Kiddie Pool 21/06/24

Family fun for the weekend

Mrs Smith’s Quality Crested Geckos at the New England Reptile Expo. Courtesy photo.

Slithering Sunday

Take the whole family to see creepy crawly creatures at the New England Reptile Expo on Sunday, June 27, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Manchester Downtown (700 Elm St.). There will be more than 180 vendor tables and more than 75 breeders with thousands of reptiles, amphibians, arachnids and more. Pre-purchased admission tickets are required, and some time slots were already full as of Tuesday, June 22. The cost is $10 for adults, $5 for kids ages 7 to 12 and free for kids under 6. Visit

Music, magic & motion

And the Kids Coop Theatre performs Bring It On: The Musical on Friday, June 25, and Saturday, June 26, at the Derry Opera House. Inspired by the movie, this musical is filled with cheering, plus the complexities of teens navigating friendship, jealousy, betrayal and forgiveness. All seats are $15 and seating will be assigned in advance to maximize social distancing. Masks will be required for all patrons, staff and performers. Purchase tickets on the events Facebook page or visit

And watch dancers live on stage as the Movement Box Dance Studio performs its recital “Movement in Motion” at the Capitol Center for the Arts (44 S. Main St., Concord) on Saturday, June 26, at 1 p.m. Tickets cost $30. Visit

Magician BJ Hickman performs a family-friendly magic show at the Palace Theatre in Manchester on Wednesday, June 30, and Thursday, July 1, at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. The show is part of the Children’s Summer Series. The next show in the series is Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, performed by professional actors, on Tuesday, July 6, Wednesday, July 7, and Thursday, July 8, at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. each day. Tickets for all shows are $10. Visit or call 668-5588.

Play ball!

The New Hampshire Fisher Cats are on the road this weekend, but the team will return to Northeast Delta Dental Stadium (1 Line Drive, Manchester) for a six-game homestand against the Portland Sea Dogs, beginning Tuesday, June 29 and through Sunday, July 4. All game start times are at 7:05 p.m., and promotions will include a Jonathan Davis bobblehead giveaway on July 1, meet-and-greets and autograph signings with local stars of the hit series North Woods Law before the game on July 2, and Atlas Fireworks shows each night from July 2 to July 4. Tickets start at $8 for a “pod” of two seats. Visit

All natural

Spend the day out in nature at Beaver Brook Association (117 Ridge Road, Hollis) which has more than 35 miles of maintained trails, open every day from dawn to dusk. The trails cut through diverse landscapes, including forests, fields and wetlands and are home to a variety of wildlife. Admission is free. A number of different trail maps and accompanying guidebooks with pictures for identifying wildlife are available on the website. Call 465-7787 or visit

The New Hampshire Audubon’s McLane Center (84 Silk Farm Road, Concord) is now open to visitors, featuring live animals and exhibits, including the Reptile Room and raptor mews, and a Nature Store. Admission is free. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The trails and gardens at both the McLane Center and the Massabesic Audubon Center (26 Audubon Way, Auburn) are open daily from dawn to dusk with no admission fee. Call 224-9909 or visit

Featured photo: BubbleMania! at the SEE Science Center. Courtesy photo.

Treasure Hunt 21/06/24

Dear Donna,

I have no idea what these are. They look like they were attached to something at one time. They are bronze and about 3 inches. Can you identify what they are? Thanks for your help and expertise.

Dear Judy,
Sometimes things can be difficult to appraise from just photos. I think they should be seen by an appraiser in person for an accurate value. But for now, let’s get you to work.

You’ll want to look for any unusual markings, signatures, etc. To determine whether they are bronze, they should be heavy and noticeably so. It could be a spelter metal (a mix of metals with a bronze finish), They should be solid, not hollow, as well. And you also need to figure out what they were attached to. Were they bookends? Were they screwed to the thing they were attached to or was there an epoxy of some sort?

Now that you know what you need to figure out, I can give you some information that may help. They have faces like foo dogs (common Asian figures). They are crude (which means not a lot of intricate detailing). I do think they could have been some kind of bookends. If they are bronze it would carry a higher value, and even more so if they are signed as well. I think, though, that you have just a piece and not the whole pie, so determining a value will be tough. But take them to someone to see and they should be able to answer all of those questions.

Treasure Hunt 21/06/17

Dear Donna,
I just acquired this antique toy game and was wondering if you could tell me anything about it. Personally I just enjoyed all the colors of the clowns. Was it a treasure at $5 for the set?
Brooke from Pelham

Dear Brooke,
I can see why you liked the game. The clowns are great!

Bill Ding has been around since the 1930s, made right here in the U.S. After doing some research, I found that the game consists of not just the clowns but rings and dowels as well. There also should be 15 clowns. The Bill Ding game has been called one of the best educational toys of its time, great for eye and hand coordination for children as well as adults.

I think you did find a piece of a treasure. Just balancing the colorful clowns without the full game would be fun and a challenge. And the colors are so fun even just for a decorative purpose. I would say the price for the clowns without the full game would be in the $20 range; a complete game is best for a higher value, with all parts and pieces and the original box all in good condition.

I hope you have fun with the clowns just as they are.

Kiddie Pool 21/06/17

Family fun for the weekend

BubbleMania! at the SEE Science Center. Courtesy photo.

Sky-high fun

The Aviation Museum of New Hampshire will host its Summer Fly-In BBQ on Saturday, June 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Nashua’s Boire Field (Jet Aviation Hangar, 83 Perimeter Road, Nashua). The family event will feature vintage planes, classic cars and a barbecue buffet at noon. The meal includes salad, pasta, barbecued chicken, pulled pork, baked beans, desserts and drinks. The event will also include the museum’s “Rob Holland Experience,” a virtual reality exhibit that gives non-pilots a chance to fly with Nashua-based world aerobatics champion Rob Holland. Tickets cost $30 for adults, $10 for kids ages 6 and up, and free for kids age 5 and under. Tickets to visit the aircraft ramp only (not including the barbecue) are $10 per person.

Call 669-4820 or visit

Bubble science

SEE Science Center (200 Bedford St., Manchester) celebrates its kickoff to summer with “BubbleMania,” a science and comedy show by bubble artist and performer Casey Carle, daily from Monday, June 21, through Friday, June 25. There will also be raffles and free make-and-take activities for kids. Showtimes are at 11 a.m., noon and 3 p.m. Tickets cost $5 plus admission, which is $9. Starting that week, SEE will be open seven days a week throughout the summer. Call 669-0400 or visit

Safety first

Girls and their families are invited to Be Safe, Be Healthy, hosted by the Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains, on Saturday, June 19, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 1 Commerce Drive in Bedford. Girls don’t need to be Girl Scouts to attend, and all ages are welcome to the event, which will include activities that teach things like stranger danger, first aid, fire safety, self-defense, healthy eating and more. Girl Scouts may earn badges, a pin or a patch. The American Red Cross will be there, along with the New Hampshire State Fire Marshal with a fire command trailer, Manchester Karate with self-defense demos, Nutrition in Motion, D.A.R.E. and Tick Free NH. Registration is encouraged at, but walk-ups are welcome. The cost is $9 for a girl and her family. Call 888-474-9686 or email with questions.

Old-time activities

The New Hampshire Farm Museum (1305 White Mountain Hwy., Milton) hosts Children’s Day Saturday, June 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Kids can get their pictures taken with the farm’s animals and play games like horseshoes and skillet toss. There will also be stories, music, popcorn, a scavenger hunt and more. Bring a picnic or purchase lunch there. Museum admission is $10 for adults, $7.50 for seniors over 64, $5 for kids and teens ages 4 and up, and free for kids under 4 and for members and active military service men and women. Visit

Travel back to a simpler time at Canterbury Shaker Village (288 Shaker Road, Canterbury), a restored Shaker village and history museum with historic buildings, interactive exhibits and activities, educational programs and more. The Village grounds and trails are open every day from dawn to dusk with no admission fee. Guided tours are now being offered Tuesday through Sunday, with outdoor general tours at 11 a.m., indoor general tours at 1 p.m., and indoor themed tours at 3 p.m. Tickets cost $20 for general tours and $25 for themed tours and are free for visitors age 25 and under. Purchasing tickets in advance is encouraged, but walk-ins will be permitted based on availability. Call 783-9511 or visit

Music to your ears

The Palace Teen Apprentice Co., which features student actors ages 12 to 18, will perform Xanadu Jr., a disco-centric musical, at the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., Manchester) on Thursday, June 17, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $12 for children and $15 for adults. Call the Palace for tickets at 668-5588.

Children’s musicians Miss Julieann & Mr. Joey will perform a free concert at Abbie Griffin Park (6 Baboosic Lake Road, Merrimack) on Wednesday, June 23, at 6 p.m. Visit

Featured photo: BubbleMania! at the SEE Science Center. Courtesy photo.

Treasure Hunt 21/06/10

Dear Donna,

I hope you can help me out. Perhaps 25 years ago, when my aunt died, her daughter told my mom she could choose something from my aunt’s home. My mom chose this piece, which she had long admired. She thought it was beautiful but I have never liked it a bit. Still, though my mom died a dozen years ago I have kept it as she thought it was valuable. Please tell me otherwise so I can finally give it to somebody, anybody, without feeling guilty.
Harvey from Manchester

Dear Harvey,
First let’s say there shouldn’t be any guilt if you find this piece a new home with someone who will cherish it again. What you have is a piece of flashed ruby glass. Most likely it had two other smaller candle holders, one on either side of the center bowl. It was meant to be placed on a mantel or in the middle of a table.

Flashed glass was very popular during the late 1880s and early 1900s. It was done by a specific method that applied a film-like covering over a clear glass (this is a very simplified explanation). The design was then etched to appear through the ruby or cranberry coloring to expose the clear glass. It looks beautiful but most didn’t hold up well in time. Scratching was an issue.

The deer design was a common one and very eye-pleasing. Now with that all taken into account, the value of a piece like yours would be in the $85 range to a new buyer. It’s a tougher market these days because it’s harder to fit into a modern decor. Still a beautiful piece, but it may be tough to sell. I hope you do find a new admirer for it.

Kiddie Pool 21/06/10

Family fun for the weekend

Monster summer fun

Start working on your best monster cartoon! Studio 550 Art Center in Manchester is encouraging kids of all ages to stay creative this summer by hosting a Summer Monster Cartoon Contest. Design a monster, give it a name and tell a story about it with words and images. According to a press release, the contest is open to all ages, but submissions will be divided into appropriate age groups. Judges will be looking for creativity, attention to detail and a good storyline. The deadline for submissions is 8 p.m. on the day of the annual summer Monster Hunt, Aug. 21. For submission details, visit or call 232-5597. According to the release, first-place winners will receive a Clay Workshop for two, second place will get a Take & Make home art kit, and third place will receive complimentary table fees for a Paint-your-Own-Handmade Pottery visit for two. Double Midnight Comics and the Manchester Historic Association will also be offering prizes.

Wheels up

Check out vintage cars at the Manchester Firing Line (2540 Brown Ave., on Monday, June 14, from 5 to 8 p.m. The car show is free and will take place each Monday through Labor Day. You can bring your own vintage car or just come to check out the cars on display.

Roller skating returns from now through July 30 at the Douglas N. Everett Arena (15 Loudon Road, Concord, 228-2784, Skating hours are Tuesday through Friday from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Admission is $5 and skate rentals are available for $5 at the Pro Shop.

Kids in the kitchen

The Culinary Playground (16 Manning St., Derry) has several upcoming cooking classes for kids. Teams of one adult and one child age 6 or up can make homemade pasta for cheese ravioli together on Sunday, June 13, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. The cost is $50 per team. On Saturday, June 19, kids can bake a glazed blueberry lemon coffee cake (10 a.m. to noon for ages 6 to 10, and 1 to 3 p.m. for kids over 10), and on Sunday there’s a class for making cinnamon rolls as a special Father’s Day treat. Visit for a full schedule and prices.

Featured photo:

Treasure Hunt 21/06/03

Dear Donna,
Can you give me any information on this metal piece? I thought it was interesting and decorative. My husband believes it’s old. Can you tell me anything?
Tina from Merrimack

Dear Tina,
Let’s start off by saying there are definitely lots and lots of reproductions out there, mostly for decorative purposes. When something is reproduced it can be hard to tell. Some things to look for are multiples. If you see them around in shops, flea markets, etc., you can be sure they are mass produced. Also, sometimes when the original was iron, the reproductions would be tin, for example. Where you got it could be telling.

I would suggest having someone look at it. From the photos, I think you found a real outdoor fountain sign. If so, I’d say it’s in the $100+ range. It could have fallen off or been removed and ended up in the secondary market. You were right in saying it’s a decorative piece and a treasure too.

Kiddie Pool 21/06/03

Family fun for the weekend

Goffstown Main Street’s Old Home Weekend. Courtesy photo.

Town celebration

Goffstown Main Street is hosting the town’s Old Home Weekend on Saturday, June 5, and Sunday, June 6, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day, in Goffstown Village, featuring games, food, a kids’ fishing derby, a charity auction and more. The fishing derby is for ages 12 and under and will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, with results announced Sunday at 2 p.m. The cost for the derby is $5. General admission to the downtown activities is free, with food and games priced per vendor. Visit

Cast a line

Take the kids fishing on Saturday, June 5, during New Hampshire Fish and Game’s Free Fishing Day. State residents and nonresidents are allowed to fish any inland water or saltwater in New Hampshire without a fishing license that day, which makes it a good opportunity for families to try the sport. If you get “hooked,” adults can get a license online, and youth under 16 can fish without a license. Visit

Just dance

Dance lovers can watch a livestream of Concord Dance Academy’s annual recital on Saturday, June 5, at 1 p.m. The event is being hosted by The Capitol Center for the Arts. Tickets cost $20. Visit

Find summer fun

The Upper Room in Derry (437-8477, is offering a workshop for parents to help them find fun things to do all summer long. The family resource center will host “Things to Do, Places to Go” on Wednesday, June 9, at 6 p.m. online at, free of charge. You’ll hear about low-cost, local ideas to keep the kids entertained this summer, including visiting the state’s many parks, trails, lakes and rivers.

Featured photo: Goffstown Main Street’s Old Home Weekend. Courtesy photo.

Treasure Hunt 21/05/27

Dear Donna,

I have accumulated several hundred marbles. I display them in jars but think it’s time to move them on. I haven’t purchased them in ages, so I’m wondering what the value might be today. Most are like the ones in the photos, with a few of what I call “fancy” ones.

Dear Dan,
Marbles were and are a very common collection to have. They bring such fond memories and are decorative (in jars like you have them).

Because there were so many machine-made marbles, most are very common and can be found in jars (canning size). You can pick them up at antique shops, flea markets, etc., most for around $15 to $30 a jar.

If you have been collecting for a while and haven’t had them seen by someone, my suggestion is to either have someone look at them or get a marble reference price guide. It’s important to just make sure some are not more rare, because then the values can rise up quickly. This isn’t tough to do when there are so many places to get the information today and great photos as well.

Let’s just say they are all common aside from what you think are fancy ones. You still have a treasure that should be easy to find a new home for.

Kiddie Pool 21/05/27

Family fun for the weekend

Photo courtesy of the New Hampshire Farm Museum.

A day at the farm

The New Hampshire Farm Museum (1305 White Mountain Hwy., Milton) is opening for the season on Saturday, May 29, and to celebrate, it’s hosting Dairy Day, where kids can learn how to make butter, ice cream and cheese, play farm games, go on a tractor-drawn ride and participate in a barn scavenger hunt with prizes. You are welcome to bring a picnic or buy lunch at the museum. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. until Aug. 31. Admission is $10 for adults, $7.50 for seniors over 65, $5 for kids and teens ages 4 and up, and free for children under 4, museum members and active military service members. The special events for Dairy Day are included with the cost of admission. Visit

Fun with the Peanuts gang

The Derry Opera House (29 W. Broadway, Derry) is reopening this weekend with You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, performed by the Kids Coop Theatre, on Friday, May 28, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, May 29, at 1 and 7 p.m. The Peanuts gang plays baseball, struggles with homework, sings songs and celebrates friendship in this show, based on the “Peanuts” comic strip by Charles M. Schulz. Tickets cost $15 and are available on a first come, first served basis. Visit or find the event on Facebook to reserve your tickets.

Ocean celebration

Join Seacoast Science Center (570 Ocean Blvd., Rye) for eight days of fun activities and events created to celebrate World Ocean Day, which is Tuesday, June 8. From Tuesday, June 1, through Tuesday, June 8, take part in a variety of virtual and in-person events, including beach cleanup days, educational programs about marine life, a recycled arts contest, a virtual 5K run, tide pool explorations, trivia challenges and more. The events kick off with a beach cleanup from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; you can download a DIY Cleanup toolkit at, then head to Creek Farm in Portsmouth at 4 p.m. to see the results of the cleanup. Visit for the full schedule and to register for events.

Featured photo: Photo courtesy of the New Hampshire Farm Museum.

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