Thursday, June 18, 2009

19 More Summer Fun Activities

I am excited to recently have some of my travel ideas published on Best Kid Friendly Travel and it led me to seriously plan our summer calendar. I have already posted 11 Cheap Family Thrills in New England This Summer and quickly reviewed 15 other New England activities. I had to come up with a few more activities to fill our days, so I thought I'd share...

In New Hampshire:
• Summer Concert Series: Concord, NH. What's better than live music outside on a nice summer night? Let the kids shake their tushies. Check with your local recreation department for concert series in your town.
• Concord Library Summer Reading Program, which starts off with a free Reptiles on the Move show on June 24. Keep the kids reading all summer plus give them some activites and prizes.
• Hampton Beach Sand Sculpting Competition: June 13-38. Just go check out the amazing sand sculptures.
• Somersworth has some great summer activities, starting with the 29th Annual Somersworth International Children's Festival. They also have concerts, magicians and various entertainers throughout the summer.
• Cathedral of the Pines: Rindge, NH. Explore the extraordinary sanctuary grounds, meditate in outdoor chapels and gardens, and learn the history.
• Weirs Beach Drive-In Theater: $17 for 2 adults and 2 children to see TWO movies. Way better than sitting in a cramped theater and the kids will love it. Be warned, they only accept cash.
• Milford Drive-In Theater: $20 per car.
• New Hampshire has a lot of gorgeous waterfalls. Some of them require no hiking and some offer a quick dip in some crystal clear water. Kids really love to watch waterfalls and play around in the water.
• Pick your own fruits and vegetables. This site has a great, comprehensive list of a lot of pick-your-own farms. My kids love to do this, we can go from June through October and pick everything from berries to apples to pumpkins. And most farms usually have a nice playground to amuse the kids for even longer. Our favorite here in Concord is Apple Hill Farm.
• Swimming: Try either Echo lake. The Echo Lake in Franconia Notch is our favorite. We have taken Ariana there since she was 2 years old and she loves it. The great part is that is so near great hikes. Colby's favorite is to hike up to Artists Bluff and then swim in the lake for awhile. The hike offers great views yet is easy enough for a toddler to complete.
The Echo Lake State Park in North Conway can get busy with tourists, but it is a nice, refreshing dip which also offers some hikes up to ledges above.

In Maine:
• Portland Observatory Tours: Guided tours of the only remaining historic maritime signal tower in the United States offer spectacular views of Portland, Casco Bay, Back Cove and Mt. Washington.
• The Wiggly Bridge Footpath: Route 103, York Harbor. This bridge is the smallest suspension bridge in the world. This is a nice site that is not overrun by tourists and offers a nice easy stroll through the woods.
• Acadia National Park: (Yes, this is Acadia's namesake.) I think the is possibly the nicest park in New England. It offers great hiking, biking, horseback riding, a Naturalist Program, a lake for canoeing or swimming and sooo much more. I really recommend Acadia to any family looking to enjoy the great outdoors.

In Massachusetts:
• Boston Freedom Trail: The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile red-brick walking trail that leads you to 16 nationally significant historic sites, every one an authentic American treasure.
Boston Common Frog Pond: Oldest park in the US. Free spray pool to cool off and a great area for a family picnic. Great way to start off the Freedom Trail.
• Free Friday Flicks at the Boston Hatch Shell: See everything from The Tales of Despereaux
to Star Wars: The Clone Wars to Kung Fu Panda for free. Just show up at sundown with your blanket or chair and enjoy.
Fisher Cats Baseball: What a great family activity that is inexpensive yet the kids love it. July 5th is the Atlas Fireworks show which adds a whole new excitement to the game.
• Franklin Park Zoo: First Saturday of each month 1/2 off admission. Our family of 5 could get in for $20. Although, we have not yet visited, so I cannot give an accurate review of the zoo.
• Walden Pond State Reservation: Concord, MA. See what moved Henry David Thoreau and have a nice picnic and dip in the pond. The cost is just a $5 parking fee.
• The Butterfly Place: Westford, MA. We've never been, but my girls really want to go.
• Forest Park & Zoo: Springfield, MA. Take a train ride through and enjoy the wildlife.


  1. Call us we will join you on some of your fun filled days. I have never been to Acadia Park

  2. Sorry I haven't been around----I've been swamped with my play!

    You are amazing to do so much research----I will have to try out some of this things...

  3. One more suggestion... Summerfest...New Bedford Massachusetts annual Folk Music Festival.

    Thanks for the ideas as the kids are now out of school and I am scrambling for things for them to do.

  4. Oh...Summerfest is from July 3 through July 5.

  5. Oh...dont forget some of our great National Parks; The Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston, The New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park in New Bedford Massachusetts, and The Roger Williams National Memorial are among several National Parks in southern New England...and they are already paid for by our tax dollars.