A guide to some of the best small museums in New Hampshire (they are all around Concord!)
The Granite State isn’t just about outdoor adventures. Among soaring peaks, green forests and numerous lakes, there are many historic treasures to be discovered. From the state’s natural wealth to vintage telephones to Native American heritage and more, New Hampshire has lots of small museums to entertain your cultural and natural exploration.
Little Nature Museum
Here the collection includes rocks, minerals, fossils, sea life, insects, mounted birds and mammals, and plants. There are also interpretive exhibits, hands-on activities (with prizes for children), and interpretive trails to enjoy. Self-guided tours of the museum are available. A volunteer guide is available to assist visitors with a tour and/or assistance with hands-on activities. The museum is great for adults and children.
The museum is closed November through mid-May, but during the rest of the year it is open on weekends and some holidays.Little Nature Museum is also open by appointment on weekdays for groups of six or more guests.
Hours: Friday and Sunday, noon – 5 p.m.; Saturday and holidays, 10:30 a.m.- 5 p.m.
18 Highlawn Road, Warner, NH 03278
Lake Winnipesaukee Museum
The museum is set in a historic landmark and represents an era, which changed the way Americans spent their summer vacations – an example of the tradition of hospitality vital to the area’s history and economy since the 1800’s. David O’Shan, who first had a poultry farm on the site, purchased the property in 1923. The museum building is the original residence and the yellow cottages nearby are part of the original cabin colony. One of the buildings is from the former Shangri-La Resort. The collection includes souvenirs and postcards from the 1870s to the 1980s, a photography and artifact exhibition of old steamboats, and trophies.
Hours: Mid-June through Columbus Day, Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
503 Endicott Street North (Route 3) Laconia, NH 03246
Museum Complex - Bear Brook State Park
The museum complex at this park, located just 25 minutes from Concord, includes the New Hampshire Antique Snowmobile Museum, the Museum of Family Camping, Old Allenstown Meeting House, and the Richard Diehl Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Museum. Most of the museums are housed in historic CCC buildings.
Hours: Open at various times throughout the summer.
Route 28 Allenstown, NH 03275
New Hampshire Telephone Museum
The New Hampshire Telephone Museum houses more than 1000 artifacts that show a tangible history of telecommunications. The tours can be guided or self-guided, and the museum’s staff provides engaging commentary highlighting important moments in telephone history, such as the race to the patent office, the undertaker who invented the dial system, and much more. The museum features the collection of the Violette & Bartlett families who collectively worked in the telephone industry for more than 85 years. Also featured is the collection of Garry Mitchell, another longtime telephone worker from Woodbury Connecticut, as well as gifts received from the public.
Hours: From May to October, the museum is open Tuesdays through Saturdays 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. In November, December, March and April is open Tuesdays and Saturdays 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and only available by appointment in January and February.
1 Depot Street, Warner, NH, 03278
Wright Museum of World War II
Located in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, the Wright Museum is a non-profit educational institution dedicated to honoring the contributions and enduring legacy of WWII-era Americans. The more than 14,000 items in this museum’s permanent collection, as well as fully operational military vehicles, are representative of both the home front and the battlefield from the 1939 – 1945 era. Special exhibits include wartime photography, artwork made by soldiers or other artifacts. The Wright Museum offers school tours for students of all ages.
Hours: The museum is open from May to October, Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
77 Center Street, Wolfeboro, NH, 03894
Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum
Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Education and Cultural Center is dedicated to connecting people of today with 20,000 years of ongoing Native American cultural expression. Located on a 12.5-acre campus in Warner, the museum is one-mile up Kearsarge Mountain Road on the south side of Mr. Kearsarge with spectacular views of the Mink Hills. The collections include Native-made artifacts and Native art from over 100 tribes found in North America, and the traditional plants growing in the Medicine Woods are part of the visit too.
Hours: Open daily May through October. Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday noon – 5 p.m. Museum opens in February 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. during school vacation and by appointment from November to April.
18 Highlawn Road, Warner, NH, 03278
The Hillsborough Heritage Museum is located in a refurbished Firehouse and showcases rotating displays, the original Hillsborough Grange Hall Theater Curtains, and the MPM photography collection.
Hours: Open Wednesday and Saturday 9 a.m. – noon.
5 Central St., Hillsborough, NH, 03244