Manchester is the largest city in both New Hampshire and Northern New England. Located 20 miles north of the New Hampshire-Massachusetts border, it rests in a valley surrounded by lakes, woods, the Amoskeag Falls and the Presidential Chain of the White Mountains. Its winters are long and snowy (nearly 70 inches of snow per year on average) and its summers are mild.
Known for its historic sites, Manchester is home to the Amoskeag Millyard (listed on the National Register of Historic Places) and the Currier Museum of Art. Those seeking outdoor activity may be drawn to the Seacoast Region, while families with young children may find suitable activities in the Lakes Region.
Listed below are 10 free activities for the greater Manchester area.
Merrimack Valley Region:
1. New Hampshire Conservation Center – Located in Concord. Ddemonstrates solar and wood heating methods.
2. Currier Gallery of Art – Features European and American paintings, decorative arts, photographs and sculpture, including works by Picasso, Monet, O'Keeffe, Wyeth, and LeWitt. Exhibitions, tours, and programs year-round. Manchester.
3. Hampton Beach – 80 free evening concerts throughout the summer, as well as fireworks displays each week. Located in Hampton.
4. Prescott Park – For 39 years, this arts festival has been a favorite summer tradition on the Seacoast. 9,000 productions have been performed for the public with no fixed admission fee. Donation recommended.
White Mountains Region:
5. New England Ski Museum – Dedicated to the preservation of the history of skiing. Located in Franconia.
6. Village of Littleton – Take a self-guided tour of Littleton Grist Mill, which opened for business in 1798 and became the nucleus of this village’s industry.
7. Dartmouth College Hood Museum of Art – Recognized by the American Association of Museums as “a national model,” this is one of the oldest and largest college museums in the country. Unique collections, artifacts, exhibitions, and educational programs.
8. Canaan Historical Museum – This museum is devoted to 18th and 19th century history, with Shaker items on exhibit. Located in Lebanon.
9. Horatio Colony House Museum and Wildlife Refuge – The Federal style house, located on Main Street in Keene, was the home of Horatio Colony. Descended from one of Keene's historic families. It is a 614-acre wildlife refuge of diverse plant communities, wetlands, rock outcroppings, stone walls and foundations.
10. New Hampshire State Parks – 25 of New Hampshire’s state parks are available for public enjoyment, including Atlantic Ocean beaches, lakes, mountain hiking trails, birding and the most-climbed mountain in America – Monadnock. Copies of the State Parks Guide are available at the parks and all state welcome centers.