Historic Summer Arts



Painting Retreat


Paint en plein air at the “Seascapes and Landscapes” retreat on Appledore island. Photo courtesy of Shoals marine Labratory

For those who like to mix their summer adventures with a soupçon of culture, we’ve got you covered. This summer, the Shoals Marine Laboratory on Appledore Island, in partnership with the University of New Hampshire and Cornell University, is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a number of events including the “Seascapes and Landscapes” retreat from Aug. 25-29, which offers a chance to walk in the shoes of Impressionist artist Childe Hassam, who painted on the island many times at the turn of the 20th century.

Summer Theater

Move over, Broadway — the Granite State is the place to take in a play, especially in the summer. You might not know it, but we’re home to three of the oldest summer theaters in the country. At each, you can soak up a unique mix of great performances, history and small-town charm.

Located in the village of Tamworth, The Barnstormers Theatre was founded in 1931 by Francis Cleveland (the youngest son of President Grover Cleveland), Francis’ wife Alice and their friend Ed Goodnow. Today, it consists of more than 40 professional actors, some of whom have been performing at Barnstormers for 50 years.


A production of “Our Town,” which was inspired by Peterborough, at the Peterborough Players theater. Photo courtesy of the Peterborough Players.

A true rustic theatre company, the Peterborough Players was founded in 1933 and performances are held in an 18th-century barn to this day, but don’t worry — there’s air conditioning. “Our Town,” which was inspired by Peterborough, was once performed here with author Thornton Wilder in the audience.

Partake in the very special tradition of gathering on the porch at the New London Barn Playhouse, which opened in 1933. The tickets might not be 50 cents these days, but the price of entry is well worth it.

And don’t forget the Palace Theatre in Manchester, which hosts an impressive array of performances, comedians, plays and more year-round and puts on an excellent summer children’s series that will delight the little ones and entertain the adults. This gorgeously restored historic theater first raised the curtains in 1915.

 

More Epic Summer Fun

Ultimate Summer Festivals

There are summer fests galore in New Hampshire, but here are a few noteworthy ones no epic summer would be complete without.

Aquatic Adventures - Surfing, Fishing, Scuba and More

Where to find surfing and scuba lessons, an idyllic lakeside fishing resort and beautiful waterfalls.

Ultimate Trails and Tours

Don't just drive up Mount Washington - hike it. Or take a tour of our state's historic and iconic covered bridges, find the most beautiful swimming hole or attempt our tough section of the Appalachian Trail.

Take to the Air

Get airborne with hot air balloon rides, hang gliding and scenic flights over the Presidential Range.
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