The Hippo


May 29, 2020








Events worth heading outside for

By Matt Ingersoll

 From family festivals to nature explorations, there are oodles of events happening outdoors in winter — and not just at sled and ski hills. If you’ve already hit the slopes a few times or pulled out the sled, here are some more ways to enjoy the great, big, chilly outdoors.

Birding events
• Join an Amoskeag Fishways instructor and search for bald eagles along the Merrimack River in Manchester. The program begins with an orientation at the center, followed by a quest to spot the first eagle of the day. Expect to carpool, dress warmly, and bring your binoculars if possible. Saturday, Jan. 27, from 10 a.m. to noon. Amoskeag Fishways, 4 Fletcher St., Manchester. $3 per person, $6 per family. Visit
• Join a staff naturalist for Wild Winter Walks, a guided walk on the live animal exhibit trail to see the center’s animal ambassadors dressed in their winter coats and discuss how these native animals are well-adapted for winter in New Hampshire on Saturday, Jan. 27, 1 to 3:30 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 4, at 10 a.m.; Saturday, Feb. 10, at 1 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 17, at 10 a.m.; Saturday, Feb. 24, at 1 p.m.; Friday, March 2, at 10 a.m.; Sunday, March 4, at 1 p.m.; Saturday, March 10, at 1 p.m., and Saturday, March 17, at 1 p.m. at Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, 23 Science Center Road, Holderness. $8 for members or $10 for non-members. Visit or call 968-7194. 
• Junior Explorers: Songs in the Sky, Signs in the Snow: Led by Kelly Dwyer, New Hampshire Audubon’s director of education, and Paula Chouinard, Massabesic Audubon Center naturalist. Learn to identify common birds by their songs, as well as learning what their winter plumage and distinct footprint patterns in the snow look like. Classes are for ages 7 to 12 and parents are encouraged to participate. Please dress to be outside. Wednesday, Jan. 31, 10 to 11:30 a.m. Massabesic Audubon Center, 26 Audubon Way, Auburn. $12 for members or $15 for non-members. Visit or call 668-2045. 
• Join Beaver Brook naturalists for a full moon night hike or snowshoe around the trails of Beaver Brook. Dress in layers. Beaver Brook will be supplying the snowshoes, or you can bring your own if you like. Return to Maple Hill farm for warm beverages and cookies. Saturday, Feb. 3, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Beaver Brook Association, 117 Ridge Road, Hollis. $15 for non-members or $13.50 for members. Visit or call 465-7787. 
• Join the Nashaway Chapter to look for short-eared and snowy owls at Salisbury Beach State Park and across the river in Parker River Wildlife Refuge. Wednesday, Feb. 24, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free.
Nature fun
• Led by New Hampshire Audubon naturalist Kim Murphy. Participants will explore the world of evergreens and discover which animals rely on them for survival, during this “wee wonders” family program. Please dress to be outside and wear appropriate footwear. Wednesday, Jan. 31, 10 to 11:30 a.m. Massabesic Audubon Center, 26 Audubon Way, Auburn. $12 for members and $15 for non-members. Visit or call 668-2045. 
• Learn to identify trees and shrubs in winter at the Massabesic Audubon Center (26 Audubon Way, Auburn,, 668-2045) on Saturday, Feb. 3, from 10:30 a.m. To noon. Register online or by phone in advance; cost is $10 per person and $25 for families.
• Hike or snowshoe by the light of the full moon on Saturday, Feb. 3, from 6:30 to o 8:30 p.m. on the trails of Beaver Brook (117 Ridge Road, Hollis, Dress in layers; they supply the snowshoes if needed (as well as warm beverages and cookies post-hike). Register online; cost is $15 per person.
• The Saturday Nature Seekers at the Amoskeag Fishways runs most Saturdays from 11 a.m. to noon at the Amoskeag Fishways (4 Fletcher St., Manchester, No registration is required; a donation of $5 per family is encouraged. In February, the program runs Feb. 3, Feb. 10 and Feb. 24 and the theme is Winter Wildlife Watching. In March, the program runs March 17 and March 31 and the theme is Mud, Muck & Soil.  
• Learn about the animals “Burrowing through the Snow” at the Massabesic Audubon Center (25 Audubon Way, Aubrun,, 668-2045) Wednesday, Feb. 14, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. The class is for ages 4 to 6 and includes indoor and outdoor time; call or go online to register. Cost is $15 per child-parent pair.
• Join a Beaver Brook naturalist for a walk along the Nissitissit River in Hollis and to the Great Meadow beaver pond along the Potanipo Rail Trail. The association will provide snowshoes or ice treads according to the conditions. Saturday, Feb. 24, 10 to 11:30 a.m. Beaver Brook Association Great Meadow Trail Head, West Hollis Road, Hollis. Free. Visit or call 465-7787.   
Fishing and plunging
• Take a quick dip to benefit the Special Olympics of New Hampshire at the Hampton Beach Penguin Plunge, followed by a post-plunge party at the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 4, noon. Hampton Beach, Ocean Boulevard, Hampton. Registration starts at $50. Visit 
• The Country Pond Fish & Game Club Ice Fishing Derby will feature up to $500 in cash prizes. Registration begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Clubhouse. Sunday, Feb. 4, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Country Pond Fish & Game Club, 82 Pond St., Newton. $10 registration fee; door prizes will also be available for children under 12. Call 793-0038 or visit 
• Learn how to ice fish with staff and volunteers of New Hampshire Fish and Game during this two-part series. Friday will cover ice safety, fish ecology, equipment and more. Parents and participants over 16 do not need a fishing license during the organized field trip. All gear will be provided. Bring lunch and wear proper outdoor clothing for Saturday. Ages 8 and up. Registration required. Friday, Feb. 16, from 6 to 8 p.m. Amoskeag Fishways, 4 Fletcher St., Manchester. Free.
• The Webster Lake Ice Fishing Derby is Saturday, Feb. 17, and Sun., Feb. 18; registration begins at 6 a.m. Veterans Memorial Recreation Area, 266 Flaghole Road, Franklin. $15 for adults and $5 for kids and teens under 16. Visit 
Chilly runs
• The next run in the Gate City Striders’ Freeze Your Buns 5K series is happening on Sunday, Feb. 4, at 9 a.m. The race kicks off at Conway Arena (West Hollis and Riverside streets, Nashua) and is open to the public. The cost is $5 for ages 19 and up and $3 for ages 18 and under. The series will also include races on Feb. 18 and March 4, and a makeup race on March 11. Visit
• 23rd Annual Boston Prep 16-Miler & 5-Miler is organized by the Greater Derry Track Club and is designed for runners training for the Boston Marathon, or any other upcoming spring marathon. Runners who are looking for a mid-winter challenge but aren’t ready for the full marathon yet can run the “BP-Lite,” a five-mile taste of the Boston Prep experience. Sunday, Jan. 28, 10 a.m. West Running Brook Middle School, 1 W. Running Brook Lane, Derry. $65 registration for the 16-miler and $35 for the 5-miler. Visit 
• The Winter Wilder Pats Peak 4 Miler starts and finishes at the main lodge of Pats Peak. Saturday, Feb. 3, 7 a.m. Pats Peak, 686 Flanders Road, Henniker. $25 race-day registration and $20 pre-race day for ages 20 and up; $10 for ages 15 to 19 and free for ages 14 and under. Visit 
• 4th Down and 4-Miler is organized by NHTI’s cross-country team. Prizes will be awarded to the top three overall male and female finishers. Sunday, Feb. 4, 11 a.m. Northeast Delta Dental, 2 Delta Drive, Concord. Registration by donation. Visit 
• 4th Annual Super Bowl Chili 5K Race starts at Stark Brewing Co. at 10:30 a.m. All participants get one handcrafted beer (21+ only) and a free warm cup of chili at the post-race party at the brewery, and prizes will be also be awarded to the top three male and female overall finishers. Sunday, Feb. 4, 10:30 a.m. Stark Brewing Co., 500 N. Commercial St., Manchester. $30 race-day registration for adults; $20 for kids 12 and under. Visit 
• Ameriprise Financial Mardi Gras 5K Tuesday, Feb. 13, 7 p.m. Veterans Memorial Park, 889 Elm St., Manchester. $25 for adults over 21 and $20 for kids and adults under 21. Visit 
Skiing & Snowshoeing
• Bob Gilman Fun Run, a ski/snowboard race, is for all ages and abilities and will be held at Manchester’s McIntyre Ski Area. The race course will be set for beginners and each participant will be able to take two timed runs during the two-hour period. McIntyre will be open to the public and the race will be free to participate in with the purchase of a lift ticket. Sunday, Jan. 28, 10 a.m., McIntyre Ski Area, 50 Chalet Way, Manchester. $32. 
• Celebrate January’s second full moon with a nighttime snowshoe hike to Battery Point. Join Jake King with Thrive Outdoors and Massabesic naturalist Angie Krysiak for the hike, a campfire, hot cocoa, marshmallows and a telescope for some moon and star-gazing before the hike. Bring your own snowshoes or a rent a pair for $5 each. Wednesday, Jan. 31, 6 to 8 p.m. Massabesic Audubon Center, 26 Audubon Way, Auburn. $10 for members and $15 for non-members; registration is required. Visit or call 668-2045. 
Celebrations of snow & ice
• The 8th Annual 1883 Black Ice Pond Hockey Championship is now scheduled for Friday, Feb. 8, through Sunday, Feb. 11. White Park, 1 White St., Concord. Free. Visit This event was postponed from January due to weather so check the website for updates.
• Derry’s annual Frost Festival will run Friday, Feb. 9, through Sunday, Feb. 11, at locations throughout the town including Hoodcroft Golf Course, Alexander-Carr Park and Gallien’s Town Beach. See
• Head to Amherst for the Winter Carnival Saturday, Feb. 10, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Peabody Mill Environmental Center (66 Brook Road, Amherst, The day will include indoor nature programs and crafts (as well as treats and hot cider and cocoa), guided hikes and scavenger hunt, campfire stories and s’mores and winter shelter making.  
•  Lowell’s annual Winterfest runs Friday, Feb. 23, and Saturday, Feb. 24, at locations throughout downtown Lowell, Mass. Events include a craft beer showcase, live music and a fire show on Friday and, on Saturday, a soup competition, a chocolate festival, live music, carriage rides through the downtown and a kids’ fun zone. Winterfest will also feature an ice rink. See
• The Merrimack Parks & Recreation department is holding its 26th annual Winter Carnival on Saturday, Feb. 24, from noon to 3 p.m. at Wasserman Park (116 Naticook Road, Merrimack). The event features a cardboard sledding contest, an ice fishing derby, s’mores making, carnival games, arts and crafts, snowshoeing demonstrations, ice carving demonstrations and much more. Admission is free. Visit or call 882-1046.

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