Summer in the city: The cure for ‘There’s nothing to do’ syndrome

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Growing up, whenever my mom would tell me to go do something the answer would most likely be that I had “nothing to do.” This may sound familiar to those who have children at home. Recently I even heard an adult complain about the lack of things to do in Manchester.

Crystal Lake beach
Crystal Lake Beach

While I agree that Manchester used to lack activities and events, this is not the case anymore. Part of the mission of Manchester Forward is to celebrate what the city has to offer. We offer our opinion on things that we would like to see happening and that we think would make Manchester a better place to live, work, and play.

But we also believe that Manchester has a great deal going for it, not least of which are the events and activities that take place, especially in the summer. With summer vacation starting, I want to take a little time to list some of the many events happening in Manchester throughout the season. My list is not exhaustive but does include a good sampling of summer offerings in the city. Many of these events can be found by searching the Internet, or more specifically places such as Intown Manchester’s events calendar or the Hippo’s HippoScout app. Individual organizations also list their own events.

Here are some ways to beat the “nothing to do syndrome.”

Livingston Pool
Livingston Pool
Swimming and Water Recreation

The City of Manchester operates four swimming pools as well as Crystal Lake and offer both open and resident swim time. The opening date was June 23. The City’s Parks and Recreation page lists events that are also happening at the many facilities throughout Manchester. With almost 2,000 miles of city-owned green space, there is plenty to do.

Interactive pool ball physics at the SEE Science Center.
Interactive pool ball physics at the SEE Science Center.

Fun in the Sun is a summer day camp for Manchester youth ages 6-12 years. It is available and free to Manchester youth. The program is operated by the City of Manchester. There are also other summer programs for youth including a Saturday Basketball Shoot Around and Summer Fun Runs. Information for these programs can be found on the Fun in the Sun webpage. Registration is July 2 at 8 a.m. Click here for details.

The Granite YMCA, (Manchester YMCA), also offers camps for area youth. Additional summer camps can be found on Parenting New Hampshire’s website and also the searchable list on the New Hampshire Camps website. For the kid who enjoys or wants to learn more about science, the SEE Science Center is hosting the Invention Challenge Camp for two weeks this summer.

Arts and Theatre

Theatre and ArtsThe Palace Theatre has a summer children’s series as well as a day camp for youth. The Majestic Theatre offers a summer camp as do the Currier Museum of Art and Studio 550.

Summer Reading

The Manchester City Library is hosting summer reading programs for both children and youth (teens). The children’s theme this year is “Every Hero has a Story.” Both the children’s and the youth / teen programs are free.

Summer Concerts and other Events

Screenshot 2015-06-25 at 10.44.05 PMIntown Manchester is producing several free and family-friendly summer events at Veterans Park, including the TD Bank Concerts in the Park series, Saturday festivals, the TD Bank Movies in the Park series, and the 3rd annual Family Fest in late August. Information can be found at Intown’s website.

This is but a sampling of the activities and events happening both in Manchester as well as throughout the state this summer. We hope that this list will help cure the “nothing to do syndrome” that plagues so many of us and that hits kids and youth especially hard. Feel free to share some events that you know about. From me and all of us at Manchester Forward…have a fun summer!


Click for more from the For the Love of Manchester archives.

Brian Chicoine
Brian Chicoine

About the author: Brian Chicoine is a New Hampshire native who moved to Manchester from Raymond in 1980 at the age of 8. He attended Gossler Park Elementary, Parkside and Southside Junior High, and West High, from which he graduated in 1990. After attending Notre Dame College in Manchester, Brian completed his undergraduate degree at Rhode Island College in Providence. Brian and his wife Jackie then came to Manchester in 2004 and were involved in various outreach organizations. Their two boys were born in Manchester during this time. After his position was eliminated in 2009, Brian and his family returned to Rhode Island. They have been living in Providence since 2010. Brian and his family love Manchester and are planning on returning within the next few months. Brian is currently working at helping the city move forward by connecting with other stakeholders and becoming involved with like-minded groups. Brian is also laying the foundation for an organization that will help strengthen the city and help it move forward.

Brian holds a Bachelor’s degree from Rhode Island College and a Master of Public Administration degree from Grand Canyon University. Brian currently works at Boston Children’s Hospital. He is also founder of a Facebook Group, Manchester Forward. You can contact him at

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About this Author

Carol Robidoux

PublisherManchester Ink Link

Longtime NH journalist and publisher of Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!