The Lakes Region of New Hampshire is well known for its wintertime skiing and snow sports, but it morphs into a lush paradise for nature lovers and thrill seekers during the other three seasons. Breathtaking views greet you at every turn, and the whole region becomes one big adventure playground for kids and adults alike.
Charming waterfront towns on Lake Winnipesaukee and its eight neighboring lakes comprise the Lakes Region, and each has something special to offer visiting families. Outdoor fun abounds, from hiking to ziplining, animal encounters to drive-in movies. When the weather sends you running for cover, there are lots of great restaurants, unique shops, game arcades, and even a "castle" with a secret room.
Here are some of the top things to do during your Lakes Region family getaway, with something for every age and interest – but don't try to do it all in one go. There's so much to experience at each stop, and once you've discovered the magical pull of New Hampshire's lakes, your family will likely want to return again and again.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire is one of my favorite destinations for a quick family getaway. Although we've visited the charming New England seacoast city several times, on this occasion we went specifically to experience its history. With a kid-friendly living history museum and numerous historic destinations around town, early American life comes alive in ways that are fun for kids and the whole family. We spent a day of walking, playing and sailing through old times, with a side of foodie goodness—a perfect family day in Portsmouth.
If you like peanut butter and jelly, you'll love these super-easy-to-make, healthy, gluten-free and protein-packed cookies. All you need is three ingredients and about 20 minutes. I made this recipe up, and while these cookies aren't going to win anyone a place on Iron Chef, they make for a great after-school snack with a glass of milk. You could even eat them for breakfast. Why not?
We Boston parents are lucky to have our pick of restaurants that offer built-in entertainment for the kids. Sometimes, grabbing brunch at a place like Full Moon Restaurant in Cambridge is the best choice for the whole family. The kids can play with the train table and toy kitchen, and the adults can catch up on some grown-up conversation.
Other times, however, I want my kids to focus on their food or to expand their horizons with something different and surprisingly delicious. What better way to tempt them than with an outing that leaves the bag of crayons, stickers, and notebooks untouched? The restaurants below offer culinary experiences that hold kids' attention with food that comes at them fast and with flair.
I'm a little obsessed with chocolate and pretzels lately. The sweet chocolate and the salty, crunchy pretzels are a tasty combination. I just can't get enough. Last week we shared these adorable chocolate bunny and chick pretzels, but I have also been making chocolate pretzel rods as gifts. They look like gourmet treats, but are super easy to make, and are perfect party favors or presents for teachers, hostesses or holidays. You can whip up a dozen lovely gifts in under an hour.
Use any toppings you wish. I like to do an assortment, but my two favorites are crushed pecans and peppermints. The peppermint, chocolate and salty pretzels are so good together. 1,2,3, easy peasy gift idea.
This simple idea is a great way to reuse all those plastic eggs the Easter Bunny may leave behind. All you need is a permanent marker to turn them into learning games. There are so many different ways to make this activity fun for your child. Match uppercase and lowercase letters, rhyming words, numbers and time—whatever you want to practice, this colorful educational game is as easy as 1, 2, 3. And if you put a few jelly beans in the eggs as added incentive, we won't tell.
You don't have to be a master chef to make these adorable chocolate pretzel bites, but you'll seem like one. Making tasty chick and bunny pretzels is so easy that even kids can help decorate the simple treats. They're a great addition to Easter baskets, or just a fun way to welcome spring. They may become your newest holiday tradition.
If you're groaning over yet another snowstorm, here's one way to sweeten the pain. It's maple sugar season, so it's the perfect time to try this magically simple combination of snow, cream and a touch of maple syrup. Put out a bowl to catch the snow and have a sweet treat for dessert tonight. Snow ice cream is a simple, scrumptious way to enjoy the last bits of winter.
We're glad you're here at Mommy Poppins Boston, your free online resource for everything for families and kids in the greater Boston area. We'd love to hear from you with any questions or suggestions! — Tara