10 Exciting Things to Do in Keene, New Hampshire

Discover Keene’s Rich History

Exploring Colonial Times

Step back in time and discover the rich history of Keene. Start by visiting the Wyman Tavern Museum, a well-preserved colonial-era home that offers fascinating insights into daily life in the 18th century. Take a guided tour and marvel at the authentic period furniture and artifacts on display.

Continue your historical journey at the Horatio Colony Museum, where you can learn about the influential Colony family and their impact on Keene. Explore the beautifully restored Victorian mansion and its meticulously maintained gardens.

Keene’s Industrial Revolution

Learn about Keene’s role in the Industrial Revolution by visiting the historical Cheshire Mills Complex. Take a guided tour and gain a deeper understanding of the city’s thriving textile industry in the 19th century. Marvel at the impressive machinery and learn about the lives of the mill workers.

For a truly immersive experience, head to the Historical Society of Cheshire County. Here, you can explore extensive exhibits that chronicle Keene’s industrial past through photographs, artifacts, and engaging storytelling. Don’t miss the opportunity to see the Keene Industry mural, which depicts the city’s industrial growth.

Experience Keene’s Vibrant Arts Scene

Explore Local Galleries

Immerse yourself in Keene’s vibrant arts scene by visiting its numerous galleries. Start with the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery, located on the Keene State College campus. This gallery hosts rotating exhibitions featuring diverse artists and styles, including traditional, contemporary, and experimental works.

Continue your art exploration at the Main Street galleries, such as the Hannah Grimes Marketplace. Here, you can find an eclectic mix of locally made crafts, artworks, and unique gifts. Take your time strolling through the galleries, and you might just discover a hidden gem.

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Enjoy Live Performances

No visit to Keene is complete without experiencing the city’s thriving performing arts scene. Catch a show at the Colonial Theatre, a beautifully restored venue that hosts a variety of performances, including theater productions, concerts, and film screenings. Check their schedule and reserve your tickets in advance to ensure a memorable evening out.

For a more intimate setting, head to The Stone Church, a historic building turned music venue. Enjoy live performances by local and touring musicians while soaking up the unique ambiance. From folk and blues to rock and jazz, there’s something for every music lover.

Discover Keene’s Natural Beauty

Explore the Great Outdoors

Escape the city and immerse yourself in Keene’s breathtaking natural beauty. Begin your outdoor adventure at the Ashuelot Rail Trail, a scenic path that winds along the river. Walk, jog, or cycle while enjoying the serene surroundings and picturesque views.

Continue your exploration at the Ashuelot River Park. This expansive park offers picnic areas, walking trails, and even a disc golf course. Spend a leisurely afternoon enjoying family-friendly activities or simply relaxing amidst nature’s tranquility.

Indulge in Recreational Activities

If you’re seeking more active pursuits, head to the Honey Pot Hill Orchards. Pick your own apples, go on a hayride adventure, or challenge yourself in the hedge maze. Don’t forget to sample their delicious homemade cider and cider donuts!

For a water-based adventure, visit Otter Brook Lake. This picturesque reservoir offers opportunities for swimming, boating, and fishing. Pack a picnic and spend a sunny day by the water, surrounded by Keene’s scenic beauty.

FAQs – Things to Do in Keene, New Hampshire

What are the best outdoor activities in Keene?

Keene offers a range of outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts. Some popular options include hiking the local trails, exploring the Ashuelot River Park, and enjoying recreational activities at Otter Brook Lake.

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Are there any annual events in Keene?

Yes, Keene hosts several annual events that draw both locals and visitors. The Keene Music Festival, Monadnock International Film Festival, and the Keene Pumpkin Festival are just a few examples of the exciting events that take place throughout the year.

Where can I find family-friendly activities in Keene?

Keene has plenty of family-friendly activities to keep everyone entertained. Visit the Honey Pot Hill Orchards for apple picking and hayrides, explore the Keene Recreation Center for recreational facilities, or check out the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire for educational fun.

What are some must-visit cultural attractions in Keene?

When it comes to cultural attractions, the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery and the Horatio Colony Museum are highly recommended. Both offer unique insights into Keene’s rich history, art scene, and cultural heritage.

Where can I enjoy live performances in Keene?

The Colonial Theatre and The Stone Church are two popular venues for live performances in Keene. Keep an eye on their schedules to catch exciting theater productions, concerts, and music gigs.

What are some nearby attractions to explore while in Keene?

While in Keene, consider exploring the surrounding area as well. Head to the charming town of Peterborough to visit the Mariposa Museum and World Culture Center or Plan b Microbrewery. Alternatively, nature lovers can explore the stunning trails and waterfalls in Pisgah State Park.


Keene, New Hampshire, offers a wealth of opportunities for visitors to immerse themselves in history, art, and outdoor beauty. From exploring colonial homes and industrial heritage to engaging with local artists and enjoying live performances, there’s always something exciting to do in Keene. So, plan your visit today and discover the captivating charm of this vibrant city!

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Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out our other articles on neighboring towns and cities in New Hampshire, such as Manchester and Portsmouth.