40+ NH Museums to Visit This Summer

What to do and where to go when the weather won't cooperate

When the summertime impulse to get out of the house encounters the drearier forces of nature, don’t just hunker down in front of a screen. Hit the road and discover the many bright worlds to be explored inside New Hampshire’s inner space. Museums, large and small, offer journeys into the past and the future and provide new ways of looking at our state and our planet. And if you are feeling lucky, pack a picnic lunch, ’cause you never know when the sun might break through.

Before you head out, make sure you check each museum’s website for updates on reservations, rules and capacity limits. 

North Country | Lakes Region | Concord Area | Manchester Area | Seacoast Region | Monadnock Region | Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee Region

North Country Museums

Museum of the White Mountains
17 High St., Plymouth, NH
(603) 535-3210
Hours: Open to staff, faculty, and students Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Saturdays and Sundays. Open to general public online at any time.
Admission: Free.
About: Opened in February of 2013, this relatively new museum is located on the Plymouth State University campus. The museum’s mission is to preserve, celebrate and promote the history, environmental legacy and culture of the region.


New England Ski Museum
Route 16, North Conway, NH
Hours: Open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
About: The New England Ski Museum in North Conway (the Eastern Slope Branch) houses a history of skiing. Their mission is to collect, conserve, and exhibit elements of ski history for research, education and inspiration.


Stay tuned for opening updates
The Frost Place

158 Ridge Rd., Franconia, NH
(603) 823-5510
Hours: Opens for the season on Memorial Day weekend and closes the week after Columbus Day. Museum hours and days of operation vary by season. The museum grounds, the poetry trail, and Robert Frost’s porch are always open to the public.
About: Simple country cottage where Robert Frost and his family spent summers and lived full time from 1915 to 1920. The cottage has a half-mile nature trail with plaques displaying poems written during the poet’s Franconia years and a small exhibit of signed first-editions of Frost’s work.


Old Man of the Mountain Museum
Franconia State Park, Franconia, NH
(603) 823-8800
Hours: Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.
Admission: Free
About: The stone face might be gone, but his memory lives on in this small museum, located in the Cannon Mountain aerial tramway base station, with an Old Man gift shop (open from Memorial Day Weekend to Columbus Day) and a display of photos and artifacts. The collection includes the turnbuckle used to fasten the Old Man to the mountain when the stone face was crumbling.


Gorham Historical Society & Railroad Museum
25 Railroad St., Gorham, NH
(603) 466-5338
Hours: Open Wednesday through Saturday from Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
About: Situated in a 1907 depot, this museum contains memorabilia of the Grand Trunk Railroad including a B&M 4265 diesel, a Baldwin steam locomotive, Russell snow plow, a caboose and four freight cars, and Fairmont ST2 Track Inspection Car.


Lakes Region Museums

Remick Country Doctor Museum and Farm
58 Cleveland Hill Rd., Tamworth, NH
(603) 323-7591
Hours: Thursdays through Sundays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Admission: Pay what you wish during these COVID-19 times. Fridays are free for Tamworth residents.
About: You can see a working farm with sheep, goats, pigs, cows, steers and chickens. Nestled in the heart of New Hampshire, the farm offers year-round history, season-based learning opportunities and exploratory fun for all generations. Discover Remick!


The Poore Family Farm

Stay tuned for opening updates
Poore Family Homestead Historic Farm Museum
629 Hollow Road Route 145, Stewartstown, NH
(603) 237-5500
Hours: Open June through September 30, Friday-Sunday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Suggested admission: $5 per person and children under 12 are free.
About: A working farm and museum recounting one farm family’s life on the property from the 1830s through the 1980s.

  • Did you know that the most lucrative period of farming in New Hampshire was during the sheep farming boom from 1810-1830?

New Hampshire Boat Museum
399 Center St., Wolfeboro, NH
(603) 569-4554
Hours: Open Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day weekend. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday from 12-4 p.m. Thursday admission is free.
Admission: Adults are $9; seniors (65+) are $7, students 14-21 are $7 and children 13 and under are free.
About: Displays of historic and contemporary power boats, canoes and other watercraft used on local lakes.


The Wright Museum

The Wright Museum
77 Center St., Wolfeboro, NH
(603) 569-1212
Hours: Open May 1-October 31, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Monday-Saturday and 12-4 p.m. on Sunday. Closed November through April, except by appointment.
Admission: Adults are $10; military and seniors are $8; children ages 5-17 are $6; and children under 4 are free.
About: Exhibit of World War II memorabilia, including tanks, posters, home front exhibits and other art and artifacts from the Greatest Generation.


American Classic Arcade Museum
Funspot, 579 Endicott St. North, Laconia, NH
(603) 366-4377
Hours: Monday through Friday from 12-10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Admission: Donations
About: Claims to have the largest collection of vintage working arcade games in the world.

  • Did you know that the cult film “King of Kong” was filmed at Funspot, the site of the arcade museum?

Harold S. Gilman Museum
Rt. 140 and Main St., Alton, NH
(603) 875-2161
Hours: Open by appointment only.
Admission: Free
About: Harold S. Gilman left his collections of guns, buttons, furniture, dolls and photographs to the town. Exhibit includes a rare Regina music box. This varied collection offers insights into the domestic life of nineteenth century Americans and the business and family relationships of Alton families.


New Hampshire Farm Museum
1305 White Mountain Hwy., Milton, NH
(603) 652-7840
Hours: Open to the public Memorial Day to June 21, weekends only from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. From June 21 to August 30, open Wednesday-Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Open August 29-October 20, weekends only from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Admission: Adults, $10, children age 4-17, $5; seniors and students, $7.50; family rate, $25.
About: Learn about three centuries of New Hampshire farm life at this working farm.


Stay tuned for opening updates
Lake Winnipesaukee Museum
503 Endicott St., Laconia, NH
(603) 366-5776
About: Exhibit includes vintage souvenir postcards, photographs and memorabilia of summer camps and steamboats.

  • Did you know that at one time there were more than 100 summer boys and girls camps on Lake Winnipesaukee, the majority run by educators interested in the physical and moral health of youth? There are now about two dozen camps left.

Libby Museum
755 North Main Street, Wolfeboro, NH
(603) 569-1035
Hours: Open Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. from June 1 through Labor Day, except Mondays. Open Sundays from 12-4 p.m.
Admission: $5 for adults and free to seniors and veterans
About: A natural history museum built in 1912 by local dentist Henry Libby includes mounted animals, Abenaki Indian artifacts and more.


The Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum

Concord Area Museums

New Hampshire Historical Society
30 Park Street, Concord, NH
(603) 228-6688
Hours: Open for appointment only Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 1:30-4:30 p.m.
Admission: $7 for ages 18 and older.
About: The New Hampshire Historical Society’s museum includes a Concord Coach, 19th century paintings of the White Mountains, Abenaki artifacts and the “mystery stone” (don’t ask, you’ll have to visit). The museum even has a re-creation of a fire lookout tower on the roof with a magnificent view of the Merrimack River as it corkscrews its way north.


Canterbury Shaker Village
288 Shaker Rd., Canterbury, NH
(603) 783-9511
Hours: Open June 12 through September. Hours TBD.
About: Canterbury Shaker Village is a tribute to the 200-year history of the Canterbury Shakers with 25 restored original Shaker buildings, four reconstructed Shaker buildings and 694 acres of forests, fields, gardens, nature trails and mill ponds. On site is one of the best museum gift shops in the state and The Shaker Box Lunch & Farm Stand offering sandwiches, salads, soups, baked goods and local products.


McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center
2 Institute Dr., Concord, NH
(603) 271-7827
Hours: Open all year, but hours vary due to seasons and school vacation weeks. See a complete list of hours here.
Admission: Ticket prices vary
About: Foster a sense of wonder and curiosity about astronomy, aviation, earth and space science with the center’s many exhibits, activities, planetarium and more. There are also a number of programs and events scheduled throughout the year.

  • Did you know that when New Hampshire’s own Alan Shepard became the first American in space in 1961, his 302-mile trip took only 15 minutes?

New Hampshire Telephone Museum
1 Depot St., Warner, NH
(603) 456-2234
Hours: Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: $7 per person; seniors (60+) are $6; school-age children are $3 and military members are free.
About: View a collection of telephones, equipment and tools from the very first telephones to the latest wireless devices. Display includes hand-cranked magneto boxes familiar to viewers of old movies – you know, “call me on the Don Ameche.” Visitors to the New Hampshire Telephone Museum can now also enhance their experience by using our mobile tour app.

  • Did you know that until the New England Hurricane of 1938 small, private telephone companies were common in New Hampshire? It was only after all those trees fell that Bell Telephone bought them out and prospered.

Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum
18 Highlawn Rd., Warner, NH
(603) 456-2600
Hours: Open daily from May 1 to October 31. Open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and on Sunday from 12-4 p.m.
Admission: Adults are $9; seniors and students are $8; children ages 6-12 are $7 and children under 6 are free. Native Americans are free.
About: View exhibits of Native Americana – dioramas, clothing and crafts as well as teepee mockup and a nature trail highlighting plants used for medicine and native American rituals.


The Aviation Museum of New Hampshire. Photo by Kevin Harkins

Manchester Area Museums

Currier Museum of Art
150 Ash St., Manchester, NH
(603) 669-7194
Hours: Open Thursdays from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admission: Adults are $15; senior (65+) are $13, students are $10; youth (13-17) are $5.
About: The Currier is considered to be one of the best small museums in the country and includes European and American paintings, decorative arts, photographs and sculpture, including works by Picasso, Monet, O’Keeffe and Wyeth. The museum also offers tours of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Zimmerman House, and has an on-site café, The Winter Garden.


SEE Science Center
200 Bedford St., Manchester, NH
(603) 669-0400
Hours: Open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-5 p.m.
Admission: $9 per person ages 3 and up.
About: Includes hands-on exhibits about light, sound, electricity and simple machines. There is also a model of the Amoskeag millyard made from three million LEGOs on permanent display.


Millyard Museum
200 Bedford St., Manchester, NH
(603) 622-7531
Hours: Open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: Adults are $8; seniors and college students are $6; children age 12-18 are $4; and under 12 are free.
About: On permanent display is “Woven in time: 11,000 Years at Amoskeag Falls.” Amoskeag Mills was one of the largest textile mills in the world and employed more than 17,000 people at its peak. The museum houses the over 600,000 documents and artifacts from the Manchester Historical Society, from neon shoe store signs to textile looms. Visitors to the Millyard Museum can also now enhance their experience by using a new mobile tour app as they explore the museum.


Aviation Museum of New Hampshire
27 Navigator Rd., Londonderry, NH
(603) 669-4820
Hours: Open Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m.- 4 p. m. and on Sunday from 1-4 p.m.
Admission: Adults are $5; seniors are $4; children 12-16 are $2.50; under 12 are free; veterans are $4; max family price is $15.
About: Airplane models, photographs and memorabilia of Granite State’s history in the air. The museum is housed in the original Art Deco terminal building built in 1937.

  • Did you know the terminal building was one of only two structures in the United States moved across a working runway?

American Credit Union Museum
420 Notre Dame Ave., Manchester, NH
(603) 629-1553
Hours: Open by appointment only Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. or by virtual visit online.
About: The museum was the former dwelling of Joseph Boivin, manager of the St. Mary’s Cooperative Credit Association, with period offices and exhibits on the history of the credit union.

  • Did you know that St. Mary’s Cooperative Credit Association was the first credit union in the country? It was founded by Monsignor Pierre Hevey and his Manchester parishioners in 1908.

Seacoast Area Museums

Strawbery Banke Museum
14 Hancock St., Portsmouth, NH
(603) 433-1100
Hours: Open June 19 to October 17 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admission: Adult are $19.50; children ages 5-17 are $9; children under 5 are free; families (two adults accompanying children under 17) are $48.
About: This 10-acre site was the location of the first Portsmouth settlement in 1630 and continued to be a residential area until the 1960s. The restored buildings represent over 300 years of our state and our nation’s history. Check out their calendar to see what special events are happening throughout their season. 


Portsmouth Athenaeum
6-9 Market Square, Portsmouth, NH
(603) 431-2538
Hours: Open Tuesday through Saturday from 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: Free33
About: Genealogy, maritime history, biographies and Civil War memorabilia are featured here.


The Seacoast Science Center

Seacoast Science Center
570 Ocean Boulevard, Rye, NH
(603) 436-8043
Hours: Open Friday-Sunday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: Ages 13 and above are $10; seniors and active military are $8; ages 3-12 are $5; and under 3 are free.
About: Enjoy a variety of fish tanks and exhibits of the Seacoast. The 32-foot-long skeleton of a humpback whale hangs from the museum’s ceiling.

  • Did you know that the heart of the average humpback whale weighs 430 pounds – about as much as three adult humans?

Children’s Museum of New Hampshire
6 Washington St., Dover, NH
(603) 742-2002
Hours: Open Wednesday and Sunday from 9-11:30 a.m. and Thursday-Saturday from 9-11:30 a.m. and 1-3:30 p.m.
Admission: $11 for adults and children over age 1; seniors (65+) are $9.
About: Check out hands-on learning and fun for all ages. Climb through caves, discover dinosaurs and learn to fly. There are also numerous ongoing STEAM innovation programs as well as special events.


Derry History Museum
29 West Broadway, Derry, NH
(603) 434-1247
Hours: Open Sunday 1-5 p.m. and by appointment
Admission: Free
About: This local potpourri includes Native American artifacts like a dugout canoe and a quill basket. There’s also a room devoted to native son, astronaut Alan Shepard, and a rock artifact commemorating the growing of the first potato in North America in town in 1719.


Stay tuned for opening updates
Tuck Museum
40 Park Ave., Hampton, NH
(603) 929-0781
Hours: Open in the spring, summer and fall on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday from 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: Free but donations are appreciated.
About: Exhibit of millstones, monuments, a fire station museum, old postcards and memorabilia of this seaside town first settled by Puritans in 1638. Collection includes the Viking’s Stone thought by some to be a relic of an early visit to the area by Norsemen.


Woodman Institute Museum
182 Central Avenue, Dover, NH
(603) 742-1038
Hours: Book a tour online
Admission: Adults are $13; senior citizens are $10; students 13-college and active military are $9; children 4-12 are $7; and children 3 and under are free.
About: Eclectic collection of local art artifacts including 1,300 labeled rocks and minerals and a 10-foot tall polar bear. Exhibit also includes the last cougar killed in the state, in 1843.

  • Did you know that the last cougar in the state was killed in 1843?

American Independence Museum
1 Governors Lane, Exeter, NH
(603) 772-2622
Hours: Tours available on Thursday from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Admission: $5 a person
About: Permanent collections include American furnishings, ceramics, silver, textiles and military ephemera. The museum was founded in 1991 to display rare Dunlap Broadside of the Declaration of Independence found on the property in 1985.


USS Albacore Museum Albacore Park
600 Market St., Portsmouth, NH
(603) 436-3680
Hours: Open June to September 6, Monday to Sunday from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admission: Adults are $9; children age 5-14 are $4; children under 7 and active military are free.
About: Take a hands-on tour of a submarine built in at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. You can sit on the bunks and tables in the cramped quarters and even check out the traffic on Route 1 Bypass through the periscope.

  • Did you know that the USS Albacore was an experimental submarine built expressly for speed in 1953? Fish were used as a model. The vessel ship has a cod’s head and a mackerel’s tail.

Monadnock Area Museums

Mariposa Museum and World Culture Center
26 Main St., Peterborough, NH
(603) 924-4555
Hours: Open Tuesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admission: Adults are $8; seniors are $6; children ages 3-16 are $5.
About: An interactive museum of artifacts from around the world including drums, costumes, chimes and marionettes in a historic Baptist church. Make sure to visit the outdoor zen garden.


Florence H. Speare Memorial Museum
5 Abbott St., Nashua, NH
(603) 883-0015
Hours: Open Tuesday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: Free
About: Operated by the Nashua Historical Society this small museum features Industrial Age artifacts, an impressive selection of historical textiles and rotating exhibits.


Stay tuned for opening updates
Horatio Colony Museum and Nature Preserve
199 Main St., Keene, NH
(603) 352-0460
Hours: Open May 1 through October 15 on Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission: Free.
About: The four-square Federal-style house built in 1806 was the home of Horatio Colony, descendant of one of Keene’s historic families and is filled with original family furnishings.


Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee museums

Stay tuned for opening updates
The Aidron Duckworth Art Museum
21 Bean Rd., Meriden, NH
(603) 469-3444
Hours: Open April 28 – October 28 on Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
About: This museum is dedicated to preserving and presenting the artworks of Aidron Duckworth. The building, Meriden’s former “White School,” was an elementary school from 1940 to 1972. From 1977 to 2001 it was Duckworth’s home and studio, and for a brief time his art school for adults. You’ll also find works from guest artists, four changing exhibitions each year, and sculptures outdoors on the former school grounds and Duckworth’s gardens.


Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site
139 Saint Gaudens Rd., Cornish, NH
(603) 675-2175
Hours: Park grounds, gardens, outdoor monuments and trails are open. Historic buildings are temporarily closed.
Admission: $10 for ages 16 and over. The receipt is valid for seven days and may be used for re-entry to the park. Children 15 and under are free.
About: This is the home, studios and gardens of famed American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. The park’s trails and grounds are open year-round, dawn till dusk for hiking use. The Visitor Center is typically open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Memorial Day weekend (late May) to Oct 31. Guided tours are offered during this time.

Did you know that Augustus Saint-Gaudens was the first sculptor to design an American coin? The $20 gold piece he designed in 1907 at the request of Theodore Roosevelt is known as a “Saint-Gaudens” by coin collectors. Click here for our guide to the Saint-Gaudens estate plus a history of the artist’s life.


The Fells Historic Estate and Gardens
456 Route 103A, Newbury, NH
(603) 763-4789
Hours: House, trails and garden hours vary. Click here for complete details.
Admission: Adults are $10; seniors and students are $8; children ages 6-17 are $4; and ages 5 and under are free.
About: The Fells spans across 83 acres of beauty and tranquility. Visitors can learn the legacy of diplomat and statesman John Milton Hay, tour the 22-room Colonial Revival home, explore the forests, walk the woodland trails and enjoy the renowned gardens. The Fells is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a preservation project of The Garden Conservancy.


Stay tuned for opening updates
The Hood Downtown
53 Main St., Hanover, NH
Hours: Open on Wednesday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday-Friday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; closed on Monday and Tuesday.
About: The Hood Museum of Art dates back to 1772 and is owned and operated by Dartmouth College. It houses both permanent collections and visiting exhibitions.


Stay tuned for opening updates
Enfield Shaker Museum
Rte. 4A, Enfield, NH
(603) 632-4346
Admission: Adults are $12; ages 11-17 are $8, children 6-10 are $3; and children 5 and under are free.
About: Canterbury was not the state’s only Shaker village, one also once thrived on Mascoma Lake in Enfield. Thirteen of the original buildings still survive and the Great Stone Dwelling, the largest structure ever built by the sect, is now a museum. The collection includes clothing, furniture, tools and photographs of the earnest agriculturists. The museum also has an extensive herb and flower garden.

Categories: Family-friendly things to do, Summer Attractions