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Fall (And Late Summer) Fun

Kathi Caldwell-Hopper - September 2, 2013

Highland Games

Competing at the NH Highland Games.

If you are yearning to get out and enjoy the late summer and upcoming fall days in the Lakes Region, there are many events taking place that are sure to please and are just right for families. Do not assume that, just because Labor Day means back to school, the Lakes Region events and recreation are at an end. There is plenty to do and see right through the upcoming months.

The Squam Lakes Natural Science Center offers fun programs for families and others throughout the summer. In the late summer and fall, much is scheduled at the Holderness location.

On Sept. 14, the Festival of Flight will feature tethered hot air balloon rides from 9 to 11 a.m., courtesy of RE/MAX Bayside in Meredith. Following that, Iain MacLeod will be presenting Project Osprey Track at 11 a.m. The program will feature the latest information about satellite-tracked Ospreys in New Hampshire. The program also will feature a live Osprey. A special program about the Karner Blue Butterfly Restoration Project will take place at 1 p.m. Brett Ferry of NH Fish & Game will present the program about the federally endangered butterfly found in New Hampshire. Attendees also will have the opportunity to participate in a butterfly craft before or after the presentation.

Other activities include a chance to participate in a Hawk Watch (looking for and learning about wild raptors migrating south) from 10 a.m. to noon. Programs featuring live raptors will be at noon, on the Broad-winged hawk, and at 3 p.m. on the American Kestrel.

Admission fees are reduced for seniors (65+) and youths ages 3-15, children children 2 and under are admitted free. Members are always free. Call the Science Center at 603-968-7194.

The Fred Brown Winnipesaukee Relay Race brings hundreds of runners of all ages and abilities to the Lakes Region on Saturday, Sept. 7, for the 25th year of the event. The long-standing and arduous road race takes competitors on a course around beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee, starting and ending in Weirs Beach at Funspot. The event begins at 8 a.m. Visit for information. The race is not only fun for participants; spectators love to watch the roadways full of runners and to cheer on their favorites.

Fall means apples and apples means festivals! Bristol’s annual Apple Festival and Craft Fair takes place Oct. 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m, at the Tapply-Thompson Community Center. There will be homemade foods and the community center also will hold a craft fair during the festival; it’s a great chance to start holiday gift shopping.

The historic Belknap Mill on Beacon Street in downtown Laconia has a number of fall events, starting with a fascinating exhibit called “Flying High by the Laconia Airport” in the first-floor gallery, open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The exhibit runs Sept. 5-25 and features a look back at the history of aviation and the Laconia Airport.

The Belknap Mill, in conjunction with the Laconia Historical and Museum Society, offers a series of workshops that are free and open to the public this fall. Three free programs are geared for those interested in writing their family history. On Sept. 17 at 7 p.m., Jo Radner will present “Family Stories: How and Why To Remember and Tell Them”. On Oct. 15 at 7 p.m., the workshops continue with “Family, Memory, Place: Writing Family Stories” with Martha Andrews Donovan and Maura MacNeil of New England College. The series closes on Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. with “That Reminds Me of a Story” with Rebecca Rule. The series is presented with support from Humanities To Go / NH Humanities Council. Pre-registration for the series is required: call 603-524-8813.

The NH Highland Games & Festival, the largest and most diverse Scottish cultural festival in the Northeast, presented by the New Hampshire Gathering of the Scottish Clans, Inc., takes place Sept. 20-22. The not-for-profit organization dedicated to the music, dance, athletics, and customs of the Scottish people and to the continuance of the Gaelic culture, will present the three days of activities, offerign something for everyone, including competitions, music, vendors, and seminars. The event takes place at Loon Mountain Resort in Lincoln. Visit for information.

Pretty little Newfound Lake is home to the annual NH Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K Road Race and Health Walk, and Kids Marathon on Saturday, Oct. 5, at 9 a.m. The course, including the Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K Road Race and Health Walk, circles Newfound Lake and is challenging, but the scenery is beautiful! Call 603-744-2713 to register.

The Plymouth Regional Chamber of Commerce, which includes the Newfound Region, also has things happening all weekend, including an arts and crafts show on Oct. 5 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Newfound Memorial Middle School gym on Lake Street in Bristol.

The Remick Country Doctor Museum and Farm in Tamworth is a great place to bring the entire family, and it’s at its best in the summer and fall. On Sept. 28, the museum offers a Harvest Fest from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Join the staff at the farm for a day of fall fun. There will be Farmhouse Kitchen foods, living history demonstrations, historic games, tours, and more.

A Hearthside dinner will be featured at the museum on Oct. 5 from 5 to 7 p.m. Call the museum at 603-323-7591 for registration information on all Remick Museum events.

The NH Farm Museum, located on Route 125 in Milton, has events slated for families during the fall. If you have a hankering for pie, come to the Sept. 22 Great NH Pie Festival from noon to 4 p.m. Partake in all the pie you can eat and enjoy music, farmhouse tours, and more. Children may enter the annual pie-eating contest and win a prize, vote on the best pies in New Hampshire, and enjoy tastings from the best pie bakers.

Harvest Day will take place at the Farm Museum on Oct. 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Celebrate the farm harvest and dig up potatoes and carrots to help make Stone Soup. Press apples to make cider, make applesauce, and learn the technique of making dried apples and pumpkins. Take farmhouse tours and horse-drawn wagon rides, visit the farm animals, watch blacksmith and spinning demonstrations, and shop the Harvest Market with local homemade goods and produce.

A Pumpkin Party comes to the NH Farm Museum on Oct. 19 and 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Choose a farm-grown pumpkin to carve or paint at the carving station. Learn to make pumpkin pie and dried pumpkin. There will be pumpkin stories and pumpkin games for children, and roasting pumpkin seeds over the campfire.

November brings an Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving on the Farm on Nov. 23 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visitors will enjoy homemade pumpkin pie, take horse-drawn wagon rides, pop popcorn over the campfire, and go on a special farmhouse tour with costumed role players. Call 603-652-7840 for NH Farm Museum information, or visit

Canterbury Shaker Village pays homage to the past with present-day fun activities. On Sept. 14, the Canterbury Artisan Fair celebrates rural farm traditions and the traditional arts, including Artisan Festival  & Farmers’ Market and Traditional Arts demonstrations. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with reduced-price admission for those ages 6-17.

Ghost Encounters comes to the village on Oct. 18 and 19 at 6 and 8:30 p.m. Experience for yourself true stories of ghostly encounters at Canterbury Shaker Village, many in the actual rooms where the other-worldly incidents took place. Meet “the Chef,” “the Museum Guide,” “the Museum Intern,” “the Historian,” ”the Psychic,”  “the Tourist,” “The Textiles Expert,” “Eldress Elizabeth Stirling,” and “Sister Caroline Whitcher” in the dramatizations of true accounts. The event is not recommended for young children.

Shaker Village will offer a Vintage Car Show on Oct. 19 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., with autos from all eras on display. Call 603-783-9511 for details or visit

There are many events taking place at historic and beautiful Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough, right through the Christmas season. On Sept. 8, stop by for the Volks Bahn Car Show. Spend the day by Shannon Pond admiring a collection of Volkswagen and Audi automobiles.

A very popular castle event takes place on Nov. 2 and 3 with Treason in the Court. The event sells out quickly, so call soon. Here are the details: Treason in the Court: A Saucy Tale of Betrayal! The House of Bugbain bids you to revel in a time of merrymaking and celebration. But take heed: Treason and murder most foul are afoot! This evening could turn out to be a double-edge sword!  Call 603-476-5900.

What could be more magical than Christmas at a castle? Castle in the Clouds will offer Christmas at the Castle this year on Nov. 22-24 and again on Nov. 29 and 30. Call 476-5900 or visit for further information.

Fall just wouldn’t be fall without New Hampshire’s great fairs. This year’s fairs feature so many things: farm animals, live musical entertainment, amusement rides for all ages, judging of horse pulling, animals, and baked goods, to name but a few.

Rochester Fair, located on Lafayette Street in Rochester, runs Sept. 13-22. The popular fair will have something for everyone; call 603-332-6585 for details.

The premier fair for the Lakes Region, the Sandwich Fair, runs Oct, 12-14 in Center Sandwich. With every farm animal, every form of baked goods, vegetables, demonstrations, and competitions imaginable, as well as music, amusement rides, and much more, the fair is a must. Call 603-284-7062. 

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