Well, let’s face it: we all hope for back to back snow all winter long, from November till April. The reality, however, is that Mother Nature is far more capricious, and while our area is blessed with some of the best snow anywhere East of the Rockies, rain happens – and unfortunately, it can happen any time of the year. While rain does put a damper on winter activities, it doesn’t have to spoil your vacation. First and foremost, one of the advantages of choosing a home over a hotel stay is that, should rain strike, you’ll have much more space to entertain the family; a board game, a movie night, a game of cards are much easier when you have the space that a home provides.
That said, there is no reason not to get out and explore. While most people abhor the idea of skiing in the rain, I have personally done it and have to say… it can actually be boatloads of fun (pun intended!). Rain-soaked snow is heavy, dense, and slides miraculously well – it’s what we call “hero snow” that makes it really easy to get carving and practice those perfect turns. Stick to groomers and especially the manmade trails – artificial snow handles the rain much better than natural snow, and remains firm and grippy without turning sticky. A high temperature wax helps as well! Most ski gear is extremely well waterproofed, so give it a chance – you might just find that skiing in the rain is far more enjoyable than you thought!
If the idea of zipping down the mountain in the rain doesn’t have you sold, here’s a few ideas of things you can do at home or around the area:
- Dare I say… shopping? A quick drive away, North Conway offers some of the best outlet shopping out there, with all the major brand names represented at highly discounted prices, and of course, tax free! Go bargain hunting and while you’re there, grab a coffee at one of the local cafes and enjoy this quaint small town that’s consistently rated as one of the top 10 ski towns in the world!
- And speaking of town, another great option is to visit Littleton, also rated as one of the Top 10 Main Streets in America, with awesome little stores that sell everything from souvenirs to toys to antiques and art. Stop for a bite or a pint at Schilling’s, right by the scenic covered bridge, and be on the lookout for one of the many events that this town offers year-round!
- If you have little ones, the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium is a great mix of a science and history museum plus a planetarium with dazzling shows. Great for all ages!
- Challenge your family members to an Escape Room! Mystery NH in North Conway offers several amazing options, including a year-round “Monster Mash” – a haunted attraction that will bring the Halloween spirit anytime of the year!
- Visit White Lakes Speedway in Tamworth for some amazing laser tag, bowling, and other indoor entertainment options
- Go for a drive! Be wary of weather conditions, especially if there is snow falling at the higher elevations, but there are several scenic drives that are absolutely stunning in any weather! Our favorites are the famous Kancamagus Highway, as well as the drive North to Dixville Notch, home to the famous (and currently closed) Balsams Hotel. Rain sometimes creates beautiful cloud formations on the mountainsides, and can be quite scenic! And of course, keep an eye out for the occasional moose or wildlife along the way.
- Play a round of indoor golf at White Mountain Indoor Golf in Intervale
- Grab a puzzle from White Mountain Puzzles in Jackson NH and work on it together
- Visit the relatively new Living Shores Aquarium! A small but very well done aquarium next to Storyland. Our kids LOVE it!
- Enjoy a spa day at one of the many nearby spas, from the Mount Washington Hotel to the fabulous Mountain View Grand, to many more small options.
- Visit the New England Ski Museum – either in North Conway or in Franconia Notch, by the Cannon tramway
- Grab tickets to a show at a local theater! Visit the theater section of our website to see options
- And let’s not forget… waterfalls! Heavy rain makes them look their best, and some are very easily reachable – particularly Upper Falls in Bretton Woods, and the Flume and Silver Cascades (next to each other) as you head Rt 302 from Bretton Woods towards Crawford Notch, right after the AMC Highland Center.
- And of course, check out our Calendar of Events for more options!