Where To Go If It Rains (or It’s Too Darn Hot!)

Here’s a list of some of our favorite educational centers, museums, and indoor play areas

Ready to take flight and let your imagination soar? Visit Concord’s McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center and delve into the fascinating worlds of astronomy, aviation, Earth and space science.

It’s raining, it’s pouring, and the kids are driving you absolutely crazy. But fear not, there are plenty of places in New Hampshire where you can take your family, have some fun and retain your sanity. Here’s a list of some of our favorite educational centers, museums and indoor play areas that are great for the whole family. This list also serves as a great resource when you’re looking for a place to stay cool during a heat wave!

Enfield Shaker Museum, Enfield

Spend the day at Shaker Village in Enfield and you will finally have an answer for the question: Who were the Shakers? Kids can watch skilled Shaker-style artisans demonstrate their crafts — from making brooms and basketry to building furniture — then try their hand at traditional children’s crafts.

Find more at shakermuseum.org.

Seacoast Science Center, Rye

At this popular hands-on learning center and museum, guests can get up close and personal with the fascinating creatures that live just outside our doors. Kids will love learning about whales and other marine mammals that live in the Gulf of Maine and about the work the Science Center does to protect them.

Find more at seacoastsciencecenter.org.

SEE Science Center, Manchester

SEE Science Center, located on Bedford Street in the Queen City’s historic Millyard District, has two floors of hands-on fun, with something to keep every kid busy, including touch-and-try exhibits on light, electricity, forces, momentum, sound and the SEE’s centerpiece, the LEGO Millyard Project. The impressive — and huge — LEGO-made diorama shows Manchester as it looked in 1900.

Find more at see-sciencecenter.org.

New Hampshire Telephone Museum, Warner

Hello, can you hear me? Have you heard about the New Hampshire Telephone Museum in Warner? Your kids may have a hard time believing there was life before smart phones, but this museum has more than 1,000 artifacts related to the history of telecommunications. You can take a guided or self-guided tour.

Find more at nhtelephonemuseum.org.

NH Boat Museum, Wolfeboro

On display at the museum is an array of canoes, guide boats, sailboats and other water craft that have dotted the waters of the lakes region throughout the centuries.

Find more at nhbm.org.

Aviation Museum of New Hampshire, Londonderry

If planes are more your thing, you’ll find airplane models, photographs and memorabilia of Granite State’s history in the air at the Aviation Museum of New Hampshire. The museum is housed in the original Art Deco terminal building built in 1937. For year-round festivities, keep an eye on their calendar for popular events like the annual Easter egg hunt, car show and visits with Santa.

Find more at aviationmuseumofnh.org.

SkyVenture New Hampshire, Nashua

If you’ve ever wanted to experience how it feels to fly, head over to SkyVenture for adrenaline-boosting activities. SkyVenture offers indoor skydiving, indoor surfing, and a rock climbing wall, just to name a few exhilarating things to do.

Find more at skyventurenh.com.

McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, Concord

The Discovery Center, named for two New Hampshire natives — the late teacher Christa McAuliffe and Alan Shepard, the first American in space — has programs for all ages. The Discovery Center has innovative, interactive exhibits that delve into the worlds of astronomy, aviation, Earth and space sciences. Included at the museum are items from the Mount Washington Observatory’s Discovery Center, which relocated about 80% of its exhibits to the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center when the observatory’s center closed a few years ago. Attractions include the Shaky Shack, the replica of the 1930s-era observatory staff’s mountaintop cabin in which the highest human-observed surface wind speed on Earth was recorded in 1934.

Find more at starhop.com.

Block Party Social, Hooksett

Formerly, the Space Center, Block Party Social is a family entertainment center with video games, virtual reality games, rope climbing, laser tag, climbing calls and concessions. For the older kids at heart, Block Party Social also has axe throwing, cornhole, billiards and a pub menu with full bar. Insider’s tip: arcade games are half price all day every Wednesday and half price from 10 a.m. until noon Monday through Friday.

Find more at blockpartysocial.com

Children’s Museum of New Hampshire, Dover

There is no shortage of things to do at the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire, from learning about aerodynamics at Build It. Fly It, where you can launch your craft from a 30-foot tower, to exploring caves and getting creative in the STEAM Innovation Lab.

View their schedule at childrens-museum.org.

American Independence Museum, Exeter

Examine the unique history of Folsom Tavern, the place that taverns held in Colonial and revolutionary history, and the different experiences that people had in taverns. Learn more about summer camps and programs here.

Find more information at independencemuseum.org.

Cheshire Children’s Museum, Keene

A place where children can learn while playing and explore at their own pace. Exhibits include highlights of the Monadnock Region, the New Hampshire Park, where you can ride over the musical bridge, Monadnock Munchkins, a safe, home-like environment separate from the rest of the museum for babies and toddlers and more.

Learn more at cheshirechildrensmuseum.org.

Categories: Family-friendly things to do, Guide to Summer