Family Travel Stories

Fun (Nearby!) Activities for Your Family this Summer

Ah, those endless days of summer vacation.  No school, no homework and no schedule.  With all this free time, your family will be able to explore a variety of exciting activities in and around the state. 

Here are some options that your family is sure to love:

Center for Wildlife – This little treasure is right over the border in York, ME.  They’ve just announced their Tuesday Afternoon Summer Tour Series, with weekly tours from 2:00-3:00 pm. Participants will learn about New England wildlife, get an up-close look at animals, observe baby birds being fed, hear about medical techniques used on sick or injured animals, and much more.  Reservations are required, space is limited to 12 people per tour, ages 5+, please.

Fort Foster  – Another nearby gem, this large, scenic area is located in Kittery Point, ME.  Explore the seaside path and breathtaking rocky shore, as well as crumbling WWII cement forts and bunkers.  Fort Foster offers marked walking trails and picnic areas.  Open daily from 10:00 am – 8:00 pm.

Odiorne Point State Park – Enjoy a beautiful, natural setting along Southern NH’s 18-mile coastline. The 135-acre seaside park has plenty of walking trails (some are handicapped accessible), a picnic area, and a modern playground.  The park is beloved for its diverse natural habitats, which can be easily visited and viewed, including the rocky shore, woodlands, uplands, salt marsh, freshwater and salt ponds, and (non-swimming) sandy beach.

Whale Watch – Your whole family will be amazed by the whale sightings right off of the NH Seacoast.  Several companies operate out of Rye, NH, including Atlantic Whale Watch and Granite State Whale Watch.  Both offer clean, safe, large boats with large viewing areas (and snack bars) so you can enjoy multi-hour adventures at sea.

Marginal Way – Your family will get exercise and fresh air on one of New England’s most spectacular nature walks.  Marginal Way in Ogunquit, ME is a paved, public shoreline footpath, spanning about a mile along the gorgeous coast, connecting Perkins Cove to Ogunquit Beach.  The path offers panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, with an abundance of beautiful flowers, trees and other scenery along the way. 

Monadnock State Park – Take your kids on a family-friendly hike at this Jaffrey, NH-based park. Mount Monadnock offers 40 miles of trails, many of which lead to the rock summit, at 3,165 feet.  At the top, visitors can see gorgeous views of six New England states (which your kids will surely think is cool!).  The area also offers exhibits and lessons on the area’s history, ecology and trails.

Clark’s Trading Post – Kids of all ages will enjoy Clarks’ Trained Bear show!  This “roadside attraction” in Lincoln, NH offers an excursion on The White Mountain Central Railroad through an authentic covered bridge, impressive acrobatics from the Yandong Chinese Acrobatic Troupe (your kids will be AMAZED when the acrobats stuff their bodies into tiny wooden boxes), and the headline act – the trained bears, who perform a fascinating, hugely entertaining show.  There’s also a variety of unique shops, snack shacks and more.

See Science Center – This Manchester, NH-based museum offers fun, science based displays, exhibits and experiences.  Learn about forces, light, electricity, and machinery, view the LEGO® Millyard Project, and participate in science-based workshops, camps and courses.  There’s even a “moonwalk” and options for overnight experiences. 

With so much to do in New Hampshire (and right over the border in Southern Maine), you’ll find plenty of options to keep your kids not only entertained but educated as well this summer!

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