Hanover Highlights

An almost- free afternoon

I may be a tad prejudiced when I speak with enthusiasm over all that Hanover, NH has to offer when it comes to a local road trip.  I have been an employee of the Dartmouth College Library for over twenty-eight years, so I’m pretty familiar with what this little town has to offer.  Moving on from my disclaimer, let me suggest that one of the surprises about entertaining out-of-town guests is how quickly your expenses can escalate.  Visiting attractions, especially in a group, can quickly make a dent in your wallet. A recent afternoon with my relatives yielded a very pleasant stroll, with little cost, and a lot of culture.

Hanover, and Dartmouth, have much to offer in free or almost free places to visit that are unique and family friendly.  The Baker-Berry Library is the anchor building of the campus, and there are always rotating displays highlighting aspects of the collection or current disciplines of study.  In addition to these displays, it also houses the Orozco Mural. Housed in the basement of Baker Library anyone can view it during Library hours.  Be aware that students do study in this space, but you can take an audio tour or read a free brochure as you look over this National Historic Landmark.

As a Dr. Seuss fan, I can never resist showing friends the Theodore Geisel Room, a whimsical place to study on the first floor of Baker Berry Library.  In addition to comfortable seating there are many objects relating to Dr. Seuss as an undergraduate at Dartmouth, in addition to whimsical art throughout the room.

Heading down Main Street we continued our afternoon tour by stopping at the Hood Downtown.  A pop-up gallery that keeps a presence for patrons while the museum is renovated, the current exhibit is a must see for all.  And it is free.  Ingo Gunther’s World Processor is an absorbing exhibit of globes, each representing a different statistic.  It is a terrific choice for this space, and very family friendly, though be prepared your children may ask a lot of deep questions about some of the science behind these globes.  Be sure and go soon, the exhibit is only open until May 28th.

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Now, for why our afternoon, in spite of hitting nothing but free places, had to cost us a little.  Morano Gelato is conveniently located two doors down from the Hood Downtown.  And who doesn’t like an ice cold treat after a few hours of art? 

If you have guests in town, check the Hopkins Center schedule.  One of the cheapest and most rewarding things you can do is to attend a student performance.  I have been attending the Dartmouth Wind Ensemble performances for several years.  In addition to this amazing group, there is also the Dartmouth Gospel Choir, the Barbary Coast Jazz Ensemble, the Dartmouth Symphony and student plays.  Tickets are usually under ten dollars and in many cases guest conductors and musicians are invited to perform with these groups.  And the Dartmouth Film society brings in many unusual movies that are usually only available in larger cities.

A final tip.  This weekend marks the 45th anniversary of the Dartmouth Pow Wow.  This is an opportunity for your family to witness the Native American Traditions of a gathering of many tribes, as they come together to dance and compete over the weekend.  So go ahead, plan a day to hang out in Hanover, you won’t regret it. 


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