If you’re looking for a family-friendly activity to check out this summer, head to the southern edge of the White Mountain National Forest to visit the Polar Caves Park in Rumney. Open mid-May to mid-October, Polar Caves Park features nine granite caves, which were formed 50,000 years ago when a glacier passed over the White Mountains. The caves are linked by sets of boardwalks and stairs, and a self-guided tour takes about two hours to complete, taking you up, around, and through the different caves.
Self-guided tours are $16.50 for ages 11 and up and $11.50 for kids 4-10 (under 4 are free) and can be purchased at the park on the day of your visit. Alternatively, you can purchase tickets online at least a day in advance and save 12%. The tour requires the use of stairs, so the caves are not wheelchair or stroller-accessible. Also, prepare for a bit of a workout, as the stairs are plentiful. But the 55 degree temperatures inside the caves will keep you nice and cool!
Although touring the caves is the main attraction at the park, it isn’t the only fun family activity there. The Polar Caves Park also serves as a year-round home for a number of furry and feathered friends. On your visit, you can check out the ducks, pheasants, and other birds, and pet and feed adorable fallow deer. Any day that you can pet a cute animal is a good day in my book!
Additionally, Polar Caves Park has a pretty neat gift shop that sells interesting stone pieces, pewter, dolls, and much more. There’s a homemade fudge shop on the premises too. Yum! And I’m still not done! There is also an old maple sugar house, which is now a museum, where you can learn about sugaring and purchase some sweet maple products. Then, you can burn off some of those maple goodies by taking a stroll on the park’s nature trails. After that, a mining expedition is a great option for the kids. You can purchase a bag of mining or fossils rough to uncover gemstones and minerals using the Polar Sluice. Or, the family can participate in a scavenger hunt for crystals and gems in the Klondike Mines.
The Polar Caves Park can provide hours of activities for the whole family, and has a picnic area available should you want to make a day of it. The park is located off Route 25 in Rumney and tours are offered 9am to 5pm, 7 days a week.
So, next time you’re headed to the White Mountains, make a stop at the Polar Caves Park and explore a unique NH attraction!