15 fun things to do in New Hampshire before school, work vacations end
Hikers approach the summit of Mt. Moosilauke. Three trails form a 7.5-mile loop. (JOSH GIBNEY/UNION LEADER)
The Jore family, of Dunbarton, and their Great Pyrenees mix, Dixie, prepare for a kayak outing on Drew Lake in Hopkinton. Dixie started her kayaking trips as a passenger but now swims along wearing her life jacket for times when she tires and needs a rest. She was an enthusiastic participant in Sunday's muggy weather which in spite of forecasts of rain turned sunny in the afternoon. (Bruce Taylor/Union Leader)
1. Fly above the Atlantic
Soar 400 to 500 feet over the ocean while harnessed in parasailing gear. Hampton Beach Parasail and Jet Ski offers rides for $89. The boat ride takes more than an hour, and people are in the air for 10 to 12 minutes. People can stay dry or get wet during the adventure.
“Everyone is down for a dip, wanting to be all the way in the water,” said manager Shantia Phillips. Rides are available seven days a week through Labor Day.
2. Fly above the trees
College student Amelia West of Nashua recommends zip-lining at Alpine Adventures, off the Kancamagus Highway in Lincoln. “It's something you need to experience,” she said. Tours start at $79.
3. Trigger a memory
Rummage through a flea market or antique shop. Maybe, you will discover a valuable artifact or prompt a priceless memory from your childhood days. One opportunity is the Lancaster Historical Society's 45th season flea market Sunday and Sept. 2.
4. Eat under the stars
Escape your dining room's four walls and dine at a sidewalk cafe. We'll leave the restaurant recommendations to someone else.
5. Canoe, then a brew
Bob Best of Bristol, Vt., shared his summer pastime. “Go canoeing and at the end of the day, you're close enough to a brewery to have a fresh beer and whatever food they make,” he said. “You definitely want to canoe before you imbibe.”
6. Admire art in the park
Need to cover up those white walls? Snag a painting for the living room at the 59th annual Greeley Park Outdoor Art show in Nashua, running from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. this weekend.
7. Challenge gravity
“Go upside down,” said Katie Fleury. The Barre, Vt., teen headed to Canobie Lake in Salem to ride the rollercoaster called “Untamed.”
8. Make much ado
Shakespeare fans can see “Much Ado About Nothing” at Prescott Park in Portsmouth. Suggested donations are between $5 and $10. For an additional fee, people can reserve a prime spot for $39: either a table with four chairs or a blanket you get to keep. The final curtain call is 2 p.m. Sunday. The park also hosts movies and concerts.
9. Pet the animals
Many of the state fairs feature animals for viewing or petting. Upcoming events include the Cornish Fair on Friday through Sunday as well as the Hopkinton and Lancaster fairs on Labor Day Weekend.
10. Dance with a view
Whether you're into swinging to the oldies, swaying to Elvis or rocking the night away, the M/S Mount Washington offers an evening for you. A dinner buffet and sunset cruise on Lake Winnipesaukee are part of the package, which ranges from $43 to $49 per person.
11. Jump off the rocks
Battle the heat by taking the plunge into a natural watering hole. Check with the locals first to make sure it's safe.
12. Hike a mountain
Mount Monadnock in Jaffrey is perhaps the most climbed mountain in the United States, according to monadnockmountain.com. Visitors can see parts of all six New England states on a clear day, according to the website. A New Hampshire Union Leader colleague suggested climbing Mount Moosilauke in Warren. Three trails form a 7.5-mile loop. The Mousilauke Ravine Lodge offers restrooms, $7 bag lunches and a family-style dinner at 6:30 p.m. sharp with advance reservations. Check out hikesafe.com for safety and packing tips, including advice on what to do if confronted by a bear.
13. Learn something new
Charmingfare Farm in Candia offers guided horseback trail rides. People spend about 30 minutes getting acclimated to their horse before their approximate hour-long ride. No riding experience is necessary, but reservations are recommended.
14. Drive without a destination
Set out in your vehicle without a destination in mind and see where your mood and gas tank guide you. You can always make it back home using GPS navigation on your smartphone.
15. Ride the rails
Reggie Giguere and her husband had hoped to enjoy the Cafe Lafayette Dinner Train in North Woodstock. They planned to drive to the North Country, ride the scenic train and stay overnight. But Edward died May 2.
“We never had a honeymoon,” Giguere said. “That was one of the things on what he called his bucket list.”
The two-hour train trip, which includes a five-course meal, costs $77 to $87 through Sept. 16 and $80 to $90 through Oct. 27.
The train buff remains hopeful about taking the trip.
“Some day, I'll get to do it,” she said.
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