Family Friendly Things to do in North Conway, NH
Updated: Oct 14, 2022
My head spins when I think about how many family friendly things to do in North Conway, NH there are. Most of them are budget friendly too!
North Conway, NH is probably has the most family friendly things to do in all of New England. Tourism and the outdoors are the only industries in the area so you can be sure there are many fun, budget friendly, and outdoorsy activities close-by.
A few of my favorites are skiing, doing a covered bridge tour or spending a day hanging out by the Saco River and splashing in the water, and enjoying a kid-friendly day hike.
All kinds of folks vacation in North Conway, NH; ones that would freak out if a bug landed on them, some that would get sweaty just thinking about spending a whole day indoors, many that save all year to enjoy the outdoor activities in winter, and just as many that are freeze pops and like to be outside in summer. All those plus some days, Mother Nature doesn't cooperate and you'll need some suggestions of things to do in North Conway, NH on a rainy day.
When folks think of North Conway, visions of skiing and outlet malls like Settlers Green dance in their heads. North Conway and the surrounding towns have much more than that to offer and most of it is family friendly and affordable!
I have so many wonderful memories of time spent in the White Mountains and more specifically, North Conway, NH! As soon as I could, I migrated to North Conway to live and have never looked back!
My folks loved the mountains of the Presidential Range. Every time we drove north we were subjected to the trip down memory lane of their wedding and subsequent honeymoon in North Conway. If I do the math correctly, my family's passion for the area started 70 years ago!
My memory of North Conway goes back more than 50 years... ouch! It's funny though, the things I remember most are the things I love to do with my family!
For years my young (and now all grown up) family enjoyed splashing around in waterfalls, hiking lots of the local mountains, spending a leisurely day floating in a canoe, gazing at the stars from the top of Cathedral Ledge, exploring all the local covered bridges, squishing our toes in the sand at local beaches and winding drives along the "Kanc" to peek at foliage.
If your kids are not nature nuts, there are kid friendly activities that will delight even hard to please kids! These days, there is a laundry list of attractions in North Conway that are more high tech and commercial... and fun, don't forget the FUN!
Is there anything worse than hungry, tired and whiny kids?
YES, restaurants that are not kid-friendly! We have our favorite kid-friendly North Conway restaurants and they are certain to become your favs too!
According to TripAdvisor, there are 78 restaurants from north to south in North Conway. Obviously, lots of them are chain restaurants but please, support locally owned and delicious North Conway restaurants!
I'm a local and have personal favorites include:
Jalisco Mexican Fiesta
Taste of Tai
Delaney's Hole in the Wall
Joseph's Spaghetti Shed
Red Fox Restaurant and Grill
Ledgewood Grill at North Conway Country Club
I recommend heading out to eat a times that are a bit off from the normal 8 AM, Noon and 5 PM and PLEASE don't go anywhere 15 minutes after Story Land closes!
I have also written "7 Non-Chain Restaurants with Insanely Good Food"" Please check it out for lots more information about eating out with kids at a North Conway restaurant!
Talk about fun! Skiing and snowshoeing in North Conway has a fun factor that's off the charts!
I can say from personal experience, skiing is not just for kids either. I skied for the first time at 40 (got my first horse at 40 but that's another story) and have never looked back!
Downhill skiing in North Conway allows me to do so many things that are important to me; enjoy our gorgeous views, get some exercise, play in the snow, spend time with family and friends, and most of all, carve out some fantastic turns and impress the tourists - I'm kidding about the carving part!
North Conway, NH is on the map because hordes of skiers from Boston used to ride the Snow Trains every weekend.
Skiing in the United States started at Cranmore Mt. Since ski mountains have been welcoming skiers for about 80 years, you can bet you'll have a fantastic time - they really know what they are doing!
Have you ever gone snowshoeing? It's my second favorite winter sport. I love it almost as much as downhill skiing but some of the benefits are really cool. My favorite thing to do while snowshoeing is identify scat. Don't know what scat is? Google it - it's amazing.
Usually you don't see much wildlife when there is a crowd of you and you're making noise laughing and singing so scat will tell you what you could have seen if you all weren't such hooligans.
There is something magical about making fresh tracks on a trail or across a field. Sometimes I picture myself as a pioneer heading to the river for fresh water. That's when I realize I was born in the correct century. Faucets and flush toilets are mandatory on my list.
If you vacation at Russ-Tee Bucket Ranch, we have coupons and freebies for you including free tubing and snowshoeing at Great Glen Trails. Can't beat FREE!
If you or your kids love stumbling upon the deal of the century or a great gadget at a terrific price, head on over to Settlers Green Outlet Mall in North Conway, NH.
Some folks don't know it but New Hampshire has no sales tax. Not only will you find ridiculously low prices on everything at the North Conway outlets, you'll surely find gadgets for the work shop or kitchen that you didn't know you needed until you saw them!
The North Conway outlets are a great place to wander around if the weather doesn't cooperate. You can spend hours poking through the bargains for a zero price of admission.
The kids will love the outlet mall too. There are shops that have toys, jewelry, clothing, cupcakes, gadgets and more that will dazzle the tweens and teens!
North Conway Covered Bridges & Waterfalls! They're all great!
You can enjoy some fun filled family days playing in the water at Diana's Baths, Lower Falls, Arethusa Falls, actually, any waterfall that exists is fair game!
If it's a hot rainy day, head to one of these waterfalls - heck, you're going to get wet anyway. You might as well have fun doing it!
After enjoying a few hours at any of the local watering holes (and I don't mean an alcoholic watering hole!), head over to the Swift River Covered Bridge on West Side Road for a picnic!
You can easily spend a few hours having lunch, sitting there and chatting about what life was like when they needed a covered bridge, and playing in the water below.
If you do a little groundwork, even a child that would rather sit in front a TV will love spending an afternoon hiking!
First, make sure the hike is kid friendly. By that I mean, it's not longer than their ability or attention span can handle. 3 good places to start are Diana's Baths, Jockey Cap and Echo Lake State Park.
All three are very kid friendly hikes and you can make them last as long as you want or cut them short if the day isn't going that great.
Second, pack some fun and interesting things to sustain and entertain them along the way. You're short list might include a snack and drink, magnifying glass, camera, binoculars and pencil and paper.
OK, so it's raining or freezing or you want to be a hero for taking the kids to the movie they have been yapping about for weeks. You've enjoyed splashing about in the Saco River, hiking, and you've checked out too many North Conway restaurants and just want to do something different!
The Mountain Valley Mall Cinema 7 is a great thing to do in North Conway plus there's movie night at Settlers Green and Bridgton Twin Drive-In Theater.
Check out our blog of things to do in North Conway for more detailed information.