A Fun Family Getaway

Ocean Staters don't typically think of heading north in the winter, but the Granite State has plenty to offer for families


I’m a terrible skier, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The summer is a great time to visit, especially if you have kids. We’ve been three years in a row, each year adding a day to our getaway. Rates for condo rentals (we use cyberrentals.com) or local hotels are low this time of year, and you can usually get a great rate, particularly if you’re staying mid-week.

My kids are still on the young side, at four and six, so we haven’t tried some of the more adventurous excursions like Lost River, the Polar Caves or tubing on the Saco River. The great thing about the White Mountains is the variety of excursions and activities for all ages. Here are the highlights of our most recent trip:

Story Land

Story Land is a must if your kids are under eight. We’ve gone each year, and each year they beg to come back. The theme is classic storybook characters with rides, games and characters ranging from princesses to Humpty Dumpty filling out the park. My kids no longer nap (but, man, were those the days!), so we can get through this park comfortably in a day. 850 NH Route 16, Glen, NH. 603-383-4186

Don’t Miss: Dr. Geyser’s Raft Ride – a sure-fire way to cool off on a hot day.

Tips: On certain weeks in the summer, if you purchase your ticket after 3pm, the next day is free. There’s a good-sized splash area, so bring the kids’ swimsuits.

Whale’s Tale
Whale’s Tale is big water park that’s great for all ages. For the little ones, there’s Whale’s Harbor, a fun area with small slides, water shooters and 16” of pool water. It’s perfect for toddlers or young kids that are apprehensive about swimming. My kids love this area, though they are a little big for it. This year we spent most of our time at Shipwreck Island, a wet and wild area for older kids. The slides are bigger, wetter but still safe young kids. Plus, adults can get in on the slide action, too. 491 Daniel Webster Highway, Lincoln, NH. 603-745-8810

Don’t Miss: Jonah’s Escape, a winding and wet lazy river; and the wave pool – good fun for all!

Tips: If you purchase your ticket after 3pm, the next day is free.

Santa’s Village
I was a little unsure about a Christmas in July theme park at first, but Santa’s Village is a great for families with young kids. Upon entering, each kid gets a stamp card with the 26 letters of the alphabet. Each attraction has a different elf in front of it – and each with a corresponding letter you get stamped. This activity was the highlight of the day – my kids were so excited to find all the elves. At the end, you turn in your card for a keychain. 528 Presidential Highway, Jefferson, NH. 603-586-4445

Don’t Miss: Feeding the reindeer.

Tips: There are some wet rides, so bring suits with you.