The Monadnock Region is a great place to spend time with the family. We have outdoor activities available year-round, live entertainment options, and cultural experiences that make it possible for everyone in the family to find something they enjoy. Be sure to check out the interactive map located here to see more family fun options.
Cheshire Children’s Museum: Keene, NH
At this play-based museum, you and your little ones can roam freely and safely as they pretend to run a veterinarian’s office, drive a school bus, operate a rocket ship, run a pizza restaurant, serve ice cream, take care of newborns, and so much more. It’s a great place for parents to relax and kids to learn and explore.
Mariposa Museum and World Cultural Center: Peterborough, NH
This unique museum showcases artifacts from around the world and is also home to a number of unique instruments that visitors (and children) are allowed and encouraged to play. They have a lovely gift shop as well.
If your family loves animals, be sure to check out our post on Farm Stays too!
The Friendly Farm: Dublin, NH
Quite possibly the friendliest farm in the world, here you’ll meet baby goats, grown up goats, baby chicks, grown up chicks, sheep, a cow or two, a horse, llamas, and even some pigs! Buy some feed and get super up close and personal or just sit back and let the little ones cuddle on up – no matter what, you’ll feel the love. There’s an outdoor sink, too, that is almost as much fun as the animals for some of the littler visitors!
The Harris Center: Hancock, NH
Here you’ll find a beautiful trail system complete with some giant boulders that are excellent climbing breaks. In addition to the trails, the center hosts a series of events year-round, many of them family friendly, so be sure to check out their events calendar.
Cheshire Rail: Throughout the Region
Biking, walking, cross-country skiing, and even horseback riding are all happening on the rail trail.
Distant Hill Nature Trail: Alstead, NH
Open year round, Distant Hill Nature Trail is a mile-long wheelchair and stroller accessible gravel trail that winds its way through a hemlock / beech forest. Both Distant Hill Nature Trail, ‘White Rock Woods’ Nature Play Area, Distant Hill Geology Trail, and the Story Walk® trail are open to the public daily, free of charge, from dawn to dusk. There is a parking area just off March Hill Road at the Alstead/Walpole town line. You will find a kiosk there containing a trail map and other information about the trail.
Crotched Mountain from Mountain Rd: Bennington, NH
Explore this 2.4-mile out-and-back trail near Bennington, New Hampshire. Generally considered a moderately challenging route, it takes an average of 1 h 46 min to complete. This is a popular trail for birding, hiking, and walking, but you can still enjoy some solitude during quieter times of day. The best times to visit this trail are March through October. Dogs are welcome, but must be on a leash.
Swimming: Throughout the Region
Spofford Lake, Ware’s Grove Beach: Chesterfield, NH
Open to anyone and accessible after a small fee, Ware’s Grove Beach is a wonderful way to spend a day on the lake with your family. The swimming area extends quite far and is very shallow for quite a ways, making it safe for your extra little ones to splash around (and there is a deep end for those more experienced swimmers). There’s a snack bar, kayak’s and paddle boards for rent, and most days a life guard on duty.
Otter Brook Lake: Keene, NH
Otter Brook Lake offers many recreational opportunities that everyone can enjoy. It offers a picnic area with 90 tables and 55 fireplace grills; swimming on a 400-foot-long beach; a boat ramp; boating for canoes, rowboats, sailboats, and motorboats (no wake); and sanitary facilities. During the winter, visitors enjoy cross-country skiing, ice fishing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.
Otter Lake: Greenfield, NH
Located in Greenfield State Park, there are multiple beaches that are open to the public (with a small fee). There are multiple beaches to choose from, and you can even rent a canoe or Kayak. There is the option to camp overnight here as well.
Bowling: Throughout the region
Yankee Lanes: Keene, NH, Bowling, pub, drinks, and arcade games await!
Bowling Acres Bar & Grill: Candlepin Bowling, pub, drinks, and arcade games await!
Twinkle Town: Mini Golf and Batting Cages in East Swanzey, NH
Classic family owned mini-golf course and batting cage area complete with snack bar and really good ice cream!
Both of these bike parks have areas for beginners (even little, little ones using balance bikes) and areas for those experienced enough to flip and jump. These bike parks are well maintained and both near two excellent playgrounds, making them each a great way to spend an entire day with the family
Keene Bike Park: Keene, NH
Located in Wheelock Park, this park has little hills for those just learning and a more complex course for those looking to catch some air. It’s quieter in the early morning if you are looking to just practice, and come later to see some real action (the beginner trails are off to the side and available all day). Wheelock is an awesome park with multiple playgrounds (in the shade!) and other activities too.
Monadnock Speedway: Winchester, NH
Renovoated in 2018, the speedway is where you’ll see drivers race on the paved quarter mile track at speeds over 100mph! In addition to a thrilling night out, you can enjoy snacks and meals and even some tasty beer. A great unexpected night out for the entire family.
Runway Fun Park Swanzey, NH
There’s so much fun to be had here! They offer amusements rides and games like Go Karts, mini-golf, Carousel, mini-roller coaster, Ferris Wheel and of course all the pizza and amusement park food you’d expect are all here. Open from April to November and set in a beautiful area of Swanzey, this amusement park has everything you need, including a lot of benches for tired parents, for the whole family to have a blast.
The Colonial Performing Arts Center, Keene, NH
The Colonial, the largest local theater with 800 seats, has been a staple of the community since opening its doors in 1924 when Vaudeville was the hottest ticket in town. In 2022, a major renovation was completed, and the stage and shows are better than ever. From traveling Broadway productions to acts like Scotty McCreery, Lucinda Willams, Jazz from Lincoln Center to family shows like The New York Theater Ballet’s Nutcracker, there is truly something for everyone.
Keene Cinemas: Keene, NH
Family owned and operated; this is your classic movie theater experience complete with a full suite of video games. They always have a family movie in their rotation along with blockbusters and some classic films that fit the season. The people who work here are passionate about film and great customer experiences and you feel that from the moment you walk in!