Sunapee tips and tricks

Hello, darlings!

Mom and Kathi Dustin at last year's show

Mom and Kathi Dustin at last year's show

Mom and I are counting down the minutes to (and frantically preparing for) our biggest show of the year! It's a nine-day outdoor showstravaganza, featuring meticulously selected artists from New Hampshire. It's the oldest continuously-running craft show in the country. It's a gem of the summer in New Hampshire's gorgeous lakes region. It's...

The League of New Hampshire Craftsmen's Fair at Mount Sunapee!

It's definitely a marathon for us as artists, and there's so much to see that it can be overwhelming for first-time visitors as well. I've been going every year since I was eight years old, so I thought I'd offer some insight for you good folks.

When to come

First off, you might want more than one day for this. There are over 300 juried craftsmen, as well as live music, demonstrations, and workshops. If you can, spend a couple of days and really see what we've got!

We've all been prepping all year to make sure we have nine day's worth of incredible work for you, but if you want to make sure to get first pick, come as soon as you can!

Alternately, if you want a little more elbow room, try coming on a weekday or during a little drizzle. All the booths are under big tents so you can shop dry, but not everyone is willing to brave the weather. Weekdays and rainy days give you plenty of opportunity to connect with your favorite artists and have a more leisurely show experience.

You should also take a look at the show's website, which has a schedule of all the amazing shows and activities you can enjoy while at the fair. There is more to do than shop (though, really, isn't shopping enough?)! Make sure to take a look at the website so you don't miss all the bands and workshops that strike your interest.

What to bring

It's an outdoor show, so you're going to want to keep an eye on the forecast. However, you can never go wrong with sunscreen, a hat, and maybe a small umbrella (just in case). Wear comfortable shoes for walking on the grass. Keep your outfit simple enough for trying on, and breezy enough to enjoy a mountainside summer day!

You would also do well to bring a re-useable water bottle. There are water fountains in each lodge, and summertime shopping can be thirsty work!

Where to start

This is a bit of a dealer's choice scenario, but there are a few good options here:

Mark and Molly

Mark and Molly

  • Start at the top of the hill (south side), meandering through the sculpture garden, and then work your way down. Gravity is on your side here, and it's the easiest walk.
  • Start in the middle (and see us) and then go uphill, work your way back downhill, take a break by checking out Living with Craft and Craftwear in the lodge, and then continue on to the bottom of the hill. Come back up to the middle and have a nice ice cream cone, and you're on your way! This is a nice thorough way to see the show.
  • Start at the bottom of the hill (north side). This gives you an amazing view as you emerge from the nice shady woods into the sunny bowl of the mountain. We walk in this way every day, and though we're always in a bit of a rush, I try to take a second and enjoy this view every day.

Guys, honestly, there's no wrong way to do the Sunapee craft show. It's an amazing capsule of artists showing incredible work, some of which can only be seen here! We love this show and we can't wait to share it with you!