Pedals + power

You have e-bike questions. We have e-answers.

What is an e-bike?

It’s pretty much what it sounds like — a bicycle with a small electric motor to help a rider power through the tough parts of a bike ride in which they otherwise pedal, and wave to friends, and do other bike-ridey things. The website for Trek Bicycle Hooksett says, “Electric bikes (also known as e-bikes and electric assist bikes) amplify your pedaling power thanks to an electric drive system. There are many different kinds of e-bikes, but all of them use an electric motor and battery to help you power your bike.”

“An e-bike is born as a bike,” said Mark Dimenico, owner of Rail Trail eBikes in Derry. “You can pedal it like a regular bike; it lets you do most of the pedaling, but there’s a sensor, and every time you make a momentum of the pedal, a revolution, the sensor kicks the motor on and it holds it on at a steady pace.”

Who rides an e-bike?

E-bikers seem to come in all shapes, sizes and ages. Some have injuries that make it difficult for them to ride a conventional bicycle.

“They come in and they’re looking for a bike,” said Dimenico of Rail Trail eBikes. “They have their bikes, but they can’t ride them anymore or they get a knee operation or a hip operation. Maybe they don’t have the strength [to ride a conventional bicycle].

Amy Faust of Raymond is this type of rider. She had a long-standing back injury that kept her from riding bikes with her friends.

“I used my friend’s e-bike and we went on a great bike ride,” she said. “My husband was like, ‘I can’t even believe you’re doing this; you look so happy.’ So then we ended up just going and looking, and he’s like, ‘Nope, we’re going to buy you one that fits you perfect, because you just, you liked it so much.’”

Others want help easing into riding. David Fritz of Trek Bicycle described some of his customers:

“They come in and just are getting back into [bike riding] or just getting into it,” he said, “and they just, they want to go further. They want a helping hand. You have commuters that may not have access to a shower at work. On a hot summer’s day, you’re getting that helping hand; you don’t show up to work all sweaty.”

E-bikes aren’t just used recreationally. Some municipalities use them for times when it would be awkward to use conventional vehicles. The Derry Fire Department confirmed in a telephone interview that it has deployed e-bikes for the past two marathons in Derry and plans to do so in the future. E-bikes allow medical personnel to weave through a crowd of runners to get to people who need medical care.

The Derry Public Library recently acquired two e-bikes with an eye toward using them to tow a small trailer to book events.

“Our plan is that once we get [our bike program] rolling,” said Jessica Delangie, Head of Technical Services for the Library, “we’ll be able to take the bike out to different events. Obviously we’re right next door to the park, but we could take it to the park for any event there, but then also the splash pad, farmers market, that kind of thing.” Library staff will be able to take books to book clubs, Delangie said, or to off-site story times. Eventually, the Library hopes to use the e-bikes to make home deliveries.

Isn’t riding an e-bike cheating?

According to David Topham, the founder and treasurer of the Bike-Walk Alliance of New Hampshire (2 Whitney Road, Suite 11, Concord, 410-5848,, not unless you’re racing. Otherwise, it’s not like there’s a bike-riding purity test, even when riding in a group.

“You know, you’ve got this little motor helping you out on the hills,” Topham said. “We’ve got to work our tails off going up the hills. Are we cheating? The bottom line — the feeling I got from the bicycling community — is that no, the idea of a club is our camaraderie, people out having some fun, enjoying the fresh air, go out for the ride, go out for … probably a beer and a coffee or a pizza or something after the ride — this person’s got the little probably half-horsepower motor assisting them on a hill but they’re out there enjoying the company of others.”

Are e-bikes all the same?

red e-bike on brick sidewalk beside brick wall
EZ Rider from Rail Trail eBikes in Derry — a heavyweight, rugged e-bike, is good for commuting or trails. Photos by John Fladd.

There are many, many different types of e-bikes, from different manufacturers, at different price points. According to, an online e-bike retailer, there are currently 250 brands of e-bikes in the U.S. and 500 in Europe.

“There’s road bikes with skinny tires,” Mark Dimenico from Rail Trail eBikes said, “for people who want to just drive on the road and go to work. And then there’s off-road bikes with fatter tires, for going up hills and through streams and over little jumps. They’re pretty much built to encompass all the different kinds of riding. You can ride them on gravel, sand, snow, the street, paved areas and non-paved areas. The bikes are set up so they can pretty much handle all conditions.”

For riders who want extra stability, he said, there are e-tricycles.

David Fritz from Trek Bicycle described something called a comfort hybrid.

“A comfort hybrid puts you in a more upright, more comfortable position,” Fritz said. “You can get it with a regular frame or a step-through frame. There’s a suspension seat post that helps take the sting out of the bumps. They come fully equipped with fenders and racks, with a rack on it. All of them come with a light that comes on. Most of them come with a little bell.”

In addition to all this, however, there is still another distinction to consider when looking at e-bikes: class. There are three classes of e-bikes:

• Class 1 provides an electric assist only while pedaling.

• Class 2 provides electric assist while pedaling and also by throttle control, a button or a twist grip. It can go up to 20 miles an hour.

• Class 3 has motor power. Using motor power only, it still cuts out at 20 mph, but as a pedal assist it can go 28 mph.

David Topham was instrumental in pushing through legislation in New Hampshire to codify these classes into law in 2018. The goal was to legally classify e-bikes as bicycles rather than motor vehicles.

“The way the law is written is that Class 1 and 2 are allowed on rail trails. Class 3, because it has the option of getting assistance for 28 [mph], is technically not allowed on rail trails,” Topham said.

Where can I ride an e-bike?

Because e-bikes are officially classified as bicycles in New Hampshire, they can mostly be ridden anywhere a non-powered bicycle can.

“I travel a lot with friends,” Mark Dimenico said. “We go out for rides in the evening and we go to places and do things and we take the bike paths or we take the back roads. [My friends are] just like, ‘I didn’t know this was out here. I didn’t know this trail was there. I didn’t know this lake was here. I didn’t know this stream was here or this view was there.’ They were so amazed by this little trail and all of a sudden we’re on the side of Lake Massabesic on a beach.”

Owning an e-bike has opened up many new places for Amy Faust.

“I had a group of friends,” Faust said. “Some had e-bikes, some didn’t, and we just started doing some group bike-riding, and I was able to do a 30-mile bike ride because I had my e-bike. And so it’s just been really fun. Most of the time I go on the rail trail and trails like that, but once in a while I’ll do a group ride on the road with friends. We just got a camper and we’re going to bring our bikes to different places all around and travel and part of that will be riding our bikes.”

row of e-bikes in store, different colors
Electra Townie Go! Step-Thru commuter e-bikes at Trek Bicycle Hooksett. Photo by John Fladd.

David Topham sees e-bikes as a force for social change. He said that riding e-bikes “draws people together through a common interest, and collectively we call e-bikes … a great equalizer. I’m highly involved — the co-founder — of the Granite State Wheelers Bicycling Club in Nashua. We’ve been doing road rides primarily now for 53 years. A lot of times, one person in the family might have better strength or skills than the other. But if they still want to go out and have some fun together, one person could be on the conventional pedal variety bike, and the other one might get a little assistance out of an e-bike, and they have a wonderful time because they’re now still together doing a fun thing outdoors.”

Mark Dimenico has been impressed by the way e-bikes allow older riders to stay connected to a community.

“There’s a group in Derry,” Dimenico said, “and they call themselves the Golden Eagles. And they’re all octogenarians — they’re 80 years old plus, and they all ride e-bikes.”

How much does an e-bike cost?

As with most consumer goods, there is a wide range of prices among e-bikes.

“We’ve got bikes that adults or teens can ride that start out at $550,” said Mark Dimenico. “We’ve got one for $699. We’ve got a few of them for $1,200. The average price is $1,600. Our most expensive Class 3 bike is $1,900.”

But, he said, as with everything, there’s always a more expensive version.

“We get bikes from manufacturers and some of these bikes can run $12,000 to $13,000,” Dimenico said.

close-up of e-bike motor and gears
Fuel EXe 9.5 Deore, a trail e-bike, at Trek Bicycle Hooksett. Photo by John Fladd.

As an example of the price range of e-bikes, has a category on its website for “eBikes Under $1,000 with 16 models, mostly starting at $800. At the high end, there are Class 3 mountain bike e-bikes for 10 times that price. As of July 10, one — the Bakcou Storm Jäger — carried a list price of $8,199.

E-bike retailers say a new rider should buy an e-bike from an actual bike shop, rather than from a big-box store or online. It’s likely that an e-bike will eventually need repairs, and there is a much better chance of a shop being able to repair a model that it sells.

“Most places only work on their own bikes that they sell,” said Mark Dimenico. “There are probably 10,000 bikes now that are on the market. New companies are coming out every day. They’re selling bikes and then they’re going out of business. They’re just leaving a trail of bikes behind that are all broken down and with no support, no parts.”

Buying according to the cheapest price tag can be a very short-term bargain, he said: “They [customers] usually end up buying them online and bringing them to us because they need a lot of repairs. [The bikes] come in a box and there’s really nobody to fix it for them. Things break on them and they’re cheaply made and they’re inexpensive and you get what you pay for in this business. We do a lot of repair work for all sorts of different brands that people buy and sometimes they’re brand new and they’re broken down the next day and what do you do?”

What is the future like for e-bikes?

When asked about the future of e-bikes, David Fritz stuck two thumbs up, and gestured to the ceiling.

“It’s going up and up and up,” he said. “I’d say 25 percent of our sales are e-bikes. I don’t know the exact numbers. But yeah, it’s booming.”

David Topham agreed.

“The use and sale of regular road bikes — not talking e-bikes, just the style of skinny-tire road bikes — sales have dropped off approximately 40 percent since Covid,” Topham said. Meanwhile sales of e-bikes are surging. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (, sales of ebikes have risen significantly each year since 2019. “In 2018,” it reported on its website, “there were 325,000 e-bike sales.” But “[in] 2022, there were 1.1 million e-bikes sold in the United States.”

The Bike Barn 720 Union St., Manchester, 668-6555,
Cycles Etc. 450 Second St., Manchester, 669-7993; 288 N. Broadway, Salem, 890-3212;
DG Cycle Sports 44 Nashua Road, Londonderry, 216-2022; 75 Railroad Ave, Epping, 734-5788;
Electric Bikes of New England 27 Buttrick Road, Londonderry, 319-4909,
Exeter Cycles 4 Portsmouth Ave., Exeter, 778-2331,
EZ Electric Bikes & Scooters 61 Epping Road, Exeter, 778-1402,
Goodale’s Bike Shop 14B Broad St., Nashua, 882-2111,
Pedego Electric Bikes 236 N. Broadway, Suite F, Salem, 458-2094,
Rail Trail eBikes 22 E. Broadway, Suite 2, Derry, 216-5034,
S&W Sports 296 S. Main St., Concord, 228-1441,
Trek Bicycle 19 Triangle Park Drive, Concord, 225-5111; 1197 Hooksett Road, Hooksett, 644-2111;

E-bike the trails

Charge up those e-bikes and zip down a trail today.

These are rail trail segments in southern New Hampshire. E-bikes that are Class 1 (“pedal-assist” only, max assisted speed 20 mph) or Class 2 (throttle-assisted, max assisted speed 20 mph) are allowed on the trails, according to the New Hampshire Rail Trail Coalition. Rail trail information was compiled from

Ashuelot Rail Trail, Keene to Winchester, 21 miles (primarily gravel trail, but paved road in and near Keene)

Brookline Rail Trail, Brookline to Milford, 4.4 miles

Cheshire Rail Trail North, Keene to Walpole, 17.8 miles (primarily gravel trail, but paved road in and near Keene)

Cheshire Rail Trail South. Fitzwilliam to Keene, 18.5 miles

Concord-Lake Sunapee Rail Trail, Concord to Newbury, 35 miles — still in its planning phase but there are completed segments: Stevens Rail Trail, Warner to Hopkinton, 1.3 miles; Tilly-Wheeler Rail Trail and Lower Lake Todd segment, Bradford, 1 mile; Warner Rail Trail, Warner, 1 mile; Fisherville Road to Carter Hill Road, Concord, 2.5 miles

Derry Rail Trail, Derry to Windham, 4 miles (paved road)

Dover Rail Trail, Dover, 3.8 miles (paved road)

Farmington Rail Trail, Farmington, 6 miles

Fort Hill Recreational Rail Trail, Hinsdale, 8 miles

Goffstown Rail Trail, Goffstown to Manchester, 5.5 miles

Granite Town Rail Trail, Milford to Brookline, 3 miles

Harrisville Rail Trail, Harrisville, includes Chesham Depot Rail Trail section, 0.5 mile; Skatutakee Lake Road & trail section, 1.4 miles; East View Trail section, 1.4 miles; Jaquith Rail Trail section, Hancock to Harrisville, 1.5 miles

Heads Pond Rail Trail, Hooksett, 1.7 miles

Hillsborough Rail Trail, Hillsborough, 8 miles

Lilac City Greenway, Rochester, 1.2 miles

Londonderry Rail Trail, Londonderry, 4.5 miles (paved road)

Mascoma River Greenway, Lebanon, 3 miles (paved road)

Mason–Greenville Rail Trail, Mason to Greenville, 9.1 miles

Nashua River Rail Trail, Nashua to Ayer, Mass., 12 miles (paved road)

Nashua Heritage Rail Trail, Nashua, 1.3 miles (paved road)

New Boston Rail Trail, New Boston, 4 miles

Monadnock Rail Trail, Jaffrey to Rindge, 7.5 miles

Peterborough Rail Trail, Peterborough to Hancock, 6 miles

Piscataquog Rail Trail, Manchester to Goffstown, 2 miles (paved road)

Potanipo Rail Trail, Brookline to Hollis, 6.5 miles

Rockingham Rail Trail, Fremont Branch, Windham to Epping, 18 miles

Rockingham Rail Trail, Portsmouth Branch, Manchester to Newfields, 25.3 miles

Salem Bike-Ped Corridor, Salem to Windham, 5.2 miles (2 miles paved road, the rest gravel)

South Manchester Rail Trail, Manchester, 2.4 miles (paved road)

Windham Rail Trail, Windham to Derry, 4.1 miles (paved road)

Featured image: Rail 8 from Trek Bicycle Hooksett. photo by John Fladd.

Find your flea market

Where to spot treasures such as antiques, handcrafted creations, nerf guns, t-shirts, lime trees and a bear trap

By John Fladd

Flea markets generally fall into three categories:

Antiques. This doesn’t necessarily mean snooty people arguing over the fine points of Chippendale armoires, although it can. It means that most items on offer are old: boxes of old books, turn-of-the-last-century bottles, antique car parts, used CDs, piles of vintage Barbie dolls, or a stuffed owl or two — cool old stuff waiting for someone with a particular enthusiasm.

Sweat socks. Not just sweat socks, of course, but inexpensive consumer goods like burner phones, cell phone covers, neon-colored tracksuits and lots of shampoo. If you are looking for a velour blanket with a picture of a matador or a howling wolf on it, this is the place to find it. Please don’t think that I am mocking this type of market. It whispers sweet nothings to my heart.

Overgrown garage sale. You’re never sure what you’ll find at this kind of flea market. Yes, there are a few professional dealers specializing in Pokémon cards, or military surplus, but just as many of the vendors are people who have found themselves with too much of something on their hands — some old, some new — that they want to get rid of. For many of them it’s the getting-rid-of that’s the important thing. A sports family might realize they have 20 years’ worth of hockey gear, skis, football helmets and lacrosse sticks, and decide to flea market it.

About three years ago I found my flea market: the late, lamented Hollis Flea Market. It was an antiques market, full of vintage — stuff. There were some stunning antique clocks for customers with much richer blood than mine, but also any number of commemorative plates, piles of old postcards and, once, a giant pile of 3,600 C-clamps.

Unfortunately, this winter, the owners of the Hollis Flea Market announced that they were closing. This has left me searching for a new flea market.

Not counting yard sales and antiques shows, there are four major flea markets in the area:

Londonderry Flea Market

295 Nashua Road, Londonderry
Open Saturdays and Sundays 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. April through October
Admission $1.50 per person; 60+ and kids under 12 get in free.
The basics: The Londonderry Flea Market is an outdoor market on 30 acres, with up to 300 vendors on a given day. Many vendors do not accept credit cards; it’s a good idea to bring cash. There is an ATM on site. According to the Market’s website, there is a “huge assortment of items to find & buy for home, garden, work, pleasure, personal wants & needs. Make a list of things you’d like to buy before you visit the market. Bring the list with you to shop as the sellers here just may have what you’re looking for! f you don’t see it, ask them as it may just be out of sight.”
Food: There is a concession tent in the center of the market selling burgers, hot dogs, snacks and drinks.

Londonderry Flea Market. Photo by John Fladd.

The Londonderry Flea Market is very, very large. There are two halves, one on each side of a fire pond. Many of the vendors work under cover, but at the very back of the flea market there are a number of people selling things from tables. I asked one man in the back who was selling old vinyl records and a seriously intriguing pile of 78s how business was. He said he hadn’t made any sales yet, “but it’s about to rain, and I’m located back here in Siberia.”

One of his neighbors in the back section of the flea market was Stephanie St. Pierre, an enthusiastic world traveler and a maker. She was selling a number of trinkets and antiques from Thailand and Myanmar, but her most fascinating items were four handmade cigar-box banjos. They are a reminder of a brief but intense enthusiasm from a few years ago. Some of the banjos have three strings; some have one.

“I like it,” St. Pierre said. “It’s just fun to play with one string. A diddly-bow, I guess is what they call the ones with one string.” At one point, she made electric cigar-box banjos. “The better ones had pick-ups,” she said. “You could plug them into an amp. I’m not musical, but I had fun going to the flea markets to find all the hardware.”

A 3-foot-tall Barbie doll in a crocheted sweater and miniskirt, concrete garden ornaments — I was distracted from these things by a table full of beads. I was struck by a 2-inch bead — a white porcelain cube with a hole through the center, and what appeared to be blue Chinese characters on the sides.

“What’s the story with this?” I asked the lady selling the beads. She examined it closely for several seconds. “I have no idea what that is,” she confessed. I bought it for a dollar, reasoning that I could tie it to my sword scabbard like a samurai, if I ever got really good at using a sword. It pays to be prepared.

Vincent is the Vinnie of Vinnie’s Uniques and Antiques. Unlike most of the vendors’ stalls, his has a sign. He is a regular; he sells at Londonderry every weekend.

“I look for stuff that nobody else has,” he said. “I want something that they [customers] cannot find anywhere else. If it’s something they’re going to have a hard time finding, I want to have that.” On this particular day, his favorite item was a model ship. “I’m going to tell you, I love this boat. This is a beautiful, beautiful boat,” he said. He pulled aside a tarp to reveal a glass case with a model of a four-masted ship inside. “This guy told me that this ship here burned down and they rebuilt it, but it was never the same ship. There isn’t a kit for this ship, so this ship was made by somebody [who knew it well]. I love my ship.”

Coolest item at the flea market that day: It’s a toss-up between a concrete garden statue of a sad dog and a gold-plated reproduction of a crocodile skull.

What I actually bought: The big Chinese bead and a $5 hockey goalie mask to use in my sword class.

Salem Flea Market (Outside)

20 Hampshire Road, Salem
Open Saturdays and Sundays 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Year-round
Admission $1; a ticket will allow customers to return during the day
The basics: The number of vendors at the outside market can vary on any given day, depending on the weather, but there are usually 50 to 60. Public restrooms are located inside the building. Almost none of the vendors accept credit cards. An ATM is located on the premises.
According to the Salem Flea Market website, “The Salem Flea Market has been open for business for more than 40 years. We have new and used items, including antiques arriving every week.”
Food: There are two or three concession stands at the entrance to the Indoors Market, as well as vendors selling fresh fruit in the Market itself. One review on the Market’s Facebook page reads, “Corn dogs. Corn dogs. Corn dogs. Corn dogs. Corn dogs.”

There are two parts to the Salem Flea Market: an outdoor market and an indoor one. It might be tempting to consider them as a single unit, but they are so vastly different that it makes sense to consider each on its own merits.

The Outside Market butts right up against the parking lot, and there is a lot going on. It is constantly in motion. It comes closest to being another garage sale-type market, but here the focus is on utility. Some of the vendors sell new items, most sell old ones, but virtually everything is practical. If you are looking for a hand-operated winch with 20 feet of chain, or a used large-screen television, this is the place for you.

Salem Flea Market (outside). Photos by John Fladd.

Lucas sells kitchen appliances. His tables are covered with blenders, food processors, microwave ovens and smaller kitchen tools. He has a small generator on hand, if any customers want to test out one of the appliances. Lucas doesn’t mind telling where he gets his merchandise. He buys the items from thrift stores, most of which he has a relationship with and will sell them to him by the pound. He cleans them up, if necessary, and resells them. I asked him how much he paid for a random blender. It was clean, new-looking, and looked like it would work well in most kitchens.

“I paid maybe 10 dollars,” he said with a shrug. “I can probably sell it here for 20.” What really jumped out at me was a variable-speed, hand-held immersion blender. I asked Lucas how much he wanted for it, and he said he was willing to let it go for $10.

On any given day, the outside market has anywhere up to a dozen cargo trucks. Most are from clean-out businesses or junk removal companies.

On this day, one vendor’s stock was mostly old, hard-worked lawn mowers and piles of air conditioners. His neighbor had three or four tables of used shoes. Another specialized in bicycles and stereo speakers. Because almost everything at the Outside Market is practical, and given the time of the year, several vendors at the front end of the market were selling garden plants. The people who sell at both Salem markets are from all over the world, so many of the vegetable plants for sale weren’t ones you might find at a local garden center — bitter melons, makrut lime trees and some with labels written in Asian characters.

A vendor named Melissa was beginning to think she might have come to the wrong flea market. She was located at the very back of the lot.

“I’ve got some bathrobes, some nightgowns, some [porcelain] figurines, some luggage,” she said, “a little bit of everything. It’s actually all mine. I’ve been a shopper my whole life and collecting things over the years. I usually sell on Facebook Marketplace, but that’s exhausting!” I asked what she thought her hidden gem was. She said that for the right person, the bisque porcelain figurines would be a satisfying find. “What is it they say? ‘One man’s junk is another man’s treasure?’”

Coolest item at the flea market that day: Two KitchenAid stand mixers. The vendor was looking for $80 for the small one, and even missing its bowl he was confident he could get $140 for the six-quart model.

What I actually bought: Plants — two brightly colored lilies and a large pot of Thai chile pepper plants for a total of $12.

Salem Flea Market (Inside)

20 Hampshire Road, Salem
Open Saturdays and Sundays 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. year-round
Admission: The same $1 ticket.
The basics: Public restrooms are located inside the building. Almost none of the vendors accepts credit cards. An ATM is located on the premises.
Food: There is a small snack bar inside.

The Inside Market in Salem definitely falls into the sweat socks category. As soon as you walk through the door you’re greeted by enthusiastic salsa and mariachi music. Neon-colored T-shirts compete for space with affordably-priced perfumes and colognes. One vendor sells apparently new-looking mattresses still in their plastic.

One stall was filled to the brim with brightly colored Catholic statuary — figures of saints and religious figures of all sizes, religious paintings, and ceramic bowls and flower pots.

Salem Flea Market (inside). Photo by John Fladd.

The Inside Market has several twisting aisles that branch off unexpectedly. Just when you think you’ve seen most of it, you turn a corner and find a completely new group of stalls. Like almost all the shops, my vote for the coolest one doesn’t have a name above the door. It is about twice the size of other shops, and there are dozens — probably hundreds — of used bicycles hanging from the ceiling. It would be a mistake to think of it as a bike shop, however. The main focus of the business seems to be knives of all kinds and replica swords. Tucked away in a corner are two reproduction helmets, one Spartan and one medieval. Plus the truly impressive number of ceiling bikes.

The chain-link wall of a nearby stall is covered with hundreds of wrestling action figures. A man named Tony runs it with his wife. “I mostly sell Pokémon, wrestling, and action figure toys,” he told me. “That’s all I sell. Well, that and some baseball cards. And football cards — things that people collect.”

Another stall is about half the size of Tony’s and looks for all the world like a storage closet. It is packed full of packages of disposable cups and takeout containers. The owner had stepped out when I visited, so I made small talk with a lady who had come in looking for cups. “This is for a church event tonight,” she told me. “I always come here, and I’ve been coming here since before Covid. I always find what I’m looking for.”

A hand-written sign at another stall nearby read, “Good Quality According to the Price You Pay.”

Coolest item at the flea market that day: A trademark-skirting box of brightly colored toy ponies called Horse Lovely. “THAT BEAUTIFUL HORSE SPREAD YOUR WINGS AND FLY,” the box announced cheerfully.

What I actually bought: Three small resin figurines of babies doing kung fu, for $2 each.

Davisville Flea Market

805 Route 103, Warner
Open Sundays 4 a.m. to 1 p.m. (The website advises visiting between 6 and 11 a.m.) Open May 5 until the last Sunday in October rain or shine.
Admission and parking are free.
The basics: An outdoor market with anywhere from 50 to 150+ vendors. Live music, outdoor toilets.
Food: There is a concession stand that sells cold drinks, coffee, foods and snacks. Frequently there will be food trucks or vendors selling food.

The Davisville Flea Market is an antiques-centered one. A few artists and craftspeople sell their work, but the majority of the vendors sell old items. There are vintage tools, piles of old photographs, and beer steins on offer.

Aiden and Myles are 9 years old. I met them as they stood, spellbound, in front of the Holy Grail for 9-year-old boys: a giant pile of dozens of Nerf guns. Aiden was willing to give me some flea market advice, though he was incredibly distracted. His friend Myles stood next to him, his mouth agape. Aiden picked up a bright orange Nerf machine gun and examined it as he said, “I’m looking for one that has an attachment that can hold a lot of bullets.”

Aiden said that he likes the look of the guns. “If they made these look like camo [camouflage pattern] that would be good, if you’re into that,” he said, “but I like the bright colors. I think they make them this bright, so you buy them more.”

Davisville Flea Market. Photo by John Fladd.

As I walked around to different tables, I was reminded of some lessons about flea market etiquette I’ve learned the hard way. I approached a table under the shade of some trees that was covered with antique tools. The vendor was having a conversation with another man, but in a slow, laconic way, with many pauses. When I was new to flea marketing, I would have used a lull in the conversation as an opportunity to ask a question, but that has rarely worked out well for me. The polite thing to do is wait until the conversation is completely done.

In this case, I waited four or five minutes for the two men to finish their conversation before talking with the vendor.

“How ya doin’ this morning?” he asked. This is a time-tested traditional greeting that indicated that he was willing to talk. I made a friendly but non-committal answer, because being too enthusiastic about anything sets the wrong tone in negotiations like this. I asked him about a hatchet on his ax table. “What’s the story with this?” I asked. (I could have asked him how much he wanted for it, but that could be interpreted as enthusiasm.)

Clearly this was the right thing to ask. He gleefully told me the brand name of the hatchet. Apparently, at least according to him, it was generally used for splitting shakes. At this point a couple of other customers had wandered over, but I was pleased to find that he had made me one half of the old-guy conversation, so he could make the other people wait.

He tried to sell me a bear trap.

I made my way to a tent run by artists Courtney Norton and Matt West. Their business, 7 Glass Studio, specializes in glass work and pyrography — using heat to burn designs into wood or leather. Matt works in low-heat, non-blown glass. Today he was selling extremely life-like glass caterpillars. “The black, yellow and white ones are your traditional monarch colors,” he explained. “The other ones are just fantasy. People like to stick them in their potted plants.”

John Zapollo sells a lot of different things. Today it was mostly books. He was questioning the wisdom of bringing them to the market. “Books have gone way down,” he said with a rueful shake of his head. “Books here at the flea market don’t seem to sell. It seems like more people are looking for tools and stuff to take care of their houses. The antique stuff that I sell doesn’t seem to get a lot of traction.”

The coolest item at the flea market that day: The bear trap.

What I actually bought: Three antique cookbooks from John. The most interesting one was published by the Heinz Corporation in 1939. I paid $1 apiece.

Tastiness with a twist

Treat yourself to some soft serve ice cream

By Zachary Lewis

Soft serve is more than just ice cream. It’s a memory maker. What exactly is soft serve in a literal, non-metaphorical sense? Well, to start, it’s all down to butterfat and machines.

Kaitlyn Witts started working at Arnie’s Place in Concord around 20 years ago. She was basically hired on the spot when she was 16 and now owns the place.

“I bought it from my old boss and now I’m running it,” Witts said.

Anrie’s has a great soft serve setup.

“We have two soft serve machines and we make over 50 flavors of ice cream right in house here,” Witts said.

So what is the difference between soft serve and other ice cream?

“It’s butterfat. Different places will use different butterfats…. The soft serve can be a 5 percent or a 10 percent butterfat whereas a hard ice cream has a 14 or 16 percent butterfat. … It’s a lower-fat option if you will. Lower — not non-fat, but lower-fat.”

Traditionally, soft serve comes in standard flavors.

“One [machine] has vanilla, chocolate, and vanilla chocolate twist, at all times,” Witts said. “[On] the other machine, we switch between flavors like … black raspberry, coffee, maple … Every week and a half or so we try to put in a new flavor.”

Witts has her own favorites. “I would probably go with just a regular vanilla chocolate twist. The maple is really good, though, if you use a maple syrup in it and that’s really, really good, especially if you put some blueberry on top of it — it kind of reminds you of a blueberry pancake.”

Arnie’s is the last stop for local third-graders from Broken Ground School when they do a little field trip around Concord. “They make three lines…. They get a little kiddie cone of vanilla, chocolate, or vanilla chocolate twist. That’s always a really fun field trip that I look forward to coming here every year,” Witts said.

Arnie’s has stayed pretty much the same since the beginning, she feels: “I wouldn’t say it’s changed too, too much.”

But they also serve flavors that are harder to come by nowadays. “People come for flavors they can’t really get a lot of other places. We get requests for frozen pudding, rum raisin, and butter pecan. Flavors that you just don’t see a lot of times at other restaurants,” Witts said.

The soft serves are very customizable, especially with the flurry option.

“We definitely do a lot of soft serve because people really like it,” Witts said. “We definitely go through a lot of soft serve.”

The largest size, she said, is around seven to nine swirls — “We’re not going for the whole gigantic cone thing here.”

This does not mean that soft serve here is any less fun. In fact it’s the opposite. “We have the ability to play around. We tell everyone all the time what we have on the board are just like suggestions as far as flurries go,” Witts said.

So what type of device makes the soft serve? “There are different kinds of soft serve machines. Some you load the soft serve on the top. That’s a gravity soft serve machine. Some you put the mix on the bottom and that’s a pump system because you have to pump it up and into the machine,” Witts said.

The soft serve machines at Arnie’s have seen a lot of swirls. “They’ve been here as long as I’ve worked here, so they’re over 25 years old,” Witts said. The ice cream machine at Arnie’s has been there over 45 years. “That’s pretty cool, that’s my baby.”

On top of daily maintenance and cleaning, these machines go through a deep clean.

“Regularly, once a week, I clean each machine. It takes about two hours to flush the whole thing, pull the entire, all the pieces and o-rings and stuff apart. Like, an hour and a half I’d say for each machine to clean those each week,” she said.

At Arnie’s they have one of the pump machines. Once the machine is sparkly clean, the fun begins. “Pretty much, you put the mix in on the bottom, right, and when you hit the pump button, it pumps it up. It pumps it up through a tube, into the machine, into the barrels of the machine, and once it’s up in there, that’s where it freezes,” Witts said.

After the freezing comes the churning.

“There are blades in there. There’s a big giant metal piece that has these plastic, they’re now plastic blades. They used to be metal blades but they realized they were way too expensive to make, so now they’ve gone to more plastic blades. That thing spins, and as that thing’s spinning, the blades are scraping the barrel of the machine and pushing out the soft serve into the cone or dish,” Witts said.

This machine of tasty delights is complex, she noted. “If you put one tube in the wrong spot and you go to turn the machine on, all of the sudden you’ll have an explosion of soft serve everywhere. … There’s a lot of moving parts in there.”

The human element of making the twists itself is an art.

“Being able to drop the hand that has the cone or dish in it and swirl it at the same time as putting the right amount of pressure on the handle to get it to come out at the right speed — it definitely takes some practice for sure,” Witts said. “Different people have different ways…. There definitely is a learning curve.”

Witts has fond memories of ice cream and as a kid would head to Tee Off at Mel’s to grab some scoops.

“I used to rollerblade down there on the way to my friend’s house,” she recalls. “I’d get a scoop of chocolate and a scoop of Oreo with rainbow sprinkles on it. That was always my go-to. I actually had somebody order that exact thing the other day and it brought all the memories back.”

Since soft serve ice cream is the darling of summer, there are many locations across the Granite State where you can catch that memorable taste.

Soft serve is definitely a star at Golick’s Dairy Bar in Barrington and Rochester. “That is our speciality,” said Alan Golick, who owns the two shops.

“I loved soft serve as a kid,” Golick said. “When I moved up to Dover in the ’70s I used to go to the Princess Dairy Bar.”

In 1986 Alan bought the Princess Dairy Bar and that shop had three or four soft serve machines. “I’ve always considered soft serve to be my specialty because to do it right is not particularly easy. You have to do a good job of maintaining the machines or what you get isn’t always going to be so good.”

Shops do have a choice when it comes to soft serve machine brands.

woman shown from neck down wearing tie dye t-shirt holding tall soft serve ice cream cone
Arnie’s Place. Courtesy photo.

“Taylor is a very common machine. I run six soft serve machines between my two shops; most of them are Taylors,” Golick said. He also has an Electro Freeze model at the Barrington location.

On a macro level, a standard soft serve machine has a particular build.

“All my machines are what they call a triple head machine…. Each machine is basically two machines in one. The vanilla and chocolate is made side by side so there are three dispensing heads on the machine. One is just straight vanilla, one is straight chocolate, and the middle one does the twist,” Golick said.

That standard chocolate vanilla swirl is joined by other refreshing swirls at Golick’s.

“I have a product called Princess Twist … which was a twist of black raspberry and vanilla, and I continue that to this day and continue to call it a Princess Twist because that was kind of the original,” Golick said.

An almost endless amount of flavors can be found at Golick’s.

“I have a system that allows me to flavor the vanilla soft serve with one of, I think I carry 50 extracts, so just about every flavor under the sun I can create with this system. There’s a pretty good variety there.”

No matter how it’s scooped or swirled, soft serve and hard ice cream are not enemies. In fact, they’re good buddies. “I sell soft serve and hard ice cream side by side in my shop and I honestly can’t say that one sells better than the other on any kind of particular weather day; I think it’s just dependent on what somebody’s in the mood for, you know.”

If soft serve is your treat of choice, getting a proper cone takes experience.

“It’s an acquired skill. It’s not rocket science, but to make a cone look good it takes some technique that we have to teach. The idea is to stack it up nice and tall. The ice cream has to come out from the machine firm enough for that to happen. That involves making sure the machine is adjusted correctly. The product has to come out at a proper temperature, which is usually 17, 18 degrees … when it comes out of the machine.”

A particular favorite is a dip cone, which involves a coating, like chocolate.

“I remember getting those as a kid,” Golick said, “and that involves tipping the cone upside down, which if you didn’t put the ice cream on the cone right it will fall off, but if you do it right, you dip it and turn it right side up and the coating hardens with the temperature of the ice cream cooling it down and you end up with the ice cream coated with chocolate. That’s kind of a classic thing that people like with soft serve.”

Soft serve

Here are some of the local ice cream spots offering soft serve, with information according to their websites and social media. Call ahead to check out current offerings and flavors. Know of one not mentioned here? Let us know at and we’ll publish ice cream scene updates in upcoming Weekly Dish columns.

Arnie’s Place (164 Loudon Road, Concord, 228-3225, offers vanilla, chocolate and twist soft serve, as well as a rotation of other flavors such maple, black raspberry and coffee.

Axel’s Food and Ice Cream (608 DW Highway, Merrimack, 429-2229, offers soft serve in cones as well as soft serve sundaes and “The Dirt Dessert,” which features chocolate soft serve mixed with crushed Oreo cookie pieces and gummy worms.

The Beach Plum (3 Brickyard Square, Epping, 679-3200; 16 Ocean Blvd., North Hampton, 964-7451; 2800 Lafayette Road, Portsmouth, 433-3339; offers soft serve in various sizes.

The Big 1 (185 Concord St., Nashua, offers vanilla, chocolate and twist soft serve, as well as “Nor’easters,” which feature your choice of any of the three flavors mixed with toppings like M&Ms, Oreo cookie pieces, peanut butter cups, gummy bears, chocolate chips and more.

The Brick House Drive-In Restaurant (1391 Hooksett Road, Hooksett, 622-8091, features soft serve as well as hard serve ice cream, sundaes and more.

Cremeland Drive-In (250 Valley St., Manchester, 669-4430, find them on Facebook) offers soft and hard serve in cones and in sundaes.

Devriendt Farm Stand and Ice Cream Shoppe, cash only (178 S. Mast St., Goffstown, 497-2793,, offers soft serve — vanilla, chocolate and twist, and as Razzles, blended with your choice of toppings including, when in season, their own strawberries.

Dudley’s Ice Cream (846 Route 106 N, Loudon, 783-4800, find them on Facebook) offers vanilla and chocolate soft serve, plus a variety of flavor swirls, like “blue goo” (cotton candy) bubble gum, tropical orange, banana and pistachio.

Findeisen’s Ice Cream (297 Derry Road, Hudson, 886-9422; 125 S. Broadway, Salem, 898-5411; find them on Facebook) has the traditional soft serve offerings of vanilla, chocolate and the twist as well as more than 40 flavors of ice cream, slush and yogurts

Frekey’s Dairy Freeze (97 Suncook Valley Road, Chichester, 798-5443; 74 Fisherville Road, Concord, 228-5443; offers chocolate, vanilla and twist soft serve as well as sundaes and flurries with a variety of mix-ins.

Frosty Soft Serve Ice Cream Truck (Londonderry, 892-2888, find them on Facebook) offers soft serve ice cream, sundaes, root beer floats and frappes.

Funway Park Country Ice Cream (454 Charles Bancroft Highway, Litchfield, 424-2292, has lots of ice cream options, and patrons can now add flavors to their vanilla soft serve such as mango, bubblegum, black raspberry, strawberry, blue goo (cotton candy), butterscotch, cheesecake and pistachio.

Goldenrod Restaurant Drive-In (1681 Candia Road, Manchester, 623-9469, offers chocolate, vanilla and twist soft serve as well as otherhard serve, frappes and desserts.

Golick’s Dairy Bar (683 Calef Highway, Barrington, 664-9633; 17 Sawyer Ave., Rochester, 330-3244; offers dozens of unique flavors of soft serve ice cream at both locations, including black raspberry, banana, strawberry, grape, pina colada, pomegranate, red velvet, espresso and more.

Greaney’s Farm Stand (417 John Stark Highway, Weare, 529-1111, find them on Facebook) offers soft serve ice cream.

Hawksie’s Ice Cream Fac-Torri (144 Main St., Salem, 890-0471, find them on Facebook) has vanilla, chocolate and twist, as well as 24 flavors of syrups to mix with the vanilla soft serve.

Hayward’s Ice Cream (7 DW Highway, Nashua, 888-4663; Merrimack 360 Shopping Plaza, DW Highway, Merrimack; has the traditional vanilla, chocolate or twist, and many other hard ice cream flavors.

High Tide Takeout (239 Henniker St., Hillsborough, 464-4202, has soft serve on the menu along with Gifford’s Hard Ice Cream, soft serve, frozen yogurt, sundaes, frappes, banana splits, flavor bursts, fruit smoothies and tidal waves.

The Inside Scoop (260 Wallace Road, Bedford, 471-7009, serves soft serve options featuring two frequently changing flavors creating twists such as the recent orange and vanilla, and black raspberry and pineapple, according to their Facebook posts, as well as Richardson’s Ice Cream.

Jay Gee’s Ice Cream (327 S. Broadway, Salem, 458-1167, has soft serve available in vanilla, chocolate and the twist as well as hard ice cream flavors.

King Kone (336 DW Highway, Merrimack, 420-8312; boasts “the best soft serve you’ve ever had” on its website and features a chocolate, vanilla and chocolate vanilla twist option as well as a changing line-up of other soft serve flavors including, recently, peanut butter and black raspberry, which could be swirled together as PB& J; orange and vanilla, which could be swirled to create a Creamsicle, and pineapple and coconut, which could be swirled into a piña colada. The menu also features sundaes, Razzles and more.

Lang’s Ice Cream (510 Pembroke St., Pembroke, 225-7483, offers traditional soft serve and many other ice cream flavors and desserts.

Lix Ice Cream Parlor (55 Charles Bancroft Highway, Litchfield, 438-4797; find them on Facebook) offers Dole Whip soft serve in flavors such as pineapple, strawberry and watermelon.

Memories Ice Cream (95 Exeter Road, Kingston, 642-3737, offers chocolate and vanilla as well as rotating vegan flavors, such as raspberry and lemon, which can be swirled.

Moo’s Place Ice Cream (27 Crystal Ave., Derry, 425-0100; 15 Ermer Road, Salem, 898-0199; offers a variety of soft serve flavors, like orange, black raspberry, cheesecake, pina colada, peanut butter, root beer and more.

Pete’s Scoop (187 Rockingham Road, Derry, 434-6366, offers chocolate, vanilla and the twist along with soft serve selections from Dole with flavors like watermelon, cherry, lime, pineapple and more.

Sissy’s Sweets & Ice Cream (1 Suncook Valley Road, Barnstead, find them on Facebook) offers vanilla, chocolate and swirl soft serve and flavor burst options as well as soft serve-based treats such as Sissy’s Flurry, Jumbo Cookie Sandwiches and more.

Sundae Drive (346 Route 13, Brookline, 721-5209, find them on Facebook) offers a variety of soft serve ice cream flavors in addition to vanilla and chocolate, like strawberry, coconut, cheesecake, bubble gum, pistachio, salted caramel, orange and black raspberry.

Twin Lanterns Dairy Bar (239 Amesbury Road, Kensington, 394-7021, find them on Facebook) offers coffee, black raspberry and coffee and black raspberry twist soft serve, in addition to vanilla, chocolate and vanilla and chocolate twist.

Vacation with a book

Recommendations for summer reads

Whether you’re headed for a beach vacation or just a porch with a cool breeze, summer is the perfect time to lose yourself in a good book.

What to read? Here are recommendations from local libraries, book sellers and others for books to keep you entertained through Labor Day.


The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store, by James McBride
From the author of the modern classic memoir The Color of Water.
Recommended by: MainStreet BookEnds in Warner. “This is storytelling at its very best. A wonderful mix of Jewish immigrants and African Americans in the 1920s, forming bonds of loyalty in the poorest part of an emerging Pennsylvania city.”

Margo’s Got Money Troubles, by Rufi Thorpe
The publisher’s description starts, “As the child of a Hooters waitress and an ex-pro wrestler, Margo Millet’s always known she’d have to make it on her own.”
Recommended by: Erin Pastore, operations coordinator at Water Street Bookstore in Exeter. “Just absolutely hilarious. … Very heartwarming story of a young mom.”

By Any Other Name, by Jodi Picoult
A novel about two women, centuries apart, one of whom is the real author of Shakespeare’s plays.
Recommended by: Tanya Ricker, library director at Whipple Free Library in New Boston.
“Jodi has been my favorite author since I was in high school and saw her speak at a journalism conference. … This book, she has said, is the book of her heart, the book she feels she was meant to write. You can tell how deeply she feels about it when you read it. I loved the details, the research, the way it made me think and question things I thought that I knew.”

Remarkably Bright Creatures, by Shelby Van Pelt
A charming novel about a woman who works the night shift at an aquarium.
Recommended by: Jo Flynn at Bookery in Manchester. “It’s a restore-your-faith-in-humanity type of read.” Also recommended by Susan S., Library Director at Seabrook Library.

All Our Yesterdays: A Novel of Lady Macbeth, by Joel H. Morris
A debut novel set 10 years before the events of Shakespeare’s play.
Recommended by: Jan Locke at Balin Books in Nashua. “Definitely for fans of Hamnet! There is still a love story intertwined, but the times are much more visceral. Lady Macbeth’s character development from young girl to queen is quite powerful. Of course, there are witches!”

The Women, by Kristin Hannah
Young nursing student goes to Vietnam to follow her brother and joins the Army Nurse Corps.
Recommended by: Andy Richmond, director of Rye Public Library. “[Because Vietnam] from a female perspective is not really addressed anywhere else in novel form … [this book] opened a lot of people’s eyes I think.”

Night Watch, by Jayne Anne Phillips
Pulitzer-winning novel about a mother and daughter surviving war and its aftermath.
Recommended by: Ken Kozick, proprietor of Sheafe Street Books in Portsmouth. “Like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest but 100 years before Cuckoo’s Nest, just after the Civil War.”

Recommended by Zachary Lewis, Hippo features writer:
Welcome to the Monkeyhouse by Kurt Vonnegut “is a collection of really cool, absurd stories. Each one is great. Breakfast of Champions is my favorite of his novels but The Sirens of Titan is a close second. Vonnegut is one of the most sincere and authentic writers.”

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon “is an awesome tale about the creation of comic books, escape artists from pre-war Europe, and the connection of family in all its iterations.”

1666, by Lora Chilton
A story about Patawomeck women living through the decimation of their tribe in Virginia.
Recommended by: MainStreet BookEnds. “Historical fiction at its best. … Told through the eyes of two women, it is a piece of our history that is finally being discovered and told.”

Long Island, by Colm Tóibín
An Irish woman living on Long Island in the 1970s faces an unexpected situation.
Recommended by: Andy Richmond, director of Rye Public Library.

American Spirits, by Russell Banks
The final collection of stories by the author before his death in 2023.
Recommended by: Liz Ryan, adult programming coordinator at Derry Public Library. “[Banks] was an incredible creative voice in fiction.”

North Woods: A Novel, by Daniel Mason
A story about a house in New England, told through the lives of its inhabitants over the centuries.
Recommended by: Emerson Sistare, owner of Toadstool Books in Peterborough. “Flat out, one of the best books I have read in the last number of years. Mason’s prose and ability to weave and bounce between genres elevate this book to lofty heights. A triumphant anthem to the beauty of New England and its people.”

The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell, by Robert Dugoni
A coming-of-age story about a boy born with red pupils, called “Devil Boy” by his classmates.
Recommended by: Diane C., circulation assistant at Seabrook Library. “This book is very inspiring!”

Fire Exit, by Morgan Talty
The story of a young man who grew up with his mother and stepfather on a reservation in Maine but must move away when he turns 18 because he is not native.
Recommended by: Erin Pastore, operations coordinator at Water Street Bookstore in Exeter. “It’s a really deep family story. Wickedly funny at times while also being very serious about issues of native reservations.”

All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
Pulitzer-winning novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in France during World War II.
Recommended by: Mary Kennedy, interlibrary loans and circulation, Whipple Free Library in New Boston. “I always enjoy historical fiction books in general and this book was captivating . You are reading the viewpoints of two main characters and then you see how their worlds collide. It took a little bit to get into but then I was hooked at one point. The descriptives and the author’s writing style have you imagining the characters and scenes easily.”

How to Read a Book, by Monica Wood
A novel about unlikely friendships and second chances.
Recommended by: Jo Flynn at Bookery. “Another restore-your-faith-in-humanity book.”

The Lincoln Highway, by Amor Towles
A story of two brothers in 1950s America.
Recommended by: Marcia de Steuben, circulation assistant at Whipple Free Library in New Boston. “It’s 1954 and Emmett Watson has just been dropped off at his home in Nebraska by the warden of the work farm where Emmett served a year for involuntary manslaughter. Out of the trunk of the warden’s car pop two friends from the work farm. So begins a 10-day adventure for the teenagers and Emmett’s 8-year-old brother Billy. On their journey they meet lots of interesting characters and have humorous and memorable experiences. This is an entertaining read.”

Table for Two, by Amor Towles
Six stories and a novella.
Recommended by: Ben Brown, director of Harvey-Mitchell Library in Epping. “He’s very popular, he only writes a book every four to five years…. He does… historical fiction.”

Recommended by Hippo Features writer Micheal Witthaus:
Beautiful & Terrible Things, by S.M. Stevens (July 18)
“This novel explores the personal and political lives of six city-dwelling twentysomethings, using romantic entanglements and professional challenges to explore issues like environmentalism, social justice, mental health and identity. It’s written by a New Hampshire author and the fictional group’s favorite gathering spot is inspired by Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord.”

Mayluna, by Kelley McNeil
“A great read for fans of Daisy Jones and the Six. Its story revolves around a fictional chart-topping rock group but is more focused on the emotional lives of its two main characters: the band’s lead singer and creative force, and the music journalist who becomes their lover and muse. For music industry geeks, Mayluna provides an informative look at its pre-Napster days; the author was once a tour manager.”


How to Solve Your Own Murder, by Kristen Perrin
A cozy mystery in which a woman tries to prevent her foretold murder.
Recommended by: Jan Locke at Balin Books. “This is a lovely chick-lit cozy about the bonds of female friendship. Read it in a single bite!”

The Kamogawa Food Detectives, by Hisashi Kashiwai (translated by Jesse Kirkwood)
A bestseller in Japan with a sequel due in October.
Recommended by: Tracy Kittredge, customer services, Nashua Public Library. “It was the cover that made me pick up this book; I cannot resist cats or noodles. And then I discovered that it’s a cozy mystery, only the ‘detectives’ aren’t investigating crimes. Instead, they bring food memories to life by recreating a dish from their clients’ past. At 208 pages, it’s a delicious, lighthearted read, and the personal stories resonate.”

Lightning Strikes the Silence: A Lane Winslow Mystery, by Iona Whishaw
No. 11 in a series.
Recommended by: MainStreet BookEnds in Warner. “Wonderful writing and pure escapism. Lane Winslow is back as the former English WWII spy, needing to escape to the quiet of a pastoral little town in British Columbia. But murders happen, and her keen sensibilities are needed at every turn. Caution: you must read them in order, so get started.”

The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels, by Janice Hallett
Stylistically innovative mystery in which a true crime journalist who revives an old case.
Recommended by: Jaclyn at Nashua Public Library. “I really loved all the different ways we were fed information. Emails, texts, voice recordings that were transcribed made me feel like I was there with the main character putting all the pieces together. If you like a good mystery and want to help figure out what happened to the fictional cult of the Alperton Angels this is the book for you!”

The Frozen River, by Ariel Lawhon
Recommended by: Andy Richmond, director of Rye Public Library. “It’s a novelization of Martha Ballard’s diaries as a midwife in Maine” with the addition of a murder mystery.

Recommended by Corinne Robinson, Hippo production designer:
The City of Brass, by S. A. Chakraborty (the first in a trilogy). “It’s a fantastic read! It has absolutely fantastic worldbuilding and the author does a great job of gradually building political and emotional tension. Also the characters have such dynamic relationships with one another and each character you meet plays a significant role in the overall storyline. I love all three books!”


Pride, Pancakes, and Paris, by Emmie J. Holland
Boy needs plus-one for a wedding, girl reluctantly agrees to pose as his girlfriend because trip to Paris!
Recommended by: Emily St. Louis at Bookery. “Trope of best friend’s brother and enemies to lovers, perfect beach read.”

Happy Medium, by Sarah Adler
A rom-com involving a fake spirit medium and an actual havoc-wreaking ghost.
Recommended by: Tammy McCracken at Balin Books. “A reluctant con-woman, a sexy farmer … and a ghost feeding the con-woman…. Plus, baby goats! It’s a fun romp.”

The Idea of You, by Robinne Lee
The book that spawned the Prime video starring Anne Hathaway.
Recommended by: Amy Hanmer at Manchester City Library. “You’re a 39-year-old mom dating the lead singer of a boy band, whom your daughter loves. Lee’s book is much better than the movie.”


The Angel of Indian Lake, by Stephen Graham Jones
Book 3 in a trilogy of horror novels centered on generational trauma in Idaho.
Recommended by: Ben Brown, director of Harvey-Mitchell Library in Epping. “Really gory but it’s really good if you like Stephen King or something like that. It has a more unique flavor because of the Native American perspective.”

Horror Movie, by Paul Tremblay
A chilling twist on the “cursed film” genre.
Recommended by: Tammy McCracken at Balin Books. “The only remaining cast member of a never released 1993 horror film is approached 30 years later to be part of a big-budget Hollywood reboot. What are people willing to do to get this made?”

Recommended by Jennifer Gingras, Hippo production designer:
The Women of Weird Tales, stories by Everil Worrell, Eli Colter, Mary Elizabeth Counselman, and Graye La Spina, introduction by Melanie Anderson
“13 classic tales of fantasy and horror written by women who were influential in developing the modern genre. Including vampires, ghosts, curses, corpses and other horrors, the stories are fun, imaginative and — most importantly — weird!”


The Exchange: After the Firm, by John Grisham
Another legal thriller from the prolific bestselling author.
Recommended by: Andy Richmond, director of Rye Public Library. “A follow-up on the big hit The Firm,” filled with international intrigue.

The Guest, by B.A. Paris
A psychological thriller about unpredictable friends and dangerous secrets.
Recommended by: Jess H., adult services librarian at Seabrook Library. “This book will keep you guessing right up until the last chapter. All of our patrons who read this book rate it as 4 out of 4 stars!” and “This is a book that you will not be able to put down. I read it in a day!”


Service Model, by Adrian Tchaikovsky
“A delightfully humorous tale of robotic murder,” says the publisher.
Recommended by: Sue Harmon, information and technology librarian at Manchester City Library “[Tchaikovsky’s] signature style is deep philosophical takes and meandering story-lines. … A refreshing take on AI-based stories.”

Children of Time, by Adrian Tchaikovsky
Humans battle on a terraformed planet. Winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award.
Recommended by: Michael Joachim at Balin Books. “Epic sci-fi adventure spanning time and space. [Tchaikovsky] world-builds with great imagination and details. Big themes and great characters.”


Road to Ruin, by Hana Lee
Gritty fantasy with motorcycles, magic and monsters.
Recommended by: Lex Hetrick, library technician at Manchester City Library. “I felt like I was hanging onto the back of Jin’s magebike through this sandstorm ride! You can see the twists coming but that doesn’t make the road any less fun.”

The Frugal Wizard’s Handbook for Surviving Medieval England, by Brandon Sanderson
A fantasy adventure where a man wakes up in medieval England with no idea where he came from.
Recommended by: Jo Flynn at Bookery. “A fun, lighthearted immersive fantasy with lots of breaking the fourth wall.”

Recommended by John Fladd, Hippo features editor and food writer:
A Deadly Education: A Novel (The Scholomance, Book 1), by Naomi Novik
“This is a fantasy about a school of magic. Unlike the one you’re thinking of, it is deliciously dark, with an intricate plot. Imagine Hogwarts, if 60 percent of the students died before leaving. “

Ninth House, by Leigh Bardugo
A magical murder mystery set among secret societies at Yale University.
Recommended by: Natalie Lapointe, cataloging and technical Services, Whipple Free Library in New Boston. “This is a must-read, can’t-put down kind of book. If you love this, be sure to check out Hell Bent, the second installment of the Alex Stern series. Book 3 will be coming out within the next year (hopefully).”

Threads that Bind, by Kika Hatzopoulou
A descendant of the Greek Fates must solve a series of impossible murders.
Recommended by: Kirsten Rickershauser at Balin Books. “This one reminds me a lot of the paranormal fantasy I read in high school. Io is a private investigator and third sister of fate, able to see and cut the threads that bind people to their loves and lives. Here she is pushed in investigating how women with their life threads cut are murdering others instead of being dead themselves. With a lot of mirror mythology and world-building, this YA (Young Adult) book is fun for teens and adults alike.”

A Court of Thorns and Roses (the whole series), by Sara J. Maas
Wolves, beasts, immortal faeries — oh, and romance.
Recommended by: Emily St. Louis at Bookery. “A viral favorite, worth the hype for both fantasy and romance lovers.”

A Touch of Darkness (series), by Scarlett St. Clair
Persephone must create life in the Underworld or lose her freedom forever.
Recommended by: Emily St. Louis at Bookery. “(Surprisingly) a good spicy romance retelling of Hades x Persephone, as well as a modern aspect of Greek gods. It’s a restore-your- faith-in-humanity type of read.”

Child of a Hidden Sea (Hidden Sea Tales #1), by A.M. Dellamonica
A fantasy tale of adventure and adversity.
Recommended by: Sue Pellerin, adult services, Whipple Free Library in New Boston. “The book opens as biologist Sophie Hansa crashes into an unfamiliar ocean, suddenly and mysteriously transported there from present-day San Francisco. What follows is a novel full of adventure, political intrigue, magic, and family. The island-world of Stormwrack is fascinating — I loved learning about the various island nations and floating cities as the series progressed. And I adored all the characters, from the unfailingly curious Sophie to her genius brother Bram to the various inhabitants of Stormwrack we meet. The three books in this series are not enough for me — this is a world I could happily return to over and over again!”

Vassa in the Night, by Sarah Porter
A dark modern fairy tale.
Recommended by: Sue Pellerin, adult services, Whipple Free Library in New Boston. “A modern retelling of the Russian fairy tale ‘Vasilisa the Beautiful.’ Porter’s Brooklyn setting is at once familiar and fantastically alien, and her depiction of Baba Yaga (or Babs Yagg as she’s called here) as a sadistic convenience store owner is nothing short of inspired. Both hauntingly beautiful and deeply unsettling, this gorgeously written book had me hooked from the first page.”

A Broken Blade, by Melissa Blair
Fast-paced fantasy about power and resistance.
Recommended by: Jaclyn at Nashua Public Library. “If you want a fantasy book with a strong female lead character Keera is your girl. This book is mainly a fantasy but does have some romance. Book 3 just came out and Book 4 is set for next year and I can’t wait to see what the author does with the story!”


Good Monster, by Diannely Antigua
A 2024 collection from the Poet Laureate of Portsmouth.
Recommended by: Ken Kozick, proprietor of Sheafe Street Books in Portsmouth. She “represents her role as Poet Laureate well.” Kosick said.

In the Hour of War: Poetry from Ukraine, edited by Carolyn Forché and Ilya Kaminsky
An anthology of current poetry of Ukraine.
Recommended by: Ken Kozick, proprietor of Sheafe Street Books in Portsmouth.


Building: A Carpenter’s Notes on Life & the Art of Good Work, by Mark Ellison
Winner of the Inc. Non-Obvious Book Award.
Recommended by: MainStreet BookEnds. “This is a lovely meditation on finding the vocation that matters to you and learning its disciplines over time. It is now out in paperback, and makes a great read on finding and living a life that matters.”

Recommended by Hippo features writer Michael Witthaus:
Hot Dog Money: Inside the Biggest Scandal in the History of College Sports, by Guy Lawson
“Nonfiction that reads like a crime thriller, it begins with the fall from grace of a financial advisor to student athletes on their way to the big leagues. To stay out of prison, he cooperates with federal law enforcement to root out corruption in college basketball, with astonishing success. It turns out that the money involved with keeping amateurs playing for free is irresistible to many.”

The Demon of Unrest, by Erik Larson
592 pages on a slice of Civil War history.
Recommended by: Michael Joachim at Balin Books. “A riveting moment-by-moment account of the tense months between Abe Lincoln’s election and the attack on Fort Sumter by a renowned historian.” Also recommended by Ben Brown, Director of Harvey-Mitchell Library in Epping.

Crossings: How Road Ecology is Shaping the Future of Our Planet, by Ben Goldfarb
A Smithsonian Staff Favorite and a Science News Favorite of 2023, about the 40 million miles of roadway on Earth.
Recommended by: Prudence Wells at Balin Books. “Road ecology affects all of us: turtles, moose, butterflies, humans, etc. Habitat destruction, migration confusion and loss of life (man and beast) occur on account of roads. We can get to where we want to go without damaging our ecology. Here’s how….”

Recommended by John Fladd, Hippo features editor and food writer:
No Applause — Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, by Trav S.D.
“I’ve always been fascinated by Vaudeville, the traveling variety shows of the late 1800s and early 1900s. I was hoping to learn more about some of the odd acts that toured the Vaudeville circuits, like Swain’s Rats and Cats, where cats dressed in racehorse livery would race around a track, mounted by rats dressed as jockeys. There was a little of that, but No Applause was more about the business model of Vaudeville, which I would have bet anything I wouldn’t care about. Instead, I was fascinated.”

The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs, by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg
“This is the most useful book in my kitchen. And my office. And on my phone, so I can consult it while I’m shopping. It is nothing more or less than a comprehensive series of lists of which ingredients go well together. Creative typography lets the reader know if a pairing is a widely recognized one, or one passionate chef’s guilty pleasure. I use this book to develop new recipes for main dishes, desserts and cocktails. This could be a life-saver for those times when you find yourself shouting to your kitchen ceiling, ‘What am I going to do with all these kumquats!’”

The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family, by Ron and Clint Howard
Ron Howard and his brother, Clint, who were both child actors, recount their lives in alternating chapters.
Recommended by: Anne P., circulation assistant at Seabrook Library. “This is a memoir about growing up in Hollywood. It is very interesting and well-written.

The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood Is Causing an Epidemic of Mental Illness, by Jonathan Haidt
The latest offering from the social psychologist who wrote The Happiness Hypothesis.
Recommended by: MainStreet BookEnds. “An important book for our times as California’s governor calls for smartphones to be banned in schools and the U.S. Surgeon General urges a warning label on apps that their use can be addictive to children.”

Who’s Afraid of Gender, by Judith Butler
Recommended by: Liz Ryan, adult programming coordinator at Derry Public Library, who called the book “accessible” and said she’s impressed by how Butler puts discussions of gender in terms everyone can understand.

Recommended by Zachary Lewis, Hippo features writer:
Me Talk Pretty One Day and Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris “are the gold standards for humorous creative nonfiction. I recommend the audiobook for Me Talk Pretty One Day with Sedaris narrating.”

The Ancient Engineers by L. Sprague De Camp “goes through how civilizations from ancient Egypt, Babylon, etc. could have built their cities in a real, non alien-influenced way. He wrote a lot on debunking claims of the occult and pseudoscience despite also being a fantasy and sci-fi author.”


Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening, by Marjorie M. Liu & Sana Takeda
“An original fantasy epic for mature readers,” according to the publisher at
Recommended by: Sue Pellerin, adult services at Whipple Free Library in New Boston. “This is the first volume in an ongoing graphic novel series. It’s set in a matriarchal fantasy Asia, highly inspired by Art Deco and steampunk aesthetics. The world-building is lush and incredibly detailed, and Takeda’s artwork is a feast for the senses. The storytelling is complex, dark and fiercely feminist with political machinations, warring factions and banished old gods. Volume 9 comes out this fall, so there’s plenty of story to catch up on!”

My Favorite Thing is Monsters: Book Two, by Emil Ferris
The follow-up to the 2017 graphic novel My Favorite Thing is Monsters, full of mysteries and B-movie horror vibes and set in 1960s Chicago.
Recommended by: Liz Ryan, adult programming coordinator at Derry Public Library. “I’ve been waiting for this book for seven years, so I am extremely excited to finally continue the story. … it’s an amazing piece of art.”

Watership Down: The Graphic Novel, by Richard Adams, adapted and illustrated by James Sturm and Joe Sutphin
Beloved story of a group of rabbits on an epic journey in search of home.
Recommended by: MainStreet BookEnds. “[A] gorgeous interpretation, yet true to the original. After 50 years, something to engage and delight the younger readers.”


Something About the Sky, by Rachel Carson, illustrated by Nikki McClure
What do you know about clouds?
Recommended by: MainStreet BookEnds.“What happens when you combine the beautiful writing of environmentalist Rachel Carson with the exquisite art of Nikki McClure and roll it into a picture book for children? You get this gem!”

Where is Little Stripe’s Daddy? by Deborah Bruss, illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright
Turns out zebras are not the only animals with black and white stripes.
Recommended by: MainStreet BookEnds. “Concord’s own Deborah Bruss has a new children’s book out and it is perfectly delightful. … Designed graphically so the child has a window to anticipate the next page’s surprise, there are so many things to see and learn throughout.”

Recommended by Zachary Lewis, Hippo features writer:
The Monk by Matthew Lewis “is a great traditional gothic horror, bodice-ripper, silly creepy spooky novel.”

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, “got me to put down my Nintendo 64 controller when I was in third grade.”

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley “is wonderful, secretly funny, and absurd in all the right places.”

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino “is truly a unique book. Anything by Calvino is what you want when you want magical realism.”

Kids’ Guide to Summer

Now that school is out, it’s time to get serious about having big summer fun.

Looking for places to go and things to do with the kids? Here are some ideas for events, sports, live performances of both music and theater, arts events, library fun and movies that are great for kid and family fun.

Need more? Check out for our e-editions of some past guides to help plan summer excitement. In the June 6 issue — “Berry Delicious” — we look at some places to pick your own strawberries, blueberries and raspberries as they come into season and offer a list of farmers markets, which can make for a tasty family outing. In the Feb. 29 issue — “Summer of Adventure” — we run down a list of area day camps. Sure, many of those required sign-up back in January, but plans change and openings may be available.

Did we miss your favorite bit of family summer fun? Let us know at

Fairs, Festivals & Celebrations

• Take a trip to the coast for the 24th Hampton Beach Master Sand Sculpting Classic, happening from Thursday, June 20, to Saturday, June 22. Prizes will be awarded for the best sand sculptures. The sculptures will be lighted for nightly viewing through June 26. Visit

Plaistow’s Old Home Day returns for a three-day celebration beginning with a Kids Fest on Thursday, June 20, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Town Hall Green. Younger citizens and their families are welcome to participate in games, entertainment and activities centered around kids. Friday, June 21, there will be a Decades Dance from 6 to 10 pm. Saturday, June 22, celebrations will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with local vendors on the Town Hall green (145 Main St., Plaistow) as well as a beard contest, a baby contest, raffles, entertainment booths, a parade and more. This year’s theme is “Happy Birthday, Plaistow!” to celebrate the town’s 275th anniversary. Follow the town Old Home Day’s Facebook @plaistowoldhomeday for updates.

• Intown Concord’s 50th annual Market Days Festival runs from Thursday, June 20, to Saturday, June 22, in downtown Concord from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. See page 22 for details.

• Join the Wilton Main Street Association for its annual Summerfest, happening on Saturday, June 22, starting at 10 a.m. and featuring an arts market, live music, food, street vendors, a pancake breakfast and a fireworks display in the evening. See

• Hollis holds its annual Strawberry Festival on Sunday, June 23, from 2 to 4 p.m. See page 28 for details.

• Join the New Hampshire Farm Museum (1305 White Mountain Highway, Milton) for Fourth on the Farm, happening Saturday, June 29, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Activities include a tractor ride to see farm animals, as well as demonstrations, reenactments, a scavenger hunt, lawn games, lunch and strawberry shortcake, and live performances of songs from the 1700s and 1800s. Admission is free for members and children under 4, $12 for adults, $8 for seniors and $6 for children ages 4 to 17. A family pass can be purchased for $30. Visit

• Manchester holds its annual Fourth of July fireworks on Wednesday, July 3. The annual parade in Amherst steps off at 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 4. Head to Nashua for some Silver Knights baseball at Holman Stadium at 11 a.m. followed by an evening of events featuring live music and fireworks at dusk. Celebrate Independence Day at one — or more — of many area town and city celebrations.

• The Raymond Town Fair returns for its 48th year from Friday, July 12, to Sunday, July 14, at the Raymond Town Common (Epping and Main streets, Raymond). It will feature live music, family-friendly entertainment, a children’s parade, a fireworks display and more. See “Raymond Town Fair” on Facebook to keep up to date on details as they become available.

• The New England Reptile Expo is scheduled for Sunday, July 7, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Manchester Downtown (700 Elm St., Manchester). The show features more than 200 vendor tables full of reptiles, pet supplies and more. Tickets are $12 for adults, $6 for kids ages 7 to 12 and free for kids ages 6 and under. Visit

• The Hillsborough Summer Festival is back again this year at Grimes Field (29 Preston St., Hillsborough) from Thursday, July 11, to Sunday, July 14, with live entertainment, carnival rides, a fireworks show on Saturday night, a 5K road race on Friday and a parade on Sunday. Festival hours are 6 to 10 p.m. on Thursday; 5 to 11 p.m. on Friday; noon to 11 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free. Visit

• Returning to the grounds of American Independence Museum (1 Governors Lane, Exeter) for a 34th year is the American Independence Festival, on Saturday, July 13, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Be transported back in time with a live reading of the Declaration of Independence, and enjoy historical reenactments and colonial artisan demonstrations as well as colonial games, music and dances. Visit

• The Stratham 4-H Summerfest returns for a third year on Saturday, July 20, at the Stratham Hill Park Fairgrounds (270 Portsmouth Ave., Stratham). The work of 4-H volunteers and members will be on display in the 4-H building, show rings and livestock barns from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Exhibits include shows and displays on gardening, cooking, environmental stewardship, hiking and much more. For more information, visit

• There will be a Fairytale Festival in Greeley Park (100 Concord St., Nashua) Saturday, July 20, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., with stage acts, community vendors, caricaturists, games, books and more. There will be local stage acts, a Party Palace Performance featuring your favorite fairy tale characters, and a character meet and greet. Visit

• The Canterbury Fair is celebrating its 66th year. Join the fun on Saturday, July 27, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Canterbury Center (Baptist and Center roads) with live music, demonstrations from local artisan and antique vendors, children’s activities and more. Admission is free. Visit for more information.

• The 42nd Suncook Valley Rotary Hot Air Balloon Rally will take place from Friday, Aug. 2, through Sunday, Aug. 4, at Drake Field (17 Fayette St., Pittsfield) featuring helicopter rides, live music, midway carnival rides,and of course hot-air balloons. For a schedule of events, visit

• The Great New England BBQ & Food Truck Festival returns for an eighth year to the Hampshire Dome (50 Emerson Road, Milford) on Saturday, Aug. 3, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event will feature a crafters’ booth and a kids’ zone in addition to eats from local food trucks, along with craft beer, live music, a cornhole tournament and more. Visit

• The Belknap County Fair is set to return on Saturday, Aug. 3, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 4, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 174 Mile Hill Road in Belmont. The fair features live entertainment, food, exhibits and animal shows. Admission at the gate is $10 for adults, $5 for senior citizens 65 and older, police, fire and EMS personnel, and free for kids under 10 and for military service members. Visit

Hudson’s Old Home Days return Thursday, Aug. 8, to Sunday, Aug. 11, on the grounds of the Hill House (211 Derry Road, Hudson). There will be carnival games, live music, fireworks, food and more. Event times are Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m., Friday from 5 to 11 p.m., Saturday from noon to 11 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. See

• The Town of Windham Recreation Department will host a Food Truck Festival and Car Show on the grounds of Windham High School (64 London Bridge Road, Windham) on Sunday, Aug. 11. In addition to eats from local food trucks, there will be music and games of cornhole. For details contact the Windham Recreation office at 965-1208 or

• Don’t miss the 16th annual Hampton Beach Children’s Festival, Monday, Aug. 12, through Friday, Aug. 16. The event includes ice cream, dancing, balloons, storytelling, a magic show and a costume parade. All activities are free and open to the public. Visit for details as they become available.

• Don’t miss Londonderry’s 125th annual Old Home Days, set for Wednesday, Aug. 14, through Saturday, Aug. 17. Details are in the works; past celebrations have included concerts, fireworks, a parade, a 5K road race, a baby contest and children’s games. See or follow the event page on Facebook @townoflondonderryoldhomeday.

• Hillsborough’s History Alive event will be on Saturday, Aug. 17, and Sunday, Aug. 18, at Jones Road in Hillsborough. The event will focus on historical reenactments of famous battles and daily village life from times past, and will include activities, crafts and musicians. Tickets are $10 per adult and $8 for seniors. The event is free for children 16 and under when accompanied by an adult. You can purchase a bracelet on the day of the event and it will cover both days. Cash only; credit cards are not accepted in person. Visit

• “Mahrajan” is Arabic for having an excellent time. The Mahrajan Middle Eastern Food Festival ( will take place Friday, Aug. 16, to Sunday, Aug. 18, at Our Lady of the Cedars Church (140 Mitchell St., Manchester, 623-8944, The Mahrajan was started by parishioners of Our Lady of the Cedars Melkite Church to celebrate and share the rich food and cultural traditions of Lebanon. Lebanese foods such as shawarma, falafel, lamb, grilled chicken and many types of pastries will be served. Visit the Festival’s website for updated information, closer to the date.

• The New Hampshire Farm Museum (1305 White Mountain Highway, Milton) is hosting its annual Truck and Tractor Day on Saturday, Aug. 17, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Trucks, wagons, antique cars and tractors dating back to the mid 1900s will be on display, and the event will feature demonstrations on things like the two-man saw and the butter churn treadmill. Admission is $12 for adults, $8 for seniors 65 and older, $6 for children ages 4 to 17, and free for children under 4. A family pass is available for $30. Visit

• The 125th Gilmanton Old Home Day is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 17, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. outside the Smith Meeting House (Meeting House and Governor roads, Gilmanton). Details on this year’s event are still being ironed out, but previous events have included live entertainment, a puppet show, a silent auction, an antique auto parade and an art show. Visit for details as they become available.

• Head to Field of Dreams Community Park (48 Geremonty Drive, Salem) for the park’s annual Family Fun Day on Saturday, Aug. 24, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. A wide variety of activities is planned, including a petting farm, face-painting, bounce houses, food trucks, photo opportunities with superheroes and princesses, and more. Visit

Candia’s Old Home Day will return on Saturday, Aug. 24, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Moore Park (74 High St., Candia). The event starts with a parade after a firemen’s homemade breakfast. Local crafters and artisans, town community booths, games, a wildlife exhibit, food and music will also be featured. Visit

• Assumption Greek Orthodox Church (111 Island Pond Road, Manchester, 623-2045, will hold its 2024 Greekfest on Saturday, Aug. 24, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 25, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. A full range of Greek foods will be served; there will be a loukoumades booth selling deep-fried dough balls covered in honey and powdered sugar, a gyro booth, a pastry booth and a bar. Visit the Church’s website for more information closer to the event.

• This year’s Gate City Brewfest will feature a Family Fun event on Saturday, Aug. 24, from 1 to 5 p.m. at Holman Stadium (67 Amherst St. in Nashua). There will be a home run derby, a wing eating contest, a kids’ fun zone, bounce houses, live music and a locked moose exhibit. See

Pembroke and Allenstown’s Old Home Day returns on Saturday, Aug. 24, starting with a parade down Main Street in Allenstown to Memorial Field (Exchange Street) in Pembroke. A fun-filled day is planned at the field, featuring two stages of live entertainment, antique cars, children’s games, a craft area, bounce houses and a fireworks display at dusk. Admission and parking are free. See “Pembroke & Allenstown Old Home Day 2024” on Facebook, or join its group page for details.

• Don’t miss this year’s Hopkinton State Fair, a Labor Day weekend tradition happening from Thursday, Aug. 29, to Monday, Sept. 2, at the fairgrounds (392 Kearsarge Ave., Contoocook). There will be livestock shows, a demolition derby, carnival rides, monster trucks, live entertainment, food and more. The fair hours are 5 to 10 p.m. on Thursday; 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday. For more details and ticket prices, visit

• The Exeter UFO Festival returns to downtown Exeter on Saturday, Aug. 31, and Sunday, Sept. 1 — the event commemorates the anniversary of the “Exeter Incident” (an alleged UFO sighting on Sept. 3, 1965) by featuring in-depth talks and presentations from leading experts on UFOs, along with a variety of “intergalactic” children’s games and food, all to benefit the Exeter Area Kiwanis Club. See

Arts & Museums

SEE Science Center (200 Bedford St., Manchester) will be holding its fourth annual “Kickoff to Summer” from Saturday, June 22, to Friday, June 28. New Hampshire’s own Zach Umperovitch will build a giant Rube Goldberg machine in this weeklong celebration. The contraption will emerge over the week, with lots of test runs and tinkering, and will culminate with a final demonstration of the complete machine at the end of the week. Visitors will be able to watch Zach at work and discover techniques used to design and construct these machines, and kids will witness how trial and failure are essential parts of the engineering process, according to the website. The Kickoff to Summer celebration will also include special hands-on activities, and raffles, all included with admission. Visit or call 669-0400.

• The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center (2 Institute Drive, Concord) Science Playground is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day the Center is open, according to their website. Entry to the Science Playground is included with general admission; guests must enter and exit the playground through the building. A member of the Discovery Center Education staff will be present with an educational activity or demo and to monitor safety on the playground but a parent or guardian must still be present with children on the playground. Visit or call 271-7827. The Center’s planetarium shows, each running around 25 to 45 minutes, play on the hour from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and are an add-on to any general admission ticket. Film topics include a scientist hamster who builds a rocket ship, life on Mars, and the night sky. Shows are rated for those 4, 5 or 6 years or older, depending on the film, and ticket sales stop 10 minutes before each screening.

• The Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St., Manchester) offers a free drop-in Creative Studio on the second Saturday of every month from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for children and families, according to their website. Reservations are not necessary for this program, and free short family tours will also be available. Admission to the museum from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. is free for New Hampshire residents on the second Saturday of the month.

The Currier will hold its annual Block Party on Sunday, July 14, from 4 to 8 p.m. The evening will feature art activities, live music, free gallery admission, food trucks, face painting, a beer and wine tent, a community art project and more, according to the website.

The Currier will also be hosting two sessions of their in-person three-day Mini Matisse Workshops for Kids. This workshop is intended for children of kindergarten age, according to their website. Led by instructor Larissa Barazova, students will enjoy a fun variety of methods and materials and explore the museum with guided gallery activities. The first session runs Wednesday, July 17, to Friday, July 19, and the second session is Wednesday, Aug. 7, to Friday, Aug. 9, from 10 a.m. to noon each day. Registration is $150 for non-members, $135 for members; tuition discounts are available. Visit

Soft-front baby carriers are allowed everywhere in the museum and strollers are typically allowed although restrictions may apply during times of heavy attendance, according to the website. The museum also provides strollers on a first come, first served basis, according to the same website. Toddler cups are not allowed in the galleries but are allowed in the Winter Garden Cafe and main lobby.

• The American Independence Museum (1 Governors Lane, Exeter, 772-2622, is a place for people of all ages to learn about America’s revolutionary history. It provides access to historic buildings and interactive, historically accurate depictions of what life was like during the American Revolution. Guided and self-guided museum tours are offered Thursday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission costs range from $5 to $14. Tickets are free for children 12 and under, active or retired military veterans, first responders and museum members.

• The Aviation Museum of New Hampshire (27 Navigator Road, Londonderry, 669-4820, is dedicated to the science, technology, history and culture of aviation and features interactive exhibits and educational programs. It is open Friday and Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, from 1 to 4 p.m. and is open to appointments or private group tours as well. Admission costs $10 for adults, $5 for seniors age 65 and over, veterans, active duty and kids ages 6 through 12, and is free for kids age 5 and under, with a $30 maximum for families.

• The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire (6 Washington St., Dover, 742- 2002, is a family museum featuring unique interactive exhibits with a focus on art, science and culture. Summer hours are Tuesday through Sunday, from 9 a.m. to noon, with an additional session from 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Tickets are available for either the morning (9 a.m. to noon) or afternoon (1 to 4 p.m.) sessions and cost $12.50 for adults and children over age 1 and $10.50 for seniors over age 65. Participants must register online and the Museum asks that patrons leave strollers at home or be prepared to park them in the coat room; patrons may bring baby carriers or can borrow one from the museum, according to the website.

Mariposa Museum & World Culture Center (26 Main St., Peterborough, 924-4555, is a museum of art and artifacts from around the world that includes hands-on exhibits with costumes, puppets, instruments and more for children to explore. It’s open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission costs $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $6 for kids ages 3 through 16 but is free for members.

• Learn about New Hampshire marine life and science with live animals, hands-on exhibits and educational programs at the Seacoast Science Center (Odiorne Point State Park, 570 Ocean Blvd., Rye, 436-8043, Summer hours are Tuesdays through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and those run until Monday, Oct. 14. General admission costs $12 for ages 12 and up, $8 for ages 3 to 11, and $10 for seniors age 65 and up and military with a valid ID, active duty or veteran. Children under age 3 are free. The Center recommends that attendees book ahead, since availability may be limited.

• The Millyard Museum (200 Bedford St., Manchester) is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed Thursday, July 4). For those interested in all things Manchester and history, this is the place. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and college students, $5 for children between the ages of 12 to 18, and free for children under 12; Manchester Historic Association members are admitted at no charge. The Museum has two fun games that can be printed off or picked up at the museum: the Millyard Museum Fun Book, which has word searches, drawing, and more, and Mystery Objects, which is an I Spy-type scavenger hunt. Visit

• There may be no better place for New Hampshire history than the New Hampshire Historical Society (30 Park St., Concord), which has extensive exhibits, the de facto presidential library for Franklin Pierce, and a collection of more than 35,000 objects related to New Hampshire, like the esoteric Mystery Stone. The NHHS also operates “Moose on the Loose,” a social studies curriculum for the State of New Hampshire that explores the Granite State’s history, economics, geography and civic life, introducing students to the state’s rich cultural heritage, according to their website. They are open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit

The New Hampshire Telephone Museum (1 Depot St., Warner) features nearly 1,000 telephones, switchboards and other telecommunication memorabilia and history and has an interactive kids’ room. They also have programming outside of telephones; check their website for upcoming events. Summer hours are Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission costs $9 for adults, $7 for seniors age 65 and up and $6 for students in grades K through 12. There is a guided tour available for an additional $3 per admission ticket, except for kids in grades K through 12. Visit

Live Performances

Henniker’s Summer Concert Series brings the music on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8 p.m. until Sept. 3 in Community Park (57 Main St., Henniker). Concerts are free to the public, though donations are welcome, and each week has a new food vendor on site. The next concert, on June 25, will be Rumboat Chili. Visit for the full summer lineup.

Greeley Park (100 Concord St., Nashua) hosts free summer concerts each Tuesday at 7 p.m. until Aug. 20. The next concert, on June 25, is Tru Diamond, a Neil Diamond tribute act. Visit

New Boston Concerts on the Common take place on the New Boston Town Common (5 Meetinghouse Hill Road, New Boston) on select Tuesdays throughout the summer: June 25, July 9, July 23, Aug. 6, and Aug. 20. Concerts begin at 6 p.m. Bring a blanket or chair. The Rail Trail Grill concession stand will benefit the New Boston Rail Trail and will feature hot dogs, hamburgers, soft drinks and snacks. The first concert, June 25, will be by the Bedford Big Band, whose repertoire favors well-known jazz standards and more modern pop, funk and Latin selections. Visit

• The Londonderry Arts Council presents free concerts each Wednesday at 7 p.m. on the Londonderry Town Common (265 Mammoth Road) until Aug. 14. The next concert, on June 26, will be Brian Templeton and the Delta Generators. Visit

• Join the Merrimack Parks & Recreation Department for a free weekly summer concert series Wednesday nights at 6 p.m. at Abbie Griffin Park (6 Baboosic Lake Road, Merrimack). Each week features a different musical style. Bring blankets or lawn chairs and your dinner to enjoy a free night of entertainment; Franklin Savings Bank will give out free popcorn during the show. The next concert, on June 26, will be by children’s performers Ben Rudnick and Friends. Visit

• Summer concerts take place on the Pelham Village Green in front of the Pelham Public Library (24 Village Green, Pelham) on certain Wednesdays throughout the summer: June 26, July 10, July 24, Aug. 7, and Aug. 21. Concerts begin at 6 p.m. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. No dogs or alcohol allowed on the Village Green. The first concert, on June 26, will be by the All Day Fire Band. Visit

• The Impact Touring Children’s Theatre will perform The Emperor’s New Clothes on Tuesday, July 2, at 10 a.m. at the BNH Stage (16 S Main St., Concord, 225-1111, Emperor Thelonious loves nothing more than his collection of clothing, made of the most expensive and rarest cloths from around the world; when a mysterious peddler comes to town with a magic fabric that appears invisible to those unworthy, the emperor learns an important lesson in humility. This is a free performance. Seating for this show is mostly on the open floor. Patrons are encouraged to bring blankets to sit on.

• The 2024 Bank of New Hampshire Children’s Summer Series kicks off at the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St. in Manchester; on Tuesday, July 2, and Wednesday, July 3, with a performance “Music with Miss Alli.” Shows are at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. both days. In the weeks after, shows run Tuesday through Thursday at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. and Friday at 10 a.m. The show schedule includes: Madagascar Jr.July 9 to 12;Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka Jr. July 16 to 19;The Wizard of Oz Youth EditionJuly 23 to July 26; Disney’s Moana Jr.July 30 to Aug. 2;Disney’s Finding Nemo Jr. Aug. 6 to 9; Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Jr.Aug13 to 16, and Disney’s Little Mermaid Jr. Aug. 20 to 23, according to the theater’s website. Tickets to each show cost $10 per person.

Kidz Bop Live comes to the BankNH Pavilion (80 Recycle Way, Gilford, 293-4700, on Wednesday, July 3, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $49.

• Join Alice as she tries to make sense of her crazy adventure when The Palace Youth Theater Summer Camp presents Alice in Wonderland, Jr., Friday, July 5, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, July 6, at 11 a.m. at the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St. Manchester, 668-5588, The student actors are in grades 2 through 12. Tickets start at $12.

• See Mean Girls (High School Version) on Friday, July 5, and Saturday, July 6, at 7 p.m. at the Chubb Theatre (44 S. Main St., Concord, 225-1111, Music Theatre International rates this show PG-13. Parental discretion is advised. Although the show is presented as a “School Edition,” some content may not be appropriate for school-aged audiences. Tickets are $18.75 for adults, $15.75 for students and seniors.

• Camp Encore! presents Shrek, The Musical, Jr. on Saturday, July 6, at 11 a.m. in Prescott Park (105 Marcy St., Portsmouth), as part of the Prescott Park Arts Festival ( At Camp Encore!, performers, artists and aspiring technicians ages 7 to 17 come together to gain teamwork skills and experience theater arts; Shrek, The Musical Jr. is the culmination of this session. Tickets start at $5 and reservations can be made at

• The Impact Touring Children’s Theatre presents Return to Oz on Tuesday, July 9, at 10 a.m. at the BNH Stage (16 S Main St., Concord, 225-1111, Dorothy returns to the magic land in hopes of finding her friends once again, but somehow the Emerald City has lost its sparkle and a new witch is in town, ready to rumble. This is a free performance. Seating for this show is mostly on the open floor. Patrons are encouraged to bring blankets to sit on.

• Many, many puppies face a great adventure in The Palace Youth Theater Summer Camp’s presentation of 101 Dalmatians Kids, Friday July 12, at 7 p.m., at the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., Manchester, 668-5588, The student actors are in grades 2 through 12. Tickets start at $12.

• Follow magical chocolatier Willy Wonka as he sets up his candy empire and looks for an heir to turn it over to in Willy Wonka Jr. on Friday, July 12, and Saturday, July 13, at 7 p.m. at the Chubb Theatre (44 S. Main St., Concord, 225-1111, Tickets are $18.75 for adults, $15.75 for students and seniors.

• Watch the adventures of father and son clownfish Marlin and Nemo as they struggle to be reunited in Finding Nemo (Kids) on Saturday, July 13, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Chubb Theatre (44 S. Main St., Concord, 225-1111, Tickets are $13.75 for adults, $10.75 for students and seniors.

• Join Ariel, a young mermaid princess, as she struggles to learn whether her heart belongs on land or under the sea in The Little Mermaid Jr., Friday, July 19, and Saturday, July 20, at 7 p.m. at the Chubb Theatre (44 S. Main St., Concord, 225-1111, Tickets are $18.75 for adults, $15.75 for students and seniors.

• In collaboration with Leach Library, the Londonderry Arts Council Concerts on the Common series (Londonderry Town Common, 265 Mammoth Road, Londonderry) presents The Mr. Aaron Band in a concert for kids on Saturday, July 20, at 1:30 p.m. In the event of bad weather, the event will take place in the Londonderry High School Cafeteria (295 Mammoth Road).

• Camp Encore! will stage a performance of Mary Poppins Jr. Saturday, July 20, and Sunday, July 21, at 11 a.m. at the Wilcox Main Stage in Prescott Park (105 Marcy St., Portsmouth). Tickets start at $5 and reservations can be made at

• The Franklin Opera House (316 Central St., Franklin, 934-1901, will present a series of free concerts on Thursday evenings throughout the summer at 5 p.m. The first, on Thursday, July 11, will be the band Miles From Memphis. Bring a chair or blanket. In case of rain, the concerts will be postponed or canceled.

• An amateur brother-and-sister team of explorers have come across a lot of unusual things in their young lives, but nothing compares to a house made entirely out of candy, in The Impact Touring Children’s Theatre’s performance of Hansel and Gretel on Tuesday, July 23, at 10 a.m. at the BNH Stage (16 S Main St., Concord, 225-1111, This is a free performance. Seating for this show is mostly on the open floor. Patrons are encouraged to bring blankets to sit on.

• The Palace Youth Theater Summer Camp presents Newsies, Jr. on Friday, July 26, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, July 27, at 11 a.m. at the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., Manchester, 668-5588, The student actors are in grades 2 through 12. Tickets start at $12.

• Catch Rock of Ages, Youth Edition on Friday, July 26, and Saturday, July 27, at 7 p.m. at the Chubb Theatre (44 S. Main St., Concord, 225-1111, Set on L.A.’s famous Sunset Strip in 1987, Rock of Ages tells the story of Drew, a city boy from South Detroit, and Sherrie, a small-town girl, who have both traveled to L.A. to chase their dreams of making it big and falling in love. Tickets are $18.75 for adults, $15.75 for students and seniors.

• The Palace Youth Theater Summer Camp presents Jungle Book, Kids, Friday, Aug. 2, at 7 p.m. at the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., Manchester, 668-5588, The student actors are in grades 2 through 12. Tickets start at $12.

• Camp Encore! presents Descendants, the Musical Saturday, Aug. 3, and Sunday, Aug. 4, at 1 p.m. at the Wilcox Main Stage in Prescott Park (105 Marcy St., Portsmouth). Based on the popular Disney Channel Original Movies, Disney’s Descendants: The Musical is a brand-new musical with comedy, adventure, Disney characters and hit songs from the films. Tickets start at $5; reservations can be made at

• High in a tower, surprises await as a fair maiden longs for a friend, an old crone longs for an understanding daughter, and a seagull longs for some crackers in the Impact Touring Children’s Theatre’s performance of Rapunzel on Tuesday, Aug. 6, at 10 a.m. at the BNH Stage (16 S Main St., Concord, 225-1111, Will a passerby be able to spy the strange structure, figure out how to reach its top, and solve everyone’s problems? Only time and magic will tell as truth and honesty are tested. This is a free performance. Seating for this show is mostly on the open floor. Patrons are encouraged to bring blankets to sit on.

• The Palace Youth Theatre Summer Camp presents Wizard of Oz, Youth Edition on Friday Aug. 16, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 17, at 11 a.m. at the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., Manchester, 668-5588, The student actors are in grades 2 through 12. Tickets start at $12.

• The Palace Youth Theatre Summer Camp presents Willy Wonka Kids on Saturday, Aug. 24, at noon at the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., Manchester, 668-5588, The student actors are in grades 2 through 12. Tickets start at $12.

Outdoor fun

City swimming

Concord’s six outdoor pools will open in late June. The City’s website says to stay tuned and check their Facebook page ( for exact opening dates and times. The pools are free for residents but they will need to show proof of residency, according to the website. Passes can only be purchased at the City-Wide Community Center, 14 Canterbury Road. Non-resident passes cannot be purchased at the pools or splash pad. A season pass is $125 per family and a 48-hour pass is $20 per family, and residents may bring a guest to the pool, so a resident family of four coming to a pool can bring up to four guests at no charge, according to their website. The pools are Rollins Pool (33 Bow St.), Keach Pool (2 Newton Ave.), Merrill Pool (27 Eastman St.), Kimball Pool (171 N. State St.), Rolfe Pool (79 Community Drive, Penacook) and Garrison Pool (31 Hutchins St.). The White Park Splash Pad (1 White St.) is now open weekends only, and updates to times will be posted on their Facebook page as well. Visit

Manchester City Parks and Recreation has announced its aquatic facility schedule: Livingston Pool is open for lap swim from noon to 1 p.m. and public swim from 2 to 7 p.m.; Raco-Theodore Pool opens on Monday, June 24, and has public swim from 2 to 7 p.m., but check their website for swim meet closures; Crystal Lake is open for swimming every day of the week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m; Dupont and the Sheehan-Basquil Splash Pads are open every day of the week from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The website also states that all facilities are subject to closure or hour changes due to weather or low staffing and the pool facilities operate at a 25:1 bather-to-lifeguard ratio. Visit

• The City of Nashua Parks and Recreation departmenthas announced its swimming pool schedule. Sites include Centennial Pool (next to Holman Stadium on Sargents Avenue); Crown Hill Pool (next to Girls Inc. on Burke Street); Rotary Pool and Wading Pool (next to Fairgrounds Elementary School on Cleveland Street), and Greeley Park Wading Pool (in Greeley Park on Concord Street), which is only for small children accompanied by an adult, according to the website. All the pools follow the same schedule. On Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon there are swimming lessons; general swim is from 1 to 5 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m., according to the website. Saturday has general swim from 1 to 5 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. and Sunday has general swim from 1 to 6 p.m. Visit

State parks

Day-use fees for most state parks: ages 12 or older, $4 to $5 depending on the park; ages 6 to 11 $2; free for those age 5 and younger and New Hampshire residents 65 or older with a valid NH license. Visit

Pawtuckaway State Park 128 Mountain Road, Nottingham, 895-3031. This park is always open for recreation unless closed or restricted by posting, according to the website.

Bear Brook State Park 61 Deerfield Road, Allenstown, 485-9869. A majority of Bear Brook’s trails are impassable by bicycle or horse due to downed trees, but cleanup is currently underway, according to the website. The CCC Museum is open for normal operating hours on Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m to noon, but outside these hours visitors can call 485-9869 to schedule an appointment. The fee is $2 for ages 12 to 17.

Odiorne Point 570 Ocean Blvd., Rye, 436-7406. When the park is unstaffed during the season, deposit payment in the self-serve paystation or at the Seacoast Science Center main desk. The Seacoast Science Center is currently open Tuesdays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., but that is an additional fee that is not included with the State Park admission fee.

Wellington State Park 614 W. Shore Road, Bristol, 744-2197. When the park is unstaffed during the season, deposit payment in the self-serve paystation.

Hampton Beach 160 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, 227-8722. Metered parking 8 a.m. to midnight; Haverhill Street Bathhouse open 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Marine Memorial Bathhouse (A Street) open year-round 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; North Beach Bathhouse (High Street) open year-round, 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Seashell Bathhouse (beach side) open from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; South Pavilion Bathhouse (F Street) open year-round 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., according to the website.

Clough State Park 455 Clough Park Road, Weare, 529-7112. This park is always open for recreation unless closed or restricted by posting, according to their website.

Robert Frost Farm Historic Site 122 Rockingham Road, Derry, 432-3091. The house is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Monday, with the last tour starting at 4 p.m., through Oct. 14, according to, while the grounds and trails around the house and barn are open from dusk to dawn all year.


Lake Massabesic off Londonderry Turnpike in Manchester,, 642-6482

Pawtuckaway Lake Pawtuckaway State Park, 7 Pawtuckaway Road, Nottingham, 895-3031,

Newfound Lake Wellington State Park, 614 W. Shore Road, Bristol, 744–2197,

Lake Winnipesaukee in Belknap and Carroll counties intheLakes Region,, which says it is the largest lake in New Hampshire

Squam Lake in Grafton, Carroll and Belknap counties,


Andres Institute of Art (106 Route 13, Brookline) has a network of trails decorated with various sculptures and other artwork, and holds various events.

Bedrock Gardens (19 High Road, Lee) is a 30-acre public garden that integrates unusual botanical specimens and unique sculpture into an inspiring landscape journey, with fun programming fun for the whole family, according to their website. It is open Tuesday through Friday and the first and third weekends of the month from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., according to the website. Visit

Canobie Lake Park (85 N. Policy St., Salem) amusement park is open daily. Their hours are generally Friday and Saturday from 10:30 a.m to 10:30 p.m.; Monday through Thursday from 10:30 a.m to 7 p.m., and Sundays from 10:30 a.m to 7 p.m. Starting Sunday, July 7, it will be open until 9 p.m. on Sundays, and Castaway Island is open daily as well from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 3, and Thursday, July 4, will operate on Saturday hours. Check for specific hours and ticket prices.

Charmingfare Farm (774 High St. in Candia, 483-5623, is a working farm with wildlife exhibits featuring animals such as black bears, coyote and more. Charmingfare is currently open Thursdays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with special events and exhibits such as “Creatures of the Night: Nocturnal Animals in Daytime” on Thursday, June 20, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and “Scouting for Bigfoot” on Saturday, June 22 and Sunday, June 23.

Special events

• View sculptures crafted on Hampton Beach at the 24th annual Hampton Beach Master Sand Sculpting Classic, happening Thursday, June 20, through Saturday, June 22, at Hampton Beach (180 Ocean Blvd.). The event includes award ceremonies and prizes for the greatest sand sculptures built with the theme “Sand Wars – May the Beach Be With You” in mind. The competition is by invitation only, but the sculptures will be illuminated for viewing at night until June 26. Visit

• Squam Lakes Natural Science Center will be hosting their StoryWalk Kickoff Reception at the Curry Place (846 Route 3, Holderness) on Friday, June 28, at 10 a.m. Attendees can stroll along the Squam channel as they read a nature-inspired story posted one page at a time along the trail. Children can participate in a craft and enjoy a snack connected to the story at the reception, according to the website. It’s free and there’s no registration required. Visit The Center’s live animal exhibit trail and hiking trails are open every day from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the last trail admission at 3:30 p.m., according to the website.

• Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center (928 White Oaks Road, Laconia, will host an all-ages workshop, “Tractor Tour: Life in the Fields, on Saturday, July 6, at 10 a.m., where participants can watch for hawks and songbirds soaring overhead and learn how animals such as deer, bears, songbirds and turkeys depend on open fields for food and shelter, according to their website. Free for members, $15 for nonmembers.

• Pumpkin Blossom Farm (393 Pumpkin Hill Road, Warner) hosts Lavender U-Pick in its lavender fields on various dates between Friday, July 5, and Sunday, July 25, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Everyone is invited to wander the fields and cut and harvest bundles of lavender. Attendees are welcome to relax and have a picnic on the lawn, walk the shaded trail and visit the baby chicks. Lavender plants, products and treats will also be for sale. Discount bundles are $18 during the weekdays and $20 on weekends. Visit

• Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center (928 White Oaks Road, Laconia, will hold four different Summer Polliwog programs for kids on different Wednesdays in July at 10 a.m. The first is Mudtastic and involves a mud run on July 10 for $12 per adult-and-child pair; the next is Glorious Bugs, where participants will make homes for bugs, on July 17; the third is Water Up! Water Down! Water all Around! where participants will learn about the water cycle, on July 24, and the last one, on July 31, is Acorn Was a Little Wild, which involves a puppet named Stasher and a hunt for deciduous trees. These last three are $15 for an adult and child pair.

• The second annual Capital Area New Hampshire Butterfly Survey will take place on Saturday, July 27, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at NH Audubon’s McLane Center (84 Silk Farm Road, Concord) and will help gather long-term butterfly data to better understand the changing ranges of butterfly species over time and support statewide butterfly conservation efforts. Visit

• The 2024 Sunflower Festival at Coppal House Farm (118 North River Road in Lee; takes place Saturday, July 27, through Sunday, Aug. 4, 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (plus a special sunrise session on July 28). See the website for admission prices. See the blooming fields and then enjoy live music, an artisan craft fair, food and more.

• Head to Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center (928 White Oaks Road, Laconia, for Fireflies Light Up the Sky on Saturday, July 27, from 7 to 8 p.m. to learn about fireflies and to experience them in action. This is for ages 12 and older. The cost is $15 for nonmembers.

• Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center (928 White Oaks Road, Laconia, presents a tasty and educational program, “Homemade Dairy and Non-dairy Ice Cream, on Saturday, Aug. 3, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Learn about how to make ice cream. This program is open to youth and adults. The cost is $15 for members and $30 for nonmembers.

• The Sunflower Bloom Festival at fields in Concord will run Saturday, Aug. 10, through Sunday, Aug. 18, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, according to The festival will feature live music, food vendors and more. Admission costs $10, kids 10 and under get in free; cut your own flowers for $2 per stem.


• The New England Revolution II professional soccer club will play their home games at Mark A. Ouellette Stadium (Victory Lane in Hooksett) on Sunday, June 23, at 6 p.m.; Saturday, July 6, at 7 p.m.; Sunday, Sept. 8, at 4 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 6, at 1 p.m. Tickets start at $12. Visit

• The six-time champion Nashua Silver Knights, members of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League, will be playing all summer, with their last home game on Friday, Aug. 2, at 6 p.m., when they will take on the New Britain Bees, before the playoffs begin later that week. Visit

• The New Hampshire Fisher Cats, the Double-A minor-league affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, will be playing all summer. They will have fireworks from Thursday, July 4, through Saturday, July 7, after games against the Portland Sea Dogs. Star Wars Night strikes back on Saturday, July 13. On Saturday, Aug. 10, the Fisher Cats will celebrate all things ’90s with the first 1,000 fans through the gates receiving a clear fanny pack and Beanie Babies getting in free. On Saturday, Aug. 24, the team celebrates New Hampshire hockey; the first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a Monarchs-vs.-Fisher Cats bobblehead. On Sunday, Aug. 25, a Piggy Tea Party Brunch will be held before the 1:35 p.m. game. The final home game is slated for Sunday, Sept. 8, against the Portland Sea Dogs. Visit

• It’s NASCAR Weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (1122 Route 106, Loudon) Saturday, June 22, and Sunday, June 23. This includes the SciAps 200 NASCAR Xfinity Series race & Mohegan Sun 100 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race on Saturday and the NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday. Tickets vary in price, depending on the race. See

• Dozens of high school football players from across the state will participate in the 12th annual CHaD NH East-West High School All-Star Football Game, scheduled for Friday, June 28, at 6 p.m. at the Grappone Stadium at Saint Anselm College (100 St. Anselm Drive, Manchester). General admission tickets are $15, with all proceeds benefiting Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (CHaD). Visit

NH Roller Derby ( has double-headers scheduled for Saturday, June 29, and Saturday, July 27, at JFK Coliseum in Manchester.

Granite State Roller Derby ( has home bouts scheduled for Saturday, June 29, and Saturday, July 20, at 6:30 p.m. at the Everett Arena (15 Loudon Road, Concord).

At the movies

• The Milford Drive-In Theater (531 Elm St., Milford) has two screens for movie screenings Wednesday through Sunday. Movies start at 8:45 p.m. with the box office opening at 7:15 p.m. but opening at 6:45 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, according to their website. Each screen shows two movies and the first film for each screen is typically a family-friendly or kid movie. Movie-goers can listen to the film on their car radio or on a portable radio and patrons can sit in lawn chairs in front of their vehicle. They have a fully stocked concessions stand where attendees can even purchase a portable radio if needed. Tickets are $33 per car (up to six people) and $6 for each additional person. Tickets can be purchased online. Visit or call 660-6711.

Movies in the Park will take place in Riverfront Park in Tilton, hosted by the Hall Memorial Library (, throughout the summer, with the park opening at 6 p.m. and the movie starting at 8 p.m. Movies are slated for Friday, June 21; Friday, July 26; Friday, Aug. 23 and Friday, Sept. 27. The June 21 film is Wish (PG, 2023).

O’neil Cinemas Brickyard Square (24 Calef Highway, Epping, will run a kids series starting Monday, June 24, with shows on Mondays and Wednesdays at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. The schedule features Migration (PG, 2023) on June 24 and June 26; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (PG, 2023) on July 1 and July 3; Spider-man: Across the Spider-verse (PG, 2023) on July 8 and July 10; Jumanji: The Next Level (PG-13, 2019) on July 15 and July 17; Wonka (PG, 2023) on July 22 and July 24; Trolls Band Together (PG, 2023) July 29 and July 31; Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken (PG, 2023) Aug. 5 and Aug. 7, and Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (PG, 2018) Aug. 12 and Aug. 14.

Chunky’s Cinemas (707 Huse Road, Manchester) will be hosting “Little Lunch Dates” and “Sensory-Friendly Showings” throughout the summer. A Little Lunch Date screening ofThe Super Mario Bros. Movie (PG, 2023) occurs on Tuesday, June 25, at 11:30 a.m and a similar screening of Shark Tale (PG, 2004) will occur on Tuesday, July 9, at 11:30 a.m. A Sensory-Friendly Showing of The Garfield Movie (PG, 2024) will occur on Wednesday, June 26, at 12:30 p.m. and a similar screening of Despicable Me 4 (PG, 2024) will occur on Wednesday, July 10, at 12:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 plus online fees (and come with a $5 food voucher) for the Little Lunch Dates and $6.99 plus online fees for the Sensory-Friendly Showings. Visit or call 206-3888.

Cinemark Rockingham Park (15 Mall Road, Salem, will screen kid-friendly films on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. The upcoming schedule includes Shrek (PG, 2001) on June 26; Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie (PG, 2023) on July 3; The Lego Movie (PG, 2014) on July 10; Trolls Band Together(PG, 2023) on July 17; How To Train Your Dragon (PG, 2010) on July 24; Migration (PG, 2023) on July 31; Hotel Transylvania(PG, 2012) on Aug. 7, and Paddington 2 (PG, 2017) on Aug. 14.

Downtown Summer Series Movie Nights will feature screenings in Veterans Park (723 Elm St. in Manchester), with movies beginning at dusk. Concessions will be available for purchase. The schedule features Shrek (PG, 2001) on Wednesday, June 26; Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (PG, 1989) on Wednesday, July 17; Monsters, Inc. (G, 2001) on Wednesday, July 31, and School of Rock (PG-13) on Wednesday, Aug. 14, according to a post on the Manchester Economic Development Office Facebook page.

The Park Theatre in Jaffrey will hold its Kids Summer Movie-Rama with showings of six different movies throughout the summer on Tuesdays and Saturdays; all of the films are rated PG, according to their website. Tickets are $7 and a six-ticket bundle is $36. The schedule is as follows: Lyle, Lyle Crocodile (2022) on Saturday, June 22, at 10 a.m.; Peter Rabbit (2018) on Tuesday, June 25, at 1:30 p.m. and Saturday, June 29, at 10 a.m.; Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018) on Tuesday, July 2, at 1:30 p.m. and Saturday, July 6, at 10 a.m.; The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019) on Tuesday, July 9, at 1:30 p.m. and Saturday, July 13, at 10 a.m.; Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009) on Tuesday, July 16, at 1:30 p.m. and Saturday, July 20, at 10 a.m.; The Smurfs (2011) on Tuesday, July 23, at 1:30 p.m. and Saturday, July 27, at 10 a.m. Visit or call 532-8888.

Prescott Park Arts Festival Movie Nights in Prescott Park in Portsmouth will feature a mix of classics, newer movies and family films with a suggested donation of $5 per person and an 8:30 p.m. start time. Concessions will be for sale. Family friendly films on the schedule include Frozen Sing Along(PG, 2013) on Monday, July 8; Wish (PG, 2023) on Monday, Aug. 12; E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982) on Thursday, Aug. 22, and Wonka (PG, 2023) on Thursday, Aug. 29.

Movie Night Mondays On the Beach at Hampton Beach will feature screenings on Mondays at dusk on the large screen next to the playground weather permitting (rain date is Tuesdays). Admission is free. The schedule is Under the Boardwalk (PG, 2023) on July 8; The Swan Princess: Far Longer Than Forever (PG, 2023) on July 15; Migration (PG, 2023) on July 22; Mummies (PG, 2023) on July 29; Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken (PG, 2023) on Aug. 5; Kung Fu Panda 4 (PG, 2024) on Aug. 12, Mavka: The Forest Song (PG, 2023) on Aug. 19, and Wish (PG, 2023) on Aug. 26. See for approximate dusk times and updates.

• Apple Cinemas in Hooksett and Merrimack and O’Neil Cinemas in Epping will be participating in Ghibli Fest 2024 with select showings of subtitled and English dubbed Studio Ghibli animated films starting with Princess Mononoke (PG-13, 1997) on Saturday, July 13, and Sunday, July 14; Ponyo (G, 2008) on Saturday, Aug. 3, and Sunday, Aug. 4; Whisper of the Heart (G, 1995) on Sunday, Aug. 25, and Tuesday, Aug. 27; and The Cat Returns (G, 2002) on Monday, Aug. 26, and Wednesday, Aug. 28, according to their website. Most films appear to screen at either 3 or 7 p.m., depending on the day, and this pattern goes until December and will include other Studio Ghibli films like Kiki’s Delivery Service (G, 1989) and My Neighbor Totoro (G, 1988), among others, according to their website. Ticket presales are open; specific showtimes can be found online and are subject to change. Visit or or to find other theaters screening these films.

Fathom Events has other kid-friendly movies on its schedule (see for local theaters screening these movies and movie times): The Neverending Story (PG, 1984) on July 21 and July 22, and Coraline (PG, 2009) Aug. 15 through Aug. 22.

• The Nashua SummerFun program has a “Pic in the Park” scheduled for Friday, Aug. 2, at dusk when The Marvels (PG-13, 2023) will screen at the Greeley Park Bandshell (100 Concord St., Nashua). See


Many area libraries offer storytimes, sometimes geared toward specific ages, often weekly throughout the summer. See specific libraries for registration information. Here are some of the stand-out events this summer at area libraries.

Allenstown: Allenstown Public Library (59 Main St., Allenstown, 485-7651, has passes to Squam Lakes Natural Science Center. The library membership pass is valid for up to four tickets at the member rate of $13 per ticket (half off the regular price) for Allenstown Public Library patrons per day during the 2024 trail season (May 1 to Nov. 1). The Summer Reading Program runs from June 24 to Aug. 8.

Amherst: The Amherst Town Library (14 Main St., Amherst, 673-2288, summer reading program for children, teens, and adults started Monday, June 17, and will continue until Friday, Aug. 9. Participants can earn raffle tickets and “Book Bucks” to purchase books. Other activities include a Mike Bent Magic Show on Monday, June 24, a Science Heroes treasure-hunting adventure on Wednesday, July 24, and a Teens vs. Adults Trivia Night on Tuesday, July 30.

Auburn: Griffin Free Public Library’s (22 Hooksett Road, Auburn, 483-5374, summer reading program began on Tuesday, June 18. Participants earn prizes for reading books and completing challenges. In addition, the Library will host classes in necklace making on June 20, toy binocular making on Thursday, June 27, and other craft projects. There will be a Try-It Night!: Foodie Edition on Tuesday, June 25, where children can try challenging new foods, and a tie-dye class on Tuesday, July 9.

Bedford: Bedford Public Library’s (3 Meetinghouse Road, Bedford, 472-2300, summer reading program is themed around the state of New Hampshire. Additionally, there will be a Junior Librarian program; a family trivia night on Monday, June 24; a fiber arts club on Wednesdays, and Wildlife Encounters on Monday, July 15.

Boscawen: In addition to Boscawen Public Library’s (116 N. Main St., Boscawen, 753-8576, summer reading program, which begins Monday, June 24, the Library will feature activities including preschool story times on Wednesdays, Legos on Saturdays, and a free concert with Mr. Aaron on July 15.

Bow: Summer activities for children at Baker Free Library (509 South St., Bow, 224-7113, will include summer story time on Tuesdays, a comics workshop with Marek Bennett on Thursday, June 27, a Wildlife Adventure with Squam Lakes Science Center on Monday, July 8, and a Cozy Campout stuffed animal sleepover on Monday, July 29.

Brookline: In addition to Brookline Public Library’s (16 Main St., Brookline, 673-3330, summer reading program, which begins Thursday, June 20, the Library will feature summer activities such as Table Game Mondays, a Teen Ice Cream Party on Friday, June 28, and Lego and Video Game Afternoons on Fridays. There are also passes for reduced entry to museums, parks and zoos.

Candia: Smyth Public Library (55 High St., Candia, 483-8245, will kick off its summer reading program with Our Amazing Butterflies, a presentation by Jerry Schneider, creator of the award-winning Butterfly Game, on Thursday, June 27. Other summer activities include tie-dying, a dog show and free summer concerts.

Canterbury: The Elkins Public Library (9 Center Road, Canterbury, 783-4386, will host the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire ( on Thursday, June 27, for Adventure all Around: Earth, Sea and Sky. The library will also have a nature scavenger hunt this summer, as well as story times and tumbling sessions for very small children.

Chichester: The Chichester Town Library (161 Main St., Chichester, 798-5613, summer reading program starts on Saturday, June 22, with a magic show and free tote bags. Later in the summer there will be free concerts, and the Library has passes for discounts at family destinations like the Currier Art Museum, the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire, the USS Constitution and the Wright Museum.

Concord: In addition to its summer reading program, which kicks off on Saturday, June 22, the Concord Public Library (45 Green St., Concord, 225-8670, has a summer of activities for children, including a hands-on Mad Science presentation, board game nights, Dungeons & Dragons for tweens, Lego sessions and story times, as well as passes to institutions like the New England Aquarium and the Museum of Fine Art.

Deerfield: The Philbrick-James Library (4 Church St., Deerfield, 463-7187, began its summer reading program Tuesday, June 18. Other summer activities will include Smokey Bear’s Reading Challenge, Veasey Park story times, drop-in fiber arts, a Lego club, PokeMondays and a tie-dye week.

Derry: The Derry Public Library (64 E. Broadway, Derry, 432-6140, kicked off its summer reading program this past Tuesday, June 18. Other summer activities for kids include a rodeo day, a pirate adventure day, bedtime stories, a magic show, a guided Walk Through Time, a glow party and more.

Dunbarton: The Dunbarton Public Library (1004 School St., Dunbarton, 774-3546, summer reading program began Tuesday, June 18. In addition, the Library will offer a variety of summer activities, such as a reading to dogs program, storywalks, an open STEM/toy-making space and touch-a-truck activities.

Epping: The Harvey-Mitchell Memorial Library (151 Main St., Epping, 734-4587, will host many children’s activities this summer, including a science/magic show on Friday, June 21; a puppet show; and a wildlife encounter with the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center. The Library’s summer reading program will take place during July.

Epsom: The Epsom Public Library (1606 Dover Road, Epsom, 736-9920, will host drop-in STEAM events on Thursdays throughout the summer, as well as movie matinees, a fairy house-making workshop, a teddy bear sleepover, a 4-H babysitting class, wildlife encounters and more. The summer reading program will begin with a picnic on Saturday, June 29.

Francestown: The George Holmes Bixby Memorial Library (52 Main St., Francestown, 547-2730, started its summer reading program last Saturday, June 15. There will be an ice cream social on Thursday, June 20. Contact the Library’s staff to learn more about upcoming kids’ events.
Goffstown: The Goffstown Public Library (2 High St., Goffstown, 497-2102, will host many children’s and teen activities throughout the summer, including a Pokemon Passion club, Legos, painting, tie-dying, reading with Candy the reading therapy dog, cooking, crafting, teen to-go projects and more.

Hollis: The Hollis Social Library (2 Monument Square, Hollis, 465-7721, summer reading program starts Saturday, June 22, with lawn games, water balloons and snow cones. Some of the other activities this summer include a henna tattoo workshop (Thursday, June 20), a puppet show, acrylic paint-by-numbers, beading classes, squirt gun painting, Legos, and a Charmingfare Farm petting zoo.

Hooksett: The Hooksett Public Library (31 Mount St Mary’s Way, Hooksett, 485-6092, summer reading program starts Thursday, June 20, with a concert on the lawn with Mr. Aaron ( Other activities for children and young adults this summer include a free Role Playing Game day, tie-dying, Legos, family movie nights, cooking classes and wildlife encounters.

Hudson: The George H. and Ella M. Rodgers Memorial Library (194 Derry Road, Hudson, 886-6030, started its summer reading program on June 15. Some summer activities to look forward to include Dungeons & Donuts, drop-in stitching sessions, teen candy bar bingo, a visit from the Silver Circus (, Dino the Therapy Dog, a tween Mario Kart tournament, and polymer clay classes for teens.

Kingston: The Kingston Community Library (2 Library Lane, Kingston, 642-3521, will start its summer reading program Saturday, June 22, with a performance by Flying High Dogs ( Other summer events will include movies, a kids’ science club, storytimes with Jack the Dog, and a karate and reading adventure.

Lee: The Lee Library (9 Mast Road, Lee, 659-2626, will kick off its summer reading program on Thursday, June 27, with music by Steve Blunt ( and Marty Kelly. Other summer activities will include a British high tea, a Salad and Sandwich Social, clay crafts, wildlife encounters and more.

Litchfield: The Aaron Cutler Memorial Library (269 Charles Bancroft Highway, Litchfield, 424-4044, summer reading program starts on Tuesday, June 25. Other summer activities will include Fourth of July lantern crafts, beading, a tween Lego club, concerts on the lawn, an escape room, and a guiding eye dogs meet and greet.

Londonderry: The Leach Library (276 Mammoth Road, Londonderry, 432-1127, summer reading program began June 1 and will continue until Saturday, Aug. 31. Children and teens can look forward to a summer of learning to draw comics, crafts, a DIY spa day, movie matinees, a cupcake decorating contest, a potluck dinner and more.

Loudon: The Maxfield Public Library (8 Route 129, Loudon, 798-5153, will kick off its summer reading program on Saturday, June 29, with a magic show by Jason Purdy ( The Library will also have Music and Movement classes, a Lego club, “crafternoons,” summer storytimes, and an Evil Genius club.

Manchester: The Manchester City Library (405 Pine St., Manchester, 624-6560, summer reading program began Monday, June 17. Other kids’ and teen events this summer include a gaming miniature painting class, a Black history walking tour and more.

Merrimack: The Merrimack Public Library’s (470 DW Highway, Merrimack, 424-5021, summer reading program begins Wednesday, June 26. Other summer events will include a baby and toddler summer kickoff, free concerts, storytimes, a Pokemon club, a summer Bluey party, Life-Size Monopoly, a Pokemon scavenger hunt, a shark party and more.

Milford: The Wadleigh Memorial Library (49 Nashua St., Milford, 249-0645, summer reading program began Friday, June 14. Children and teens can look forward to a teen murder mystery event, a scratch-off map making class, Big Truck Day, a giant paper airplane-making workshop, a Lego contest, a cryptozoology workshop, a police dog demonstration and much more.

Mason: The Mason Public Library (16 Darling Hill Road, Mason, 878-3867, will host Nature Adventure activities through July, including “Take a Tromp Through the Swamp,” star-gazing, recycled sounds, Smokey Bear’s birthday, and Claudia and Snoopy the Bunny.

Mont Vernon: The Daland Memorial Library (5 N. Main St., Mont Vernon, 673-7888, began its summer reading program Tuesday, June 18, and it will run through Sunday, Aug. 4. Contact the Library’s staff for information about children’s activities this summer.

Nashua: Nashua Public Library (2 Court St., Nashua, 589-4600, begins its summer reading program Thursday, June 20. The library will hold many activities for children, tweens and teens over the summer, including sunprinting, topography and map-making, classic movie matinees, ukulele classes, a Taylor Swift party, culinary explorations, board game sessions, crystal mining and more.

New Boston: The Whipple Free Library (67 Mont Vernon Road, New Boston, 487-3391, summer program began this past Monday, June 17. Summer activities for children and teens include a Teen Survivor Fun Night, a teen open mic night, movie matinees, a teen field trip to Canobie Lake Park, and karate for kids.

Pelham: The Pelham Public Library (24 Village Green, Pelham, 635-7581, will start its summer reading program on Wednesday, June 26, with a free concert and free ice cream. Other events include reading to a dog, storytimes, rocket ship crafting, candy bingo, treasure chests for kids and tweens, a magic show from Magic Fred the Magician (, and sand castle painting.

Pembroke: The Pembroke Town Library (313 Pembroke St., Pembroke, 485-7851, kicks off its summer reading program Wednesday, June 26, with ice cream and live entertainment with Miss Julianne ( Other summer events include movie matinees, a STEAM club and family storytimes.

Plaistow: The Plaistow Public Library (85 Main St., Plaistow, 382-6011, began its summer reading program last Thursday, June 13. Other summer activities for children and teens include free movies, friendship bracelet-making, Dungeons & Dragons, hiking, yarn crafting, a production of Treasure Island, a puppet show and storytimes.

Raymond: The Dudley-Tucker Library (6 Epping St., Raymond, 895-7057, will kick off its summer reading program Monday, June 24, on the Town Common with live music by Steve Blunt ( Other summer children’s events will include a Lego club, an origami class, storytimes, popcorn tastings and teen/tween game nights.

Salem: The Kelley Library (234 Main St., Salem, 898-7064, began its summer reading program on Monday, June 17. Ask the Library’s staff for information about summer events for children and teens.

Tilton: The Hall Memorial Library (18 Park St., Northfield, 286-8971, summer reading program starts Monday, June 24. Ask the Library’s staff for information about summer events for children and teens.

Warner: The Pillsbury Free Library (18 E. Main St., Warner, 456-2289, will begin its summer reading program Tuesday, July 9. Ask the Library’s staff for information about summer events for children and teens.

Wilton: The Wilton Public Library (7 Forest Road, Wilton, 654-2581, summer reading program began Sunday, June 16. Ask the Library’s staff for more information about summer events for children and teens.

Windham: The Nesmith Library (8 Fellows Road, Windham, 432-7154, will begin its summer reading program Monday, June 24. Summer activities for kids and teens will include a comic workshop with Marek Bennett, chalk drawing, scavenger hunts, storytimes, Legos, craft and yoga nights for teens, a boba workshop, wildlife encounters and tween escape rooms.

Lager love

The enduring appeal of a light, effervescent brew

By Zachary Lewis

Aaron Share, brewer and co-founder of To Share Brewing Co. in Manchester, is excited about all things lager.

He always hears “that the tide is shifting back to lager every year. I hope this is the year. I prefer drinking lagers over IPAs,” Share said.

Lagers are “the most popular beer style in the world,” according to a June 6, 2023, article at Wine Enthusiast, which cites the beers from Budweiser, Coors Light, Corona and Michelob Ultra as examples of lagers.

“Lagers are actually relatively new” in the timeline of beer and emerged “in like the last five, six hundred years. What makes lagers unique is, one, that it’s a different type of yeast strain,” Share said. Ales have a different yeast strain and contain many variations. Also, ales are brewed at a much higher temperature.

“Lager strains prefer colder temperatures, so [they’re] a little bit more finicky…. With lagers you’re typically fermenting in the high 40s to mid 50 degrees [Fahrenheit]; if they’re not fermented in that range you’re going to get some unpleasant aromas and flavors from that beer,” Share said.

Lagers are all about being stored.

“Lagering is the German word for storage, so they cold-store this beer, and originally it was done in caves where they could keep cooler, constant temperatures,” he said.

Another brewing difference is that “ales will ferment at the top of one of our vessels … while lagers, they ferment at the bottom.” The two need different amounts of time to produce.

“An ale, for instance, I could get one of our IPAs out, between the time I brew it to the time we package it, somewhere between 14 and 21 days. … I’ve got two lagers over here going, these will be in the tank for, after fermentation is completed this will probably be in the tank for another four weeks. I haven’t even started lagering it yet,” Share said.

Basically, lagers take a lot longer to brew but are well worth the wait.
“You’re looking at anywhere from four to eight weeks on a typical lager. If you’re talking about your Octoberfest beers that come out, most folks start to brew those in spring and they let them lager … until Octoberfest,” Share said.

To Share has four lagers on tap at the moment. They have an American Light Lager. “Ruth, that’s our hoppy lager, our Pink Boots beer,” which is a beer brewed by the women at To Share. They also have a German spring lager and a Mexican-style lager.

Mexican lagers typically have an adjunct like corn, or flecked maize added, and the same can be said for the American lager, although those could also have rice as an added adjunct. The German and more international style lagers are typically just with malted barley. Other ingredients include hops, water and yeast.

The Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP, outlines the specifics of each type of lager. Lagers all typically run the range of 4.5 to 5 percent ABV.

Nicole Carrier, co-founder and President of Throwback Brewery in North Hampton, is another fan of lagers, although she wasn’t always.

Annette Lee, the other co-founder and Head Brewer of Throwback, helped Carrier find joy in lagers.

“At the time, I was just a dark beer drinker,” Carrier said. “I said to Annette, ‘If you can make a lager I like, I think we’re going to be successful.’”

That lager was one of the first beers Lee designed. It was named ‘Love me For a Long Time’ and was a Bohemian-style Pilsner with an ABV of 4.8 percent.

cans of beer beside glass of light beer on wooden table on outside patio sunny day
Cabra Dorada. Photo courtesy of Throwback Brewery.

“I love it,” Carrier said. “This is so good and I quickly became a convert. Once you get a really nice craft lager, for me, it’s hard to go back.”

Lagers could be considered a sort of tabula rasa.

“As a foodie I feel like it’s really easy to pair a lager with a lot of different foods. It’s almost like a blank slate…,” Carrier said. “It helps cleanse the palate, and the other thing is that they’re just ridiculously refreshing.”

Throwback has four lagers on tap at the moment. A standout is a Mexican-style lager called Cabra Dorada.

“It’s super approachable, especially for those who are just getting into craft and may not like the bitter, more hoppier, more traditional Pilsner,” Carrier said. “It puts a smile on my face every time I have a pint of it.”

Even among lagers there are large enough variations to never get bored.

“Lagers can really be a good entry point…. We’ve had a ton of success opening up people’s minds to a whole different style of beer,” she said.

Henry Vance, the owner and man in charge of brewing operations at The Czar’s Brewery (2 Center St. in Exeter and 10 Pierce St. in Dover), spoke highly of his team who expertly craft his recipes, which include both ales and lagers. They have about five different lagers they rotate.

“We have some lagering tanks in Dover that we use that allow us precise temperature control,” Vance said. “It allows us to cold-age our lagers, allows them to develop the full lager flavor profile.” It’s a patience game.

The result is a more relaxed drink.

“Lagers are typically softer. It depends. Modern IPAs are all hop-forward beers for the most part and lagers are just more nuanced, more subtle. It’s really a question of taste preference. Modern IPA drinkers, for the most part, enjoy the hops profile and lager drinkers enjoy the nuances of lager. They’re softer,” Vance said.

As Share and Carrier had noted, there is more than one kind of lager.

“There are definitely a segment of craft beer drinkers that are looking for Old World lagers and there’s a segment that are looking for modern interpretations of those Old World lagers,” Vance said.

What types can one expect at the Czar’s Brewery?

“We do a Bohemian Pilsner which uses Noble Hops and is somewhat traditional but it probably is a little bit more hop-forward than a European brewer would make. … We do a honey lager where we add some local New Hampshire honey to it — that’s going to change the profile,” Vance said.

Lagers are pretty cool, especially in a hot summer.

“The popularity of lagers has come back some. The category is definitely growing,” Vance said.

Mike Neel, Head Brewer at Candia Road Brewing Co. in Manchester, is all in on a lager revolution.

“I do love how complex and a little bit more process-driven it is to make. They are a lot more fun to make than ‘turnin’-and-burnin’’ just a regular IPA, which we do still make plenty of,” Neel said.

Neel has a bunch of horizontal tanks at Candia Road. They have three lagers on tap.

“Technically, you don’t really need different equipment” for lagers, Neel said. Breweries that don’t have these types of tanks still make some tasty lagers.

“Horizontal is the preferred method for conditioning,” he said, because “there’s a lot less strain on the bottom of the yeast bed.” Imagine choosing between holding 50 pounds of books on top of your head while you’re standing or having the 50 pounds of books distributed evenly across your back while you’re lying on your stomach.

“It could have a dynamic impact on what you’re trying to get as an overall outcome,” Neel said.

Lager is not new.

“It’s been the preferred beer style in the world for the last, what, 700 years? And that’s not really changing. It seems like the IPA fad is dominating the beer market right now, which it is in our area, but globally it’s always been lager and will always be lager,” Neel said.

All of Candia Road’s lagers are poured from side-pull wicker faucets made in the Czech Republic. These faucets have a tiny screen inside the nozzle that helps impart air into the beer, resulting in a creamier drink. Neel took a three-day course in Plzeň in the Czech Republic from Lutkr, the manufacturer of the faucet, to get ‘tapster’ certified.

“The Czechs believe that the brewmaster makes the beer but the tapster actually presents and rounds it out — the tapsters are just as important,” Neel said.

cans of beer illustrated with dinosaur playing maracas beside tall glass of beer with foam on top, in front of stacks of beer cans out of focus in background
Tiny Maracas. Photo courtesy To Share Brewing Co.

Craft brewers in the Granite State are passionate about their profession and often view brewing beer is art. “It’s trying to make the most complex liquid out of the simplest of ingredients…. It’s no thrills but still thrilling at the same time,” Neel said.

Paul St. Onge is Brewmaster at Backyard Brewery in Manchester and also welcomes the wave of lager love.

“We make a lot of different beer here, but we’ve definitely noticed lager is on the rise, so to speak, in terms of consumption and interest,” St. Onge said.

St. Onge has a hunch that someone might choose a lager over an IPA because IPA’s can be “super aggressive [with] bold flavors and I do believe that palate washout is a thing.”

It’s all about preference. Some drinkers are just “looking for something a little more approachable and drinkable and refreshing,” he said. “That’s sort of what I would think is happening, I know that’s how it gets for me.”

In terms of brewing, lagers claim a distinct feat.

“Because the flavors are more subtle and balanced, there’s really nowhere to hide imperfections or flaws in the beer, so you really have to keep a sharp eye and thumb on the pulse to create a good lager. I’m not saying that making IPA is easy, it’s just that making good lager is a challenge…. Really small changes to a recipe can make pretty large drinkability differences,” St. Onge said.

Backyard “usually [has] at least two, most of the time three, lagers on tap at all times. One of our flagships is Lawnmower, which is a Munich-style Helles Lager…. We make a broad spectrum of lagers ourselves…. It’s kind of been a passion project of mine to develop a lager program here,” St. Onge said.

Lots of lagers

Generally, malts and water are very important to lagers, and most lagers have ABVs around 5% or lower, are lighter in color and have a high drinkability quality. Dan Ward, Store Manager of Greg and Jane’s in Epping (63 Main St.), provided the Hippo with the nuances of different styles of lagers.

American lager: Anything that is usually lighter-bodied with American malts, middle range in color, possibly caramel, excluding Boston lager, which is typically darker, more on the malty side. Super drinkable, almost “crushable.” A beer for when “it’s a nice day outside, doing yard work, drinking beer throughout the day,” Ward said. Crisp and refreshing.

Czech-style lager: Originated from the Czech Republic. These lagers are almost exclusively very light, but there are exceptions. They are typically yellow in color, and you should be able to see through them. This is a light, sipping-type beer but more complex with different flavor profiles from American lagers, because of the hops and mineral content in their water. A lager but more complex.

Festbier: More Americanized than Marzen, lighter than Marzen, this has more of a pale ale quality. Similar crushable quality to American lager.

Helles: Paler, popular German style of lager. No different than a typical lager except the body has more of a floral quality. Helles means “pale” or “light” in German. Almost a pale ale but not quite.

India pale lager: Hybrid of lager and IPA. Tastes like an IPA but is usually going to be a little bit darker than a lager. A hoppy lager.

Märzen: Darker than a festbier and looks more like a Boston lager. A more rich and fuller-bodied beverage, caramel in texture and taste, resulting in slightly sweet back notes with a roasted quality. More flavor and aroma than a festbier.

Mexican lager: Think lime or sea salts. Tastes like a Corona that doesn’t need a lime. Pale and typically see-through with a lighter body and lower alcohol. Typically less than 5% alcohol, crushable but better paired with food and also refreshing.

New England lager: Most likely hazy in color and hoppier than a typical lager.

Pilsner: This is a blank canvas of a beer, with tons of different offshoots possible. It’s versatile and dependent on ingredients. Bud Light is technically a Pilsner. Pilsners are light, crisp, clean and clear. No bells or whistles and has typically less than 5% ABV; if alcohol content is higher it is typically labeled as an ‘Imperial.’

Vienna lager: As with the Helles or Czech Pilsner, the style is region-specific but, like with all the other imports, can be mimicked. The Vienna lager can range from light brown to pale in color. A tad maltier, typically, and pairs well with grilled veggies, meat and cheese.

Where to enjoy LOCAL lagers

Here’s some local craft breweries in that offer their own lagers, Check out their tap lists for the most up-to-date availability of each brew. Know of one not mentioned? Let us know at

603 Brewery & Beer Hall
42 Main St., Londonderry, 404-6123,
Try this brew: The Range Hoppy Lager, an American-style lager, 5.2% ABV (Alcohol By Volume). One of four lagers on tap, it is described as “clean, crushable, and just enough hoppy flavor to put a smile on your face without wrecking your palate. Blazing yellow in color with a pillowy white head, bursting with notes of grapefruit zest, lemon peel, guava, and a kiss of New Hampshire pine.”

Able Ebenezer Brewing Co.
31 Columbia Circle, Merrimack, 844-223-2253,
Try this brew: Revuelta, a Mexican-style lager, 4.8% ABV. One of two available lagers, it is described as “a traditional Mexican yeast and grain bill (flaked maize) combined with New Zealand hops that give it a hint of fresh lime zest flavor.”

Backyard Brewery & Kitchen
1211 S. Mammoth Road, Manchester, 623-3545,
Try this brew: Junior Service Lager, an American-style lager. One of two lagers on tap, it is described as “crisp and well balanced … approachable.”

Candia Road Brewing Co.
840 Candia Road, Manchester, 935-8123,
Try this brew: Dark Lager, a dark lager, 6% ABV. It is described as “a dark lager. Real dark.”

Canterbury Aleworks
305 Baptist Hill Road, Canterbury, 491-4539,
Try this brew: Gemütlichkeit, a Munich-style Helles lager, 5% ABV. Its flavor is described as “a sublime, sweet malty ‘je ne sais quoi.’”

Concord Craft Brewing Co.
117 Storrs St., Concord, 856-7625,
Try this brew: Logger Lager, a maple Marzen, described as “a full-bodied amber-colored marzen style lager that spent the dark days of winter in the cool fermenter. The generous malt blend finishes smooth and crisp with a touch of New Hampshire maple syrup.”

can of beer beside short glass of beer with foam layer, on wooden railing outside
Backyard Birds Smoked Lager. Photo courtesy of Feathered Friends Brewing Co.

The Czar’s Brewery
2 Center St., Exeter, 583-5539; 10 Pierce Street in Dover, 842-4062;
Try this brew: Vienna Wait…, a Vienna-style lager, 4.6% ABV.

Daydreaming Brewing Co.
1½ E. Broadway, Derry, 965-3454,
Try this brew: Chissà (kee sah – “Who knows?” in Italian), an Italian-style lagered Pilsner, 4.8% ABV. It is one of two lagers Daydreaming will have this summer and is described as having “a biscuity malt with a hint of orange and crisp, dry finish.”

Earth Eagle Brewings
165 High St., Portsmouth, 502-2244,
Try this brew: Piscataqua American-style lager, 4.2% ABV.

Feathered Friend Brewing Co.
231 S. Main St., Concord, 715-2347,
Try this brew: Backyard Birds smoked lager, 5.3% ABV. One of three lagers available, it is described as “a nice light lager with smoked malts.”

The Flying Goose Brew Pub & Grille
40 Andover Road, New London, 526-6899,
Try this brew: Simulacrum Rauchbier, a Helles-style lager, 5.7% ABV. One of five lagers on tap, it is described as “a pale lager brewed with a touch of German applewood smoked barley and ‘noble’ hops.”

Great North Aleworks
1050 Holt Ave., No. 14, Manchester, 858-5789,
Try this brew: Marzen Rover, a Marzen-style lager, 5.2% ABV, described as “lightly hopped with a blend of malts creating a bready, honey-like flavor.”

Great Rhythm Brewing
105 Bartlett St., Portsmouth, 430-9640,
Try this brew: Great Life, an American-style lager, 4.6% ABV. One of two lagers available this summer, it is described as a,”golden, full-flavored premium lager with a clean, crisp finish.”

Henniker Brewing Co.
129 Centervale Road, Henniker, 428-3579,
Try this brew: Squint pale lager, 5.1% ABV. One of five seasonal lagers, it is described as “an easy drinking brew that goes great with sunny days, peanuts and crackerjacks.”

Kelsen Brewing Co.
80 N. High St., No. 3, Derry, 965-3708,
Try this brew: Spacetown, a light lager, 4.8% ABV. One of four lagers available, it is described as “full-flavored and highly drinkable. The bright citrus flavors from the hops and bready flavors from the grains lead to a well-rounded, crisp finish.”

Kettlehead Brewing Co.
407 W. Main St., Tilton, 286-8100,
Try this brew: Whey Loco Mexican-style lager, 5.5%. One of three lagers on tap, it is described as a “light & crisp Mexican corn lager that features hints of lime with a smooth and refreshing character.”

Liar’s Bench Beer Co.
159 Islington St., No. 4, Portsmouth, 294-9156,
Try this brew: Slurp’s Up beach-style lager, 4.8% ABV, one of five lagers on tap.

Liquid Therapy
14B Court St., Nashua, 402-9391,
Try this brew: Cali Love steam lager, 4.9% ABV, described as “an ode to Anchor Steam. Bready malt meets lager. Totally crushable all year long.”

Lithermans Limited Brewery
126B Hall St., Concord, 219-0784,
Try this brew: Forty Days, a Czech-style lager described as “light in body, slightly roasted malt flavor, with an approachable alcohol content for a warm summer night.”

Loaded Question Brewing Co.
909 Islington St., Suite 12, Portsmouth, 852-1396,
Try this brew: Rustikal rustic-style lager, 5.1% ABV. One of two lagers on tap, it is described as a “golden-hued lager [that has] a crisp, clean taste with a smooth malt character and a subtle hoppy finish.”

Long Blue Cat Brewing Co.
298 Rockingham Road, Londonderry, 818-8068,
Try this brew: Granite State Lager, a German-style pale lager, 4.3% ABV.

Lost Cowboy Brewing Co.
546 Amherst St., Nashua, 600-6800,
Try this brew: Lost Cowboy, an American-style lager, 4.5% ABV. Available on tap in regular and light versions, it is described as “a gently hopped, beautifully balanced, delicate lager with high drinkability.”

Martha’s Exchange Restaurant & Brewery
185 Main St., Nashua, 883-8781,
Try this brew: Beyond the Stars, a German-style dark lager, 5.3%, described as having notes of “toasted malt, dark chocolate, caramel, and malted milk balls.”

Northwoods Brewing Co.
1334 First New Hampshire Turnpike, Northwood, 942-6400,
Try this brew: Kung Fu Crab, a Mexican-style lager, 5.3% ABV. This is one of three lagers on tap.

Odd Fellows Brewing Co.
124 Main St., Nashua, 521-8129,
Try this brew: Intrigue, a Vienna-style lager, 5.1%. This is the only lager on tap.

Oddball Brewing Co.
6 Glass St., Suncook, 210-5654,
Try this brew: Oddlite, a light American Lager, 5.0% ABV.

Ogie Brewing
12 South St., Milford, 249-5513, find them on Facebook @ogiebrewing
Try this brew: Friar’s Purse, a copper lager, 5.4% ABV. One of four lagers on tap this summer, it is described as a “light, crisp lager [with] fantastic copper color and malty hints of biscuit, nuts, & honey.”

Pipe Dream Brewing
49 Harvey Road, Londonderry, 404-0751,
Try this brew: IPL India pale lager, 5% ABV. One of two lagers on tap, it is described as having a “cold fermented lager base with a clean, hoppy presence. Crushable and tasty.”

Post & Beam Brewing
40 Grove St. in Peterborough, 784-5361,
Try this brew: Blackfire, a Schwarzbier dark lager, 4.6% ABV. One of three lagers on tap, it is described as “light-bodied and dry, with a touch of roasty bitterness.”

Rockingham Brewing Co.
1 Corporate Park Drive, No. 1, Derry, 216-2324,
Try this brew: Mulefoot, a lime and ginger lager, 5.5% ABV. This is one of two lagers on tap.

Sawbelly Brewing
156 Epping Road, Exeter, 583-5080,
Try this brew: Schwarzbelly, a Schwarzbier-style, medium-bodied lager, 4.7% ABV. One of two lagers on tap, it is described as “black in color with a toasty, chocolate nose and gentle noble hop bitterness.”

Smuttynose Brewing Co.
105 Towle Farm Road, Hampton, 436-4026,
Try this brew: Smuttynose Lager, a Helles-style lager, 4.7% ABV. One of three lagers on tap, it is described as having “a soft aroma with a balanced bite and floral character.”

Spyglass Brewing Co.
306 Innovative Way, Nashua, 546-2965,
Try this brew: Cubist, a Helles lager, 4.8% ABV. One of two lagers on tap, it is described as, “a traditional German Helles lager with floor-malted Pilsner malt, hopped with Saaz and Saphir hops.”

Throwback Brewery
7 Hobbs Road, North Hampton, 379-2317,
Try this brew: Cabra Dorada, a Mexican-style lager, 4.7% ABV. One of two lagers on tap, it is described as “a bright, crisp golden lager with a balanced bitterness of Citra hops and lime zest and a slight salinity to the dry finish.”

To Share Brewing Co.
720 Union St., Manchester, 836-6947,
Try this brew: Tiny Maracas, a Mexican-style lager, 5.5% ABV. This is one of three lagers on tap.

Twin Barns Brewing Co.
194 Daniel Webster Hwy., Meredith, 279-0876,
Try this brew: Pitou Pale Lager, a Vienna-style lager, 4.3% ABV.

Vulgar Brewing Co.
378 Central St., Franklin, 333-1439,
Try this brew: Down to Huck, a Helles-style lager, 5.2% ABV, described as “clean, crisp, and refreshing like a dip in the Winni. Soft & bready malt character with a touch of sweetness. Low bitterness, with slightly floral notes.”

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