The 10 Best Free Events Happening in August

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



Courtesy photo
Don't forget to check out this unique show that draws its inspiration from the human hobbies of bird appreciation and bird watching.

1. Lamont Gallery Presents - Welcome to Bird Land: Michele L'Heureux, Exeter, August 1-October 13

Working with artist/collaborator Helen Popinchalk, L’Heureux explores how an encounter with a bird, a “spark” bird, can inspire a lifetime of wonder. The exhibition includes an interactive bird blind, collage, costumes, prints, photography and works of art from the Lamont Gallery collection, and is an immersive ode to birds. (603) 777-3461; exeter.edu


2. Discovering New England Stone Walls, Windham, August 2

Kevin Gardner, author of “The Granite Kiss,” explores why we are so fascinated with stone walls. He explains how and why New England came to acquire its thousands of miles of stone walls, the ways in which they and other dry stone structures were built, how their styles emerged and changed over time, and their significance to the famous New England landscape. Gardner will also be building a miniature wall or walls on a tabletop using tiny stones. (603) 432-7154; nhhumanities.org


3. Rock On Fest, Concord, August 10-11

At a festival put on by two Granite Staters-turned-pro basketballers, you can expect a bit of b-ball — but that's not all this free festival offers. The fete takes over downtown Concord with a three-on-three basketball tourney and an outdoor screening of "Space Jam," but also a free fresh-air yoga class, family activities and live performances from a slew of indie rockers. rockonfoundation.org


4. 42nd Alton Bay Boat Show, Alton Bay, August 11

Are you a fan of classic wooden boats? Then this one’s for you. Boat owners are encouraged to bring their wooden or fiberglass boats (up to 1975) to show off at the town docks for all to see. Bring your family and friends to stroll the docks to see the wonderfully restored boats. Don’t forget to cast your vote to help pick the first, second and third place winner for the People’s Choice Award. (603) 569-4554; nhbm.org


5. 26th Annual Lincoln Summer Craft Festival, Lincoln, August 11-12

Over 100 artisans will be display and sell their traditional American-made works, including fine jewelry, pottery, scarves, toys, baskets and so much more. You can also sample specialty foods such as kettle corn, herbal dips, maple syrup, candy and chocolate. Pets are also welcome, just make sure they are on a leash. castleberryfairs.com


6. Hampton Beach Children's Festival, Hampton, August 13-17

This festival is all about the kids. The event of the summer kicks off with a magic show by BJ Hickman at the Hampton Beach Seashell Stage, and builds up to a giant costume parade that marches almost the length of the entire beach. Every child gets a prize just for taking part. Each day there will be filled with nonstop activity and entertainment, including mini-golf, free ice cream, balloons, dancing, storytellers and even a kids’ bumper sticker contest. hamptonbeach.org


7. Paint Wolfeboro, Wolfeboro, August 15

With the kids headed back to school in the coming weeks, lake-lounging season is almost over. Soak in the last of it with this free arts fest. Plein air painters will be hard at work all day downtown, along the lakeshore, and on the town walking trails. Catch them mid-painting as you stroll, or bring your wallet to snatch up one of their finished works. (603) 569-4994; wolfeboroarts.org


8. Railway to the Moon Steampunk Festival, Mt. Washington, August 18

From a movement inspired by Victorian-era science fiction, it's perhaps no surprise that the world's first mountain-climbing cog railway holds particular appeal. Dress up in your steampunk finery (think corsets and top hats meet spyglasses and mechanical accessories) or just take in the revelry. Festivities for the day include displays on cycling and steam power and a costumed reenactor portraying Sylvester Marsh, the inventor of The Cog. (603) 278-5404; thecog.com


9. Greeley Park Arts Show, Nashua, August 18-19

Not many art fairs can claim a six-decade history, but this one can...and then some. The 65th annual iteration of this show will feature more than 50 artists from genres of all kinds, plus paint-alongs and a raffle that helps fund scholarships for local high schoolers. Best of all, the fest is pet-friendly, so Fido can get in on the art action too. (405) 698-1951; nashuaareaartistsassoc.org


10. North Country Moose Festival, Colebrook, August 24

Head to Colebrook the weekend before Labor Day to celebrate all things “moose.” This year’s festivities include live music, arts and crafts vendors, horse and wagon rides, and rumor has it there is even a moose calling contest. There will also be a dog show, maple syrup tasting contest and the classic car show. Bring the whole family to this old-time fun event that showcases the many diverse talents and services in the North Country. (603) 237-8939; chamberofthenorthcountry.com

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