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Apr 24, 2014







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Museums & tours

Many weeks, you can find a list of local museums as well as exhibits, events and tours in our Museums & Tours listings in the Inside/Outside section. And look for historical lectures in the Books section as well. Know of a museum to add to the list? Let us know at listings@hippopress.com.





LEGOs, rockets, credit unions and synthesizers
A look at our strange and fascinating museums




Manchester’s Millyard history, Canterbury’s Shakers, dinosaurs — these and more are the subjects of area museums.

On first glance, a look for “southern New Hampshire museums” might seem to begin and end with Manchester’s Currier Museum of Art. But then you remember that the city also contains a Millyard Museum, that Concord is home to the Museum of New Hampshire History. There are museums geared at getting kids interested in science, museums celebrating other facets of local history, like the nation’s first credit union or the history of people who lived in Nashua 100 years or more ago.

The area is bursting with history and surprisingly filled with museums, historical centers and other places to get in touch with the culture and history of southern New Hampshire. Looking to discover something new about your hometown this summer? Here are a few places to start.

 

• America’s Credit Union Museum
418-420 Notre Dame Ave., Manchester, acumuseum.org, 629-1553

What’s to see: In 1908, this home on the West Side became the birthplace of the credit union movement. Since then the museum has become the international home of credit union history and boasts some interesting artifacts including the first credit union constitution and a hat once worn by Harry Truman.

Hours: Monday, Wednesday & Friday from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. or by appointment.

Admission: Free, but it is helpful to call ahead so a guided tour can be set up and visitors can get the most out of their visit.

Kid-friendly: The building was once home to three children; the museum now includes a children’s room where kids can work with old-time cash machines and see a magnet board that compares current prices to 1910 prices on everyday items.

Gift shop standout: There is no gift shop. But learning the benefits of saving your money is the gift that keeps on giving.

In many ways this museum tells the story of Manchester. Many of the men and women who worked in the mills lived on the West Side, according to Peggy Powell, the museum’s executive director. They worshiped at St. Marie’s church and, while they were employed, they were denied the right of savings and credit. All of that changed when Joseph Boivin began the first credit union in his home near the parish. Thus began St. Mary’s Bank, which still operates today. Inside the museum, visitors can see savings passbooks from those early years. At the time, it cost $5 to join St. Mary’s and people had to save up, saving 75 cents a week.

“This is a good lesson for people to see,” Powell said. “We think $5 is such a small amount of money but in those days they had to save up for it.”

Near the passbook are the original notes from the meetings, which led to the St. Mary’s Cooperative Credit Association’s official charter in 1909. The first meetings were in French but once the group decided to become an official organization, the notes switch over to English.

In those days people didn’t take pictures of the inside of their homes, but the museum was able to recreate the setup by interviewing Gilberte Boivin, who grew up in the home. The museum is in great condition and gives visitors a sense of what it might have been like to live at the turn of the century. However, the part of the home with original furnishings isn’t necessarily kid-friendly.
The credit union movement didn’t go national until 1934 when it was backed by a successful businessman named Edward Filenes, whose department stores were open for many years. On the second floor of the museum, visitors can view Filenes’ diary from a 1934 national conference in Colorado. His diary highlights his meticulous nature with such entries as “Aug. 14, 1934, 8:32 a.m. Taxi to St. Francis Hotel — Lovely suite.”

“He wasn’t married,” Powell joked.

Currently there are 7,500 credit unions worldwide and many of them are represented in the museum’s Hall of States, which showcases a credit union in Afghanistan.

“Credit unions began where there was a need,” Powell said. “Sometimes that was in a house, others a garage, even a hangar that was destroyed during Pearl Harbor.”

Powell believes the museum can teach children the importance of financial savings. In case visitors need a reminder of just how bad things can get, there are magnificent photographs from the Great Depression on display.

There is also a plethora of Franco-American history.

“Credit unions started for Franco-American immigrants,” Powell said. “One hundred years later that hasn’t changed. Manchester is still an area for immigrants with different financial backgrounds who could benefit from working together.”

• Aviation Museum of  New Hampshire
13 East Perimeter Road, Londonderry, 669-4820, nhahs.org

What’s to see: The museum is worth the visit before you even enter it. Located as close to the runway of the Manchester Airport as Homeland Security will allow, the museum offers a great vantage point from which to watch planes take off. 

Hours: Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 1-4 p.m.

Admission: free

Kid-friendly: Currently, the museum is not overflowing with kid-friendly activities, which is one reason it is building the Slusser Aviation Learning Center, made possible by a $1 million donation by Eugene and Anne Slusser of Hopkinton and scheduled to open in June 2011 — the Learning Center will be full of interactive activities for kids. Right now, youngsters can operate the flight simulator to “take off” from Manchester Airport.

Gift shop standout: A hand-carved wooden replica of the museum would look at home on any coffee table.

This museum is housed in the terminal that was used at the Manchester Airport in 1937. Outside its front doors, carved into the building, are benches where people used to sit waiting for their planes to arrive.

“It shows you how much times have changed,” said J. Richard Ludders of the Aviation Historical Society.

The museum embraces the changes that have taken place in flight over the years and New Hampshire’s role in them. Inside the building, painted on the wall, are the images of aviation legends in the state. Amongst them is Thaddeus S.C. Lowe, who used his hot air balloon during the Civil War to observe Confederate troops, which Ludders explained might have been the first use of aviation during war time.

The museum focuses on aviation history and does not present itself as an airplane museum, although some aircraft are on display during special occasions, like September’s Wings of Freedom, when WWII bombers can be seen. A special exhibit this summer will recount the history of the New Hampshire Air National Guard.

Much of the collection has been donated by fans of flight. One prize is the spotlight that used to rest on the top of the cigar building on Canal Street in Manchester. During war time, the light, which was placed in line with the runway, was used as a sort of lighthouse to guide planes, according to Ludders. The museum got this artifact when a man went to clean out his father’s basement and donated it to the museum.

“In 1903, the Wright brothers changed the world,” Ludders said. “Only 60 years later, man landed on the moon. Aviation blows people’s minds. That is why we love airplanes.”

Perhaps even more interesting than the actual history housed in the museum’s archives, which are located in the basement and are slowly being put online, is the history housed in the memories of the museum’s volunteers.

Bob Fortnam, a volunteer, was co-pilot of a large cargo plane during World War II. When the plane was shot down, the pilot was unable to land the plane and Fortnam had to do it. He quickly made the decision that the plane could not make it over the channel into England and that he would have to crash land it in a field in Holland. As he shouted to the crew to brace themselves, Fortnam remembered he was carrying 8,000 pounds of bombs in the cargo hold.

As Ludders explained, during those days pilots were trained so quickly that co-pilots would only learn part of the operation, while the pilot would learn the other part. As fate would have it, Fortnam was not trained to release the bombs. But he thought he had an idea and so he pulled a lever. Thinking he had released the bombs, he safely crash landed the plane, only to learn that releasing the bombs was a two-part process. When he pulled the lever, he had only opened the cargo hold. He would have had to pull the lever a second time to release the bombs. So he crashed landed a plane during a war with 8,000 pounds of bombs on it.
And walked away to tell about it.



• Canterbury Shaker Village
288 Shaker Road, Canterbury, 783-9511, shakers.org

What’s to see: The Village is bursting with summer activities, including the Strawberry Jamboree on Saturday, June 19, which celebrates the Shakers’ love of good music and food, and Lavender Day on Saturday, July 10, which has been described as a day of deep relaxation and includes yoga classes, massages and lavender treats. Both events happen during Village hours.

Hours: Open daily May 15 through Oct. 31 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission: Adults $17; youth (ages 6-17) $8; children (ages 5 & under) free; family (2 adults & 2 or more children ages 6 to 17) $42; adult groups (20 or more adults) $13 per person with advance reservation. Members free.

Kid-friendly: The Village holds family tours twice a day, where kids can try out a loom at the family activity center or watch a demonstration of a spinning wheel.

Gift shop standout: Follow the Shaker spirit by buying a broom that is handmade by regional artisans.

The Canterbury Shaker Village is frozen in a moment in time. The Shakers are regarded by many as the ancestors of post-modernism, according to Maisie Keith Daily, the Village’s education manager, and their simple but beautiful furniture and crafts are known around the world for their utility and perfection.

Canterbury Shaker Village is one of the oldest, most typical, and best-preserved of the Shaker communities and has 25 original buildings, which date back to 1785, and two replica buildings. By 1848 nearly 300 Shakers were living in the village, and in that same year a detailed map was completed by Henry Clay Blinn, a Canterbury Elder.

“Many people come here knowing a little about the Shakers,” Daily said. “They might be interested because of their furniture. But this is a great experience. First, the beauty of the place. There is a special serenity where people can unplug and turn off all of the noise. The Shakers believed in the simple life and people get to experience that.”

The Village offers different types of guided tours. There is a story tour, which includes information on Shaker religion, culture and history and takes visitors to the school and meeting house. There is also a home tour, which goes through the three floors of a Shaker home.

Daily said people can take self-guided tours through the buildings, like the ministry. There is an exhibit in the infirmary that discusses how the Shakers took care of each other from birth to death. Visitors can also witness craft demonstrations from master artisans, as crafts were an important aspect of Shaker life.

Shakerism is deeply rooted in an agricultural philosophy, according to Daily. The first Shaker vegetable garden was planted in 1795 and at its height the village was more than 3,000 acres. Today, that number has been reduced to 695 acres but this still provides parents with a lot of room to let their kids roam without feeling crowded. Even when it is busy, the Shaker village feels spacious.
Despite the simplicity of their lives, the Shakers also embraced technology, according to Daily. She said they believed time was a gift from God and anything that could give them more of it was good and holy. The Shakers were great inventors who revolutionized clothespins, according to Daily.

The Shakers also had an ear for music, which is evident in Daily’s experience during President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

“I don’t have a radio in my office,” Daily said. “But I was at work during Obama’s inauguration and so I brought one in to experience the moment. It was amazing because during the composition by John Williams they incorporated Shaker songs. I looked out my window on the village and realized they are still an important part of our lives.”



• Currier Museum of Art
150 Ash St., Manchester, 669-6144, currier.org

What’s to see: On permanent exhibit is one of the top five paperweight collections in America, as well as a contemporary gallery, which changes frequently. The upstairs of the museum is devoted to early American art from colonial times to 1800s impressionism. There are also great displays of furniture, silver and portraits. The museum houses American and European art, such as works by Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, and the European gallery doubles as a treasure trove of history.

Hours: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (free admission from 10 a.m. to noon); open the first Thursday of each month, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; closed Tuesday

Admission: Adult $10, senior $9, student $8, children under 18 free. With Zimmerman house tour: adult $20, senior $19, student $16, children 7-17 $8. Members admitted free to all sites.

Kid-friendly: The Discovery Gallery is a place where kids can work on themed projects, like a watercolor exhibit. There are always colored pencils, and kids can get their work framed and put up on the wall at the Currier. In July and August, Wednesday afternoons are family time when parents can bring their kids in from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. and work on a different project each week.
Gift shop standout: Who wouldn’t want a Vincent Van Gogh stick-on tattoo to wow your friends with your edgy yet sensitive side?

The Currier Art Gallery changed its name to the Currier Museum of Art in 2002 because people thought a gallery was a place where you could purchase art and the Currier is a place to appreciate it. Karen Tebbenhoff, director of marketing and public relations, said the big-name artists often bring people in but once they are at the museum, many visitors really appreciate the New Hampshire perspective.

“People are always surprised by the talented artists that are working in our own state,” Tebbenhoff said.

The museum houses American and European art in its two floors. The European gallery has a lot of history, and the museum puts out interpretive materials that give viewers a little more depth on a variety of topics, such as tapestry preservation. While the museum focuses on American and European art, which Tebbenhoff said it does because at some point a museum of this size has to make a choice on what it can do well, the Currier does have special exhibits throughout the year. The expansion in 2008 allowed the museum to have bigger exhibits without having to remove its own collection, while maintaining the balance of being intimate and personal without feeling like you’re on top of other people.

This summer there will be three special exhibits for visitors to enjoy. And remember, while enjoying them, just how much work went into the way the paintings are shown. Tebbenhoff said the museum has people on its staff whose job it is to make sure visitors have the most ideal viewing experience. These staff members make sure the paintings are hung at the right height and the wall color doesn’t detract but makes your eyes go right to the painting.

“When they’re setting up a room the walls are filled with swatches of color,” Tebbenhoff said.

While the walls are important, the art takes precedence, and there are some diverse artists on display this summer. Through Sept. 6, visitors can contemplate the meaning of movement by observing the kinetic sculptures of Massachusetts-based artist George Sherwood. Sherwood’s stainless steel sculptures move in the wind or, in the case of the indoor sculptures, in the breeze of a fan.
If photography is your passion, then Jerome Liebling’s “Capturing the Human Spirit” is worth checking out. On exhibit from June 19 through Sept. 19, it will feature a new series of large-scale master prints. Liebling’s subjects have included the people and places of the Bronx and Brighton Beach neighborhoods of New York; street life in Spain and Israel; and the stark realities of the slaughterhouses, coal mines and steel towns of the Midwest and Pennsylvania.

And if you like a broader view of art, then check out Cross Currents in 20th-Century Art, which is an exhibit of pieces owned by Anne and Harry Wollman of Woodstock, Vt., who have spent the past 40 years collecting prints and ceramics.
The museum also offers a wide variety of activities and classes, which are listed on its website.



• Kaleidoscope Children’s Museum
250 Commercial St., Waumbec Mill, Suite 1011, Manchester, 606-3381, kaleidoscopechildrensmuseum.net

What’s to see: There is a toy at the museum called Zoom, where children can place a handkerchief into plastic tubing and watch it get sucked up and around through the spiral tubing before it gets shot back out like a parachute. Very fun.

Summer hours: June-Sept. Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; in case of rain, call ahead. Fridays & Saturdays 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sundays noon-6 p.m.

Admission: $9.99 per child age 1 and up; free for children under 1 and adults. Please no Crocs, slippers or flip-flops — they are not safe on the worn wood floors. Please wear secured sandals or sneakers!

Kid-friendly: The museum is so kid-friendly it is more important to note it is also adult-friendly. There is a section devoted entirely to stroller parking. And, while the museum is a great way for young kids to interact, it also provides an opportunity for new parents to meet other people in a similar place in life.

Gift shop standout: Owner Michelle Carignan didn’t want to sell toys or products; she wanted to sell an experience. That is why she is turning the gift shop area into a “design your own craft area.” Carignan said this goes back to her decade as an arts teacher.
The Kaleidoscope Children’s Museum moved from Concord’s main street to Manchester in 2009, after owner Michelle Carignan spent a year looking for just the right location for her burgeoning business. While the home in Concord was well loved, it was only 2,000 square feet. The Manchester location is 6,400 square feet and full of natural lighting that comes in through the many windows of the old mill building. But when you arrive at the Waumbec Mill, the museum is not really inside. If you’re looking at the entrance to Tiny Tot Land, go to your right and around the corner and the entrance is on the side of the building. Don’t wander through the mill!

The museum is designed for children walking through Grade 1, according to Carignan, and is a creative space for old-fashioned play, which means no modern-day technology. Kids can climb on a fire truck, zip down a pirate ship slide (Carignan said this is very popular and if they ever got rid of it there would be a mutiny), put on plays, build with blocks, launch a rocket ship and solve floor puzzles.

“We wanted this to be a place where kids could be more interactive with people than if they’re just playing a computer game,” Carignan said. “Technology is important but it is also important to foster personal connections.”

Carignan said the museum is a great place for parents and kids to spend time together. She said physical interaction helps motor skills and fosters intelligence. She said doing floor puzzles or creative play helps children come to their own answers. Often times with technology, Carignan said, there is an answer already there and kids don’t need to figure it out on their own.

• America’s Credit Union Museum
418-420 Notre Dame Ave., Manchester, acumuseum.org, 629-1553

What’s to see: In 1908, this home on the West Side became the birthplace of the credit union movement. Since then the museum has become the international home of credit union history and boasts some interesting artifacts including the first credit union constitution and a hat once worn by Harry Truman.

Hours: Monday, Wednesday & Friday from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. or by appointment.

Admission: Free, but it is helpful to call ahead so a guided tour can be set up and visitors can get the most out of their visit.

Kid-friendly: The building was once home to three children; the museum now includes a children’s room where kids can work with old-time cash machines and see a magnet board that compares current prices to 1910 prices on everyday items.

Gift shop standout: There is no gift shop. But learning the benefits of saving your money is the gift that keeps on giving.
In many ways this museum tells the story of Manchester. Many of the men and women who worked in the mills lived on the West Side, according to Peggy Powell, the museum’s executive director. They worshiped at St. Marie’s church and, while they were employed, they were denied the right of savings and credit. All of that changed when Joseph Boivin began the first credit union in his home near the parish. Thus began St. Mary’s Bank, which still operates today. Inside the museum, visitors can see savings passbooks from those early years. At the time, it cost $5 to join St. Mary’s and people had to save up, saving 75 cents a week.

“This is a good lesson for people to see,” Powell said. “We think $5 is such a small amount of money but in those days they had to save up for it.”

Near the passbook are the original notes from the meetings, which led to the St. Mary’s Cooperative Credit Association’s official charter in 1909. The first meetings were in French but once the group decided to become an official organization, the notes switch over to English.

In those days people didn’t take pictures of the inside of their homes, but the museum was able to recreate the setup by interviewing Gilberte Boivin, who grew up in the home. The museum is in great condition and gives visitors a sense of what it might have been like to live at the turn of the century. However, the part of the home with original furnishings isn’t necessarily kid-friendly.
The credit union movement didn’t go national until 1934 when it was backed by a successful businessman named Edward Filenes, whose department stores were open for many years. On the second floor of the museum, visitors can view Filenes’ diary from a 1934 national conference in Colorado. His diary highlights his meticulous nature with such entries as “Aug. 14, 1934, 8:32 a.m. Taxi to St. Francis Hotel — Lovely suite.”

“He wasn’t married,” Powell joked.

Currently there are 7,500 credit unions worldwide and many of them are represented in the museum’s Hall of States, which showcases a credit union in Afghanistan.

“Credit unions began where there was a need,” Powell said. “Sometimes that was in a house, others a garage, even a hangar that was destroyed during Pearl Harbor.”

Powell believes the museum can teach children the importance of financial savings. In case visitors need a reminder of just how bad things can get, there are magnificent photographs from the Great Depression on display.

There is also a plethora of Franco-American history.

“Credit unions started for Franco-American immigrants,” Powell said. “One hundred years later that hasn’t changed. Manchester is still an area for immigrants with different financial backgrounds who could benefit from working together.”

• Aviation Museum of  New Hampshire
13 East Perimeter Road, Londonderry, 669-4820, nhahs.org

What’s to see: The museum is worth the visit before you even enter it. Located as close to the runway of the Manchester Airport as Homeland Security will allow, the museum offers a great vantage point from which to watch planes take off. 

Hours: Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 1-4 p.m.

Admission: free

Kid-friendly: Currently, the museum is not overflowing with kid-friendly activities, which is one reason it is building the Slusser Aviation Learning Center, made possible by a $1 million donation by Eugene and Anne Slusser of Hopkinton and scheduled to open in June 2011 — the Learning Center will be full of interactive activities for kids. Right now, youngsters can operate the flight simulator to “take off” from Manchester Airport.

Gift shop standout: A hand-carved wooden replica of the museum would look at home on any coffee table.

This museum is housed in the terminal that was used at the Manchester Airport in 1937. Outside its front doors, carved into the building, are benches where people used to sit waiting for their planes to arrive.

“It shows you how much times have changed,” said J. Richard Ludders of the Aviation Historical Society.

The museum embraces the changes that have taken place in flight over the years and New Hampshire’s role in them. Inside the building, painted on the wall, are the images of aviation legends in the state. Amongst them is Thaddeus S.C. Lowe, who used his hot air balloon during the Civil War to observe Confederate troops, which Ludders explained might have been the first use of aviation during war time.

The museum focuses on aviation history and does not present itself as an airplane museum, although some aircraft are on display during special occasions, like September’s Wings of Freedom, when WWII bombers can be seen. A special exhibit this summer will recount the history of the New Hampshire Air National Guard.

Much of the collection has been donated by fans of flight. One prize is the spotlight that used to rest on the top of the cigar building on Canal Street in Manchester. During war time, the light, which was placed in line with the runway, was used as a sort of lighthouse to guide planes, according to Ludders. The museum got this artifact when a man went to clean out his father’s basement and donated it to the museum.

“In 1903, the Wright brothers changed the world,” Ludders said. “Only 60 years later, man landed on the moon. Aviation blows people’s minds. That is why we love airplanes.”

Perhaps even more interesting than the actual history housed in the museum’s archives, which are located in the basement and are slowly being put online, is the history housed in the memories of the museum’s volunteers.

Bob Fortnam, a volunteer, was co-pilot of a large cargo plane during World War II. When the plane was shot down, the pilot was unable to land the plane and Fortnam had to do it. He quickly made the decision that the plane could not make it over the channel into England and that he would have to crash land it in a field in Holland. As he shouted to the crew to brace themselves, Fortnam remembered he was carrying 8,000 pounds of bombs in the cargo hold.

As Ludders explained, during those days pilots were trained so quickly that co-pilots would only learn part of the operation, while the pilot would learn the other part. As fate would have it, Fortnam was not trained to release the bombs. But he thought he had an idea and so he pulled a lever. Thinking he had released the bombs, he safely crash landed the plane, only to learn that releasing the bombs was a two-part process. When he pulled the lever, he had only opened the cargo hold. He would have had to pull the lever a second time to release the bombs. So he crashed landed a plane during a war with 8,000 pounds of bombs on it.
And walked away to tell about it.


Canterbury Shaker Village’s Strawberry Jamboree includes cooking classes. Photo courtesy of Ralph Morang.

• Canterbury Shaker Village
288 Shaker Road, Canterbury, 783-9511, shakers.org

What’s to see: The Village is bursting with summer activities, including the Strawberry Jamboree on Saturday, June 19, which celebrates the Shakers’ love of good music and food, and Lavender Day on Saturday, July 10, which has been described as a day of deep relaxation and includes yoga classes, massages and lavender treats. Both events happen during Village hours.
Hours: Open daily May 15 through Oct. 31 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission: Adults $17; youth (ages 6-17) $8; children (ages 5 & under) free; family (2 adults & 2 or more children ages 6 to 17) $42; adult groups (20 or more adults) $13 per person with advance reservation. Members free.

Kid-friendly: The Village holds family tours twice a day, where kids can try out a loom at the family activity center or watch a demonstration of a spinning wheel.

Gift shop standout: Follow the Shaker spirit by buying a broom that is handmade by regional artisans.

The Canterbury Shaker Village is frozen in a moment in time. The Shakers are regarded by many as the ancestors of post-modernism, according to Maisie Keith Daily, the Village’s education manager, and their simple but beautiful furniture and crafts are known around the world for their utility and perfection.

Canterbury Shaker Village is one of the oldest, most typical, and best-preserved of the Shaker communities and has 25 original buildings, which date back to 1785, and two replica buildings. By 1848 nearly 300 Shakers were living in the village, and in that same year a detailed map was completed by Henry Clay Blinn, a Canterbury Elder.

“Many people come here knowing a little about the Shakers,” Daily said. “They might be interested because of their furniture. But this is a great experience. First, the beauty of the place. There is a special serenity where people can unplug and turn off all of the noise. The Shakers believed in the simple life and people get to experience that.”

The Village offers different types of guided tours. There is a story tour, which includes information on Shaker religion, culture and history and takes visitors to the school and meeting house. There is also a home tour, which goes through the three floors of a Shaker home.

Daily said people can take self-guided tours through the buildings, like the ministry. There is an exhibit in the infirmary that discusses how the Shakers took care of each other from birth to death. Visitors can also witness craft demonstrations from master artisans, as crafts were an important aspect of Shaker life.

Shakerism is deeply rooted in an agricultural philosophy, according to Daily. The first Shaker vegetable garden was planted in 1795 and at its height the village was more than 3,000 acres. Today, that number has been reduced to 695 acres but this still provides parents with a lot of room to let their kids roam without feeling crowded. Even when it is busy, the Shaker village feels spacious.
Despite the simplicity of their lives, the Shakers also embraced technology, according to Daily. She said they believed time was a gift from God and anything that could give them more of it was good and holy. The Shakers were great inventors who revolutionized clothespins, according to Daily.

The Shakers also had an ear for music, which is evident in Daily’s experience during President Barack Obama’s inauguration

“I don’t have a radio in my office,” Daily said. “But I was at work during Obama’s inauguration and so I brought one in to experience the moment. It was amazing because during the composition by John Williams they incorporated Shaker songs. I looked out my window on the village and realized they are still an important part of our lives.”



• Currier Museum of Art
150 Ash St., Manchester, 669-6144, currier.org
What’s to see: On permanent exhibit is one of the top five paperweight collections in America, as well as a contemporary gallery, which changes frequently. The upstairs of the museum is devoted to early American art from colonial times to 1800s impressionism. There are also great displays of furniture, silver and portraits. The museum houses American and European art, such as works by Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, and the European gallery doubles as a treasure trove of history.

Hours: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (free admission from 10 a.m. to noon); open the first Thursday of each month, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; closed Tuesday

Admission: Adult $10, senior $9, student $8, children under 18 free. With Zimmerman house tour: adult $20, senior $19, student $16, children 7-17 $8. Members admitted free to all sites.

Kid-friendly: The Discovery Gallery is a place where kids can work on themed projects, like a watercolor exhibit. There are always colored pencils, and kids can get their work framed and put up on the wall at the Currier. In July and August, Wednesday afternoons are family time when parents can bring their kids in from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. and work on a different project each week.
Gift shop standout: Who wouldn’t want a Vincent Van Gogh stick-on tattoo to wow your friends with your edgy yet sensitive side?
The Currier Art Gallery changed its name to the Currier Museum of Art in 2002 because people thought a gallery was a place where you could purchase art and the Currier is a place to appreciate it. Karen Tebbenhoff, director of marketing and public relations, said the big-name artists often bring people in but once they are at the museum, many visitors really appreciate the New Hampshire perspective.

“People are always surprised by the talented artists that are working in our own state,” Tebbenhoff said.

The museum houses American and European art in its two floors. The European gallery has a lot of history, and the museum puts out interpretive materials that give viewers a little more depth on a variety of topics, such as tapestry preservation. While the museum focuses on American and European art, which Tebbenhoff said it does because at some point a museum of this size has to make a choice on what it can do well, the Currier does have special exhibits throughout the year. The expansion in 2008 allowed the museum to have bigger exhibits without having to remove its own collection, while maintaining the balance of being intimate and personal without feeling like you’re on top of other people.

This summer there will be three special exhibits for visitors to enjoy. And remember, while enjoying them, just how much work went into the way the paintings are shown. Tebbenhoff said the museum has people on its staff whose job it is to make sure visitors have the most ideal viewing experience. These staff members make sure the paintings are hung at the right height and the wall color doesn’t detract but makes your eyes go right to the painting.

“When they’re setting up a room the walls are filled with swatches of color,” Tebbenhoff said.

While the walls are important, the art takes precedence, and there are some diverse artists on display this summer. Through Sept. 6, visitors can contemplate the meaning of movement by observing the kinetic sculptures of Massachusetts-based artist George Sherwood. Sherwood’s stainless steel sculptures move in the wind or, in the case of the indoor sculptures, in the breeze of a fan.
If photography is your passion, then Jerome Liebling’s “Capturing the Human Spirit” is worth checking out. On exhibit from June 19 through Sept. 19, it will feature a new series of large-scale master prints. Liebling’s subjects have included the people and places of the Bronx and Brighton Beach neighborhoods of New York; street life in Spain and Israel; and the stark realities of the slaughterhouses, coal mines and steel towns of the Midwest and Pennsylvania.

And if you like a broader view of art, then check out Cross Currents in 20th-Century Art, which is an exhibit of pieces owned by Anne and Harry Wollman of Woodstock, Vt., who have spent the past 40 years collecting prints and ceramics.

The museum also offers a wide variety of activities and classes, which are listed on its website.


• Kaleidoscope Children’s Museum
250 Commercial St., Waumbec Mill, Suite 1011, Manchester, 606-3381, kaleidoscopechildrensmuseum.net
What’s to see: There is a toy at the museum called Zoom, where children can place a handkerchief into plastic tubing and watch it get sucked up and around through the spiral tubing before it gets shot back out like a parachute. Very fun.
Summer hours: June-Sept. Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; in case of rain, call ahead. Fridays & Saturdays 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sundays noon-6 p.m.

Admission: $9.99 per child age 1 and up; free for children under 1 and adults. Please no Crocs, slippers or flip-flops — they are not safe on the worn wood floors. Please wear secured sandals or sneakers!

Kid-friendly: The museum is so kid-friendly it is more important to note it is also adult-friendly. There is a section devoted entirely to stroller parking. And, while the museum is a great way for young kids to interact, it also provides an opportunity for new parents to meet other people in a similar place in life.

Gift shop standout: Owner Michelle Carignan didn’t want to sell toys or products; she wanted to sell an experience. That is why she is turning the gift shop area into a “design your own craft area.” Carignan said this goes back to her decade as an arts teacher.
The Kaleidoscope Children’s Museum moved from Concord’s main street to Manchester in 2009, after owner Michelle Carignan spent a year looking for just the right location for her burgeoning business. While the home in Concord was well loved, it was only 2,000 square feet. The Manchester location is 6,400 square feet and full of natural lighting that comes in through the many windows of the old mill building. But when you arrive at the Waumbec Mill, the museum is not really inside. If you’re looking at the entrance to Tiny Tot Land, go to your right and around the corner and the entrance is on the side of the building. Don’t wander through the mill!

The museum is designed for children walking through Grade 1, according to Carignan, and is a creative space for old-fashioned play, which means no modern-day technology. Kids can climb on a fire truck, zip down a pirate ship slide (Carignan said this is very popular and if they ever got rid of it there would be a mutiny), put on plays, build with blocks, launch a rocket ship and solve floor puzzles.

“We wanted this to be a place where kids could be more interactive with people than if they’re just playing a computer game,” Carignan said. “Technology is important but it is also important to foster personal connections.”

Carignan said the museum is a great place for parents and kids to spend time together. She said physical interaction helps motor skills and fosters intelligence. She said doing floor puzzles or creative play helps children come to their own answers. Often times with technology, Carignan said, there is an answer already there and kids don’t need to figure it out on their own.






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