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Educational Activities for Kids in the Lakes Region

A child examining a butterfly with a magnifying glass at Meredith Bay.

Once school’s out for the summer, it’s great to let kids spend the first few weeks of summer vacation enjoying seemingly endless, unstructured fun. But what many parents and babysitters discover is that kids can quickly get bored and start craving some sort of structure to their long summer days. Luckily, the Lakes Region of New Hampshire offers numerous outlets for fun, educational experiences for kids of all ages and abilities. Here’s a list of some kid-friendly attractions that will keep them learning all summer long!

Squam Lakes Natural Science Center – Holderness, NH
Get nearer to nature at the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center! Family-friendly educational activities include interactive gallery displays, spectacular live animal exhibits, lake cruises, garden tours, and guided hiking trails. Kids can view live animals native to the Lakes Region such as black bears, mountain lions, river otters and bobcats in the several nature exhibits. The center also offers educational camps for kids throughout the summer.

The Loon Center – Moultonborough, NH
The Loon Preservation Committee was founded in 1975 to restore and maintain a healthy population of loons in New Hampshire. This was in response to a dramatically declining loon population as a result of human activity on their habitat. The Committee created The Loon Center to educate the public about these iconic aquatic birds and share ways to protect them. The Center offers interactive displays, exhibits, and videos for adults and kids alike to learn more about life as a loon in the Lakes Region.

Canterbury Shaker Village – Canterbury, NH
The Canterbury Shaker Village is a National Historic Landmark situated on nearly 700 acres of picturesque New England countryside with 25 fully restored Shaker-style buildings. Here, kids can learn how their forbears lived in the days before Xbox and cable TV. There are a variety of family-friendly activities throughout the Village, including arts & crafts, Shaker singing and dancing, 19th century Shaker dress-up, and much more.

Polar Caves Park – Rumney, NH
About 50,000 years ago, the Polar Caves were formed when the third continental glacier descended over New Hampshire’s White Mountains. When the ice retreated, an amazing series of caves and passageways were left behind. Today, the Polar Caves Park offers self-guided tours of these incredible caves, rock gardens, and scenic nature trails. The park also offers interactive activities, including a live animal exhibit and a mock mine where kids can hunt for hidden gems.

Wright Museum – Wolfeboro, NH
The Wright Museum collects and exhibits artifacts from World War II that illustrate the heroic efforts of ordinary people living in extraordinary times. Educational activities at the museum include tours of a WWII-era home and military exhibitions, rides in restored WWII vehicles around downtown Wolfeboro, authentic demonstrations by WWII re-enactors, and temporary tattoos and face painting.

The Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum – Warner, NH
The Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum is an education and cultural center dedicated to teaching its visitors about the 20,000 years of ongoing Native American cultural expression in New Hampshire and North America. The museum offers family-friendly tours showcasing Indian artifacts, an authentically-designed tipi, medicinal plants, and much more.

These are just a few of the many ways to keep kids learning throughout the summer under the disguise of all-out fun. For more family-friendly educational activities in the Lakes Region, check out the Family’s Day Out website. There are so many things to do in the Lakes Region, you’re bound to find something the kids will enjoy! If you were a kid for a day, which one of these educational attractions would you visit first?

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