Can you hear the sizzle? Taste the juicy cheese burger? Summer is almost here, so it’s time to plan your next outdoor outing with friends and family.
Pack your food and fun and spend a time or afternoon at one of these local spots with grills and picnic tables. Many have open space for lawn games, opportunities to take a dip, or walk off that brownie sundae you made on a woodsy trail. The facilities with a fee have flush toilets.
Nice Place for Lunch
Riverside Park, Lebanon. This is the perfect lunch spot with the kids. There’s a covered pavilion, a playground, and a trail by the river. Cost: Free
Afternoon Local Getaway
Erwin Clifford Park, Hartford. A cozy park tucked away in Hartford that offers swimming in the river, a playground, walking trail, and a covered pavilion. A nice place to spend the afternoon. Cost: Free
A Day Full of Family Fun
Storrs Pond, Hanover. The ultimate day with the family. This well loved facility provides swimming, splash pad, boat rental, fishing, disc golf, corn hole, a swing set, tennis, hiking, covered picnic area, and snack bar. There are bathrooms and a bathhouse. Cost: $5 under 17, $10 18+. Access without pool $5.
Other Recommendations Around the Area:
Killowatt Park, Wilder. Enjoy the trails, riverview, and great fishing. Cost: Free
Hartland Dam, Hartland. A local favorite. People love to boat and swim here. Spend the day with the Dam’s many perks: beach and boat access, picnic pavilion, volleyball nets, playground, and horseshoe pit. Play a game of ultimate frisbee on the grassy open spaces. To Get There: Travel on Route 5 South. Take a right onto Clay Hill Rd. You’ll see the entrance at the top of hill on the right. Cost: $5 per vehicle.
Union Village Dam, Thetford. Another great place to spend the day. You can picnic, grills, hike a trails, swim, or fish. Directions here.Cost: Free except for large groups.
Silver Lake, Barnard. Locals soak up summer here. Rent a boat, swim, fish, have a picnic, or grab a snack. There’s also a playground for the kids. Cost: $4 for 14+, 3-14 $2, under 3 free.
Canaan Street Lake, Canaan. A gem families love taking their kids to. See reviews here. Cost: Free
Winslow State Park, Wilmot. Outstanding views on top of Mt. Kearsarge. Grill some food and enjoy lunch on one of their picnic tables, or just watch the kiddos enjoy the playground. The views alone made this on my to-do list. Cost: $4, kids $2.
Mt. Cardigan, Orange. A favorite hike in the area. Mt. Cardigan offers a wooded area with picnic tables and pavilion at the bottom of the trail for a nice meal before a hike. Cost: Free.
Beyond Upper Valley
Plymouth State Park, Echo Lake VT. A massive park with plenty of pavilions, places for lawn games, and more. Play volleyball, swim, take a stroll, watch your kids explore the playground, grab a snack, or rent a boat.
Lake Sunapee, Sunapee. Bronze your skin. Read a book with the ducks waddling by. Grill some lunch. Then take a swim or lounge on a massive inflatable alligator. Finish off the day with a treat at the snack bar. I’ve been going to this beach since I was a kid and love it. Cost: $5, age 6-11 $2, under 6 free.