There’s lots of indoor summer fun to be had

Sure, summer is a great time to get outside, but don't forget about all the indoor fun you can have around here. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff
Sure, summer is a great time to get outside, but don't forget about all the indoor fun you can have around here. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff
Sure, summer is a great time to get outside, but don't forget about all the indoor fun you can have around here. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff
Sure, summer is a great time to get outside, but don't forget about all the indoor fun you can have around here. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff
Sure, summer is a great time to get outside, but don't forget about all the indoor fun you can have around here. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff
Sure, summer is a great time to get outside, but don't forget about all the indoor fun you can have around here. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff
Sure, summer is a great time to get outside, but don't forget about all the indoor fun you can have around here. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff
Sure, summer is a great time to get outside, but don't forget about all the indoor fun you can have around here. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff
Sure, summer is a great time to get outside, but don't forget about all the indoor fun you can have around here. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff
Sure, summer is a great time to get outside, but don't forget about all the indoor fun you can have around here. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff
Sure, summer is a great time to get outside, but don't forget about all the indoor fun you can have around here. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff
Sure, summer is a great time to get outside, but don't forget about all the indoor fun you can have around here. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff
Sure, summer is a great time to get outside, but don't forget about all the indoor fun you can have around here. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff
Sure, summer is a great time to get outside, but don't forget about all the indoor fun you can have around here. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff
Sure, summer is a great time to get outside, but don't forget about all the indoor fun you can have around here. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff
Sure, summer is a great time to get outside, but don't forget about all the indoor fun you can have around here. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff
There are three performances left in Late Bloomer Productions's R.U.R.–Rossum's Universal Robots at Hatbox Theatre. Tim Goodwin
There are three performances left in Late Bloomer Productions's R.U.R.–Rossum's Universal Robots at Hatbox Theatre. Tim Goodwin
We stopped by Concord Craft Brewing Co. to try the N.H. House Session IPA and The Gov'nah, a double IPA. Tim Goodwin
We stopped by Concord Craft Brewing Co. to try the N.H. House Session IPA and The Gov'nah, a double IPA. Tim Goodwin
After a renovation project, Red River recently opened its Simchik Cinema and it looks really nice. Tim Goodwin
After a renovation project, Red River recently opened its Simchik Cinema and it looks really nice. Tim Goodwin
Kira Bergeron of Henniker, 11, climbs a route during practice for Team Evo at Evolution Rock + Fitness in Concord on Thursday, June 12, 2014.  {(credit)}      Ariana van den Akker
Kira Bergeron of Henniker, 11, climbs a route during practice for Team Evo at Evolution Rock + Fitness in Concord on Thursday, June 12, 2014. {(credit)} Ariana van den Akker
Above: Mal Clapp, a fixture at the Bektash Shriner’s weekly bingo game for many years, works the board during an early pull tab ticket game. Bottom: What ball is going to come up next? You never know, which is all part of the fun when trying to be the first to shout out “Bingo.”
Above: Mal Clapp, a fixture at the Bektash Shriner’s weekly bingo game for many years, works the board during an early pull tab ticket game. Bottom: What ball is going to come up next? You never know, which is all part of the fun when trying to be the first to shout out “Bingo.”
Advertising Director Tim Brady looks for clues in a desk at Escape Room Concord last week.  JON BODELL / Insider staff
Advertising Director Tim Brady looks for clues in a desk at Escape Room Concord last week. JON BODELL / Insider staff
Above: Polly Croteau enjoys the early bird games at last Thursday’s weekly bingo get together. Bottom right: Take a gander at all those pull tab tickets. Just think of all the money you could win. Bottom left: A fresh sheet of 18 cards. Top left: Look at all those balls for one little game of carryover coverall.
Above: Polly Croteau enjoys the early bird games at last Thursday’s weekly bingo get together. Bottom right: Take a gander at all those pull tab tickets. Just think of all the money you could win. Bottom left: A fresh sheet of 18 cards. Top left: Look at all those balls for one little game of carryover coverall.

It’s hard not to love summer.

The sun is shining (most days), you can comfortably walk out your front door in a T-shirt, shorts and flip flops, and just about any body of water is a chance to cool off.

You can go and pick your own food, go for a nice walk with the family and give your furnace (and oil budget) a much-needed break.

Plus, there’s no snow, it doesn’t get dark by 5 p.m. and the sight of snowblowers and plow trucks have been replaced by lawnmowers and tractors.

But even the most warm weather-loving folks need a break from the heat and humidity. You can’t spend every waking moment baking in the sun, even if your end goal is to try to preserve some of it for when the above mentioned things consume our world in about five months.

So while we cringe at the thought of spending any extended amount of our days indoors, we figured there are some of you who need some time when the sun isn’t beating down on you. That’s why we spent part of last week – after we greatly enjoyed some time off to celebrate our country’s independence – to give you some summer fun options that don’t require lathering up with sun block.

Entertainment

If you haven’t caught on yet, Concord is home to all kinds of great spots for live entertainment. From movies and theater to music and the arts, there’s something for everyone – and all in the comfort of a cool environment.

Movies

Concord has two locations to see a film, and they couldn’t be any more different.

Red River Theatres is our hometown, independent theater that plays all kinds of great flicks that you may have never heard of. You won’t find Spiderman or the latest in the Despicable Me franchise here, but that’s the point.

The selection is constantly changing and you have the option of seeing them in the two larger theaters or, for a more intimate setting, the Simchik, which was recently overhauled and is quite the comfy spot.

Red River also hosts some special one-night-only events, such as this Monday with The Concord Coach: A New Hampshire Legacy at 5:30 p.m.

If you’re looking for the latest releases in the movie world, then look no further than Regal Concord 10.

That’s the spot where you’ll get the big crowds on opening night, and despite its ’90s look from the outside, it’s good place to sit for a couple hours.

Right now you can find the aforementioned Spider-Man: Homecoming, Despicable Me 3, Transformers: The Last Knight and Cars 3. It has both 3-D and traditional viewing options and begins showing movies as early at 11:30 a.m.

Theater

If you’re into real people performing on stage, then Concord is the place to be.

With the Capitol Center for the Arts, Hatbox Theatre and the Concord City Auditorium (also known as the Audi), you have plenty of options.

In the coming weeks, the Capitol Center has some great children’s theater with Concord’s own RB Productions and IMPACT Children’s Theatre, along with Mr. Aaron, who is always representing the children’s music scene.

You will also find music in both the Chubb Theatre and Spotlight Cafe, as well as rebroadcasts of some pretty impressive performances from around the country.

Hatbox Theatre is in the midst of its summer schedule, and it’s loaded with shows you’ll want to see.

This week, you’ll have the chance to see Discovering Magic and take part in Tales Told, both offered monthly, as well as the final performances of Talking to Starlight. Next week is when a Hatbox original, Barnum, begins a two-week run.

Currently the Audi is in the middle of its break for the summer, although you will find some Walker Lecture Series events coming up, but stay tuned for some great stuff coming up later in the year.

Music

The Concord music scene is thriving, and in case you missed the Musicians of Concord issue, we’ve got you covered.

Sure, the summer is when you can find lots of outdoor concerts, but this is about the indoor spots, so make sure to check out True Brew Barista, Penuche’s, Hermanos, Area 23, Pit Road Lounge and NEC Concord for some great tunes.

There’s a lot happening in the coming weeks – too much to list here – but we’re confident you can find out what’s happening.

Gibson’s

If you’re into books, then Gibson’s Bookstore is the place you’ll want to spend some time. In addition to the vast selection of reading material for purchase, Gibson’s is always hosting free author events, as well as a book club (which meets the first Monday of the month) that gets back up and running in August when they choose the next year’s reads.

Art galleries

Art is all over the place in Concord, and outside of the Big Bicycle Project around town and the Mill Brook Gallery outdoor sculpture exhibit, it’s all inside.

The League of N.H. Craftsmen just opened its latest exhibit, Spinning Tales and Weaving Stories, that will be on display through mid-September.

Earlier in this very publication, we told you that McGowan Fine Art is staying open – and eventually moving to a new location – and will have a new exhibit up this month.

Kimball Jenkins has two gallery spaces and lots of art classes and camps.

Mill Brook Gallery also has an indoor painting and sculpture exhibit happening through late August.

NHTI, the Audubon and the Forest Society all have art displays, as do many downtown businesses, so you could really spend many days checking out some pretty impressive work. So get out there and do some looking around.

Family/Kids

As a pair of guys who have young children, family fun and stuff for the kiddos to do is a big part of our lives. And as responsible parents, we know that you have to balance outdoor time and sun exposure with inside time. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still have tons of fun.

Village Idiotz

If you haven’t brought the kids to the Bounce House Entertainment Center in Steeplegate Mall, then both of you are missing out.

There are bounce houses and inflatable slides, as well as these inflatable balls to jump across. But that’s not all.

There are these things called Knockerballs, which are basically huge balls that you climb into and then bounce off others in your group. We tried them, and they’re a good time.

Add in laser tag and sumo suits and you can easily spend the whole day there.

Bowling

Boutwell’s Bowling Center is the go-to spot for all your bowling needs.

This isn’t those big balls that you have to figure out which weight is best for your roll, but rather the smaller, candlepin balls that you can whip down the lane at quite a rate of speed.

They offer glow bowling on Saturday nights, and they just recently refinished their lanes, so your bowling balls will just glide down the lane.

Roller skating

During the summer months, Everett Arena gets rid of the ice that it’s so well known for and turns the rink into a roller skating palace.

There’s public skating on Fridays (6 to 8 p.m.) and Sundays (5 to 7 p.m.) that is open to the whole family, as well as adult skating on Fridays and Sundays right after public skating. It’s only $5 and another $5 to rent skates if you don’t have your own.

Library

Nothing says family fun like a trip to the local library.

From coloring nights and summer movies to story time and Lego club, the Concord Public Library is the place to keep cool and do some fun and interactive playing.

There are loads of events throughout the summer in the morning, afternoon and evening (again, way too many to list), but we can guarantee you’ll find something for every member of the family.

Adults

While we all love doing stuff with the family, there are times when we adults like to let loose a little and be around, well, other adults.

And because of that, we thought it might be a good idea to come up with a few options for when the kids are with the in-laws or you decide to hire a babysitter. You’re welcome.

Bingo

Do you enjoy the thrill of winning money? We know that wasn’t the smartest of questions, but we had to ask.

If so, then you might want to make your way over to the Bektash Shrine Center for a Thursday night or to Airport Road Bingo on Saturday and Sunday – for a chance to win some cold, hard cash.

You can take home a little, a lot or none at all, but you will definitely leave knowing that you had a good time.

At Bektash, doors open at 4 p.m. with pull tab tickets and the early-bird games start at 6:15 p.m.

At Airport Road, doors open at 3:30 p.m., and all games start at 6 p.m.

And don’t worry, if you don’t know what you’re doing, there are lots of people willing to help.

Breweries

Concord is now home to two, count them two, craft breweries who are serving up some deliciously made local beers that you have to taste.

Both Concord Craft Brewing Co. and Lithermans Limited started out as tasting rooms where you could order small samples of their house-made brews.

But a little while back Lithermans expanded to serving food, which opened themselves up to offering pints instead of just those samples that left you wanting more.

And starting this Friday, Concord Craft Brewing will begin serving pints and basic food service, which makes us quite happy.

Concord Craft is open Wednesday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m., Saturday noon to 7 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4 p.m. Lithermans is open Thursday and Friday 4 to 7 p.m. and Saturday noon to 5 p.m.

That gives you plenty of opportunity to try them both.

Performing

Do you like to sing, but aren’t quite ready to join a band? Do you like listening to other singers who just like to do it for fun?

Well, Concord is home to some pretty great karaoke and open mic spots.Tandy’s is the spot for you on Tuesdays for open mic and karaoke on Wednesdays starting at 8 p.m.

Penuche’s holds open mic on Sundays, while Area 23 does it on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Escape Room

If you didn’t get the memo, Concord is now home to one of those cool escape rooms.

It opened at the beginning of this month, but we got a sneak peek before it was ready for the public – and it’s really cool.

Presently, there is one room and riddle to solve, which you have one hour to do, but in the fall it will be expanded to add a second scenario.

Do you think you have what it takes to solve the puzzle and escape the room? Have a group of friends who want to try? The clock is ticking.

The Library room is open Wednesday through Sunday and can fit up to 12 people per time slot.

Seniors Goodlife

GoodLife Programs & Activities is the place for seniors who want to be active and engage with others.

Just take a look at their calendar and you’ll see what we mean.

They offer weekly classes for those interested in yoga, art and exercise for staying healthy. There are events like a book club, garden tours, movies and how to use your smart phone.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Check out goodlifenh.org for lots more.

Parks and Rec

Concord Parks and Recreation offers free and low-cost programs for senior citizens ages 50 and older.

Programs are free of charge unless otherwise noted and are done Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the West Street Ward House.

Author: Tim Goodwin

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