be on the smaller side of our list, but nearly half of its just 30,000 residents are 50 and up — making it easy for retirees to find community in this north Boston suburb.
The town’s amenities serve a wide range of interests. Residents can hit the links at one of the area’s three golf courses, ante up at Chasers Poker Room and Casino, or take the grandkids to Canobie State Park, a 1902 amusement park still in operation today.
Love live music? The New Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra — known as “The Phil” — is based in Salem. Catch it throughout the year at the Seifert Performing Arts Center. One festive event on the calendar is The Phil’s Holiday Pops concert, which features both classic and modern holiday hits.
For exercise, Salem Town Forest is full of trails to hike and bike. If you have the travel bug but can’t afford an international trip, stop by “America’s Stonehenge,” Salem’s 4,000-year-old maze of rocks and stone. Rumor has it the site served as an astronomical calendar many moons ago.
If retail therapy’s more your thing, you’re in luck: New Hampshire is one of the few states with zero sales tax. Take advantage at Salem’s Mall at Rockingham Park (there’s over 1 million square feet of shopping space!), head over to the outlet shops in nearby Merrimack, or make a day of it in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. Beantown’s about a 45-minute drive south.
It has been quite an absence since The Phil last performed. Our world has been shaken by tragedy and then offered breakthroughs of hope to rise from those dark days. Our returning concert reflects those themes. From the powerful opening of Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture, with its ensuing tender moments, to the contemplative and haunting Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber, to the dark opening of Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony, through the beautiful French horn solo of its second movement, and then to its ending of hope and triumph, we are inspired to brighten your spirits.