Best Kid's RV Vacation in New Hampshire?
May 24, 2016 7:48 PM   Subscribe

OK. We have an RV on loan for a week's vacation in the first week in August (we can fudge where the week begins and ends). We have a six year old. We have at least one parent, probably two, nostalgic for New Hampshire in high summer.

We would like Storyland. We would like Clark's Trading Post. We would like Santa's Village. We would like a few days rest interspersed, and a driving tour of Manchester on the way back. Is there a way to do all this economically (not counting the gasoline bill, it's covered)?

Have you done all this? How did you do it, what would you not do again, and what would you totally dive upon if given another shot at it?

posted by Slap*Happy to Travel & Transportation around New Hampshire (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Lost River Gorge, it's really the best touristy thing in the White Mountains.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 8:00 PM on May 24, 2016

Waterfalls and waterhole streams along the Kangamangus. The White Mountains are really not that big an area, get a physical map and do some charting to avoid zigzagging, once over the pass is probably enough. :-)
posted by sammyo at 8:14 PM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

In the Lakes Region:

Rattlesnake Mountain, quite possibly the very best hike ever in terms of effort/view ratio. Totally easy for a six-year-old. Take a picnic to the top.

Funspot! Arcade games for kids and nostalgic adults, mini-golf, go-karts, bowling ... it is awesome.
posted by Daily Alice at 9:14 PM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Last summer we tent- camped at an awesome "family campground" in NH (MeMail me for the name) that has tons of RV spaces, and then drove over to Santa's Village with our four kids. In previous years we have also tent-camped (at Dolly Copp campground, which may not accept RVs) and gone to Storyland. I would say that Santa's Village, with its new rides and recent updates, is again a lot better than Storyland.

But there are definitely campgrounds where you can park the vehicle, and then use their shower facilities and such. Much cheaper than a hotel, as long as the RV has enough room to sleep you all -- or you can stuff the kids in a tent just outside (or even sleep in a hammock yourself!).

We also made sure to spend one day hiking partway up one of the mountains with a camera and lunch, at Bald Mountain and Artist Bluff in Franconia Notch (as seen here). There was one scramble that might give grandparents pause, but otherwise very do-able. It's also near the new Old Man of the Mountain viewing area & museum, which has a neat plaza to view where the face on the bluff was before it fell off. :7( Those are located right on the interstate, so we didn't really need a winding tour back down on our way toward home.

The L.L. Bean outlet in Concord, NH, actually seems to be a real outlet and not just another retail location, if that interests you. (I went through the area several times last fall, and made sure to stop.)
posted by wenestvedt at 6:10 AM on May 25, 2016

Waterfalls and waterhole streams along the Kangamangus.

Yep! My parents used to regularly drag us up to NH and stopping on the side of the road and just going walking into the water (with our shoes on! OMG!) was really a treat. Get a pass and park anywhere. The K is pretty packed with tourists so don't expect to go fast but it is a great one-stop way to see a lot of what's great in that area. I also liked the cog railway but it was not cheap, but a really one of a kind NH adventure.
posted by jessamyn at 7:21 AM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

That cog train is really expensive now!

I have heard that taking the gondola up the mountainside -- Cannon Mtn., maybe? -- is cool, and certainly costs less than the cog railroad. There should be a combo ticket for that plus something else in the Franconia Notch area.
posted by wenestvedt at 10:24 AM on May 25, 2016

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