It may be one of the smallest states in the country, but there is no shortage of family activities in New Hampshire! Every region and every season has something to offer, but summer on the Seacoast is simply AWESOME! Here I’m sharing my highlights in the following 21 Summer Activities in New Hampshire’s Seacoast Region!
(Note: this list started with 10 items, then to 15 – and now is up to 21. I am hoping to actually click the publish button at some point and stop adding more!)
If you aren’t from the Northeast, you may not know exactly where New Hampshire is, much less what there is to do there. I mean.
I grew up in Florida, so I get ya. But when I moved to New Hampshire, I fell in love with all the state has to offer. Yep. This Florida girl even loved the cold.
There is something wonderful about every region of New Hampshire. Fortunately, the whole state is small enough that you can hit Hampton Beach in the morning, and be sleeping in the mountains the same night.
Seacoast Region Activities
Since I lived on the Seacoast, that’s where I spent most of my time when in the Granite State. So that’s where I’ll focus this article.
And since Summer is upon us, I’ve made a list of things to do on the Seacoast of New Hampshire in the summertime.
1. Hampton Beach Sun & Fun
There are only eighteen miles of the state lining the Atlantic Coast between Massachusetts and Maine. So if you are in New Hampshire during the summer, Hampton Beach shouldn’t be missed.
There are fireworks on Wednesdays (plus on special event days too!), movies on the beach on Mondays, sand sculpting contests, and music on the Sea Shell Stage right at the beach, to name a few fun things.
There’s also a really cool playground next to the stage – RIGHT on the beach! It’s completely enclosed, has several different areas for a wide age-range, and various swings, climbing structures, and play areas.
Check out this year’s Hampton Beach Summer calendar here.
2. Hampton Beach Casino
When you’re at Hampton Beach you’ll see the Hampton Beach Casino directly across the street from the beach. Don’t let the name fool you. You may find some traditional gambling games, but it’s also a more classic boardwalk with old-school arcades, beach and trinket shops, food, a concert venue, miniature golf, ping pong, and even a waterslide!
After you’ve played all the Skeeball and Pinball you can handle, be sure to hit up Blink’s Fry Doe for their famous fried dough!
3. Lane Memorial Library (Hampton)
If you have small children, Hampton’s Lane Memorial Library has a truly wonderful children’s area. Check the website for storytime and other programs they may have. But even if there is nothing else going on – it’s a super space for the kids to explore!
And Bonus! Since it occupies the entire basement, there is no need to SHHH the kids! There is a train table, game table, puppet and dress up area, play kitchen, computers – so many fun little areas – not to mention just cozying up in a comfy spot with a book!
4. Hampton Airfield (North Hampton)
The Hampton Airfield just up the road in North Hampton is always fun for my kids! There’s something mesmerizing about watching those little planes come and against a clear blue sky. My boys and I recommend grabbing breakfast or lunch while you watch right there at The Airfield Cafe!
This picture was from a winter day – but these are my sweet boys watching planes take off and land on the grassy runway.
5. Applecrest Farms (Hampton Falls)
In nearby Hampton Falls, you’ll find the oldest continuously operated apple orchard in the United States. Applecrest Farms is open year-round, but Summer through Fall is packed with festivals, events, and pick-your-own (apples, blueberries, pumpkins, among other things.)
6. Historic Downtown Portsmouth
Not only are there top-notch restaurants and shops in this gorgeous seaside city, but there are also tons of things to explore for every age. Several hotels right in the heart of the city make Portsmouth a great central location to stay when in the area.
7. Tour the Submarine USS Albacore (Portsmouth)
To get your history on, check out the historic US Navy Submarine at Albacore Park. The USS Albacore is a research submarine used by the U.S. Navy for testing. It’s been preserved and is open to the public for tours year-round.
8. Strawberry Banke (Portsmouth)
Another spot to appreciate the history of the area is the Strawberry Banke Museum and neighborhood. Strawberry Banke Museum is an outdoor history museum. There are gardens and historic buildings to explore, with artifacts and exhibits highlighting the history of the Puddle Dock neighborhood. (Note: there is also a skating rink in the winter….but that’s for a winter article!)
9. Prescott Park (Portsmouth)
Portsmouth is also a wonderful music and theater town. There are quite a few venues to check out when you’re in the area.
Prescott Park Arts Festival is definitely one to check the calendar. Prescott Park is an outdoor venue on the bank of the Piscataqua River. The summer lineup is a variety of concerts, movies, and musicals.
Want to know what’s really extra fun about Prescott Park? There is no fixed admission price for the shows, but rather a suggested donation. How cool is that?
10. Seacoast Reperatory Theatre (Portsmouth)
Seacoast Repertory Theatre, also known as Seacoast Rep, also known as The Rep, is a professional regional theatre in downtown Portsmouth.
The Rep showcases some of the area’s best talent in year-round shows. Any time of year you are nearby, check their calendar for sure.
11. The Music Hall (Portsmouth)
One of my very favorite venues – of all the venues – in all the places – to see any kind of show – anywhere – is in Portsmouth – The Music Hall. Check the schedule for both the Historic Theater and the more intimate Music Hall Loft around the corner. If there is a show in the main theater, GO!
12. Water Country (Portsmouth)
Water Country is a family MUST in the summer. What’s better than a water park in the heat of the summer? Take the kids and wear them out! They’ll spend the day climbing a giant octopus, sliding down classic tube rides, and swimming in the activity pool and giant wave pool. Afterward – head to nearby Rye, NH to cool off with some of the area’s best ice cream! (Hint: See #14 below)
13. Rumble Tumble (Portsmouth)
If you need an indoor activity for younger kids to burn off activities, check out the Rumble Tumble Kids Play Gym. There is a huge climbing structure, trampolines, disk swings, and more to explore. My boys LOVE Rumble Tumble!
14. Lago’s Ice Cream (Rye)
After wrapping up a day of playing or sightseeing, head over to nearby Rye, NH for the BEST. ICE. CREAM. EVER.
At Lago’s Ice Cream. It is a MUST at the end of a hot Summer day! Lago’s has many, many flavors and varieties – and it’s all homemade right there!
15. Great Bay Discovery Center (Stratham)
Right on the border of Greenland and Stratham, check out the Great Bay Discovery Center. It is the education headquarters for the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. There are exhibits, a hands-on discovery tank, and interactive displays.
16. Stratham Hill Park (Stratham)
When you finish up at the Discovery Center, head straight out across Route 33 to Stratham Hill Park for some recreation. There are fields, a playground, and even hiking trails up to the top of Stratham Hill.
17. Planet Playground (Exeter)
Planet Playground in Exeter is always a big hit with my kids. It’s a large wooden play structure to climb and swing and jump and slide. As an aside, if there is a heatwave when you are there, hit up the nearby community pool as well.
18. Swasey Pavilion a/k/a The Exeter Bandstand (Exeter)
The 100+-year-old bandstand in the quaint center of downtown Exeter called Swasey Pavilion is a fun spot. There are shops and restaurants to wander surrounding the pavilion. If you’d like to check out some of the school stomping grounds of quite a few American historical figures, wander down to the campus of the posh Phillips Exeter Academy.
Be sure to check the schedule for the summer concert series at Swasey Pavilion.
19. Airzone (Exeter)
Another option if you need to wear the kids out with an indoor activity is to hit up Airzone in Exeter to jump their little hearts out on indoor inflatables!
It’s completely enclosed and the staff is super friendly and helpful. Airzone is a great way to spend a couple of indoor hours if needed!
20. The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire (Dover)
The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire in Dover is a really good one. There are tons of interactive exhibits, from dinosaurs to submarines, ecosystems to space, for hands-on fun. There are also classes and camps if you’re looking for something structured for your small people.
21. Adventure Playground (Dover)
Right next door to the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire is the Dover Adventure Playground. This playground is unique in that there’s a life-size flat-bottom gundalow boat there! You’ll also find net climbers, slides, swings, and more. Oh – and there is a splash pad in the summer to cool off!
Family Fun in New Hampshire
Ahhh. New Hampshire. How I miss the 603 <3.
While this list is of some of my favorites, I keep thinking of other things to add to the list! I’m stopping at 21 for now, or it’ll never get published!
If you find yourself in this beautiful part of the country, there are so many things to see and do! If you’re up that way, don’t miss the charm of the New Hampshire Seacoast this summer!