Kiddie Pool 24/05/23

Family fun for whenever

Outdoors is open

Want to celebrate unofficial summer by the water? Here are some state parks offering lake or ocean side fun. Day use fees for most state parks: adults, or those 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 their website.

Odiorne Point 570 Ocean Blvd., Rye, 436-7406. When park is unstaffed during the season, please deposit payment in Iron Ranger (self-serve paystation) or Seacoast Science Center main desk, according to their website. 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, according to their website.

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) opens on Saturday, May 25, 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 their 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.

Kiddie Pool 24/05/16

Family fun for whenever

Kids love trucks

• Liberty House will host a Touch-A-Truck event on Saturday, May 18, at 100 William Loeb Drive in Manchester from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to raise funds for veterans struggling with PTSD, housing instability and other concerns, according to the press release. Participants can explore a wide array of vehicles that includes fire trucks, race cars, BearCats, school buses and propane bobtail trucks, and there will be other activities suitable for children, such as face painting, lots of games, and a family-friendly scavenger hunt. Participants also have the opportunity to win a ride to school in a fire truck from the Manchester Fire Department or even a Kawasaki Electrode Motorbike, among other prizes, according to the press release. There will be a Ben & Jerry’s food truck, and Fungo from the New Hampshire Fisher Cats will make an appearance at the event, where all proceeds will benefit Liberty House, which provides a substance-free residential program and community pantry, helping veterans regain their independence and build stable futures, according to the same release. Admission is $5 per person or $20 for a family. Children under 2 are free. Registration is on-site. Visit

Kids love a parade

Bedford’s Memorial Day Hometown Parade will travel from the Bedford High School down County Road to Liberty Hill Road at 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 19.

On stage

Stuart Little will be presented by The Majestic Academy of Dramatic Arts and will run on Friday, May 17, at 7 p.m., Saturday, May 18, at 2 and 7 p.m., and Sunday, May 19, at 2 p.m. at the Majestic Theatre (880 Page St. in Manchester).The play is based on the book by E.B. White and is described as an endearing classic about a mouse named Stuart Little who is born into an ordinary New York family. The cast plays many human and animal roles in a series of delightful scenes that make up the marvelous maneuverings of a mild-mannered mouse trying to survive in a “real people’s world,” according to the website. Tickets are $10 and $15. Visit or call 669-7469.

• For the Tay-Tay fans of all ages, catch Shake It Off! A (Taylor’s Version) Tribute featuring the Swiftie Tribute Band at the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St. in Manchester;, 668-5588) on Friday, May 17, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 18, at 2 & 730 p.m. Tickets cost $35 and $40.

• Catch the final weekend of the Teen Mainstage production of Godspellat the Peacock Players (Janice B. Street Theatre, 14 Court St. in Nashua; The musical will be on stage Friday, May 17, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, May 18, and Sunday, May 19, at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $12 to $18.

• Learn while you watch the adventures of Ada Twist Scientist and Friends, based on the books and spotlighting STEM curriculum, atStockbridge Theatre (5 Pinkerton St. in Derry; on Tuesday, May 21, at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. Tickets cost $12.

Sharing the knowledge

Education and fellowship at Iron Rose Women’s Shooting Club

By Zachary Lewis

TerryAnn Bowen is the only female owner of a public and indoor gun range in New Hampshire. She has made it her mission to create a space for any woman to learn about firearm education, which is why she started the Iron Rose Women’s Shooting Club.

The Iron Rose moniker was a nickname given to TerryAnn by her employees. She has co-owned Manchester Firing Line (2540 Brown Ave. in Manchester) for the last eight years with her husband, Jake, a former Marine.

“They were saying that I’m kind but I’m not weak,” Bowen said. “My guns have that [Iron Rose] engraved in it, those words engraved in it.”

Knowledge about firearms is crucial to Bowen and she wants to share her knowledge with any woman willing to learn.

“Education about firearms is for everyone,” she said. “If you are remotely curious about firearms in any way, not to own one, but just to know they’re out there in the world. Women are afraid. They’re afraid for themselves, they’re afraid for their children, they’re afraid for their families…. Education is the answer. Whether or not you decide they’re for you, the important thing is to go find out what are they, what do they mean and what do they mean to you. … Maybe the Club is not for you, but at least go to the seminar and get the information on what firearms are. … It’s not about selling guns, it’s about women finding out what firearms are for,” Bowen said.

She did not always feel this way about firearms.

“I grew up with no guns, like guns were bad … to me, guns were danger.” Bowen said. “I needed education.” TerryAnn and her husband helped each other to gain an understanding on a potentially volatile topic within a couple and were able to see where they both were coming from, and now they own a range together.

“It took me 15 years before I would even touch a gun,” Bowen said.

Iron Rose is structured into three sections. The first is the women’s seminar, which is free and occurs once a month.

“It’s my female perspective of owning a range and it’s the female experience of owning a gun. It’s what pertains to us as women and that’s for people who have never shot before,” she said. The first five seminars Bowen gave were all registered to full capacity in under an hour. There are no trips to the range during the seminar.

Club Nights are the next step. “The Club is being designed by women, for women, and it’s just been awesome. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell,” she said. The twice-monthly event costs $40 to register for. Bowen and her daughter-in-law have designed the itinerary. “It’s kind of like paint night, but with shooting,” Bowen said. “We decorated the shots that we made and made it look like a bouquet … shooting and crafts all at once.” Participants also receive a real iron rose each Club Night they attend. “If they keep coming they can potentially have a bouquet of roses in their home … tangible evidence of their growth in firearms and training.”

Course nights are once a month “for people who really are into shooting, if you want to get really good at it,” Bowen said. These nights are for women who have shot before. “Whether it’s for fun or whether it’s for self-defense, the course night is going to bring them to the next level.” Twice a year the course night will be open to women who have not shot before and will go over fundamentals. TerryAnn is the lead instructor for club nights and is the assistant instructor for course nights. The master instructor on course nights is a man, but there are female instructors, Bowen included.

Manchester Firing Line also holds charity events for breast cancer awareness, veterans, and even local schools, such as their Cruise Night, which is a car show every Monday, starting on Memorial Day, with the first event hosting the Manchester Mounted Police, Fisher Cats mascots, face painting by Miss Teen New England, and cool cars, all for a good cause.

“I’m trying to help people understand the things they don’t understand,” Bowen said. “I think it’s scary to ask when you’re so afraid of it and the only place you hear about it is on TV and you’re getting conflicting information.” Iron Rose Women’s Shooting Club is a venue to get real subject-matter knowledge. “You do what you want with the information, but let me show you how to get the right info. … If you’re intimidated, this is the place to come.”

Iron Rose Women’s Shooting Club
Where: Manchester Firing Line, 2540 Brown Ave., Manchester Info:
Women’s Seminar
Sunday, May 19, from 4 to 7 p.m., and Saturday, June 1, at 10 a.m. free
Club Night
Monday, May 20, from 6 to 8 p.m., $40
Course Night
Thursday, June 13, $100

Featured Photo: Courtesy photo.

Kiddie Pool 24/05/09

Family fun for whenever

Keep the comics coming

• The children get a comic convention of their own at Kids Con New England, which will take place Saturday, May 11, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Everett Arena, 15 Loudon Road in Concord. The event features artists, illustrators and authors; performers such as Sages Entertainment magic and musical guests Clemenzi Crusaders; cosplayers as princesses, superheroes, Star Wars characters and more; game makers and gaming; vendors of comics, collectables and more, and activities such as Jedi training, according to, where you can see a list of scheduled participants and purchase tickets. Tickets cost $15 per person, $12 for seniors and military and $55 for a family-of-four bundle; under 5 get in for free but all children must be accompanied by an adult, according to the website.

More books

• Nashua Public Library will be hosting children’s author Meg Medina, the Library of Congress’ current National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, for a special afternoon of food, books and lively conversation with on Sunday, May 12, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. where a complimentary lunch is provided and kids and teens will receive a free Meg Medina book and a flower they can give to a caregiver, courtesy of the Friends of the Nashua Public Library, according to their website. NPL is one of four public libraries selected this year for Medina’s national tour to introduce her new platform, ¡Cuéntame! Let’s Talk Books!, according to the same website. She’ll also talk about Evelyn Del Rey is Moving Away and Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass. Medina will sign your books and copies of her books will be available for purchase from Balin Books, according to the same website. Visit

Fun with foxes

• On Monday, May 13, Concord Public Library (45 Green St.) will host Fabulous Foxes from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., recommended for families with children of all ages. Registration is required. Participants will explore the curiously cat-like member of the dog family before learning how to mimic a few of their fascinating features. Visit for more information.

Kids on stage

• The Majestic Academy of Dramatic Arts Teens will present Les Miserables, School Editionon Friday, May 10, at 7 p.m., Saturday, May 11, at 2 and 7 p.m., and Sunday, May 12, at 2 p.m. at the Derry Opera House (29 West Broadway in Derry,, 669-7469). The school edition features updated orchestrations based on the Tony-nominated 2014 Broadway revival; this approved edition has been abridged to a running time of just over two hours while maintaining the integrity of this musical masterpiece, according to a press release. Tickets range from $15 to $20.

• The Peacock Players will present Godspell as their spring teen mainstage production at the 14 Court St. theater in Nashua on Friday, May 10, at 7 p.m., Saturday, May 11, at 2 p.m., and Sunday, May 12, at 2 p.m. and will run through Sunday, May 19, according to their website. Godspell was the first major musical theater offering from Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin, Children of Eden), and it took the world by storm with an eclectic parade of beloved songs, in which a small group of people help Jesus Christ tell different parables by using a wide variety of games, storytelling techniques and a hefty dose of comic timing, according to the same website. Admission is free. See

• The Flying Gravity Circus (222 Isaac Frye Hwy. in Wilton, 413-313-1778, presents its Big Show at the Amato Center for the Performing Arts (56 Mont Vernon St. in Milford, 672-1002, Friday, May 10, at 7 p.m., and Saturday, May 11, at 2 and 7 p.m. The Flying Gravity Circus is a nonprofit youth organization promoting positive development in children and teens through comprehensive circus arts education, according to the website. The Big Show will feature 45 troupers, ages 10 through 18. Tickets cost $25 for adults, $15 for children 3-12 and seniors 65+.

Cheer your team

• The New Hampshire Fisher Cats continue a string of games this week against the Harrisburg Senators. Games start at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 9, (which is Wizards & Wands Night) and Friday, May 10 (which will feature Atlas Fireworks). On Saturday, May 11, gametime is at 4:05 p.m. and the team will play as the Manchester Chicken Tenders. On Sunday, May 12, take mom to a 1:35 p.m. game, where the first 1,000 fans through the gates can get a Fisher Cats sun hat, according to, where you can purchase tickets, Manchester Chicken Tenders merch and more.

New Hampshire Roller Derby opens its season Saturday, May 11, with a mixed public scrimmage from 5 to 9 p.m. at JFK Memorial Stadium (303 Beech St. in Manchester, 624-6444). For more information, visit NH Roller Derby’s website,

Fun with mom

• Celebrate Mother’s Day at Charmingfare Farm (774 High St. in Candia), where they are offering free admission to moms when accompanied by their children who are 12 years and under on Sunday, May 12, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., making it the perfect family outing, according to their website. Explore their scenic farm, see firsthand how animal mothers care for their young, enter into a raffle with the possibility of winning a unique birdhouse, and even take rides on a pony, tractor, or a horse-drawn carriage, according to the same website. Moms will also enjoy a 10 percent discount in the gift barn and children under 23 months are free, regardless. Tickets range between $22 and $29 and moms with up to five children are free. Find out more at

• Guess who has meals for kids that Mom doesn’t have to cook? Many area restaurants! Find a listing of spots offering special meals for brunch or dinner on Sunday, May 12, in the May 2 issue of the Hippo. Find the e-edition at; the story starts on page 24.

The fairest Faire

The NH Renaissance Faire kicks off two weekends of swords and song

By Zacharay Lewis

Gather up some medieval garb and a sense of wonder to journey to the 20th annual New Hampshire Renaissance Faire on Saturday, May 11, Sunday, May 12, Saturday, May 18, and Sunday, May 19. Galavant with fair maidens, heroic knights, mystical fae creatures and maniacal wizards, and feel free to rearrange those adjectives in any manner because the New Hampshire Renaissance Faire is the place where each traveler gets to decide how to express their inner sorcerer, faery or salty pirate spirit.

If your wardrobe is light on tunics and gowns, one of the many clothing vendors, such as MeadHall Outfitters or MoonDragon Designs, can get you properly dressed for your stint in the land of dragons. There will be an ample bounty of wares such as jewelry, potions, lotions, puzzles, books, games, art, and just a seemingly endless amount of supplies for your trials or relaxation in the realm.

This realm would not exist without the dedication of a team of volunteers and board of directors of the nonprofit that puts it all together for fun, friends and charity. Their main charities are the New Hampshire Food Bank and Rockingham Meals on Wheels, and they have donated more than $350,000 to local charities.

2 men on field, dressed in armor and tunics, fighting with swords
Photo courtesy of Angela Cook.

Andrew Jefferson, the current president of the board of directors of the 3 Maples Renaissance Corporation nonprofit organization, the guild in charge of the Faire, said, “We staff the Faire with volunteers…. We’re always are trying to let our volunteers know how much we appreciate them … without them it probably wouldn’t go off.”

Andrew Jefferson is also a member of the Corr Thieves, an action/comedy group, as well as the Brotherhood of the Arrow and Sword, a group whose focus is on medieval fighting reenactment. The Brotherhood “have a whole encampment where they make it as close to medieval life as they can and they teach people about medieval life,” he said, along with unchoreographed sparring between medieval knights and soldiers. There will also be craft demonstrations from select vendors, an archery range, and a children’s glen with drawing and other fun activities, but children need to be accompanied in the glen for there be ogres and dragons about.

The entertainers and reenactors are a huge draw to the Faire with many stages for their performances. The Brotherhood of the Arrow and Sword performs at the Battle Arena at noon and 2:30 p.m. both weekends. No jousting this year, but there is a new treat for participants inside The Aerial Artistry realm, which will host the High Flying Fools and Taliesin Phoenix. The Phoenix Ring will hold the Sisters Pendragon, another action/comedy team, as well as Phoenix Swords.

Other performers and bards will grace the Queen’s Stage, where you can enjoy Tea with the Queen or a story from the Duchess of Yorkshire Pudding; the Pub Stage; Sultana Stage, which will showcase The Magic of Flow with LaLoopnaHoops and the storytelling of The Longshanks; and the Minstrel Stagewill host Brother Sylvan and Kate the Storyteller, among others, at various times throughout the day. A full schedule of performances can be found on their website

Groups like The Penniless Jacks focus on sea shanties and pub music.

“The largest group of performers are usually musicians,” Andrew Jefferson said. This is just the tip of the sword hilt on the number of musical performers, which include the The Ladies of Integrity, Aristocracy, Repute, & Society (The LIARS), the Dirge Queen, the Foxy Bard, Gibbon the Troubadour, Kristen Rebecca, and the Harlot Queens. The Harper and the Minstrel and the Shank Painters will be at the Faire for the second weekend.

A magician named Michael OJ as well as belly dancers in the group Shimmynanigans will enchant their audiences too. “They’re really fun for people to watch. They have a really dynamic and exciting show,” Jefferson said of Shimmynanigans.

Betty Jefferson, a member of Shimmynanigans and Andrew’s wife (they originally met at the Faire), spoke a bit on the belly dance art form.

“It’s still a fairly new dance form as we know it, belly dance, but it comes from influences from different folkloric dances … and then it got sorta glitzed up a bit, and you started seeing it in old movies and it eventually became what we now think of as belly dance,” Betty said. “It’s really fun. I think that is kind of what a lot of people go to Faire for, is to just let loose and have a little bit of fun, so we fit in pretty nicely because we are very silly … hence the name, Shimmynanigans.” The group will also be offering free belly dance lessons.

two people on stilts dressed in medieval fantasy costumes, one holding up tasseled umbrella
Photos courtesy of Angela Cook.

If slaying trolls is more important to your quest, there will be plenty of vendors to supply the campaign, such as Made by Hand Leather, which is perfect for Live Action Role Play (LARP). “He’ll be selling LARP-ing weapons, so like foam weapons but they look pretty real from far away or even up close, they’re pretty well done,” Andrew said, and Hickory Arms will be supplying hickory wasters, which are “wooden swords or tools used for training.” Knights or maidens whose wineskin is still filled with apple juice can be properly outfitted to defeat any foe. “He [Hickory Arms] sells these little tiny shields and little tiny wooden swords and stuff like that which are really cute,” Andrew said. Other leather and chainmaille vendors will be at the Faire too.

Unless the party had a quick nibble of Lembas bread from Lady Galadriel before arriving (not sure what that means? just ask an elf at the Faire), make sure to grab the leg of some wild beast to sup upon.

“The most popular Renaissance Faire food are turkey legs, which is funny because that wasn’t even a thing, but it’s a thing at faires,” Andrew said. There are also non-wild beast options.

“We try to hit the different types of diets, so there’ll be people that have vegetarian options, vegan options, and anything in between,” he said. Tacos, shaved ice, kettle corn, pastries, coffee and more will be available for a feast. A full list of all vendors, from food to fantasy authors, can be found at

Throughout the Faire, it is possible to encounter the wandering harpist Guy Todd, a ferocious ogre, and even fae folk.

“There is a faery at our Faire who’s really good with kids and working with them and taking pictures, being silly, and making them feel like it’s a magical little experience,” Andrew said. Thornlily Thistle the Faery, performed by Rina Fay-London, is that faery and she will be at the Faire the first weekend to shower Faire-goers with mystical wonder.

“The magic of faery to me was something that I think people really need … that either connects them back to their inner child or helps them to believe in magic again,” Fay-London said.

Whether you’re ensorceled by faeries, on the hunt for a specific potion, or just satiating a hankering for turkey leg, magic will definitely fuel the fire of New Hampshire Renaissance Faire fun. Each day will follow a loose theme, which can be helpful for those who travel to the Faire every day, just as an option for what garb to grab as a ‘playtron.’ Vestments or cargo shorts, come one and come all, there is something for everyone.

“We try to have an environment that is good for people of all ages and try to hit wherever we can on different interests but still stay as a family faire,” Andrew said.

“We’re so hands-on in helping each other,” he continued. “A lot of people who either volunteer, perform, or vend, or work in any way, they’ll tell you that the New Hampshire Renaissance Faire is a great faire and it’s their home faire and that’s how they feel … very at home there.”

New Hampshire Renaissance
Where: 80 Martin Road in Fremont
When: Saturday, May 11, Sunday, May 12, Saturday, May 18, and Sunday, May 19, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Theme Days: May 11 Pirates vs. Ninja; May 12 Celtic & Norse; May 18 Faery & Fae; May 19 Dungeons and Dragons
Admission: $20 adults, $15 ages 6-12, free for ages 5 and under
More info:

Thornlily Thistle the Faery

A faery from the realm of fae shares her magic with humans at Renaissance faires. Find Thornlily @thornlilythistleofficial on Facebook and Instagram. Thornlily is The High Faery Queen Regional of the 11 Northeastern United States Chapter of the Guild of the Fae, a worldwide guild of fae performers.

What is your origin story?

woman dressed as a fairy with wings, butterflies around her head, holding a large rose, in woods in sunlight
Thornlily Thistle the Faery. Photo by Petit Images.

I come from the realm of the Flower Fae. I decided to visit the land of humans through a bouquet of roses, actually, that was brought to someone by true love. I thought it would be fun to leave that flower realm when that bouquet was given and visit the land of humans and find out what it was all about. I found myself at a renaissance faire. It was almost like being in the faerie realm yet it was a celebration that the humans were putting on. It was the most magical place in the human world to be, so I decided I would come back to visit every single year.

Can you explain where your name came from and how big is the faery world and what is it like?

My name, Thornlily Thistle, was given to me by my faery mother and my faery grandmother. Because I am a Flower Fae I don’t just have rose faeries in my lineage, I have many different flowers in my lineage, and my name was given to me because Thorn is from a rose, Lily is a water flower fae, and Thistle is a prickly little herb which has the same effect as a thorn, so I am just a little bit sassy but also very sweet and that is why I was given the name Thornlily Thistle.

The faerie realm is so big … just as big as the human realm of Earth, maybe even bigger. There are many different types of fae of many different elements. There are fae who are light and dark and sassy and fun; the possibilities are so endless when it comes to the world of fae. It is a great big world and I am blessed to be a part of it and to be able to have the humans become aware of it through what I do.

What is a typical day in the life of a faery, such as yourself?

It’s funny that you ask that because a lot of humans, since I’ve been visiting faires, have misconceptions about the things that I do and they often like to put labels on the things that I do. For instance, if I’m making bubbles, they believe that I’m a bubble faery, when I am dancing they believe I am a dancing faery, or when I am doing flower magic they call me a flower faery. Even though I am a flower faery, back in the faery realm we learn all sorts of different trades. Doing things like singing and playing instruments and dancing and making bubbles are all very common trades that the fae must learn and they naturally do it very well. Most of my days are spent doing these and perfecting these things so that I can perform them for the humans at Faire when I visit.

What’s a piece of advice that you wish humans would take to heart?

My biggest piece of advice that I wish humans would take to heart is to allow their heart to drive them and allow it to let them experience magic and believe in magic. In the faerie realm, that’s very normal for us. It seems to be difficult for humans to hold to as they grow older.

What can travelers to the Renaissance Faire expect if they encounter you on their journey?

Travelers coming to see me at the Renaissance Faire can expect, first of all, to believe in faeries because it is my job to bring that true magic of the realm to life for the land of humans and they can also expect to receive a piece of love and happiness they did not come in the gates with. Many people who travel to Faire are seeking these things in times of darkness and I feel that I’m able to give that to them when they leave the gates.

Featured Photo: Photos courtesy of Angela Cook.

Kiddie Pool 24/05/02

Family fun for whenever

May the Fourth

• Celebrate the other pop culture holiday happening this Saturday with a screening of Star Wars Episode I — The Phantom Menace (PG, 1999). The now 25-year-old film will begin screening at O’neil Cinemas at Brickyard Square in Epping ( on Friday, May 3. Multiple screenings per day are listed through May 9.

Make a wood craft

• The Canvas Roadshow (25 S. River Road, Bedford) invites kids and adults to join them for a fun craft time at their open studio walk-in on Sunday, May 5, at 11 a.m. Visitors can choose from a variety of wood projects and craft it right then and there, according to their website. Most projects take 45 to 90 minutes depending on what you choose, and price is based on project but no registration or reservation is needed to attend, according to the same website. Projects start at $10. Visit


• Head to Strawbery Banke Museum (14 Hancock St. in Portsmouth) for Baby Animals: Heritage Breeds at the Banke to learn about domestic livestock typical on coastal northern New England farms on May 5, from 10 a.m to 4 p.m., according to their website. Demonstrations are included with event tickets. Combo tickets are available to access Baby Animals and tour Strawbery Banke Museum’s historic houses, exhibits and heirloom gardens, according to their website. Adults ages 18 and older are $36, seniors and students are $32, children between ages 5 and 17 are $22, children ages 1 to 4 are $12, children under 1 are free, and family tickets (two adults plus children) are $80, according to their website. Baby Animals Event tickets by themselves are $12 for nonmembers and children under 1 are free, and general admission to the museum is free for members, according to the same website. Visit or call 433-1100.

Gaelic sports

• Eight teams are slated to play in the Saturday, May 4, hurling tournament held by the New Hampshire Wolves Hurling Club at the Anheuser-Busch Sports Fields (221 DW Highway in Merrimack), according to the club’s Facebook page. The first match starts at 9 a.m. Kids can get involved at 2 p.m. when the club will host an “Intro to Gaelic sports” featuring football, hurling and camogie. according to a post, which says the event is free for kids to “jump in and learn.” Find the club on Facebook for more information.

Scottish dance

• New England Scottish Arts Centre is offering a free Highland dance course called “Tartan Tots” for kids ages 4 to 6 starting Sunday, May 19, at 1 p.m. at the Creative Dance Workshop (1355 Route 3A, Bow) with instructor Marielle Webster, who was the Highland dance instructor at Lyon College. Dancers typically start with the basic motions and then begin the first Highland dance that all beginners learn, the Highland Fling. The first lesson is free; after that, the charge is $15 per class, with family discounts available, according to the site’s FAQ. Visit

• Scottish Arts also has ongoing Highland dance classes for kids 7 and older with the first lesson always free and subsequent lessons $15 per class, according to their website. Classes are held on Sundays at noon and will be at the same Creative Dance Workshop in Bow, according to the website. Visit

Review books, read books

• Gibson’s Bookstore (45 S. Main St., Concord) is looking for aspiring book reviewers for their Student Reviewers Club. Interested readers under age 18 can sign up at Gibson’s will provide the book, and they ask that you bring it back with a short review telling them what you thought about it and a star rating of 1-5. When the book is released, Gibson’s will include your review on display. Reviewers will be given a $2 certificate toward a new book.

• The Whipple Free Public Library will host a junior book club for children in grades 1 to 3 on Monday, May 6, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. The group is limited to 20 members, who will enjoy a book, have fun and eat snacks, with parents taking turns to provide snacks and drinks, according to their website. The book for this Monday is Mr. Tony Is Full of Baloney by Dan Gutman, copies of which are available to be picked up, according to the same website. Visit or call 487-3391. — Zachary Lewis

Kiddie Pool 24/04/25

Family fun for whenever

Extra aviation

Check out the Aviation Museum of New Hampshire (27 Navigator Road in Londonderry; on Thursday, April 25, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — one of the extra days the museum is open for April vacation week. From 1 to 4 p.m., operators will be on duty for kids ages 12 and up to try the Elite Flight Simulator, according to a press release. Admission costs $10 for ages 13 and up, $5 for ages 6 to 12 (and for veterans) and free for kids under 6. The museum’s regular hours are Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m.

A quieter storytime

Nashua Public Library (2 Court St., Nashua) will host Sensory Story Time on Thursday, April 25, from 1:30 to 2 p.m. This is designed for kids in grades K-5 who have sensory processing challenges or autism, according to the website. The program will include a set schedule for kids to follow along, quieter music, and dimmed lights. Participants are encouraged to bring their own sensory seating and fidgets, according to the website. Visit

A senatorial storytime

U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan is scheduled to attend the storytime on Friday, April 26, at 1:30 p.m. at Bookery (844 Elm St. in Manchester; The event is free; register online.

Movie night

Need some family entertainment? Shrek 2 (PG, 2004) is screening at the Chunky’s Cinema Pub in Manchester (707 Huse Road; See it Thursday, April 25, at 2:30 p.m.

Science Playground

Weather permitting, the Science Playground at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center (2 Institute Way in Concord; will open for the season on Wednesday, May 1. The center itself is open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Sunday, April 28 (and then reverts to regular school year hours of Wednesdays through Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.). The playground is part of the regular admission to the center, which costs $13 for adults, $12 for ages 13 through college or 62+ and $10 for ages 3 to 12. Planetarium shows cost an additional $7 per person; see the website for a schedule.

And on this farm there was a summer camp

From Sheep Week to Cow Week, Joppa Hill has all the farm fun

By Zachary Lewis

On a 35-acre parcel of land, The Educational Farm at Joppa Hill provides a path to learning about life on a farm for the whole family with their friendly menagerie of livestock and volunteers to guide you along the way. The farm is open and free to the public from sun-up to sundown every day of the year. Visitors can feed the animals, explore extensive trails, or take part in one of the many events, like fairs, concerts and even a Christmas tree bonfire after the holiday season.

The Farm and barnyard family will be growing this year.

“We are excited to announce that we are acquiring new animals,” Kim Wall, a member of their board of directors, said, and they will be “rebuilding our bunny enclosure, just to give you a hint of some of the animals that might be coming, and … we are redoing all the fencing around the farm and around the animal enclosures.” These additions and renovations will enhance an already pleasant environment.

Because it is an educational farm, Joppa Hill has a bountiful harvest of programs to educate the public throughout the year. One particular program that gets a lot of attention is the summer camp.

“There are kids who will sign up for multiple weeks,” of camp, Wall said. She pointed out a perk to visiting the Farm or attending summer camp: “You can play with these animals and not have them at home.”

Katie Schelzel, Farm Manager and Camp Director, gets a lot of joy from running the summer camp.

“It is so fun to watch [campers] gain ownership in the success of the farm and caring for the animals and taking care of the property and going inside of the barn,” Schelzel said. “My favorite part of camp is when parents come and pick the kids up … and they pull their exhausted parents around the entire farm and show them every animal in detail and stories of all the things they learned throughout the day, and I am an exhausted parent so I know what that’s like, but it’s a real treat to watch them feel so proud of what they do.”

Each camp is centered on activities tailored to a specific barnyard animal.

“For cow week we make butter. For horse week, we’re grooming the horses and bathing the horses. Chicken week we do a lot of experimentation with eggs.’ she said. “There’ll be farm- and animal-themed books. Daily lessons and activities about the animals are what really change.”

Some things are the same every week.

“We have eight weeks, we’re considering adding a ninth, and each week has a different animal theme but every day of every week has the same general routing.” Schelzel said. “Every day kids will do barn chores such as collecting eggs, measuring feed for the animals, or mucking the horse stalls. They’ll go on daily nature hikes.”

Sixty spots per week are available for kids ages 5 to 12 with two cohorts, the first for ages 5 to 8 and the other for 9 to 12, so that the experience is tailored to their age range. The day on the farm goes from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and registration starts in late March. Farm members get priority registration.

“It’s really structured so that kids could come for every week and still have something new every week,” Schelzel said. “Even if a week fills up, there’s a waitlist, which isn’t ust like the pie-in-the-sky waitlist …. As parents, you know, you sign your kids up in the spring and then you get an opportunity for summer plans and you have to change your week — so I would definitely encourage parents to use the waitlist … it’s rolling, so there isn’t a deadline.”

The first week of camp starts June 17, and it’s Sheep Week.

Schelzel signed her own daughter up a few years ago and she’s never looked back.

“My daughter actually went five, six years ago to camp, which is how I originally was introduced to the farm,” she said. “And then I started volunteering … working for the farm, and now I’m the Farm Manager and Camp Director and have an amazing team that helps keep it updated … and having an exciting curriculum to learn and be really hands-on with the animals.”

Fresh air with blue skies or rain clouds can’t be beat.

“There’s something naturally therapeutic about being out in nature and with animals all day. One of the most special things about the farm is that everybody leaves happy. Parents can feel good when they pick their kids up at the end of the day that they’re learning about nature and about animals,” Schelzel said. “They’re learning about teamwork and organization and responsibility and they’re having fun while doing it.”

Summer camp with farm animals

The Educational Farm at Joppa Hill
174 Joppa Hill Road, Bedford, 472-4724

Camp is 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., $350 per week.
Ages 5 – 8, limited to 30 campers per week.
Ages 9 – 12, limited to 30 campers per week.

Extended day option (limited to 15 campers) offers early drop-off (8 a.m.) and late pick-up (by 5 p.m.) for $75 per week.

Snack boost: $20 per week.
Sheep Week | Week 1: June 17 – June 21
Alpaca Week | Week 2: June 24 – June 28
Duck Week | Week 3: July 8 – July 12
Goat Week | Week 4: July 15 – July 19
Bunny Week | Week 5: July 22 – July 26
Horse Week | Week 6: July 29 – Aug. 2
Chicken Week | Week 7: Aug. 5 – Aug. 9
Cow Week | Week 8: Aug. 12 – Aug. 16

Featured Photo: Courtesy photo.

Kiddie Pool 24/04/18

Family fun for whenever

Earth Day at the Museum

• The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire (6 Washington St. in Dover; 742-2002, will hold an Earth Day Celebration on Saturday, April 20, with sessions from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. The planned activities include Earth-friendly crafts, planting, a scavenger hunt and more. Reserve spots online for a session in advance; admission costs $12.50, $10.50 for seniors.

Art camp!

• The Currier Museum of Art’s (150 Ash St., Manchester) April Vacation Art Camp: Sailors and Sea Monsters runs Monday, April 22, through Friday, April 26, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Currier’s exhibit “Stories of the Sea” is the impetus behind this camp, which will include a variety of exciting multi-media art-making experiences, guided museum tours and gallery activities, according to their website. Three cohorts will be composed of kids ages 6 and 7, ages 8 to 10 and ages 11 to 14. An exhibition of their artwork will be held Thursday, April 25, at 3:45 p.m. Registration is $375 for non-members, $337.50 for members, with tuition discounts available, and all art materials will be provided, according to the website. Visit or call 518-4922.

Teddy bears!

• Manchester City Library (405 Pine St., Manchester) is hosting its annual Teddy Bear Picnic on Tuesday, April 23, at 11:30 a.m. Participants will gather with their teddy bears in the children’s room and then, when everyone is ready, parade through the library and out to the side lawn for a picnic, according to the website. Participants should bring their own bag lunch and beverage to enjoy at the picnic. At noon Mr. Aaron will be on the south lawn for a foot-stomping concert, according to the same site. Registration is not required. Call 624-6550, ext. 7628.


• Later that same day, Tuesday, April 23, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Manchester City Library will host Elementary Experiments. This activity is for anyone in grades 1 through 6 and includes activities and crafts with a STEAM focus (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math). Participants can join in at the library or watch the video online; this week’s theme is food science. If you want to attend in person, register in advance so there are enough supplies. Elementary Experiments takes place in the Winchell Room. To register, visit or call 624-6550, ext. 7628.

No small parts!

Shakespeare for Youth, a nonprofit homeschool theater group that rehearses in Nashua and Milford, has four performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Amato Center (56 Mount Vernon St., Milford), on Friday, April 26, and Saturday, April 27, at 2 and 7 p.m. on both days, according to their website. This is the group’s third year of performing Shakespeare’s works with a cast made up of kids approximately ages 6 to 18 from all over New Hampshire and Massachusetts, according to a press release. Tickets online are $6 for individuals, $5 for seniors, and $25 for family tickets for parents and up to four kids. Call 399-9609 or visit

Meet the wildlife

Animal rehabilitators at Discover Wild NH Day

By Zachary Lewis

The Millstone Wildlife Center in Windham provides an unparalleled service in the Granite State with its devotion to mammal rehabilitation. Executive Director and Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator Frannie Greenberg and her husband, Michael, who holds a master’s degree in animal science, have dedicated their lives to creatures large and small. They will be at Discover Wild New Hampshire Day in Concord on Saturday, April 20, to educate the public on the hard work they do with the help of animal ambassadors.

Discover Wild New Hampshire Day is a day of educational exhibits and wildlife-related activities for kids and families, including archery, casting and more, hosted by New Hampshire Fish and Game.

Striped skunk. Courtesy of MWC.

“We operate from our home,” Greenberg said. “We are not funded by state or federal government. Everything we receive is from donations from kind individuals that either have brought us an animal or corporations who believe in our mission.” That mission is to rehabilitate as many critters as possible.

“We’re serving almost 1,400 animals a year,” Greenberg said. More and more of our space becomes animal space…. This is quiet time for us. At 42 animals, this is a piece of cake. In the summer we have up to 150 animals here. When some of those eat every two hours, we’re hopping.”

These animals range “from the tiniest little voles all the way up through coyotes,” she said. “We don’t do bear. We don’t do deer and moose. Beyond that, if we are available we take them. Sometimes we are full to the gills with raccoons and I have to find somebody else to take them. Things like a raccoon might be here for six months. They’re a tough one in that they eat a lot, they need to be dewormed, they need to be vaccinated, they need vet care. So there comes a point where we’re out of cage space for them…. We don’t do birds by choice. We don’t have the space.”

Adult red fox. Courtesy of MWC.

MWC has helped bobcats, bats, porcupines, coyotes, foxes and more. Different animals require different care.

“Things like little eastern cottontails stay with mom three weeks,” said Greenberg, “so we’re talking a month, maximum, if we get a newborn. It’s a whole lot easier to go through many, many, many rabbits in a year and … they take up less room, they take less resources, and last year we served 722 Eastern cottontail rabbits that came through our door, so many, many, many.”

Their rehabilitation efforts are not a guise for pest removal, Greenberg said. “I am not here just to take all the things you do not want. People call and say, ‘I have a woodchuck and it just ate all my lettuce.’ That’s not a service we provide.”

Growing up, Greenberg always cared for animals.

Virginia opossum. Courtesy of MWC.

“I was a little kid who brought home every animal from wherever,” she said. “From the schoolyard, from the backyard, from a field trip. If there was an animal I brought it home. Luckily I had parents who indulged this. I had a dad who would build a cage or help me figure out how to get it help…. My background is animal science education. I got licensed in 2015 and we’ve grown since then. The plan initially was to start small, have a few animals because I was still doing science education consulting.”

Greenberg is licensed by New Hampshire Fish and Game as a rehabilitator and their home is classified as a permitted facility by the USDA.

“We also raised three little human animals. When my daughters were out of the house, all at college or beyond, was when I said, ‘OK.’” Their full-time rehabilitation mission soon began. “It became apparent very quickly that there’s a huge need in this state, there still is, there are not enough people, understandably because you must give your home, you must give your money, you must give your time. It’s 365 days a year, there’s no vacation, no sick days. It doesn’t matter if it’s Christmas … any day of the year, any time of the day….”

A large part of the work involves education.

“The more we educate people the more people realize we’re here … when they might have otherwise either tried to do it on their own, which is, one, illegal, two, dangerous for the animal…,” she said.

Discover Wild New Hampshiire will have a stage where MWC can do some show and tell with animals.

“We take animals that are registered. We are … licensed by the USDA to keep ambassadors, those animals that are deemed not to be releasable and that can educate the public. Right now we’re planning to bring — and I say we’re planning because with animals you just never know — we are planning to bring our Virginia opossum; she will be in the big area for our 1:30 general presentation,” Greenberg said. “When we bring her out we always try to teach by example and wear gloves so people see that you should always wear gloves, or if you don’t have gloves you use a barrier.”

That isn’t all. “We will also bring along a snake and a turtle,” Greenberg said. “If they’re nervous, we put them back; if they’re comfortable a snake can just sit on us.”

Discover Wild New Hampshire Day
When: Saturday, April 20, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Fish and Game Headquarters, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord
Admission: Free. Trained service dogs only.

Millstone Wildlife Center

Featured Photo: Woodchucks. Courtesy of MWC.

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