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NH Sandbox

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102_0082a102_0072aWritten by Kate (one of our front desk employees):

We recently took our 12 year old grandson, Austin, to Glenn’s Sandbox in Woodstock, NH for an “Earth Moving” experience. Since Austin loves big machinery, this was perfect for something different.

We were taken up to the sandpit in a neat 4-wheel drive Ford Excursion. Glenn fully explained the use of the excavator and bulldozer as well as the safety requirements of the machines. Then it was time for Austin to jump on board and begin his job of digging and filling. He dug a huge trench-like hole ON HIS OWN and wanted to jump in for pictures! He then had to fill it back in with the bulldozer. We got great pictures and had a wonderful 2 hours.

Austin called after his return to Maine to tell “Pepere” it was the coolest thing he had ever done! we would highly recommend The Sandbox for family fun (and bored teens)!

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SWI

We had to check out the new attraction at Whale’s Tale Waterpark, so we took advantage of yet another gorgeous sunny day and headed over there yesterday. My son is 6, and this was the perfect place for him to hang out. He is too big now for the kiddie play area, and this new Shipwreck Island was just what he needed. There are several good-sized (but not too big) slides that were just right for his age and size. He had a friend with him, and the two of them spent hours climbing up and around and down the various slides. There are water cannons to aim, and water continuously sprays all around. Every so often, a huge drum of water at the top dumps on all below in a huge deluge. There are lounge chairs all around, so parents can relax and can see their kids all the time.  Don’t get me wrong – we still did all the other cool slides, lazy river, wave pool, etc, but the new Shipwreck Island fills a niche gets 2 thumbs up from us!

Sunday Hike

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WD2Since it was such a beautiful Sunday morning, Zach (6) and I decided to hike the Welch and Dickey Loop. I had not done this hike in probably 10 years. It starts out easy through the woods along a brook, then you head up to the summit of Welch Mountain.  There are extensive rock ledges and boulders and alpine-like vegetation. The views are UNBELIEVABLE! It took us just over an hour to get to this point. We stopped here and explored a bunch and had our picnic lunch. I had forgotten just how much of a hike was left to get to the top of Dickey Mountain. There is a lot of  hiking over open rock ledges and up steep inclines. Zach handled it like a champ, often running ahead a bit. It was pretty tiring, but just gorgeous and well worth the effort. Although there were a lot of cars in the parking lot, we really didn’t see that many people, since the trail is a loop. After another rest at the top of Dickey we headed down. The trail is really interesting the whole way with lots to look at. Overall, it took us about 4 hours to go the 4.4 mile loop. I highly recommend this hike to families with kids 5 or 6 years and up. Just don’t forget plenty of drinking water and your bug spray! The trailhead is about 20 minutes from Lincoln.

Off-Road Safari

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Our front desk crew was lucky enough to try off-roading with our friends at Alpine Adventures over the weekend. It was POURING, so we weren’t sure what to expect. The top and sides of the Pinzgauer were closed as we drove from Alpine Adventures to the off-roading course, so we did not get wet. When we got to the course, we all decided to open the sides so we could really see what was going on. The driver (Jesse) cranked up the tunes and gave us a little taste of the terrain before stopping at the start of the Skyrider zipline course. We all got out and walked across some hanging bridges and got a good view of one of the ziplines. Once back in the Pinzgauer, Jesse took us out onto the “meat” of the course. He backed us up hills so we were looking straight down into mud in front, and up to the sky in back! The 6-wheel drive vehicle handled the mud like a champ. We bumped and bounced over some pretty incredible trails. There were 3 kids onboard (I’m guessing maybe 4, 5, and 7 years old) who hooted and hollered and screamed for the driver to go faster! They were having the time of their lives! The mud was REALLY deep as it had been pouring for hours, and we eventually did get stuck. It was just a short walk out though to where the Alpine Adventures van picked us up. We enjoyed our adventure immensely and highly recommend this trip – even on a rainy day. Incidentally, I am very prone to motion sickness, and was not bothered by this at all.  Check out our off-road safari package on our “packages and specials” page and many thanks to Alpine Adventures for giving us first-hand info to pass along to our guests!

Beans and Greens Corn Maze

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SO – I’ve learned a lesson. Corn mazes are much bigger and trickier than they appear! When we got there they asked us if we had a cell phone and their phone number in case we wanted them to come get us. “Oh – we’ll be fine” we said. We signed out so they knew what time we left. Well, we entered the maze and found the first bridge no problem. It was really neat with very good paths and tall corn. After coming down from the first bridge, we found the center with many paths leading from it. We explored many of these, then decided to head back to the first bridge to scope out a path to the second bridge. We found a sign with an arrow pointing “this way” to the bridge. Well, we must have tried every path in that direction 10 times. We finally decided to go the opposite way the arrow was pointing. There was the bridge. Hmmmm… At that point my son was thirsty and tired, so we found our way out. When we signed back in, we mentioned the sign, and they laughed and said they were glad we liked their joke. Once again I say Hmmm… We spent so much time looking for the way back to the first bridge that we never got to explore the rest of the maze. There were also clues and riddles in the maze that were not explained to us, so we were not sure what we were supposed to do. Overall, it was really well laid out and maintained, but not very well explained. I would definitely bring drinks and snacks next time, and not assume that the signs were correct! All-in-all, a fun day!

Windy Ridge Orchard

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This is such a beautiful time of year in New Hampshire! After all these years, we are still finding things to do that we have never done before. Like apple picking! We decided on Windy Ridge Orchard in North Haverhill. It was a suprisingly short (and gorgeous) drive from Lincoln west across Route 112. We went on a Thursday afternoon and were a bit surprised to see so many other people there. We purchased our apple bag ($9) in the gift shop and headed out to the orchard. They had McIntosh and Cortland apples available to pick that day. There were 8 rows open for picking, and Zach was very happy to see that there were plenty that he could reach himself! We filled our bag to the tippety top in no time at all. There were animals to feed (goats, pigs, donkeys, and chickens), a playground, and a little trail system for the kids to explore. We treated ourselves to their homemade apple donuts (which were fabulous!) and some cider in their cafe before heading home. The apples are so crisp and delicious – we have all been eating 2-3 each day! Hmmmm – we may need to go back….

Attitash

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This week our day off together was hot, humid, and mostly cloudy. We were looking for something a little different to do, so we headed to Attitash in Bartlett. We took the scenic chairlift ride first. It was about a half hour up and a half hour down – a nice smooth ride with really incredible views. Next we got in line for the alpine slides. The line was a bit long – we probably waited 45 minutes or so. The chairlift ride up was pretty quick and there was no line to start at the top. We rode together on one sled since Zach is not 48 inches tall yet. We both really had a great time on this ride! I was definitely glad that Zach was riding with me though. We saw quite a few kids with some nasty scrapes from “wipe-outs”. You are in complete control of your own sled, and it is possible to go off the track if you go too fast! Also, if it rains you need to “abandon sled” and walk down. Luckily, this was not an issue for us. After this we were pretty hot, so we changed into our bathing suits and hit the water slides. We rode the Sidewinder first together on a 2 person raft. Then we went to the slides where Zach (age 5) got to slide down all by himself. He was thrilled. I went down first, then waited for him in the pool below. Attitash provides (and requires) life jackets for the younger kids. I think we went down these slides (3 to choose from) at least 10 times! It was a great way to cool off. They also had a kiddie pool, but it seems Zach has grown out of that, since he only spent about 2 minutes there. After we changed, Zach tackled the EuroBungy Trampoline (see picture). The employees were super nice and helped him slingshot up high since he doesn’t weigh that much. He screamed and laughed the whole time and had a blast! After that we squeezed in one more alpine slide ride. We had packed our own lunch, but there was food available there. Guests can choose to purchase an all-inclusive full day ticket, afternoon ticket, or single ride tickets. We did not leave until they closed, and we had a great day!  

Squam Lakes Natural Science Center

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Well, here we are starting off another summer with too much rain! Always in search of fun things to do on a cloudy day, Zach and I took a daytrip to the Lakes Region and the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center. We got there at 9:30 when they opened, and even though it was a Sunday, we were practically the only ones there! We walked the “loop” and saw lots of cool animals including mountain lions (see picture), bears, bobcats, a fox, skunk, fisher, deer, otters, etc. The center is very well maintained and provides tons of information about local wildlife. We decided to hike the Mt. Fayal trail to the top and were treated to amazing views of Squam Lake. We ate our lunch that we had packed at the top, then headed back down. Once back down, Zach decided we should visit the animals again, so we did and spent a little extra time at the Children’s Center (a big hit!) playing games and climbing and sliding. We were ready to leave by about 1:15PM. SO – If you’re spending some time here at The Lodge, and find yourselves with a cloudy day, the Science Center is a great day trip. Pack a lunch, bugspray, camera, binoculars, and good walking shoes.

WERZ 107.1 Promotion!

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We have partnered with Alpine Adventures and WERZ 107.1 to promote our zipline lodging package. Go to our packages and specials page for more information and details on package pricing. Also, be sure you visit werz.com THIS WEEK to enter to win a 2 night stay with us and a zipline canopy tour for 4 with Alpine Adventures.

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Hard to believe we’re heading into the end of January already…. Loon has opened their first double black diamond slope (Ripsaw). It looks pretty steep from the video on Loon’s website. We see skiers coming down the slopes right behind our Lodge all day enjoying the fantastic conditions. We’ve had quite a lot of snow and just introduced a brand new ski package combining Loon and Waterville Valley Ski Areas. We’re also offering a Winter Madness Special: Stay 2 nights, get your 3rd night FREE! Check out our packages and specials page for more info. Also, make sure you sign up on our website home page to receive email notification of new deals as soon as they are available! See you soon!