Despite its name, The Childrens Museum of New Hampshire isn't just for children. The mission statement of this non-profit organization centers on "family learning"?that is, creating exhibits that engage both kids and adults in problem-solving activities inspired by the real world.
Gundalow Company likens its namesake to the tractor-trailer rigs of today. Flat-bottomed cargo barges with a single mast, gundalows once sailed down shallow rivers, carrying fish, lumber, bricks, and coal to towns in the Piscataqua region. The company’s mission is to preserve the history of this ship and the maritime life it once facilitated. They are aided in this mission by two vessels. The Captain Edward H. Adams is a historically accurate replica of the Fanny M., the last commercial gundalow. It was helmed by Captain Adams, who was also known for gathering awareness for the health of the Great Bay Estuary. Visitors can hop aboard this permanently docked ship and participate in an array of hands-on educational programs. The Piscataqua, on the other hand, offers on-the-go lessons, as it is US Coast Guard–certified and available for public and private sails. During two-hour tours, passengers travel along six inland rivers, picnicking, helping the crew pull up lobster traps, or searching the water’s surface for a third eye in their reflections.
Established: Before 1950
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 30?60 minutes
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Free street parking
Recommended Age Group: All ages
In his lifetime, William Lord amassed something of a treasure horde, including artwork, furniture, and articles of business. When he died in 1873, he left behind a fortune considered the greatest in Kennebunk, including several pieces of real estate. In 1936, Lord's old general store building came into the possession of his great-granddaughter, Edith Cleaves Barry. She decided to use the building as a museum, exploring the area's history through the lens of her family's story and possessions. The museum quickly grew to occupy other nearby buildings, all dating from between 1810 and 1860, and their architectural elements and antiques became the centerpiece of Brick Store Museum.
Today, the museum houses exhibits in six galleries spread throughout the buildings. Many of the exhibits feature interactive elements, and all tell the story of regional history, whether through photography, artwork, artifacts, or ghosts who can talk.
Emerson Umbrella Center for the Arts began as a high school. Built in 1929, the town's first steel-beamed building was filled with bright young minds for more than half a century. But when the school outgrew its building, it moved, and set the stage for for the structure's second life. Emerson Umbrella's group of founding volunteers created a community-arts center that saved the building from demolition while also sticking to its original spirit, ensuring it be used for education. Today, owned by the town and managed by Emerson Umbrella, the center hosts studio space for more than 50 artists, workshops and classes for kids and grown-ups, a performance space for arts events of all disciplines, and just as many standardized biology tests.
Nestled along the sandy shores of a spring-fed lake, Peters Pond RV Resort keeps campers comfortable with well-maintained campsites trumpeting a slew of amenities. Campers stow the bungalow-on-wheels or pop a tent at one of the resort’s many sites, keeping creature comforts flowing with hook-ups for necessities, including water, electricity, and fondue. Occupy sunshine-drenched days fishing the stocked lake, hiking nearby trails, or parading about the two beaches, or settle vacation quarrels with old-fashioned rounds of bocce ball, badminton, or horseshoes. Wash away the musk of strenuous hikes or the memories of losing at hot potato with the resort’s hot showers and laundry machines. The modern facilities also anchor campers to civilization, with cable hookups, a free WiFi hotspot, and hourly news updates beamed to each mind via the camp’s resident medium.