The 10 Best Free Events Happening in July

Where you can have fun on (less than) a dime this month

photo by karen booth
The Hillsboro Balloon Fest & Fair from July 6-9 is one of the best free events of the month.

1. Fourth of July Weekend, statewide, July 1-4

Happy Independence Day! Celebrate America's birthday to open the month with a Fourth of July event near you. Wondering where to go? Check out our list of Fourth of July fireworks displays and events.

2. Hillsboro Balloon Fest & Fair, Hillsboro, July 6-9

Insider tip for this fan-favorite festival: the balloons take off at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. (603) 464-5858;

3. Spinning Tales and Weaving Stories, Concord, July 7-September 22

As you gear up for the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen's Fair next month, get a sneak peek at the action with this juried multi-genre show by League members. (603) 224-3375;

4. Diners to Detectives: American Vintage and Antique Signs, July 8-September 30

From your morning Dunkin run to your doctor's office to the kids' school, you see dozens of signs a day. Appreciate a showroom full (dating from the 1800s to today) in this New Hampshire Antique Co-op exhibition of the creative and practical functions of signage. (603) 673-8499;

5. Mustang Mania, Merrimack, July 9

Skimped on your Father's Day gifting last month? Celebrate belatedly with this free car show from the Mustang Club of New Hampshire. (603) 533-0884;

6. Movies on the Green, North Conway, July 11-August 22

This seven-week series features such family favorites as "Moana" and the 1950 animated version of "Cinderlla," and it's totally free — if you can resist the lure of the outlet stores surrounding the viewing area. (603) 356-7031;

7. New England Author Series, Auburn, July 12-August 9

Five writers from five different genres (including children's author and New Hampshire Magazine contributor Adi Rule) give talks on their work and their experience in the publishing industry in this all-ages summer literacy event. (603) 483-5374;

8. Trolley Arts Night, Manchester, July 20

Manchester's semiannual communal arts open house is a classic way to have free fun. (603) 232-5597;

9. Make Music Plymouth, Plymouth, July 22

Of the New Hampshire Music Festival's many low- or no-cost events, this family fun day — featuring an instrument petting zoo, festival activities, and performances from 75 different musicians — is our favorite. (603) 238-9007;

10. 18th Annual Chocolate Fest, Waterville Valley, July 29

While each piece of chocolate at this fan-favorite fest is doled out for an individual purchase price, admission is free — a good thing given how much of the sweet stuff you'll want to snatch up and devour in the 2.5-hour local chocolate smorgasbord. (800) 468-2553;

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