The Blue Acorn Inn in Sunapee, N.H., is only four miles from Mount Sunapee, where there is much summer activity including ski lifts open for sightseeing rides. Sunapee Lake is two miles from the inn, and guests can use the private town beach with an inn pass.

"Child-friendly" to some innkeepers means they'll tolerate your offspring if the little ones can manage to be seen and not heard.

To Deb and Kurt Markarian, owners of the Blue Acorn Inn in Sunapee, N.H., located in a former 1847 dairy farm, it means a roomful of toys and games, a rocking horse, a child-sized rocking chair, and a hospitable welcome for little ones.

The inn is only four miles from Mount Sunapee, where there is much summer activity including ski lifts open for sightseeing rides. Sunapee Lake is two miles from the inn, and guests can use the private town beach with an inn pass.

Just seven miles away is The Fells (www.thefells.org), the 22-room summer home and gardens of former Secretary of State John Milton Hay. The historic estate offers summer activities for the public, from landscape design sessions to wildflower hikes to orchid-growing classes. On Aug. 15, for instance, a monarch butterfly walk will take place along one of the trails at The Fells. You can also tour the Colonial Revival mansion, built in the early 20th century.

The Montshire Museum of Science (www.montshire.net) in nearby Norwich, Vt., has a wildlife refuge, a science park and a see-through beehive, among other wonders.

But the highlight of summer in this region is the 75th annual craftsmen's fair of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen (http://nhcrafts.org), which this year runs from Aug. 2 through 10 and includes a performance by folk singer Tom Rush. This is the oldest craft fair in the country, and in its location in Newbury - about four miles from the Blue Acorn Inn - visitors will find more than 200 craft booths, and demonstrations and workshops for all ages in blacksmithing, woodcarving and furniture building.

Meanwhile, back at the inn, wedding parties like to have their receptions in the back "yard" - all 22 acres of field and forest. Deb Markarian happens to be a justice of the peace and can perform the ceremony.

For more information on the Blue Acorn Inn, call 603-863-1144 or visit www.blueacorninn.com. Rates are from $90-$125 per night.

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