Some Fun Happenings for February Vacation in the Lakes Region

Visitors might see a mountain lion at Squam Lakes Natural Science Center!

Visitors might see a mountain lion at Squam Lakes Natural Science Center!

Kids from Maine and Massachusetts are on vacation this week, and next week will be New Hampshire’s turn. To celebrate, several local organizations have some great activities planned. Whether you like sporty activities, quiet outdoor adventures, or creative indoor pursuits, there is something for everyone going on in the Lakes Region! Continue reading

Arts Alive! to Celebrate Summer at the Mill Falls Marketplace

Arts Alive13Happy Solstice! Today we enjoy the longest amount of daylight all year! It is also the official first day of summer, and although the weather has been mostly spring-like up until this point, schools are now on their long break, and folks all over New England are ready to kick back and welcome the season. To celebrate, the Mill Falls Marketplace will once again be hosting Arts Alive!—a vibrant Lakes Region festival for the whole family!

On Saturday, June 29th from 1– 3pm, stroll through Meredith’s historic Mill Falls Marketplace and take in the sights and sounds of Arts Alive! This mini festival will feature performances and presentations by local arts, nature, and entertainment specialists, including presentations on New Hampshire wildlife by Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, and live magic by Andrew Pinard. Pink Avatar will also be wowing the audience with bubbles, balloons, and juggling, and there will be a coloring contest for all ages with some cool prizes. Continue reading

Some Outdoor Activities for Vacation Week in the Lakes Region

Visitors might see a mountain lion at Squam Lakes Natural Science Center!

Visitors might see a mountain lion at Squam Lakes Natural Science Center!

School vacation is just around the corner, and whether your family has this coming week or the following week off for some downtime, the Lakes Region of New Hampshire has some great activities going on that will reconnect you and your loved ones with nature and with each other. In addition to the usual skiing, snowboarding, skating, and tubing activities that are abundant in New England, there are some wonderful programs near Lake Winnipesaukee that offer something a little more…

Squam Lakes Natural Science Center in Holderness is offering several programs for kids and adults. Their Wild Winter Walks lead explorers ages 6 and up on a trek that uncovers some answers about what happens to animals during winter. A staff naturalist guides your walk and discusses how native animals are well adapted for winter in New Hampshire. During school vacation weeks, the Science Center is also hosting a couple of bird banding events, an ice fishing workshop, and other winter explorations! 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

The Great Meredith Rotary Fishing Derby Returns to Meredith Bay

Although this weekend’s Pond Hockey Classic changed locations due to the warm winter and resulting questionable ice conditions on Lake Winnipesaukee, the forecast calls for colder temperatures in the coming week, and officials have decided to keep the annual ice fishing derby on for next weekend!

The Great Meredith Rotary Fishing Derby will take place as planned on Meredith Bay next Saturday and Sunday, February 11th – 12th. Now in its 33rd year, the derby is one of the most well attended events in New Hampshire. Fishermen, their families, and friends gather in Meredith from all over the country and overseas in hopes of snagging the heaviest Meredith Rotary-tagged rainbow trout and claiming the grand prize. 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

Meredith Celebrates Summer with Arts Alive!

Although the spring season was a little slow-blooming this year, summer is just around the corner, and the Lakes Region will soon be bustling with vacationers and families enjoying all that New Hampshire has to offer.  Meredith Village is getting in on the action a little early, with an event that gives visitors and locals alike a preview of some of the exciting activities that are available nearby—Arts Alive!

On Saturday, June 4th from 1 – 3 p.m., The Mill Falls Marketplace will host Arts Alive!  This mini festival will feature performances and presentations by local arts, nature, and entertainment specialists, including The Winnipesaukee Playhouse, Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, and Mr. Phil the magician.

The Winnipesaukee Playhouse is planning to offer drop-in drama classes for kids and quick theater games to give children and their parents a taste of what the Playhouse offers for families.  The performers will also give a brief presentation of select songs from their Fall 2010 musical, Really Rosie, as well as excerpts from the Shel Silverstein April Vacation Camp.  Kate Wisnioski, Education Director at the Playhouse, will be on hand to answer questions about classes, workshops, youth theatre productions, and summer camp.  She will also have information about their upcoming Pirates and Princesses of Winnipesaukee event, as well as the Playhouse’s professional summer season and summer theatre camp.

Beth Moore, one of the educators at Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, will have some small animals that people can see up close, including bats, minks, and turtles.  She will also have props, such as pelts and bones, to help people learn about and better understand animals.  According to their website, the mission of Squam Lakes Natural Science Center (SLNSC) is “to advance understanding of ecology by exploring New Hampshire’s natural world.”  The Center’s presentations are a fun way to connect with nature and learn a little along the way!

For a little magic, don’t miss Mr. Phil.  This popular NH magician will be at the Marketplace dazzling folks of all ages with his tricks and stories.  Mr. Phil has been performing since he was twelve, and since then, he has combined his experiences of being a camp counselor, Clown Camp, Early Childhood Education training, and working in a daycare to fine-tune his art.  Mr. Phil creates “magical mayhem” by mixing the art of magic with storytelling, along with a bit of o?-beat comedy.  Could there be a little balloon magic here, too?

The weekend is looking great!  What better way to spend it than by Lake Winnipesaukee with some fun activities for the whole family in beautiful Meredith Village?  Kick-start your summer with Arts Alive!

Carrie Reed
The Mill Falls Blogging Team

Kids Photo courtesy of The Winnipesaukee Playhouse
Mink Photo by  Peter G. Trimming at Flickr.com

Explore Vernal Pools in the Lakes Region

Vernal PoolWhen the snow melts and spring rain falls in New Hampshire, little ponds and puddles, known as vernal pools, are found in the woods and forests.  These pools are rich with life while they last, and are an important part of the ecosystem here.  This month, two of the Lakes Region’s nature centers will be hosting educational walks that feature vernal pools at their peak, providing an outdoor adventure for the whole family!

On Saturday, April 16th, head over to Squam Lakes Natural Science Center in Holderness for their Vernal Pool Exploration workshop.  The adventure begins inside where visitors can get an overview of what they hope to find and see photos of amphibians and invertebrates.  Then the group will take a short walk to a seldom-visited vernal pool on the Science Center’s grounds.  The exploration will Include collecting and observing some of the creatures who live in these temporary pools, possibly including wood frog eggs, spotted or Jefferson/blue spot salamander eggs, fairy shrimp, caddis fly larvae, and mosquito larvae.

The Fells Historic Estate & Gardens in Newbury will be conducting a Vernal Pool Walk on Saturday, April 30th.  Kathleen Stowell from The Lake Sunapee Protective Association will lead curious visitors on a springtime adventure at this 84-acre property.  Guests will discover the many species that live in the vernal pools and learn why these habitats are so important.

But you don’t have to go too far to locate these amazing creatures coming to life—take a walk in your back yard or nearby forest trail and take a close look at some of the puddles.  The New Hampshire woods are waking up!

Carrie Reed
The Mill Falls Blogging Team

Image credit: Nicholas_T at Flickr.com