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Changes Coming to this Blog

The Enjoying Life with Kids in NH blog has not been updated in several months due to some exciting changes happening behind the scenes with my family. Stay tuned. I expect to announce the news and make changes to the blog in early 2014. Thanks for your continued support!


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Gift of Lights Drive Thru Light Show Happening Again at NH Motor Speedway

So many lights and so little time! Gift of Lights is guaranteed to get you in the holiday spirit. Pile the entire family in the car and prepare to be amazed. Think light tunnels, giant candy canes and Santa up close and personal. What a great way to get in the holiday spirit! www.giftoflightsnhms.com.

WHAT: Gift of Lights drive thru holiday light show

WHEN: November 16, 2012 – January 5, 2013. They are open every night at 4:30pm.  On Friday, Saturday and holidays they close at 10:00pm and every other night they run until at least 9:00pm.  They’ll ll let everyone through even if there’s a line of cars when they normally close.

WHERE: NH Motor Speedway, Loudon, NH

DISCOUNT: Save $2 to Gift of Lights Drive Thru Light Show

See our review from 2011.

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Holiday Arts Workshop for Kids & Tweens – Parents enjoy kid-free shopping!

Get your holiday shopping done on Saturday December 1st while Meredith Theatre Campus entertains your children!

Join us for our Holiday Arts Workshop from 9am-2pm at Meredith Theatre Campus, 50 Reservoir Rd, Meredith, NH.

Children ages 4-10 will sing carols, make a handmade gift, dress-up in costumes, play drama games, and enjoy hot cocoa & cookies while watching a holiday movie.

Tweens ages 11-13 will bake & decorate cookies, make a handmade gift, and watch a holiday movie.

Parents will receive a Tanger Outlets Coupon Book and 5 hours of kid-free shopping time! Plus between 12 & 2pm we will offer gift wrapping services!

Participation Fee $30/child, $25 for the second child

Register HERE

Questions? Email Lesley@WinniPlayhouse.org or Kate@WinniPlayhouse.org

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The Winnipesaukee Playhouse Children’s Arts Workshop Presents Animal Kingdom on September 15th

Spend the day stomping through the jungle or swimming through the ocean! Children will attend a class in drama, visual art, music, dance, and language arts all inspired by the amazing creatures of the Animal Kingdom! No experience necessary!

WHEN: Saturday September 15th, 9am-2pm
WHO: for children in grades K-6
WHERE: Held on our Meredith Theatre Campus, 50 Reservoir Rd, Meredith
CONTACT: Education Director Kate Boucher: kate@winniplayhouse.org, 366-7377
REGISTER: www.WinniPlayhouse.org

Please bring a snack, bag lunch, and water bottle. Children will be divided into groups based on grade.

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See a Show & Transport Your Kids to Magical Places

Take your kids to 1930’s New York, a fabulous chocolate factory and a magical castle where the fair princess lets down her hair…  Take them to the theater!  There are a variety of family-friendly summer shows at venues throughout the state, and your whole family will enjoy the magic of these stories. 

Some options include:

Enjoy the musical Willy Wonka in a beautiful, outdoor setting in Portsmouth’s Prescott Park.  Adapted from Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, this is a classic tale about the world-famous candy man and his quest to find an heir. Runs each Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through August 26.

The Ogunquit Playhouse in Ogunquit, ME offers a wonderful opportunity for children to both watch and participate in live theater.  Their summer camp program allows children to learn about drama and then take the stage during Saturday and Sunday matinee shows.  This season, audiences can enjoy “Alice and Wonderland”, the “Berenstain Bears”, “Rapunzel” and more! 

The Rochester Opera House presents their Summer Picnic Series, which includes a number of shows for children, including musician Susie Burke, dynamic musical duo Julie and Brownie, and a modern take on the “Wizard of Oz”.  Additionally, talented local teens from ROH’s summer theater camp perform a high-spirited mix of popular tunes.  Pack a picnic, bring a blanket and enjoy the shows!

Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord presents “Golden Bird”, the story of three brothers competing on a quest to capture a golden bird, a golden horse, and a princess in a golden castle. Which brother will win in this classic French fairy tale?

The Fiddler on the Roof is a wonderful show for the whole family.  The Leddy Center in Epping brings the beloved Broadway musical to life, with well-known songs such as “If I Were A Rich Man”, “Sunrise, Sunset”, and many more.

Leapin’ Lizards!  Interlakes Summer Theater in Meredith presents “Annie”, the popular musical about the comic strip heroine of the same name.   Little orphan Annie charms everyone’s hearts, as she embarks on a variety of adventures.  Meet the evil Miss Hannigan, who runs the NY orphanage, Oliver Warbucks, the billionaire that Annie captivates, and her sidekick, a loveable mutt named Sandy.  You’ll know all the words to the popular songs, such as “The Sun will Come Out Tomorrow,” and “You’re Never Fully Dressed without a Smile.”

These shows will transport you (and your kids) to magical places – and will inspire you to tap your toes and sing along!

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MORE Sensational Summer Sojourns with your Family

Warm summer days mean time to play!  There are so many great, local activities to enjoy as a family this summer that the hardest decision will be where to go first!

Some (more) possibilities include:

Water Parks – Splish, splash and slide at New Hampshire’s amazing water parks.  Liquid Planet in Candia features slides (including vertical drop speed slides), pools and an awesome zip line.  Water Country in Portsmouth boasts rides and slides, waves, rivers and pools, plus their new 300-foot Tower of Terror.  Kahuna Laguna in North Conway features slide tubes, wave pools, a 175-gallon tipping bucket and even a special area for small children.

Amusement Parks – Salem’s Canobie Lake Park features thrill rides like the corkscrew coaster, family-friendly rides like antique cars,  trains and a Ferris Wheel, and water-themed rides, like the log flume.  They also offer an arcade, contests, and popular carnival games like Whack-a-Mole, plus live shows, including a tribute to pop star Lady Gaga.  StoryLand in Glenn, geared towards younger kids, features a carousel, teacup ride and swan boats. A pumpkin coach takes passengers to Cinderella’s castle to meet the princess. Interested in go-carts, batting cages, mini-golf and arcade games?  Try Funway Park in Litchfield and Hilltop Fun Center in Somersworth, which also has a separate go-kart track for younger children. Daytona Fun Park in Laconia has all the basics (mini-golf, batting cages, etc.) plus bungee jumping and a huge indoor climbing wall.  Chuckster’s in Chichester offers bungee jumping that anyone between 45-250 pounds can do, plus plenty of games.  They also have a separate play area for younger children.

Cool Lessons – Surf Lessons at Summer Sessions in Rye will introduce your kids (ages 6-16) to surfing in a fun, safe environment. No experience is necessary and they provide the gear.  Trained instructors will teach your child the basics of surfing, including timing the waves and riding them safely.  More experienced surfers will refine their techniques and learn advanced moves.  Classes emphasize safety, etiquette, balance, strength, paddling, standing and turning.  Cinnamon Rainbows in Hampton is another great option for kids ages 11+.  Their trained instructors also provide SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) lessons.  Or your kids can take sailing lessons at the Lake Winnipesaukee Sailing Association, where children ages  7-16 learn to appreciate and respect the wind and water. Classes are available for students of all interests and abilities, from novice to racer.  Lessons are based on US Sailing and American Red Cross curricula, with sessions in the classroom and on the water.

Your kids will be thrilled to try these awesome activities – from bungee jumping to rock wall climbing, swimming to surfing, water slides to sailing.  Whatever you choose, there are plenty of fun ways to keep busy all summer.

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Fun (Nearby!) Activities for Your Family this Summer

Ah, those endless days of summer vacation.  No school, no homework and no schedule.  With all this free time, your family will be able to explore a variety of exciting activities in and around the state. 

Here are some options that your family is sure to love:

Center for Wildlife – This little treasure is right over the border in York, ME.  They’ve just announced their Tuesday Afternoon Summer Tour Series, with weekly tours from 2:00-3:00 pm. Participants will learn about New England wildlife, get an up-close look at animals, observe baby birds being fed, hear about medical techniques used on sick or injured animals, and much more.  Reservations are required, space is limited to 12 people per tour, ages 5+, please.

Fort Foster  – Another nearby gem, this large, scenic area is located in Kittery Point, ME.  Explore the seaside path and breathtaking rocky shore, as well as crumbling WWII cement forts and bunkers.  Fort Foster offers marked walking trails and picnic areas.  Open daily from 10:00 am – 8:00 pm.

Odiorne Point State Park – Enjoy a beautiful, natural setting along Southern NH’s 18-mile coastline. The 135-acre seaside park has plenty of walking trails (some are handicapped accessible), a picnic area, and a modern playground.  The park is beloved for its diverse natural habitats, which can be easily visited and viewed, including the rocky shore, woodlands, uplands, salt marsh, freshwater and salt ponds, and (non-swimming) sandy beach.

Whale Watch – Your whole family will be amazed by the whale sightings right off of the NH Seacoast.  Several companies operate out of Rye, NH, including Atlantic Whale Watch and Granite State Whale Watch.  Both offer clean, safe, large boats with large viewing areas (and snack bars) so you can enjoy multi-hour adventures at sea.

Marginal Way – Your family will get exercise and fresh air on one of New England’s most spectacular nature walks.  Marginal Way in Ogunquit, ME is a paved, public shoreline footpath, spanning about a mile along the gorgeous coast, connecting Perkins Cove to Ogunquit Beach.  The path offers panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, with an abundance of beautiful flowers, trees and other scenery along the way. 

Monadnock State Park – Take your kids on a family-friendly hike at this Jaffrey, NH-based park. Mount Monadnock offers 40 miles of trails, many of which lead to the rock summit, at 3,165 feet.  At the top, visitors can see gorgeous views of six New England states (which your kids will surely think is cool!).  The area also offers exhibits and lessons on the area’s history, ecology and trails.

Clark’s Trading Post – Kids of all ages will enjoy Clarks’ Trained Bear show!  This “roadside attraction” in Lincoln, NH offers an excursion on The White Mountain Central Railroad through an authentic covered bridge, impressive acrobatics from the Yandong Chinese Acrobatic Troupe (your kids will be AMAZED when the acrobats stuff their bodies into tiny wooden boxes), and the headline act – the trained bears, who perform a fascinating, hugely entertaining show.  There’s also a variety of unique shops, snack shacks and more.

See Science Center – This Manchester, NH-based museum offers fun, science based displays, exhibits and experiences.  Learn about forces, light, electricity, and machinery, view the LEGO® Millyard Project, and participate in science-based workshops, camps and courses.  There’s even a “moonwalk” and options for overnight experiences. 

With so much to do in New Hampshire (and right over the border in Southern Maine), you’ll find plenty of options to keep your kids not only entertained but educated as well this summer!