Inexpensive Winter Fun in Manchester, NH

Over the past few days, the wind chill has brought temps here down to near or below zero.  Now that my son is 16, we have the luxury of enjoying this time to relax, read and watch movies.  Six years ago, that was not the case.

In the summer, we were always outside so my boy had plenty of sensory stimulation.  During the colder months, however, this stimulation was suddenly removed.  After a few short hours of being stuck in the house, my bouncing bundle of joy would be climbing the walls, sometimes literally, and I would pray to The Universe to please send me some ruby slippers – and a hard hat.  Winter was brutal for both of us.

With the holidays and increased utility bills, I had to find a way to combat the cagey winter blues on a budget.  After hours of research, I found the Holy Grail of free stuff – the Manchester City Library.  My local library offers a plethora of free passes to larger venues like the Museum of Science, the Zoo New England and the New England Aquarium, all in Boston.  Additionally, they offer free and discounted passes to local museums like the SEE Science Center in Manchester and the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord.

If you have a membership, AAA is also a great resource for discounted movie tickets.  You can find your local club here.

Other ideas for the Manchester, NH area include:

Currier Museum of Art : Admission is free from10am to 12pm on Saturdays

Millyard Museum: Admission $8.00 for adults, free for children under 12

Stonyfield Farms Visitors’ Center: No admission and yogurt samples are free! While you can’t tour the facilities anymore, you can still purchase Stonyfield’s Yogurt at a discounted price.

Amoskeag Fishways: Family Friday Nights are good for all ages and only $5 per family.

JFK Skating Arena: Skating is $3 for children under 12 and $5 for adults.  Skate rentals are also available on the weekends.

So, the next time that you’re stuck in the house with an unruly child, check out your local library for free passes and read up on local venues to see if they have discounted or free admission days for residents.  Not only will you save money, but you will also be creating memories while providing your child with a much-needed outlet for all that exuberance.

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