Weekend Lake Cruises at Squam Lakes Natural Science Center

LoonsThere is nothing like the call of a loon on a quiet NH lake in the summertime. It can bring a feeling of peace and stillness in the evening when all the busyness of the day is just a memory, along with a sense of wonder about these elusive and beautiful birds. To help others learn more about loons and other wildlife in the Lakes Region, and perhaps get to see some of these neighbors up close, Squam Lakes Natural Science Center is offering special educational lake cruises throughout the summer. Continue reading

Stretch Your Wings at the Festival of Flight!

Looking for a great family activity in the Lakes Region this weekend? Squam Lakes Natural Science Center has just the ticket—the Festival of Flight, featuring a hawk watch, crafts for children, live animal presentations, and a tethered balloon ride!

On Saturday, September 8th from 9:30 – 6:30, Squam Lakes Natural Science Center in Holderness, NH will be hosting a day of celebrating the wonders of flight and migration sponsored by Community Guaranty Savings Bank. Take a tour of the visitors’ center and extensive grounds, which include meadows, mature forests, and marshlands, where lucky visitors may spot a resident hawk. There will also be presentations by the Squam Lakes staff at the Amphitheater, with opportunities to see live birds of prey up close!

On the Picnic Lawn, IBEX Puppetry will present ‘Celebration of Flight’ at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m. IBEX Puppetry is run by Heather Henson, the daughter of puppeteer Jim Henson of Muppet fame, and the show promises to be top-notch! With elegant kites and choreographed puppetry, guests of all ages are sure to be spellbound. Check out this preview of the show: Continue reading

Outdoor Winter Activities at Squam Lakes Natural Science Center

Bringing the family to the Lakes Region for a weekend getaway or planning your winter school vacation? In addition to the ice skating, skiing, and sledding that’s abundant in New Hampshire, there are some great outdoor activities at Squam Lakes Natural Science Center that are sure to keep inquisitive kids engaged while they get some fresh air and sunshine this winter!

This Saturday, January 7th, come to Holderness for the Bird Banding Open House from 9am – 12pm. For the past 30 years, the scientists at the Center have captured and banded birds at the Squam Lakes feeding station on the first weekend after the New Year. Visitors are welcome to drop in anytime during the morning and learn about the common birds that are winter visitors, why they are banded, and what insight is gained from tracking these wild creatures.

For those who wonder what happens to the other animals at the Science Center in the wintertime, there are several guided tours scheduled throughout the season. Every Saturday and Sunday from January 14th through March 4th, join others for a Wild Winter Walk from 10am – 12pm, when a staff naturalist will guide visitors on the Gephart Exhibit Trail and discuss the many ways native animals are well adapted for winter life in New Hampshire. Bring your snowshoes or borrow some at the center, and be ready to see some beautiful wild animals in their winter coats! Continue reading

Squam Lakes Natural Science Center Celebrates Accreditation

Squam Lakes Natural Science Center in Holderness, NH recently announced that they have been granted accreditation by the independent Accreditation Commission of The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and is celebrating by offering a $5-off discount coupon on trail admission everyday throughout the month of October.

After a thorough review that included a detailed accreditation application, as well as a multiple day on-site inspection by a team of experts from around the country, Squam Lakes Natural Science Center received its second accreditation from AZA.  The Science Center has shown that it continues to meet ever-rising standards, which include animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education, and safety.  AZA requires zoos and aquariums to successfully complete this accreditation process every five years in order to be members of the Association.

The Science Center first applied for and received AZA accreditation in 2006, and is currently the only AZA-accredited institution in northern New England.  “By meeting high Association of Zoos and Aquariums Accreditation Standards, Squam Lakes Natural Science Center has demonstrated its leadership among zoos and aquariums,” said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy.  “Only the best of the best rise to this level, and we congratulate the professionals at Squam Lakes Natural Science Center for their hard work.”

“We are thrilled to receive this recognition for the Science Center’s hard work and devotion to the highest possible standards in the industry,” said Iain MacLeod, Executive Director of Squam Lakes Natural Science Center.  “In celebration of receiving accreditation and to acknowledge the thousands of visitors who have made the Science Center such a vibrant and successful institution over the last 40-plus years, I’m pleased to announce that we are offering a $5 discount coupon on trail admission for the entire month of October.”

Autumn is a beautiful season for going for a nature walk, and there is still plenty of time to take advantage of this great offer, which is good for two people on any day this month.  Visitors can find the special downloadable October coupon at the Science Center’s website at www.nhnature.org.  For more information, call the Center at 603-968-7194.

Carrie Reed
Mill Falls Blogging Team

photo courtesy of Squam Lakes Natural Science Center

Town of Holderness Celebrating 250 Years!

Mattatuck Drum Band

In celebrating the 250th anniversary of its founding, nearby Holderness is looking back to its European roots and to those who were here long before the white settlers decided to call this Lakes Region outpost their home.  The celebration will begin this weekend, with lots of activities taking place all over the area!

The festivities kick off on Friday, August 5th with a free concert at Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, where Steve Schuch will perform “Songs and Tales of the Earth” in the beautiful Kirkwood Gardens from 1 – 2pm.  The Holderness Historical Society at Curry Place will also be open from 1 – 6pm, followed by a Street Dance at 7:00 at the Little Church Theater. Come dance the night away with Postage Due on the shores of Squam Lake!  Food options will be available at the dance starting at 6pm.

On Saturday, August 6th from 9am – 6pm, Curry Place will be bustling with Abenaki artist demonstrations and sales, including Barry Higgins of White Crow Flutes, Bill and Sherry Gould from Western Abenaki Baskets, Darryl Peasley with beaded top hats and leather pouches, and Debbie Dostie of Silver Wolf Creations, as well as many other crafters and food vendors.  There will be a variety of parades to choose from, such as the 9:30am Mattatuck Fife and Drum Band parade by boat from Cotton Cove to Squam Boat Livery, the 10:00am Grand Street Parade on Route 3 from Shepard Hill Rd to the Squam Lake Science Center, and the 10:45am Vintage Boat Flotilla from Cotton Cove to Perkins Cabins on Little Squam.  The Science Center, Library, and Historical Society will also be holding special demonstrations and lectures throughout the day on the history of the area before the European settlers arrived.  The day will be capped off by another dance—a Barn Dance at 7:30pm in the Fisher Family Activity Barn!

The Sunday celebrations will start at 7:30am with a Pancake Breakfast at the Holderness Fire Station, while Abenaki artist demonstrations continue at Curry Place beginning at 9am, where visitors can also enjoy a Native American flute performance by White Crow at 11am.  John Brooks, a Huron descendant, will conduct a trail walk for “Feast at Your Feet” and “The Thee Sister Survival Vegetables” starting at the Historical Society at 2pm, and at 3:30 there will be a reading of the Town Charter at Livermore Common Holderness School.  The evening will finish with a 4pm Vespers service at Trinity Cemetery Chapel, followed by a reading of King George’s charter creating New Holderness and a tour of the Cemetery pointing out prominent Holderness families of the past.

There are so many other activities happening this weekend and throughout the next week that we can’t list them all here.  You’ve got to see for yourself, and what a beautiful weekend it is to visit this lakeside community and take a trip back in time!  Come celebrate the Semiquincentennial of Holderness!

Carrie Reed
The Mill Falls Blogging Team