Since moving from Portsmouth to Dover in 2008, the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire has educated and entertained more than 280,000 children and families from New England and around the world. Devoted to sharing arts, sciences, and cultural experiences with families from all walks of life, the museum houses 16 static exhibits highlighting local art and literature as well as interactive science displays. In addition to daily learning visits, the museum hosts birthday parties, and special events throughout the year teach valuable skills, such as spotting trick candles before blowing.
For the past several decades, Bowl-O-Rama has been carefully tended to by the Genimatas family. Over its history, the alley has retained much of its original 1950s charm but, as co-owner Dale Genimatas says, "We are always updating and doing new things." Dale operates the alley with her husband and sister-in-law, who she says have been involved with Bowl-O-Rama their entire lives. Dale began working at the facility in 1979 and has since seen it grow to include a total of 28 candlepin lanes, computerized scoring systems, and a food-and-beverage kitchen where chefs bake hand-tossed pizzas and appetizers that include chicken tenders and cheese sticks. Throughout the year, the family hosts open-bowling hours and special events, closing only on Christmas Day to let the pins celebrate with their families. With each weekend comes the return of cosmic glow bowling, and each year brings annual fundraisers such as the Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl-A-Thon. "It's a very electric environment," says Dale, reflecting on the scores of players and benefactors that come together each year to support the organization.
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.
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.
At Garland Stables, proprietor Chelsea Miller continues her grandmother's legacy of training, showing, and selling Morgan show horses, caring for a stable full of her own beautiful, healthy equines amid idyllic farmland and pasture. Here, riders learn proper and safe horsemanship on the ground and in the saddle during private lessons. Once they've mastered the basics, riders often embark on scenic horseback jaunts through the surrounding fields and riding trails. After riders depart for the day, horses relax in the comfort of spacious stalls with cozy matting and free cable.