At Amesbury Sports Park, windswept passengers sail tubes down the snow-less summer lanes or, during winter, the powdery pathways of packed snow that dot hillsides of varying steepness. A conveyor belt swiftly returns them to the top of the hill in, where they can repeat the ride. During the summer, visitors can hop inside of one of Amesbury Sports Park's plastic spheres, to take what they call a zorb ride. Their outdoor event venue can accommodate up to 30,000 people, and has previously hosted events such as the Warrior Dash, the Spartan Race, and their annual Brewfest. An onsite restaurant refuels recreationers with tasty American fare, and also hosts regular wine dinners that often sell out in advance. The park also has a function hall available for private parties, and a full-service catering business with cuisine prepared by executive chef Kevin Jacques. New Hampshire beaches are located near the park so guests can soak up more sun and relaxation after their zorb ride or tubing.
Before they journey down Dr. Von Dark's Tunnel of Terror, riders sit facing each other aboard a two-person tube. But they won't actually see one another for long, since the aptly named doctor has designed a 300-foot jaunt whose twists and 40-foot plunge unfold in complete darkness.
The pitch-black tunnel is just one of many heart-pounding attractions at the more than 26-acre Water Country that have helped make Water Country the Parenting NH Magazine's Family Favorite Award for Best Water Park in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Additionally, visitors can dash down the 422-foot-long Racing Rapids slide, navigate a quarter mile of waterfalls and caves along Adventure River, or float in a wave pool with 700,000 gallons of water. Water Country likewise caters to youngsters with giant tipping buckets and a 40-foot-long pirate ship complete with slides.
During full days of sliding and splashing, guests can rest at one of the park's shaded cabanas and enjoy an array of tasty snacks and sweets from nearly 10 food options scattered throughout the park, including stands specializing in Dippin' Dots and fried dough.
Seacoast Adventure gets families outdoors yearlong to breeze down ziplines, pilot go-karts, and putt around the 18-hole mini golf course. They also navigate the obstacles of attractions such as Crazy Apes Adventure Park, a network of elevated rope courses, and soar on the 100-foot Sky Swing. On winter weekends, 12 lanes of snow tubing beckon them, and at any time of year, the café provides respite with burgers and pizza, hot and cold drinks, and soft-serve ice cream.
With the height of his career 230 million years behind him, the 20-foot T. rex followed a path typical to many retirees: he decided to hit the golf course. Since 1958, the bright-orange behemoth has kept watch over the sixth hole at Route 1 Miniature Golf & Batting Cages, dazzling visitors with his twin rows of gleaming incisors and spot-on Bob Hope impersonation. But the toothy star isn’t the only creature challenging players on this classic putt-putt course. Players must map their swings to navigate a roaring lion, yawning hippo, and towering gray elephant before testing their luck on the 18th hole, where only the most precise putts can succeed in ringing the siren and winning the player a free game.
Adjacent to the mini-golf fairways, four batting cages pitch balls at speeds of more than 85 miles per hour, and an arcade challenges players with classic video games, including Ice Ball. Come cool-down time, guests can usher in a sweet finish to their afternoon by storming the Dairy Castle to seize one of 26 flavors of Richardson’s ice cream, including black raspberry and maple walnut.
Located in the woods, Liquid Planet Water Park forms an oasis of thrilling water slides, pools, and watery play zones. Water attractions include high-speed vertical-drop slides, new speed slides, spiraling water runs that stretch upward of 250 feet, and brisk splash pools. Forming a relaxing buffer at the side of the park are 2,000 square feet of sandy beach that, like marshmallow swim trunks, offer cushy respite from the ubiquitous concrete-pool surroundings. The beach also borders spring-fed Crater Lake, which attracts swimmers and cannonballers with traditional watering-hole charms.
Visitors to Mel's Funway Park can try their hand at two 18-hole mini-golf courses before speeding and swinging their way through the go-kart track and batting cages, which feature a replica of Fenway's Green Monster and slow- and fast-pitch machines that can reach speeds of up to 85 mph. Inside, a laser plex hosts games of laser tag, while other visitors attempt the laser maze, a web of 36 lasers that participants must avoid to keep from triggering the alarm and receive their cat-burglar certification. Funway Park has also partnered with Naticook Fish & Grill to recharge empty body batteries.