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5 Local Activities to Celebrate Summer

Jul 05, 2012 10:46AM ● By Erin Frisch

Celebrate Summer

So far this season, we have been blessed with some beautiful weather. What better way to enjoy it than by taking part in local activities with family and friends. Make the most of warm summer evenings and picture-perfect weekends. Read on for fun and exciting activities—right here in the Upper Valley.

Dinner Cruise on Lake Sunapee

The MV Kearsarge is a replica paddlewheel steamboat that has been plying the waters of Lake Sunapee for over 30 years. Each two-hour cruise is narrated by the captain, who’ll tell you about the history, landmarks, and lore of the lake. The boat features two decks of enclosed dining areas, as well as an open-air walkway around the top deck that provides stunning views. Dinner includes a roast beef buffet every evening with a full bar available and cruises start at 6:30pm each night except Mondays. Prices are $36.99 per person for the cruise, dinner buffet, dessert, and coffee, and $26.99 for children 12 and under (on select days). Check the website for more details or to make reservations.

Fairlee Drive-In Theater

Located in Fairlee, Vermont, the Drive-In is open every night in July and August and shows newly released movies beginning at dusk (around 9pm), rain or shine. Movies are shown using a projector, and sound is broadcast through your own car radio, so there’s no need to worry about not being able to hear clearly. The schedule is updated frequently, so check their website for details. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday boast double features. Movies on the docket for July include The Amazing Spiderman, Men in Black 3, The Dark Knight Rises, and Rock of Ages. The Drive-In offers a snack bar that includes everything from standard movie snacks to hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, and more. So fill up your car with friends on a beautiful evening and make the trip to Fairlee for a unique movie-watching experience!

Greensboro Ridge Natural Area

Hanover Conservancy’s Greensboro Ridge Natural Area is a 113-acre protected property that’s home to numerous wildflowers and wildlife such as barred owls, broad-winged hawks, and ruffed grouse as well as warblers, vireos, and many other small birds. The ledges and stone ridges are also habitat for many animals including bear, mink, fisher, raccoon, deer, and fox. Listen and watch for them as you enjoy a walk along the trails. The natural area also has nine vernal pools, which are breeding grounds for salamanders and frogs. To reach Greensboro Ridge, take Route 10 to Route 120. Turn left onto Greensboro Road and left to Velvet Rocks Drive. Park at the trailhead at the top of the drive. Find more information and trail maps at the Hanover Conservancy’s website. This one is a well-kept Upper Valley secret, and this summer is the perfect time to explore it!

The Fells Historic Estate and Gardens

The Fells is located on the eastern shore of Lake Sunapee and boasts gardens, nature trails, and history lessons. You can take guided tours from Wednesday through Sunday, or simply enjoy a walk on the grounds yourself. Special events include Artists' Weekend (July 14 & 15), when New England artists work to creatively capture the inspirational beauty of the Fells. Saturday features artists immersed in their surroundings, discovering their individual inspiration. Sunday's activities include a festival of events with a special children's art table, a musical performance, artists’ demonstrations, a wet-paint sale, and free reception. Mark August 18 on your calendar, too! It’s the Hay Day Family Festival featuring face painting, a petting zoo, old-fashioned games, live music, children's art projects, a scavenger hunt, and delicious food. There is an admission fee for non-members, and hours for non-members are daily from 9am to 5pm. Visit the Fells website for more details.

Opera North

This Lebanon, New Hampshire, company celebrates its 30th anniversary this summer. Throughout July and August, they will be performing three operas (The Elixir of Love, The Impresario, and The Cunning Little Vixen) and one classic American musical (The King and I). Head to the Lebanon Opera House to experience magnificent voices, great music, and exciting theater. Visit to view the show calendar. Tickets are on sale now attheir website or by calling the Lebanon Opera House at (603) 448-0400. Opera North has created partnerships with local inns and bed and breakfasts for discount tickets and reduced room rates (info also available on the website)—a wonderful opportunity to make a special night of it!

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