20+ things to do this summer in the Lakes Region

Our summer guide on where to find fun in New Hampshire's Lakes Region

Ah, summer at the lake. With kid-friendly beaches and boat-dotted waters, Lake Winnipesaukee, and neighboring Squam Lake and Lake Winnisquam, are natural magnets for vacationing families. Looking for laid back summer fun? Here are 20 of our favorite things to do in the Lakes Region.

Weirs Beach and Laconia

  1. Go swimming at  Endicott State Park (the "beach" part of Weirs Beach), which provides seasonal lifeguards, public bath houses and picnic tables a plenty.

  2. Rent a boat from Anchor Marine, located just north of the beach. You can even buy a fishing license at the same time. Remember, kids 16 and under do not need a fishing license.

  3. Head over to the Winnipesaukee Pier and Weirs Boardwalk for classic arcade games and miniature golf in this “heart of the boardwalk” location.

  4. Logs of Fun and Daytona Fun Park offers a 24-foot climbing wall, go-karts, bumper boats, batting cages and more.

  5. Don't miss the 9 ziplines and 11 arial adventure courses at Monkey Trunks. The best part? This attraction is also open at night under the lights.

  6. Find relief from the heat (or rain) at Fun Spot, the one-stop option for bowling, arcade games, mini golf, bingo, ski ball and much more.

  7. Take in a movie at the Weirs Beach Drive In It’s one of the oldest — and last remaining — drive-in movie theaters in the state.

  8. Let loose and play on the Natural Playscape at Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center in Laconia. This woodland playground seeks to connect children with nature through creative, freeform play.


  1. Hop aboard the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad. Traveling from Meredith to the Weirs Beach boardwalk and finally to Lakeport – and back again, this excursion in refurbished Pullman cars takes your family past Lake Winnipesaukee’s most breathtaking scenery. It’s also possible to board the train in Weirs Beach.

  2. Take in a show at the Interlakes Children's Theatre. On stage in 2017 are: Cinderella, Peter Pan Jr., Into the Woods, Jr., and Peanut Butter & Cupcake The Musical. No need to worry about rain or excessive heat ruining your fun – all shows are performed in air-conditioned comfort at Inter-Lakes Auditorium.

  3. Satisfy your craving at Hart’s Turkey Farm, where it’s Thanksgiving in July, and every month of the year, at this 500-seat Meredith landmark. Order turkey, stuffing, and all the fixings, or stick with sandwiches and lighter summer fare.

  4. Spend the day at Waukewan Town Beach (off Waukewan Street) and Leavitt Park on Route 25 between Meredith and Center Harbor.

  5. Boat and canoe rentals are available at the Meredith Marina.

  6. Row your way the short distance across Meredith Bay to Stonedam Island, a 112-acre wildlife preserve. Once ashore, follow the self-guided nature trail through mature forest and wetlands, picnic on the beach, and take in the impressive lake views.


  1. Mosey on down to the docks where you'll find the Winnipesaukee Belle, a 70-foot replica turn-of-the-century paddle boat. Morning and afternoon (and evening dinner) cruises are available.

  2. Cool off at Clow Beach at Wentworth State Park. Spanning 50 acres along the shore of scenic Wentworth Lake, the beach is a popular spot for swimming, picnicking, and fishing.

  3. Other Wolfeboro town swimming spots include Albee, Brewster and Carry beaches.

  4. Discover vintage boats or hop aboard the Millie B at the New Hampshire Boat Museum.

Holderness & Ashland

  1. Meet some wild animals and hit the trails at the Sqaum Lakes Natural Science Center in Holderness. Visitors follow interpretive trails through meadows, marshes and forests to see live animal displays of some of the creatures who call the area home, including a black bear and bobcat.

  2. See more than 2,000 antique and vintage toys at the Glidden Toy Museum in Ashland.

  3. Step into the past at the Ashland Railroad Station Museum. The museum (open on Saturdays in July and August) is noted as one of best preserved late 19th century railroad stations and has a growing collection of railroad artifacts, pictures, and documents.

  4. Set forth on a 30-minute easy hike to the top of Rattlesnake Mountain for breathtaking views of Squam Lake. The trailhead parking area is located about four miles north of Holderness on Route 113. The summit is the perfect spot for a picnic, so pack some snacks before heading out.

  5. Wrap up your day with a relaxing dinner at The Common Man in Ashland. Bonus? Don't miss the penny candy counter at The Common Man Store, located across the street from the restaurant.

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