AHA! Is a monthly FREE celebration of arts & culture in downtown New Bedford.

AHA! Is a monthly FREE celebration of arts & culture in downtown New Bedford.

Our City Sidewalks sponsors are:
- Coastal Realty “..... a refreshing residential and commercial real estate company created to provide you with the excellence in real estate service you and your family and friends truly deserve!”
- Hall Keen Management, a leading property management company with over 25 years of experience in multi-family, assisted living, and mixed-use properties.

Welcome NEW AHA! Partner!
The Landing Gift Shop & Chandlery (98 Front St) is a local gift shop, screen-printer and commercial fishing supply store.  95% of all items are locally hand crafted. You can also find all local city and town spirit-wear. Stop by during City Sidewalks for Make & Take Tees for Kids. Pick a graphic, pick a shirt, wear it home!

Deck the Windows of Downtown New Bedford! Brought to you by the New Bedford Cultural Council. Stroll the streets and enjoy over 50 windows decorated for the holidays. Vote for your faves at Freestone’s City Grill, Greater New Bedford Chamber of Commerce, Hippo, New Bedford Art Museum/Artworks! or Tia Maria’s European Cafe. Then stop by NBAM/Artworks! (608 Pleasant Street) at 7:30pm for the awards ceremony.

City Sidewalks Celebrations: Holiday Cheer Throughout Downtown

Stop by the Wishing Tree at LOVEmoda (96 William Street, Floor 2). Guests are invited to decorate the tree with their hopes and dreams for the holiday season using LOVEmoda fabric & paper ornaments. Light refreshments will also be served.  Ornaments supplied by LOVEmoda, wishes supplied by you. 5-9pm

The First Unitarian Church NB (County & Union Street) hosts the UMass Dartmouth Choir along with the Roosevelt Middle School Choir, under the direction of UMD Choral Conductor, Dr. Tianxu Zhou, at 7pm in the Sanctuary.

Holiday Readings with Your Theatre:
- 5:30 & 6:30pm at New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center (38 Bethel Street)
- 7:30pm at Café Arpeggio (800 Purchase Street)

Find some holiday spirit in the festively decorated parlors at the Rotch-Jones-Duff House & Garden Museum (396 County Street). Tour the first-floor parlors and have some warm cider and cookies on your way downtown, 5-6pm.

Holiday crafts at the New Bedford Public Library (613 Pleasant Street):
- Make your own Holiday Window Display in the Children’s Room
- Winter animal craft with the Lloyd Center, 5-7pm
- Recycled materials Christmas trees with New Bedford Parks and Recreation
Plus an evening of jazz featuring the Bishop Stang High School Jazz Band, 7-8pm.

Kids crafts and jewelry sale, presented by the Pilgrim’s Women’s Club, at Pilgrim UCC (634 Purchase Street), 6-7pm.

Stop by Buzzards Bay Coalition (114 Front Street) to make a holiday ornament from local sea shells. They make wonderful gifts. Then challenge yourself during a holiday scavenger hunt around the Learning Center. 5-8pm

Guest Venue! 2nd Annual Selfies with Santa presented by the New Bedford Community Connections Coalition at the Santander Building (128 Union Street). 5-7pm

Guest Venue! Holiday Dance Performance and Party with Dance Clinic on the lawn of the New Bedford YMCA (25 South Water Street), 5-7pm.

Café Arpeggio’s (800 Purchase Street) Featured Performers for December are New Bedford's Ukulele Orchestra THE ZUKES. Featured Performer from 6-7pm and Weekly Open Mic from 7-10pm, hosted by Art Tebbetts & Denn Santoro.

The Monteirobots bring live jazz to the Cork Dining Room (90 Front Street), 8pm to midnight. Plus pick up some gift cards and get a gift for you! For every $50 purchased receive a $10 gift card to spend as you wish (in-house purchaes only).

Spend some time with 3rd EyE!
- Join Doodles Arts & Crafts for holiday ornament making.
5-8pm at mediumstudio (38 Bethel Street, 2nd Floor).
- The 3rd EyE Cypher
Never seen a hip hop cypher? Now is your chance. Free flow verses performed by multiple rappers in an ever moving cycle. Plus Open Jam, bring your words, your instrument, your friends and let's make music together. 8-10pm in the 3rd EyE Unlimited Studio (96 William Street, floor 2).

The Delight Consort plays Renaissance Christmas music at Gallery X (169 William Street).
Plus 2 new shows:
- Gallery Xmas Show: an open community art show perfect for holiday gift giving
- Gallery X invitational: Kat Knutsen

Take an indoor walking tour with the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park (33 William Street). Grab a cup of hot cocoa and join a ranger in to look at slides of local landmarks and hear stories of the past. 6 & 7pm

Guest Venue! New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce hosts their monthly Business After Hours at the Global Learning Charter Public School (Union & Purchase Street, Floor 1). 5-7pm

Shop Local! Shop Unique! #shopNB

Greeting cards and gift books at Subtext Books (209 Union Street).

Create your own Holiday Gift Package at Soap La-Tea-Da (187 Union Street). For only $15 select (from over 15 different scents) an 8oz lotion, a bath bomb and 1/4 lb. soap.

The Culture of Tea Series continues, presented by Gatlin's Framing & Photography (209 Union Street). Stop by to sample Lime Sencha green tea then buy some for all the tea lovers on your holiday shopping list.

Special holiday offer from the Arthur Moniz Gallery (22 William Street). For every donation of $35 or more (cash or check only) to the Neediest Family Fund, the Gallery will offer a choice of one unframed print: Winter Cardinal, Carpenter's Shop or New Bedford Scalloper as their way of saying thank you for your donation.

Guest Venue! JEMS Winter Jewelry Sale at the New Directions Youth Annex (5 Dover Street, Floor 2), 5-8pm. All jewelry made by the JEMS New Directions Summer Job Program and all proceeds will benefit the JEMS Program.

New art and 2 trunks shows at Gallery 65 (65 William Street):
- Paintings by Claudine Metrick
- Trunk Show: holiday ornaments and winter wearables by Marianne Stebenne
- Trunk Show: Terrariums by Natalie Sine

Give the gift of art from Alison Wells Gallery (106 William Street). New series of holiday greeting cards and original paper collages by artist Alison Wells. Prints and original miniature acrylic paintings also available.

The Wall @ Travessia (760 Purchase Street) presents My Moons by Michelle T. Lapointe. A series of photographs and paintings of the many phases of the moon. Meet the artist, view her work and taste Travessia's wines from 6-8pm.

New exhibit, New England Fishermen: Photography of Markham Starr, at the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center (38 Bethel Street).

Sample Equal Exchange Cocoa & Jellies by Sprig while shoppping for local art and hand-made gifts. Don’t forget to snap a selfie with Santa’s elves!

Swing by the South End! Judith Klein Art Studio (127 Rodney French Blvd. Door #31) hosts their 8th Anniversary Exhibit: 12 artists exhibiting small and medium size work including paintings, printmaking, photography, mixed media, sculptures and fiber art. Participating artists: Laurie Steger, Lori Bradley, Adrian Tio , Ron Lister, Alma Cummings, Mark Milstein, Sheila Oliveira, Valorie Sheehan, Judy Volkmann, Ewa Romaszewicz, Michael Hubert, Stephen Denton and Judith Klein.

Student Sale, Artist Lecture and New Show at UMD CVPA Star Store Gallery (715 Purchase Street:
- Student Holiday Sale: ceramics, jewelry, handmade paper, textiles, and more!
- New Show! Salon Style Print Exhibition by UMD students
- Artist Lecture for Stateless: Artists Respond to the Refugee Crisis, 6-7:30pm Featuring the work of Gohar Dashti in conjunction with Mehdi Ghadyanloo, Pantea Karimi, and Jodi Stevens, Stateless brings together the work of four artists who reflect on the recent refugee crisis and issues of human displacement and migration. Curated by Dr. Pamela Karimi.

Shop the Annual Holiday Bazaar and view 1 NEW Show and 3 Continuing Shows at NBAM/Artworks! (608 Pleasant Street):
- New! Opening Reception for The Members Exhibt, 6-8pm. Featuring: Gregg Harper, Heather E. Stivison, Michelle T. Lapointe, Terry Gips, Scott Currier, Ray Genereux, Michael Hubert, Ruth Ann Rego, Viera Levitt, JP Powel, Jane Bregoli, Temple Fawcett, James St. Germaine,  and Jane McNeil-McKeag.
-  Layered: works by Megan Abajian
- GLOBAL VOICES FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE: ART AS ACTIVISM presented with the New Bedford Historical Society In commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the New Bedford Historical Society, Global Voices for Social Justice: Art as Activism presents a selection of posters and memorabilia produced between the 1960s and the 1980s.
- The Page Collective: Tell Us A Story “In our most recent work, Tell Us A Story, we are facilitating the assembly of a physical library from stories told by community members and then compiling them into an online archive…Through our artwork and outreach projects, we are interested in building archives to draw attention to contemporary stories that are unheard, and the relationships that can be forged through the intimate and personal activity of sharing a story from one’s life, ” – The Page Collective


November 10, 2016 Made in NB: celebrating arts month
December 8, 2016 city sidewalks
December 31, 2016 City Celebrates! New Year’s Eve
February 9, 2017 History, Herstory, Ourstory
March 9, 2017 All Sewn Up
April 13, 2017 Sustainable SouthCoast
May 11, 2017 We Art NB
June 8, 2017 Launch: New Spaces, New Places
July 13, 2017 Kids Rule
August 10, 2017 Jammin’ in the Streets
September 14, 2017 NB Cultures
October 12, 2017 Moveable Feast
November 9, 2017 Made in NB
December 14, 2017 City Sidewalks

All activities are FREE and open to the public.Year-round programming is funded in part by the Mass Cultural Council's John and Abigail Adams Arts Program, The Island Foundation, The City of New Bedford, the AHA! partners, individual supporters and in-kind marketing support from the Standard-Times and WBSM. For more information call 508-996-8253 x205

First time visitors
may want to start AHA! Night at the National Park Visitor Center (33 William Street). Complete program flyers with maps are also available at all AHA! venues starting the Tuesday prior to each event.

Directions: From I-195 E or W. Take Exit 15 (Rte. 18). Follow Rte 18 to 2nd traffic signal; take a right onto Union St. At the first traffic signal take a right onto Second Street and take your first left for parking in Custom House Square or continue on two blocks to the Elm Street garage. On-street parking also available for free after 6 pm. 

Our AHA! Partners have something for everybody on your list. 
- boutique shops 
- museum memberships
- galleries galore
- tickets to a show
- gift cards to eclectic eateries 

Click here for AHA! Partner info.

AHA! Is a monthly FREE celebration of arts & culture in downtown New Bedford.