When the long harsh winter finally comes to an end, New Hampshire shifts quickly into top gear. New Hampshire has a lot to celebrate, from craft brewing to its stunning fall foliage. You can expect great food, music, crafts, and carnival rides at most events. This All-American state does a supreme job making summer and fall as fun as possible in its own low-key manner.

Prescott Park Arts Festival

Portsmouth celebrates its beautiful summer season with three months of special events devoted to the arts. Venues along the banks of the Piscataqua River showcase a rolling schedule of live music, dance, theatre, and other performances on many evenings and afternoons. They pride themselves on their free admission, and its pretty cool to watch a ballet performance followed by a rock band.

New Hampshire Music Festival

With over 60 years of experience, this music event is one of the state’s most popular annual festivals. It is held in the town of Plymouth and runs through most of July and August, bringing many great talents to the stage to perform everything from chamber music to classical and pop.

Hillsborough Balloon Festival & Fair

Each July, the beautiful country town of Hillsborough invites people down for four days of hot air balloon fun. Few sights are as stirring as dozens of colorful balloons floating above the green hills and lakes of New Hampshire. If you prefer, you can ride in the balloons during certain hours or just enjoy the spectacle. There are also parades, fireworks and a family-style carnival with rides, games and fair food.

Cheshire Fair

One of New Hampshire’s finest classical American state fairs, at the height of summer in August the town of Cheshire opens up its large fairgrounds to an eclectic array of fun events that cater to everyone from families to monster truck fans. There are traditional livestock competitions along with concerts, horse shows, and yes, the ever-popular monster truck rally.

Warner Fall Foliage Festival

You hardly need an excuse to come to New Hampshire and bask in the glorious fall colors, but the town of Warner certainly adds to the fun. Since 1947 this cool little central mountain town has been putting on an All-American show with barbecue, food, parades, live music, and carnival rides. Come down in early October for nine days of fall fun.

New Hampshire Brewer’s Festival

As you’d expect, New Hampshire has a thriving craft brewing scene. Each November all the local breweries around the state converge on Manchester to share their latest creations. It’s a fine way to say goodbye to fall and prepare to hunker down for winter. Besides tastings, the event also features seminars on brewing techniques and other interesting topics related to consumption.