The 10 Best Free Events Happening in July

Where you can have fun on (less than) a dime this month
The Hillsboro Balloon Fest & Fair from July 12-15 is one of the best free events of the month. Photo by Karen Booth

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

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

2. A Visit With Queen Victoria, Meredith, July 6

Join Sally Mummey as she performs this living history story in 19th-century clothing. In 1837, a young Victoria ascended to the British throne where those around her underestimated her. Using Queen Victoria’s diary and letters, this program reveals the personal details of a powerful woman. She and her husband, Albert, set an example of dedication and high moral character, and she left a royal legacy behind her. (603) 279-1500;

3. Art in Bloom: A Walking Tour of Jackson, Jackson, July 7

Tour this quintessential New Hampshire town while taking in the floral interpretation of art this summer. The Mountain Garden Club presents this annual gift to the valley where creativity abounds in various public buildings all within walking distance. Start the day at any of the marked sites and follow the map to the various exhibitors and local restaurants for lunch. (603) 264-9068;

4. Summertime Concert Series, Tilton, July 8

East Bay Show Band — Gerry Grimo has one of the best big bands that you will see all summer. This show will feature Love Records recording artist Victoria. There will be songs you know and love, and food and refreshments will be available. Don't forget to bring a blanket or lawn chair. (603) 286-3000;

5. Movies on the Green, North Conway, July 10-August 21

This seven-week series features such family favorites as "Cars 3" and the 1971 classic "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," and it's totally free — if you can resist the lure of the outlet stores surrounding the viewing area. (603) 356-7031;

6. Hillsboro Balloon Fest & Fair, Hillsboro, July 12-15

Soar up, up and away at this popular summer event. Besides hot air balloons, there are food vendors, live entertainment, activities for the kids and fireworks. Insider tip for this fan-favorite festival: the balloons take off at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. (603) 464-5858;

7. 41st Annual Loon Festival, Moultonborough, July 21

For more than 40 years, the Loon Preservation Committee has worked to preserve the common loon and its habitat in the Granite State through research, education and management activities. Attend this event and learn about these marvelous and mysterious birds and how you can help protect them.

8. 8th Annual Summer Psychic Fair, Laconia, July 21

We can’t see into the future, but we can predict that you will have fun at this event. Take part in a day filled with presentations, a marketplace and some of the finest nationally known psychics. There will also be door prizes, indoor and outdoor attractions, concessions and a great, unique atmosphere. (603) 321-4818;

9. Trolley Arts Night, Manchester, July 26

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

10. 19th Annual Chocolate Fest, Waterville Valley, July 28

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;

Categories: Featured Events, Features, Guide to Summer