Top 8 Lake Winnipesaukee Family Activities

Get away from it all and have a blast as you enjoy a fun-filled vacation at Lake Winnipesaukee. Nestled between the bustling city centers of Boston and New York, the lake, and surrounding areas, have an abundance of family activities suitable for all ages. Visit the beach and cruise crystal clear lake waters during the spring and summer months. Fall and winter activities include skiing down snowy peaks and snowmobiling. Stay at a cozy Lake Winnipesaukee vacation rental that feels like home, and explore this beautiful area at your leisure.

1. Take a Scenic Cruise

people on the boat

Source: Flickr / nmeyerhans

Feel the wind in your hair as you and your family stand aboard a cruise ship gliding along the waters of Lake Winnipesaukee. Classic replica cruise ships include the magnificent M/S Mount Washington, and the quaint Winnipesaukee Belle. Daily scenic cruises are available starting in May and continue through October. Relax and enjoy the view along a 2-mile stretch of lake scenery. There’s plenty to see as you stand on the deck, or sit in comfortable lower, or upper deck seats. This natural body of water is home to more than 250 islands, and you’ll also have great views of stately lakeside homes.

2. Visit a Castle in the Clouds

rock house

Source: Flickr / stacylynn

Journey to a remote 20th-century castle surrounded by acres of rustic beauty. Built in the early 1900s, the Lucknow estate is an elaborate mansion made of stone, brick, and wood, which sits atop Mount Roberts. The outside views are stunning, and outdoor activities include horseback riding and trail hiking along 28 miles of greenery sprinkled with cascading waterfalls. Take the self-guided tour of this historical home turned museum, following floor plans provided by helpful on-site guides. Other points of interest include the art gallery and gift shop. Between explorations, grab a bite to eat at the restaurant, or satisfy your craving for ice cream at Cones in the Clouds.

3. Stroll the Beach Boardwalk

park seats

Source: Flickr / jrosset

The boardwalk at Weirs beach is the place to be when you’re ready to get some fresh air and mild exercise. If you’re into people watching, this is where you’ll find a good cross section of local humanity. The lake and beachfront are always popular gathering spots. Spend some time gazing at the boats on the lake going on their merry way. Better yet, put on your swimwear, and claim a spot on the beach. Watch the kids frolic and play in the sand and water while you kick back and get a nice healthy tan.

4. Go Ziplining

man zip lining

Feel the rush of adrenaline course through your body as you and the kids soar through the air on a 1.6-mile zip line tour. The main attraction at Gunstock Mountain Resort, this is one of the longest zip lines in the country. This thrilling ride features zip lines at designated spots, zipping you over treetops and providing spectacular aerial views along the way. Children must be 10 years of age to participate, and kids ages 10 to 15 require adult supervision. Experienced guides give you training, ensuring you and your loved ones know how to operate the equipment before heading out.

5. Ride in an Antique Boat

people on a boating adventure

Source: Flickr / stannate

If you’re eager to go on a boat ride, enjoy a fun lake excursion riding in the Millie B, a sleek-looking antique boat. She may look old, but her secret is that she’s a beautiful replica of a 1928 wood boat called a Hacker-Craft. The Millie B seats up to 10 people at a time, and as you zoom across lake waters, you’ll learn interesting facts about local history and wildlife.

6. Race a Go-Kart

father on a go-kart ride

Source: Flickr / stevendepolo

Head on over to the Go-Kart Track when you’re looking for something slightly out of the ordinary to do during your visit to Weirs Beach. This family fun spot has safe and modern go-karts for teens and adults, and smaller junior go-karts for kids ages four to 10. Break into family teams and test your driving skills on the quarter-mile race track. Drivers do four to five laps around the smoothly paved track for three minutes.

7. Explore the Natural World

sitting puma

Hike the scenic Gephart Trail located on the grounds of the Squam Lake Science Center for a day of natural exploration and learning. As you and the family travel along the self-guided trail, you’ll discover an array of wildlife exhibits featuring live animals. Some of the animals you’ll observe include bobcats, mountain lions, black bears, and otters. Each animal species has a dedicated trailside enclosure that closely aligns with its natural habitat. Hands-on exhibits allow children to gain more insight by touching objects.

8. Have a Blast Playing Games

arcade games

Discover how many games you can play with a handful of tokens when you visit Funspot at Weirs Beach. With a collection of more than 600 vintage and modern arcade games, candlepin bowling, an indoor mini-golf course, and a restaurant, your family can enjoy hours of game playing fun.

9. Hop a Train

railroad train

Source: Flickr / nostri-imago

Relax as you and the family take an old-fashioned train ride along the tracks of the Hobo Railroad. Climb aboard a vintage train built in the 1930s, and enjoy light refreshments as you chug along the scenic route around Lake Winnipesaukee. Common sites include great views of the Pemigewasset River, birds of prey, and golf courses.

10. Tour a Shaker Village

weaving room

Source: Flickr / kingstongal

Step back in time and admire how simple things used to be at the Canterbury Shaker Village. Learn about the Shaker community and their lifestyle as you tour common buildings and the spacious grounds. Kids can practice hands-on crafts at the Dwelling House while under constant supervision of adults.