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Head to the Mountains for a Good Old-Fashioned Family Friendly Summer

With smartphones, tablets, video games, and Tik Tok, it’s easy for your kids to spend their entire summer vacation indoors. It’s time to leave all the technology behind and escape to the White Mountains for a little family fun. For centuries, the White Mountains were a popular escape for America’s elite who would come to the area every summer to enjoy the fresh mountain air.

Tell your kids to pack their sneakers and activewear as there are tons of fun family activities for all ages to enjoy from sunup to sundown. From flying high on ziplines and ropes courses, to hitting a hole-in-one on the mini golf course, and dipping your feet in a cool mountain stream, your kids will forget all about their digital worlds at home. Ok, well maybe you can let them post a photo or video to the ‘Gram or Tik Tok.

This blog post is part of “The Guide to Summer Activities In The White Mountains”, "The Guide to Spring Activities in the White Mountains", and "The Guide to Fall Activities in the White Mountains" blog series.


Get a Birdseye View: Cannon Tram and Loon Gondola


The White Mountains are known for the extraordinary views from the top. Why not get the best view from atop Cannon or Loon Mountain? During the summer months, both Cannon Mountain and Loon Mountain run one of their lifts to the top where you can see as far away as New York and Canada on a clear day. The Cannon Tram is an 80-passenger cable car that will take you from the base of the mountain to the 4,080-foot summit in less than 10 minutes. At the top, you can enjoy spectacular panoramic views from the 360-degree observation deck, café, bar, and walking paths.

Loon Mountain’s Gondola Skyride is New Hampshire’s longest scenic gondola ride. Enjoy a spectacular ride to the 2,733-foot summit of Loon Peak where the views are incredible, and the mountain breeze is refreshing on a hot summer day. At the top of Loon Peak, you’ll find nature trails, the famous summit observation tower, and summit glacial caves. An all-day ticket allows you to ride the gondola round-trip as many times as you’d like. The Cannon Tram and Loon Gondola are perfect summer family activities, especially for those with children too young to hike to the top for the views. 


Fly High: Thrillsville at Alpine Adventures


Alpine Adventures on Main Street in Lincoln is well known for its year-round high-flying family fun. Their Thrillsville Aerial Park offers a variety of elements to get you moving, climbing, and smiling. With bridges, rope ladders, mini ziplines, and cargo nets, you can test your fear of heights and soar through the air on a snow tube on the Colossus Stunt Ramp.

The Thrillsville course is completely self-guided so you can move as fast or slow as you’d like. After a short training session, you’ll know how to safely “clip” and “un-clip” into the smart belay system that ensures your safety the entire time. Children ages six and up can enjoy levels one and two with an adult, while you must be 12 or older to try the higher level three course. 


Get a Gold Rush: Mining for Treasure at Lost River Gorge

Located in the heart of Kinsman Notch, the Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves were formed more than 300 million years ago during the Ice Age. As the ice began to melt, it eroded the rocks and thus formed one of the White Mountain’s best-kept secrets. While the Lost River Gorge offers an abundance of fun family summer activities, mining for gold is an experience you’ll never forget! Search for buried treasure, like fossils, gold, and gemstones with the Lost River Mining Company. In each “mining rough” bag, you’ll receive two ounces of dirt containing a variety of gemstones and shark’s teeth. You’ll place the rough on a screen-bottom tray with a water-powered sluice, as the dirt and grit from the rough are washed away, you’ll be left with unique treasures!


Meet THE FAMOUS WOLFMAN: Clark's Trading Post

Clark’s Trading Post is a true family affair. First started in 1928 by Florence and Ed Clark, the Clark family still runs the popular family-friendly park with a circus, climbing tower, water slide, and more. Don’t miss a ride on the historic White Mountain Central Railroad in search of the famous Wolfman and his comedic antics. Take a stroll down Main Street and enjoy the many museums that looks back into yesteryear before taking in the Bear Show. Your kids will beg you to go back again next year!


Discover Natural Beauty: Flume Gorge

No visit to Franconia Notch is complete without a visit to the infamous Flume Gorge. Discovered by 93-year-old “Aunt” Jess Guernsey in 1808 while she was fishing, a massive egg-shaped boulder hung high above her suspended between the walls of the gorge. Unfortunately, a rainstorm in 1883 washed the boulder away. During that same storm, Avalanche Falls was formed. The Flume extends 800 feet from the base of Mount Liberty and is one of New Hampshire’s best natural gems. From the Flume Visitors Center, you can opt for the two-mile loop or head directly through the Gorge. Families of all ages will enjoy a trip back in time. Leave the cell phone behind and enjoy the natural beauty of the Gorge and the surrounding state park.


Adventure Awaits: Loon Mountain Adventure Center


Open year-round, the Loon Mountain Adventure Center offers tons of family-friendly activities to keep your family busy all day long. During the summer months, you can enjoy ziplining, indoor rock climbing, the LogJam Maze, mountain biking, bungee trampoline, and more. Zip 750 feet across the Pemigewasset River and back again to the Adventure Center. Test your athleticism on the Aerial Forest Adventure Park with its five Swiss designed courses containing fun elements like ziplines, Tibetan bridge, and log tightrope.

The LogJam Maze is New Hampshire’s largest wooden maze made with locally harvested logs. See if you can make it out of the labyrinth in record time! Rent a bicycle from the Loon Bike Center or bring your own and hit the cross country trails for a fun afternoon of pedaling. If you need a little boost, try one of the new e-bikes! Finally, practice your acrobat skills on the bungee trampoline where you can jump, spin, and backflip to your delight.


Hit a Hole-in-One: Hobo Hills Adventure Golf


Located across the street from McDonald's on Main Street, Hobo Hills Adventure Park is an 18-hole mini golf course. Part of the Pirate's Cove brand, Hobo Hills is a first-class course with cascading waterfalls, bustling brooks, and lavish greenery that mimics the natural beauty that surrounds Lincoln and the White Mountains. Grab bagels at White Mountain Bagel Co. and spend the morning playing a round of mini golf at Hobo Hills. It is fun and affordable for all ages. Loser buys lunch, right?


Plan Your Adventure Today

There are tons of things to do in the White Mountains with the whole family. Leave the technology behind and enjoy some good old fashion fun in the mountains. After all, families have been escaping to the White Mountains for centuries during the summer. Reserve your summer getaway at RiverWalk now before we are booked for season!


This blog post is part of “The Guide to Summer Activities In The White Mountains”, "The Guide to Spring Activities in the White Mountains", and "The Guide to Fall Activities in the White Mountains" blog series.


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