Impacts of Social Media

Understanding the impacts of social media, and providing education and resources to parents and children, may assist in curtailing these negative impacts.

Research continues to show that the more time children spend on social media, the potential for a higher risk of depression, anxiety and psychological distress increases.

It is imperative that parents, guardians, and all adults responsible for children understand the potential ramifications and consequences of use of social media platforms by children.

New Hampshire offers a wide variety of exciting and engaging activities that families can enjoy together.

FREE Destinations and Activities

Aerial view of a road through a forestFederal website promoting free outdoor activities for kids. Many are activities that can be done in your backyard, or with access to forest area. The website is designed to promote different types of activities giving information on how to get started, what to bring, and things near you. The website also allows filters on free activities, rainy day activities, and last-minute activities. Free activity sheets are also available for download.

Activities include learning trees, camping, cloud watching, identifying plants etc.

Discover the Forest Free Activities  

View down a sidewalk toward the State Park facilities building.Hampton Beach and the New Hampshire seacoast offer amazing activities for families of all ages. Kids can explore the ecosystem looking for shells, exploring tide pools or walking on the beach. There are onsite picnic facilities, playgrounds and local shops. Lifeguards monitor the beaches from April to September. Parking varies based on location.

Visit Hampton Beach  

Night sky with Milky Way reflected in water.The University of New Hampshire offers free observing sessions the first and third Saturdays of every month in Durham, where volunteers provide guided information about astronomy and the night sky. No appointments are required!

Visit the UNH Observatory  

Child with long hair draws with chalk on patio tiles.Do it yourself chalk paint takes four common household products and creates hours of fun for the family! Using cornstarch, baking soda, food dye, and a squeeze bottle or other container, the options are endless for what you can design. The chalk takes about 20 minutes to make, and the paints should be used immediately. This is a fun and MESSY outdoor activity.

Recipe for DIY Sidewalk Chalk Paint  

Child's hands holding pinecones.This activity has four ingredients (pinecones, peanut butter, yarn and wild bird food) and doesn’t take long to make! Once hung, kids can track the birds that come to the feeder. If you live in an area with bears, collect pinecones and save them for the winter months!

Pinecone Birdfeeder Instructions  

A woman with braided hair reads a book to a young girl who is eating a strawberry while resting on a picnic blanket.There are many locations across the State that offer the perfect spot for outdoor picnics. Some include Odiorne Point in Rye, Franconia Notch State Park, Pattenville Picnic Area in Littleton, Rocky Gorge in Albany, Bear Brook State Park etc. Check your town or local recreation department website for local park listings.

Find a State Park Near You  

Painted stones on a beach; one has the message: know you are loved.Did you know that a stone is just a rock with a job to do? There is no price to the impact that kindness has on others. Paint kind messages on small rocks and leave them around your community. This is a great way to show your artistic abilities and brighten someone else’s day.

A paint set on a sheet.Hang up an old white sheet (inside or out) and let your kids paint it! The ideas are endless for what you can create and save. All you need are paint/markers, and an old sheet! 

Closeup of fingers on the fretboard of a guitar.Prescott Park in Portsmouth presents musicals every weekend as well as outdoor movies. Tables and chairs are available to rent in a premium seating section, but guests are encouraged to bring their own chairs and blankets. While there is a concession stand at the park, guests can also bring their own picnics and coolers. Admissions is free, but there is a suggested donation at the gate.

Visit Portsmouth's Prescott Park  

Child throwing a frisbee.Use laundry baskets to play frisbee golf! Compete against family and friends in this easy backyard game.

Easy Frisbee Gold for your Backyard  

A short rainbow connects Mt. Washington to the clouds above.Located at the foot of Mt. Washington, Great Glen Trails offers many outdoor activities. There are trails for hiking, walking and biking. Guests can also book guided wildlife or kayak tours for an additional price. The park also organizes walking/running series that meet weekly.

Run and Walk Great Glen Trails  

Family walking on a trail in the woods.New Hampshire has many beautiful hiking trails right in our own backyard! There is a comprehensive list made by the New Hampshire State Parks that highlights different trails and conditions for everyone. The website also provides resources for hiking organizations and clubs as well as hiking safety tips.

State Parks Hiking Information  

Multiple red, orange and white fireworks exploding.There are many opportunities throughout the summertime to observe the fireworks in the state. Many towns put on fireworks displays during summer festivals or Old Homes Days.

Hampton Beach puts on a fireworks display every Wednesday starting at 9:30 PM. Weirs Beach on Lake Winnipesaukee also offers scheduled fireworks during the summer. 

Hampton Beak Fireworks   Weirs Beach Fireworks  

Small green crab in a tide pool.This hands-on learning center has a large touch tank displaying tide pools with animals local to the region. It is a self-guided experience in Hampton Beach. There are also exhibits on climate change, marine life and plants. Open seasonally with free admission (small donation suggested).

Visit the Discovery Center  

Child with cat face paint.A weeklong event on the boardwalk in Hampton Beach. Lots of free activities for children, including movies on the sand after sunset, face painting, and storytelling. Activities begin August 15.

Children's Week at Hampton Beach  

New Hampshire capital building.The New Hampshire State House is free and open to the public. Guest can walk around the State House and maybe catch a glimpse of state law makers. The Visitors’ Center offers guided tours and exhibits New Hampshire history.

Visit the New Hampshire State House  

Six hands holding different colored DIY slime balls.Making homemade slime or playdough offers a quick DIY activity that provides hours of fun afterwards. There are many things you can add to make the project personalized.

Easy Homemade Playdough  

10 Non-Toxic Slime Recipes  

Child wearing a hat and smiling and holding an ice cream cone, with ice cream covering their nose and mouth.While New Hampshire has some of the best ice cream stands around, on a hot day, try making your own! Ice cream in a bag is part cooking, part science, making it a fun activity for everyone. There are a few simple ingredients for vanilla ice cream, but the options are endless for what you can add! The recipe takes about 45 minutes and kids will love to “shake” their own ice cream.

Ice Cream in a Bag Recipe  

Hands holding a watering can and trowel at a raised bed garden.There are many resources to create your own home garden, either in the ground or in a planter! Resources can be purchased at local farm stores or larger retailers, such as Home Depot and Lowes.

Children's books on a cart in a library.Many libraries across the state offer free outdoor activities catered to kids in the summertime. Events include outdoor reading, book clubs, and enrichment activities. There are also summer reading initiatives to foster a love of books.

Concord Public Library | Dover Public Library | Rochester Public Library | Hooksett Public Library | Keene Public Library | Chesley Memorial Library

Find Your Local Library  

Other Activities

Panoramic view of the wooden walkway with mountains in the background.Located in Rumney, the Polar Caves offer families a fun outdoor activity with cool (both in temperature and fun) caverns for kids of all ages to explore. The caves are connected by wooden stairways and take about an hour to traverse. There are uneven, wet, and inclined walking conditions so proper footwear is advised. Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate.

Visit the Polar Caves  

Hand holding a freshly-picked blueberry.There are many small farms and businesses across the state that provide pick-your-own activities, such as blueberries, raspberries, apples, pumpkins, etc.. Some of the farms offer other activities such as corn mazes, farm stands, picnic fields, and walking trails. With so many local farms in the state, pick-your-own is a fun and rewarding activity - not to mention delicious! Check out a comprehensive list of the different locations across the state with the links to the local farm websites, as well as the produce available.

Pick-Your-Own Farms in New Hampshire  

Child wearing a white hat and striped shirt standing at a mini golf tee.New Hampshire has many mini golf course and activity centers across the state that offers fun for kids of all ages. Many of the small business also offer go-karts, batting cages, and ice cream. Prices vary based on location. Some include Chucksters (Chichester), Mel’s Funway Park (Litchfield), Hilltop Fun Center (Somersworth) Twinkle town Mini Golf (Swanzey), and many more.

Entrance to an ancient stone structure.

Located in Salem, NH is a ½-mile trail with rock structures to explore. There is a mystery as to how and why the Stonehenge was created, and visitors are welcome to explore the different caves, rocks, and alpacas who live there. Guests are taken on a self-guided tour, with stops along the path with educational material. The price of admission is $9/child $15/adult and can be purchased onsite or in advanced online.

Visit America's Stonehenge