Whether you've lived in the Granite State your whole life or are visiting for the first time, it's always tough to know which of the state's many attractions will elicit choruses of "Can we go home yet?" from the kids or, better yet, leave you with frazzled nerves after spending countless hours screaming "Don't touch that!" and hoping you can move fast enough to head off a disaster. Below we've compiled a list of places that should be a pleasure to visit for you and your kids.
8 North Policy St.
Salem, NH 03079
Canobie Lake Park is New Hampshire's favorite amusement park. Traditional themes and high-tech thrills are combined for an unsurpassed entertainment experience for all ages. Rides include the corkscrew roller coaster, the Turkish Twist, the Boston Tea Party water ride, an authentic 24-gauge steam train, an antique carousel, and more! The park also features a variety of entertainment, including fireworks displays, live shows, costumed characters and specialty acts.
Hampton, NH 03842
New Hampshire's 13-mile coastline might be small but the presence of Hampton Beach is big! With a $14 million renovation to the boardwalk completed in 2012, and multiple accolades from national and regional media, Hampton Beach has become the place to rediscover with your family. The Seashell stage offers 80 free concerts, fireworks held on the beach every Wednesday night, and family-friendly movies on Monday nights throughout the summer, there is always something to do. Their annual International Sand Sculpting Competition is a must, the Annual Children's Festival is a weeklong party for the kids, and the Seafood Festival is a culinary delight for all ages!
481 Route 3 North
Lincoln, NH 03251
Located in the heart of the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Whale's Tale offers the best value for family fun in the sun! A huge wave pool, eleven amazing water slides that will twist, turn and speed you through the water park and a children's play area with great fountains and mini-slides.
Don't miss Castaway Cove, the Banzai Pipeline and the Eye of the Storm, where you'll hit speeds of 35mph!
774 High Street
Candia, NH 03034
Visit the largest collection of agricultural animals and North American wildlife in New Hampshire. A visit to this 180-acre farm is affordable, educational, and exciting for children and adults. The farm is home to more than 200 animals consisting of 30 different species. Encounter wolves, lynx, fishers, reindeer, river otters and more. The barnyard offers traditional farm animals, hands-on petting, pony rides, and horse-drawn hayrides.
2 Institute Drive
Concord, NH 03301
The planetarium serves as a living memorial to Christa McAuliffe. The shows blend computer generated effects, video, slides and music into an awe-inspiring experience. Take a trip to the stars and beyond at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center. In March 2009, the name of this educational center changed to the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, in memory of Alan Shepard, the first American astronaut in space, who was from Derry, NH. Prior to this grand re-opening, the facility underwent a $15 million expansion.
850 Route 16
Glen, NH 03838
Story Land is the children's theme park where fantasy lives! With wonderfully themed rides, lively shows, friendly storybook characters, unique play areas, and so much more, there's a smile and adventure around every corner. Whether it's a family tradition or a family first, a visit to Story Land creates memories to last a lifetime.
North Woodstock, NH 03251
You're invited to visit one of the White Mountain's most outstanding attractions featuring trained North American Black Bears, antique Americana, steam trains and a whole lot more. In addition to the best bear show you'll ever see, you must pay a visit to Merlin's Mystical mansion. It will turn your world upside down! And, Tuttle's Rustic House will make you see things in a whole new way. The Clarks have been providing quality family entertainment for over 70 years. An admission ticket will provide fun for any age as you step back in time.
23 Science Center Road
Holderness, NH 03245
The mission of Squam Lakes Natural Science Center is to advance understanding of ecology by exploring New Hampshire's natural world. If you're wild about New Hampshire Wildlife, the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center is the place to visit. Through live wildlife exhibits and demonstrations - from bears to bobcats, owls to otters - this natural science center provides everyone with an opportunity to see wildlife up close and learn about their habitats.
570 Ocean Boulevard
Rye, NH 03870
The Seacoast Science Center is located on the last undeveloped stretch of New Hampshire coastline. Cultural and natural history exhibits for the entire family. Visitors can touch and learn about tide pool animals in the indoor tide pool touch tank and learn about the seven habitats found on the 350-acre park.
6 Washington Street
Dover, NH 03820
This hands-on arts and sciences museum offers many engaging exhibits, including a dinosaur dig, a throne room, a kaleidoscope exhibit, a yellow submarine, a post office, a music matrix and more. It's an interactive delight for all the senses! Admission charged.
716 Main Street
Dublin, NH 03444
Wander through five acres and enjoy some of the most agreeable animals you'll ever meet. Not only will you be able to see the animals up close — you'll soon find yourself wanting to pat and hug them. Farm animals and their young may be pet and fed in a natural setting. Chicks hatching; baby animal area; picnic area; gift shop. A clean farm where children are encouraged to hold and pet the animals or simply observe them at play, nursing, eating or "talking" with each other.
Candia Springs Adventure Park
446 Rte. 27
Candia, NH 03034
Formerly known as Liquid Planet, the facility opened in 2008 but has new ownership as of 2016 and will be called Candia Springs Adventure Park. The water park offers multiple water features just for little ones. There is a 25,000 gallon swimming pool, a 9-hole miniature golf course, a natural swimming hole where you can rent a tube and relax the day away, water slides, zip lines, and much more. There will be some new features too, including a challenge adventure course spread across a portion of the 45 acres of property.
200 Bedford Street
Manchester, NH 03101
The SEE Science Center is a hands on discovery center. Keep kids busy with more than 80 exhibits that will make their imagination run wild. The Science Center is also home to the LEGO Millyard project, the largest of its kind in the world.
367 Ocean Boulevard
Hampton Beach, NH 03842
Explore the Ocean World is a small facility at Hampton Beach that educates visitors about the importance of the estuarine and oceanic ecosystems of the New Hampshire coast, while providing a unique opportunity to view and touch sea animals that they may never otherwise encounter.
2936 White Mountain Highway
North Conway, NH 03860
Come for hours of fun and entertainment in our educational safe environment where parents and children 0-9 can explore our wide variety of exhibitions where we encourage children and parents to interact and learn thru play! Who ever thought learning could be so much fun? Explore Dinosaurs, Castles and Dragons. Dress-up in our Drama Center. Put on a puppet show. Play with Trains in Transportation Exhibit. Climb the Life Size Tree House. Explore Outerspace. Design structures in our Lego Room. Read stories in the Infant and Toddler area and much, much more..... The Mount Washington Valley Children's Museum nurtures the natural curiosity of all children and the adults in their lives and encourages shared discovery through exhibits and programs that inspire exploration.
579 Endicott St.
Laconia, NH 03246
Funspot is the largest arcade in the world. With over 500 games, a 20 lane ten pin and candlepin bowling center, cash bingo, outdoor and indoor mini golf, kiddie rides, skee-ball, golf simulators, and the world's largest collection of classic arcade games, Funspot offers something for the whole family. Open year-round.
North Woodstock, NH 03262
Created by the powerful forces of water, wind, weather and time, Lost River is a place where granite walls seem to erupt from the earth, and where a river plays hide and seek. Long before recorded history, massive glaciers slowly ground their way across North America, shaping the land. The powerful forces of water, wind, weather and time worked their magic, creating Lost River. Today you can follow Lost River as it appears and disappears through the narrow steep-walled gorge, the tumbled granite crevasses, caverns and falls. Along the boardwalks and in the boulder caves you'll travel through history, journeying back 25,000 years to the time of glaciers and pagan gods. Wander through caves, squeeze through boulders into spaces between rocks and climb over and under the glacially made wonders of Lost Gorge.
2300 Lafayette Road
Portsmouth, NH 03801
Water country is the largest waterpark in New England. Set on 47-acres, there are plenty of action-packed adventures for everyone in your family. With rides and slides, kiddie slides, waves, rivers and pools, there is something wet and wonderful for kids of all ages. New in 2012, the Tunnel of Terror is the first water ride of its kind in New England. You'll sit face-to-face in a 2-person tube then descend into a twisting 40-foot plunge through a totally enclosed, totally dark tunnel. Along the way, a wicked tornado funnel will leave your head spinning and your fears in your throat! A work of evil genius, it's a 300 foot trip into the dark side of thrills. Sounds like a day of fun!
705 New Hampshire Rte. 25
Rumney, NH 03266
An amazing series of caves and passages formed by the falling of massive boulders nearly 50,000 years ago as the third continental glacier moved southward over New Hampshire's White Mountains. Explore the Rock Garden, a jumble of glacially deposited granite boulders, and take a self-guided tour of the caves. Also, pan for stones. Buy a bag of Mining or Fossils rough and use our Sluice to wash away the dirt to uncover gems and minerals. Also, The Klondike Mine: Klondike Mine is designed for younger ages but can be fun for the whole family. Enter one of our three mines, once inside use your light and start our family scavenger hunt for minerals and other hidden gems.
6 Fletcher Street
Manchester, NH 03102
The Amoskeag Fishways offers award winning school programs, public programs for all ages, family nights, pre-school programs, vacation series, Saturday workshops with quirky and fun special events. Open 7 days/week in May and June, during fish season when the fish ladder is running. Come see several species of ocean fish return to spawn in the Merrimack River. Watch through underground viewing windows, fish migration, historic diorama and exhibits with waterpower displays. Guided tours available during fish season.