Raymond News

Baker’s Dozen Of Things To Do In The Raymond Area
By Taylor Trahan 8-2-13

It is the middle of the summer and ideas may be running out when it comes to planning what to do on the weekend. Although the beach and Six Flags are not a quick ten minute ride down the road, there are various local activities that are just as much fun. The Raymond Area provides countless unique experiences that are likely to please everyone. From water parks and zip lines to peaceful bike trails, New Hampshire is a fun and beautiful place to explore. Although there are far more than ten things to do in this particular area of the Granite State, here are some highlights of what it has to offer.

     1. Liquid Planet Water Park and Zip Lines

Come soak up the sun and water at this exciting water park in Candia. It offers multiple water slides, mini-golf, a relaxing lake and zip lines. Whether you like thrilling water slides or lying by a lake, there is something for everyone. There are two 1,000 foot zip lines that take visitors over the entire park, the lake, and the woods while suspended 35 feet in the air. Liquid Planet Water Park also has themed special events on Saturdays this summer including Sci-Fi Day on August 10 .  On September 7 there is a Run-For-Your-Lives 5K event partnering with Haunted Acres, America’s scariest Halloween attraction.   Open daily, a general day pass costs $25 while a half-day pass costs $18. The park also runs summer camps for children. For more information, visit www.liquidplanetwaterpark.com.

    2. Rockingham Recreational Trail

For those who love to exercise, this picturesque 25 mile rail trail is open for walking, running and biking. It is also family-friendly and dog-friendly. It starts at Lake Massabesic in Manchester and ends at Great Bay in Portsmouth. The scenic trail offers views of beautiful wetlands, bridges and shady forests. This trail is also popular for those who enjoy observing wildlife. The Rockingham Recreational Trail goes through Raymond right near the Raymond Historical Society at the train depot and near Lamprey River Elementary School, in several locations in Candia, including the former depot off Depot Road, as well as in Epping near the Holy Grail restaurant.

    3. Charmingfare Farm

For those who love animals and are looking for a fun way to spend a day, this farm located in Candia offers a petting zoo with a wide variety of animals including horses, llamas, sheep and donkeys. There are wildlife exhibits that hold black bears, a cougar, a camel, a Grey Fox and more. Reptile Day with New England Reptile Distributors (NERD) is Saturday August 10.  For a more unique experience, guests can go on a two hour hike with the perfect hiking companion; a llama. Visitors can choose to go on peaceful horse trail-rides and horse-drawn hay rides at the zoo as well. Hampton Beach Carriage Rides are available throughout the summer months at Hampton Beach. Tickets can be purchased on www.visitthefarm.com.

    4. Painted Image Farm

Have you or a family member always wanted to learn how to ride a horse, but never quite had the chance? This quiet horse farm in Candia offers riding lessons as well as summer camps. It has both an indoor ring as well as an outdoor ring for lessons. Children and adults who wish to learn to ride a horse can contact Linda Larmarche at 483-1044 for more information.

    5. Strikers-East Bowling Alley

This bowling alley in Raymond is an idea for a rainy day activity for those who are feeling a little competitive. The alley offers classic big-ball bowling. Throughout the summer, there will be cosmic bowling every Friday and Saturday night from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Kids can bowl two free games every day until August 31.  If you are looking for a fun night full of laughter and friends, there will also be a comedy show in the alley’s function room on September 7 featuring comedian Mike Donovan. Tickets are $15 per person. Visit Veronica Laffs for more information.

    6. Candia Vineyards

New Hampshire’s only winery with a world-ranked label, Candia Vineyards offers a wide variety of fine table wines made from grapes grown right in Candia. The vineyard is open most days 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. for tastings and tours in an intimate setting with the winemaker, where guests will learn about the different wines and how they are made. Some of the wines made at the vineyard include Noiret, Chardonnay, Riesling and Frontenac. Small wine tasting parties up to ten people can also be accommodated. Call 867-9751 to check for availability.

    7. Pine Acres Campground

This popular campground in Raymond is open to campers with RV’s and tents, and also has cabins available for rent. It offers such amenities as lake access for fishing, swimming and kayaking. There are several activities to keep guests busy every day such as volleyball, tractor hay rides and horseshoe games. Pine Acres has an adult recreational hall as well as a teen recreational hall for entertainment. It also holds a huge yard sale open to the public and ecourages the anyone to set up tables on Labor Day Weekend.   

     8. Pawtuckaway State Park and Bear Brook State Park

Do you have a free weekend and are wondering what to do with your family? Pawtuckawy State Park located in Nottingham offers a summer escape for families and friends who love wildlife, camping, swimming, hiking and fishing. Guests can choose to rent a canoe or kayak, or go on an adventurous hike on various trails that include a lookout tower, a marsh full of beavers, deer, and birds, or a distinctive field that shows evidence of the Ice Ace. To keep children busy, there are a ball field and a playground as well. Rental cabins are available or people can stay in tents. Picnicking and camp fires are also options at the campground. For another fun-filled camping experience, visit Bear Brook State Park just minutes down the road which offers the same amenities.

    9. Race Tracks

If you are a fan of cars and the adrenaline rush of racing, there are three popular race tracks in the Raymond area including Lee Speedway located in Lee as well as Star Speedway and New England Dragway in Epping. The New England Dragway has Street Night on Wednesdays and Fridays. It will also have a major event with Jet Cars on August 10. Star Speedway has Family Fun Night on August 14 and Lee Speedway has the NASCAR Weekly Third Quarter Championship and Spectator Drags. Schedules are posted on www.leeusaspeedway.com, www.star-speedway.com and www.newenglanddragway.com.

    10. O’Neil Cinemas

Rainy day and have nothing to do? Head over to O’Neil Cinemas in Brickyard Square Epping, grab some buttery popcorn and enjoy a movie. This new cinema is spacious, clean and has state-of-the-art digital projection systems. The theatre is a high-tech premiere movie entertainment center equipped with extra wide chairs, digital sound systems and tiered stadium seating. The cool air conditioning, comfortable seats and fine entertainment is another inexpensive and fun way to spend a day inside. Call 603-679-3529 for tickets.

    11. The Leddy Center

Do you feel like seeing a quality performance? This new, state-of-the-art theatre for the performing arts located in Epping has exciting shows including Anne of Green Gables starting in October. The theatre will also host Mary Gatchell for a concert on October 4. The new theatre has a larger and deeper stage area, expanded seating capacity and premium air conditioning for the hot summer months. Visit www.leddycenter.org to purchase tickets.

    12. Twin Pines Driving Range

Do you need practice before hitting the golf course? Open 8 a.m. to dark all summer, this driving range in Epping offers a full practice area with natural target greens, sand traps and water hazards. The pro shop sells brand name golf equipment and expert custom clubs.  Open year round, Twin Pines has an indoor ball flight and swing analysis system that visitors can utilize in the winter months. The staff also offers golf lessons for beginners or those who want to brush up on their skills. Visit www.twinpinesgolf.com for more information.

    13. Deerfield Fairgrounds

If you are a fan of horses or dogs, visit the Deerfield Fairgrounds this summer for various shows including NH Arabian Summer Jubilee Horse Show on August 8, 9 and 10 as well as the Granite State Morgan Horse Show on August 30 and 31, and September 1. Bo-Gee Dog Agility Trials are  being held August 16, 17 and 18. Visit www.deerfieldfair.com for more information.



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