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New Hampshire, located on the East Coast, captivates families with its diverse range of fun activities for kids. From water and amusement parks to museums and outdoor adventures, every family can find just what they’re looking for in many different regions of the state. Let’s have a look at the options of things to do with kids in New Hampshire to choose your best alternative!
Water and theme parks can be some of the best options for families with kids, especially when talking about Water Country and Story Land. These two parks offer a variety of attractions that everyone in the family can enjoy.
Water Country, located in Portsmouth, is a 26-acre water park full of attractions for the whole family, dining options, and many other facilities for splashing fun. Perfectly situated for families in Boston, Portland, and Manchester.
Consider Tahiti Tree House, a refreshing playground with tipping buckets, showers, sprinklers, and slides for the tiniest ones. For those kids seeking a little more intense experience, Thunder Falls and Wild Cannon allow children to hop on a 4-seat raft for a slide down the rapids. For thrill-seekers, The Raging Rapids and the Plunge are a pair of slides ideal for older kids and pre-teens to get some training for adult-size slides! Take a look at our event calendar for information on special days at the park.
If you ever wanted to live inside a fairy tale, then taking your kids to Story Land is a must! The park offers over 30 kid-friendly attractions for a day filled with family enjoyment.
From mild to wild, all attractions at Story Land allow kids to participate! Visit Cinderella’s Castle, board the Buccaneer Pirate Ship, and ride horses on the Antique German Carousel if you seek milder attractions. For those seeking a little more intensity, navigate Dr. Geyser’s Remarkable Raft Ride, which takes you on a sailing adventure on a warm summer day. For a top thrill, ride the unique Roar-O-Saurus wooden rollercoaster – available for everyone above 42”.
Story Land's shows and interactions allow kids to meet their favorite characters from fairy tales, such as Set Sail with Peter Pan, take part in Cinderella’s Royal Celebration, and share breakfast with Story Land’s Fairy Tale characters.
Holding a Platinum Season Pass also includes access to Water Country and 15+ other parks throughout the US!
Strawbery Banke Museum is an enchanting destination to take your kids on a trip back in time. Unlike traditional museums, Strawbery Banke is a whole village to walk through, featuring houses, stores, and public historical buildings. Here, kids will be able to learn about how everyday life was throughout the centuries and learn what kind of jobs and activities people did back in the day from engaging roleplayers who perform craft demonstrations.
If you are interested in American military history, visiting one of the most important submarines in the fleet can be a great option. The USS Albacore, an experimental submarine, paved the way for modern versions now in use with new technological features.
Albacore Park offers a self-guided tour through different areas: the Submarine Memorial Garden honors submariners who sacrificed their lives when the Albacore was lost during WW2, and the rest of the park leads to the entrance of the submarine with an exhibition of its components scattered throughout the garden.
The Seacoast Science Center in New Hampshire provides an enriching journey into marine life, with a particular focus on the Gulf of Maine's ecosystem. Visitors can engage closely with creatures like whales and marine mammals, understanding the conservation efforts to protect these species.
The center features exhibits such as "Seals and Society," spotlighting local harbor and gray seals, "Our Dynamic Gulf of Maine," showcasing this unique ecosystem, and "The Edge of the Sea," where interactive tanks house various intertidal animals and seaweeds for hands-on learning. The "Marine Mammals of the Gulf of Maine" provides insights into whale ecology and conservation. Additionally, the "Restoring Reefs" exhibit highlights the importance of reef ecosystems, and the "NH Beaches" exhibit educates visitors on coastal species and the impact of climate change on shorelines.
This educational and interactive experience at the Seacoast Science Center is a must-visit for families interested in marine biology and environmental stewardship.
Enjoy a night filled with fun and friendly competition by playing on psychedelic lanes illuminated with colorful lights, and indulge in some drinks and snacks as you aim for a strike!
Test your genius by solving puzzles and finding your way out of Portsmouth Escape Rooms. With 5 rooms featuring varied themes, this location is perfect for families. None of the rooms are horror-themed, although some might be creepier than others. Besides, you will only be locked up with your party; no groups will be mixed.
If you want to practice your spatial skills while having a fun day outdoors, an afternoon of minigolf can be a good option. Enjoy the nautical environment, have a refreshing ice cream, and immerse yourself in the natural landscape surrounding the 18-hole course.
Trampoline parks are here to stay, and New Hampshire is no exception. But Sky Zone has taken the concept to new horizons with its Ninja Warrior course, the Skyslam to test your dunking abilities, and its specially dedicated toddler zone, for families with kids.
Candia Spring Park offers a spectacular outdoor day in the sun with a combination of fun activities. Play on the floating course, swim in the lake, glide along the zipline, climb through the aerial park, or have fun in the splash park. All activities are specially dedicated to kids of all ages, making it a perfect weekend destination for families.
Charmingfare Farm in New Hampshire offers a delightful mix of agricultural and wildlife experiences, ideal for family outings. Here, children can interact closely with farm animals, engaging in petting and feeding activities in the Petting Zoo. The farm also features exciting horse-drawn rides and educational Wildlife Encounters, where families can learn about native animals like bears and wolves. Seasonal events like pumpkin picking and sleigh rides add to the farm's charm. With reasonably priced admission and a picturesque setting, Charmingfare Farm is a perfect spot for families to connect with nature and each other.
Living Shores offers some of the most complete options to discover underwater creatures, marine birds, and other aquatic animals. Interact with rays, sea urchins, and crabs in the safe environment of touch pools, explore the regional exhibits to find out about local and exotic species, and participate in animal feedings with stingrays and lorikeets.
For younger kids, daily talks can be an interesting and interactive way of learning about unconventional animals and sea life creatures that they may not get in contact with otherwise.
Holding a Platinum Season Pass from Water Country includes access to Living Shores, Story Land, and 15+parks throughout the US!
Mount Major, located in Alton, New Hampshire, is a popular hiking destination for families, offering breathtaking panoramic views of Lake Winnipesaukee and the White Mountains. Featuring a moderate hike suitable for all ages, it spans approximately 1.5 miles on the Mt. Major Trail to the summit, with an elevation gain of about 1,100 feet. The summit provides stunning vistas from Alton Bay to Moultonborough Bay, and hikers can find shelter in the historic Mr. Phippen’s Hut, built in 1925. For the descent, the 1.6-mile Boulder Loop Trail offers a scenic route back, showcasing a diverse range of local vegetation like Pine, Maple, and Birch trees. With its family-friendly trails and spectacular views, Mount Major is a must-visit for nature-loving families in New Hampshire.
Experience the thrill of the Mount Washington Cog Railway, the world's first mountain-climbing cog railway, offering a unique journey to the summit of Mount Washington in the majestic White Mountains. This historic railway features biodiesel and coal-fired steam locomotives, providing breathtaking views of the Presidential Range and surrounding landscapes.
Hampton Beach State Park, boasting its breathtaking South Beach, is an ideal retreat for beach enthusiasts and families in search of seaside relaxation and recreation. This state park provides miles of sandy beaches along the Atlantic Ocean, perfect for swimming, fishing, picnicking, and even RV camping with full hook-ups available in the campground. Visitors can reserve parking spaces in advance, especially recommended during busy weekends and holidays, ensuring a smooth and stress-free experience.
Open year-round, Hampton Beach State Park provides a serene and picturesque setting for a day of beachside fun and relaxation.
The Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and Discovery Center in New Hampshire stand as educational gems, offering visitors a chance to learn about estuarine ecosystems through interactive exhibits and hands-on experiences. The center features interpretive displays on estuary ecology and a Discovery Tank for close encounters with marine life.
A network of accessible trails and boardwalks allows exploration of the surrounding natural habitats, including a replica of the Gundalow and the Native American camp. Open seasonally with no admission fee, this center is a perfect destination for families and nature enthusiasts.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire, stands out as a prime destination for families due to its rich assortment of attractions catering to diverse interests and ages. With its blend of historical sites like the USS Albacore Museum, interactive experiences at places like the Portsmouth Escape Room, and natural beauty at locations like Hampton Beach State Park, the city offers a well-rounded experience. Additionally, its proximity to family-friendly attractions like Water Country and the educational Seacoast Science Center makes it an ideal base for exploring the best of what New Hampshire has to offer. This combination of educational, recreational, and historical experiences in a picturesque setting makes Portsmouth a must-visit for families looking for a memorable and enriching getaway.
Get your tickets to Water Country to start the summer season with refreshing fun!
Hampton Beach State Park
Story Land (gentler attractions)
Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and Discovery Center
Captain's Cove Adventure Golf
Seacoast Science Center
Portsmouth Escape Room
Candia Springs Adventure Park
Mount Major (hiking)
Living Shores Aquarium
USS Albacore Museum
Sky Zone Trampoline Park
Mount Washington Cog Railway
Bowl-O-Rama Family Fun Center
The best time to visit New Hampshire with kids largely depends on the family's interests. Summer offers warm weather perfect for beach outings, hiking, and festivals, while fall dazzles with vibrant foliage and outdoor activities like apple picking and scenic drives. Winter turns the state into a snowy wonderland, ideal for skiing and festive markets, and spring brings milder temperatures, great for sightseeing and exploring nature. Each season in New Hampshire has its unique appeal, making it a versatile destination for family vacations throughout the year.
In southern New Hampshire, families have a wealth of options for entertainment and adventure. From exploring the quaint streets and historical sites of Portsmouth to enjoying the natural beauty of the region's parks and beaches, there's something for everyone. Water Country in Portsmouth is a notable mention for its variety of water-themed attractions suitable for all ages, as well as Story Land and Living Shores Aquarium, which offer immersive fairy tale experiences and close encounters with marine life, respectively. These destinations, along with the region's diverse natural and cultural attractions, make southern New Hampshire an exciting place for family outings.
For families with toddlers visiting New Hampshire, there are plenty of engaging activities that cater to young children. Story Land, with its gentle rides and fairy tale-themed attractions, is an excellent choice for imaginative play. Charmingfare Farm offers interactive experiences with farm animals, making it perfect for little ones to learn and explore. Living Shores Aquarium at Story Land presents an opportunity for toddlers to encounter marine life up close in a safe and educational environment. These destinations, coupled with the state's beautiful natural parks and beaches, provide a variety of options for families with toddlers to enjoy a fun and memorable visit.
In Northern New Hampshire, families can immerse themselves in a blend of outdoor adventures and educational experiences. The region is renowned for its natural beauty, with White Mountain National Forest offering ample opportunities for hiking and exploring the great outdoors. For those seeking a unique experience, the Mount Washington Cog Railway provides a memorable journey to the summit of the Northeast's highest peak. Additionally, destinations like Story Land in Glen and the Living Shores Aquarium offer engaging attractions for children, combining fun with learning. These varied activities make Northern New Hampshire an ideal destination for families looking to enjoy both nature and interactive family-friendly attractions.
In New Hampshire, families can find numerous free activities, particularly in the realm of natural reserves and parks. Exploring the state's diverse landscapes, from the scenic trails of White Mountain National Forest to the serene beauty of Hampton Beach State Park, offers a wealth of outdoor experiences at no cost. Hiking up Mount Major provides not only a free and fulfilling outdoor adventure but also stunning panoramic views. Additionally, the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and Discovery Center allows for the exploration of unique coastal environments. These natural attractions offer families opportunities to connect with nature, learn about local ecosystems, and enjoy recreational activities without any expense.