Looking for a weekend escape? Welcome to Concord, NH!
The sign reads Concord, NH. But the story is of a sleepy city reborn. Today, every few weeks there is a new shop, cafe or restaurant opening on its Main Street. But, in the middle of the boom is the budding arts scene. Concord has all the amenities to meet the needs of connoisseurs and creators of art, music, and theatre alike.
All this on 93, just one hour north of Boston.
For theatregoers, Concord is home to two auditoriums. The Capitol Center for the Arts and the Concord City Auditorium. Catch a play, dance performance, or comedy show at the Capital Center for the Arts, whose show offerings are varied but always well priced. The Auditorium also offers a variety of productions, many of which are put on by gifted local arts groups.Add to the success of the Capitol Center for the Arts, Red River Theatres, Concord Community Music School and the city auditorium. And don’t forget the coming new Bank of N.H. Performance Stage and the promise of a new performance venue at the historic Phenix Hall. To have this amazing array of cultural centers a mile from each other is unprecedented in a city the size of Concord. Look farther out and see the Hatbox Theatre, Kimball Jenkins School of Art, NHTI’s arts program at the Smokestack Center and the new Crumpacker Gallery at St. Paul’s School.
So, catch a movie at Concord’s non-profit art house cinema, Red River Theaters. In addition to featuring independent films, Red River Theaters often sponsors costume parties and film themed events. The facilities include the Indie Café that features locally made wine, beer, sandwiches, and candies.
The live music scene really heats up during the summer. Every weekend, True Brew Barista hosts outdoor concerts in Bicentennial Square that feature local artists and there are few things more enjoyable than breathing in the cool New Hampshire summer air while sipping on local craft brews and listening to the best musicians the capital region has to offer. In June, Market Days, a four-day long street festival, always features several live bands- not to mention the great artwork and food that can be found.
Every weekend in the summer in Bicentennial Square there is a weekly arts market that features local artisan’s crafts and jewelry. Similarly, during the wintertime “Concord Handmade” is a holiday pop up store that offers work from local artists and are perfect for gifts.
For amateur and seasoned artists alike, Concord has specialty shops where you can find high quality materials from locally owned vendors. Bead-it, located on Main Street, has hundreds of thousands of types of beads and several classes to learn the basics or to refine advanced techniques. Kimball Jenkins School of Art also offers classes all ages and for any medium, including fashion design. There is also a gallery on the Kimball Jenkins Estate that features fine art from around the state.
With the vital arts scene, Concord, New Hampshire has the charm of a quintessential New England town with all the cultural assets of a city and is a must stop for any person visiting the Granite State.