Children's Museum plans elf house building, local foods fair

Union Leader Correspondent
June 21. 2014 7:39PM
On July 30, area visitors can sample and learn about a variety of locally grown foods of all colors. The annual Local Roots Food Fair is one of the many activities offered at the Children's Museum of New Hampshire in downtown Dover this summer. (COURTESY)

Using natural materials and ingenuity, young builders can create a home for a passing fairy or elf July 11 at the Children's Museum of New Hampshire in downtown Dover. It is one of five special events offered this summer.

DOVER - To help get the creative juices flowing, young residents are invited to have some hands-on fun this summer.

The Children's Museum of New Hampshire, 6 Washington St., will host three special events in July that are included as part of normal admission. No reservations are required, and visitors are encouraged to enjoy the other permanent and seasonal exhibits throughout the museum.

Fairy and Elf House Building Day, which is scheduled for July 11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., allows visitors to use a variety of natural materials - from the Muse Studio - to create a home for a small, whimsical creature.

On July 26, young builders can take part in "an extreme building challenge" during Colossal Construction Day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Muse Studio will be filled with an assortment of building materials to allow participants to create huge structures.

The Local Roots Food Fair, which is scheduled July 30 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., allows participants to sample items from the Close to Home program at Hannaford Supermarkets. Additionally, the event will feature activities from local food producers, farmers markets and green businesses.

While families visit the museum throughout the year, more grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins visit in the summer, according to Heidi Duncanson, director of marketing and community relations for the museum.

"We find that special events attract both first-time visitors as well as museum visitors who come each week. Sometimes we hear from new visitors that they want to come back again on a 'regular' day when their children will be more focused on exploring the entire museum," Duncanson said.

Duncanson said special events - especially visits from popular characters like Clifford or Curious George - always draw larger crowds. She added visitors can always call to check to see how busy the museum is on a particular day.

"The museum is always busiest in the mornings, no matter what else is going on, so if families are seeking a quieter experience, they should plan to visit after 2 p.m.," Duncanson said.

Duncanson said the museum offers these special, annual events because the 10 weeks of summer are the busiest time. She added the schedule is full of activities, including four weeklong camps and daily events.

As part of the permanent exhibits, the museum offers a bright yellow replica submarine - reminiscent of the original one from the Portsmouth location - a dinosaur fossil dig, musical wall sculpture, a cave to explore, a riverfront nature habitat, a post office and a palace of patterns.

Admission is $9 for children and adults, $8 for seniors and no charge for babies under 12 months old. During the summer, the museum is scheduled to be open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

For more information, contact the museum at 742-2002 or visit

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