Manchester's main suburb is a hub for cabin fever-busting fun
By Jacqueline Tourville
With kids' classes galore, indoor play spaces and invigorating outdoor recreation areas, Bedford may just be the Granite State's ultimate antidote for the February blahs.
Are your kids crawling the walls from too much time inside? Pack up the sleds and snowshoes and venture out for some free family fun at Bedford's Benedictine Park.
Located on Wallace Road (off Route 101), the 27-acre recreation area is home to a popular sledding hill and two snowshoeing/cross-country ski trails. Elsewhere in town, take a spin around the skating pond at Center Park in Bedford's historic village center, or check out even more trails at the Pulpit Rock Conservation property. Snowshoeing/hiking trails, located off Boston Road near the Bedford/New Boston line, take you to an interesting waterfall formation known as "Pulpit Rock." If conditions are right, you'll find the cascading water frozen into giant stalactites of ice.
When the weather dictates that you have to spend time indoors, check out My Gym, a children's fitness center with equipment and classes geared for kids from 6 weeks to 13 years old. If you're already a member, take advantage of open family playtimes; groups, clubs and organizations are welcome to schedule a free sample class.
For moms-to-be and new parents, beat back the winter blues, and learn some important skills, at Nini Bambini, a pregnancy and early childhood resource center and retail store. Take a prenatal yoga class, attend a seminar on infant massage, or just stop by to browse the store's unique selection of maternity and baby items.
For artsy families, You're Fired is perfect for an afternoon or evening of paint-your-own-pottery fun. Also, The Bedford Youth Performing Company offers quality music, dance and theater arts classes to more than 1,400 students in southern New Hampshire. For an exciting night out, the BYPC's annual Family Mardi Gras celebration takes place on Feb. 13 at the Manchester Country Club.
Still antsy? Bounce the blahs away at Bedford's BounceU, an indoor, inflatable-filled playground. Schedule a birthday (or winter break) party, sign up for weekly toddler and preschool classes or check out Family Bounce Night, an evening of non-stop up and down fun.
Stop by the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce at 889 Elm St. in Manchester to pick up a map and brochure, or go to www.manchester-chamber.org for more information.
Nearby: 1. BounceU: 21 Commerce Park North. Family Bounce Night is held on Thursdays, starting at 6 p.m. Dinner (pizza) is also available. Space is limited and reservations are strongly encouraged. Call 621-4011 for more information. 2. My Gym: 126 South River Road (Across from Macy's). All new members receive special discounts and a welcome packet. Call 668-7196 for class schedules and rates. 3. Nini Bambini: 166 South River Road. Store hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Baby shower gift registry available. Nini Bambini also offers doula services and life coaching. Call for class schedules. 666-6464 4. Bedford Youth Performing Company: 155 Route 101. Founded in 1996, the BYPC is built in the tradition of Boston Conservatory and Julliard, and offers comprehensive programs in music, dance and theater to kids and adults of all ages. Go to www.bypc.org for more schedules and registration information. 5. You're Fired: 25 South River Road (across from the Post Office at Bedford Square). Get your kids' creative juices flowing! Check out Mini Mondays, where kids younger than 12 receive half-off studio fees, or Teen Night, every Friday from 5-9 p.m. For more information, go to www.yourefirednh.com.