Boarding Parent Bucket List!

Things to do when you visit your child at Dublin. (reposted from 2015!)

If you know me well you know that I am always challenging our students to try new things and take advantage of our beautiful location. With that in mind I thought I would challenge our families and create, maybe not a “bucket list,” but maybe a list of things to do before your child graduates from Dublin. This list involves things to do outside of the quad area of campus. While you can do these things with your student these are also good things to do on a weekend visit when you have embarrassed your child one too many times for that day and you all need a little alone time. Feel free to modify any of these ideas to fit your own capabilities. If you complete each of these challenges (please take photos of each) I will invite you to my office to share a cold Moxie Soda while you regale me with your adventurous exploits around Dublin.

1.  Keep driving by campus for three miles on Dublin Road and check out Historic Harrisville, one of the best preserved mill towns in the country. If you have time stop in at the Harrisville General Store for some incredible food from local sources (I also highly recommend the Dublin General Store or DG, but most of you have already been there or had your child spend their college tuition there).  Drive past beautiful Harrisville Pond and take a right toward Nelson and head to Mayfair Farm. Craig and Sarah, who own and run the farm have a great store there where you can buy sausage and other fresh meats.

2.  Climb Mount Monadnock. Come on! How long have you said you were going to do it and haven’t yet? It’s the most climbed mountain in the world for good reason. Get up there—your kid did it! Mount Monadnock means “stand alone” so there aren’t any other mountains to block your view—you can even see the Prudential Building in Boston on a good day. I recommend the little used Dublin Trail, but hardy types can walk right from campus and take the Pumpelly Trail (5 miles to summit from the quad). Extra points or extra Moxie for anyone who can find the secret Pumpelly Cave on the mountain…

3.  Visit “Sunspot”, the newest addition to our campus—located just below the lower soccer field—Alumni Field. Thanks to three generous donors we purchased these twenty acres to preserve our campus buffer and hopefully provide the space for a future solar array. The stones at the highest point of the meadow are dedicated to the memory of former parent John Pierce, and make a wonderful outdoor classroom or picnic spot.


4.  Go to the town that inspired Thornton Wilder to write “Our Town,” Peterborough, New Hampshire. Check out my favorite bookstore, the Toadstool, grab some pub fare at faculty favorite Harlow’s or pick up something to go at Twelve Pine. Rosaly's Garden on Route 123 just out of town has great produce in-season. If you have a free night try catching a play at the nearby Peterborough Players theater.


5.  Check out the trails at Dublin School’s Nordic Center. These trails are soon to be the first ever high school trails recognized (or homologated) by the International Ski Federation (FIS). Michael Lehmann, former headmaster and son of our school’s founders, donated the land for the trails along with his sister Nancy Haynes, and provided the funding for the trail design and construction. Two former Olympic skiers and one Olympic coach have told me they provide some of the best skiing terrain in the world! Drive 3/4 of a mile towards Harrisville and bang a left at the Nordic Center sign—park and explore on foot, snowshoe or ski (we have skis and snowshoes for you to borrow in the yurt). Print a map off of the Nordic Center page on the Athletic section of our website so you don’t get lost!

6.  Visit the widest main street in America and see where they filmed the animal stampede scene in the late Robin Williams’ film Jumanji - Keene, NH. I like to visit Turn It Up, the used record store, in search of old Dylan albums, grab a cup of coffee at Prime Roast, and occasionally splurge for a meal at Luca’s. The Thorne Sagendorph Museum on the Keene State College campus has an excellent collection of paintings from the heyday of the Dublin Art Colony.

Hancock Inn.jpg


7.  Go to Historic Hancock and experience a town right out of a Norman Rockwell painting. There is great apple picking and views of Monadnock up on Norway Hill at the end of the main drag. Find refreshments at the Hancock Inn and say hello to Jarvis and Marcia who own the Inn. Visit the Harris Center and explore the miles of trails and land they have preserved. Extra points if you take a selfie with one of the many bobcats on their property.


Good luck and keep me posted on your progress. Hopefully you will see how fortunate we are to live in such a beautiful area. Remember, cold Moxie—yummy!