Area communities offering outdoor, indoor fun for kids during week off from school
MANCHESTER - Cities and towns in southern New Hampshire are offering plenty of opportunities to get outside to enjoy seasonal activities or to head indoors for events designed to make school vacation week special.
Though New Hampshire has some of the best skiing in the east, there's no need to head north when Manchester offers ski and skate opportunities within the city limits.
At McIntyre Ski Area, there's an extra hour of skiing available for skiers and boarders during school vacation week, with the lift starting at 9 a.m. instead of 10. Tubing begins at 11 a.m. The area will close at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, and is open until 9:30 p.m. the rest of the week including Saturdays. Equipment rentals and lessons are available. Lift tickets for juniors are $30 on weekends, $24 weekdays and $22 evenings.
For skating enthusiasts, JFK Coliseum at 303 Beech St. will be open for public skating every day during school vacation starting today from 2 to 4 p.m. The cost is $3 for kids under 12, students and seniors, and $5 for adults. Skate rental is $5.
The Merrimack Parks and Recreation Department will host its 21st annual Winter Carnival at Wasserman Park today from noon to 3 p.m. Activities are free and include the Lions Club Ice Fishing Derby, snowmobile rides from the Sno-Buds Snowmobile Club, aerial demonstrations by the Southern NH Flying Eagles, and karate showcases featuring Pete Desmarais of the Independent School of Karate. The 4-H Dog Club will present "Pups R Us," which includes dogs giving obedience demonstrations. For more information, visit www.merrimacknh.gov/town/departments/parks_and_recreation/upcoming_events.
At the Nashua Public Library, there's a week of events planned for kids and teens, according to Carol Eyman, outreach and community services coordinator.
"Vacation gives families the opportunity to come in and spend a lot of time in the library without having to worry about rushing home to do homework or get to other activities," said Eyman. For teens especially, having programs to look forward to can make vacation fun and safe, she said.
"There aren't a lot of activities for teens," she said, "so we try to give them something constructive and fun to do."
For kids ages 4 to 10, there is a magic show, crafts and a cookie decorating workshop.
On Wednesday, the seventh annual "Who's Your Baby Doll Fashion Show" will let kids dress up their favorite doll and strut their stuff on the "runway" set up in the children's room.
On Friday, a celebration of Dr. Seuss' birthday called "Grab Your Hat and Read with the Cat," complete with activities and birthday cake, will be held.
For teens, the library offers the popular "Duct Tape Craft" workshop on Tuesday at 4 p.m., and there will be other events, including "Scratch and Tell," using computer software to create art, and stories and games, Eyman said.
There will also be a showing on Thursday at 7 p.m. of the movie, "The Perks of Being a Wallflower." Registration is required for some activities. To learn how to register and for a full schedule of events, visit www.nashualibrary.org.
For parents who have to work during vacation week, or for kids who enjoy having lots to do, the Milford Recreation Department's Vacation Fun Camps, run by Bonnie Cox, are the place to be in February and April.
Fun Camp is offered Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. for kids ages 5 to 12. And teens who have some spare time on their hands have a purpose as well.
"We have wonderful teen volunteers who help with the vacation camps," said Cox. "It is a great community service!"
February Vacation Camp will take over the third floor of Milford Town Hall, and Cox said the days are filled with crafts, science experiments and gym games such as indoor youth tennis, parachute games, dancing and more. There are also plenty of opportunities to get outside.
"Children pack a lunch and snack and bring gear to play in the snow, weather permitting, and it looks like we may get some fresh snow Sunday," Cox Said. "Snowball fights on the Oval are a must for us as well as walks to the 'Swing Bridge' and scavenger hunts at Emerson Park and Keyes Field."
Space is limited, Cox said, and for more information visit www.milfordrec.com.
At Hampshire Hills in Milford, Rachel Robichaud, director of junior activities, said members and non-members can participate in vacation camps from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily throughout the week. The camps are for children in kindergarten through seventh grade and activities include swimming, tennis, group games, fun at the Hampshire Dome, rock climbing and more. For more information, visit www.hampshirehills.com.