Family Travel Stories

July 18, 2012
by Traci Bisson
Comments Off on MORE Sensational Summer Sojourns with your Family

MORE Sensational Summer Sojourns with your Family

Warm summer days mean time to play!  There are so many great, local activities to enjoy as a family this summer that the hardest decision will be where to go first!

Some (more) possibilities include:

Water Parks – Splish, splash and slide at New Hampshire’s amazing water parks.  Liquid Planet in Candia features slides (including vertical drop speed slides), pools and an awesome zip line.  Water Country in Portsmouth boasts rides and slides, waves, rivers and pools, plus their new 300-foot Tower of Terror.  Kahuna Laguna in North Conway features slide tubes, wave pools, a 175-gallon tipping bucket and even a special area for small children.

Amusement Parks – Salem’s Canobie Lake Park features thrill rides like the corkscrew coaster, family-friendly rides like antique cars,  trains and a Ferris Wheel, and water-themed rides, like the log flume.  They also offer an arcade, contests, and popular carnival games like Whack-a-Mole, plus live shows, including a tribute to pop star Lady Gaga.  StoryLand in Glenn, geared towards younger kids, features a carousel, teacup ride and swan boats. A pumpkin coach takes passengers to Cinderella’s castle to meet the princess. Interested in go-carts, batting cages, mini-golf and arcade games?  Try Funway Park in Litchfield and Hilltop Fun Center in Somersworth, which also has a separate go-kart track for younger children. Daytona Fun Park in Laconia has all the basics (mini-golf, batting cages, etc.) plus bungee jumping and a huge indoor climbing wall.  Chuckster’s in Chichester offers bungee jumping that anyone between 45-250 pounds can do, plus plenty of games.  They also have a separate play area for younger children.

Cool Lessons – Surf Lessons at Summer Sessions in Rye will introduce your kids (ages 6-16) to surfing in a fun, safe environment. No experience is necessary and they provide the gear.  Trained instructors will teach your child the basics of surfing, including timing the waves and riding them safely.  More experienced surfers will refine their techniques and learn advanced moves.  Classes emphasize safety, etiquette, balance, strength, paddling, standing and turning.  Cinnamon Rainbows in Hampton is another great option for kids ages 11+.  Their trained instructors also provide SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) lessons.  Or your kids can take sailing lessons at the Lake Winnipesaukee Sailing Association, where children ages  7-16 learn to appreciate and respect the wind and water. Classes are available for students of all interests and abilities, from novice to racer.  Lessons are based on US Sailing and American Red Cross curricula, with sessions in the classroom and on the water.

Your kids will be thrilled to try these awesome activities – from bungee jumping to rock wall climbing, swimming to surfing, water slides to sailing.  Whatever you choose, there are plenty of fun ways to keep busy all summer.

July 13, 2012
by Traci Bisson
Comments Off on Fun (Nearby!) Activities for Your Family this Summer

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!

July 10, 2012
by Traci Bisson
Comments Off on Hottest summer on record? Cool off at Water Country with the kids!

Hottest summer on record? Cool off at Water Country with the kids!

My family visits Water Country in Portsmouth, NH every year. My youngest loves the wave pool and lazy river while my oldest loves the big fast water slides.

Water Country is New England’s largest water park, which features signature thrill rides for a full day of fun for the entire family.

You’re not afraid of the dark….are you?

Find out when you plunge into the screaming blackness of Dr. Von Dark’s Tunnel of Terror. Coming in 2012, the Tunnel of Terror is the first water ride of its kind in New England. You’ll sit face-to-face in a 2-person tube then descend into a twisting 40-foot plunge through a totally enclosed, totally dark tunnel. Along the way, a wicked tornado funnel will leave your head spinning and your fears in your throat! A work of evil genius, it’s a 300 foot trip into the dark side of thrills.

Water Country is one of the few amusement parks in the US to allow and encourage its guests to bring picnic lunches into the park. A number of large picnic areas are available for free at various points throughout the park so guests can eat without having to leave. Alcoholic beverages and smoking, however, are strictly prohibited in the park, as are glass containers.

“When the sun is blazing and the summer gets hot, Water Country’s a very cool spot. There’s no better place to feel and be young. Water Country, have some fun! So get in the riding, the sliding and splashing, feel the excitement ride all the action. Having a good time under the sun, Water Country, Water Country, Water Country have some fun!”

Receive $3.00 off each full priced $48 ticket you buy, up to 7 tickets

July 10, 2012
by Traci Bisson
Comments Off on Visit Lake Compounce with your family this summer

Visit Lake Compounce with your family this summer

I was excited to learn about this amusement park in Bristol, CT since I had never heard of it. We like to focus on NH attractions, but when we learn about fun things to do in New England, we also like to share with our readers.

With over 402 acres of fun, Lake Compounce is the oldest continuously operating amusement park in North America, welcoming families since 1846.

Lake Compounce has ten cozy catering pavilions and plenty of room to host your next birthday, party, family reunion, and corporate event!

The amusement park combines unique and exciting thrill rides and coasters for all ages with a full-sized water park all for one low price. As the park continues to delight families from all around the New England area and beyond, the balance of evolution and tradition continues to play an important role at the nation’s first amusement park.

Save $5 on Regular Admission at Lake Compounce

July 8, 2012
by Traci Bisson
Comments Off on Visit Story Land this summer and make it a family tradition

Visit Story Land this summer and make it a family tradition

My family loves Story Land – where fantasy lives!  Story Land is a safe and natural setting where children and their imaginations can run free. They provide a great value to their guests every day, with all-inclusive rides, shows & attractions, reasonably-priced admission ticket, FREE parking, and FREE pet kennels.

Featuring birthday parties and character dinners, Story Land is a celebration for the young at heart. This world of fantasy is punctuated by the kaleidoscope of flowers and emerald fields of New Hampshire’s beautiful White Mountains. Timeless characters like Humpty Dumpty, the Old Woman in the Shoe, the Three Little Pigs, and Peter Rabbit came to life here in 1954.

Bring the family and spend the day!

Coupon information here: Save up to $21 on regular admission.

July 2, 2012
by Traci Bisson
Comments Off on Send the Kids to a Super Fun Summer Camp this Year

Send the Kids to a Super Fun Summer Camp this Year

Summer camp means bug juice, campfires, crafts and fun. Sign your kids up for camp and they’ll enjoy exciting activities, learn new skills and make friends. There are many wonderful options for kids of all ages – exploring sports, art, science and more – in towns throughout New Hampshire. 

Options include:

  • Seacoast United runs soccer camps in many communities, including Portsmouth, Exeter, Kensington, Dover, Durham, Salem and Freemont. Their community camps are geared towards recreational and travel team players, teaching dribbling, ball control and decision-making for pre-school to high-school-aged players.
  • Art for Everyone in Exeter allows children ages 5-11 to channel their inner Picasso.  They’ll sketch, draw, paint and create projects like dream catchers, mermaid dolls, and even London-inspired crafts to celebrate this summer’s Olympics. 
  • Camp Robin Hood is a traditional summer sleep-away camp for girls and boys, ages 7-16. Located in the White Mountains, Camp Robin Hood offers horseback riding, canoeing, waterskiing, swimming, drama, sports, games and crafts. Campers, staff and alumni all believe it’s a magical place – your child will, too.
  • Your little skater dude or dudette will love Ramp Camp at the Rye Airfield, New Hampshire’s premiere indoor skate park. Boys and girls ages 6-17 can learn how to skateboard, BMX, and scooter – or improve their “mad riding skillz.” The programs are designed for varying ages and ability levels.
  • Camp Wildcat is a day camp for students in 1st through 7th grade hosted at the University of New Hampshire. Campers will stay busy with a wide variety of activities each day. Swimming, crafts, games, sports and nature are a huge part of the curriculum. Campers take regular field trips to state parks, beaches and other local, fun spots. Plus, there are special weeks focusing on the outdoors, science and other “themed” activities.
  • Charmingfare Farms in Candia offers a day camp for children ages 5-16,  where they can learn all about animals through up-close, hands-on experiences. This federally licensed Zoo is home to traditional farm animals, as well as a variety of North American wildlife species. Horseback riding is also available.
  • The Works in Somersworth features a variety of activities and amenities at its popular summer camp, and they’ve just added a new teen camp for ages 13-15. The facility offers indoor and outdoor pools, a playground, gymnasium, softball field, basketball, volleyball and tennis courts, as well as space for crafts and games. Campers enjoy swimming (and swimming lessons), sports, crafts, games, cookouts and theme weeks, including Spectacular Sports, Wacky Water, Music Mayhem and more.

Whatever program you choose, your kids are bound to have great adventures – and make wonderful memories – this summer!

June 25, 2012
by Traci Bisson
Comments Off on Fireworks: the “Bright Spot” of Independence Day – check out these local celebrations

Fireworks: the “Bright Spot” of Independence Day – check out these local celebrations

Independence Day fireworks are one of the bright spots of many families’ summer activities, and with so many options available in New Hampshire, your biggest decision may be where to view the colorful display of lights. 

Whether you’re hanging out at the beach on the Seacoast or visiting the mountains up north, you’ll find fantastic, fun, family-friendly Independence Day activities. Here are some options that will make your family “burst” with excitement:

Hampton Beach – Enjoy Fireworks over the Atlantic on Independence Day – and continue the celebration each week from now until late August! Fireworks begin at 9:30 pm each Wednesday. Rain date for Wednesday shoots will be the following Friday.

Dover – Check out the 26th Annual Cochecho Arts Festival July 4th Kick-Off and Firework Celebration. July 4, 7 pm-11 pm at the Rotary Arts Pavilion & Henry Law Park, downtown Dover. The Cochecho Arts Festival is among the Seacoast’s most popular summer musical festivals.  This year’s event, which kicks off July 4 and runs through mid-August, will feature 25 live music performances, including the Tuesday Children’s Series, Farmers Market Acoustic Concerts, the Shark in the Park Lunch Series and a Family Movie Night.

Jackson Village – Celebrate Independence Day with a spectacular fireworks display on Friday, June 29, 2012 at 9 PM. The Fireworks will be going off from the Wentworth Golf Course, and are easy to see throughout Jackson Village. There will be plenty of fun for the whole family, including ice cream, popcorn, glow necklaces, balloons and other games and goodies.

Bretton Woods – Check out the Salute to Freedom Independence Day Celebration, July 3-5, Omni Mount Washington Hotel.  Salute American soldiers from the American Revolution to present. See special displays and learn about former Presidents Washington, Lincoln and Roosevelt. The entire family will enjoy demonstrations, musical performances and dance lessons, storytelling, barbeques, water balloon games, beverage tastings and other fun activities! Participate in the Firecracker Family Fun, a 5K race, and enjoy fireworks at the Omni Mount Washington Resort on July 4.

Portsmouth NH – Attend the Seacoast city’s beloved annual fireworks display on Tuesday, July 3, 9:15 pm at the South Mill Pond, located across from Portsmouth City Hall. The rain date is Thursday, July 5. Please remember – personal fireworks, including Class C sparklers, are prohibited.

So, wherever you decide to celebrate, grab your picnic blanket, a cooler of snacks and your family, and look forward to making special summer memories together.

May 3, 2012
by Traci Bisson
Comments Off on 2nd Annual Backyard Game of the Year Contest Sponsored by CLIF Kid®

2nd Annual Backyard Game of the Year Contest Sponsored by CLIF Kid®

Remember when play time was about being outside until the streetlights came on? In the past, kids had time to run around their neighborhood or in backyards with friends as they stayed active and explored their natural environment. Nowadays, the majority of play is structured or stays inside the home with computers and TV. As a result, kids are missing out on creative pleasures of adventure and exploration in play and are not learning important social skills as they enjoy being outdoors.

CLIF Kid®, maker of organic snacks for active kids, has announced the return of the CLIF Kid Backyard Game of the Year. Starting now until June 17, 2012, kids ages 6-12 can enter their very own backyard game idea for a chance to win a $10,000 scholarship.

Each entry must allow at least two kids to play together, and can utilize common household items such as balls, hula hoops, bean bags and, most importantly, kids’ imagination for hours of fun.

Six creative kids will be flown with a parent to San Francisco to compete in the CLIF Kid Backyard Game of the Year Playoffs in July 2012. Each finalist will receive a Marin Bikes bicycle and a Bell helmet, the five runners-up will each win a $1,000 scholarship and the grand prize winner will receive a $10,000 scholarship. 

With new research that shows kids continue to spend more time in front of screens than outside, the second annual CLIF Kid Backyard Game of the Year contest encourages kids to use their imaginations and reconnect with outdoor playtime.

To enter, read the official rules and see game ideas, visit the CLIF Kid Backyard Game of the Year website.

April 22, 2012
by Traci Bisson
3 Comments

Win Tickets to Fiesta Shows, New England’s Traveling Carnival, coming to Derry April 25 – May 6

Fiesta Shows, New England’s largest and oldest traveling carnival company, will be coming to Derry, NH April 25 – May 6 at the Junction of Route 28 and Island Pond Rd. 

This carnival fundraiser provides family fun for all ages, and will feature games, food and rides this year, including the Freakout, Vertigo, and the Arctic Blast along with many more exciting carnival rides. In addition, there will be magic shows from Wednesday – Sunday.

Kids in NH is giving away a family fun pack (valued at $55.50) to the Fiesta Shows! Just leave a comment below mentioning that you would like to win the family fun pack. Be sure to include your email address so we can contact you when you win. A winner will be picked at random and announced on this blog on Thursday, April 26th after 5:00pm EST.

The family fun pack includes:

  • 30 ride tickets  (value of $37.50)
  • 4 free game tickets (value of $8.00)
  • 2 tickets for either popcorn or cotton candy (value of $6.00)
  • 2 regular drinks (value of $4.00)

For over 75 years, Fiesta Shows has been providing New Englanders with old-fashioned carnival fun, excitement, and family entertainment. They visit over 50 communities throughout New England each year.

The Derry Carnival opens Wednesday at 6pm, Thursday and Friday at 2pm (during school vacation only, otherwise 6pm), Saturday & Sunday at noon. Partial proceeds from the event will benefit the East Derry Improvement Society.

Discount ride promotions are scheduled for Wednesday 6pm -close, Thursday April 26th 2pm-6pm or 6pm – close/Thursday May 3rd 6pm – close, Friday April 27th 2pm-6pm and Sunday noon – 5pm. Purchase a wristband with a discount coupon for $20.00 and ride unlimited rides ($25 without coupon). Discount coupons can be picked up at area merchants or downloaded HERE (scroll down to Derry show). Additional discounts can be found on Facebook. “Like” their page and get a coupon for $1.00 off any game!

For more information, visit www.FiestaShows.com.

Don’t forget to leave a comment below (and your email address) mentioning that you would like to win the family fun pack, and then check back on April 26 to see if you are the winner! Good Luck!

April 2, 2012
by Traci Bisson
Comments Off on Don’t miss Bunny Bonanzoo at Stone Zoo!

Don’t miss Bunny Bonanzoo at Stone Zoo!

Every year we try to visit different places in New Hampshire and the surrounding states. Each New England state has a lot to offer. One place that we like to visit is the Stone Zoo in Stoneham, Massachusetts!

This is a very nice zoo that the kids really enjoy (I like the big cats) and it is easy to get to.  The Stone Zoo has many special events and Easter is no exception.

Don’t miss Bunny Bonanzoo at Stone Zoo! This popular event features the Easter bunny, activities and more!

WHAT IT IS: Hop on down the bunny trail to Stone Zoo where an Easter celebration awaits! Children’s activities include scavenger hunts, crafts, opportunities to meet the zookeepers and other fun surprises. While at the Zoo, families can visit with a special guest, the Easter Bunny, who will be available for photographs. Guests may take photos with the Easter Bunny with their own camera. The suggested photo donation is $5.00. All proceeds benefit Stone Zoo.

WHEN: Saturday, April 7 (Rain or shine)

TIME: 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

TICKETS: Stone Zoo admission: Adults, $13.00; Seniors, $11:00; Children 2-12, $9.00; Children under 2 are free.

Come early! This event takes place on a Kid’s Price Saturday (first Saturday of the month). Between 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM, all guests will be charged children’s admission ($9).

WHERE: Stone Zoo, 149 Pond Street, Stoneham, MA 02180

FOR MORE INFO:  781-438-5100 or visit www.stonezoo.org or Zoo Map.

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