The 10 Best Free Events Happening in September

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

Auburn Day & 27th Annual Duck Race, happening on September 7, is one of the 10 best free events of the month. Courtesy photo

1. Celebrating 20 Years of the Prison Outreach Program, Concord, September 1-9

The NH Furniture Masters present this unique gallery you don’t want to miss. The exhibition features works by inmates participating in the Furniture Masters’ Prison Outreach Programs in the New Hampshire and Maine state prisons. A variety of hand-crafted fine furniture will be on display, including jewelry boxes, tables and desks, a bookcase and Shaker boxes. (603) 228-0836;

2. Wings of Hope Butterfly Release, Lebanon, September 7

This unique, memorable experience provides a special occasion for families, friends, staff and the community to honor lost loved ones. It brings people together, whether part of the grieving process or a time to share happy memories with others who have endured similar feelings of loss. The program includes special readings, music and a powerful butterfly release. (888) 300-8853;

3. Auburn Day and 27th Annual Duck Race, Auburn, September 7

Each year, the Auburn Historical Association puts on this free festival featuring the Salmon Falls Apple Pie Contest, Duckling Dash 5K, Pretty Chicken Contest, local artisans, Roaming Railroad, Wildlife Encounters, food vendors and more. Don’t miss the day’s main event, the official duck race, which kicks off at 3 p.m. Top prize is $1,000 and cash prizes are awarded for the top 10 fastest ducks.

4. Calef’s Country Store 150th Anniversary Celebration, Barrington, September 7

Stop by the beloved country store for a day packed with fun and nostalgia. There will also be bluegrass bands, food trucks and other vendors in the parking lot.

5. River Valley Artisans Art & Wine Tour, Westmoreland, September 7-8

This annual event allows you to enjoy delicious wine and stroll among displays of various paintings by local artists. Poocham Hill and Summit Winery have joined the River Valley Artisans for this weekend of art, fun, wine and food. There will be oil paintings, watercolors, pastels, photography, jewelry, fiber art and woodware among other handmade items.

6. Derryfest, Derry, September 21

Grow up in Derry? This is your chance for a homecoming. The free fest features live entertainment, a presentation from the Wildlife Encounters Zoo, and appearances from the top finishers in the Greater Derry’s Got Talent competition. (603) 437-0505;

7. Museum Day, Statewide, September 21

Smithsonian Magazine‘s Museum Day is an annual one-day event in which participating museums and cultural institutions across the United States provide free entry to anyone presenting a Museum Day ticket. Participants are allowed to download one ticket per email address and each ticket is valid for two people. Participating New Hampshire museums include, New Hampshire Boat Museum in Wolfeboro Falls, New Hampshire Historical Museums in Concord, American Independence Museum in Exeter and several more.

8. Capital Arts Fest, Concord, September 27-29

The League of NH Craftsmen invites you to this juried craft fair on Main Street in the Arts District of Concord. The event features juried members of the League and invited artisans from around New England, craft demonstrations, local music and delicious food. Guests will be able to view “Then and Now – How Far We’ve Come” featuring both early and current work of League juried members to showcase their personal journeys as craftsmen and “Journey – An Encaustic Exhibition” that will feature several contemporary encaustic artists. The Exhibition Gallery will be open extended hours to coincide with the Fest’s other activities.

9. New England Roots Festival, Nashua, September 28

Folk, Americana and bluegrass lovers, this one’s for you. Musicians from those genres and more move into downtown Nashua for this two-day fest, shutting down Main Street and filling various other venues with live performances and festival accoutrements including food trucks, demos and a vendor fair. (603) 883-5700;

10. Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival, Portsmouth, September 28-29

Join dozens of folk and sea music performers as they bring maritime folk music and song to downtown Portsmouth. This festival showcases music from the United States, British Isles and Canada at venues in the Market Square area such as the Gas Light. Past performers have included The Johnson Girls, Anayis Wright, Craig Edwards, David Jones and many more.

Categories: Fall and Foliage, Featured Events, Features