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.

AHA New Bedford


The United Way of Greater New Bedford hosts photos with Santa, snacks, and a craft in the lobby of the DeMello International Center (128 Union Street). 5-8pm
Plus check out a sampling of Portuguese classes being offered at the Center this winter, 6-8pm.

Christmas crafts, caroling, and toy collecting at Pilgrim UCC.
Crafts from 6-7:30pm in the Church Home (634 Purchase Street). Hot cocoa will be served.
Caroling from 7-8pm in the Church (635 Purchase Street) with Scott Alan Correria on piano.
Toy drive for the Department of Child and Family Services. Bring an unwrapped toy to donate.

Holiday fun in the New Bedford Whaling Museum’s Jacobs Family Gallery (18 Johnny Cake Hill):
- Hot Cocoa Station, 5-8pm (While Supplies Last)
- Global Learning Charter Public School's Jazz Band performs from 5:30-6:30pm.
- Chamber Singers of the Greater New Bedford Choral Society will be caroling from 6:30-7:00pm.
- Our Sisters School Holiday Chorus will be caroling from 7-7:30pm
- Make a Holiday Children's Craft with Miss New Bedford 2018 from 5-7pm.
- Shop the NB Whaling Museum store, 5-8pm

Your Theatre presents a 2 hour marathon of holiday readings for young and old by some of their veteran actors. Sure to warm the holiday spirit with words and refreshments at Cafe Arpeggio (800 Purchase Street), 5-7pm.

Family fun at the New Bedford Public Library (613 Pleasant Street):
- Stop by Santa’s workshop!
- Story time (The Last Christmas Tree) and ornament making with Little People’s College starting at 6pm.
- Caricatures with New Bedford Park, Recreation and Beaches, 5-7pm.

An evening of music at the Rotch-Jones-Duff House & Garden Museum (396 County Street).
Get in the holiday spirit with the music of Our Sisters’ School Chorus performed in the museum parlors. 5:30- 6:30pm

Stop by the Buzzards Bay Coalition’s Wheeler Bay Learning Center (114 Front Street) to learn all about plankton. Discover what makes this beloved cartoon villain and microscopic organism so important to your everyday life. You’ll also get the chance to build a plankton ornament and walk away with some big love for some small creatures. 5-8pm


Kids eat free at Freestone’s City Grill (41 William Street)!
Get one free children’s meal with each adult entrée.

Savings and discounts on many books for the holidays at Subtext Bookshop (209 Union Street).

Give the Gift of Art (by Alison Wells) for the Holidays. Miniature Paintings make the perfect
present along with giclee prints and holiday note cards. All at the Alison Wells Gallery (106 William Street).

Stop by TL6 the Gallery (100 William Street) for some festive fun. Holiday elves will serving up samplings of Sprig jellies and Equal Exchange cocoa plus plenty of holiday shopping for local art and hand-made gifts.

The Cumming's Building (96 William Street, floor 2) Artists host an Open Studios & Holiday Sale, 4-9pm.

Create your own Holiday Gift Package at Soap La-Tea-Da (187 Union Street). For only $29.99 select (from a variety of different scents) a 10oz sugar scrub, 12oz box of salts and herbs, slice of soap and half dozen soy wax melts.

Visit our newest AHA! partner, Groundwork (1213 Purchase Street, enter on Maxfield Street side), New Bedford’s co-working space. Shop the Small Works Show in the GW Gallery, a diverse selection of 160 affordable works of art spanning from the south coast region and across the country. Art work is 12″x 12″ and $200 or less. Cash and carry that art right off the wall!


#letsgetartsandcultural at New Bedford Art Museum/Artworks! (608 Pleasant Street), 5-8pm:
- Stop by the open house event to welcome the new arts leadership in New Bedford: NBAM/Artworks! Executive Director, Ashley Occhino, Margo Saulnier, Arts and Culture Consultant for the NBEDC, and Roz Crews, Artist-in-Residence, College of Visual and Performing Arts.
- Shop the Member Holiday Show.
- Check out SCAPES: Placemaking in the 21st Century, an exhibit of contemporary painters, photographers, digital media artists and sculptors who have flipped the Modernist focus on the sublimity of nature to a postmodern exploration of internal landscapes.

New show at UMass Dartmouth CVPA Star Store (715 Purchase Street).
TAYO HEUSER: PAPER CONSTRUCTS is a fascinating collection of abstracted works made from paper and on paper, combining traditional techniques, multi-cultural influences, and contemporary artistic approaches.
Opening Reception, 6-8pm / Artist Talk, 7pm

Swing by the South End!
- Judith Klein Art Gallery (127 Rodney French Blvd. Door #31) hosts opening reception and artist demos for The 9th Anniversary Exhibit, 5-8pm. Exhibiting artists include Brooks Angelini, Kim Barry, Lori Bradley, Alma Cummings, Bryson Gauthier, Judith Klein, Liliya Krys, Ron Lister, Sheila Oliveira, Ewa Romaszewicz, Laurie Steger, Heather Stivison , Adrian Tio, Valorie Sheehan, Patricia White and Anita Trezvant. Craft artists: Andrew Peppard, Ed Mc Garvey, Nitza Attali and Katy Jeffrey. Felt art demo with artist Anita Trezvant.
- After Hours on AHA! at Art Scapes: Maker Space & Gallery (665 Orchard Street). Enjoy a Hanukkah Festival of Lights including a menorah lighting (8pm). Sample potato latkes and other savory and sweet treats. 7-10pm


Winter Waterfront: a slide show of photography by Phil Mello at the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center (38 Bethel Street). Enjoy the show with some cookies and cocoa. Plus 10% off gift shop purchases.

Make and take t-shirts for children (ages 5-13) at The Landing (98 Front Street).

The Zeiterion Theater (684 Purchase Street) hosts a performance of “Perstephanie Goes Underground” in The Z’s Penler space at 6pm. Performed by the students of The Z’s Youth Acting Class. About the show: Teenaged Perstephanie, the Maiden of Spring, wants more responsibility and freedom, but not by helping her mother Demeter tend the fields. Problems ensue when she takes a job with Hades redecorating the Underworld. Now she may never be able to go home!

First Unitarian Church in New Bedford (Union & County Street) hosts Open Mic in the Tryworks Auditorium, 7-9pm. All ages and abilities are welcome.

The Monteirobots play live in the Cork (90 Front Street) dining room at 8pm.

The New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park (33 William Street) will offer a behind-the scene, guided tour of the Park's visitor center. Get a look behind the exhibits and around the interactive parts of the new MakerSpace to see your National Park in a whole new way! Play with a giant light-brite, see the old bank vault, and more. Tours start every half hour starting at 5pm. Last tour leaves at 7.


November 9, 2017 Made in NB
December 14, 2017 City Sidewalks
February 8, 2018 Please Be Seated
March 8, 2018 I Am New Bedford: Herstory, History, Ourstory
April 12, 2018 Sustainable SouthCoast
May 10, 2018 We Art NB
June 14, 2018 Launch
July 12, 2018 Kids Rule
August 9, 2018 Jammin’ In The Streets
September 13, 2018 #FrederickDouglassLivedHere
October 11, 2018 Scapes: Tables & Tours
November 8, 2018 Made in NB
December 13, 2018 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.