One of my favorite places to visit in New England is North Conway, New Hampshire. This town is located just past the scenic Kancamagus Highway in the White Mountains National Forest right in the heart of the White Mountains. It offers outdoor activities, shopping, and other family-friendly activities. There are some of our favorite things to do in North Conway NH.
Note: I’ve received complimentary admission to some of these activities, and free stays at several of the hotels. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. A purchase / click through on one of these links may result in a commission paid to us at no cost to you.
Things to Do in North Conway NH with Kids
North Conway is a fabulous place to visit with kids in summer, spring, winter, and fall. There are lots family-friendly ski areas in the area, and these offer family activities in the summer as well.
Shopping in North Conway
With no sales tax in New Hampshire, you can definitely find some fantastic bargains when you go shopping. North Conway offers a large collection of outlet shops at Settlers Green Outlet Village. This outlet mall offers popular stores like Coach, Under Armor, Old Navy, and Nike. With the deals at the outlets combined with no sales tax, you can really save.
In addition to the shops, the Settlers Green facility includes free WiFi, free stroller and wheelchair rentals (one per family, first come first served), picnic tables, a child’s playscape, and public art. There’s also a hotel, the North Conway Grand (see reviews here) right on property. If you stay at the hotel, you can walk right out to the shops.
North Conway Village
A little further down the road is North Conway Village, which is located right in the center of North Conway. This quaint town center features shops and restaurants, along with playgrounds. Two of my favorite shops are Zeb’s General Store and the North Conway Five and Ten Store.
During some times of the year, you’ll find various events, like craft fairs, right at the town center. North Conway Village is also home to the Conway Scenic Railroad, which offers scenic rides around the area. Some of the routes run seasonally.
Cranmore Mountain Resort
Whether you visit in the winter or summer, Cranmore Mountain Resort has fun family activities. This ski resort is located right in North Conway. In the winter months, you can participate in winter sports like skiing and snowboarding. Lessons are offered for kids as young as three. Babysitting at the Play Room is offered for kids under the age of 3.
Kids participating in ski school can enjoy the Arlberg Children Center, with its own rental, ticketing, and reservation systems. Extended hours are offered during school vacation weeks. In addition to the skiing and snowboarding, Cranmore also offers a tubing and mountain adventure park. It includes a mountain coaster, swing rides, the Soaring Eagle zipline (seats two in side by side seats), and tubing.
There’s no snow in the summer, but there’s still plenty for families to enjoy. Summer activities include the mountain coaster, summer tubing, swing rides, the Soaring Eagle zipline (seats two in side by side seats), knockerball, a bungee trampoline, a kids’ ropes course, and more.
Although it’s technically in nearby Glen, NH, Story Land theme park is one of the most popular family-friendly things to do in North Conway, NH. This park, which is best for younger kids, offers lots of different rides and attractions for kids.
Most New England families have fond memories of visiting Story Land as a kid, and the park has just improved over time. It’s expanded, and now offers ever more attractions. The iconic fairy tale attractions at the front of the park, which features beloved characters like Humpty Dumpty, the Old Lady In The Shoe, and Mother Goose.
There are also lots of rides, including the Polar Coaster, Dr. Geysers Remarkable Raft Ride, the Bamboo Shoots, and Swan Boats. Story Land also offers character meals and shows throughout the day.
If you are planning to visit Story Land, you may want to arrive during the last three hours of the day. Guests who do that are given a complimentary ticket to visit another day. Having a few hours of one day and another full day is the perfect amount of time for us.
Attitash Mountain Resort
A little further down the road in Bartlett New Hampshire is Attitash Mountain Resort. This popular ski resort offers 68 trails and 11 lifts across Attitash and Bear Peak Mountains. There are lessons and programming for kids, including the Peak Discovery Program for those aged 13 and above. With this 3 day program, you can visit several other Northeast mountains on the other days. There are also seasonal programs and a race team.
In the summer, Attitash transforms from a ski resort to a summer resort. Activities include two alpine slides, a zip line, and a mountain coaster. Plan to visit for a day and purchase the available attractions pass. This pass includes the zipline, alpine slides, mountain coaster, rockwall climb, chairlift rides, and more.
The zipline is the longest single zipline east of the Rockies, and reservations for the zip line should be made in advance if you definitely want to do it (see our review of Attitash here).
Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center
Interested in weather and science? Across from the Eastern Slope Inn in North Conway is the Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center. This museum charges a nominal fee ($1 for kids and $2 for adults), and offers hands-on exhibits focused on climate and weather.
Crawford Notch State Park
Crawford Notch State Park is a New Hampshire State Park located in nearby Harts Location, NH. It offers hiking trails, mountain biking trails, waterfalls, picnic tables, cross country skiing, and more. Campgrounds are also available.
Indoor Water Parks in North Conway
There are several indoor water parks in North Conway, if you want to enjoy swimming regardless of the outside weather. The Kahuna Laguna is located in the Red Jacket Mountain View resort. At 40,000 square feet, it’s New Hampshire’s largest indoor water park. Day passes and overnight packages are offered.
There’s also a small attached water park in the Hampton Inn & Suites North Conway, which is located near Settlers Green. It would be a fun amenity to enjoy after a long day of exploring North Conway.
Where to Eat in North Conway
Many of the restaurants that you’ll find in North Conway are family-friendly. We’ve always enjoyed eating in the area, which most offers casual, fun restaurants. A few of our favorites include:
Flatbread: This chain restaurant offers pizza and salads made with delicious, fresh, local ingredients. It’s a must-visit with kids, especially if you don’t live near a Flatbread location.
Moat Mountain Smokehouse: This smokehouse is known for delicious food and great service.
Muddy Moose Restaurant and Pub: This casual pub offers American cuisine.
Where to Stay in North Conway
When visiting North Conway, you’ll find lots of options including hotels, resorts, motels, and vacation homes. We’ve stayed in a few hotels in the area and have never had a great experience.
North Conway Grand (see reviews here): Located right in Settlers Green, this hotel is super convenient if you want to do lots of shopping. We stayed here when the kids were young enough to nap – my husband stayed with them in the room during naptime while I shopped!
Red Jacket Mountain View Resort: If you want to spend time at the Kahuna Laguna water park, consider staying at the attached Red Jacket Mountain View Resort. It’s also a convenient location for all of the other things to do in North Conway.
Residence Inn North Conway: We stayed at this hotel for one night, and like the other Residence Inns, it offers comfortable family rooms (including suites), and indoor pool, and complimentary hot and cold breakfast.
Adventure Suites: I haven’t stayed at this resort, but did tour it. It’s one of the most unique hotels I’ve seen, with individual themed suites. Our favorite that we toured was the Showtime suite, which is a movie theater right in a room! It would be a really fun place to stay the night.
Hampton Inn and Suites: I haven’t stayed at the Hampton Inn and Suites in North Conway, but it is a popular choice. It has a small indoor water park, and is conveniently located.