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101 Ideas For Family Fun
101 things to do with the kids this summer

07/12/12
By



1. See one of New Hampshire’s biggest waterfalls, Arethusa Falls, which is nearly 200 feet high. According to www.nhstateparks.com/waterfalls, a path to the falls can be accessed south of the Wiley House site off Route 302 in Crawford Notch. Two more waterfalls can be seen along the way: Bemis Brook and Coliseum Falls, which the website noted is “an easy .5 mile hike in, while Arethusa is 1.3 miles in on a hike of moderate difficulty.” The website suggests that Arethusa Falls is best viewed from below and warns against rock scrambling, as the rocks are unsafe. For those wishing to swim, the website suggests choosing spots downstream. More waterfall locations and descriptions are listed on the website.

2. Tour the USS Albacore, the first submarine designed to fully submerge, which was built at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and served from 1953 to 1972 on an experimental mission. Visitors to Albacore Park can listen to an audio tour at the museum, housed in the visitors center, which also includes a gift shop. The adjacent Memorial Garden “honors the sacrifices of those submariners who gave their lives in service.” The park is open daily through Columbus Day, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for ages 7-17, free for children younger than 7, or $10 for a family of two adults and one or two children younger than 18. The last tickets are sold a half-hour before closing. Go to Albacore Park, 600 Market St., Portsmouth, 436-3680, www.ussalbacore.org.

3. Explore the Ponemah Bog Wildlife Sanctuary and see rare plants, including insect-eating pitcher plants, as well as green herons and other wildlife. The sanctuary is owned and operated by the New Hampshire Audubon Society, which describes it as “a kettle hole created by the retreating glaciers.” New Hampshire Audubon is offering free, informal walks, Saturday, July 21, at 10 a.m., with Pam Hunt, New Hampshire Audubon senior biologist, and Saturday, Aug. 4, at 10 a.m., with Tom Young, bird and dragonfly enthusiast. Walks usually last about two hours. Or visitors can choose to tour the sanctuary on their own, keeping to marked trails and walking on the boardwalk through the bog. The trail network is about ¾ of a mile long and takes about 45 minutes to complete. Bug spray and footwear that can get wet are recommended. The bog is on Rhodora Drive off Stearns Road in Amherst. See www.nhstateparks.org/uploads/pdf/Quest-PonemahBogMap.pdf or www.nhaudubon.org/friends-of-ponemahn-bog-summer-field-trip-series.

4. Catch a ball game. Eat kid favorites like hot dogs and cotton candy while watching a New Hampshire Fisher Cats game. Attend the Sunday, July 22, game against the Portland Sea Dogs at 1:35 p.m. — the first 1,000 kids in attendance will receive a special-edition Fisher Cats glow-in-the-dark baseball. After this game, kids will get to run the bases like the players do. See www.nhfishercats.com for tickets, game times and more promotions. Where? Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, 1 Line Drive, Manchester, 641-2005.

5. Search for new and used treasures at a flea market.
Salem Flea Market, at 20 Hampshire Road, Salem, 893-8888, www.salemnhfleamarket.com, has been in business for more than 25 years and includes indoor and outdoor vendors, a full kitchen and an ice cream and popcorn truck. It’s open Saturdays and Sundays year-round. Outdoor vendors are open from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., indoor vendors from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Other area flea markets include Londonderry Flea Market, Grandview Flea Market in Derry and Hollis Flea Market.

6. Take a scenic drive along the Kancamagus Highway, the 34.5-mile stretch of northern New Hampshire’s Route 112, from Conway to Lincoln. Designated an American Scenic Byway, “the Kanc,” as it’s commonly known, affords views of the White Mountains, the Swift River, Sabbaday Falls, Lower Falls and Rocky Gorge. A popular fall foliage drive, the Kanc reaches an elevation of almost 3,000 feet at Kancamagus Pass near Lincoln. See www.kancamagushighway.com.

7. Pick your own delicious fruit: cherries in July, blueberries in July and August, peaches from July through September, raspberries from July to October and apples from August to October. See www.nh.com/pickyourown for picking tips and for lists of pick-your-own farms by region.

8. Take a photo of your kids with one of the  world-famous busweiser clydesdales. The first Saturday of each month is Clydesdale Camera Day from 1 to 3 p.m. at Anheuser-Busch Brewery. A free tour and samples in the Hospitality Room follow, for those of legal drinking age. Photos are “weather permitting.” A special Clydesdale Camera Day will take place on Saturday, July 28, when the Clydesdales will be fully hitched to the coach. Another will be Saturday, Aug. 4, when visitors will get to check out the Landshark “Woody” on site. The brewery is at 221 DW Highway, Merrimack, 595-1202, www.budweisertours.com.

9. Ride to the 3,050-foot summit of Loon Mountain on a four-passenger gondola skyride. Purchase skyride tickets at the Loon Gift Shop inside the gondola barn. A ticket is good for unlimited rides for the day. Adults $15, juniors $10, seniors $13, children free. Summer hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Head to 60 Loon Mountain Road, Lincoln, 745-8111, www.loonmtn.com.

10. Catch a double feature at a drive-in movie theater.
Milford Drive-in is open every night at 531 Elm St., Milford, 673-4090, www.milforddrivein.com. Shows start about dusk, and movies are updated most Fridays. A new feature is the RC cars and racetrack: Rent a car for $3 for five minutes. Price for drive-in is $20 per car for up to six passengers for a double-feature, $5 per person for more than six passengers.

11. Take a picnic to a playground. Livingston Park on Daniel Webster Highway North in Manchester, across from the Puritan Backroom, features a walking trail around Dorr’s Pond, a swimming pool, and two playgrounds, one for toddlers and preschoolers and one for older children. Windham’s Griffin Park, several miles past the McDonald’s on Route 111, has playground structures for older and younger kids and an inline skate park, baseball fields, basketball courts, tennis courts, a paved walking path and a covered pavilion/concession stand. Field of Dreams Playground at 48 Geremonty Drive in Salem has a small picnic area, a newly reconstructed volleyball court, a playground with a dedicated toddler area, and fitness and hiking trails.

12. Make a batch of soda at Incredibrew, choosing from root beer, sarsaparilla, orange cream soda and new black cherry. For $45 you can make four gallons — 48 12-ounce bottles, including all ingredients, equipment, bottles and caps. Weigh and mix for 15 minutes the first day, then wait for the two-day carbonation cycle and return for 45 minutes of bottling with the help of an automatic bottle-filler. For those who can’t wait, schedule a “make and take” soda session. Incredibrew is at 112 DW Highway, Nashua, 891-2477, www.incredibrew.com.

13. Got a Lego lover? Visit the SEE Science Center to see the Lego Millyard Project, “the largest permanent Lego installation at minifigure scale in the world.” The project is made of approximately three million Lego bricks. The display is open seven days a week, Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $8 per person for ages 3 and older. The center is closed some holidays and will be closed in early September for renovations. It’s at 200 Bedford St., Manchester, 669-0400, www.see-science.org.

14. See the tall ships in Portsmouth during Sail Portsmouth 2012,
Thursday, July 12, through Sunday, July 15. Visiting vessels include the Pride of Baltimore II, Providence and Portsmouth’s gondola, Piscataqua. Events include opportunities to board vessels and explore their decks at the Commercial Fishing Pier, Peirce Island, Portsmouth, for $9 per person or $25 per family. View the Parade of Sail on the morning of Friday, July 13. Good viewing spots for the parade are Four Tree Island in Portsmouth, Great Island Common and Portsmouth Yacht Club in New Castle and Fort Foster in Kittery, Maine. For a schedule of events call 431-7447 or see www.pmcportsmouth.org.

15. Grab your bikes and head to Mack’s Apples in Londonderry to try community biking. Charlie Goodspeed, who operates DG Cycles in Londonderry and Epping, runs bicycling events throughout town. A slower-paced ride is offered on Thursday nights at 6 p.m., leaving from Mack’s. Expect a 20- to 25-mile pedal at a pace where no one gets dropped from the ride. A fast-paced ride is offered Tuesday nights from the Londonderry store, DG Cycles at the Appletree Mall, 4 Orchard View Drive off Route 102. This ride is not for the faint of heart or the novice cycler, with riders averaging a consistent 20 mph. The ride leaves the shop at 6 p.m. DG is at 216-2022, www.dgcycles.com.

16. Try a zipline. Monkey Trunks Extreme Aerial Adventures offers zipline and high ropes courses at three locations. At the Weirs Beach location (579 Endicott St. North), 48 challenges include swinging beams, tightropes, rolling logs, hanging tires, cargo nets and four ziplines at up to 650 feet long as well as a 35-foot-high giant swing. According to their website, in order to “monkey around” you must be able to reach 5 feet 9 inches “standing flat-footed with arms extended above your head,” and children who can reach 5’4” may participate on the courses as long as an adult (18 or older) is present. There is also a weight limit of 250 pounds. Additional locations are in Chocorua (near North Conway) and Saco, Maine. The cost is $49 per person, but check the website for promotional rates for families and groups. Reservations are strongly recommended — online or call 367-4427. Download disclaimers online, at www.monkeytrunks.com, and sign before your visit.

17. Cool off at Liquid Planet Waterpark in Candia or Water Country in Portsmouth.
At Liquid Planet, attractions include two 40-foot vertical-drop speed slides, New England’s largest spray ground and a 25,000-gallon swimming pool. Children younger than 2 get in free, as do military personnel with I.D. There are some restrictions on children’s activities dependent upon size. Purchase a daily pass (for those 48 inches and taller) for $25, daily junior pass (under 48” tall) for $20, half-day general pass for $18 or  half-day junior pass for $13. Zipline tickets are $10 for first ride, $5 per additional ride. Liquid Planet is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday evenings 6 p.m. to sundown, and Sundays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The park is at 446 Raymond Road, Candia, 483-2200, www.liquidplanetwaterpark.com. In Portsmouth, Water Country, at 2300 Lafayette Road, 427-1111, is open 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. every day in July and through Aug. 19; closing time switches to 5 p.m. Aug. 20 through Sept. 3. Season passes are available; half day passes start at $19.99 and full-day passes start at $24.99. Water Country this summer is Dr. Von Dark’s Tunnel of Terror, which has two riders plunging through a 40-foot enclosed tunnel. There are also plenty of tube slides, body slides, kiddie slides and a wave pool. See www.watercountry.com

18. Check out a free hands-on workshop at Home Depot for children ages 5 through 12
. On Saturday, July 7, from 9 a.m. to noon, build a moving truck at a local Home Depot (area stores are in Londonderry, Manchester, Nashua, Concord, Bedford or Hooksett — call the one near you for workshop schedules). Or head to Lowe’s for a free kids’ Build and Grow clinic and make a Kung Fu Panda Spinning Attack on Saturday, July 14, at 10 a.m. and Sunday, July 15, at 2 p.m., or build Kung Fu Panda Stacking Friends on Saturday, July 28, at 10 a.m. or Sunday, July 29, at 2 p.m. Area Lowe’s include locations in Bedford, South Nashua, Amherst, Salem and Concord. See www.homedepot.com and www.lowes.com for monthly projects and dates. Call local stores to register for a workshop.

19. Visit a farmers market for fresh, local produce — maybe some tasty berries or sweet corn. Many markets sell fresh baked goods and crafts as well, and some have live musical performances. See www.nhfma.org for a list of markets and which fruits and veggies are in season.

20. Rainy day sanity-saver: Create a personalized piece of pottery at You’re Fired. Paint a piece of bisque, or transform a base, such as a mirror, clock, gecko or snake, with colorful glass mosaics. Pieces are then fired in a kiln at more than 1,800 degrees and are ready in about a week. Most bare pieces range in price from $7 to $61. Studio time is $8 for kids and $6 for adults and includes use of all paint, brushes and accessories. Locations are in Bedford (641-3473), Salem (894-5456), Concord (226-3473) and Nashua (204-5559). See www.yourefirednh.com.

21. Have an American Girl fan in the house?
Head to Barnes & Noble for recurring American Girl Club meetings with crafts and discussions. In Manchester, meet on Wednesday, July 18, at 6:30 p.m. at 1741 S. Willow St., 668-5557. In Nashua, meet on Monday, July 9, at 6:30 p.m. at 235 DW Highway, 888-0533. See www.barnesandnoble.com.

22. Rainy day on a Saturday got you down? Flipz Gymnastics in Concord offers “Rainy Day Play,” beginning July 14. Drop in on rainy Saturday mornings during the summer from 10:30 a.m. to noon for $7.50 per person per hour, no registration required. All ages of children, “including college-age,” are welcome to drop in. It’s at 134D Hall St., 224-3223, www.flipzgymnastics.com.

23. Engage with nature courtesy of the New Hampshire Audubon Society and the National Wildlife Federation
on Saturday, July 28, at three locations: the Massabesic Audubon Center in Auburn, 26 Audubon Way; the McClane Center in Concord, 84 Silk Farm Road, and on the green at the 60th Annual Hebron Fair, 16 Church Lane in Hebron. These events are free and will have live animals, crafts, sanctuary walks, field explorations, bird banding demonstrations, telemetry, free gifts, presentations and food, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. See www.nhaudubon.org/engage-with-nature or call 224-9909 for schedules at each of the locations.

24. Dogs are kids’ best friends, too. For kids who need help improving their reading and communication skills, Concord Public Library runs Paws for Pages, featuring Lily and Sparkle, gentle dogs who are at the library with their owners to listen to children read aloud. Sign up for 15 minutes of Lily’s or Sparkle’s undivided attention to practice reading or public speaking on Thursday, July 19, or Tuesday, July 25, between 3:30 and 5 p.m., at Concord Public Library, 45 Green St., 225-8670, www.onconcord.com. Or read to Dixie at Salem’s Kelley Library on Tuesday, July 10, between 6 and 7 p.m. — sign up for one 15-minute session and bring your own book or select one at the library. Registration is required; sign up in the children’s room at Kelley Library, 234 Main St., 898-7064, mgarneau@kelleylibrary.org, or see www.salem.lib.nh.us.

25. Visit the animals at J&F Farm’s free petting farm in Derry,
where you can also buy fresh eggs, beef, pork, chicken, fruit and vegetables — and there’s an ice cream stand on location, with picnic tables. It’s at 120 Chester Road, 437-0535, www.jandffarms.net.

26. Go fly a kite.
Kite enthusiasts report that Hampton Beach State Park is a great place to try. The kite store Fun with Wind in Reading, Mass., holds a kite demonstration day on Wednesdays, from noon to 7 p.m., weather permitting, at Hampton Beach. Their website (www.funwithwind.com) promises “plenty of demo kites to try out, stunt kites, power foils, quad and single line kites, landboards and buggy.” Check the site for location confirmation each week. Also, G. Willikers Toy Shop carries kites. It’s at 13 Market St. in Portsmouth, 436-7746, www.gwillikers.com.

27. Try paddle boarding,
one of the fastest-growing recreational water sports on the seacoast, accessible to many ages and doable on ocean, lakes and ponds. Two seacoast shops giving lessons are Summer Sessions Surf Shop, offering a free demo night for paddle boarding and surfing every Friday from 6 to 7 p.m., 2281 Ocean Blvd., Rye, 319-8207, www.newhampshiresurf.com; and Cinnamon Rainbows Surf Co., offering free paddle demos every Tuesday and Friday evening through August from 6 to 8 p.m., across from the surf shop at 931 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, depending on weather and surf conditions, 929-7467, www.cinnamonrainbows.com.

28. Explore a tide pool. Common critters in seacoast tide pools might include starfish, common periwinkles, sea urchins, hermit crabs, dog whelks and barnacles. Low tide happens about every six hours, and the best tide pooling times are two hours before and two hours after low tide. If you miss low tide, head to the Seacoast Science Center in Rye (570 Ocean Blvd., open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 436-8043, www.seacoastsciencecenter.org) to visit its Tide Pool Touch Tank and its Close Encounters Tank, which now houses an octopus. Visitor programs often include tide pooling and occur every day at 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.

29. Go fishing. Suggested area locations include Big Island Pond, Hood Pond and Beaver Lake in Derry, Massabesic Lake in Auburn, Turtletown Pond and Turkey Pond in Concord and Arlington Mill Reservoir in Salem. See www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing for weekly fishing reports, boating and fishing public access sites, suggested fishing locations by species, and fishing tips.

30. Another rainy day sanity-saver is to visit a local pet shop to view, not buy, the animals.
Gaze at the tanks of colorful tropical fish at Pets Plus in Londonderry, or visit the birds, lizards, frogs and small mammals, including rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and gerbils. Pets Plus is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. It’s at 123 Nashua Road, No. 7, 425-2738, www.e-petsplus.com. Or head to Dave’s Dragons in Manchester, New Hampshire’s only reptile and exotic pet store, carrying many species of geckos, pythons, boas, monitor lizards, snakes, turtles and scorpions, as well as a rainforest exhibit with a dwarf caiman. Hours at Dave’s are Tuesday through Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., closed Monday. The store is at 679 Mast Road, 606-2120, www.davesdragons.com.

31. Create a work of art. Drop by the Currier Museum of Art for Family Summer Studio,
Wednesdays in July and August, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Gain inspiration for an art activity from the artwork of the day. July 11, Watercolor Still Life; July 18, Pastel Still Life; July 25, Still Life Collage; Aug. 1, Tree Techniques; Aug. 8, Creating Clouds; Aug. 15, Wet Weather; Aug. 22, Majestic Mountains, and Aug. 29, Winding Rivers. Free with museum admission of $10 per adult, free for children younger than 18. The Currier is at 150 Ash St., Manchester, 669-6144, www.currier.org.

32. See The Wizard of Oz, the Majestic Theatre’s presentation, featuring a large cast of all ages on Fridays and Saturdays, July 20, July 21, July 27 and July 28 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, July 29, at 2 p.m. Performances are held at The Manchester Community Music School’s Holy Cross Hall at 2291 Elm St. Tickets are $18 ($15 for ages 65 and older, $12 for ages 17 and younger) and can be purchased by visiting or calling the box office at 669-7649, online at www.majestictheatre.net, or at the door 30 minutes before the performance.

33. Go to kids nite Thursday, Aug. 16, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Londonderry’s 113th Old Home Day celebration on the town common off Mammoth Road. Activities for families with children age 10 and younger will include clowns, bounce houses, food and entertainment, as well as performances by Judy Pancoast, Wildlife Encounters, Miss Londonderry and The Roaming Railroad. The Old Home Day celebration runs from Wednesday, Aug. 15, through Sunday, Aug. 19. See www.oldhomedays.com for a schedule.

34. Play Wiffle ball. The lighter bat and ball make Wiffle ball a great choice for youngsters. Find a local ball field that isn’t in use at town recreational areas or schools, so you can run the bases, or throw down your own “bases” in the backyard and make a game of it.

35. Spend a day getting dizzy at Canobie Lake Park, 85 N. Policy St. in Salem, 893-3506. Ride the roller coasters, spinning cups, ferris wheel and bumper cars, and let the littlest kids splash around at Castaway Island’s watery fun area. There’s also an arcade and plenty of carnival food to buy. Admission prices range from $23 to $33, free for those younger than 3. Go to canobie.com for hours, directions and videos.

36. Take a guided horseback trail ride or enjoy a teddy bear picnic at Charmingfare Farm in Candia on a gentle horse with a name like Tex, Doc or Skip. Rides are approximately 1½ hours long and are given by reservation only, $60 per person. Children must be at least 10 years old and accompanied by one parent on the ride. Book online at www.visitthefarm.com or call 483-5623. On Saturday, July 14, Charmingfare will host a teddy bear picnic from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., free with regular admission of $17 per person (free for children younger than 2), with teddy bear check-ups, bear games, a bear parade and a chance to meet the farm’s black bear keeper. The farm is at 774 High St., www.visitthefarm.com.

37. Have a water balloon fight. Fill your own water balloons at the hose at home to cool off, or head to Victorian Park Family Entertainment Center in Salem, 350 N. Broadway, 898-1803, where one of the attractions is Water Wars, described as a two-person water balloon bash. The cost is $3 per person for six balloons, $6 per person for 12 balloons, or $10 per person for 24 balloons. Hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

38. Go on a treasure hunt. Ultimate Treasure Hunts is an ongoing community-wide interactive text-messaging game that began on Mother’s Day weekend in Portsmouth but can be played anytime during July and August by downloading a map. Participants pay $9.99 and sign up on the website, providing their name, cell number and contact info to get clues and treasure. Circles on the map mark locations players must find to answer the clues that are texted to them. Players text a response and follow the text to the next clue. Participating stores send players treasure while they navigate. Proceeds benefit the Seacoast Mental Health Center. See www.uthunts.com for detailed instructions.

39. Camp in your own backyard. If you missed the Great American Backyard Campout on June 23, don’t despair — there is still plenty of summer left. Find tips to make your experience a smooth one at the Appalachian Mountain Club’s website, www.greatkids.outdoors.org/2012/06/backyard-and-urban-camping-trips.html.

40. Enjoy a town common concert. Several area towns hold free summer concerts on their commons, including Windham, Bow and Milford. See the Windham Community Band perform on Sunday, Aug. 12, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.; visit www.windhamcommunityband.com. Milford’s lunchtime summer concert series starts Thursday, July 12, with a show by the band Deep Hole Road, and continues Thursdays at noon through Aug. 2 on the Milford Oval. Bring a picnic lunch or buy one on the spot for $5. Call 249-0676 or visit milfordimprovementteam.org.

41. Watch the planes taking off and landing at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport. One spot where people can frequently be seen watching is off Delta Drive. Look for a sign for McGuire Pet Cemetery and that’s the turn for Delta Drive, which is off Harvey Road in Londonderry. The road is slightly elevated, affording a view of the airport’s runway. Another potential viewing spot is in the parking lot of the Triangle Mall, off South Willow Street in Manchester (GPS:  2075 S. Willow St.). As a side note, if your family ventures in to the McGuire Pet Cemetery, you’ll see gravestones for two police canines from the Manchester and Londonderry police departments, as well as a gravestone for “Buffy Sullivan.” Local posts report that this dog was a “mascot” for a service station on the corner of Routes 3 and 28, where a statue of the dog reportedly sat atop a pile of gravel, with a giant water dish for visiting pooches always available.

42. Catch a free movie at your local library. Manchester City Library’s main branch (405 Pine St., 624-6550) is showing Legends of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole on Monday, July 23, at 1 p.m. in the auditorium, as well as many other free movies throughout the summer. Visit www.manchesternh.gov/website/library. Nashua Public Library is showing Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (PG-13) on Wednesday, Aug. 1, at 7 p.m. Check out your local library’s calendar of events for free movies.

43. Kick off fair season by attending the Stratham Fair, one of the oldest country fairs in New England, July 19 through July 22. Gates open at 8 a.m. The fair will have new and old events, including favorites like the lobster festival, pie-eating contest, pig scramble, horse pulls, lasagna supper and dunking booth. Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for seniors and ages 6 through 12, free for children younger than 6. Tickets can be purchased online, where you can view special discount days and download a coupon. The Stratham Fair is at Stratham Park, Route 33, 772-4977, www.strathamfair.com.

44. Learn about local history
. Visit Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth on Saturday, Aug. 4, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. for Community Day. Admission is free with a donation of a nonperishable food item, one per person, to be donated to a local food bank. Visitors get to experience what life was like for the many “generations who settled in the Portsmouth ‘Puddle Dock’ community from the late 17th century to the mid-20th century.” See restored houses, exhibits, landscapes and gardens and listen to interpretive stories, at 14 Hancock St., 433-1100, www.strawberrybanke.org.

45. Go out to breakfast at MaryAnn’s Diner in Derry, a retro eatery, where the politicians like to eat and greet. In addition to the possibility of seeing campaigning politicians, diners have been known to be treated to an impromptu staff performance of such oldies as “Blue Suede Shoes.” Breakfast is served seven days a week; lunch is served weekdays only and not on holidays. Hours are Monday through Saturday 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Sunday 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., at 29 E. Broadway, 434-5785, www.maryannsdiner.com.

46. Find out where your food comes from at the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire’s Local Roots Food Fair, Wednesday, July 18, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. At this indoor event, the museum, in partnership with Hannaford Supermarkets, will present free food samples featured in Hannaford’s “Close to Home” program. Try fresh fruit, Cabot cheese and Stonyfield yogurt, and get recipes to take home. Seacoast Local’s ReRootEd program will lead sensory activities, including a chance to try edible plants and herbs. Check out the museum’s own indoor and outdoor fruit and vegetable garden. The event is free with museum admission of $9 (seniors $8, children younger than 1 free). The museum is at 6 Washington St., Dover, 742-2002, www.childrens-museum.org.

47. Visit the oldest Statehouse in the nation in which the legislature still occupies its original chambers. It’s our very own Statehouse in Concord, which is open year-round for guided tours scheduled for groups of 10 or more and self-guided tours, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at 107 N. Main St. in Concord, 271-2154, www.ci.concord.nh.us/tourest/statehs/.

48. Listen to traditional Native American tales
by a campfire on the banks of the Merrimack River, as part of the Amoskeag Fishways’ Family Friday on Aug. 17, from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Amoskeag Fishways, 6 Fletcher St., Manchester. Dress appropriately for the weather and insects. It’s an all-ages show, $5 per family, and pre-registration is required. Call 626-FISH or go to www.amoskeagfishways.org.

49. Attend a Music-by-the Sea concert on the grounds of the Seacoast Science Center in Rye on Thursday, July 26, from 6 to 8 p.m. and see a performance by the Jumbo Circus Peanuts. Gates open at 5 p.m.; music begins at 6 p.m. Bring a beach blanket or chairs and your own picnic, or purchase hot-off-the-grill fare, snacks and ice cream treats. Adults can enjoy a glass of wine or ice-cold beer. Please don’t bring your own alcohol. All proceeds support the center’s environmental education efforts. Admission is $8 for ages 13 and older, $2 for ages 3-12, free for ages 3 and younger. The center is at 570 Ocean Blvd. in Rye, 436-8043, www.seacoastsciencecenter.org.

50. Join the 35th Annual Loon Festival on Saturday, July 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at The Loon Center in Moultonborough, rain or shine. Admission is free. There will be crafts and balloons, wildlife exhibits, food and beverages, face painting, storytelling and the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center Discovery Table with animal exhibits, all at 185 Lee’s Mill Road in Moultonborough. Call 476-5666 or visit www.loon.org.

51. See the new planetarium show “Perfect Little Planet” at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord, July 5 through Sept. 2. It shows our solar system through the eyes of a family from another star system. Planetarium admission is free for Plus Level members and children age 2 and younger. $4 per person, per show add-on to General Admission ticket. Tickets sold until 10 minutes prior to show time. General admission: adults $9, children (age 3-12) $6, seniors (age 62 and older) $8, groups of 15 or more $6 per person. Open daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday nights 6:30 to 9 p.m., at 2 Institute Drive, Concord, 271-7827, www.starhop.com.

52. Kids can attend the Let’s Go program
at Great Bay Discovery Center in Greenland, on Thursdays, July 19 and Aug. 16, 1-2:30 p.m. For ages 7 through 11, $5 per child, the Let’s Go program is part of a national initiative to get kids outside. Center naturalists provide well-supervised play around the Discovery Center, at 89 Depot Road, Greenland, 778-0015, www.greatbay.org.

53. Got a budding engineer who needs some time out of the sun? Check out the new location of The Build Station in the Rockingham Park Mall in Salem. For $10 per child, kids can get an all-day pass to stay and build as long as they like (accompanied by one adult, who gets free admission) or to come and go throughout the day. Kids get to build with simple matchsticks and Popsicle sticks, or with K’nex, UberStix and Lego building parts. There’s a selection of exhibits, such as race cars, skyscrapers, robots and Ferris wheels, and activities geared for hands-on learning and fun. The charge for an extra adult accompanying the child is $5. Hours are the same as the mall’s: Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Build Station is in the former Borders Express store, across from RadioShack, 685-3977, www.thebuildstation.com.

54. Has your child's favorite stuffed animal suffered a boo-boo? Children can bring any stuffed animals in need of a little TLC to the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire’s annual Teddy Bear Clinic and Tea Party on Wednesday, Aug. 8. Volunteer health professionals and doctors will be on hand to do check-ups and perform minor surgery on stuffed animals at the clinic from 10 a.m. to noon. Juice, animal crackers and fruit will be served during the tea party afterward, from noon to 12:30 p.m. The event is free with museum admission of $9 (seniors $8, children younger than 12 months free). The museum is at 6 Washington St., Dover, 742-2002, www.childrens-museum.org.

55. Dr. Seuss fans can see Seussical Jr. on Friday, July 20, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, July 21, at 2 p.m. at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord (44 South Main St., www.ccanh.com). See all your favorite Dr. Seuss characters brought to life, including Horton the Elephant and The Cat in the Hat. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online, or by calling the box office at 225-1111. The show is recommended for all ages.

56. Visit a historic working farm at the New Hampshire Farm Museum, 1305 White Mountain Highway (Route 125) Milton, 652-7840, www.farmmmuseum.org. View agricultural exhibits and displays of carriages and tractors, and visit with the Farm Museum’s sheep flock. Take a guided tour of the historic Jones Farmhouse and barn. Visit the Country Store, explore trails through the woods, or bring lunch and have a picnic on the grounds. It’s open through Oct. 14, Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The last farmhouse tour leaves at 3:30 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors/students, $4 for children 4-17, or $20 for families (two adults and their children or grandchildren).

57. Check out a production at the Palace Theatre, 80 Hanover St., Manchester, 668-5588, like a musical rendition of The Little Mermaid on Tuesday, Aug. 14, at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 15, at 10 a.m. or Thursday, Aug. 16, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $7 per person, including babes in arms. Purchase tickets online at www.palacetheatre.org up to 24 hours before the show, or by phone at 668-5588.

58. Visit a regional museum. Many local libraries offer cardholders a chance to borrow museum passes for free admission or reduced rates to places in New Hampshire, such as Canterbury Shaker Village, the Currier Museum of Art, the Fells Historic Estate and Gardens in Newbury, and in Massachusetts, like the Boston Museum of Science and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Contact your local library to find out what passes it has.

59. Go camping at Pawtuckaway State Park Campground along the shores of Pawtuckaway Lake in Nottingham. Each of the 195 campsites has an open fireplace, picnic table, flat area for a tent and a parking space. According to www.nhstateparks.org, this campground has “running water, flush toilets, a camp store, boat launch and canoe and kayak rentals are available.” Also five cabins are available to sleep six people, with electricity, and an outside fire ring and picnic table. The campground is open for stays by reservation through Oct. 14. Reservations may be made online at www.newhampshirestateparks.reserveamerica.com or by calling ReserveAmerica at 877-647-2757. Rates vary from $25 to $65 per night. Call 895-3031.

60. Visit the Annalee Doll Museum in Meredith.
The museum tells the story of Annalee Thorndike, who began making dolls as a girl and transformed her hobby into a thriving business that has continued for decades. The exterior of the museum recreates Annalee’s childhood home in Concord. View a massive collection of dolls, from every decade of Annalee’s career. A wooded picnic and play area are located outside the museum, at 44 Reservoir Road, off Route 3, 279-6542, www.annalee.com. The Annalee Outlet is at Olde Province Commons, 71 NH Route 104, Meredith, open seven days a week, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

61. Watch the ball pythons eat lunch at the Massabesic Audubon Center on Sundays at 11:30 a.m., and then watch the raven get its meal at 12:30 p.m. Learn about these animals’ habits and diets, and you might even get to touch the snakes. It’s free, at 26 Audubon Way, Auburn, 668-2045, www.nhaudubon.org.

62. Download a copy of New Hampshire’s 2012 Ice Cream Trail and see how many stops you and your family can make this summer for the sweet treat. Thirty-two locations are listed and mapped. See www.nhdairypromo.org.

63. Be inspired by the Olympics and get active. The 2012 Olympic Games kick off in London on July 27 and run through Aug. 12. See www.london2012.com to check out schedules, learn about athletes and keep track of results. Then gather the family for an old-fashioned game of kickball, a hula-hoop contest, a jump rope competition or a backyard obstacle course. Call the neighbors and make it a community contest.

64. Meet George Washington and watch history come alive at the 22nd American Independence Festival on July 21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the American Independence Museum in Exeter, rain or shine. A crowd will escort President Washington down Water Street, and the Declaration of Independence will be delivered via horseback, followed by a public reading, complete with hecklers. Brace yourself for the cannon and militia firings, and enjoy music by the Lincoln Fife and Drum, plus historic role-players, food and music, sidewalk sales and children’s activities. Stay for music by the band Rhythm Method at 6:45 p.m. at the Swasey Parkway Bandstand and the Town of Exeter’s evening fireworks display at 8:45 p.m. Admission is $7 for events on the grounds of the Museum, free for members and children younger than 10. Events on Swasey Parkway are free, but donations are appreciated. The museum is at One Governor’s Lane, Exeter, 772-2622, www.independencemuseum.org.

65. See an outdoor musical. Prescott Park Arts Festival in partnership with the Seacoast Repertory Theatre presents Willy Wonka! featuring songs from the classic film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Admission is free with a suggested donation of $5 to $10. Prescott Park is GPS-located at 105 Marcy St., Portsmouth, 436-2848, www.prescottpark.org.

66. Are the White Mountains calling you?
Take an easy hike on Square Ledge Trail. The Appalachian Mountain Club lists this short trail as a great hike for families, featuring an outlook from a ledge that rises from the floor of Pinkham Notch on the side of Wildcat Mountain. Distance is ½ mile, with a gain in elevation of 500 feet. Estimated time for this hike is 30 minutes. To get there: From Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, follow the Lost Pond Trail to the junction of Lost Pond Trail and Square Ledge Trail. See www.outdoors.org for more AMC-recommended trips.

67. Go native at the Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum’s 13th Annual Intertribal Powwow, July 14 and July 15, starting 10 a.m., with a grand entry Saturday at noon and a formal session Saturday at 6 p.m. Admission is $8.50 for adults, $6.50 for children or $26 for a family. The Powwow will include drum competitions, craft vendors, museum tours and a chance to walk the Medicine Woods Trail. The museum is at 18 Highlawn Road, Warner, 456-2600, www.indianmuseum.org.

68. Catch Fiesta de Musica 2012, a show hosted by the Muchachos Drum and Bugle Corps on Sunday, July 15, at 5:30 p.m. at Memorial High School’s Clem Lemire Sports Complex, 1 Crusader Way, Manchester. The Fiesta de Musica is a Drum Corps International Open Class competition, featuring drum and bugle corps with performers younger than 22. Drum and bugle corps scheduled to appear include the 7th Regiment from Connecticut, the Raiders from New Jersey, the Spartans of Nashua and the St. Kevin Emerald Knights from Boston. Tickets can be ordered online at www.muchachos.org: $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and children younger than 12. 

69. Enjoy a beach that’s not on the seacoast. Allen Albee Beach is a quiet beach offering swimming and picnicking on the shores of Lake Wentworth in Wolfeboro. Ride bikes on the Cotton Valley Trail to downtown Wolfeboro for ice cream or lunch. Lifeguards are on duty from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Aug. 26, and the beach is open sunrise to sunset year-round. It’s east of Route 28 across from “The Nick” Recreation Park, two miles north off Route 109A. See www.wolfeboronh.us or call 569-6332.

70. Visit Chester Village Cemetery, one of the oldest cemeteries in the state, and read the tombstones for a strolling history lesson. Located at the corner of Route 102 and Route 121 in Chester, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. The North Cemetery is another old graveyard, located in Portsmouth on Maplewood Avenue; William Whipple, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, is buried there.

71. Rainy day sanity-saver: Engage in a New England tradition and go candlepin bowling. The balls are smaller and lighter and the alleys often have glow-bowling, a kid favorite. Check out www.bowlcandlepin.com for a list of candlepin bowling alleys in New Hampshire.

72. Race car enthusiasts will want to attend the free Fan Fest on Thursday, July 12, from 5:30 to 10 p.m. at the S2 Broadway Midway at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. Hosted by WOKQ 97.5, the event will feature driver appearances and Q&A time with the night’s special guest, AJ Allmendinger, at 7 p.m. At 6 p.m. the Sprint Cup Series hauler parade will roll through. A concert by the local Eric Grant Band will close the evening at 9 p.m. Kids might like to see the NASCAR Breakdown that will show fans the inside of a car, or visit the balloon and caricature artists. Call 783-4931 or visit www.nhms.com.

73. Attend the Prescott Park Kids Festival, Saturday, July 21, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., which will feature performances by Wayne from Maine, Mary Kaye & Professor von Weinersnitzel and Julie & Brownie. Admission is free with donations suggested. Reserve a table or blanket online, or order a boxed lunch. GPS: 105 Marcy St., Portsmouth, 03802, Prescott Park Arts Festival, 436-2848, www.prescottpark.org.

74. Visit the Robert Frost Farm, which was home to Robert Frost and his family in the early 1900s. Frost reportedly drew inspiration from his years at the Derry farm to write many of his acclaimed poems. Tour the house, walk the trails and learn about Frost’s life and times. The grounds are perfect for a picnic. Before or after your visit, check out a book of Frost’s poetry from your local library and introduce your kids to a man whose work is a national treasure. The Frost Farm is at 122 Rockingham Road, Derry, 432-3091, www.robertfrostfarm.org.

75. Manchester Monarchs fans won’t want to miss Summer Fan Fest on Saturday, July 28, a free event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Verizon Wireless Arena, 555 Elm St. in downtown Manchester. See the second annual Street Hockey Tournament, meet and greet former Monarchs players, and enjoy a bounce house, obstacle course, dunk tank and photo opportunities with Max and some of his mascot friends. Call 626-7825, ext. 6118, or visit www.manchestermonarchs.com.

76. Take in some living history on Saturday, Aug. 18, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 19, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at four locations in Hillsborough: Jones Road, the President Franklin Pierce Homestead, historic Hillsborough Center and downtown Hillsborough. See re-enactors from the French and Indian War and the Civil War, the South Carolina String Band and a portrayal of Benjamin Franklin by Dean Bennett. Visitors can take a horse and buggy ride, tour the President Franklin Pierce Homestead, pan for gold and watch pottery and blacksmith demos. Visitors can also try their hand at an antique tabletop printing press or a traditional cider press. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for age 64 and older, $5 for ages 6-17, free for ages 5 and younger. Discounted online tickets are available until Aug. 12. Tickets will be available the day of the event at all locations. Call 464-5858 or visit www.livinghistoryeventnh.com.

77. Bring a fistful of quarters to Funspot on Route 3 in Weirs, known as the largest arcade in the world with more than 500 games. Play new and classic video games, pinball, bumper cars, kiddie rides, minigolf (indoor and outdoor), bowling and more, and grab a bite to eat at the restaurant on premises. Funspot also contains the American Classic Arcade Museum and was featured in the 2007 film The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters. It’s open every day all year except Christmas; summer hours are generally 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., open till midnight Saturdays, but hours in late August and early September are subject to change, so call ahead. There’s no admission charge; just pay as you play. Funspot is at 579 Endicott St. North, Laconia, 366-4377, funspotnh.com..

78. Bring the family on a cruise of Lake Winnipesaukee for Mount Washington Cruises’ Family Party Night, any Wednesday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. through Aug. 24. Tickets include a buffet dinner and a second entrée. Live music and dancing are featured on two decks, and there’s entertainment geared toward kids and families. Boarding time is 5:15 p.m. Children 12 and younger ride free, with a limit of two free children per family (except for those younger than 4). Additional youth (age 13-16) tickets can be purchased for $10 off the adult ticket price, or $33. Ages 17 and older pay $43. Head to 211 Lakeside Avenue, Weirs Beach, 366-5531, or buy tickets online at www.cruisenh.com.

79. Another rainy day sanity-saver:
Head to Nuthin’ but Good Times in Merrimack for open play, every day. Kids can burn off energy in the indoor play facility on equipment that makes exercising fun. Hours are Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Rates: $9 for age 4 and older; $5.50 for age 3 and younger; $2.50 for crawlers; free for infants, $2.50 for adults (18 and older). The gym is at 746 DW Highway, 429-2200, www.nuthinbutgoodtimes.com.

80. See the 1st New Hampshire Volunteer Cavalry Regiment Encampment and Demonstration during the Civil War 150th Anniversary Commemoration Weekend, Saturday, Aug. 18, and Sunday, Aug. 19, at Weirs Beach. No fee, but donations accepted. On Sunday, there will be a cookout, then a presentation by President Lincoln portrayed by Steve Wood at 1:30 p.m. Call the New Hampshire Veterans Association at 366-4470 or visit www.thenhva.org.

81. See classic cars at Chester’s Cruisin’ Car Night, which coincides with a farmers market hosted by the Chester Congregational & Baptist Church, Thursday, July 19, from 5 to 8 p.m. Enjoy food, ice cream, raffles and music. Rain date is July 26. The market is held at 4 Chester St., 887-4799, www.chesternh.org, and Cruisin’ Car Night happens across the street from the church.

82. Join or watch a summer fun run at Londonderry High School’s track (due to renovations of Pinkerton Academy’s track) sponsored by the Greater Derry Track Club, July 17, July 24, July 31 and Aug. 7. Registration begins at 6 p.m.; races start at 6:30 p.m. Participation is free with donation of a nonperishable food item weekly. Members of the club offer running tips and lead stretching exercises. Runners are grouped according to age. Participation ribbons are given each week. Gatorade, water and watermelons are available. Londonderry High School is at 295 Mammoth Road. Visit www.gdtc.org.

83. See a Wildlife Encounters show
on Wednesday, July 18, at 1:30 p.m. at Hood Park in Derry (4 Rollins St.). The W.I.L.D. Center and Zoological Park of New England will be bringing some animals normally seen in Africa, as part of Hood Park’s World Travelers week and African Safari Day. Arrive early, as this is a very popular and free event. All ages are welcome. Call 432-6138 or visit www.derry-nh.org.

84. Tell your kids they’re going to be “American Pickers” for a day.
Scour your local paper for the day’s garage and yard sales, make a list, set your GPS and see what treasures you can find. For inspiration, watch an episode of American Pickers on the History Channel before you go.

85. Check out the splashpad at Don Ball Park, 14 Humphrey Road, Derry, 432-6078, www.derry.nh.us, where various gadgets sprinkle, splash and dump water. Free of charge, except for organized groups. Park managers ask to be notified if more than 10 people are attending as a group.

86. Head to the Annual Hampton Beach Children’s Festival,
Aug. 13 through Aug. 17. Events begin on Monday with a magic show by BJ Hickman at the Hampton Beach Seashell Stage at 10 a.m., and end with the Giant Costume Parade on Friday. Additional events during the week include mini-golf, sand castle building competitions, storytelling, dancing, a talent show, a kids’ bumper sticker contest and fireworks. All activities are free and open to the public. Call the Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce office at 926-8717, or see www.hamptonbeach.com

87. Become an archaeologist for a day:
Print out the Kids Tour Guide Map available at www.stonehengeusa.com and visit America’s Stonehenge in Salem, 105 Haverhill Road, 893-8300, to explore the maze of manmade stone chambers and walls. Find the answers to clues on the Guide at various stops. A word search and maze are included. Kids can learn about theories surrounding who built America’s Stonehenge and decide which they think is best. Be sure to see the eight alpacas that share the property. America’s Stonehenge is open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with last admission at 4 p.m. Adults $11, seniors (65 and older) $9.50, children age 6-12 $7.50, age 5 and younger free.

88. Celebrate Field of Dreams Playground’s 20th anniversary
on Saturday, July 21, from noon to 6 p.m. Festivities include food, a concert, raffles, children’s games, volleyball tournament, scavenger hunt and more. The playground is at 48 Geremonty Drive, Salem, www.fieldofdreamsnh.org.

89. Go to the Hay Day Family Festival at the Fells on Saturday, Aug. 18, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and enjoy face painting, a petting zoo, live animals from Animals of New England, old-fashioned games, art projects, a scavenger hunt, live music and food. Take a guided tour of the historic Main House and gardens, and explore nature trails and the Fairy Village. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students, $4 for ages 6-17, free for ages 5 and younger. Families of two adults and two or more children age 6 and older: $25. Gardens and trails are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Main House and shop are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, through Sept. 3, at 456 Route 103A, Newbury, 763-4789, www.thefells.org.

90. Whoop it up
at Hood Park’s Carnival Day on Wednesday, Aug. 8, starting at 1 p.m., with carnival-style games for all ages and skills levels. Children may purchase a bag of 13 coins for 25 cents to use toward games. Kids collect tickets at each game played and redeem them for prizes at the end of the day. Rain date is Thursday, Aug. 9. Hood Park is at 4 Rollins St., Derry, 431-6168, www.derry-nh.org.

91. Find a swimming hole. Diana’s Bath is in North Conway on Lucy Brook, with crystal clear, cold water that is reportedly great for a dip. Directions are provided at www.swimmingholes.org/nh. Be aware that many areas of the White Mountain National Forest are now requiring vehicles to get an all-week, seven-day pass for $5, though at some areas you can reportedly buy a one-site parking pass for $3. Sculptured Rocks in Groton is another well-known natural swimming spot, accessible via Exit 23 of Interstate 93. As always, parents need to exercise lots of caution: Be extra careful of kids on slippery rocks, watch for currents, check water temperatures (it can be chilly!) and use good judgment when assessing  a  child’s ability to swim in a natural swimming hole.

92. Spend a day in Dover and enjoy a morning concert in the Cochecho Arts Festival Children’s Series at the Henry Law Park on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. After the concert, visit the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire right next door. The series includes BJ Hickman Magic Shows on July 10; Dan Hickman on July 17; Sammie Haynes on July 24; Judy Pancoast on July 31; Wayne from Maine on Aug. 7, and Farmer Jason on Aug. 14. Admission is free. Call 742-2218 or visit www.cochechoartsfestival.org.

93. Look up at the Hillsborough Balloon Festival
and Fair, July 19 through July 22, with balloon flights over the Monadnock region available to the general public (not cheap), along with tethered flights for those who are feeling more cautious. Balloon lift-offs happen each day at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., weather permitting. On land, there’s a carnival midway, a hometown parade, an artists fair, a road race, live entertainment and food. Saturday night, watch the fireworks (again, weather permitting). Admission to the festival is free, but some other events have a nominal fee. It all takes place at Grimes Field. Parking is $5 per vehicle. Call 464-0377 or visit www.balloonfestival.org.

94. See “the best fireworks show in New England” at the 23rd Festival of Fireworks in Jaffrey, Saturday, Aug. 18, rain or shine, with live music, a skydiving exhibition, food and novelty items and games for children of all ages. This year’s theme is “Rock the Stars!” Gates open at 4 p.m.; plan to have your spot picked out for fireworks by 8:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce, 532-4549, and online at www.jaffreychamber.com through Aug. 6 only. Children 10 and younger get in free; walk-in tickets for adults cost $8 advanced sale, or $10 on the day of the fireworks. Pricing is available online at www.jaffreychamber.com/events/fireworks for packages that include parking and VIP parking.

95. The trucks are coming to Big Truck Day on Wednesday, July 11, from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Alvirne High School parking lot at 200 Derry Road, Hudson. See and explore fire trucks, police trucks and other kinds of trucks. The event is sponsored by the Rodgers Memorial Library of Hudson, 886-6030, childrensroom@rodgerslibrary.org.

96. See original musical adaptations of favorite fairy and folk tales, when five professional actors from the Papermill Children’s Theatre Company perform on Tuesdays throughout the summer at the Capitol Center for the Arts, 44 S. Main St., Concord, 225-1111, www.ccanh.com. Admission is $6. Performances are at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. and run for 30 minutes. Meet the cast after the show and get autographs. The schedule includes The Golden Bird on July 17, Thumbelina on July 24, The Elves and the Shoemaker on July 31, Sleeping Beauty on Aug. 7, Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs on Aug. 14 and Rumpelstiltskin on Aug. 21.

97. Rent a canoe or kayak from the Contoocook River Canoe Co. A great option for families is to rent and put in to the Contoocook River at the company’s beach, paddle up or down the river as far as you want and return to the beach. The company’s website says an easy two-mile paddle upriver will bring you to Daisy Beach, “a great beach for swimming and picnicking.” Reservations are highly recommended. On Thursday evenings the company offers an evening paddle with put in from their beach only, 5 to 7 p.m., and rental rates for all kayaks and canoes $12 each. Contoocook River Canoe Co. is at 9 Horse Hill Road, Concord, 753-9804, www.contoocookcanoe.com.

98. Ride go-karts at Funway Park in Litchfield. Drivers must be at least 18 years old and at least 58 inches tall to drive. Child passengers ride free if they’re less than 58 inches tall. Go-kart rides are $8 per ride or $35 for five rides. The track is 1/5 of a mile long with hairpin turns and a bridge. Fun Packs for $25 and Funway Park All Day Passes for unlimited activities at $45 are also available for sale and include other attractions in addition to go-karts, such as batting cages, mini golf, laser tag and a driving range. The park is at 454 Charles Bancroft Highway (Route 3A), 424-2292, www.melsfunwaypark.com.

99. Go bird- or butterfly-watching. New Hampshire residents Don and Lillian Stokes keep a blog at www.stokesbirdingblog.blogspot.com that offers loads of information about bird-watching and has some recent info about butterflies, too, including photographs. The Stokeses are TV personalities and best-selling authors of bird field guides and nature books. Check out one of their books at a local library and be inspired to grab some binoculars and find some feathered friends.

100. Get out a deck of playing cards, the old Battleship game, or Uno, and play! Remember how long it takes to finish a game of Monopoly or Life? Does your child know how to play chess? Teach him or her, and if you don’t know how, a starter chess set is a good way for you and your kids to learn together. For game geeks, check out www.playdatenh.wordpress.com for posted reviews of games ranging from Word Blur to Settlers of Catan to Dominion to Red Rover (yes, the old-fashioned kids’ game). Look, too, for Play Date NH’s gaming get-togethers, the second Thursday of the month (that means July 12) from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Winchell Room at Manchester City Library (405 Pine St., 624-6550) for ages 12 to 18 to learn, play and enjoy new card, strategy and board games. Play Date NH also gathers on the second Saturday of each month (next outing is July 14) from noon to 4 p.m. at Rodgers Memorial Library in Hudson (194 Derry Road, 816-4501, www.rodgerslibrary.org) for an afternoon of board games, role-playing games, Wii games and more, for adults, kids and teens.

101. Play some mini golf.
Legends Golf & Family Recreation Center at 18 Legends Drive in Hooksett, 627-0099, www.legendsgolfnh.com, has 18 holes around running streams and ponds, and holds tournaments on Tuesday nights. Adults pay $8, kids 12 and younger $6. Adult-and-child special is $12, replays $3. Hours are 10 a.m. to dusk, seven days a week. Mel’s Funway Park in Litchfield, Brookstone Park in Derry and Victorian Park in Salem also offer mini golf — and they all sell ice cream, too.






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