2021 Family Summer Fun Guide

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Top NH Spots: Open and Ready to Greet You SPONSORED BY





Ten Top Spots for Summer Fun What’s new, what’s improved and what you need to see.


The Best Campgrounds


Best Places for Everyone in the Granite State

Discover summertime suggestions from the NH Granite State Ambassadors.


Beaches and Swimming Holes


It’s Not Too Late for Summer Camp Camps are still accepting kids, and for those who need financial aid, there are some good options.


Family-Friendly Museums


Events Schedule subject to change due to COVID-19 or weather. www.hamptonbeach.org for updates.


#1 rated USA Super Star Beach National Resources Defense Council "Testing the Waters: A Guide to Water Quality at Vacation Beaches" top 100 beaches water quality & safety. Hampton Beach in top 5 beaches & top 10 resorts in USA.

• Over 80 Free Nightly Concerts • Fireworks Displays Wed. Nights & Holidays • 21st Annual Master Sand Sculpting Classic $15,000 in prizes, June 17-18-19 • Country Music Fest, July 6-8 • Children’s Festival, Aug. 16-20 • Talent Competition, Aug. 27-28-29 • Seafood Festival, Sept. 10-11-12

For FREE Travel Guide or to view our Beach Cam, visit www.hamptonbeach.org www.nhmagazine.com



photo by john w. hession

Welcome to the 2021 Family Summer Fun Guide. Can you hear it? That distant sound of laughter and the chatter of merry voices? It’s the familiar yet almost forgotten ambiance of a family, happily on their way to an adventure of indulgence and exploration. That wonderful noise, so familiar and yet so distant for so many of us for so long, is growing louder across the state as attractions reopen and plans are finalized for a summer of fun. And, just in time, our Family Summer Fun Guide is here to ride along for the trip, or perhaps just to get you reoriented on the who, what, when and where of vacation time spent together. Along with our feature on 10 great family fun spots (that are open and ready for you), we’ve compiled and updated our lists of the most popular categories of summer family fun. And in seeking out experts we consulted some of the state’s most wise and knowledgeable guides — the Granite State Ambassadors, for suggestions on where to go with any special needs that might exist in your family, from mobility issues to ride-along pets. Among the lessons we’ve been learning from our year of hunkering down in our separate basements, home offices and Netflix/rumpus rooms is that there is a serious element to playtime — and not just for kids. Experts agree that the foundational role of just playing around (as opposed to hobbies or organized recreation) does not end at childhood. Adults reap many benefits from the “disorganized” playtime that’s best found in a novel environment where the mind is refocused as a participant, an observer and a student. This attitude of discovery and engagement can relieve stress, supercharge learning and enhance our connections to others near to us as well as our ability to connect with strangers. In short, adults learn how to be better people by goofing around in interesting places. And while it may be tempting to try this on your own and leave the kids at home, this is probably not the summer to try to pull off that stunt. And if you did, you know that you’d miss that sound of laughter and the chatter of merry voices (interspersed with a few cries of “Are we there yet?” and “Make her stop touching my foot!” from the back seat). We can’t help too much with preserving the peace on a car trip, but at least we can help you set your sights on some delightful places to go and things to do that will become enduring family memories. And what better way to celebrate your release from a year of spending way too much time at home?


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150 Dow Street • Manchester, NH 03101 (603) 624-1442, fax (603) 624-1310 ©2021 MCLEAN COMMUNICATIONS, LLC The 2021 Family Summer Fun Guide® is published by McLean Communications, 150 Dow St., Manchester, NH 03101, (603) 624-1442. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without the written permission of the publisher is prohibited. The publisher assumes no responsibility for any mistakes in advertisements or editorial. Statements/ opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect or represent those of this publication or its officers. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, McLean Communications, LLC disclaims all responsibility for omission and errors.

Core Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine & Core Pediatric Dentistry Keeping You Healthy is at Our Core

Core Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine is dedicated to providing high quality, compassionate care to infants, children and adolescents. We are pleased to assist with the health needs of your family in a child friendly, pleasant environment in four convenient locations. Pediatric allergy and asthma services are also offered at our Exeter location, 603-418-0038. Epping: 212 Calef Highway 603-693-2100

Exeter: 9 Buzell Avenue 603-772-8900

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All locations are welcoming new patients. Core Pediatric Dentistry, located at 5 Hampton Road in Exeter, provides dental care for infants, children, adolescents and children with special health care needs. For more information, call 603-773-4900.

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2675 White Mountain Hwy. in the Heart of North Conway Village










Voted Best Candy Store north of Concord!


Celebrating Our 30 th Year! We have come through recessions and pandemics, and we thank you for your continued support!


to the Best Country Store in New England. From the old-fashioned candy counter that lures children off the street, to the impressively grand collection of New England made specialty foods, those in search of a wide range of hard-to-find and nostalgic items will relive childhood memories while browsing the store and over 7,000 unique products.

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www.zebs.com 800-676-9294


courtesy photo

Welcome to Summer in New Hampshire. New Hampshire is a great state year-round — from the bright colors of autumn to the snowpacked adventures of winter and the much-anticipated first signs of spring. But there’s something extra special about summer around here. Summer draws us out of our homes and out of our shells. This year, especially, we are all eager to get outside and enjoy each other and all our home state has to offer. Catholic Medical Center is proud to sponsor New Hampshire Magazine’s Family Summer Fun Guide. It is packed with ideas that are sure to spark your sense of adventure and inspire your family to make memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you’re a beach-lounger or a thrill-seeker you’ll find there’s plenty to do and see without ever having to leave the Granite State. Of course, accidents and illnesses can happen, even during the summer. When they do, CMC’s Urgent Care, Emergency Department and Primary Care practices are here for you and your family. In the meantime, remember the sunscreen and bug spray and enjoy a fun-filled season!


photo: lightfield studios



TEN TOP SPOTS What’s new, what’s improved, and why you need to visit this summer BY MELANIE HITCHCOCK

Your Guide:

Who better to set the course for summer fun than ParentingNH Magazine’s longtime editor? While the beloved and awardwinning ParentingNH Magazine is no longer being published, the editor who pulled it all together each month for years is still one of the most trusted experts on the topic of summer family fun, so naturally we went to her for this short list of places you should (and can) visit for elevating and enlightening day trips and staycations this vacation.

This list originally appeared in the June issue of New Hampshire Magazine.


lot can change in a year, and that is especially true at some of New Hampshire’s most popular family-friendly favorites. Last summer was like no other, with indoor fun especially at a premium. While we were hiking and biking or hunkered down, several familiar spots took the opportunity to renovate, add more activities or open exhibits. There are a few new places to visit too. Here are the attractions that you’ll want to add to your summer fun to-do list.

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Before you go: What you need to know about summer 2021

Gov. Chris Sununu dropped the statewide mask mandate in April, but attractions are expected to continue to follow CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19. Masks and social distancing will still be required, and admission capacity will be limited. Plan ahead

Exploring the arts

— reservations and advance ticket

The John Hay Estate at The Fells has a long tradition of providing educational programming for families and children. This year, they are launching the Children’s Summer Art Series on June 22. On Tuesdays through July 20, children can explore writing, poetry and the fiber arts and more with guest educators. The series is open to all ages. The Fells also offers other programs and camps for preschoolers through teens, or take the kids on a hike through the 83-plus-acre property that was once home to statesman John Hay.

purchases will be the norm in the coming months.

The Fells in Newbury › thefells.org


By train or bike — your choice

Get ready to ride the rails this summer. The Hobo & Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad is unveiling a new rail experience in late May. You will be able to pedal rail bikes along a mid-1800s rail line on a trip that begins and ends at the historic Laconia Railroad Station in Veterans Square. The route takes you past the site of the former Laconia Car Company, which built rail cars from 1848 to 1928, then over a trestle bridge crossing the Winnipesaukee River and Durkee Brook before reaching the shore of Lake Winnisquam. It is two hours of adventure for those ages 5 and older. If you would rather save your energy and take in the beauty of the Lakes Region by train instead, check out the Hobo & Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad schedule. The new season starts Memorial Day weekend. The Hobo & Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad in Lincoln, Meredith, Weirs Beach and Laconia › hoborr.com




More than mini golf

Chuckster’s in Chichester and Mel’s Funway Park in Litchfield have added to their long list of attractions and activities for 2021. Both places are adding bumper boats — imagine bumper cars but substitute in motor-driven inner tubes and add water. Mel’s bumper boats are open now while Chuckster’s expects to have them available Memorial Day weekend. In addition, Mel’s has added a “mini area” for the younger children in your family. It features mini go-karts and its own mini bumper boat area and other activities. Mel’s Funway Park in Litchfield melsfunwaypark.com


Chuckster’s in Chichester (second location in Hooksett) chuckstersnh.com

Get jolly in June

Many were disappointed when Santa’s Village in Jefferson had to close in November 2020 before the holidays, but now is your chance to make up for lost jolly and reacquaint yourself with Santa himself. Santa’s Village, where it is always Christmas, opens Memorial Day weekend, and is introducing a new event this year: the Jolly June FEASTival. For 11 days in June, the park will celebrate the halfway point to Christmas. Pay a special admission price, and you can feast all day on park favorites such as doughnuts, pizza, burgers, ice cream and drinks. Between treats, hop on popular rides such as Santa’s Train or the Christmas Ferris Wheel. And don’t forget to feed the reindeer. They are sure to want a treat too. Santa’s Village in Jefferson › santasvillage.com

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Dave & Buster's in Manchester and Block Party Social in Hooksett both came on the scene last year. If you are looking to eat, play and hang out with the family all in one place — these are your spots. Block Party Social was formerly the Space Entertainment Center. More than arcade games and laser tag, you can try out the high ropes course with 180-degree zip line (only one of two in the country), climbing walls, billiards and a huge interactive game space. They also offer food, with a menu put together by Executive Chef Christopher Cate. Dave & Buster’s, which is located at the Mall of New Hampshire, features food, arcade games, virtual reality experiences, and massive screens to watch your favorite local teams. Dave & Buster's in Manchester › daveandbusters.com Block Party Social in Hooksett › blockpartysocial.com



All-in-one fun

www.nhmagazine.com www.nhmagazine.com||FAMILY FAMILYSUMMER SUMMERFUN FUNGUIDE GUIDE••2021 2021


Take a tour, go back in time

Learning can be fun, and the American Independence Museum in Exeter is historical proof. Join the American Independence Museum for an hourlong guided tour of the Folsom Tavern. The new Folsom Tavern tour, according to the museum’s website, examines its history, the place that taverns held in Colonial and Revolutionary history and the different experiences that people had in taverns. The tour is about 45 minutes, then you can continue exploring the tavern and museum grounds on your own. Also, a modified version of the American Independence Festival returns in July with a mix of in-person and virtual events. American Independence Museum in Exeter independencemuseum.org


Tomie dePaola, The Art Angel, 2005

Be inspired. Get creative. View art. Have fun. Join us for art classes, camps, free family programs, new exhibitions, and much more this summer! There’s something for everyone and every age at the Currier Museum of Art. Members save more with free admission and discounts on art classes, summer camps, and at the Museum Shop and Winter Garden Café.

Focused on Art. Centered in Community. Committed to Inspire 150 Ash Street, Manchester, NH . 603.669.6144 . currier.org

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A new look at history


The Wright Museum of World War II, home to more than 14,000 items, has gotten a makeover. Renovations were completed at the 30,000-square-foot museum in early 2020. Among the improvements is the new 1,600-square-foot DuQuoin Education Center, a redesigned theater and library, expanded second-floor art gallery, archives room, lobby and museum store. The 2021 season kicks off with two new exhibits, both of which focus on the role women played in WW II. They will be open from May 1 to June 10, 2021. New exhibits will be added later in the year. The Wright Museum of World War II in Wolfeboro wrightmuseum.org



On the move

When the Mount Washington Observatory’s Discovery Center in North Conway closed last year, they partnered up with the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord. Eighty percent of the exhibits have been relocated to the McAuliffe- Shepard Discovery Center — including the Shaky Shack, the replica of the 1930s-era observatory staff’s mountaintop cabin in which the highest human-observed surface wind speed on Earth was recorded in 1934. Earlier this year, the Discovery Center also upgraded the technology for their planetarium. You won’t want to miss seeing a brand-new star- studded planetarium show.

Full Page

McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord › starhop.com

Grand reopening

After a year off, high-flying fun is making a return to southern New Hampshire. Candia Springs Adventure Park did not open in 2020, but it is under new ownership and a grand reopening was scheduled for mid-May as of press time. Families can enjoy PHOTOS COURTESY MCAULIFFE-SHEPARD DISCOVERY CENTER

an adrenaline-fueled day by taking advantage of the several attractions Candia Springs offers — a water park, zip-lines and a state-of-the-art aerial adventure park. Candia Springs Adventure Park in Candia candiasprings.com PHOTOS COURTESY CANDIA SPRINGS

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Before you go: What you need to know about summer 2021

Gov. Chris Sununu dropped the statewide mask mandate in April, but attractions are expected to continue to follow CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19. Masks and social distancing will still be required, and admission capacity will be limited. Plan ahead — reservations and advance ticket purchases will be the norm in the coming months.

Not just another fish tale

There is a new reason to head to Story Land this summer, though it is a bit fishy. Story Land opened Living Shores Aquarium — the state's first aquarium — in November 2019. It was only open a few months until it had to shut down due to COVID-19. But the wait is over. Families can return in May to meet more than 1,000 new friends. The aquarium, open year-round, includes more than 32,000 square feet of interactive tide pools, immersive activities and exhibit. Visit the otters, touch sting rays, interact with tropical birds and more, according to the website. Living Shores Aquarium tickets are sold separately, but you can opt for the Story Land unlimited platinum pass that will get you into both parks. Ages up to 2 get in free. While you are there, you know you are going to want to check out Story Land, the more-than-65-year-old theme park that has fun for all ages. Run, don’t walk, to the antique cars, storybook houses, teacups, Cinderella’s Castle and more. ❂ Living Shores Aquarium at Story Land in Glen › livingshores.com

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NH’s Best Family-Friendly Campgrounds Our favorite family-friendly campgrounds and campsites in New Hampshire


very once in a while your backyard just doesn’t cut it and it’s time to take your camping adventure outside of your property line. New Hampshire is home to a number of great campgrounds throughout the state, so pack up your grill, tent, sleeping bags and bug spray and hit the road! From lakefront camping to poolside fun, there are countless ways and places to camp in the Granite State.

Adventure Bound Camping Resorts

Jacobs Brook Campground

35 Jellystone Park New Hampton (603) 968-9000 www.abcamping.com

46 High Bridge Rd. Orford (603) 353-9210 www.jacobsbrookcampground.com

REASONS TO VISIT: There are a number of organized recreational activities for the kids including crafts, swimming, movies and campfire s’mores. If you don’t feel like pitching a tent or have your own RV, there are cabins available for rent. Adventure Bound also has an awesome water park area (slides, pool, wading area, etc.) and boat rentals if you want to cruise along the Pemigewasset River. Laundry, restrooms, showers and a mini-mart are all located on property.

Northstar Campground 43 Coon Brook Rd. Newport (603) 863-4001 www.northstarcampground. com REASONS TO VISIT: Northstar offers a little bit of everything spread across its 100+ acres, including: showers and restrooms, a spring-fed swimming pond, horseshoes, hiking trails, playground and riverfront campsites. They also offer a free Wi-Fi hot spot for those who can’t leave home without their smartphones, laptops or tablets. Northstar is also located near other popular area attractions including Montshire Museum of Science, Sunapee State Beach and Mount Sunapee State Park.

REASONS TO VISIT: Located in the quiet town of Orford in the Dartmouth/Sunapee Region, Jacobs Brook is the perfect spot for a quiet and relaxing camping trip. This isn’t a resort-style campground, but you’ll find they have all of your desired amenities including a pool, showers and restrooms, playground and free Wi-Fi. This campground has 75 campsites spread across 34 acres, so make sure you reserve your spot early before they fill up. Oh, and don’t miss the beautiful gardens — they add perfectly to the peaceful atmosphere.

Israel River Campground 111 Israel’s River Rd. Jefferson (603) 586-7977 www.israelrivercampground.com REASONS TO VISIT: Located in the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountains, the Israel River Campground is a favorite because of the gorgeous vistas views of the Presidential Mountain Range and Mount Washington, hiking and biking trails and fishing along the river. The campground has riverfront camping sites, pool and hot tub, playground, restrooms and showers and a general store. Another bonus is

More helpful camping resources and websites: • www.ucampnh.com • www.visitnh.gov/things-to-do/recreation/camping • www.nhstateparks.org/activities/camping 16 www.nhmagazine.com | FAMILY SUMMER FUN GUIDE • 2021

that the campground is close to popular amusements and attractions like Santa’s Village, The Cog and Bretton Woods.

Twin River Campground Route 302 Bath (603) 747-3640 www.twinrivernh.com REASONS TO VISIT: Keep an eye out for moose and other wildlife at the Twin River Campground located along the banks of the Ammonoosuc and Wild Ammonoosuc rivers in Bath. If you’re looking for fun, then make sure you pack your swimsuits and inner tubes and take a ride down the Ammonoosuc River. Twin River Campground also has cabins for rent, mini golf, a heated pool, pavilion, game room and laundromat. If your family loves to play sports, Twin River offers basketball, shuffleboard, volleyball and a children’s playground area. And, you might not strike it rich, but definitely try your hand at gold panning in the Wild Ammonoosuc River — you never know what treasure you’ll find!

Bear Brook State Park 61 Deerfield Rd. Allenstown (603) 485-9869 www.nhstateparks.org REASONS TO VISIT: You may already know that Bear Brook is New Hampshire’s largest state park with more than 10,000 acres to explore, fish and hike, but did you also know that it has 100 campsites? Your family won’t need a pool because there’s plenty of swimming in the ponds and there’s even kayak and canoe rentals available. No water or electric hookups are available, so this camping experience is more of a “roughing it” style. There are, however, restrooms, picnic tables and a playground area.

Gunstock Mountain Resort 719 Cherry Valley Rd. Gilford (603) 293-4341 www.gunstock.com REASONS TO VISIT: Gunstock offers camping with more than 250 campsites across 140 acres. You may have skied Gunstock in the winter, but it’s definitely worth coming back to Gunstock in the summer to check out their zipline tours, aerial treetop adventures and camping. Gunstock’s camping area can accommodate tents, RVs and there are also cabins available to rent. Amenities include restrooms, showers, laundry facilities, pool and camp store (wood, propane, ice and other basic camping necessities). If you’re thinking about checking out one of the Lakes Region’s annual events, then camping at Gunstock would be a perfect place to stay while you play. ❂

Other recommended familyfriendly campgrounds to check out: • Woodmore Family Campground and RV Park in Rindge www.woodmorecampground.com • Ames Brook Campground in Ashland www.amesbrook.com • Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Lakes Region in Milton www.lakesregionjellystone.com • Beaver Hollow Campground in Ossipee www.beaverhollowcampground.com • Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park-Resort Glen Ellis in Bartlett www.glenellisjellystone.com • Moose Hillock Camping Resort in North Warren www.moosehillock.com





Best Places for

Everyone in Your Life FF HS



hat stalwart group, known as the NH Granite State Ambassadors, is celebrating its 25th year of greeting, orienting and advising folks from near and far on where to go to get the most out of New Hampshire’s rich mosaic of experiences for everyone. And to truly target “everyone,” we’ve posed a few questions that our Ambassadors regularly handle. Like, where are the best spots in the state for: PF Pet-Friendly HS Healthy Seniors WA Wheelchair

Picture yourself here: Unwind on Lake Winnipesaukee / Ride the Frisbee at Canobie Lake Park / Explore the coast at Odiorne State Park / Cool off at Water Country



canobie lake park media


nh department of travel and tourism


The attractions listed in this article have something for everyone because they represent the insights of a quarter of a century of advising, informing and encouraging people to find and appreciate all the best that the Granite State has to offer.

FF Family-Friendly

photos: konoplytska



big blue photo



Meet Your Guides. The following pages introduce Granite State Ambassadors with special knowledge of their regions of the state and their favorite recommendations for guests with specific needs, but first here’s some background on how the Ambassadors came to be.

Pictured: Founders of the NH Granite State Ambassadors from left: Peter Morgan, Judi Window and Bill Petersen courtesy photo

As do so many great things in New Hampshire, it all began with a casual conversation between colleagues. This one took place a little more than 25 years ago. Judi Window was executive director of the Southern NH Convention and Visitors Bureau at the time, and was sharing a vendor booth with people representing the state of New Hampshire at the Made in NH Expo. As they chatted, the state primary was ramping up. Flocks of media were arriving at the Manchester Airport where volunteers were on hand to answer questions from reporters about where to go and how to get there. Such useful volunteer service inspired Window, who declared, “I could do that year-round with a group of volunteers!” Soon the NH Granite State Ambassadors (NHGSA) was born, and now, suddenly, it’s been a quarter of a century. It’s hard to imagine the state without these cheerful, knowledgeable greeters and explainers who are on hand at just about every event of significance to the state’s culture and economy, or anytime people might need to know where to go and how to get there. And, yes, you might have noticed that they do serve yearround at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport (as it has been re-

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named), just as Window promised. In 1996, the organization started as a committee underneath the Southern NH Convention and Visitors Bureau, evolving into its own 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 1999 under the guidance of its three co-founders: Judi Window; Peter Morgan, proprietor of the then-Highlander Inn near the airport; and Bill Petersen, dean of hospitality at the nearby New Hampshire College (now Southern New Hampshire University). The founders prioritized education, establishing a certification program to give volunteers a well-deserved sense of achievement. Petersen developed a training regimen based on Leadership NH’s modular program and focused on the state’s seven tourism regions. Speakers from organizations and industries were enlisted to broaden their knowledge while having fun and embracing their love of their state and individual communities. Monthly tours to increase volunteers’ knowledge of New Hampshire were begun by Window. The first tour was a guided hike through Wolfeboro (“The Oldest Summer Resort in America”) led by Window’s friend, the legendary Millie Beach, founder of the Lakes Region Tourism Association. Another conversation, when former governor Jeanne Shaheen

began turning DOT rest areas into welcome centers many years ago, was a stepping stone for the organization to expand statewide. Common themes over the years include a passion for New Hampshire, enriching the lives of volunteers, and positive contributions to the hospitality and tourism industry. The enthusiasm and dedication of the volunteers, from the inaugural class to 25 years later, has been unyielding. NHGSA volunteers and industry members leave guests with a positive impression that encourages repeat visits and endures, benefiting the state’s economy. With the support of its key partners, the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport and the NH Division of Travel and Tourism, NHGSA serves as a conduit between partners in the tourism and hospitality industries, as well as state and federal agencies and organizations. Since NHGSA initially expanded its scope to include the Made in NH Expo and the NH Farm, Forest & Garden Expo, it’s grown to encompass more than 20 events, including The Big E in West Springfield, Massachusetts. The organization continues to grow and evolve, but its mission and roots provide the constant theme. Executive Director Kelly Bryer has been with the organi-




zation in different capacities since 2002. Emily Goulet, the communications director, has been involved with the organization since 2018. They continue to build and cultivate the NH Granite State Ambassadors’ legacy forging partnerships, fostering volunteer engagement and increasing educational opportunities. Thanks to the founders and current staff, and to the ded-


ication of the volunteers, the Ambassadors will continue to serve the state and adapt to a changing world. And we look forward to the spring of 2096 when lovers of New Hampshire can all reflect with pride upon the countless adventures and discoveries that will constitute the Granite State Ambassador century.

From left: Traverse Nashua by kayak / Take in the view from Mt. Kearsarge / Say hello to Gen. John Stark at the Statehouse photos: holcy

/ jia



karen bachelder

— Emily Goulet

The Carriage Barn • Kids Summer Camps • 1-on-1 experiences with • Private & Group Lessons our caring & thoughtful • Group Gatherings horses • Barn Experiences • Family Learning • Safe Environment

www.carriage-barn.org info.carriagebarn@comcast.net 10 Trundlebed Lane Kensington, NH 603-378-0140

We are Currently Looking for Volunteers • Share Your Skills and Lend a Hand • More information: www.carriage-barn.org www.nhmagazine.com




photo : sphraner studio

Sea you there. Our short coastline (13 miles — 18 if you add the islands) is bursting with beautiful beaches, arts, music, theatre, an amazing dining scene with a focus on keeping it local, too many craft breweries to count and important historical landmarks.



Portsmouth and the Seacoast Ambassador Volunteer Service Hours: 195


I recommend the Strawbery Banke Museum and Prescott Park at the Portsmouth waterfront. The Museum boasts 300plus years of American history on the harbor. Portsmouth is known for being one of the oldest settlements in the country and having a rich history, particularly in the maritime trade and its part in the Revolutionary War.” — TRICIA BERGER

Top to bottom: Prescott Park offers opportunities for loud color and quiet contemplation. Strawbery Banke Museum is a living history destination.

PF Pet-Friendly FF Family-Friendly HS Healthy Seniors WA Wheelchair

Accessible photos : visitnh.org /photo italia llc

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Tricia Berger comes from a family of seven children and grew up in the Manchester area. After working in the legal field and then managing a law practice for a real estate and business attorney for 10 years, she returned to her roots in New Hampshire in 2017. “I am so happy to be back in our beautiful state after so many years away, and I have a whole new appreciation for New Hampshire’s beautiful parks, the arts and culture here,” she says. Berger joined the Exeter Area Chamber of Commerce as an Ambassador and was voted “Ambassador of the Year” for 2020. She is a justice of the peace for Rockingham County. “There is nothing more rewarding than contributing to and making a difference for others in our communities,” says Berger.


1712 Lost River Road, North Woodstock, NH



While in the Port City, be sure to make a stop at the large patio at Cisco Brewers for a cold, refreshing beer or a scoop (or two!) at Annabelle’s Natural Ice Cream.



Ready to get out explore? The seacoast area offers a wide variety of dog parks, family walking trails and places to unwind. Here are a few favorites:

Got a dog? Head to the Kingston Dog Park or the Long Hill Dog Park in Dover where you’ll find a fenced-in, off-leash park where people and their dogs can socialize and exercise in a clean, safe environment. For a picnic-first-and-adventure-second mentality, there’s no better place than Stratham Hill Park because of the trails, fire towers to

• • •

climb and spacious picnic area. While you’re walking around Portsmouth, be sure to swing by Four Tree Island with views of the Piscataqua River and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. The newly rebuilt Memorial Bridge has safe pedestrian access from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to Kittery, Maine Hungry for a picnic? Swasey Parkway in Exeter is a beautiful park with gazebo and benches on the Squamscott River where you can take in the historic and picturesque town of Exeter.

Great Island Commons Park in New Castle is a great alternative to your typical day at the beach. This 32-acre beach and park includes picnic areas, walking paths, a playground, lighthouse views and a spacious lawn for yard games and lounging.





The Seacoast may be New Hampshire’s smallest area, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for with its beaches, museums, unique shops and restaurants near the waterfront, historic homes and lots of recreational activities, such as Water Country, the Seacoast Science Center and Atlantic Whale Watch and Island Cruises.

lostrivergorge.com • 603.745.8031

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Not far from Great Island Commons, you’ll find the Fort Stark State Historic Site and Fort Constitution Historic Site.


Rte. 111, 95 Exeter Rd., Kingston, NH www.memoriesicecream.com • 603-642-3737 www.nhmagazine.com



PF Pet-Friendly FF Family-Friendly HS Healthy Seniors WA Wheelchair



Joe Distefano

Portsmouth and the Seacoast Ambassador Volunteer Service Hours: 584

Joe Distefano is a retired engineer, city planner and computer mapper. After living in Nashua for 45 years, he retired and moved to the Seacoast where he discovered the region’s storied and historical past. As a GSA he volunteers at the Seabrook Welcome Center to help visitors explore and learn about New Hampshire and some of its little-known but important participation in America’s pre-revolutionary and revolutionary history. He enjoys meeting people from near and far, and is excited to help them enjoy their time at the New Hampshire seacoast.


Hampton Beach has a beachfront with a young-children-focused playground, and in the summertime has weekly fireworks and evening performances at the Hampton Beach Shell. Several of the state and local beaches along the coast in Hampton, North Hampton, Rye and New Castle have sandy beaches with facilities. There is easy wheelchair beach access at North Beach in Hampton along the seawall, including nearby restrooms.” — JOE DISTEFANO



Take a cruise out to the Isles of Shoals and enjoy the day on Star Island.



Odiorne Point State Park provides walking paths, tide pools, beach walking, and three WWII artillery bunkers, as well as a sea kayak launching area.

photos : photo italia llc

24 www.nhmagazine.com | FAMILY SUMMER FUN GUIDE • 2021


erika mitchell


warren goldswain



By the sea:


The colorful Portsmouth waterfront lights up at twilight. / Easy wheelchair access at North Beach in Hampton and inflatable wheels allow everyone to go into the sea. photos: sean pavone

/ chicco


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Manchester, NH | Portsmouth, NH | Tyngsboro, MA | Westford, MA www.nhmagazine.com | FAMILY SUMMER FUN GUIDE • 2021 25

HANDS-ON HISTORY Experience New England life in the historic Puddle Dock Neighborhood at Strawbery Banke Museum. Tour historic houses, meet engaging costumed roleplayers, watch traditional crafts demonstrations, explore heirloom gardens, and play historical games. Please review COVID-19 precautions via StrawberyBanke.org

Explore when the Whites are green. There are endless outdoor activities to do in the White Mountains. In the summer there are miles upon miles of hiking trails, waterfalls and clear mountain ponds. Enjoy the fresh, crisp mountain air and the quirky, quaint towns that dot this breathtaking landscape.

14 Hancock Street Portsmouth, NH 603.433.1100

Need Childcare?

Go wild: The White Mountains are all about experiencing the area’s many outdoor adventures.

Consider MCC Child Development Center! An independent school connected to Manchester Community College’s Early Childhood Education program. • Part-time, full-time and drop-in options • Hours: Monday - Friday 7:30am - 5:30pm • Fully degreed teachers in ECE • Nationally certified outdoor classroom • Accredited by NAEYC



The historic The Rocks Estate in Bethlehem is both a landmark historic property and Christmas Tree Farm that plays host to the North Country Conservation & Education Center for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. There are plenty of year-round, pet-friendly trails to explore on this 1,400-acre property.



Bethlehem also features not one but two amazing golf courses in town. Those looking to perfect their golf swing can visit either The Maplewood Golf Course or the Bethlehem Country Club for an active day in the great outdoors.



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photos : visitwhitemountains.com

26 www.nhmagazine.com | FAMILY SUMMER FUN GUIDE • 2021



Test your skill at the shooting gallery and catch a bear show at Clark’s Bears in Lincoln. This popular attraction features a black bear show, a steam train ride, five museums, Segway park and world-class circus performers.



Alpine Adventures in Lincoln offers a zip-line through the forest, off-road in a Swiss army vehicle, and several challenging obstacle courses. Pick your favorite activity to take you out of your everyday element.” — MARY O’BRIEN



Leashed pets are allowed on any trail in the White Mountains or New Hampshire State Parks.

Mary O’Brien

White Mountains and Northern Region Ambassador Volunteer Service Hours: 986

In the ’70s and ’80s, Mary O’Brien lived in southern New Hampshire and loved the easy pace and friendly people. When she retired a few years ago, she wanted the same feeling, so she ended up farther north in the White Mountains. The Granite State Ambassadors have allowed her to enjoy the full beauty of the state, both with its natural expanse and the many activities that you can enjoy. “I love the variety of programs that GSA offers to its members that allow them to explore and discover New Hampshire,” she says. “Greeting the many guests that come to New Hampshire and helping them explore the White Mountains area is a joy!” The White Mountains are home to a number of family-friendly and wheelchair accessible trails, including: Lincoln Woods Trail includes a suspen• sion bridge over the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River. The trail follows an


abandoned railroad bed on the west side of the river. This easy-grade trail is also a shady, wide trail. Livermore Trail in Waterville Valley is an old logging road with a level grade. The trail is shady and off-limits to motorized vehicles.

Interpretive Trail, just out•sideDiscovery Lincoln, is a 1.4 mile loop. It is a living classroom in forest ecology with areas that are clearly labeled with a description of each area of the walk.



Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves, located in North Woodstock, include a 750-foot-long boardwalk, a forest treehouse with life-size animal carvings and a giant bird’s nest lookout — all are great for exploring.

Take the whole family for a ride on the Conway Scenic Railroad.



Discover the unexpected. Perhaps one of the state’s more overlooked regions, the Connecticut River area is also one of its best. Here, a love for the outdoors, art, culture and learning all come together to create a unique mix of everything that makes New Hampshire great.

Take a hike: If you like hiking and walking the trails, you’ll find plenty of options at all skill levels.


Crotched Mountain has over 4 miles of fully accessible mountain trails. This is the longest trail network of its kind in the U.S., offering everyone — regardless of physical ability — the chance to explore this beautiful area. For those with disabilities or anyone who has trou-


Connecticut River Region Ambassador Volunteer Service Hours: 2,000

FF Family-Friendly HS Healthy Seniors WA Wheelchair


photos : jerry and marcy monkman tions



24k produc-

oleh veres

ble getting around, the gently sloping mountain trails are able to accommodate wheelchairs, powerchairs and other means of assistance. To find more accessible trails around the state, visit traillink.com.



Greenfield State Park offers a wide variety of amenities, including beaches for swimming, boat

rentals, camping, walking trails and fishing.



The Harris Center for Conservation Education in Hancock has miles of trails to explore, and the staff is highly qualified and enjoy sharing what they know.




Gretchen Ziegler

PF Pet-Friendly

With its farmland and scattered covered bridges, the Monadnock Region is the embodiment of picturesque New England. The region’s namesake, Mount Monadnock, is one of many idyllic spots for nature lovers.

Gretchen Ziegler is professor emeritus of recreation management, business administration, and geology at Franklin Pierce University where she was on faculty from 19802012. She’s past president of the NH Campground Owners Association, NH Travel Council, Monadnock Travel Council (which she co-founded) and a former board chair of Cathedral of the Pines. She owned and managed the Field ‘n Forest Recreation Area from 19772012 and serves as current board chair of the Granite State Ambassadors.

28 www.nhmagazine.com | FAMILY SUMMER FUN GUIDE • 2021

Mount Monadnock is a rugged climb over rocks and through woods. Most trails are only about 2.5 miles long and allow wonderful views to Boston, Cape Cod, the Whites, the Berkshires and the Green Mountains on clear days. No dogs are allowed on most trails. For those looking for a less challenging hike, or for those with young children, try the Rails to Trails in Hancock and Harrisville and Greater Keene, and gentler climbs at Gap and Little Monadnock, South Pack Monadnock/Miller State Park, Wapack Trail and the south side of Crotched Mountain.” — GRETCHEN ZIEGLER


FF HS WA Crotched Mountain’s accessible Gregg and Dutton Brook trails are open to everyone — seniors, families with children, and people living with disabilities.

Ice cream at Kimball’s in Jaffrey or Walpole Creamery in Walpole and Keene are the best! Really — they are both regular Best of NH winners.



YMCA of Greater Nashua

EVERY SUMMER HAS A STORY! Grab One of the Few Remaining Spots at YMCA Summer Camps in Merrimack and Nashua: SPORTS: Every Week Camp: All Ball, Basketball/Celtics Camp, Fastpitch Softball, Flag Football, Power LAX Girls Lacrosse, Upper Diamond Baseball and more.


Summer Day Camp at the YMCA www.nmymca.org/summercamps

CREATE: Every Week Camp: Arts of All Sorts, Acting and Improv, Brixology, Cartooning, Dance and Dive, Game Creators, Master Monets, Music Makers and more. CAMP SARGENT: Every Week Camp: Summer Fun, Camp Sargent Players, Digging for Dinos, Fitness in the Forest, Make Kind Loud, Super Hero Training, The Pitch and more.



Nashua. Concord. Manchester. The most populous places in New Hampshire, these three cities are the cultural, commercial and political center of the Granite State. Today the area’s mills have found new life as luxury condos,

Benson Park in Hudson is a 166-acre, passive recreational spot open to the public. Amenities include paved walking trials, a playground area and dog park, renovated outbuildings of the original animal farm, park benches, picnic areas and several woodland trails.”

breweries, shops, other businesses and, in Manchester, as a hub of science and technology. Concord is the state capital, where the State House was built in 1818. It is the oldest such building in continuous use in the country.



Canterbury Shaker Village has 30 historic Shaker buildings, walking trails and tours to explore. One can enjoy numerous workshops, demonstrations, and see extensive collections of Shaker furniture and crafts.

FF HS WA In the quaint town of Warner, you’ll find the NH Telephone Museum and the Mount Kearsarge Indian Museum. The telephone museum has several

Nicholas Wallner

Concord Area Ambassador Volunteer Service Hours: 1,608

Nicholas Wallner was in the US Diplomatic Corps, and spent his first 12 years overseas in France, Brazil and Yugoslavia. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in International relations, and worked for 46 years for the American Automobile Association as the manager of the Concord branch. Upon retirement three years ago, he became a NH Granite State Ambassador. He’s active in the Kiwanis Club, chairs the


hundred artifacts related to the telephone industry, including all types of phones, switchboards, cell phones and line equipment. Nearby is the Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum with a variety of displays on artifacts and history along with their Medicine Woods walking trail. On the Medicine Woods trail, guests can learn about the ways Natives historically used plants for food, medicine, dye, shelter and tools. After these two museums, a quick drive up Mountain Road is

recommended to access the top of Mt. Kearsarge for a spectacular view of the region.

FF HS WA Manchester is New Hampshire’s largest city and offers all the amenities of big city living. The Queen City offerings include fine and casual dining, cultural venues, such as the Currier Museum of Art and the Palace Theatre, Millyard Museum as well as sport and entertainment destina-


Concord Everett Arena committee, is a ward clerk, a member of the Concord zoning board, and chairs the NH Soccer Association disciplinary committee. He’s hiked all of the state’s 48 4,000-footers.

Spend a summer evening at the Fisher Cats stadium.

The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord not only houses a planetarium but has a variety of exhibits focusing on a variety of Space Age events, including a replica of Alan Shepard’s Mercury capsule and Redstone rocket. Recently acquired exhibits include a virtual fish tank and the Mount Washington Observatory’s Weather Discovery Center.” — NICHOLAS WALLNER

photos : matthew miller

30 www.nhmagazine.com | FAMILY SUMMER FUN GUIDE • 2021


northeast delta dental stadium




sean pavone



tions, such SNHU Arena and the Fisher Cats stadium.

FF HS WA While you’re in the heart of the Queen City, make sure to bring the kids and grandkids to the SEE Science Center, where you should plan to spend 3-4 hours learning and exploring with hands-on exhibits for all ages.



Linda Duquette

Manchester and Nashua Area Ambassador Volunteer Service Hours: 215

Linda Duquette has lived in Derry for 41 years. Prior to that, she lived in North Andover, Massachusetts, and worked in Andover, Massachusetts, at Royal Philips Medical Systems as an administrative assistant after a time working in collections. She has been retired for five years, and loves to hike rail trails. “These are all beautiful walking trails, with lovely views and very pet-friendly. Also, if you like to bike ride, these trails are perfect,” she says.

We have 48 flavors of hard ice cream to choose from. We have soft serve too! The Queen City, Manchester, is the most populous metropolitan area in New Hampshire.




Dip a toe in the water. Located in the middle of the state, the Lakes Region comprises the areas surrounding Lake Winnipesaukee, Winnisquam Lake, Squam Lake and Newfound Lake. With all its aquatic beauty, it’s no surprise that this region has been a recreation destination for centuries (really).


through and enjoy. The gardens are also accessible to motorized scooters and wheelchairs. Children will enjoy chasing butterflies and meeting the barnyard animals, while adults will enjoy the tranquility and artistry of nature.



Jump on in, the water’s fine.

Love lake life: The Lakes Region is ideal for bikers, hikers, swimmers, watersports and summer theatre — or for those looking to just relax and chill. If you are looking for a hidden gem, make your way to Tarbin Gardens in Franklin. There are five acres of gardens to wander


PF Pet-Friendly FF Family-Friendly HS Healthy Seniors WA Wheelchair



I’d suggest packing a picnic, and do not forget the leash and poo bags if you bring a dog (and bring plenty of water with you). Then head for Squam Lake and take a hike up the Rattlesnake Mountain trail. This is a very popular route that is a little over a 2-mile, round-trip loop of moderate difficulty that rises over 900 feet in elevation and offers a spectacular view of the Squam Lake region. It is definitely worth the hike.” — ROBERTA WELLS


Roberta Wells

Lakes Region Ambassador Volunteer Service Hours: 250

Roberta Wells moved to Londonderry in 2015. While making friends and meeting new people in her community, she learned several of them belonged to and volunteered

for an organization known as the Granite State Ambassadors, and they encouraged Wells to look into joining herself. So in May of 2019, she took the training course at the Hotel Concord and started her GSA journey. She volunteers at the information booth at the MHT airport and has also volunteered at special events

such as the Made In New England Expo and a historic tour of the Pine Grove Cemetery in conjunction with the Manchester Historic Association. She is also a blog contributor to the GSA newsletter, sharing her discoveries she makes while visiting new places as she and her husband tour around the state. photos : yuliya soklakova

32 www.nhmagazine.com | FAMILY SUMMER FUN GUIDE • 2021



granite state ambassadors

Visiting the Squam Lake Science Center is a must. Take a walk through meadows, forest and marsh boardwalk to see exhibits where native animals such as bobcats, raptors, otters and bears live. Afterwards, take a discovery cruise on Squam Lake where you might spy loons or bald eagles. You can also stay for a nice lunch at Walter’s Basin where you can see the boat traffic go by outside the restaurant windows.” — ROBERTA WELLS


FF HS WA “The whole family can enjoy a unique way to see some of the islands of Lake Winnipesaukee by taking a ride on the oldest floating post office in the country, the Sophie C. U.S. Mail Boat. Narrated cruises travel from island to island, delivering mail along the way, as you enjoy the scenery and learn about life on the lake and some unique mailboat traditions as you sail along.”

photos : nhnature.org cruisenh.com



Float to Your Car!

Shuttle Service


Find your own private beach this summer on the Saco!


Just $100 for a family of four!

Valid Mon-Fri. includes kayaks, paddles, life-vests and shuttle. Two adults, two kids (under 18).


Relax on a 1.5, 3 or 5-mile float with

Clear water, rope swings, and sandy beaches! (Rope Swing are not maintained by Saco River Tubing Center. Use caution.)

(603) 447-4275 • Reserve your boat or tube at www.SacoRiverTubing.com 558 White Mountain Highway (Route 16), Conway, NH www.nhmagazine.com






Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough is mountaintop estate with a 1913 mansion on 5,500 acres with lake views, hiking trails and a restaurant. Spend the day touring the castle, hiking its trails, enjoying horseback riding, dining on the terrace and admiring a view like no other.

PF Pet-Friendly FF Family-Friendly HS Healthy Seniors WA Wheelchair


Enjoy a cruise on the big lake aboard the M/S Mount Washington. ❂



HS WA The magnificent view from Castle in the Clouds


Ashlee Rowley

Sunapee Region Ambassador Volunteer Service Hours: 65

Cruise the big lake on the M/S Mount Washington.

FF HS WA photos : castleintheclouds.com




kelly mann


full circle farm therapeutic riding



this story originally appeared in the may issue of new hampshire magazine.

34 www.nhmagazine.com | FAMILY SUMMER FUN GUIDE • 2021

Ashlee Rowley is dedicated to promoting the Lake Sunapee Region as the best-kept secret of the state. As director for the Lake Sunapee Region Chamber of Commerce, she has found a passion in assisting small businesses connect with local and state resources, and other like-minded businesses, residents and travelers from all across the globe. Originally from Massachusetts, she received her business and leadership degree from New England College in Henniker. Rowley owns and operates Dance Arts Academy in Sunapee. She’s the 2020 Lake Sunapee Region Young Professional of the Year and the recipient of the 2020 Center Manager Award through the Granite State Ambassadors.

No matter where you go or what you do here in the Lakes Region, you will be met with inclusivity and a friendly, helpful face. Full Circle Farm Therapeutic Horsemanship in Newport offers mounted and unmounted activities to individuals of all abilities.” — ASHLEE ROWLEY

Portsmouth Harbor at dusk



Take a stroll through Tarbin Gardens in Franklin.





We provide affordable, quality summer experiences with convenient options such as extended camp hours, transportation, and sibling discounts. Whether you’re considering a traditional day camp, a specialty camp, or one of our overnight camps, summer at the Y is filled with excitement, adventure, new friends, lifelong memories, and most of all discovery!

End of a beautiful day on the lake with family and friends. What could be better? S’mores, anyone?

At the Y, we feel that every child should be given the opportunity to experience summer camp. That is why we offer financial assistance to ensure every child can experience the summer of a lifetime. We offer more than 30 camp programs at 7 different Y locations across NH.


YMCA Allard Center of Goffstown YMCA of Downtown Manchester YMCA of Greater Londonderry YMCA of the Seacoast YMCA of Strafford County


NH’s Best Lakes, Beaches and Swimming Holes If you’re looking to escape the summer crowds, then here are our suggestions for beaches, swimming holes and serene lake spots.


ampton Beach and its bustling boardwalk will always hold a special place in our hearts, but sometimes you want to escape the noise along with the heat. Here are some of our favorite swimming spots, from lesser-known beaches to swimming holes.

Ocean Beach State Parks Did you know that there are actually five public beaches located along the seacoast? Not bad for such a short coastline. In addition to the ever-popular Hampton Beach, here are four others to visit before the summer is over. Please note that parking options may change for summer 2021, so please do your research before visiting.

Jenness State Beach 2280 Ocean Blvd. Rye Keep in mind that the parking lot is relatively small — there are just 67 spots, so get there early. This is a great family spot that’s ideal for swimming and picnicking. Normally, lifeguards are on duty daily until 4:45 p.m. through late August, and there are bathhouses available.

North Hampton Beach

Wallis Sands State Beach

Route 1A North Hampton

1050 Ocean Blvd. Rye

There is a bathhouse here, but there are no lifeguards on duty.

Enjoy views of the Isles of Shoals, plentiful parking (advanced parking reservation is required for summer 2021), a shop with food and drinks, a large bathhouse with showers, a picnic area and daily lifeguarding until 5 p.m.

North Beach 920 Ocean Blvd. Hampton Lovely sandy beach and nice places to picnic. There is a bathhouse available.

Visit www.nhstateparks.org for admission prices, more information and a list of other parks.

Lake State Parks On weekends, it’s not unusual for many of the more popular lake beaches to reach capacity by midmorning. Make sure you make your reservation before you head out. Here are a few quieter suggestions:

Echo Lake 68 Echo Lake Rd. Conway Admission is $4 for adults; $2 for children ages 6-11; children ages 5 and under and New Hampshire residents age 65 and over are admitted free. The 700-foot Cathedral Ledge towers over this pristine mountain lake. A truly lovely place to spend the day.

Forest Lake State Park 397 Forest Lake Rd. Dalton Created in 1935, this is one of New Hampshire’s 10 original state parks. Enjoy the 200-foot sandy beach, picnicking, fishing and more.

Summer 2021 disclaimer: Please remember that COVID-19 guidelines are constantly changing, so please do your due diligence and check websites and guidelines first. As of publication time, New Hampshire state beaches are open to swimmers, walkers and sunbathers. 36 www.nhmagazine.com | FAMILY SUMMER FUN GUIDE • 2021

Wadleigh State Park 78 Wadleigh State Park Sutton Admission is $4 for adults; $2 for children ages 6-11; children ages 5 and under and New Hampshire residents age 65 and over are admitted free. Tall pines shade the picnic areas located on the shores of Kezar Lake.

Wentworth State Park 297 Governor Wentworth Hwy., Wolfeboro Admission is $4 for adults; $2 for children ages 6-11; children ages 5 and under and New Hampshire residents age 65 and over are admitted free. It spans 50 acres and is located on the shore of scenic Wentworth Lake.

ALL You can do it...

Swimming Holes Unlike most state parks, you’re on your own here. Please exercise caution when swimming, and never go alone! That said, here are some of our favorite spots:

Sawyer Rock

Emerald Pool

Located on Sawyer Brook, a half-mile on Route 302 past the Silver Springs Campground in Bartlett. Keep your eyes peeled for the parking area on the side of the road. Gorgeous, deep pool with a large rock for drying off in the sun.

It’s a little off the beaten path, but it’s an easy hike of about a mile off Route 113 in Chatham on the Baldface Mountain Circle Trail, about 14 miles north of Fryeburg, Maine. It is a small pool formed where water rushes through a cleft in the rock. ❂

Lonesome Lake This beautiful 12-acre swimming spot is about 2,760 feet above Franconia Notch on the trail to Cannon Mountain. It’s well worth the three-mile, round-trip hike. The trailhead is located at the parking lot in the Lafayette Place Campground.


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OTHER PLACES TO CHECK OUT To find even more swimming holes visit www.nhmagazine.com/ take-the-plunge-nh-swimming-holes.



photo by jessica colgan-snyder

It’s Not Too Late for Summer Camp Pandemic relief funds open up camp opportunities BY KRYSTEN GODFREY MADDOCKS

38 www.nhmagazine.com | FAMILY SUMMER FUN GUIDE • 2021

photo by rawpixel

While the cost of camp may have been a barrier in the past, this year it could be much more affordable for up to 2,000 Granite State families. Thanks to the New Hampshire Department of Education’s ReKINDling Curiosity program, qualifying families could be eligible for discounts of up to $650 off the price of approved day or overnight camps. The program has been made possible by more than $3 million worth of federal CARES Act money, earmarked by the NHDOE to help children with disabilities and children from low- to moderate-income families gain greater access to summer recreational opportunities. The ReKINDling Curiosity program was developed in response to the pandemic’s impact on students’ social, emotional and mental health, says Frank Edelblut, commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Education. The NHDOE allocated COVID-19 relief funds toward the program to not only provide school-aged children with new recreational opportunities, but also to improve their mental health and prepare them for in-person school next fall.

“Kids need to get out and be kids again, run around and play together, and have an enriching experience,” says Edelblut. “The genesis of this idea came when we thought, ‘What do kids need to be really successful?’ We know that they are inherently curious, and there’s a fear that the pandemic stifled some of that; we want to rekindle that exploration again.” To qualify for the $650 discount, parents must show that their student has a disability, determined by confirmation of an IEP or medical documentation of a disability. Students from families earning less than 250% of the federal poverty level are eligible for a $500 camp fee per child, and students from families earning less than 400% of the federal poverty level are eligible for a $350 camp fee per child. That means a family of four earning up to $106,000 could be eligible to receive $350 off the total cost of camp per child — which could mean a free week or two for each camper, depending upon the cost of the program. The NHDOE sent letters to more than 1,300 day and overnight camps earlier this spring, encouraging them to seek approval. A list of camps can be found at https://nhcamps.org/for-parents/camps-directory, and more camps are still being added to the list as they are approved by the state. If parents have already signed their child up for an approved camp, they can still participate in the program by filling out an application, says Edelblut. The camp fee discount will be available throughout the summer until funds are drawn down, with priority given to children with disabilities and families earning less than 250% of the federal poverty level, he says.

photo by shutter 2u


hether your child is interested in basketball, programming robots or water skiing, there are plenty of options when it comes to choosing a memorable summer camp experience.



photo by camp 603

Building a Strong Community The Boys & Girls Club of Central New Hampshire, which has 20 active locations across the Greater Concord and Laconia area, is pleased to be a part of the ReKINDling Curiosity program, says Chris Emond, the organization’s executive director. While Boys & Girls Club sites have been offering before- and after-school programs all year, summer camp offers more opportunity for recreation while it alleviates child care concerns for working parents. “At its heart, summer camp is about getting out and building friendships and relationships that are lifelong,” says Emond. “We still do a lot of creative things to get kids to learn who might not have adjusted well to online learning. There are multiple ways to interject learning opportunities into baseball and basketball,” he adds. The average weekly cost of the Boys & Girls Clubs summer camps is $160 a week. The organization already provides financial aid through scholarships and accepts state assistance, which parents may use on top of their ReKINDling Curiosity camp fee discount. “We are working with parents to create the best possible [financial] scenario for them,” says Emond. Open as early as 7 a.m., the Boys & Girls Club will of-

40 www.nhmagazine.com | FAMILY SUMMER FUN GUIDE • 2021

fer 11 scheduled weeks of camp, providing the flexibility parents need and the safe, supportive structure that children need to thrive. “Our biggest goal is to ensure that kids are having a good time and building some friendships. Some kid may not have a wide social net, and we are giving them the opportunity to meet people,” says Emond. “Through COVID, some kids have not built those social skills. We want them to put the phone down and learn how to engage in an actual conversation.”

Boys and Girls Club of Central New Hampshire www.centralnhclubs.org/about

For more information

on the ReKINDling Curiosity Program: Visit www.rekindlingcuriosityeducation.nh.gov to start your application and download a fact sheet.

photo by mcauliffe-shepard discovery center

An Out-of-This-World Experience

Exploring the 603

For campers who don’t want to restrict themselves Students looking to build upon their science, to one location, Camp 603 offers plenty of variety and technology and math interests will have a blast this adventure. In its fourth year of operation, the program summer at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center. transports students from Bow to the lakes, mountains, The nonprofit organization will offer weekly day camps ocean and beyond by van, says Joe Rider, director of that focus on different themes each week, depending Camp 603. on the age of the child and the week they choose, Each week, Camp 603 serves 13 kids and offers a says Jeanne Gerulskis, ratio of one counselor to two campexecutive director of ers. The group travels together and the McAuliffe-Shepard spends one day at a time at different Discovery Center. locations throughout the state and From learning about spends one overnight experience at the solar system, to a state campground. From hiking to tracking and predicttubing to water skiing, campers ages ing weather events, to 10 to 17 are encouraged to explore coding robots, children their interests and build their confiwho attend camp at the dence along the way, says Rider. center will learn from “Camp is a magical place. We counselors who are unwanted to recreate that on a small dergraduate or graduate scale and allow people to feel like students in STEM fields they’re a big part of something big funded by a NASA space instead of a small part of something grant. big,” he says. “We can make all of photo by boys & girls club of central new hampshire “It’s great for the kids these fun things work on a small to get access to all kinds scale and give kids the full experience of New Hampof imagery and resources through NASA and also see shire.” what they might want to do next in their lives,” says Prior to camp, high school students can take part Gerulskis. in a counselor-in-training program that gives them the The ReKINDling Curiosity program provides an opportunity to become certified lifeguards, while they incentive for families to explore the center’s camps and also learn boat safety and driving, social-emotional fills the gap for children who haven’t had access to mulearning and culinary skills. seums or field trips over the past year, says Gerulskis. Rider, who is a school counselor at Bow Middle “It’s a way for them to experience that science School, says that ReKINDling Curiosity helps support can be fun. If they’ve been on Zoom for a year, that the mental health and well-being of kids through prothrill could be gone,” says Gerulskis. “If they are out viding opportunities for them to explore camp opportuand moving and learning in a really fun way with new nities they might not have considered before. friends and it supports their interests — it can be a Camp 603 runs for five sessions and costs $825 per great opportunity.” week, (a four-day junior camp costs $660), due to the Camps cost $345 per week (less for the two shorter jutruly personalized experience it offers, he says. ❂ nior camps) and are limited to 20 participants per camp.

McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center www.starhop.com/current-and-upcoming-programs

Camp 603


Krysten Godfrey Maddocks is a former journalist and marketing director who now regularly writes for higher education and technology organizations in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.



NH Museums to Visit This Summer Beyond the museums listed elsewhere in this guide, these destinations offer hours of indoor entertainment.


hen the summer impulse to get out of the house encounters the drearier forces of nature, don’t just hunker down in front of a screen. Hit the road and discover the many bright worlds to be explored inside New Hampshire’s inner space. Museums, large and small, offer journeys into the past and the future and provide new ways of looking at our state and our planet. And if you are feeling lucky, pack a picnic lunch, ’cause you never know when the sun might break through.

Before you head out: Make sure you check each museum’s website for updates on reservations, rules and capacity limits.

North Country Museums Museum of the White Mountains 17 High St., Plymouth (603) 535-3210 www.plymouth.edu/mwm Hours: Open to staff, faculty and students Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Saturdays and Sundays. Open to general public online at any time. Admission: Free About: Opened in February of 2013, this relatively new museum is located on the Plymouth State University campus. The museum’s mission is to preserve, celebrate and promote the history, environmental legacy and culture of the region.

New England Ski Museum Route 16, North Conway newenglandskimuseum.org Hours: Open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. About: The New England Ski Museum in North Conway (the Eastern Slope Branch) houses a history of skiing. Their mission is to collect, conserve and exhibit elements of ski history for research, education and inspiration.

The Frost Place 158 Ridge Rd. Franconia (603) 823-5510 https://frostplace.org Hours: Opens for the season on Memorial Day weekend and closes the week after Columbus Day. Museum hours and days of operation vary by season. The museum grounds, the poetry trail and Robert Frost’s porch are always open to the public. About: Simple country cottage where Robert Frost and his family spent summers and lived full time from 1915 to 1920. The cottage has a half-mile nature trail with plaques displaying poems written during the poet’s Franconia years

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and a small exhibit of signed first-editions of Frost’s work.

Old Man of the Mountain Museum Franconia State Park Franconia (603) 823-8800 www.cannonmt.com/ things-to-do/activities/ old-man-of-the-mountain Hours: Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily Admission: Free About: The stone face might be gone, but his memory lives on in this small museum, located in the Cannon Mountain aerial tramway base station, with an Old Man gift shop (open from Memorial Day weekend to Columbus Day) and a display of photos and artifacts. The collection includes the turnbuckle used to fasten the Old Man to the mountain when the stone face was crumbling.

Lakes Region Museums Remick Country Doctor Museum and Farm 58 Cleveland Hill Rd. Tamworth (603) 323-7591 www.remickmuseum.org Hours: Thursdays through Sundays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Admission: Pay what you wish during these COVID-19 times. Fridays are free for Tamworth residents. About: You can see a working farm with sheep, goats, pigs, cows, steers and chickens. Nestled in the heart of New Hampshire, the farm offers year-round history, season-based learning opportunities and exploratory fun for all generations. Discover Remick!

Poore Family Homestead Historic Farm Museum 629 Hollow Rd., Route 145 Stewartstown (603) 237-5500 www.poorefarm.org Hours: Open June through September 30, Friday-Sunday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Suggested admission: $5 per person and children under 12 are free. About: A working farm and museum recounting one farm family’s life on the property from the 1830s through the 1980s.

New Hampshire Boat Museum 399 Center St. Wolfeboro (603) 569-4554 www.nhbm.org Hours: Open Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day weekend. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday from 12-4 p.m. Thursday admission is free. Admission: Adults are $9; seniors (65+) are $7, students 14-21 are $7 and children 13 and under are free. About: Displays of historic and contemporary power boats, canoes and other watercraft used on local lakes. You can also take a lake cruise aboard the replica Millie B.

American Classic Arcade Museum Funspot, 579 Endicott St. Laconia (603) 366-4377 www.funspotnh.com Hours: Monday through Friday from 12-10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Admission: Donations About: Claims to have the largest collection of vintage working arcade games in the world.

New Hampshire Farm Museum 1305 White Mountain Hwy. Milton (603) 652-7840 nhfarmmuseum.org Hours: Open to the public Memorial Day to June 21, weekends only from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. From June 21 to August 30, open Wednesday-Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Open August 29-October 20, weekends only from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Admission: Cost is adults $10, children age 4-17, $5; seniors and students, $7.50; family rate, $25. About: Learn about three centuries of New Hampshire farm life at this working farm.

Lake Winnipesaukee Museum 503 Endicott St. Laconia (603) 366-5776 www.lwhs.us About: Exhibit includes vintage souvenir postcards, photographs and memorabilia of summer camps and steamboats.

Libby Museum 755 North Main St. Wolfeboro (603) 569-1035 www.thelibbymuseum.org Hours: Open Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. from June 1 through Labor Day, except Mondays. Open Sundays from 12-4 p.m. Admission: $5 for adults and free to seniors and veterans. About: A natural history museum built in 1912 by local dentist Henry Libby includes mounted animals, Abenaki Indian artifacts and more.

The Wright Museum 77 Center St. Wolfeboro (603) 569-1212 www.wrightmuseum.org Hours: Open May 1-October

31, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on MondaySaturday and 12-4 p.m. on Sunday. Closed November through April, except by appointment. Admission: Adults are $10; military and seniors are $8; children ages 5-17 are $6; and children under 4 are free. About: Explore World War II memorabilia, including tanks, posters, home front exhibits and other art and artifacts from the Greatest Generation.

Seacoast Area Museums Children’s Museum of New Hampshire 6 Washington St. Dover (603) 742-2002 www.childrens-museum.org Hours: Open Wednesday and Sunday from 9-11:30 a.m. and Thursday-Saturday from 9-11:30 a.m. and 1-3:30 p.m. Admission: $11 for adults and children over age 1; seniors (65+) are $9. About: Check out hands-on learning and fun for all ages. Climb through caves, discover dinosaurs and learn to fly. There are also numerous ongoing STEAM innovation programs as well as special events. New this year is the outdoor Play Patio with water beads, bubbles, sensory tables, kinetic sand and much more.

Derry History Museum 29 West Broadway Derry (603) 434-1247 derrymuseumofhistory.org Hours: Open Sunday 1-5 p.m. and by appointment Admission: Free About: This local potpourri includes Native American artifacts like a dugout canoe and a quill basket. There’s also a room devoted to native son, astronaut Alan Shepard, and a rock artifact commemorating

the growing of the first potato in North America in town in 1719.

Great Bay Discovery Center 89 Depot Rd. Greenland (603) 778-0015 www.greatbay.org Hours: Open WednesdaySunday from 10 a.m.4 p.m. May 1 to September 30. As of press time, the center’s building and bathrooms were still closed due to COVID-19, but all outdoor areas were available with a porta-potty in the parking lot near the play area. Admission: Free About: The Great Bay Discovery Center is located along the shores of Great Bay and offers indoor and outdoor exhibits and activities including accessible trails and boardwalks, gardens, birding, a replica of a 19th-century gundalow, touch tank and much more.

Tuck Museum 40 Park Ave. Hampton (603) 929-0781 www.hamptonhistoricalsociety.org Hours: Open in the spring, summer and fall on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday from 1 p.m.- 4 p.m. Admission: Free but donations are appreciated. About: Exhibit of millstones, monuments, a fire station museum, old postcards and memorabilia of this seaside town first settled by Puritans in 1638. Collection includes the Viking’s Stone thought by some to be a relic of an early visit to the area by Norsemen.

Woodman Institute Museum 182 Central Ave. Dover (603) 742-1038 woodmanmuseum.org

13-college and active military are $9; children 4-12 are $7; and children 3 and under are free. About: Eclectic collection of local art artifacts including 1,300 labeled rocks and minerals and a 10-foot tall polar bear. Exhibit also includes the last cougar killed in the state, in 1843.

USS Albacore Museum Albacore Park 600 Market St. Portsmouth (603) 436-3680 www.ussalbacore.org Hours: Open June to September 6, Monday to Sunday from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: Adults are $9; children age 5-14 are $4; children under 7 and active military are free. About: Take a hands-on tour of a submarine built in at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. You can sit on the bunks and tables in the cramped quarters and even check out the traffic on Route 1 Bypass through the periscope.

Monadnock Area Museums Mariposa Museum and World Culture Center 26 Main St. Peterborough (603) 924-4555 www.mariposamuseum.org Hours: Open Tuesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: Adults are $8; seniors are $6; children ages 3-16 are $5. About: An interactive museum of artifacts from around the world including drums, costumes, chimes and marionettes in a historic Baptist church. Make sure to visit the outdoor zen garden.

Hours: Book a tour online. Admission: Adults are $13; senior citizens are $10; students


Florence H. Speare Memorial Museum 5 Abbott St. Nashua (603) 883-0015 www.nashuahistoricalsociety.org/ florence-h-speare-memorial-museum Hours: Open Tuesday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission: Free About: Operated by the Nashua Historical Society, this small museum features Industrial Age artifacts, an impressive selection of historical textiles and rotating exhibits.

Horatio Colony Museum and Nature Preserve 199 Main St. Keene (603) 352-0460 horatiocolonymuseum.org Hours: Open May 1 through October 15 on Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission: Free. About: The four-square Federalstyle house built in 1806 was the home of Horatio Colony, descendant of one of Keene’s historic families and is filled with original family furnishings.

Dartmouth/ Lake Sunapee Museums The Aidron Duckworth Art Museum 21 Bean Rd. Meriden (603) 469-3444 www.aidronduckworthmuseum.org Hours: Open April 28 – October 28 on Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. About: This museum is dedicated to preserving and presenting


the artworks of Aidron Duckworth. The building, Meriden’s former “White School,” was an elementary school from 1940 to 1972. From 1977 to 2001 it was Duckworth’s home and studio, and for a brief time his art school for adults. You’ll also find works from guest artists, four changing exhibitions each year, and sculptures outdoors on the former school grounds and Duckworth’s gardens.

Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site 139 Saint Gaudens Rd. Cornish (603) 675-2175 www.nps.gov/saga/index.htm Hours: Park grounds, gardens, outdoor monuments and trails are open. Historic buildings are temporarily closed. Check the website for updates. Admission: $10 for ages 16 and over. The receipt is valid for seven days and may be used for re-entry to the park. Children 15 and under are free. About: This is the home, studios and gardens of famed American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. The park’s trails and grounds are open year-round, dawn till dusk for hiking use. The Visitor Center is typically open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Memorial Day weekend (late May) to Oct 31. Guided tours are offered during this time.

Hood Museum of Art 6 E. Wheelock St. Hanover (603) 646-2808 hoodmuseum.dartmouth.edu Hours: As of press time the galleries were still closed (virtual tours are still available), but keep an eye out for reopening information as the Hood recently underwent a massive renovation and offers an excellent art experience. About: The Hood Museum of Art dates back to 1772 and is owned and operated by Dartmouth College. It houses both permanent collections and visiting exhibitions.

Enfield Shaker Museum Route 4A Enfield (603) 632-4346 Admission: Adults are $12; ages 11-17 are $8, children 6-10 are $3; and chil-

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dren 5 and under are free. About: Canterbury was not the state’s only Shaker village, one also once thrived on Mascoma Lake in Enfield. Thirteen of the original buildings still survive and the Great Stone Dwelling, the largest structure ever built by the sect, is now a museum. The collection includes clothing, furniture, tools and photographs of the earnest agriculturists. The museum also has an extensive herb and flower garden.

Merrimack Valley Museums Currier Museum of Art 150 Ash St. Manchester (603) 669-7194 currier.org Hours: Open Thursdays from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: Adults are $15; seniors (65+) are $13, students are $10; youth (13-17) are $5. Must make reservations for timed tickets in advance. About: The Currier is considered to be one of the best small museums in the country and includes European and American paintings, decorative arts, photographs and sculpture, including works by Picasso, Monet, O’Keeffe and Wyeth. The museum also offers tours of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Zimmerman House, and has an on-site café, The Winter Garden.

SEE Science Center 200 Bedford St. Manchester (603) 669-0400 see-sciencecenter.org Hours: Open weekends only until June 21. After that date, open daily from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Make sure to reserve tickets online in advance. Admission: Cost is $9 per person ages 3 and up. About: SEE Science Center, located on Bedford Street in the city’s historic Millyard District, has two floors of handson science, with something to keep every kid busy, including touch-and-try exhibits on light, electricity, forces, momentum, sound and the SEE’s centerpiece, the LEGO Millyard Project. The impressive — and huge — LEGO-made diorama shows Manchester as it looked in 1900. ❂



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