The Shaker religious sect is considered by many historians to be the most successful communitarian society in America. This beautiful outdoor museum and National Historic Landmark was once home to 300 Shakers. Today, expert tour guides share the story of the Shakers’ 200-year history on this site and their beliefs in simple living, gender equality, pacifism, and work as worship. Explore the architecture and collections in the Village’s 25 restored historic buildings, learn about Shaker inventiveness and industry, and explore 700 acres including organic gardens, orchards, and scenic mill pond. See craft demonstrations of oval box making, letterpress printing, and broom making. Enjoy a simple lunch at the Horse Barn Cafe and shop New Hampshire’s premier store for Shaker reproductions. Richly authentic, Canterbury Shaker Village is a place for learning, reflection and renewal of the human spirit.
The hidden truths of America, right in your backyard
Did other Europeans with knowledge of astronomy and stone construction reach North America a thousand years or more ahead of Columbus? Some say they came and left evidence of their visits -- megaliths and stone chambers -- throughout New England. You can explore one of the largest collections of artifacts at America's Stonehenge in Salem, New Hampshire. Some believe the site includes a stone astronomical calendar, like the one found at Stonehenge. A video in our museum gives you all the background you'll need. Then it's time to hit the half-mile trail through the pine forest to see for yourself. Along the way you may meet a few alpacas who share the property. Don't worry -- they're gentle creatures who enjoy greeting visitors.
McAuliffe–Shepard Discovery Center
3 Institute DriveConcord, NH, 03301Phone: 603-271-7827
Explore space on earth at this moving memorial center
This unique space exploration center and moving memorial to two American heroes, is not shy about its intentions: to inspire people of all ages to reach for the stars and provide engaging activities that help enlighten others about astronomy, aviation, earth and space science. It would be a lofty mission indeed if it weren’t for its two namesakes who typify those ideals: New Hampshire’s native son and America’s first astronaut, Alan B. Shepard, and Sharon Christa McAuliffe, America’s first private citizen sent to space. Opened in 1990 the planetarium merges her dream of one day traveling through space with her dedication to her students. The Center’s collection of interactive exhibits are framed in an entertaining learning environment from the planetarium theater to the high-tech observatory to workshops for young and older.
Museum Complex - Bear Brook State Park
Route 28Allenstown, NH, -3275Phone: 603-485-2034
The museum complex at this park ilncludes the New Hampshire Antique Snowmobile Museum, Museum of Family Camping, Old Allenstown Meeting House, and the Richard Diehl Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Museum. Most of the museums are housed in historic CCC buildings.
Open: Various hours throughout the summer
Interactive and detailed museum exhibits tell visitors about the history of the Granite State, its indigenous peoples, and colonial settlers. The museum has a store.
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.; July-October 15 and all of December, additional hours on Monday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $5.50; seniors, $4.50; children age 6-18, $3.
The Currier Museum of Art offers permanent collection of European and American artists, decorative arts, photographs and sculpture. Among the artists featured at the Currier at Wyeth, Monet, Picasso, and Georgia O’Keefe. The museum takes visitors on of the nearby Zimmerman House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Many fascinating changing exhibits run throughout the year. Hours: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Admission:
Adults, $12, seniors, $10, students, $9; youth age 13-17, $5
This hands-on science center has nearly 100 exhibits where children and adults can do actual science experiments. The museum’s Millyard Project is a scale model of the Amoskeag Millyard of Manchester circa 1900, built entirely of Lego blocks – 2 million in all. Other activities include the Science of Ice Hockey; Reptile Mountain, and Moonwalk.
Hours: Monday – Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Check for seasonal changes in hours and programs.
Cost: $8 per person over age 3.