What is there to do in Weirs Beach within walking distance of the boardwalk?
          At the very center of Weirs Beach you'll find the HALF MOON AMUSEMENT ARCADES. There are actually TWO arcades: a Penny Arcade and a Family Fun Center. Both arcades feature a large variety of video games, including the latest simulators; flashy pinball machines; antique games which you can play for a dime; and a tremendous assortment of prizes, which you can win by playing Skeeball, Skil-O-Bingos, and other redemption games.

        Adjoining the Penny Arcade you'll find the HALF MOON BUMPER CARS. The bumper cars are full size and can carry a grown-up and a child in the same car. Unlike the bumper cars you might be used to, these modern cars pick up their energy from the floor, and don't have unsightly rods extending to the ceiling.

          Of course, no visit to Weirs Beach would be complete without an excursion out onto Lake Winnipesaukee. From Weirs Beach, even with its vast view, you are only seeing a part of the Lake. In the center of the Weirs Beach boardwalk, you'll see a train station where tickets can be purchased for the cruise boat the M/S Mount Washington, and her sister boats, the US Mailboat M/V Sophie C. and the M/V Doris E. There are morning, afternoon, and evening cruises. There are 1 hour, 2 hour, and 3 hour cruises. There are dinner, dance, sunset, family, foliage and fireworks cruises, so there's really no excuse for not getting out onto the lake.

The Sophie C. - click here to enlarge
her and also the Doris E.
The Mount in the late 50's - prior to her 1983 expansion

          If you're the landlocked type, an alternative to a cruise is to ride the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad. You'll be treated to scenery along Paugus Bay if you ride south towards Lakeport; while the northern route takes you along the edge of Meredith Bay to Meredith. Buy your tickets at the small kiosk on the boardwalk.

          The Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad route rides on tracks that have been in use for over 100 years. The 1893 railroad schedule below shows six trains a day in each direction from Boston to Weirs! For more information about the railroad era in Weirs Beach, click here. To see the schedule below in more detail, click here.

         For a really magnificent 360 degree view of the lake without leaving Weirs Beach, you can go flying up, up and away for a ten minute flight in a balloon! AeroBalloon will float you up to 300 feet high, safe and secure in the basket of their 100% helium filled, securely tethered balloon. Flights leave only when wind and weather conditions are favorable. (AeroBallon discontinued service in 2007. Hopefully they or another ballooon service will return.)

A crowd gathers to watch a balloon ascension on Lakeside Avenue in the 1900's.
Click here to enlarge the postcard below.
Successfully launched, the hot air balloon rises over Lakeside Avenue.
Click here to enlarge the postcard.

          For a really fun time on a hot summer day, there are not one, but TWO waterparks located within walking distance of the boardwalk. At the very entrance to Weirs Beach, you can't miss the Weirs Beach Waterslide. The slides actually pass around, and through, a giant volcano!

           Leaving Weirs Beach, turn left at the Weirs Beach sign, cross the bridge over the Weirs Channel and head straight onto Route 11-B. In about 100 feet, turn right onto White Oaks Road, climb the hill, and enter the Surf Coaster on your left. Its a little bit of a walk from Weirs Beach, but still manageable. This water park has been consistently rated by travel guides as one of the best in New England. In addition to slides, the park features a giant wave pool and a kiddie "spray ground". (Opened on July 1, 1983, the park has been closed since the 2006 season, and is currently for sale.)

Undoubtedly the first miniature golf course in Weirs Beach, this 1930's course was located on the site of the current Half Moon Pizza Stand, Penny Arcade, and Bumper Cars. Click here to enlarge the photo.

          Miniature golf afficionados have six - that's right, SIX! - courses in Weirs Beach to choose from! The closest course, at the Winnipesaukee Pier (603) 366-5849, has the patriotic and educational Salute to the USA course. Volcano Mini-Golf is a very challenging course, as it winds up and down and in and around the giant volcano at the Weirs Beach Waterslide. The Daytona Fun Park (603) 366-5461 (right across Route 11-B from the Surf Coaster) will challange you with numerous water obstacles, plus a bonus 19th hole. The newest course in Weirs Beach, open since 2004 at Logs of Fun, not only has 18 beautifully landscaped holes, but also features a nature walk around the course, complete with benchs, picnic tables and views of the public beach and Weirs channel. The oldest course in Weirs Beach, amusing visitors since 1964, is Funspot's Famous Landmarks of NH. For the maximum in fun, the course at Pirate's Cove, on Rt. 3 near the Weirs Beach/Meredith border, is a buccaneer's delight, filled with adventure for kids and adults alike.

          If you a fan of those daring race car drivers and their driving machines, and would love to try it, why not do the next best thing and go for a Go-Kart ride? Weirs Beach features TWO exciting tracks. Experience the thrill of miniature Indy Car racing at either the Daytona Fun Park or the Weirs Beach Go-Kart Track. Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines!

         Or how about the real thing? Drive a real NASCAR racecar at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway! The Racing School offers drivers ages 18 and over the real race car driving experience with packages from 8 to 170 laps. In 2009, school meets on April 21-22, then again on August 11.

          One of the last drive-in movie theatres in the country is located right across the street from the Weirs Beach sign. Opened in 1949, the Weirs Beach Drive-In Theater (603) 366-4723, has four screens, each showing a double feature, with the first movie starting at dusk.

          Above, the Weirs Beach Drive-in, in 1975. The nearby orange-roofed Howard Johnson's restaurant burned on October 7, 1984 and is now the site of the Weirs Beach Lobster Pound. Below, a circa 1960 aerial view of Weirs Beach (click here to enlarge) showing the Drive-in and the Weirs Channel.

          Speaking of theatres, the Winnipesaukee Playhouse (603) 366-7377 is a year-round, family-run theatre dedicated to bringing quality arts and entertainment to the Lakes Region. They aim to provide a fun and challenging theatrical environment for all Lakes Region locals and visitors in both performance-based and educational arenas. Whether your interest is to be onstage, behind-the-scenes, or in the audience, The Winnipesaukee Playhouse has something for you!
Click here for a photo of the lobby and seating area of the Colonial theatre and another view of the stage.
          The Colonial Theatre, on Main Street in downtown Laconia, opened in 1914 with 1200 seats. Live performances were only a memory by the 1960s, when it had become a single-screen movie palace. The webmaster attended many movies here, and fondly recalls the beautiful illumination by glowing purple nightlights. In 1983, the grand interior was subdivided into a 5-screen multiplex cinema. The theatre has been closed since 2002. Many would like to see it restored to its former glory, and there is currently an organized effort in this regard. Nationally, many Main Streets have been revitalized by the renovation of their old theatres, as a recent NY Times article points out. The League of Historic American Theatres assists many of these restoration efforts.

          Other things to do in Weirs Beach include:

          • Pitching cage at the Winnipesaukee Pier and batting cages at the Daytona Fun Park.
          • Climbing walls at the
Logs of Fun and at the Daytona Fun Park.
          • Bowling at the
          • In addition to the two arcades at the
Half Moon, there are also arcades at the Winnipesaukee Pier, Logs of Fun, and the Funspot, for a total of FIVE arcades in Weirs Beach! They are all GREAT places to have fun on a rainy day!

          Here's a trivia tidbit for a rainy day – did you know that New Hampshire features a professional home team for three of the five major team sports? They are the NH Fisher Cats (baseball), farm team for the Toronto Blue Jays; the NH Phantoms (soccer); and the Manchester Monarchs (hockey), farm team for the Los Angeles Kings! In football, the Manchester Wolves played for six seasons, from 2004 to 2009, before going defunct. Only New Hampshire basketball fans have never had a professional home team.

         In 2010, the Laconia Muskrats of the New England Collegiate Baseball League will have their inaugural season at Laconia's Robbie Mills field.

Appearing at the Great Laconia Fair of 1902, the Laconia team was one of the strongest baseball teams in the entire state of NH.
          In this circa 1960 aerial of Weirs Beach (click here to enlarge), 940' high Brickyard Mountain can be seen rising over 504' high Lake Winnipesaukee. Brickmaking was one of Weirs Beach's earliest industries, beginning in the early 1800's and continuing until around 1915.

          Brickyard Mountain was once known as Doe Mountain, after Augustus Doe, longtime owner of the brickyard. Previous to that, it was known as Blacksnout Mountain. The Native American name for the mountain is unknown. However, it is known that the same very hard, dark green clay used for making bricks was used by the Native Americans for 10,000 years to make pottery.

          During the 1970's, a ski area was built on Brickyard Mountain, obliterating many of the mountain's original glacial features. The ski area was very short-lived and closed in the early 1980's. For the next 20 years, trees and brush grew in rapidly, obscuring all traces of the ski area.

         As recently as 2002 the mountain top was undeveloped and could have possibly been made into a park. It is now being rapidly developed as a private housing community.

          "A little farther along toward Meredith just off the main road rises Blacksnout Mountain, from the summit of which is to be had the very best view obtainable about the Weirs of the Winnipesaukee lake and mountain region...The ascent from the road is very gradual and easy, but abrupt and practically impossible on the side toward the Lake. It is hoped that sometime this splendid vantage point will be utilized as a public park. There has been talk of an incline railway, including a large observatory at the topmost point." (From Rambles About the Weirs , by Edgar H. Wilcomb).

          Duck boat tours were offered in Weirs Beach for a couple of summers in the early 2000's.

          A water taxi service was offered in Weirs Beach for a couple of summers in the mid 2000's.

            Many other Weirs Beach boat tour services have come and gone over the years. The Foxy was one of the better known of these defunct services.
          Three new cruise boats and three old cruise boats. From left to right, top to bottom: the old Mount Washington, 1872-1939; the new Mount Washington (before its 1983 expansion), 1940-present; the new mailboat Sophie C., 1945-present; the Doris E., 1962-present ; the Governor Endicott, 1905-1929; the old mailboat Uncle Sam, 1906-1961. Click on each photo to see a collection of alternate images. Click here to see a collection of Lady of the Lake (1849-1893) images.

Where can I go shopping in Weirs Beach?
          At the very center of Weirs Beach, directly across from the boardwalk, you'll find the Half Moon Shops (603) 366-4388, which operates three fine stores all connected together: the Weirs Jewelry Outlet, the Half Moon Gift Shop, and the Half Moon Beach Shop.
Click here to take a photo tour of the Weirs Jewelry Outlet

          At the Weirs Jewelry Outlet (603) 366-4388, you'll find a large selection of contemporary jewelry styles and fashion accessories. You'll also find a complete selection of candles, wind chimes, and sunglasses.

Click here to take a photo tour of the Half Moon Gift Shop.

         The Half Moon Gift Shop (603) 366-4388 is next. It has the perfect souvenir or momento for your vacation to Weirs Beach——plus the little gift you can't wait to bring someone back home. The store also has a wide variety of T-shirts, caps, and sandals.
Click here to take a photo tour of the Half Moon Beach Shop.

         Finally, at the Half Moon Beach Shop (603) 366-4388 you'll find bathing suits, resort wear, towels, and a large selection of footware.

          Adjacent to the Half Moon Shops, you can satisfy your sweet tooth at Cook's Candy Kitchen (603) 366-5035 where you'll find all the summertime favorites, from candy apples to salt water taffy, from fudge to fine chocolates. Cook's also has a large selection of T-shirts.

           The Mapleshade Marketplace (603) 366-2121 is the place to go in Weirs Beach if you're looking for antiques or collectibles, for crafts or items with that "country" look. Just take a left onto Foster Ave., (where Lakeside Avenue ends at the wooden bridge) and go one block to Maple Street.

         Other fine shops in the Weirs Beach area include Kellerhaus (603) 366-4466; Basketworld (603) 366-5585; Dakota Leather (603) 366-2256; Jolly Jay's Joke Shop (603) 366-5151; the Shallow Pond at 350 Lakeside Ave., and Karen's Gift Shop (603) 366-4341.

Pinney's Gift Shop in the 1940s, before Tarlson's Arcade was built to the left. This building still stands but it is currently vacant. Click here to enlarge.

Karen's Gift Shop, circa 1960

Weirs Souvenir Shop, circa 1920

Clow Sisters Gift House

return to  www.weirsbeach.com   home page