Fun for All Ages: 4 Family Activities in the Lakes Region

Did you think choosing a destination would be the toughest part of family vacation planning? The next step is picking the family activities — imagine the reaction when the little ones discover there’s no Disney World in New Hampshire. We may not have the cast of Toy Story roaming The Granite State, but we do have an arcade that would make Wreck-It Ralph proud, and that’s just one of the outings that’ll keep the kids giggling all getaway long.

Family Activities to Embark on in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region

1. Funspot Arcade — Laconia, N.H.

Parents, prepare for a family game night of nostalgic fun — it’s time to teach the kids how Pac Man is really done. Named the largest arcade in the world by Guinness World Records in 2008, Funspot Arcade boasts over 600 games, a 20-lane ten pin and candlepin bowling center, indoor mini-golf, and one of the largest collections of classic arcade games from the late-1970s to mid-1980s.

2. Polar Caves Park — Rumney, N.H.

Those hours they’ve been spending playing explorer will pay off at the Polar Caves, a chillingly fun park with nine granite caves shaped during the Ice Age. No mammoths could crawl through these complex cave systems, but they’re the perfect size for a family outing. After you’ve squeezed and shimmed your way through the park, drop by the Animal Parc to feed Fallow Deer or conquer one of two on-site rock climbing attractions.  

3. Pirate’s Cove Mini Golf — Weirs Beach

Shiver me timbers, it’s a hole in one! It’s sea dogs versus the young buccaneers in this family face-off at Pirate’s Cove mini golf in Weirs Beach. Put your best putt forward as you play alongside a series of mountain caves, footbridges, and pirate ships — collecting fun facts about these seafaring sailors along the way. Heighten the stakes by forging a pirate-inspired pact where the winner gets an extra scoop at JB Scoops Ice Cream after.

4. Squam Lakes Natural Science Center — Holderness, N.H.  

Animals, hiking, and boat rides — oh my! New Hampshire has no shortage of ways to enjoy the elements of nature, but Squam Lakes Natural Science Center really lets you get up close and personal with The Granite State’s natural wonders. Kids can take a closer look at New England’s own edition of The Jungle Book — these live animal exhibits range from familiar faces like white tailed deer and painted turtles to the elusive mountain lion and black bear. Be sure to give your legs a break with a 90-minute boat tour of the lake, guided by a naturalist educator who can point out the wildlife that calls the waterfront home.

These club-swinging, pinball-flying play days are just the tip of the iceberg (or Ice Age cave) when it comes to fun family activities in New Hampshire’s lakes region. From splashing around in our indoor/outdoor swimming pool to selecting sweets at Lee’s Candy Kitchen in the Mill Falls Marketplace, our staff has a slew of suggestions big and small for family play in the Lakes Region.


Photo: Squam Lakes Natural Science Center: Abigail Batchelder / Flickr CC BY 2.0


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