North Conway, NH Summertime Fun
Updated: Oct 14, 2022
Thinking of heading to North Conway, NH and need a summer fun list of things to do?
There are lots of indoor and outdoor things to do in North Conway, NH that will make everyone smile (even cousin Richard). Get your pencil and start taking notes.
My top picks include; Saco River Tubing for all ages, hikes for tykes in North Conway, Diana's Baths in summer, relaxing on the Conway Scenic Railroad, enjoying the White Mountain National Forest, and Story Land for folks on a budget.
Remember folks, North Conway, NH is a tourist town so you can bet that there will be things to do that will slap a smile on everyone's face!
Back in the day skiing was what we were known for and Settlers Green and North Conway outlets were Johnny Come Lately's!
Over the years, folks have become way more outdoorsy, (even though gaming seems to be the #1 sport among teens) and hiking, ice climbing, dog sled races, snowmobiling and more have become a thing.
Combine those sports with all the new and super fun White Mountain Attractions, and you'll need two pages for your list!
Of all the North Conway cabin rentals you can choose - Russ-Tee Bucket Ranch is the best option, in my not so humble opinion.
So, let's start.
You picked North Conway as your summer vacation destination you've always wanted to go Saco River Tubing and love the town, right? Just ignore the ones in your group that would rather be in Manhattan! Plus, it's literally in The Ranch's backyard!
Now that you're here, pick a date, surprise the kids with the trip, buy or rent some tubes and get ready for a day filled with laughs and water in your ears!
There are many places to put your tube in the Saco River and imagine that, many places to take out.
Have an idea of how long you want to float when picking your spots. Take into consideration how high the water is in the Saco River. Late summer, the levels decrease so your journey is slower. Sometimes, you have to drag your tube over the sand too.
Bring sunscreen so you don't look like a lobster when you go to Jalisco Mexican Grill for supper (hint, hint), a floppy hat, Dollar Tree sunglasses because you're sure to lose them, water shoes, lots of water to drink (or some cans of alcohol of some sort), towels, a dry bag for your phone, and your sense of humor when your friend tips you and your tube over.
Have you ever taken your tykes hiking? Do you have visions of sugar plums and fairies or toddler-meltdown-ageddon?
Fear not, we have some great tips for hiking with your kids in North Conway, NH.
Make sure you match your tykes ability with the hike you plan. I don't know many kids that would make it to the top of the Kearsage Fire Tower without having to be carried.
Like the 3 bears, pick a day that's not too hot or too cold - just right is perfect.
Bring lots of different kinds of snacks. Kids like to stop often and for some reason, being outside makes everyone extra hungry.
Drinks. Make sure you bring water or whatever your favorite drink is.
Check the weather. You don't want to be in the woods with wee ones in a thunder storm.
Make sure your tyke is dressed appropriately for the hike - NO flip flops!
Bring sunscreen, bug spray, floppy hats, sturdy shoes, and a towel in case you jump into the stream or lake.
Let your kids set the pace, keep your sense of humor when they tell you for the 10th time that they have to pee, if they need to sit and rest - sit down with them and talk, and most importantly, if they are fading fast don't push them. Turn around and head back so you don't have to carry them out!
Like most people, I LOVE waterfalls! And Diana's Baths, located in Bartlett, NH, are full of them. The series of falls start their trickle down from Big Attitash Mountain and flows straight into the White Mountain National Forest.
The water levels vary greatly during the summer according to rainfall amounts. Some days you will be able to scramble up the falls going rock to rock and other days you will need to stand back from the raging falls. It's the luck of the draw as to which type of experience you'll have, but I predict you'll have a fantastic time for each of them.
You'll want to pack your lunch, sunscreen, water shoes, a towel or 3, drinks, and a bathing suit and enjoy this very easy, handicap accessible, 1.5 mile hike... although it's quite flat so it's more like a walk.
A local family, the Lucy's, donated all the land to the state that makes up Diana's Baths. They built a sawmill in the middle of the cascading falls. Keep your eye out for the remnants of that sawmill, one spot has a 10 foot drop off the concrete foundation.
There are a couple of picnic tables for enjoying your lunch but please don't hog them by storing all your bags on them. There will be lots of families trying to enjoy a picnic lunch at those tables.
A bit further up, there are many great photo op spots and places to take a cool dip. The trail eventually gets rough and heads to Moat Mountain.
Diana's Baths are a nice, inexpensive, easy, way to spend the day and you can cool off in the pools while you're there!
Enjoy an old-fashioned railroading experience as you journey on historic rail routes in vintage passenger cars from our 1874 train station in North Conway, NH.
Ok, I'm going to be honest here, I own Russ-Tee Bucket Ranch in North Conway, NH. I host many guests every summer and I strongly urge all of them to take the Notch Train if you're going to ride the Conway Scenic Railroad.
There are two choices for rides on the Conway Scenic Railroad; the Valley Train and the Notch Train. The Valley Train travels through, well duh, the valley. It's a short ride from North Conway to Conway and backwards back to North Conway. You do get to see some nice views but you do not travel through the mountains.
The Notch Train, is about a 5 hour round-trip journey through, well duh, the notch! Crawford North to be exact. This is a wonderful journey taking you past steep ravines, small and large cascading streams and brooks, sheer drop bluffs, giving you panoramic mountain views and you well cross Frankenstein and Wille Brook Bridge while making your way to Crawford and Fabyan Stations.
Sure your kids might get a bit antsy on the trip but the views will mesmerize even the most active toddler. Make sure you bring snacks, drinks (although you can purchase those on board), your toddlers favorite toys, and a pillow in case they want to nap.
Enjoy and make sure you take lots of pictures!
I'll get right to the point, most people visit the White Mountains National Forest to do outdoorsy types of things. If you're a dye in the wool gamer, a trip that is solely all about the White Mountains National Forest is not a great pick for you!
So you want to experience the White Mountain National Forest to the fullest? You might want to jot down some of these suggestions and make a plan in advance,
Some of the best recreation opportunities in the North East are right here in the White Mt. National Forest.
Backpackers and hikes challenge their abilities traveling peak to peak. I'm not a long distance hiker so I don't go peak to peak (I'm a weanie) but pick shorter hikes instead. Try Boulder Loop on for size - my girlfriend swore I was trying to kill her on that hike!
Every time I'm out I stay aware of my surroundings and am treated to more wildlife than you can imagine. I have seen bear, moose, coyote, fox, many different birds, squirrels, chipmunks, turtles, fish, snakes (eeek!), and bug - yes folks, the woods are full of bugs!
The White Mountains National Forest is full of fun, gorgeous, and exciting things to do like; leaf peeping in the fall, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, ice climbing, whitewater rafting, canoeing , kayaking, horseback riding, camping, hiking and fishing trips to name several.
Shut the TV off, turn off the Internet, and get outside for a while. If nothing else, you'll get some great selfies!
I know what you're thinking - ya right, Story Land for folks on a budget? No way. Well, I'll say yes way. If you play your cards right, you can enjoy Story Land with your kids and save money at the same time.
Budget friendly Story Land tip #1 - Arrive at 3 PM and enjoy Story Land until 6 PM and get a FREE ticket to use the next day. Really, Story Land has always done that and the new owners continue the tradition.
Budget friendly Story Land tip #2 - Consider buying a season pass. The prices of their season passes are equal to a few day's admission price. I used to do that at Disney Land but never got to go back for a second vacation because it was so far. Story Land is only a few hours drive from southern New England, you could even do a day trip.
Budget friendly Story Land tip #3 - Pack a delicious lunch and have a tailgate party. The kids might enjoy a little down-time too while you're at it. It's also a good time to slip into your bathing suits to do all the water rides!
I hope you enjoy your visit to Story Land. In my opinion, it's a really great amusement park for kids and well worth the price of admission.
Hope you enjoy your summer vacation in North Conway, NH
Check out Russ-Tee Bucket Ranch for your family vacation or friend getaway.