Saturday, August 7, 2010

Petey's, Prescott Park and the Seacoast Science Center at Odiorne Point State Park

My children have loved music since they took Music Together as infants. Unfortunately for me, their favorite group has been the Wiggles. Catchy tunes, but I have a serious limit to the number of times I can groove to "Henry the Octopus!" Luckily, we discovered Ben Rudnick at the library. Think Grateful Dead...but for children. And really talented!

So, when I saw that he was playing at Prescott Park in Portsmouth, it seemed like a great excuse for a day trip.

I had never been to Prescott Park before, and have been to Portsmouth only once or twice. And it is clear to me that I need to return to explore it further! Prescott Park, however, was a huge hit with the kids. What a glorious location for free concerts! Situated at Portsmouth Harbor with easy parking less than 5 minutes away, it was a joy to listen to music while we watched sailboats glide pass! I chose to be lazy, and for food settled for their sandwiches (bought from Moe's.) The music was as groovy as I had hoped and the ample bubbles and dancing children added to the joy. I discovered, too, that Prescott Park has arts festivals throughout the summer, making this a clear return destination!

From there, we were hungry enough to stop at the Ice House, just south, for some scoops of ice cream.
Well satiated, we head to Odiorne Point State Park, hoping to explore tidepools.
However, we had missed low tide by about 3 hours. Instead, we got some beautiful views...and 1 stressed out mother as I had visions of my children slipping on rocks and rushed into riptides.
It all turned out for the best, as we turned back to the entrance to the Park, and the Seacoast Science Center. What a perfect place for toddlers! It has touch pool to gently touch sea urchins, snails, starfish and mussels.
It has a lobster boat for kids to climb in.
It has a cozy nook to read books about the beach.
It has microscopes and sea anemones and a model Harbor boat that overlooks Portsmouth Harbor.
By now my sailors were hungry (again!) and so we continued South on beautiful 1A. There we found the last parking spot at Petey's. And I was glad we did, even if we made the mistake of sitting in the non-air-conditioned deck!
One son was happy with his hamburger and fries, while the other child and I gobbled up perfectly fried fish.
I kept going, indulging in tiny, sweet fried Maine shrimp and, yes, even going so far as to taste their lobster roll. For the record, it was full of tender claw meat, with nary a chewy piece in sight (and is pictured at the top of the site.)
Needless to say, 5 minutes in the car, and back down the road, both kids fell sound asleep, bellies full of fry and heads full of music and the ocean.

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