Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Jefferson, NH - A Town Loaded with Family Fun

This summer has taken me to some interesting and fun places around New Hampshire for a couple articles I wrote for NH To Do Magazine. Pick up a copy of this month's issue for stories about Moose Watching in North Country, Dartmouth and Sunapee State Parks, Ride to the clouds by train to the top of Mount Washington on The Cog, Getting Your Groove On in the White Mountains at the Boogie & Blue Festival, and the family-centric destination of Jefferson, NH.

I wrote the article on Jefferson, NH and have to say that Sam and I had a great time visiting all the attractions and getting to know the area.

We stayed at the Lantern Resort Motel and Campground. Given we don't have an RV or even a tent, we stayed in the motel portion and just being in an air conditioned room was like a vacation to me.

Our room was super clean, comfortable, and cool. We enjoyed all the amenities including the two pools, game room, horse shoe pits, hay ride, campfire s'mores and more. Even though the place was hopping with young families, it was relatively quiet.  

The Lantern also has lots of themed weekends and events for everyone staying on the property. It is definitely a the place to stay whether you're going to Santa's Village which is right across the street, or any of the other attractions in Jefferson, NH.

Most people familiar with the town know it for Santa's Village and think of it as a destination for young families. That it is to be sure, but there are plenty of other things to do and see in Jefferson for all ages.

For many years when Sam was little I opted for Story Land over Santa's Village. Not because I didn't want to take him, but because after reading 'The Autobiography of Santa Claus' to him at the age of 4, he couldn't believe Santa had a summer home in New Hampshire and flat out refused to go.  

I visited the park on an oppressively hot day in June and the water park was definitely the most popular attraction.

The scorching heat didn't stop the kids from hunting for all the elves throughout the park playing the Elfabet Game.

Even though I never got to take my son there when he was little, my visit was a magical experience. If you have children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews under the age of ten, I highly encourage you to take them for a visit to Santa's Village.

Jefferson, NH is home to not one, but two theme parks. At the opposite end of Presidential Highway is Six Gun City. Although it is geared to mostly the younger cowboy and cowgirl, there is still plenty for the older kids to do as well. In addition to the fun shows and kiddie rides there is laser tag, grand prix racing, water slides, bumper boats, mini-golf and more.

Six Gun City is a great family destination especially when you have a group made up of a wide age gap. That teen who is "grumble grumble, I'm too old for Santa's Village, grumble grumble, nothing to do grumble", will have a blast zooming around the grand prix track or joining up with a team in laser tag.

Davey Crockett and Daniel Boon
Right next door to Six Gun City is the Fort Jefferson Campground which has loads of special events for campers.

If you are a history buff then a visit to the  Jefferson Historical Society Museum is a must. Our tour guide, Charlie Bond, knew everything about the history of Jefferson and the background to each piece in the museum.

A antique loom at the Jefferson Historical Society Museum
For those who appreciate handmade crafts there is Gramma's Stitches at
10 Horan Road, Jefferson, NH

And for the golfers there is the Waumbek Country Club which is open to the public.

I asked for restaurant recommendations at every stop I made in Jefferson and the overwhelming majority of people told me that we should have breakfast at The WaterWheel. They were so right! The food was fantastic and the service was friendly and fast. Sam still raves about the hash browns that I've tried to duplicate at home.  They're good, he says, but not as good as The Water Wheel.

In addition to the excellent food, they have a gift shop filled with a nice collection of New Hampshire made items and some delicious fudge. 

For all you outdoorsy types, or if you just want a fun way to work off that big breakfast, there are loads of hiking trails to explore around Jefferson, NH as well.

Remember to pick up a copy of NH To Do Magazine to read all the details of our trip and some other fantastic stories as well. Discover how much there is to do in New Hampshire!

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