Lakes Region Spring Craft Fair Jump-Starts the Season

spring craft fair 2014Looking to get out and be inspired with the colors of spring and possibly find new treasures for your garden and home? This weekend’s Spring Craft Fair is a great way to start the new season with fresh, creative ideas, and is the precursor to a fun year of arts events ahead in the Lakes Region!

The Lakes Region Spring Craft Fair takes place this Saturday, March 29th, 10 – 4, and Sunday March 30th, 10 – 3, at Opechee Conference Center in Laconia, NH. This is a juried arts and crafts fair hosting a variety of exhibits, including spring floral arrangements, bird houses, garden decor, glass art, fine jewelry, wooden crafts, wood turned pens, 3-D glass globes, quilts and other fabric items, wearable art, soft sculpture, soy candles, personalized crafts, photography, folk art, country decorations, paintings, gourmet foods, and much more! Continue reading

Winter Adventures at Prescott Farm

Snowshoeing at Prescott Farm

Snowshoeing at Prescott Farm

Many New Englanders say the best way to enjoy winter is to get outside and play in the snow! Besides skiing, skating, and snowmobiling, there are some quieter activities that don’t require much money or special equipment, but still get the heart pumping and the spirit soaring. For folks who like these gentler pursuits, Prescott Farm in Laconia has some great winter programs lined up… Continue reading

Get Ready for the 5th Annual WOW Fest!

wow_bk_white-150pxwideWalk, bike, or run – whatever your preference, there is an event for you next weekend in Laconia, NH, where the 5th annual WOW Fest is taking place. There will be road races, bicycle challenges, and a fun walk followed by a BBQ luncheon, live music, and many family-friendly activities. This annual event is one of the most important fundraisers for the WOW Trail, a four-season, paved trail that is in development for non-motorized activities. Event organizers are encouraging the community to come out next Saturday, have some fun, get some exercise, and support the WOW Trail! Continue reading

Inns’ Pet-Friendly Program Continues to Benefit Animals in NH and Beyond

Simon

Not only does this lakeside NH resort provide pet-friendly rooms and services for travelers with animal companions, but through its special Pet-Friendly Program, the Inns & Spa at Mill Falls also helps many animals in need by raising crucial funds for the New Hampshire Humane Society.

Pet-Friendly accommodations at Church Landing and the Inn at Mill Falls are available for an additional $25 fee per pet, which covers additional cleaning costs and amenities such as pet beds, blankets, food dishes, and treats.  The Inns then set aside $10 of this fee for the NHHS in Laconia, NH. Since the program’s inception in 2008, The Inns have donated over $10,500 to NHHS. This money has been put to good use, with several creative community projects that benefit animals and people throughout the region. “The donation of this money is so very much appreciated by the New Hampshire Humane Society and we are so grateful to Rusty McLear, the HHH group, and Mill Falls . . . “ says Mary Di Maria, Executive Director of NHHS, as she recently outlined some of the ways this great organization is putting those donations into service: Continue reading

Mill Falls gets INN the Spirit of Giving

For the past eight years, the staff at this Lakes Region resort has been bringing smiles to elders in the community by fulfilling their Christmas wishes as surprise gifts, warming the hearts of everyone around them.

In December of 2004, The Inns & Spa at Mill Falls and the Meredith Station started a wonderful tradition of bringing gifts to the residents of the Belknap County Nursing Home in Laconia, NH.  Pat Wade, Manager of the Meredith Station, visits the nursing home every year and selects several ornaments from their Christmas tree. Each ornament details a resident’s holiday wishes, which might include favorite sweets, a new cardigan sweater, or fun jewelry.  “We have a lot of ladies who like to doll up,” says Ann Kyle, Activities Director for the home.

Out of the 94 current residents and their ornaments this year, The Inns chose 41 for their gift giving.  Ann explained that Sacred Heart and Saint Joseph’s Church also help with the gifts.  “We have very generous people in the community who are wonderful to our residents,” she says. Continue reading

Family Fun Aboard the M/S Mount Washington

View from the M/S Mount Washington's web cam, 7/14/11, 7:55pm

Families visiting the Lakes Region of New Hampshire in the summer have many pastimes to choose from, and boating on Lake Winnipesaukee is among the favorite activities of locals and tourists alike.  From a quiet kayak ride to a dinner dance cruise, there is a water activity for everyone.  But for families, the M/S Mount Washington offers something extra special.

On Fridays in July and August, Mount Washington Cruises hosts Family Fun Day.  This activity-themed day cruise aboard the M/S Mount Washington offers parents and children a chance to explore Lake Winnipesaukee while enjoying entertainment geared for the young crowd.  The ship’s mascot, Monty the Mallard, will be on deck to meet the kids, along with a special guest, who may be a magician, a clown, a puppeteer, or storyteller.  On Friday, July 29th, Captain Radical will take over the ship for a pirate party, complete with a treasure hunt, pirate stories, and games.  A special princess tea party will take place in August.  Adults can enjoy the cruise while the children have fun with the crew!

Another family-friendly event also takes place on the M/S Mount Washington on Wednesday evenings throughout the summer—Family Party Night!  At this festive evening of dining and dancing, there is always a special entertainer for the kids on the Main Deck, and dancing to live music for adults in the Flagship Lounge on the second deck.  Folks of all ages can enjoy a buffet dinner as the ship cruises for two and a half hours around the lake.  What an elegant way to spend time with loved ones!

Celebrate summer with a quintessential cruise on the big lake aboard the M/S Mount Washington, and create lasting memories for everyone in the family!  For more information on these or many other fine cruises, please visit the Mount Washington Cruises website or call 603-366-5531 or 888-THE-MOUNT (888-843-6686).

Carrie Reed
The Mill Falls Blogging Team

photo courtesy of Mount Washington Cruises

Don’t Miss The WOW Sweepstakes Ball!

Put on your dancing shoes and come to the Lakes Region for a great night of dinner, wine, and live music, as well as a chance to win a fabulous cash prize, as the WOW Trail hosts its annual ball in Laconia.

Presented by Meredith Village Savings Bank, the 8th Annual WOW Sweepstakes Ball will be held on Saturday, May 21st, in the beautiful Conference Center at Lake Opechee Inn and Spa.  The ball is the organization’s key fundraising event of the year, with over $200,000 raised so far in the first seven years.  Allan Beetle, Vice President of the WOW Trail Committee, says, “It’s the best party in the Lakes Region—it’s really a fun night.”

Each $100 ticket to the ball includes dinner and dancing for two and automatically enters one lucky number into the sweepstakes drawing.  Ten cash prizes will be awarded, starting at $200 and increasing to the grand prize of $10,000, with a total of $13,000 given away that night.  Only 300 tickets will be sold, making the odds really good for those who chip in.  It’s a reverse drawing that keeps the suspense going all evening:  Each ticket holder has a number that he or she chose when buying the ticket, and all 300 numbers are on the wall at the beginning of the night.  As the guests dance and the night progresses, the numbers that are drawn are taken off the wall and out of the running, until there are only ten numbers left on the wall—the ten cash winners.  Then the drawing goes from there with the last lucky number on the wall winning the grand prize!

The WOW Ball will feature a wine bar with a variety of wines and tastings so guests can choose the perfect bottle to accompany the Italian-themed dinner this year, which is catered by Patrick’s Pub & EateryPaul Warnick and his band, Phil ‘N The Blanks, will keep the house jumping with great music, and there will also be a short live auction and silent auction with items donated by local businesses.

“The WOW Trail is very, very popular,” says Allan. “There’s lots of community support.  The first phase, which is now in, gets steady traffic.  We are working on phase 2, and we have a lot more money to raise.”  So far, the group has raised about a quarter of what it needs to build the next section of the trail.  Allan continues, “When we get the Laconia section done, which is about 10 miles, they will be some of the most beautiful trails in the country because our railroad corridor runs along Lake Winnipesaukee, and there are beautiful vistas… when the trail goes in it just opens it up and people are going to be blown away when they can ride their bike from Weirs Beach to downtown Laconia and on up to Meredith.”

The WOW Trail provides a safe and fun place for cycling and walking, and is expected to be a draw for travelers who like to include some outdoor activity in their vacations.  Allan expects the trail to extend the tourist season in the NH Lakes Region, which is now primarily July and August, to early spring through late fall.  “We encourage anyone who is a supporter of the trail, whether they can come out to the event or not, to buy a ticket,” says Allan.  Ticketholders need not be present to win the sweepstakes drawing.  Tickets can be purchased and lucky numbers chosen online at www.meadowbrook.net (look for the WOW Trail link in the right hand column), or in person at Patrick’s Pub & Eatery, Laconia Athletic & Swim Club, or the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce.  Support a great project and have a ball, too—WOW!

Carrie Reed
The Mill Falls Blogging Team

Images courtesy of the WOW Trail

WOW Fest this weekend in Laconia!

wow_bk_white-150pxwideThe 2nd Annual WOW Fest will take place this Saturday, September 18th, at the Laconia Athletic & Swim Club.  NH WOW?Fest is a fun-filled event for the whole family, featuring two bicycle challenges, a 10K road race, a fun walk, barbeque, live music and activities for the kids!

The WOW Fest is a fundraiser and celebration of the Winnisquam – Opechee – Winnipesaukee (WOW) Trail, a multi-use, non-motorized recreational pathway that will eventually stretch 9 miles along the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railway bed, through Laconia to the Meredith and Belmont town lines, connecting with other trail systems.  Phase 1 was completed in May and comprises the first 1.3 miles of a paved, 10-foot wide path in downtown Laconia.family on bikes

This year’s festival features its first ever Take Opechee 10K road race, which starts on Main Street in Laconia and circles Lake Opechee, running along a portion of the newly opened WOW Trail and finishing at the Laconia Athletic & Swim Club.  For cyclists, there’s the Take the Lake Challenge, a 67-mile race around Lake Winnipesaukee, or the Take the Bay Challenge, which winds 15 miles around Paugus Bay.  With the 2.5-mile Take the Trail Fun Walk and the Kids’ Fun Run, the WOW Fest has something for everyone!

Come to the Lakes Region this weekend and cheer on all the WOW athletes while enjoying the beautiful fall weather in New Hampshire!

Carrie Reed
Mill Falls Blogging Team

Images courtesy of WOW Trail and Kevin J. Sperl