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Wintertime Family Fun

The NH Monadnock Thrive Guide

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Skating outdoors on a frozen pond

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As the winter months approach, everyone is looking forward to the fun activities of the season like skating and sledding. Keep reading to know the best frozen hotspots around the Monadnock Region.


Skiing

Crotched Mountain Resort: Bennington, NH: As a member of the Vail Resorts Management Company (yes, THAT Vail), Crotched Mountain is a legit, full scale downhill ski experience located in the northeast corner of the region. All equipment is available for rent, lessons can be reserved, and with both a pub and a cafeteria there’s plenty of options to keep your energy up – even if you take advantage of their night hours. Only 40 minutes from Keene and 20 minutes from Peterborough, Crotched Mountain is a very accessible yet surprisingly uncrowded option to hit the slopes.  

Granite Gorge Mountain Park: Keene NH:  Granite Gorge Mountain Park (under new management since 2023) is a beloved local establishment, where generations of families have learned to ski. Complete with equipment for rent and group or private lessons, it’s easy to be in and out of the park in less than 2 hours. And if you love snow but skiing isn’t your thing, check out their tubing hill. A great, easy day leaving you plenty of time to explore more of the area. 


Indoor Skating

Keene ICE (Keene, NH)

Looking for a place to skate indoors with friends and family? Look no further than Keene ICE located just 5 minutes away from downtown Keene. For only $5 per person (and an additional $5 for rental skates), everyone is welcome to skate! Visit their website and check their calendar frequently for additional public skate times as they’re always updating.


Outdoor Skating

Brown Memorial Field (Swanzey, NH); Adams Playground (Peterborough, NH); Wheelock Park (Keene, NH); The Pond at Robin Hood Park (Keene, NH); Humiston Field (Jaffrey, NH); Norway Pond (Hancock, NH)

Each of these six locations has its own pond that’s great for skating. The Brown Memorial Field rink is maintained by the Swanzey Recreational Department and is open to everyone. But be aware that if the gates are closed, the ice is off-limits for safety. The other locations are also free to the public. Look out on the town’s Facebook pages and websites to learn about available skating times. And don’t forget to bring your own skates!


Sledding

The Inn at East Hill Farm (Troy, NH)

Stay at the Inn at East Hill Farm during their family weekends and school vacations to experience their winter activities. From arts and crafts to petting bunnies in their barn to cocktail parties, the Inn has a variety of activities for all ages. Most notably, they have a whole block for sledding on a hill nearby in their Winter Sample Activity Schedule (if the weather permits sledding). So book a weekend at the Inn at East Hill Farm and enjoy their winter activities!

Robin Hood Park (Keene, NH)

Not only known for skating but also for sledding, Robin Hood Park features a 300 to 400-foot run that is awesome for sledding. Named one of the best parks to sled in, its 25-degree angle allows for a perfect drop to gain speed and send you flying. Be careful of those around you, bundle up, and, most importantly, have fun!

Miller State Park (Peterborough, NH)

For the daredevils out there, the auto road on Miller State Park’s Pack Monadnock is the sledding spot for you. The road, which is mainly used for hiking in the other seasons, is usually closed during the winter and makes for a 2,290-foot winding path full of packed snow. It is advised that this be used only by experienced sledders and not by those just starting out (we recommend any of the previous options above for beginners).


Museums

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.  


Bowling

Yankee Lanes: Keene, NH, Bowling, pub, drinks, and arcade games await!   

Bowling Acres Bar & GrillCandlepin Bowling,  pub, drinks, and arcade games await! 


Entertainment

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! 

Peterborough Community Theatre: Peterborough, NH 

It’s New Hampshire’s oldest movie theatre but it’s modern in every way. Featuring independent films and big blockbusters, it’s a lovely way to spend a cold wintry evening. For best results, combine with a dinner and drinks at one of Downtown Peterborough’s many eateries!  

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The NH Monadnock Thrive Guide

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