New Hampshire summer fun. Photo Source Nancy Solomon
Something about summer, possibly the 95-degree weather, inspires us to run to the beaches and woods. Given that we live in Boston, we are lucky that the Northeast is full of lovely escapes.
The past few weekends have been spent in New Hampshire where ski areas are an ideal playground for summer pursuits. During our drives, I’m always shocked to see the vast expanse of towering pines — these northern woods have been a favorite destination for generations of families. It feels like summer camp and there are activities for all ages.
Things to do in New Hampshire with young kids:
A smaller, gentler amusement park that plays on storybook themes. My kids were loved this until they were around 8 and older. Now they want bigger parks.
My 7-year-old asked to see a moose so I found this tour which heads out each evening to find these enormous animals. We rode in comfortable van with silly moose toons playing. The spotlights along the side of the van work wonders for finding the moose — goal achieved! A trip highlight for all of us.
For train lovers, this railway climbs great heights and offers amazing views of the White Mountains.
A smaller amusement park with rides and a water area for warmer days.
Things to do in New Hampshire with older kids:
This ski resort has turned their mountain into a playground for the summer. With a Mountain Coaster (one of the longest Alpine Slides) scheduled to open in August, Euro Bungy trampolines, horseback riding and mountain biking, kids will be active for hours. Note, that there is a pool and pony rides for little kids, but many activities have a height minimum of 48 inches.
The Franconia State Park is vast and stunning. Favorite hikes include “Old Man of the Mountains” (a mountain side that looks like a face) and Flume Gorge.
For the thrill seeker, this is the longest zip-line in the area. Kids must be over 12 to participate.
The crystal clear waters surrounded with pines makes this setting fabulous for a summer’s day. Anchor in a cove for lunch and a swim or water ski and tube all day. You can rent boats and equipment at Sargent’s Marina.
This is the largest lake in the area and closer to the Conway area than Sunapee. You can rent your own boat for the day or if you are not comfortable in the captain’s hat, hire a crew take you out for a private cruise. If fishing is what you are looking for, check out Angling Adventures.
For the more adventurous families, private mountain climbing excursions are available.
‘Meet the Farmer’ at the Mountain View Grand Resort and Spa
New Hampshire family-friendly hotels:
After the day is done, you’ll be ready to rest. The area has two historic hotels in glorious settings — both properties are sure to take your breath away.
The Mountain View Grand Resort and Spa was recommended to us with rave reviews. We were not disappointed. Impeccably restored, this fantastic family getaway offers large rooms, gorgeous grounds, delicious food, and thoughtful activities for families. We started our day off with “Meet the Farmer”, where we learned about the barn animals. Later, we did pony rides, swam and even watched Kung Fu Panda in the private theatre. Be sure hit the campfire with kids. We loved this hotel and will definitely visit again.
The Mount Washington Resort captures old-world grandeur and is set beautifully in the valley of Bretton Woods. Recently taken over by Omni Resorts, the hotel is top-notch. With many different accommodation options and unlimited activities — this hotel is a great home-base for families.