Baby goats and calves lounge on straw in a petting zoo while wolves and black bears frolic just yards away. It's not a radical experiment in natural selection, though; it's just part of the varied attractions at Charmingfare Farm. After taking in the entire zoo?from pigs to camels?guests can avail themselves of such diversions as trail rides atop one of the farm's friendly horses. Horse-drawn hayrides and sleigh ride socials culminate in a stop at a roaring bonfire where guests can cook all the hotdogs and 'smores they've captured in the wild.
Just under an hour's drive from Boston, Merrimack Valley Paintball's fields are just big enough for referees to keep an eagle eye on all the action. Arching over the woodsball field is a thick canopy of trees, providing good cover in case of rain or flaming hail. As they maneuver around the tall trees, players duck behind stacks of logs and other obstacles. On the speedball field, combatants enjoy regulation-style play, whether they're packing high-end .68-caliber markers or Splatmaster gear, engineered for a softer impact so kids as young as 10 can play.
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.
The intimate Headliners Comedy Club at The Gold Room seats guests at private tables to take in the quips of regularly performing comedians. During two-hour shows, three standups—including one national headliner—take the stage in turn. Onlookers can also enjoy pub-fare offerings from the kitchen, such as saucy chicken wings or classic sliders, to fuel belly laughs and distract mouths so they don't shout out premature punch lines.
After the Stark Mill brewery closed, many feared Manchester would fall victim to the unchecked infiltration of commercial and contract beers. Determined to save New Hampshire's Queen City from such a foamy fate, master brewer Peter Telge gathered his wits, a group of supporters, and 20 years of brewing experience to reopen the historic Millyard District brewery under the name Milly's Tavern. Now operating as a brewpub, Milly's is home to a passionate staff that serves up juicy burgers, baby-back ribs, and beer-battered fish 'n' chips alongside microbrews crafted in the onsite brewery.
Milly's microbrews are pure works of art, even earning the 2009 Readers' Poll award for Best Local Microbrew from New Hampshire Magazine (not to be outdone, their chili won as well). The all-natural brewing process begins with imported malted barley, sometimes up to 1,300 pounds of it, depending on the beer. After stirring the barley by hand and singing it to sleep with a lullaby, brewers blend it with hops from Washington’s Yakima Valley and Europe’s agricultural hotspots. An Old World–style fire heats the brewing system, caramelizing the sugar to imbue batches with unique and subtle flavors. Milly's always keeps at least 12 beers on tap, ranging from cream ales and IPAs to stouts, porters, and seasonal brews.
Milly's is not just a place to relax and enjoy a leisurely pint. At night, the eatery transforms into a nightclub and lounge, treating guests to DJ tunes, live entertainment, and local musical acts. When not setting the scene for evening revelry, the space can be used to host affairs for up to 100 people, with special catering options available.:
On May 29, 1970, the first drive flew down the fairway of the first hole at Manchester Country Club and came to a stop on the carpet-like fairways that would become its trademark. Though the front nine had only just been completed and the back nine still needed some work, Opening Day at Manchester Country Club proved an auspicious beginning for the club. It represented the collective efforts of the community, the local golf governing body, and a vanguard of early members who took a bet on the club in its infancy.
Today, the finished design first drawn up by architect Geoffrey Cornish still rolls through 165 acres of the Green Mountains, though in a slightly different form. The front nine remains intact, but the back nine has undergone some improvements over the years. A full renovation that incorporated 34 additional acres was completed in 2003, bringing the course up to its present length of nearly 6,800 yards. In addition to a lengthy golf course, the club boasts a golf shop, four Class-A PGA/LPGA Professional instructors, two clay tennis courts, and full service dining facilities.
Course at a Glance