Events, features and things to do for families in New Hampshire
By Jacqueline Tourville
Let's celebrate spring in New Hampshire with a growing season road trip that takes us to two “living farm” museums, some great spots for family hikes and outdoor recreation, and a fun Earth Day celebration you won't want to miss.
Moo! Our road trip begins in Lee with a stop at the pasture-filled paradise that makes up UNH's Organic Dairy Research Farm at 216 Lee Hook Road. Have you ever seen cows head out to the green grassy fields of spring? They really do kick and dance – and if you are lucky, you might just catch a glimpse of the annual spring frolic. The public is welcome to drop by the farm during daily hours of operation to watch the dairy herd in action.
Have kids who need to do a little frolicking of their own? From Lee, head north on Route 155 to Kingman Farm in Madbury, another UNH-owned property that is part-working farm and part-forest. Watch fields as they are planted and then come back to watch their progress. Ribbons of trails crisscrossing the 335-acre farm and kid-friendly terrain make this a popular place for outdoor-loving families – dogs are welcome, too, as are mountain bikes in certain areas. Look for the large sign and parking area on the left.
More signs of spring? Get back in the car and continue north until you reach a junction with Route 16/Spaulding Turnpike. Take Route 16 north to Milton (exit 17) and follow signs for the New Hampshire Farm Museum. Located on a sprawling complex of antique farm buildings and rolling fields just north of town, the NH Farm Museum is ushering in the season with a special Earth Day program for families April 25 to 27, just in time for school vacation. Come to the museum for nature hikes with the folks from Moose Mountain Regional Greenways, barn hunts and visits with the farm animals and activities such as planting, making seed tapes, gathering spring herbs and tasting sorrel soup. The museum will officially reopen for the summer season in May.
Nice enough for a picnic? Follow Route 125 south from the museum to find a large lakeside recreation area with picnic tables. It’s then back to Route 16 where we head north again, this time all the way to the Remick Country Doctor Museum & Farm in Tamworth, a living history museum and working farm. Special events are being planned for spring vacation week, including daily hands-on activities at 12:30 p.m., a special arts and crafts day, and a hearthside luncheon in which kids do the cooking on April 17. Visit the chickens, cows, turkeys, sheep and goats that call the farm home – and don't miss the newborn lambs and piglets. Visitors can also roam the farm's nature trail for spectacular scenic views stretching all the way to Mount Chocorua and the Ossipee Mountain Range.
With all this farm-spiration, is this the year your family's backyard garden finally becomes a reality? April is the perfect month to get digging and on this road trip you are sure to meet lots of friendly experts who are able to offer some great gardening advice.
Jacqueline Tourville is a freelance writer from Nashua and frequent contributor to Parenting New Hampshire Magazine.
Last updated by Parenting NH Administrator Mar 30, 2012.