Whether you live on the Seacoast or you’re just visiting for a weekend, there’s no shortage of fun to be found around Portsmouth, NH. From festive events that light up the night to outdoor adventures that celebrate the beauty of the snow-covered landscapes, we’ve gathered some of our favorite family-friendly things to do when cabin fever strikes. Bundle up and let the winter escapades begin!
Family Friendly Winter Activities in Portsmouth, NH
Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond
Strawbery Banke’s seasonal skate pond is a delight for all ages. The rink offers daily public skating, adaptive ice time, private rink rentals, skating lessons, and pick-up pond hockey on a professionally maintained ice surface. Ice skate rentals, training aids, and skate sharpening services are also available. As ice conditions can change frequently, be sure to check the Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond Facebook Page for current schedule, changes, and closures. Learn more about visiting the skate pond here.
Children’s Museum of New Hampshire
Located in downtown Dover, the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire is ideal for families with children up to age 12, offering two floors of unique, interactive, hands-on exhibits where you can explore Nature, STEM, Pretend Play, Art, and World Cultures. The Museum also offers free monthly, low-sensory events for families with children with autism spectrum or sensory processing disorders, allowing them to explore the Museum without the noise, crowds, and stimulation of a typical day. Please note, online reservations are required and are specific to the date and time reserved.
Seacoast Science Center
Located within Odiorne Park in Rye, NH, the Seacoast Science Center is another great location for hands-on learning experiences and family fun. With exhibits on marine mammals, reef restoration, and saltwater touch tanks, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. As capacity is limited, the Seacoast Science Center highly recommends booking tickets in advance to ensure entry.
Take a Winter Hike
Is there anything more magical than a snowshoe hike along the water? The Seacoast is home to dozens of publicly accessible trails with stunning water views. The winter months offer unique opportunities to explore the trails and spot wildlife outside of the crowded summer months. Odiorne State Park, Adams Point, and Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge are all great locations to try; check out this blog post by Seacoast Mom Collective for tips on taking children snowshoeing and local kid-friendly trails.
Try an Escape Room
The perfect antidote to winter boredom, an escape room offers families an opportunity to work together to solve puzzles and codes in a unique and fun setting. Themes and challenges change frequently so visit Monkey Mind Escape Rooms and Portsmouth Escape Room online to learn more about these immersive experiences.
Dance the Winter Blues Away at 3SArtspace
Keep an eye out for Rollercoaster at 3SArtspace, a recurring family-friendly dance party. 3SArtspace describes Rollercoaster as “a dance party for parents and their kids featuring music you listened to before Cocomelon invaded your speakers.” This is a ticketed event which includes a dance floor, picnic area, and activities appropriate for children up to age ten.
Visit the Winter Farmer’s Market
The Seacoast Eat Local Winter Market is a feast for the senses featuring vendors that make, grow, harvest, catch, or craft 100% of the products they sell at the market. Stock up on local food, grab a bite to eat, and enjoy live music in a lively, family-friendly environment. You can find more information on market dates and locations online at Seacoast Eat Local.
Off The Wallz Kids
If your kids really need to let some energy out and going outdoors isn’t an option, check out Off The Wallz Kids in North Hampton, NH. This indoor play center features a maze of climbing structures, fun slides, soft climbing areas, obstacles and bridges, an arcade, a designated toddler play area, and a snack bar and cafe.
The Snapology Discovery Center in Dover, NH is ideal for budding scientists! This STEAM-focused indoor play center has building toys and interactive play areas for children of all ages. In addition to regular play hours, Snapology also offers classes, camps, and workshops.
While Woodstock, NH definitely isn’t on the Seacoast, it’s well within a reasonable driving distance for this incredible attraction. This winter wonderland is built using hundreds of thousands of icicles hand-placed by professional ice artists. The castles include breathtaking LED-lit sculptures, frozen thrones, ice-carved tunnels, slides, fountains and much more. Reserving tickets in advance is strongly recommended. Learn more about visiting the Ice Castles here.