Lakes Region Fall Family Fun
By Kathi Caldwell-Hopper
If you are yearning to get out and enjoy the late-summer/early fall days ahead in the Lakes Region, there are many area events sure to please.
The 42nd New Hampshire Highland Games & Festival is among the largest Scottish cultural festivals in the northeast and is dedicated to the furtherance of the music, dance, athletics and customs of the Scottish people and to the continuance of the Gaelic culture. This year’s event offers great music with a variety of performers throughout the weekend. There is always the traditional bagpipe but many other acts as well. Events include highland dancing, fiddle, harp (clarsach), sheep dogs, and heavy Scottish athletics. There will be many clans and societies in attendance, and the event offers a chance to learn all about Scottish life and history. With multiple venues, Scottish and Celtic performers entertain with traditional and modern music. Plan to attend for three days of music, food and competitions. The event takes place at Loon Mt. Resort in Lincoln from September 21 to 23. Visit www.nhscot.org for information.
Picturesque Newfound Lake in the Bristol area is home to the Annual NH Marathon & 10K & Kids Events on Saturday, September 29 at 9 am. The course, including the Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K Road Race and Kids Marathon takes place in the Newfound Lake area, with beautiful scenery. Call 604-744-3335 to register. The weekend is full of activities, including the Marathon Pasta Dinner on September 28 from 5 to 7:30 pm at the Union Lodge, 61 Pleasant Street in Bristol. (The Masons host the dinner and it is a great event: crocks pots full of many varieties of homemade sauces for runners and guests to choose from top off pasta, and there is dessert to end the tasty meal.) The cost is $10 per person. Contact email@example.com. For complete race/event information, visit www.nhmarathon.com.
The Remick Country Doctor Museum and Farm in Tamworth is a great place to bring the entire family, and the site is at its best in the summer and fall. On Saturday, September 22, the Museum will present the 14th Annual Harvest Festival. Join the staff at the farm for tractor-pulled wagon rides, seasonal foods, harvesting and gardening demos, farm stand veggies, historic crafts, agricultural exhibits, lunch and goodies for sale and farm games and live folk music.
A fun Hearthside Dinner will take place on Saturday, October 20 from 4 to 8 pm. Museum interpreters will be dressed in period clothing to help create a look back at cooking long ago. Guests assist in cooking the meal. After the meal is prepared, participants gather for a feast. Call the museum at 603-323-7591 for registration information on all Remick Museum events or visit www.remickmuseum.org.
The New Hampshire Farm Museum, located on Route 175 in Milton, has events slated for families during the fall. If you love pie, don’t miss a fun - and tasty - event: The Great NH Farm Pie Festival on September 16 from noon to 4 pm. Taste all sorts of pies from New Hampshire’s best bakers and bakeries. Enjoy pie making demonstrations, farm tours and guided tours of the historic Jones farmhouse.
On September 29 and October 27, the Milton Market will be offered from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm with local handmade goods at the Farm Museum.
Preserving the Harvest will take place at the Farm Museum on October 13 from 10 am to 3 pm. Enjoy many end-of-season fun events and learn how harvesting was done long ago.
On November 21, Over the River and Through the Woods celebrates Thanksgiving from 10 am to 3 pm. The season ends at the NH Farm Museum on December 15 with Christmas Through the Ages from 10 am to 3 pm. Call 603-652-7840 for NH Farm Museum information or visit www.farmmuseum.org.
Prescott Farm on White Oaks Road in Laconia has great hiking trails and wonderful programs for kids, as well as adults. There is also a new outdoor playground in the woods. One event not to miss is the 9th Annual Harvest Festival & Second Annual Raise Heck Tug O’War on Saturday, September 15 from 10 am to 3 pm. Enjoy horse drawn hayrides, face painting, oxen, a petting farm, food, music, games, crafts, workshop demonstrations, and a hay jump.
There are many more events at Prescott Farm, such as the Big Backyard Series with weekly workshops in specific areas of interest, such as spiders, bats, fall foliage walks and more. The Farmhouse Kitchen Series focuses on all sorts of healthy cooking. To learn more, visit www.prescottfarm.org. Prescott Farm is located at 928 White Oaks Road in Laconia. Call 603-366-5695.
Elsewhere in the Lakes Region, Canterbury Shaker Village pays homage to the past with present-day fun activities. The Canterbury Artisan Festival will be held on September 15 from 10 am to 5 pm with fine arts and crafts, special foods, a farmer’s market, historic arts demonstrations, music and agricultural demonstrations.
Also scheduled at Shaker Village is a Vintage Car Show on Saturday, Oct. 13 from 10 am to 1 pm (rain date is Oct. 14); Spirit Encounters Tours on October 5, 12, 19 and 26 at 6:30 and 7 pm; a Harvest Music Festival on October 20 from 4 to 8 pm; and Christmas with the Canterbury Shakers Tours on December 6, 7, 9 13 and 14 at 6:30 and 7 pm. Christmas at Canterbury takes place on December 8 and 15 from 3 to 8 pm. Workshops are also scheduled in a variety of topics. Call 603-783-9512 or visit www.shakers.org for information.
There are many events taking place at historic and beautiful Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough right through the Christmas season. Brewing in NH: An Informal History of Beer will take place on Wednesday, September 12 from 7 to 8:30 pm and is a free program. Open Air Landscape Art takes place September 7 and October 12 and you don’t need to be a professional artist to participate! Just sign up to join local artists MaryAnn Stockman, and be there from 10 am to noon. You will paint with MaryAnn at some great chosen outdoor locations. If you like Halloween, don’t miss the Pumpkin Walk at the Castle on October 12 at 5:30 pm. This great event will offer a Halloween-themed walk on the trail around Shannon Pond. The event is free of charge.
What could be more magical than Christmas…at a castle? Castle in the Clouds will offer Christmas at the Castle this year on November 16 to 18 and November 23 to 25. Tour the Arts & Crafts mansion, Lucknow, elegantly dressed in holiday decorations. Local businesses and designers showcase their design aesthetic by adopting a room in the mansion and decorating it to the nines. There are plenty of activities for families to enjoy, including a craft table for children and a visit with Santa Claus.
During the Christmas at the Castle event, the popular Artisan Fair will be held in the Winnipesaukee Room at the Carriage House. Warm up with some hot cocoa and tasty cookies as your browse the local wares and get a jump on your holiday shopping.
The restaurant in the Carriage House will be open in the fall, during the Christmas event, and also during the winter (on select dates). And speaking of winter/colder weather, enjoy a free Winter Solstice Hike on December 21 from 5 to 7 pm at Shannon Pond. Call 603-476-5900 or visit www.castleintheclouds.org. for further information.
The Squam Lakes Natural Science Center in Holderness is open until late fall with many fun family programs. You can get up close to animals and take workshops at the Science Center; it is a great place to visit in the fall months. Call 603-968-7194 or visit www.nhnature.org.
The beloved NH Pumpkin Festival will take place in Laconia on October 12 from 4 to 8 pm and October 13 from noon to 8 pm with many events planned all over the downtown area. This family-fun fest will feature food and craft vendors on both days, amusement rides, street music, Zombie Walk at 6:30 pm on October 12, a stroll on the streets of pumpkins and more. On October 13, there will be a 5 and 10K run/walk at Opechee Park at 9 am; a pumpkin pancake breakfast at Holy Trinity School, food and craft vendors, live music, horse drawn hayrides, a Great Pumpkin Cook-Off and Riverside Duck Derby and at 5 pm, the great pumpkin lighting begins. Visit www.nhpumpkinfestival.com for 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 from September 6 to 16 this year. This popular fair will have something for everyone; visit www.rochesterfair.com for details.
Deerfield Fair, while technically not in the Lakes Region, is definitely worth a day trip. This fair, which takes place from September 27 to 30, brings visitors from all over New England who are looking for a taste of New Hampshire’s down-home fair atmosphere. For a complete schedule, visit www.deerfieldfair.com.
The premier fair for the Lakes Region, the Sandwich Fair, runs from October 6 to 8 in Center Sandwich. With farm animals, baked good, vegetables, demonstration and competition imaginable, as well as music, amusement rides and much more, this fair is a must. Call 603-284-7062 or visit www.thesandwichfair.com.