They might not be famous for their sunny skies and unbearably hot days, but summers in New Hampshire (and all of New England, really) are both friendly and fun for the whole family if you know where to go, and both hold some of the coolest summer events in the whole country. From giant outdoor cookoffs and markets to live music shows and master artisan fairs, what you can do depends entirely on what kind of fun you’d like to have.
This list brings together what we consider to be the best and most family-friendly events in New Hampshire and New England this weekend and all over the summer, so if you live there, are visiting, or just passing through, be sure to spend some time at any of them and indulge in the best part of either of these states: Their people. Enjoy some chowder for us and have fun!
White Mountain Boogie n’ Blues Festival – North Thornton, New Hampshire
This is the largest outdoor blues festival in all of New Hampshire, and it brings together some of the best award-winning blues musicians working today. As if that wasn’t enough, it also takes place in a natural amphitheater formed in the middle of the White Mountains, surrounded by a beautiful 72-acre field where you’ll also find several activities like wall-climbing, firework shows, craft booths to get your own creativity going, and some of the tastiest outdoor-festival food you’ve ever tried. This is the event for you if you love the blues, being in contact with nature, and having a good burger under the summer sun.
St. Peter’s Fiesta – Gloucester, Massachusetts
Do we hear you saying you want a BIG summer party? Then Gloucester, NE is waiting for you with St. Peter’s Fiesta, a big, colorful five-day festival honoring the titular Saint Peter, the patron saint of fishermen. This gargantuan event is organized every year by Gloucester’s Italian-American community, and it turns into a citywide festivity that includes parades, seine boat races, live music concerts, a colorful carnival, and even a greasy pole contest (it’s as fun and messy as it sounds), and much more. The roots of the festival are never forgotten, however, as it also includes a blessing of the fisherman’s fleet, which is really grounding after all that non-stop partying and fun. Finally, do we even have to mention the food?
League of N.H. Craftsmen’s Fair – Plymouth, New Hampshire
Over 300 master artisans will showcase their work at the Mount Sunapee Resort, and you’ll be able to browse and buy their crafts to your heart’s content. From decorations to clothing and jewelry, their products offer you the perfect chance to change your whole style and support the New Hampshire artisanal scene at the same time. But that’s not all — there will also be DIY-workshops, craft booths, live demonstrations and music shows, conferences, and even a sculpture garden with beautiful local art. And of course, don’t forget the craft beer and wine garden!
Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular – Boston, Massachusetts
We just could not leave out one of Massachusetts most famous and beloved summer events, which comes at the end of the Boston Harborfest (another five-day romp and the U.S.’ largest Fourth of July celebration). The Boston Pops concert brings together over 300,000 people on the Charles River Esplanade, and with the wrap-up begins a spectacular fireworks show that fills the whole sky over your head with bright colors for almost an hour. If you can afford the time (or just want a little more wiggle room when standing with the crowd), drop by the concert on July 3rd and enjoy the many talented onstage performers; the whole celebration is one of those things that really make you proud of being an American.
Hampton Beach Seafood Festival – Hampton, New Hampshire
Can you really talk about summer events in New England without mentioning seafood? Enjoy the beautiful seafront views on Ocean Boulevard while you taste the amazing, mouthwatering food offered by 50 of the Seacoast’s top rated seafood restaurants in this great three-day event. Of course, while you take a breather between eating lobster rolls and oysters, you can enjoy the two-stage musical shows planned over the weekend, the many Culinary Chef Demonstrations, or just watch other people eat as well in the Lobster Roll Eating Competition. Saturday will close off the night with a spectacular fireworks display, while Sunday will have an incredible Sky Diving Extravaganza demonstration by Sky Dive New England. Bon appétit, everyone!
There are so many fun New England summer events in 2019 that we had the hardest time picking only 5 to recommend, but you shouldn’t have a hard time at all, especially not after coming back from a vacation; that’s why you hire a cleaning company before leaving, so you can kick back and relax as soon as you arrive!