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Looking for fun place for 1st family vacation in NH, VT, Maine

Looking for fun place for 1st family vacation in NH, VT, Maine

Old Jun 12th, 2019, 07:55 AM
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Looking for fun place for 1st family vacation in NH, VT, Maine

we live in the Boston area. We have 2 girls 3 and 5. Looking for a fun place to go for a few nights. Maybe something that has great views, but also has things to do with the girls. Seeing moose, bear and other animals would be a big plus. We want to find a vacation place we can visit every year.
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Old Jun 12th, 2019, 12:22 PM
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I grew up going to Wolfeboro NH on Lake Winnipasaukee (? spelling). We stayed in cabins in a place called Piping Rock Resort. The same families went every year from the time we were little till we were well into my teens. Our families drove up from Long Island NY and NJ. This was during the 1970s. Some of the best memories of my childhood were from going up there. I imagine much has changed since then, but the lake I am sure is still very nice and the town of Wolfeboro was very quaint back in the day, no chain restaurants or anything like that.
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Old Jun 12th, 2019, 05:07 PM
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When our kids were young, we introduced them, and ourselves, to the Maine coast. We eventually moved there, even had an island experience for a number of years. As kids got older, we left Maine for warmer weather, but we returned later for a summer home and to own an opera a very large inn. Highly recommend Bar Harbor/Mt/ Desert Island; we could easily spend a week there and keep our kids busy and happy. National Park, water, hiking, Bar Harbor shops, restaurants and tourist activity, smaller towns, beaches, islands and so much more.
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Old Jun 13th, 2019, 02:17 AM
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We take our grandchildren to the Montshire Museum in Norwich VT. They have an outdoor water play area which is great in summer. Bring a picnic lunch. Enjoy indoors in the morning, have lunch, then have kids change into swim suits for water play. They're a little young so if there are a lot of other kids that day you'll need to use good judgement although even when busy our 6 YO grandson did fine and there wasn't any rough housing. Visit the Norwich Farmers Market on a saturday morning. They have live music and festive atmosphere. Buy some yummy treats.

Squam Lake Science Center is wonderful. Enjoy seeing native NH wild animals. There are several "demonstrations" indoors. We saw the one about Eastern coyotes. They had one on a leash. Our granddaughters didn't want to sit too close. Docents wander around to make sure people are having a good time. One had a sweet little owl on her arm and talked to us about owls. Just us. Great close encounter. This is in Holderness which is near Lake Winnipesaukee. The nature cruise is in a different location on Squam Lake but I think your kids are too young to enjoy it.

We have not been to the children's museum in Portland ME but if you go there, Fort Williams Park is a great place to picnic with an incredible view looking out on Casco Bay. There is a children's garden and a small beach area. Another place to picnic would be north of town on the Eastern Promenade overlooking Casco Bay. It's very popular for picnickers. There's a playground there, too.

We like the SEE science center in Manchester NH. You might combine a visit as you head further north. Beech Hill Farm Ice Cream has farm animals to visit, a huge sand pile with toy trucks and later in the year a corn maze (not too far off I89 Hopkinton NH). You could also head to Carter Hill Orchard which has a really nice play area. Later in the season will have fresh peaches. Warner NH has a nature center. About the third weekend in August, Musterfield Farm in North Sutton NH (close to Warner) has Old Time Farming Days which is another great place to picnic or buy food. There is a tractor parade in the afternoon. Kids can try old fashioned games. Interesting demonstrations. This is very near Wadleigh State Park on Kezar Lake for some swim time.
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Old Jun 13th, 2019, 05:23 AM
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Re wildlife

Seeing moose is highly unlikely - even long time Maine residents may never see one.
Bear - the same. It used to be years ago you could go to any town dump in the evening and see bears feasting on the day's leavings, but those days are long gone with modern landfills.
If you are camping in the woods and leave food out (not advised) you will see other critters - racoons, skunks, porcupines, possum, etc, and perhaps even bears.
Deer are everywhere - easy to spot in open fields along roads, or darting across roads when you least expect it. In my experience dusk is best time to spot deer.
Mid sized carnivors/ predators like fox, coyote, bobcat, and fisher. The former, you may briefly spot randomly along roadsides or in fields, but they are small and shy. The latter 3 I would not want to encounter in the wild with young children, and doubtful you will.
Smaller prey/rodents like ground hogs & rabbits - seem to be everywhere.
Turkey - also wide spread. You may encounter solitary birds or flocks near fields just about anywhere you go. Seeing a tom strut his stuff in front of a flock of hens is a remarkable display.
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Old Jun 13th, 2019, 05:46 AM
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Do you want to be in the mountains or on the sea coast? Big difference.
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Old Jun 13th, 2019, 06:35 AM
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How could I forget Storyland in Glen NH. If you stayed in Wolfboro, it's an easy day trip and your girls are the right age.
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