Community Garden Club BannerThe spring season in New England is a short one, and especially after this past winter, many folks are now ready to pull out their gardening gloves and spend time playing in the dirt. Gardening has been linked to improved health, increased memory retention, and a positive outlook. Our local libraries stock great resources to help plan, design, and create gardens of all kinds, and the UNH Cooperative Extension Program offers an extensive menu of services, many at no charge. Some local farms, nurseries, greenhouses, and landscape businesses offer free classes to inspire novices and experts alike.

Hermit_Woods_Tasting_Room_001After only a few successful years, Hermit Woods Winery has outgrown its original location in Sanbornton, NH and has recently moved to its new home in Meredith Village. To celebrate the move, along with many months of renovations at the new site, Hermit Woods will be hosting a Grand Opening next weekend and everyone is invited!

[caption id="attachment_1727" align="alignleft" width="300"]Snowshoeing at Prescott Farm Snowshoeing at Prescott Farm[/caption] After a very snowy February and a fresh dusting this week, conditions are perfect for winter sports all across New England. In addition to Alpine skiing, snowboarding, ice-skating, sledding, and tubing, the Lakes Region of New Hampshire has some great spots for the quieter pursuits of snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Just off the beaten path, these trails offer a great way to get some exercise while enjoying spectacular views of pristine lakes and forests!

maple sugar kidsAlthough we’ve been buried in snow and have endured a long, cold winter, Mother Nature knows that the seasons are changing—the sap is now rising in maple trees across New Hampshire. Maple sugar producers are beginning to tap these rich sources in preparation for the big harvest that marks the start of spring! If you’d like to see the process up close in the Lakes Region, you can get in on all the maple sugaring action at Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center in Laconia. Every Saturday throughout March, Prescott Farm welcomes the public to its Maple Sugar Madness program, where visitors can learn everything about the techniques of sugaring, from tapping to tasting!

Got cabin fever? The Greater Meredith Program has your passport to get out and about during the month of March with amazing discounts, special offers, and fun-filled events offered by Lakes Region businesses and organizations, as well as a chance to win a prize-filled sap bucket that’s specially hand-painted by a local artist. The Meredith Cabin Fever Promotion will run from March 1st through the 29th and will be celebrated by retail shops, restaurants, and other locally owned businesses all around Meredith Village. The Greater Meredith Program has printed up a Passport Game Card and Events Guide that can be found at participating businesses throughout the Village. Folks who visit any of the participating businesses during the month of March can get their passports stamped or initialed for each location, and with ten valid endorsements can then enter to win the “Cabin Fever” Grand Prize Drawing—a hand-painted traditional maple sap bucket filled with prizes from local businesses. Stamped passports should be dropped into the entry box at Mame’s Restaurant by 5 pm on Saturday, March 29th to be entered in the 5:30 pm drawing. Players do not need to be present to win.

[caption id="attachment_1766" align="alignleft" width="300"]Visitors might see a mountain lion at Squam Lakes Natural Science Center! Visitors might see a mountain lion at Squam Lakes Natural Science Center![/caption] 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!

[caption id="attachment_2180" align="alignright" width="312"]Winter Fest sleigh Sleigh ride at Prescott Farm[/caption] We’ve got fresh snow and it’s time to get out and play! In celebration of winter in New England and its many fun traditions, a few local organizations are hosting some great parties, and everyone is invited—so get out your boots and mittens and head to the Lakes Region this weekend and next! Here’s what’s happening…

Bluegrass BlowoutCabin fever got you down? Need a little pep in your step? Come up to Plymouth, NH this weekend and get ready for a show that will take you back to summertime festivals and music around the campfire—a show that could possibly warm your spirit like moonshine! The Flying Monkey Movie House & Performance Center presents Bluegrass Blowout on Saturday, February 8th at 7:30pm. Two of New England's most acclaimed progressive bluegrass bands will be on the stage for one stompin’ night of music! Each band has been at this venue before as they opened for one of the big bluegrass acts, and the folks at the Monkey heard more times than they could count, "Who was the opener? They were better than the headliner!" So they’ve pulled together these two great bands, both presenting a genre-bending mix of bluegrass, folk, Americana, and roots-rock—all wrapped up with a danceable energy that can only be experienced at their live shows.

fishing derbyNext weekend, the frozen surface of Lake Winnipesaukee will be transformed into a bustling metropolis of ice-fishing bob houses and folks gathered from all over the country to participate in one of the Lakes Region’s biggest winter events. The Great Rotary Fishing Derby has been drawing crowds to Lake Winnipesaukee for 35 years, with anglers hoping to snag the heaviest eligible fish for a chance to win the grand prize.

Pond Hockey rinks 2013While some New Englanders dread the kind of cold winter we’ve been having this year, others delight in it, for low temperatures mean frozen lakes and ponds, and where there is ice, there will be hockey! Right now, crews from the New England Pond Hockey Classic are preparing rinks on the solid surface of Lake Winnipesaukee in anticipation of this weekend’s fifth annual tournament, which promises to be bigger and better than in previous years!