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Lake cruises on Lake Winni.

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Hi: I understand that there are several cruise boats that offer tours of Lake Winni. I will be staying in Meredith. Does anyone have a favorite or rec. cruise. One that is not too many hrs., and I will be touring with an eight y/o child. I would be happy to learn of other things to do such as kayaking, beaches, etc.
As always I am very grateful for the advice.
Joseph S.

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    We have only gone on the SS Mt Washington and I think the ride is too long for an 8yo. We are heading out today to Squam Lakes Science Center in Holderness which isn't very far from Meredith, taking our 8 and 10 yo gds. We haven't been in many years but a friend just reported a great time taking the loon cruise on Squam. There are several different cruises on a pontoon boat which I think would be more interesting. Our DIL told me about discount coupons for NH dollar saver. Adult tickets were sold out but I got two childrens for the trail and science center. With all the animal demonstrations, I think it will be a full day without doing a cruise.

    I would not go kayaking on Lake W, it's too big with too many power boats. There's a wonderful place near Concord (actually 2 but we've only rented from one) about an hour from Meredith. DIL rented tandem kayaks so an adult and child could share. The two girls had never been before. I think a small river is better and there's more to see. The Contoocook River paddle can go to a secluded beach with rope swing. The paddle on the Merrimack is very beautiful and usually shallow most of the way in August with any number of places you can pull out for a picnic. Wear plenty of sunscreen! There's also a popular secluded swimming beach. Kayak rental places provide shuttle service.

    There are several White Mountains attractions not that far away. The Flume is a very long walk, sometimes strenuous but beautiful. I think our son and his family prefer Lost River. An 8yo isn't too old for Storyland in Glen but it might be about an hour's drive.

    If you can find the seasonal Sandwich Notch Road and get good directions (DeLorme Atlas might be worth buying) there's a small waterfall a very short hike from the road. We've picnicked there. Bugs in August aren't usually bad. DeLorme shows location of waterfalls, hiking trails, covered bridges, etc. You can purchase in many gas stations and supermarkets.

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    Reporting back: gds liked the Squam Lakes Science Center best of places we have taken them (Project SEE in Manchester this spring, Montshire Museum in Norwich VT last year). You can't possibly see all the demos during the day but there is plenty to do. We waited for the river otter feeding and ended the day with the 1pm Eastern Coyote lecture with one of their resident coyotes (on a harness). There are several docents also roaming around to show things and explain about them. The saw whet owl was wonderful. The boat rides are expensive but educational and don't take a lot of people. It would be nice to do that some other time. From Meredith, you could easily schedule a day at the science center and than another day when you do the pontoon boat ride. Lots of things for kids to try. The animals have large outdoor enclosures. We could have done more exploring but, frankly, bumpa and I were tired.

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