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Adventures in Parenting: 5 upcoming family-friendly festivals

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With the weather warming up (right, Mother Nature?), the Seacoast is ready to bust into fair and festival season and we’ve found 5 local events you won’t want to miss!

1. Fairy Gnome Discovery Walk, Salisbury, Massachusetts: Do you believe? The gems of the event are the 200-plus Fairy and Gnome Homes created by very talented professionals, families, school children and local businesses, that are placed throughout a 1-mile wooded path that leads to the marsh and back at Pettengill Farm. Event highlights include a reading from Tracy Kane, live music, performances, crafts, Tinker Bell and Silver Mist and various food and shopping vendors. Tickets are a steal at only $6. Event runs both Saturday, April 28 and Sunday, April 29 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (rain or shine) Visit fairygnomewalk.weebly.com for more information.

2. N.H. Free Comic Book Day Festival, Rochester: This annual all-ages event offers fun in various locations around downtown Rochester and includes a scavenger hunt, live music, food vendors, free comic book giveaways, cosplay contents (I had to Google what that even was — dressing up in costumes, basically) and more. The event is free and runs Saturday, May 5 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit jetpackcomics.com for more information.

3. McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center AerospaceFest, Concord: Enjoy a full day of science and engineering fun with your future space explorers. Drive a robot, fly aviation simulators, check out solar flares through mega-telescopes, experience wild weather with the Plymouth State University’s Meteorology Team, see the premiere of the new planetarium show, “From Dream to Discovery: Inside NASA,” and meet and talk to Astronaut Jay Buckey about his time in space. Tickets are $15 for adults, $13 for students & seniors, and $10 for children ages 3 to 12. AerospaceFest runs Saturday, May 5 from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit starhop.com for more information.

4. Children’s Day, Portsmouth: Downtown Portsmouth will be buzzing with all-kid activities when vendors and organizations take to the streets to offer fun for the entire family. Live performances, food giveaways, children’s crafts, games, scavenger hunts, a boat cruise to character island (tickets extra) and tons more. The event is free and runs Sunday, May 6 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Visit proportsmouth.org for more details.

5. NH Renaissance Faire, Kingston: From historical knights to fantastical fairies, this family-friendly event brings together education and fun for the whole family. Held at the Town Fairgrounds, activities include a Children’s Glen, archery range, craft and encampment demos, Maypole, zoo animals and more. Local artisan merchants selling costumes, jewelry, pottery, herbals and weaponry will also be on site. Events runs two weekends on Saturday and Sunday, May 12, 13, 19 and 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults $10 for kids (5 to 12 years old). Cash and credit accepted. Visit nhrenfaire.com for more information.

For a comprehensive list of local family activities, visit seacoastkidscalendar.com.

Suzanna Vicinus, founder of www.seacoastkidscalendar.com and author of the Adventures in Parenting blog, is a mom of two kids who always wins at Scattergories but never at short-distance sprints. Follow her to find out about the best family activities, events, edibles and tangibles that the Seacoast area has to offer. Find more of her Adventures in Parenting columns online.



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