With summer fast approaching, everybody wants to have some things to look forward to during our short-lived season of fun. While there’s plenty to do right here in Concord, we recognize staying in the same place for too long can get boring and that many of you might like to cruise around the state and find something to do.
That’s why we pulled together this little roundup of some fun that can be had all over the Granite State this summer. While the full Summer Guide begins on page 17, this piece here will serve as sort of a highlight package of things you can do outside of Concord. Not all of these ideas are time sensitive, so you can enjoy your summer at your own leisurely pace and get to some of these whenever you feel like it.
Fisher Cats games
Nothing says summer quite like a night at the ballpark. The downside to this classic pastime is it’s often prohibitively expensive and, if you live around here, requires driving at least an hour to catch a Red Sox game.
But there’s a team in Manchester that’s absolutely setting the baseball world on fire right now, and that’s the Fisher Cats. The AA affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays were in first place in the Eastern League East division at the time of this writing, and the roster features three names that should be very familiar to baseball fans: Guerrero, Bichette and Biggio.
Vladimir Guerreo Jr., son of the Hall of Famer, is ripping up the minor leagues right now, batting over .400 with 11 home runs. In other words, he’s been basically the best player in all of the minor leagues.
Before he makes it to the bigs, you can see him at Delta Dental Stadium (at 1 Line Drive in Manchester – what a cool address!) any time the Fisher Cats are in town. Tickets can be had for $12, and there’s usually always some sort of promotion or on-field activity going on, too.
For more info or to get tickets, go to milb.com/new-hampshire.
For those who prefer festive holidays over sporting events, there’s always Santa’s Village.
Way up in Jefferson, you’ll feel like you’re driving to the actual North Pole as you make the trek, but it will be worth the ride once you get inside.
Santa’s Village is the rare Christmas-themed park that’s open in the summer, and that’s kind of the point of it. When it’s really sweltering in mid-July, sometimes it’s nice to go somewhere where it’s seemingly always Christmas – even if it is 90 degrees outside.
The theme park has all kinds of rides for the whole family (mostly geared toward younger kids), and it does have a sort of Disneyland-type isolation to it. There’s also an impressive water park to help you cool down as you visit all the little buildings within the village.
If you have young kids – or if you’re just a big Christmas nut – Santa’s Village is definitely worth checking out this summer. For more info, go to santasvillage.com.
Canobie Lake Park
One of the most popular field trip destinations for school kids in Massachusetts (speaking from experience), Canobie Lake Park is a big-time fun center in Salem. You might not see the TV commercials on a daily basis anymore, but the amusement park is still going strong, featuring the new ride Ice Jet.
Canobie Lake appeals to teens and adults as much as it does to kids, with a variety of rides from easygoing to intense. There’s also a vast water park known as Castaway Island that has gotten a big makeover for 2018.
Because of the field trip thing we mentioned, you might want to wait until you’re sure all schools are officially out for the summer if you want to try to avoid the crowds as best you can. Our guess, though, is that it will probably be pretty busy all summer, so get down there and be part of the mix.
Go to canobie.com for tickets and more info.
The Lakes Region
If you’ve never been to the Lakes Region in the summer, you’ve been missing out.
There’s so much to do around there in the warmer months that we did a whole issue on it last summer. We don’t have that much space here, but we can tell you that one thing worth doing is taking a cruise on the M.V. Mt. Sunapee II.
The ship departs from the town dock in Sunapee Harbor every day at 2 p.m. for a 90-minute leisure cruise around Lake Sunapee. The tours are guided by an expert who points out key landmarks and various attractions during the cruise. There’s also a dinner cruise you can take aboard the M.V. Kearsarge in which, yep, you guessed it, dinner is served.
For more info about either of the cruises, go to sunapeecruises.com.
While you’re in the Lakes Region, you could also check out Weirs Beach and its famous illuminated sign. The beach is full of history and tradition, and you may have even spent some time there during Bike Week in the past.
There’s always a lot of activity in the area, whether it’s live music or fireworks or other summery things, and there’s also just the beach, if you prefer to just hang out. We don’t have a lot of beach real estate in New Hampshire, so to be able to get to one in about 45 minutes from Concord is kind of a big deal.
For more info on the beach, go to weirsbeach.com.