Make the Most out of your July 2017 at these Sizzling Seacoast Events


The month of July offers more than ice cream and lazy days at the beach. This month, the Seacoast is packed with events and activities aimed to please children and their parents. Whether you want to watch fireworks light up the sky, catch theater in the park, or experience Christmas in July – the Seacoast offers it all.   

Who doesn’t want a front row seat to the Fourth of July fireworks? And luckily for Seacoast families, there are plenty of places to watch blazing colors light up the sky and reflect on the ocean. 

Portsmouth Fireworks – The city’s annual fireworks display takes place Monday, July 3 at 9:15 p.m. at the South Mill Pond, located across from Portsmouth City Hall. (Rain date is scheduled for Wednesday July 5 at the same time.)

Hampton Beach Fireworks – The annual Fourth of July display takes place on Ocean Boulevard between B and C Streets on July 4 at 9:30 p.m. But, if you can’t make those another display takes place at the same time on Wednesday, July 5 and every Wednesday in the summer.

Ogunquit Beach Fireworks – Head North to Ogunquit Beach to catch the fireworks display on July 4 at 9:15 p.m. DJ Jerry will spin tunes before and after the fireworks display. Rain date: July 5th.

Looking for fireworks in your town? Click on this schedule in New Hampshire Magazine for an up-to-date list of all fireworks events taking place in the state.

However, if you are looking for daytime Yankee Doodle fun, check out these other Independence Day celebrations.

Courtesy: Strawbery Banke

In Portsmouth, Strawbery Banke will host its 15th Annual American Celebration on July 1, 3, and 4. This is the museum’s “annual salute” to American Independence Days of years past. The event offers plenty of diversity sure to appeal to all ages: from maritime art to a 1940’s-style swing dance, each day’s events add something new to Independence Day traditions.

On the day of the Fourth, Strawbery Banke’s Old-Fashioned Field Day runs from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Kids can learn to play traditional games, such as a round of croquet. They can also play marbles, wiggle in hula hoops, and collect ribbons at 10 different games all over the museum grounds. The parade starts at 2 p.m. and prior to the start, kids can take part by decorating their bikes, wagons, or hats. (All activities except for the swing dance are included with regular museum admission. Admission is FREE TO ALL on the 4th thanks to a grant from BAE Systems.) 

If you are busy on the day of the Fourth, Exeter also pays homage to history during its 27th American Independence Festival, which takes place on July 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. At the American Independence Museum, children get a taste of what life was like in the 1700’s. They can play Colonial games and even take part in a Colonial scavenger hunt. Other activities include historic encampments, costumed performers, and museum tours. (Adult admissions are $10 each, children age 12-18 are $5, and children under 12 are free.)

Mary Poppins
Mary Poppins logo: courtesy of Prescott Park Arts Festival

For families who love music and outdoor theater, there are plenty of toe-tapping, entertaining events to attend.

In Portsmouth, children of all ages can sing familiar songs as they watch Mary Poppins come to life in Prescott Park, courtesy of the Prescott Park Arts Festival. The Disney favorite runs all summer in the evening (at either 7 p.m. or 8 p.m.) on Thursdays through Sundays and plans to offer some matinees. Don’t forget to bring your blanket and picnic and enjoy theater under the stars. (Donation requested; additional charge to rent tables and chairs.)

For those families who enjoy evening concerts, The Seacoast Science Center hosts “Music by the Sea,” beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday evenings in July. The events feature local bands such as the Jumbo Circus Peanuts. Concerts are held under a tent on the lawn, rain or shine. Families can bring a beach blanket or chair, pack a picnic, or purchase freshly grilled dinner and beverages on site. (Gates open at 5 p.m. for dining. Tickets are required and are $12 for adults and $2 for children ages 3-12; under 3 are free. Tickets are good for any one of the four concerts in the series.)

You can also head over to Dover to catch the Cochecho Arts Festival at the Rotary Arts Pavilion stage, adjacent to the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire and Henry Law Park. The festival offers both evening and weekday afternoon entertainment, including a Children’s Series. Each Tuesday starting July 11, the Children’s Series features a different performance, including music, dancing, puppeteers, jugglers, and magicians.

As an alternative, the fair is always a great family affair. From animals to rides, you won’t want to miss it!

From July 20-23 visit the Stratham Fair, one of the first agricultural fairs of the season. Take your kids to experience oxen pulls, pig scrambles, and 4-H exhibits and leave some time for midway rides. A fair steeped in history, the Stratham Fair is one of the oldest county fairs in New England and serves as the main fundraiser for the volunteer Stratham Fire Department. (Adult admission is $10; children age 6-12 is $5 and children under 6 are free.)

Are you aching for the holidays while you swelter in the hot July sun? Don’t forget to look forward to winter at this event!

Nubble Light House
Photo Credit: Seacoastonline

Who says you can’t see Santa in July? For residents and tourists alike, the town of York’s Recreation Department will hold its 25th Annual Christmas in July with the annual summer lighting of Nubble Lighthouse on Sunday, July 30. It’s a great chance for your kids to see the Nubble as it appears each year during the Christmas season – without freezing – from Sohier Park. The Seacoast Wind Ensemble, beginning at 8 p.m., provides entertainment.



  1. Great publicity for your area, so many choices. There is no excuse for a family not to find something to do on this special holiday time.

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