It’s cold out there, but there’s plenty to do indoors in Concord

Carter Locke (right), 5, gets an ice skating lesson from his dad, Nate, at Everett Arena last week. There were a few slips and falls along the way, but that didn't stop these boys from having an ice time (see what we did there?). JON BODELL / Insider staff
Carter Locke (right), 5, gets an ice skating lesson from his dad, Nate, at Everett Arena last week. There were a few slips and falls along the way, but that didn't stop these boys from having an ice time (see what we did there?). JON BODELL / Insider staff
Ronnie Palmer plays with his son, Ronnie, in a foam pit at Altitude Trampoline Park in Concord's Steeplegate Mall on November 21, 2018. Caitlin Andrews
Ronnie Palmer plays with his son, Ronnie, in a foam pit at Altitude Trampoline Park in Concord's Steeplegate Mall on November 21, 2018. Caitlin Andrews

You’ve probably figured out by now that the cold has arrived, and likely isn’t going anywhere for at least five months or so. While this puts an end to dining on the sidewalks downtown, fishing at the White Park pond and swimming at the city pools, it shouldn’t force you into full-on hibernation mode, either.

It’s true that there just isn’t as much to do outside when temperatures drop below freezing and the sun sets before 5 p.m., but thankfully Concord has a whole lot to do indoors when the weather is harsh. Since we’re always looking for things to keep you busy all year long, we figured we’d pull together this little guide of indoor activities you can keep yourself busy with this winter.

Ice skating at Everett Arena

Okay, so maybe it doesn’t make sense to include ice skating on a list of things you can do to avoid the freezing cold, but at least there won’t be any wind or rain inside the Everett Arena. And even though there’s a huge sheet of ice in there, you can get away with hanging out in there with just a long-sleeve shirt.

The arena is open for ice skating every day through March 13. Skating hours are 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is $5 (kids ages 3 and under get in free) and skate rentals are available, if needed, for an additional $5 at the arena’s pro shop. If you don’t know how to skate, there are also lessons available through Parks and Recreation.

For more information on ice skating, go to  concordnh.gov/skating.

Mall fun

So there’s really not much left of Steeplegate Mall anymore, especially after Sears officially vacates in the next few months. The businesses still there, however, can provide some non-shopping kind of fun for all ages.

For the younger crowd, there’s the V.I. Party Rentals Entertainment Center, affectionately known as the bounce house place. This space offers kids the opportunity to bounce on inflatables, Sumo wrestle, play laser tag and just run around and let off energy. For $10, your kid can bounce all day. Go to vipartyrentals.com/ entertainment-center for more info.

For a slightly older crowd – more like teenagers than toddlers – there’s Altitude Trampoline Park. Altitude provides a different type of bouncing experience, relying on trampolines rather than inflatable structures. There are also games such as dodgeball you can play at Altitude, so if you’re looking for something more challenging than the Entertainment Center has to offer, you might want to try Altitude. Go to altitudeconcord .com for more info.

For the adult crowd, Hatbox Theatre is a solid option for a night out. This small theater hosts performances almost every weekend, and the December schedule of shows is off the charts with holiday performances.

For a full schedule of events, information about each show and to buy tickets, go to hatboxnh.com.

Other staples

There are several other indoor establishments in Concord worth checking out this winter, including:

Red River Theatres: The city’s downtown, independent movie theater is always showing engaging movies you won’t likely see at the big, chain movie theaters. There are also lots of special events and meet-and-greet programs. Go to redrivertheatres.org for more info.

McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center: The Discovery Center is a fun place for the whole family to learn about aerospace and other cool science-related stuff. The center has also begun hosting late-night events for the 21-plus crowd, so check out starhop.com for more information about that.

Concord Public Library: The library is always a valuable resource, no matter the time of year. Stop in, grab something to read (like a copy of the Monitor) and expand your mind some. Go to concordpubliclibrary.com.

Author: Jon Bodell

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