Fun and unusual things to do in every corner of Massachusetts

While exploring the great things to see and do in Massachusetts, be sure to visit the rest of the New England states and see what they have to offer: Featured Advertisers

Battleship Cove Battleship Cove Fall River MA

5 Water Street Fall River, MA 02721 Phone: 508-678-1100 Toll-Free: 800-533-3194 Fax: 508-674-5597

A day out you won’t forget

Teachers, students, tourists, Moms, Dads and kids will be inspired by this magnificent living history museum on the water in Fall River. A great attraction year round brings you up close to some very big players in America’s storied naval history. Ships that participated in definitive battles like the USS Massachusetts; protected the coast and brought home astronauts from their landings in the sea like the USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr.; and PT boats engaged in the Pacific theater are here in the world’s largest collection of US naval ships. Myriad inspiring exhibits enhance the stories told. The Pearl Harbor Experience is the only outdoor multimedia reenactment anywhere while year round maritime camps, girl scout overnights and family nautical nights make this a highly unique and memorable adventure for all.

Berkshire East Berkshire East Charlemont MA

66 Thunder Mountain Road Charlemont, MA 01339 Phone: 413-339-6617

Featured by USA Today as one of the Top Ten Zip Lines of the United States!

Berkshire East is New England's largest zip destination with three tours to choose from. The Base Tour is our introductory course… give zipping a try! Then move on to fabulous views of the valley on the Mountain Top Tour. Mountain Top zipping is a great family experience and summer memory.

Ready for tour number three? The Valley Jump is fun to the extreme. You will love it. Two 1/2 long mile zips, approaching 200' off the ground. This tour has been featured in the Washington Post.

Come, fly above the tree tops!

Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum Boston Tea Party Museum Boston MA

306 Congress Street Boston, MA 02210 Phone: 617-338-1773 Toll-Free: 855-TEA-1773

Take part in the famous event that changed the course of American History!

On the night of December 16, 1773 more than 92,000 pounds, 340 chests, of British East India Tea, were dumped overboard. from three ships. All of the chests were smashed open with axes and the tea dumped into Boston Harbor. That cargo was worth more than $1,700,000 dollars in today’s money. Historical accounts record that no damage was done to any of the ships – just one broken lock which was replaced the next day. The event was witnessed by thousands, and the implications and impact of this action were enormous, ultimately leading to the sparking of the American Revolution.

Come meet the colonists, explore the ships and dump tea overboard just as the Sons of Liberty did on that fateful night.

CoCo Key Water Park Boston North Shore CoCo Key Water Park Boston North Shore Danvers MA

50 Ferncroft Road Danvers, MA 01923 Phone: 978-777-2500

The Largest Indoor Water Park in New England!

Make a splash with the family at the largest indoor water park in Massachusetts. A tropical indoor paradise where it’s always 84 degrees and open every day for every kid of every age. There are water slides, a lazy river, a splash pad and dip-in-the- theater arcade, private, cozy cabanas and lots more where they came from. Hold one of a kind birthday parties, group swims, or even buy out the whole park for a day. Then enjoy a night at the Doubletree Hotel Boston North Shore adjacent to the Park with luxurious bedding and jumbo pillows, flat screen television, on-demand movies and premium cable channels. Look for Coco Key Discounts and packages that include overnight accommodations, water resort access, and breakfast in the family-friendly TradeWinds Restaurant.

Discover Quincy Discover Quincy Quincy MA

Quincy Chamber of Commerce
1400 Hancock Street, Suite 1A
Quincy, MA 02169 Phone: 617-471-1700 Fax: 617-471-3087

Birthplace of the American Dream

A visit to Quincy takes you on a voyage through time to the era of the Adams, Quincy, and Hancock families. Board a trolley and walk in the footsteps of John Adams at the Adams National Historical Park, where you’ll visit the birthplaces and family estate of two U.S. Presidents.

Quincy offers 27 miles of coastline that offer swimming, lifeguards, free parking, a bathhouse and more. Enjoy dining at one of Quincy's delectable restaurants. Or go on an outdoor adventure, be it by land or sea. The City of Presidents has three golf courses, including a 27-hole championship golf course that was voted a top ten in its class. Come be our guest for the day, a night or a week!

Old Sturbridge Village Old Sturbridge Village Sturbridge MA

1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Off Rte 20 Sturbridge, MA 01566 Phone: 508-347-3362 Toll-Free: 800-SEE-1830

Put the past in your future!

Old Sturbridge Village is a "must-see" destination to experience early New England life from the early 1800s and is one of the country’s largest living history museums. Come ride our stagecoach, meet our farm animals, talk with costumed historians, and watch the blacksmith, cooper, potter, and farmers at work. Experience life in the 19th century -- visit our 40 antique homes, buildings and water-powered mills. With over 30 special weekend events each year and hands-on crafts offered daily, there is always something new explore. Daytime admission includes free parking and a free second-day visit within 10 days. Open year-round, but hours vary seasonally. Make a weekend out of it – stay at the Old Sturbridge Inn and Reeder Family Lodges at Old Sturbridge Village.

Taj Boston Taj Boston Boston MA

15 Arlington Street Boston, MA 02116 Phone: 617-536-5700

Rooftop Sunday Brunch with spectacular views of the Public Garden and Boston

Enjoy traditional breakfast preparations, contemporary New England cuisine, and Indian specialties, alongside a bounty of dessert items made in-house by our talented pastry team.

Every Sunday, April-November, with seatings from 10:30am - 2pm. Reservations suggested.

Zoar Outdoor Zoar Outdoor Charlemont MA

Route 2 (Mohawk Trail) Charlemont, MA 01339 Toll-Free: 800-532-7483

11 zip lines, 2 sky bridges and 3 rappels

Try Zoar Outdoor’s newest adventure on a Deerfield Valley Canopy Tour in Charlemont Massachusetts. Our 3-hour-long zip line canopy tour leads adventurers on an aerial trek through the woods by means of 11 zip lines, 2 sky bridges and 3 rappels suspended in the trees in the northern Berkshires and connected through platforms that sit high above the forest floor. Our double-cable construction provides an extra margin of safety and hand braking (with backup brakes on each zip) allows you to control your zip speed with a gloved hand and keep from "spinning out". Our guides are trained in both safe zipping practices and in interpreting the environment around you so you can fully appreciate this unique journey through the forest canopy.

Antique Shopping --
Berkshires Is a National Hot Spot for Antiquing Antique shopping in the Berkshires, MA

The southern Berkshires -- the area around Williamstown, Great Barrington, Sheffield, and Lenox -- is a national hot spot for fine antique shopping. From the earliest days, people could find Americana in this area, and the stature of local dealers kept rising after the founding of the Berkshire County Antiques & Art Dealer Association. Experts offer antiques from England, Canada, France, Italy, Scandinavia, and China. They include porcelain and china, jewelry and collectibles, sculpture & paintings.

Artist's Home --
Sculptor Who Helped Immortalize Abe Sculptor Who Helped Immortalize Abe

Chesterwood , on Williamsville Road in Stockbridge, is the country home, studio, and gardens of Daniel Chester French, sculptor of the statue of Abraham Lincoln in Washington, D.C., and the Minute Man in Concord. The buildings are furnished with American and European decorative arts and paintings. Woodland walks feature mountain vistas and perennial gardens. The house and gardens are daily open for self-guided tours from May 1 to October 31. Phone: 413-298-3579.

Beer Tasting --
Pop In at Our Breweries

Tourism experts in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts are pleased to recommend great local places to enjoy tasting unique beers. Excellent beer is served at Opa Opa Steakhouse & Brewery in Southampton, offering more than 25 varieties of its own brew in a rustic setting. Kaptain Jimmy’s Restaurant & Distillery in Agawam combines a pirate motif with a cozy setting for patrons to enjoy 25 microbrews, draft beers, guest beers, and a vodka made on the premises. The Student Prince Café in Springfield has earned its status as the premier “go-to” spot for authentic German cuisine and imported beers. Phone: 413-755-1346.

Berkshire East Berkshire East Charlemont MA

66 Thunder Mountain Road Charlemont, MA 01339 Phone: 413-339-6617

Featured by USA Today as one of the Top Ten Zip Lines of the United States!

Berkshire East is New England's largest zip destination with three tours to choose from. The Base Tour is our introductory course… give zipping a try! Then move on to fabulous views of the valley on the Mountain Top Tour. Mountain Top zipping is a great family experience and summer memory.

Ready for tour number three? The Valley Jump is fun to the extreme. You will love it. Two 1/2 long mile zips, approaching 200' off the ground. This tour has been featured in the Washington Post.

Come, fly above the tree tops!

Bookstores --
Books, Soft Chairs, and a River View

Housed in an Industrial Revolution-era gristmill aside the Sawmill River at 440 Greenfield Road in Montague, The Montague Bookmill is a cozy melding of old-fashioned bookstore and the most comfortable living room you've ever known. The collection includes thousands of used books on every imaginable subject, many showling deeply slashed prices. This bookstore also housed the Sawmill River Arts organization and Turn It Up!, which delivers music and movie to the public. In the cold seasons, a movie night every week adds an opportunity for an outing, as does the book store's Lady Killigrew Cafe. Open daily, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Phone: 413-367-9206

Children's & Art Museum --
Enjoy the Pure, Joyful Art of Children's Books Unleash Your Inner Child

Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art on West Bay Road in Amherst aims to promote the love of picture books for young children. It is a delight for all ages. The beautiful art, made for young children, is charming, delightful, and purely refreshing. Collected from all over the world. The museum offers lots of changing exhibits and seasonal events. There is a hands-on Art Studio; an auditorium for performances; a library for reading and storytelling; a café; and a museum shop. Open year-round. Phone: 413-658-1100.

City Stroll --
Riverwalk Is an Urban Treat Housatonic River Walk Great Barrington MA

Downtown Great Barrington is known for its many boutiques, art galleries, coffee shops, and gourmet restaurants. A shopping or dining stroll in the downtown should include a visit to the adjacent Housatonic Riverwalk. The paved path that ambles alongside this busy Berkshires waterway is an all-volunteer restoration project of the Great Barrington Land Conservancy. After your riverside stroll, take in some evening entertainment in Great Barrington at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, the Triplex movie theater, or the town bandstand, site of free concerts. Phone: 413-528-3391.

Classic Gardens --
Classic Structures and Natural Beauty at Ashintully Ashintully Gardens  in Tyringham MA

Ashintully Gardens on Sodem Road in Tyringham is a retreat in the Berkshires surrounded by forested hills and traversed by a rushing stream. The gardens blend a stream, deciduous trees, and rising meadows into formal and informal beauty. People love seeing the Fountain Pond, Pine Park, Rams Head Terrace, Bowling Green, Regency Bridge, and Trellis Triptych. Foot bridges, stone stairs, and grassy terraces connect parts of the garden. A trail leads to the ruins of a Georgian-style mansion. Open June to Columbus Day, Wednesday and Saturday afternoons. Phone: 413-298-3239.

Colonial History --
Flynt Displays Early American Life in Vivid Detail Flynt Center of Early New England Life Historic Deerfield Deerfield MA

At the Flynt Center of Early New England Life at Historic Deerfield in Deerfield, visitors can peer into the daily lives of Colonial Americans through a range of exhibits and a visible storage area known as the Museum’s Attic. Subjects of recent exhibits include the crafting of Early American furniture; early American textiles, costumes, and fiber arts; and engraved powder horns from the French and Indian War and American Revolutionary War. The Museum’s Attic contains fine decorative arts, including important collections of English and Chinese export ceramics. Open mid-April to late November daily, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Winter hours are weekends only. Phone: 413-775-7132.

Farm Visits --
Farm Fun for Kids at Uncle Don’s Barnyard

Ioka Valley Farm at 3475 Route 43 in Hancock offers fun and educational farming activities year-round. Spring brings the sugaring season and pancake breakfasts, followed through the rest of the year by berry picking, picnicking, pumpkin carving, wagon rides, a haystack maze, and Christmas trees. Kid fun includes a baby animal petting area, hay tunnel and hay piles, giant sandboxes, a mechanical cow, peddle tractors, a library of farm books, a farm-themed playground and a picnic area. 413-738-5915.

Flower Garden --
Bridge of Flowers Is Like Nothing You’ve Ever Seen

The Bridge of Flowers was once a decrepit railroad bridge, before it fell into the hands to local gardeners. They draped the bridge in living gardens of flowers, shrubs, and trees that delight people from spring to fall. It’s a walk through a gorgeous garden above a rushing river with a lovely town on the side. The bridge is in Shelburne Falls, off Route 2 (the Mohawk Trail). It spans the Deerfield River and connects the towns of Shelburne and Buckland.

Food Shopping --
Farmers Market Makes a Fun Vacation Stop Great Barrington Farmers Market Great Barrington MA

Great Barrington Farmers Market on Taconic Avenue in Great Barrington operates on Saturday mornings through October and is a great place to stop for food, treats, and even to enjoy some local entertainment. The market sells the predictable selection of local produce, along with cut flowers, baked goods, dried and fresh lavender, and bread and jams. Many market days include special programming, like a Chef Tasting, a Strawberry Day, an anniversary day on July 10 with live music, and an heirloom tomato tasting day. It doesn’t matter if you are on vacation – the market is filled with portable foods and good things to take home. Phone: 413-528-8950.

Formal Gardens --
Gilded Age Mansion With Stunning Gardens Naumkeag historic estate and gardens Stockbridge MA

With its gracious house, magnificent gardens, and panoramic views, Naumkeag on Prospect Hill Road in Stockbridge is a quintessential country estate of the Gilded Age. Joseph Choate, a leading 19th-century attorney, hired the architectural firm of McKim, Mead, & White to design the 44-room cottage, Naumkeag, which would serve as a summer retreat for three generations of Choates. With its views of Monument Mountain, its stunning collection of gardens created over a period of 30 years, its original artwork, and its shingle-style house, Naumkeag creates an unforgettable experience for visitors. Open daily May 22 to Columbus Day. Phone: 413-298-3239.

Fresh Face at the Clark Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute Williamstown MA

After a decade of work and planning, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute at 225 South Street in Williamstown opens its refurbished and enlarged galleries and grounds on July 4, 2014. It is the biggest transformation of the Institute, with input from four noted architects, since it opened in 1955. The revised grounds include a three-tiered reflecting pool, new walking trails, and 1,000 new trees. Seventy-three works from the Clark’s collection of 19th-century French paintings will return after a world tour. Exhibits in summer 2014 will include Cast for Eternity: Ancient Ritual Bronzes from the Shanghai Museum; Raw Color: The Circles of David Smith; and Abstract Painting from the National Gallery of Art, 1950–1975. Phone: 413-458-2303.

Art Showroom Adds Extra Appeal to Shelburne Falls Artists Pick Up Hammers <br>to Save Revered Showroom

The village of Shelburne Falls is an absolutely lovely place to visit and stroll and shop, and the presence of Salmon Falls Artisans Showroom at 1 Ashfield Street makes it even better. The gallery overlooks the actual Salmon Falls on the Deerfield River, a series of flat, rocky expanses on the edge of the downtown, and great for leaning and gazing. The gallery, housed in the 100-year-old former Wirthmore Grain and Feed, features the work of glass artist Josh Simpson, and 90 other artists working in a huge variety of media. On your visit, be sure to walk the Bridge of Flowers. Open January-May, Friday-Monday; June-December, daily. Phone: 413-625-9833.

Gift Shopping --
Candles, Potpourri, Glassware, and Lunch on the Side Candle gift shopping in the Berkshires, MA

Yes, buying candles and related gifts is nothing new in the Berkshires region. Adding to the appeal of the formidable Yankee Candle, the younger Kringle Candle, at 220 South Street (Route 5) Bernardston has arrived. Kringle produces all-white candles to blend with any décor. Also, apothecary jars, floating candles, crystal pillars, and more. The Farm Table Restaurant welcomes shoppers for a lunch stop, making this a day of fun. Stop at the Christmas shop. Open daily, and longer at holidays. Phone: 413-648-3077.

Historic Homes --
Progressive Victorian Lady Left Her Mark on The Mount

Edith Wharton was born into New York high society in 1862, but she spent her lifetime educating herself and writing fiction and non-fiction in her areas of expertise: architecture and gardens. This strong-willed and progressive Victorian lady designed the magnificent house and gardens known as the Mount at 2 Plunkett Street in Lenox. Great tours and seasonal events. The property is open year-round, but the main house, stable, and bookstore are open early May through October. Phone: 413-551-5111

Historic Village --
Enjoy a Peaceful Visit to the Shakers Hancock Shaker Village MA

Situated on a picturesque expanse of farm, field, and woodland in Pittsfield, Hancock Shaker Village at 1843 West Housatonic Street in Pittsfield is an outdoor living history museum and restored Village of 18 historic buildings, heirloom gardens, 22,000 examples of Shaker furniture, crafts, tools, and clothes that depict daily life at the Shakers’ City of Peace through its 220 years. Hancock Shaker Village offers specialty tours, like a Farm Tour with a hayride, as well as tours that focus on children, off limits attics and basements, and the Village at twilight. Village is open early April through October. Stop for some refreshment at the Harvest Cafe. Phone: 800-817-1137.

Home Furnishings --
Picture and Mirror Frames Are Works of Art

Turn the wall display of family photos in your home into a museum-caliber exhibit with help from Museum Facsimiles at 31 South Street in downtown Pittsfield. the company makes ornate picture frames, photo frames, and decorative mirrors of wood with gold leaf, silver leaf finishes. All are custom-made, by hand. The company also sells vintage French advertising poster in brilliant colors on heavy paper in vintage molding, Grogeous! Also the company’s letterpress greeting cards have awards for design. Browsing is great fun here. Phone: 413-499-1818

Outdoor Adventure --
Tarzan Never Had It So Good Deerfield Valley Zipline Canopy Tours Charlemont MA

As a kid, watching the movies, you always wanted to be Tarzan, right? Right?? A zipline canopy tour is the next best thing to living the life of the man of the jungle, but without the rope burns. Starting June 1, 2009, Zoar Outdoor on Main Street in Charlemont is offering three-hour canopy tours in the woods and forests nearby. The Deerfield Valley Canopy Zipline Tours leads adventurers on an aerial trek through the woods by means of zip lines and sky bridges suspended in the trees and connected through platforms that sit high above the forest floor. Zip line canopy tours originated 20 years ago in Central and South America as an exciting and unusual way to experience the forest canopy. Now, start practicing your Tarzan yodel. Phone: 800 532-7483.

Outdoor Beauty --
Marble Luxury at the Hands of Nature Natural Bridge State Park

Discover a geologic wonder and a peaceful place to walk and view the artistry of nature at Natural Bridge State Park on McCauley Road, off Route 8, in North Adams. Examine the only naturally formed white marble arch and man-made white marble dam in North America, and tour an abandoned marble quarry. The natural bridge, according to geologists, is 550 million year old bedrock marble, carved into an arch by the force of glacial melt water over 13,000 years ago; one of the best places in New England to demonstrate the effects of glaciers. The bridge spans rushing Hudson Brook as it tumbles through a 60-foot gorge. Phone: 413-663-6392

Shopping --
Awesomely Original Shops Brighten Northampton

Northampton is a comfortable Berkshires town flanked by a bevy of colleges: Umass Amherst, Mount Holyoke, Smith, and Hampshire. Not surprisingly, then, the town has some great dining and shopping (or even window shopping) at really interesting stores with one-of-a-kind offerings. Some of the hottest are Faces, with a fun cards and T-shirts; A Child's Garden, with out-of-the-ordinary children's toys; Pinch Gallery, for handcrafted items and the perfect wedding gift; and The Artisan Gallery, for eccentric, memorable home goods and gifts. All are on Main Street.

Waterfall Adventure --
You Gotta Love the Name

Visit the most-photographed waterfall in Massachusetts at Bash Bish Falls. Located next to the Mount Washington State Forest, Bash Bish Falls tumbles through gorges and a hemlock ravine forest, and then drops about 60 feet into a sparkling pool. The park is open from sunrise to one-half hour after sunset and access is free. The falls is located next to the 4,169-acre Mount Washington State Forest, adjoining New York's 5,000 acre Taconic State Park.

Zoar Outdoor Zoar Outdoor Charlemont MA

Route 2 (Mohawk Trail) Charlemont, MA 01339 Toll-Free: 800-532-7483

11 zip lines, 2 sky bridges and 3 rappels

Try Zoar Outdoor’s newest adventure on a Deerfield Valley Canopy Tour in Charlemont Massachusetts. Our 3-hour-long zip line canopy tour leads adventurers on an aerial trek through the woods by means of 11 zip lines, 2 sky bridges and 3 rappels suspended in the trees in the northern Berkshires and connected through platforms that sit high above the forest floor. Our double-cable construction provides an extra margin of safety and hand braking (with backup brakes on each zip) allows you to control your zip speed with a gloved hand and keep from "spinning out". Our guides are trained in both safe zipping practices and in interpreting the environment around you so you can fully appreciate this unique journey through the forest canopy.

Art Gallery --
Blowing Glass? How Do They Do That?

Glass as art -- beautiful and refined art -- is made and shown at Pairpoint Glass Works of Cape Cod at 851 Sandwich Road (Route 6A) in Sagamore. This historic company, founded in 1837, has created glass ornaments, collectibles, and glassware for use that is found and prized in some of the loveliest houses in the country. Adults will admire the finished pieces; both parents and kids will get a charge out of watching glass blowers at work (Mondays through Fridays). And you can always take a choice piece home as a memento of your Cape Cod vacation. Phone: 800-899-0953

Art’s Dune Tours Are Unbeatable Adventure Art’s Dune Tours Are Unbeatable Adventure  MA

For three generations, the family-run Art’s Dune Tours, located at 4 Standish Street in Provincetown, has been taking spellbound visitors on tours of the dunes of the Provincelands, a marvelous, otherworldly place of sky, sea, bending dune grass, and wind-sculpted dunes. On the tours, you will travel through the majestic dunes where your guide points out the dune shacks where famous artists and writers like Eugene O'Neill and Harry Kemp became inspired to create their art. You will also pass the remains of the Peaked Hill Life Saving Station and learn how the brave "life savers" enacted their heroic efforts to save the lives of thousands from the doomed shipwrecks. Access by the public to the dunes is limited, so this is the to see them. Phone: 800-894-1951

Bike Trail --
Bike to Cape Cod's Beaches Province Lands Bike Trail Provincetown MA

Get out and be active at this Province Lands Bike Trail located in Provincetown. This 5.25 mile ride begins at the Province Lands Visitor Center where informational movies, exhibits, a book store, and the observation tower are located. Ranger guided tours are provided to explore sand dunes and hollows. The bike trail explores every aspect of the landscape from the cranberry bogs, marshes, and saltwater kettle ponds. The trail has extensions that provide access to Race Point and Herring Cove beaches. Look for signs for the Province Land Visitor Center at the end of Race Point Road for the entrance to the bike trails. Phone: 508-957-0738

Chocolate Treats --
Cacao Bean to Chocolate Bar at Chequessett

Opening with flair and flavor just before Valentine’s Day 2014, Chequessett Chocolate at 8 Highland Drive in North Truro makes chocolate delicacies (solid and beverage) before your eyes if you attend the new company’s factory tours (Wednesday to Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.). The owners purchase fair trade cacao beans from Rainforest Alliance Certified Farms, favoring include pure dark, cacao nib, mochachino and cherry-almond. Plan a visit to this sweet retreat on the beautiful Outer Cape to see the process and plunder the gift shop. Phone: 774-538-6249

Dance! --
Catch the Spirit: African Drum and Dance Cape Cod African Drum and Dance

Lounging on the beach is just fine on a Cape Cod vacation, but when you are ready to get up and move, Tara Murphy is ready to help with her Cape Cod African Dance and Drum teaching ensemble. Even if you’re on the Cape just for a week or two, you can walk into an evening dance classes on Fridays in Hyannis, Thursdays in Wellfleet, and Mondays in Woods Hole. Regularly scheduled drum classes happen in Brewster and Hyannis. It is a fabulous and fun way to get your blood moving and enjoy African rhythms between the beach and the lobster dinner. Phone: 508-274-8626

Farming Is Fun (with Jamaican Music on the Side) Coonamessett Farm East Falmouth MA

Coonamessett Farm at 277 Hatchville Road in East Falmouth is a farm and research enterprise with a sideline in entertaining and educating the public. On a visit, you can visit with alpacas, goats, sheep; pick your own flowers and vegetables; eat at the Farm Café; attend an off-beat workshop; visit the flea market and the general store. Great for families. Starting in June, there is a Farm Dinner on Friday evenings and a Jamaican Buffet on Wednesday evenings with live Jamaican music (check farm website for schedules). Phone: 508-563-2560

Garden Walks & Mansion --
Peaceful Hike in Serene Woods

Highfield Hall & Gardens at 56 Highfield Drive in Falmouth is a historic home surrounded by beautiful gardens and wood. Adjacent Beebe Woods has a large network of walking trails over miles of wooded ridges and steep hollows and around a pond called the Punch Bowl. The Hall is also home to several arts groups, and special events are held here periodically. People are welcome to visit April 1 through October, daily except Saturdays. Guided tours of Highfield Hall take place year-round for groups. The Hall holds a guided nature walk on the fourth Tuesday of each month. Phone: 508- 495-1878

Gardens & Museums --
Gardens Feature Wicked Plants in 2014 Heritage Museums & Gardens Sandwich  MA

Heritage Museums & Gardens on Grove Street in the idyllic town of Sandwich, on Cape Cod, defies categorization. Open daily, mid-April through October 31, the property has beautifully landscaped grounds and gardens. A Shaker round barn houses a stunning display of antique cars. An operating hand-carved carousel and many of America's most distinguished artists' works are on exhibit in the Art Museum. Featured exhibit for 2014 is Wicked Plants, a study of nature diabolical botanicals. Also, visit David Rogers’s Big Bugs to tour giant insects like 25-foot-long ants and dragonflies with 17-foot long wingspans, all made from forest materials. Phone: 508-888-3300.

Hands-On Marine Education Ocean Quest from Woods Hole MA

Did you know that the largest ecosystem is, in fact, Earth’s oceans? Yet despite this, there is still much to be discovered about this vast wilderness. To learn all – or a lot – about it, plan a visit to Ocean Quest, an interactive boat tour guided by experienced oceanographers. Children and adults alike are invited to climb aboard for an unparalleled experience exploring the Atlantic Ocean. Assist real researchers in gathering information, hauling lobster traps, dragging a plankton net, and using a Discovery Scope to see microorganisms collected from the ocean. This seasonal, two-hour tour, based out of Woods Hole is a great way to unleash the marine biologist in all of us. Summer cruises conducted mid-June to early September. Phone: 800-376-2326.

Lighthouses --
Climb Toward the Light LIghthouses of Cape Cod Ma

In earlier centuries, the dangerous sandbars off the shore gave Cape Cod the nickname of the Grave of the Atlantic. Early lifesaving techniques and lighthouses were the first weapons against tragedy on the sea flanking the Cape. Highland Light, Cape Cod’s oldest light house, built in 1797 (and rebuilt twice since then), on Highland Light Road, stands as a beacon looking eastward over the Atlantic from the cliffs of North Truro. It was built by permission from President George Washington, and it stands 120 feet above the ocean, shining a beam of light 174 feet above sea level. Visitors (above 48 inches tall) may climb the lighthouse every day from mid-May to mid-October; tours are offered from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Nature Museum --
Sea Life in the Mudflats Offers a Close-Up Adventure Sea Life in the Mudflats Offers a Close-Up Adventure  MA

Cape Cod Museum of Natural History at 869 Main Street in Brewster is a delightful museum for adults and children, but not overwhelming in size. Many exhibits explain the fascinating geology, flora, and animal life of the Cape, and the Salt Marsh Room offers a wonderful vista of the adjoining salt marsh. Downstairs is a small but satisfying aquarium. Just outside the back door is a self-guided walking trail of the marsh. Also, in the summer, naturalists offer guided treks of the marsh known a Mudflat Mania. A great way to see the fecund life of the salt marsh up close. Open year-round; seasonal hours. Phone: 508-896-3867

Nature Walks --
Dune and Beach Walks Near Provincetown Dune and Beach Walks Near Provincetown  MA

Never dismiss the Outer Cape as a romantic winter destination. Provincetown, Truro, and Wellfleet all have a core group of restaurants and bars dishing up warmth and sustenance. You will be looking for both after a vigorous walk onto the Province Lands, north of Provincetown. On a bright winter day, the views are glorious. Start at the Province Lands Visitor Center on Race Point Road, off Route 6. Walking routes can be adjusted for shorter and longer distances, with wonderful views of the Province Lands, Race Point Lighthouse, the Coast Guard Station, and more.

Outdoor Walks --
Bridge to Another World in Sandwich Boardwalk in Sandwich is One <br>of Town's Many Attractions

Begin your day in Sandwich by strolling the boardwalk , which crosses Mill Creek and beautiful marshes, leading to a public beach on Cape Cod Bay. This is not a commercial, Atlantic City-type boardwalk -- quite the opposite. The walk vaults very gently across a wide, wide expanse of tidal salt meadow, where channels of seawater fill and empty with the tide. After crossing this magnificent panorama, you reach a beach on the bay. Both pieces of the walk offer vaulting views of sky, salt marsh, dunes, beach, and sea. it is pure inspiration for the eyes and soul.

Shopping for Gifts & Keepsakes --
Brewster Serves Up Unique Shopping Brewster Serves Up Unique Shopping  MA

The cheery Lemon Tree Village Shops at 1069 Route 6A in Brewster is a cheery, year-round shopping venue filled with many unusual stores. You can find garden statuary, top-of-the-line cooking implements, locally made arts and crafts, pottery, birding supplies, clothing, gifts, jewelry, and toys. The Village has 13 shops and a café, flower garden, flowing water fountains, and a relaxing atmosphere. The shopping experience here has been described as a "unique representation of artists from all over the United States, Europe, the Far East" and, of course, Cape Cod.

Summer Theater --
Live Theater at the Top of Its Game Cape Playhouse Dennis Village Cape Cod MA

Take a 19th century Cape meetinghouse, an extraordinary history, and more than 80 seasons of top-notch professional theater, and it’s easy to see why the Cape Playhouse, at 820 Route 6A in Dennis Village, is one of the most famous summer theaters in the country. Known as “America’s Oldest Professional Summer Theater,” the Cape Playhouse combines the best Broadway comedies, musicals, mysteries, and dramas with unforgettable performances from the nation’s finest actors. On the schedule for the 2014 are “The Odd Couple,” “Freud’s Last Session,” “1776,” “Pump Boys and Dinettes,” and more. Phone: 877-385-3911.

Trail Walks --
In the Footsteps of Pilgrims Cape Cod National Seashore trail walks

Pilgrim Spring Trail and Small's Swamp Trail , part of the Cape Cod National Seashore, are easy loop trails about one mile long, accessible off Route 6 at the Pilgrim Heights area sign in North Truro. The trails wind around a kettle swamp and marsh and offer wonderful views of Pilgrim Lake, sand dunes, the salt meadow, and the Atlantic Ocean. A stone marker identifies the site of the first fresh water the Pilgrims found. Trails are marked with information about local history and nature. This is a fine, easy walk for people of all ages, with views of typical Cape Cod landforms and living creatures.

Trail Walks --
Sandy Trails; Quiet Marshes Great Island Trail Hike Wellfleet MA

Follow Chequesset Neck Road in Wellfleet to the start of the Great Island Trail Hike . Nature trails from the parking lot lead to this wonderful peninsula: seven miles of sandy trails along the inner marshes, water and windswept dunes. The trail is 3.6 miles and easy walking, with little change in elevation. If you venture as far as Jeremy Point (the tip), be sure that the tide is on its way out, not in.

Train to the Cape --
Relax By Rail to Cape Cod Cape Flyer passenger train Cape Cod MA

Travelers can now get to Cape Cod by rail during the summer using the Cape Flyer, a Boston-to-Cape Cod passenger train. The Cape Flyer will offer passengers an easy, comfortable, no-traffic-delay ride between Boston and Hyannis for about $30 round trip. For its inaugural year, CapeFlyer will operate on a limited schedule, weekends only, through Labor Day. The tentative schedule is to have five trips each weekend. Gosh, even if you could drive to the Cape, jump on the train instead. What a restful way to start and end a beautiful weekend.

Wildlife Viewing --
Poke Into the Summer Lives of the Seals The Monomoy Island Ferry Rip Rider  Chatham MA

Monomay National Wildlife Refuge is on a lanky drip of an island off the southeastern tip of Cape Cod. The Monomoy Island Ferry Rip Rider , docked at 30 Wikis Way in Chatham, on the mainland, takes visitors on a 90-minute tour along the west side of the Monomoy Islands, with views of the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, ample views of lots of seals, and the Monomoy Lighthouse. A new, naturalist-guided walking on the island tour offer guests a chance to walk out to the Monomoy Lighthouse, looking for deer, owls, seals hauled out on the beach, and innumerable shore and song birds. This would be one of your most brilliant Cape Cod vacation memories. Phone: 508-237-0420

Wine Tasting --
Try Truro -- the Vineyard, That Is Truro Vineyard in Truro MA on Cape Cod

Truro Vineyard at 11 Shore Road in North Truro is a lovely, relaxing place where tours and tastings are held daily from May through Thanksgiving. The main house is located behind a wide expanse of law dotted with shade trees and picnic tables. Behind the house, tastings are conducted on a flower-decked patio. Inside, a gift shop offers all manner of fun gifts and books related to Cape Cod wines and the drinking and collecting of wine. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m. Phone: 508-487-6200

Winery Visits --
Grapes and Wine from Ideal Soils Grapes and Wine from Ideal Soils

Cape Cod Winery on 681 Sandwich Road in East Falmouth is located on soil and slopes that are perfect for wine grape growing. The vineyard plants and harvests the grape varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Pinot Grigio, together with Seyval and Vidal. Among the wines produced here are Nobska Red, White, and Blush; Regatta; and Cranberry Chardonnay. Visitors are welcome for wine tastings and tours. Phone: 508-457-5592.

Yoga in the Morning Morning Yoga at Chatham Lighthouse Beach Chatham MA

Start your day with yoga on Chatham Lighthouse Beach, off Main Street in Chatham,and let yoga teacher Valerie Twomey lead you on a journey to relaxation and invigoration. These 7:30 a.m. stretch sessions make for a serene way to wake up! Twomey makes it easy for beginners to enjoy the stress relief and peace of mind that Yoga brings. Feel the sand between your toes as you relax and stretch by the ocean. To get to the beach, travel through downtown, then take a right at the stop sign and follow the smell of the salty sea. Sessions are cancelled if it rains. Phone: 508-945-7643

Antiques: A Mile Long and Many Acres Wide

If you think you’re seen a whole lotta antiques in one place, hold onto your socks. Three times a year, a mile of Route 20 in Brimfield and many acres to each side is buried in antiques of every imaginable description at the Brimfield Outdoor Antique Shows . Hog heaven for browsers and sellers. Almost everything is interesting and unique. Get there early. Show dates in 2014 are May 13-18; July 8-13; and September 2-7. Phone: 413-283-6149.

Biking Through the Center of the State Wachusetts Greenways bike trail Massachusetts

Massachusetts Central Rail Trail for bicycles and walkers that, when finished, will include 104 miles connecting 24 communities Boston to Northampton. Completion of the trail in the future, but various groups are refurbishing the trail in pieces. Volunteers with Wachusett Greenways have opened 11 miles of the rail trail, as follows Sterling from the Cider Mill to Gates Road; West Boylston/Holden from Oakdale to River Street along the Quinapoxet River; Holden Connector from River Street to Manning Street to Mill Street; Rutland from Wachusett Street south to the Holden line; Rutland from Glenwood Road to Route 56; Rutland from the Charnock Hill Road to Barrack Hill Road to Rutland State Park entrance road to Route 122 and the Midstate Trail. Get out on two wheels to two feet and join the adventure. Map

Family Vineyard on Historic Farm Welcomes You Hardwick Vineyard and Winery Hardwick MA wine tasting and tours

The Hardwick Vineyard and Winery at 3305 Greenwich Road in Hardwick is a hospitable, family-run winery located on a quiet country road that winds around the Quabbin Reservoir. Visitors may tour the 5,000-square-foot timber frame barn, enjoy the craftsmanship of the winery’s fieldstone foundation, and walk the vineyard fields. The vineyard offers wine tastings and sells local cheese, honey, maple syrup and its signature wines. Picnicking is encouraged, and there is a jazz breakfast the first Sunday of every month. Open March-December, Friday-Sunday and Monday holidays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Phone: 413-967-7763

J. Appleseed Country Means Farms, Art, Outdoor Fun Central Mass is Johnny Appleseed Country

Johnny Appleseed, born John Chapman in 1774 in Leominster, was a pioneer nurseryman who introduced apples to large parts of the Midwest. Today’s Johnny Appleseed Trail in north-central Massachusetts runs along Route 2 from about Turner’s Falls at the western end to Lancaster at the eastern end. The warm-weather months are a perfect time to explore this region of farms, orchards, outdoor sports, and beautiful small towns. Start at the Johnny Appleseed Visitor Center on Route 2 West in Lancaster. It’s chock-full of helpful brochures to wonderful places like Davis Farmland, Jumptown, Nashoba Paddler, Lancaster Golf Center, Tower Hill Botanic Gardens, and Wachusett Mountain Ski Area. Phone: 978-534-2302.

Nature & Outdoors --
Broad Meadow Offers Woods, Streams, and Marshes Broad Meadow Brook Conservation Center and Wildlife Sanctuary Worcester MA

Within the 400 acres of woods, fields, streams, and marsh at Broad Meadow Brook Conservation Center and Wildlife Sanctuary at 414 Massasoit Road in Worcester, visitors can hike, cross-country ski, watch birds, look for 78 species of butterflies, prowl for owls, or learn to snowshoe. The lobby of the center has exhibits, including a large 3-D model of the entire sanctuary and a wall-to-ceiling map of the Blackstone River watershed. Nature-related gifts, children’s books, assorted field guides, are available at the center, which also serves as a visitor site for the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. Trails are open daily, dawn to dusk. Phone: 508-753-6087.

Nature Center --
Butterflies Like a Warm Home Butterflies Like a Warm Home

You’ll find out when you visit the steamy glass conservatory at Magic Wings in South Deerfield that butterflies like it warm. Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory & Gardens consists of an 18,400-square foot facility that includes a large glass conservatory filled with butterflies, moths, and tropical vegetation. The heart-shaped pond with Japanese koi graces the center of the conservatory. Other attractions are the Iron Butterfly Outdoor Garden, planted with flowers that attract butterflies; food court; Monarchs Restaurant; and gift shop. Open daily, year-round. Phone: 413-665-2805.

Outdoor Adventure --
Amble Through the Tree Tops Tree Canopy Walkway at EcoTarium in Worcester MA

Imagine being 40 feet high in the trees, harnessed to swinging bridges spanning 150 feet. What could you see and hear? How would it feel to be walking through the trees or speeding toward the forest floor? The Tree Canopy Walkway at EcoTarium, 222 Harrington Way in Worcester, is a series of platforms and rope bridges suspended more than 40 feet above ground among a grove of oak and hickory trees. Explore firsthand what's living up there and investigate the different kinds of trees that make up EcoTarium's forest. In 2011, the walkway is open weekend from May 28 to June 26 and daily thereafter. Phone: 508- 929-2700.

Outdoor Sports --
We Give Up: What Is Disc Golf?

Disc golf is played much like traditional golf, but instead of a ball and clubs, players use a flying disc or Frisbee. The disc is thrown from a tee area to a target, usually an elevated metal basket. As with regular golf, the players’ objective is to complete each hole in the fewest number of throws. It is fun for all ages, and the folks at Pyramids Disc Golf Course at 103 Marshall Street in s
Leicester are ready to get you playing. Course is open daily.

Outdoors & Art History --
Fruitlands Is Home to Four Fascinating Museums Fruitlands Museums, Harvard, MA, home to the Alcott family

In 1843, Bronson Alcott, a writer and the father of Louisa May Alcott, founded a utopian community called Fruitlands, near the town of Harvard. Later, the four Fruitlands Museums opened on the site of Alcott’s village, at 102 Prospect Hill Road in Harvard. The 210-acre landscape now includes a Shaker Museum, a Native American museum, a fine art gallery of Hudson River landscapes, changing exhibits, and trails through woodlands and meadows. A visit is inspiring, educational, and beautiful, with lots outdoor walks on the trails. Special events for adults and kids. Open daily, May through October. 978-456-3924

Parachute Jumps --
Hold On to Your Toes! Jumptown parachute adventure in Orange MA

Have you ever fall fallen from 13, 500 feet? No? Well you can, now. Take a sky ride with help from JumpTown , located at the Orange Municipal Airport, in Orange , for a lifetime experience you’re not soon to forget. Jumptown’s licensed United States Parachute Association instructors consider safety the top priority and offer tandem and AFF, Accelerated FreeFall jumps. Customers are invited to try skydiving as a company team-building experience or a special birthday or anniversary party. Go ahead, climb aboard; we’ll hold the coats. Phone: 800-890-JUMP

Run! Jump! Fly! For Kids at Ecotarium

Run! Jump! Fly! Adventures in Action, opening June 7, 2014, at the Ecotarium, 222 Harrington Way, Worcester, gives kids age 5 to 12 a chance to surf the big waves, snowboard down mountain slopes, practice kung fu like a master, scramble out of a climbing canyon, and more. This noncompetitive action environment is open through September 21. The exhibit offers four adventure scenes, an action star training center, and a toddler area. At Surfing and Snowboarding, kids don Hawaiian shirts and try to stay on moving balance boards. In Kung Fu Forest three lantern posts display instructional images of kung fu animal stances. At the Climbing Canyon, visitors traverse the Toddler Trail, Beginners' Bend, Rugged Ridge or Extreme Expanse. At Flycycle Sky children strap on a bike helmet and climb on one of the Museum's flycycles. Phone: 508-929-2700

Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Winter Tower Hill Botanic Garden

Tower Hill Botanic Garden, at 11 French Drive in Boylston warms the season up with its beautiful Winter Garden, situated in a semi-enclosed courtyard reminiscent of an Italian villa. Protected from wind and extreme temperatures, the Winter Garden is a showcase for plants that are at their best during the winter months, featuring exquisite bark, structures, berries, or evergreen needles. An intricate water feature in the center of the courtyard, Domitian’s Pool, is designed to function in winter. The Limonaia or Lemon House has a cathedral-like interior of the Limonaia. This room expands the display of non-hardy plants. The Limonaia will house the garden’s collection of camellias and citrus plants. Open year-round, daily, except major holidays. Phone: 508-869-6111.

Aquarium Visit --
Coral Reefs Dance in Giant Ocean Tank Giant Ocean Tank at New England Aquarium Boston MA

The refurbished Giant Ocean Tank at the New England Aquarium on Central Wharf in Boston keeps evolving beyond its grand opening in 2013. Visitors are fascinated by the thousands of different animals in the two-story tank. The star is the place is still Myrtle the green sea turtle and the colorful reef fishes. A new exhibit area at the top of the tank offers a very close view of coral reef animals, swaying garden eels, grinning moray eels and batfish! Keep coming back to the aquarium! Phone: 617-973-5200.

Arboretum --
15,467 Plants to Enjoy, Up Close Arnold Arboretum Boston MA

From flowers and fragrance to fruits and textures, the Arnold Arboretum in Boston is a dynamic landscape throughout the year. Come for a tour and experience the Arboretum in a new way. Explore the collections on a free guided tour led by knowledgeable docents. Tours are geared toward the general adult visitor and include Arboretum history and topics of seasonal interest. All tours begin in front of the Hunnewell Building Visitor Center, 125 Arborway. There is no need to pre-register. The main tour season runs from April through November on select Saturdays, Sunday, Wednesdays, and Fridays, mornings, afternoons, and evenings. Call for schedule at 617-524-1718.

Art Museum --
More Light for Art Lovers More Light for Art Lovers  MA

The wonderful and already-revered Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum at 280 The Fenway in Boston has a dramatic, new light-filled wing! The addition, by architect Renzo Piano, includes a three-story gallery for contemporary art exhibitions, an intimate performance hall, and a visitor orientation area. For the first time, visitors can walk through the museum's greenhouses to see plants that are being prepared for the famous courtyard displays in the original 1902 building. The museum's collections reflect Isabella Stewart Gardner's extensive European travels: paintings, sculptures, tapestries, furniture, and decorative arts, including works by Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Degas, and Manet. Phone: 617-566-1401 or 617-278-5156.

Beer Trail! --
On the Road to Better Beers

Along the Massachusetts Craft Brewers Trail sit the Bay State’s best breweries and pubs, awaiting your appraisal. Download and print the Craft Brewers Trail Map for a self-guided driving tour of any region of the state, concentrating on craft breweries. The best part of this event is that it never ends – there is always another brew to be sampled! Information:

Bicycling --
The Boston Bike Party Rolls Every Month

Each month, hundreds of bicyclists participate in a costumed, themed race on wheels around Boston . Routes end at special locations, where bikers can regain their energy with food and culture. Bicycle party themes change with the season and holidays, and cyclists are encouraged to make their own costume, but everyone is welcome to join in the cycling, no matter their age or skill level! Spend some time spinning your wheels around the city’s buzzing streets, in the company of a swarm of other cyclists. Past themes include “Winter Heatwave,” “Mount Olympus,” and “Girl Power,” features special performers and chefs. E-mail:

Bicycling in the City --
I Like to Ride My Bike Urban Adventours Boston MA

Instead of dealing with Boston traffic, just jump on a bike to see all the sights. Urban AdvenTours at 103 Atlantic Avenue in Boston makes this possible with its bike tours of Boston landmarks, including the Paul Revere Ride and Fenway Park. Daily bike tours at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. depart from Urban AdvenTours headquarters. Families and individuals are invited to exercise their bodies and minds at the same time. Urban AdvenTours now offers tandem rides, turning a regular ride into pure tandemonium. 617-670-0637

Bike Trails --
Bicycle Through Colonial History Minuteman Bikeway near Boston MA

Arlington is one of four Boston-area communities that hosts the Minuteman Bikeway, which passes through the area where the American Revolution began in April 1775. Municipal parking lots are available throughout the bikeway region, in the towns of Arlington, Bedford, Cambridge, and Lexington. Find maps to access points on the bikeway. Phone: 617-542-2453

Boat Tour --
Boston’s Lighthouses Seen from the Sea Boston’s Lighthouses Seen from the Sea

The three-hour Boston Light Tour begins with a narrated boat tour among the Boston Harbor Islands, where you will learn the rich maritime history from a park ranger. You will see the Long Island Light and The Graves Light; disembark at Little Brewster Island to visit the first lighthouse station in the U.S.; climb Boston Light's tower and see the historic Fresnel lens. Tours depart at various times from the Moakley Courthouse Dock. A memorable Boston outing. Phone: 617-223-8666.

Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum Boston Tea Party Museum Boston MA

306 Congress Street Boston, MA 02210 Phone: 617-338-1773 Toll-Free: 855-TEA-1773

Take part in the famous event that changed the course of American History!

On the night of December 16, 1773 more than 92,000 pounds, 340 chests, of British East India Tea, were dumped overboard. from three ships. All of the chests were smashed open with axes and the tea dumped into Boston Harbor. That cargo was worth more than $1,700,000 dollars in today’s money. Historical accounts record that no damage was done to any of the ships – just one broken lock which was replaced the next day. The event was witnessed by thousands, and the implications and impact of this action were enormous, ultimately leading to the sparking of the American Revolution.

Come meet the colonists, explore the ships and dump tea overboard just as the Sons of Liberty did on that fateful night.

City Bicycling --
Call It “Mem Drive” We Call It “Mem Drive”  MA

Every Sunday from late April to mid-November, Memorial Drive in Cambridge (known as “Mem Drive” to local people), is closed to motor traffic between Western Avenue and Mount Auburn Street. People turn out on bikes, inline skates, and running shoes, pushing strollers and walking dogs. This normally busy road has spectacular views of the Charles River, and strolling down the middle of it on a sunny Sunday is like having the world by the tail. When you are done, go grab lunch in Harvard Square.

City Walk --
Cool Cosmopolitan Greenway

The Rose Kennedy Greenway is a mile-long series of connected parks that curves through the city and connects neighborhoods of the North End, the Wharf District, Fort Point Channel, Dewey Square, and Chinatown. Whether you stroll the Greenway in one or several outings, you will encounter fountains, formal gardens, café seating and sunny lawns; images of Boston’s maritime history; urban plazas; and Chinese culture. Don't miss Rings Fountain on Milk Street in Wharf District. In September 2013, a new carousel will open across from Faneuil Hall Marketplace and Christopher Columbus Park. This Greenway unveils the finest of Boston, outdoors. Map

Comedy --
Laugh Boston Comedy Center Cackles Year-Round

Laugh Boston is a vibrant center of comedic culture where teens and adults will delight in a full schedule of year-round events, including weekly special shows, comedy festivals and free showcases, big-name comedy acts and blooming local stand-up comedians! Located at 425 summer Street, Laugh Boston is one of the city’s big and cozy hubs for comedy performance. Click the above link to find more special events and festivals for this summer and fall. Laugh Boston is home to all kinds of comedians, from dorky improv players to tricky hypnotists. Phone: 617-725-2844

Comedy Performance --
Chuckle, Chuckle, Guffaw

If you are looking for entertainment in the form of joke-telling, find Dick's Beantown Comedy Vault (even the name sounds ridiculous) at 124 Boylston Street in Boston The club is in an old bank and it uses the 12-foot-tall vault as a backdrop for comedians of all stripes to throw down at the audience. Boston humor is world-famous ("You like apples?") and this is the very heart of the beast. Dick's has been called the city's Most Fun Comedy Club for nearly 25 years. Open nightly. Usual curtain times are 8 p.m. week nights and later on weekends, with two shows on Saturday nights. Phone: 800-401-2221

Discover Quincy Discover Quincy Quincy MA

Quincy Chamber of Commerce
1400 Hancock Street, Suite 1A
Quincy, MA 02169 Phone: 617-471-1700 Fax: 617-471-3087

Birthplace of the American Dream

A visit to Quincy takes you on a voyage through time to the era of the Adams, Quincy, and Hancock families. Board a trolley and walk in the footsteps of John Adams at the Adams National Historical Park, where you’ll visit the birthplaces and family estate of two U.S. Presidents.

Quincy offers 27 miles of coastline that offer swimming, lifeguards, free parking, a bathhouse and more. Enjoy dining at one of Quincy's delectable restaurants. Or go on an outdoor adventure, be it by land or sea. The City of Presidents has three golf courses, including a 27-hole championship golf course that was voted a top ten in its class. Come be our guest for the day, a night or a week!

Food Tours --
Appetites Aweigh: Food Tours of Boston

Boston Food Tours offer expert guidance to walk you (literally) though the restaurants and food shops of Boston's North End (its Little Italy) and Chinatown. The North End tour unveils the cuisine of America’s oldest Italian community, colorful sights, tantalizing aromas, and authentic tastes. On the Chinatown tour, a guide leads you through this vibrant village and teaches the differences between regional Chinese cuisines. Tours offered regularly; book through the company website. Phone: 800-979-3370

Food Tours --
Chocolate Walking Tours Reveal Boston’s Sweets

Presumable because of their popularity, the Boston Chocolate Tours have diverged into three tasty options: The Back Bay Chocolate Walking Tour on Saturdays at 10:15 a.m.; the South End Chocolate Walking Tour on Saturdays at 2 p.m.; and the Great Boston Cupcake Crawl on Saturdays at 11 a.m. An expert guide take you into the world of exotic imports, recipes, and intimate tastings. Lots of buying, cooking, and savoring tips; plenty of tasting and opportunity to show. Website tells you where to join the tours and other details. For age 16 and older. Phone: 617-971-8436

For Kids --
Carousel by Nantasket Beach Carousel by Nantasket Beach  MA

The Paragon Carousel at 205 Nantasket Avenue in Hull has been operating along the shores of Nantasket Beach for more than 80 years. Built in 1928 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, it boasts four rows of 66 intricately carved horses and two rare Roman chariots. Wurlitzer Band Organ fills the air with music. Once you’ve had your fill of magical horses browse the gift shop or get some ice cream. Open daily, June-September. Phone: 781-925-0472

Ghost Tour --
The Spirits of Charlestown

The Spirits of Charlestown, MA have plenty to say. Guided by a renowned medium and ghost hunter, curious groups stroll along the Freedom Trail. Their mission: To understand the patriotic past through tales of tavern life, slavery, mariners, scandal, politics, and liberty; and, of course, to greet paranormal presences. Explore charming and history-filled sites like City Square Park (where Governor John Winthrop may still reside), and Warren Tavern, a favorite haunt of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Paul Revere. Tours run Saturdays at 7 p.m. Groups depart from City Square Park in Charlestown, and each tour lasts 90 minutes (or as long as guests can survive without going pale.) Phone: 617-242-4682​

History Walk --
Colonial Characters Come to Life on This Boston Tour Histrionic Academy and Historic Tours of Boston and Freedom Trail Boston MA

Few people would pay good money to hear histrionics from anybody. But Boston’s Histrionic Academy is a big help on a visit to this historic city. The Histrionic Academy is a group of actors who bring history to life through theater. It offers a number of different historical walking tours led by costumed interpreters, including a Tour of the Freedom Trail. The day includes lively stories of the fire-breathing days of the American Revolution. Captain David Hawkins, Corporal Jonathan Hoyt, Freelove Bliss, and others are waiting to show you Boston's Historic Trail like you've never seen it before. Offered daily. Phone: 978-741-1170

History Walking Tour --
The Irish Made Their Mark in Boston Irish Heritage Trail Boston MA

The Irish Heritage Trail meanders among landmarks that honor and celebrate the contributions of Irish people to the story of Massachusetts. It is a great walking lesson in history, for descendants of the Emerald Isle and anyone else interested in U.S. history. If you get tired, sit and chat with the late Boston politician James Michael Curley. Sites include the Rose Kennedy Garden, City Hall, the Irish Famine Memorial, Old Granary Burying Grounds, the State House, and much more. Phone: 617-696-9880

Indoor Activity --
Jump Now at the Trampoline Park Jump Now!

Which of you adults is deeply envious of the little kids who get to play in the bouncy house at carnivals and parties? Yep, we thought so. Here’s your solution. Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park at 91B Sprague Street in Boston is a new indoor trampoline park with 10,000 square feet of bounce space, open to the people of all ages daily and for special events like birthday parties. In addition to open jump hours, Sky Zone offers walled 3-D dodge ball courts; extreme fitness classes for kids, teens, and adults; daily Open Jump playtime and a Saturday-night SkyJam. Prices range from $8 - $18 for 30-, 60-, 90- or 120-minute jump sessions, including rental of some bounce-optimized kicks. Fun, or what? Phone: 857-345-9693.

Indoor Exercise -- Reeee-e-e-ech!

Get out of the snow and climb a rock. Yeah, you heard that right. Rock Spot Climbing at 67 Sprague Street in Boston is open from 10 a.m. to midnight every day and it invites people of all ages and abilities to … climb. Open to individuals, pairs of people, parents & kids (some age restrictions), and groups. Try rope climbing with a belayer or bouldering or lead climbing. Good exercise, different, challenging, and fun. Rock Spot Climbing has plenty of experienced and helpful staff members to guide and coax beginners. Try it! Phone: 617-333-4433

Maritime History --
Old Ironsides Welcomes You to Its Historic Decks USS Constitution Old Ironsides Charlestown  MA

Visitors seem to stand a little taller on a tour of the USS Constitution -- “Old Ironsides” -- in the Charlestown Navy Yard. Free guided tours of the Ship of State are held year-round, daily except Mondays (hours vary by season). United States Navy sailors and take you through the ship's spar deck (top deck), gun deck and berth deck and explain the history of the ship and its crew. Adults over age 18 must present a photo ID or passport. It is a thrilling experience of U.S. maritime history. Phone: 617-426-1812

Modern Art --
Art, Comma, Contemporary Art for Art's Sake

Visitors to the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston are just as likely to be awestruck with the building as they are with what’s inside. The oddly shaped structure sits directly on the waterfront and, from a certain vantage point, looks like it might topple into the bay. With a little luck, guests will stay dry long enough to enjoy the gallery’s permanent collection of paintings, sculpture, and photography by artists from all over the world. Phone: 617-478-3103.

Movie Sites --
See Boston Through Hollywood’s Eyes Boston Movie Tours Boston MA

You probably loved at least one of more of thesse pictures: “The Town,” “Good Will Hunting,” “The Heat,” “The Departed,” “Boston Legal,” and “Ally McBeal,” “Mystic River,” “Knight & Day,” “21,” “Fever Pitch,” and “Gone Baby Gone.” Now, Boston Movie Tours , based at Hamilton Place in Boston , takes you on a walking tour of locations in the city where pasrts of these filsm were shot. Movie buffs will love the thrills they will get from visiting locations where A-List actors have worked. Nothing is more fitting then capping off this 1.25 mile tour by grabbing a pint at then bar where everybody knows your name, Cheers! Open seasonally. Phone: 212-913-9780

Nature Museum --
Astonishing Nature Lessons Astonishing Nature Lessons  MA

There is always something interesting to see and learn at the Harvard Museum of Natural History on Oxford Street in Cambridge. Classes and lectures for kids and adults on many fascinating subjects – from the source for our food to nature drawing -- are ongoing. Permanent exhibits include the Great Mammal Hall, Evolution, Arthropods: Creatures that Rule, The Glass Flowers, The Zoological Galleries, the Mineralogical and Geological Gallery. Phone: 617-495-3045

Outdoor Fun --
Hop a Ferry to the Islands: Boston Harbor Islands Boston Harbor Islands  Boston MA

Boston Harbor Islands, a national park on a cluster of islands that is just a short ferry trip from the heart of Boston, is quiet place to relax, explore, camp, swim, fish or picnic. The park includes 34 islands within Boston Harbor. This is a place where you can walk through a Civil War-era fort, explore tide pools, climb a historic lighthouse, hike lush trails and salt marshes, camp under the stars, or relax while fishing, picnicking or swimming. Ranger-narrated Discovery Cruises and Sunset Cruises are offered all summer. Just think: an urban vacation with a time-out to ramble in nature just a ferry-hop away. Most people arrive at the Boston Harbor Islands via a brief ferry ride from Long Wharf-North in Boston. The ferry system gets you to the islands (and home again) quickly and easily. Phone: 617-223-8666.

Paddling the Charles

The Charles River west of Boston is a welcoming place for kayakers and canoeists. Several nature preserves run by the Trustees of Reservations along this 20-mile paddling route allow you to touch land, explore, and have a picnic. You can put in at Cedariver, a former farm, in Millis, which has a state-run boat launch.
Moving downstream, paddlers encounter Shattuck Reservation, which is old pasture land, with nice views and trails. Next, watch for Bridge Island Meadows, accessible only when the water is flowing in Bogastow Brook.
Next on The Trustees Charles River float is Rocky Narrows in Medfield, with incomparable views of the Charles River as it winds between granite walls. Peters Reservation in Dover, has a mix of natural flora, designed landscape and plantings, and two miles of trails.
Take out can be at Charles River Peninsula in Needham, a great picnic spot surrounded on three sides by the river, with access to a state-run boat launch. It is about a 20-mile float from Cedariver to the Charles River Peninsula -- prepare accordingly and take a map! Phone: 508.785.0339.

Performance --
Blue, and Way Cool

The international sensation Blue Man Group is home-based in Boston, yes siree. That means you gotta see it here. Good luck describing it to the uninitiated. It is whacky performance art by three men encased in blue paint and costume. Lots of mime but no speech, and lots of drumming, acrobatics, throwing of paint, and inspired stage lunacy. Some social commentary above technology, belonging (or not) and other topics are wedged into the fun, they say. Puts a smile on the man of every adult and child. Appears at the Charles Playhouse, 74 Warrenton Street.

Photography --
Shutterbugs Get Guidance to Great Boston Images PhotoWalks Boston MA

Here's a peach of an idea: a guided walking tour that takes amateur photographers to the primo spots for taking pictures in Boston, complete with insider tips. The experts of the PhotoWalks tours offer creative photography tips and interesting commentary about Boston and the many ways to capture it photographically. Each photo tour is designed for people of all ages and skill levels. The tours include Beacon Hill, a showplace of Old Boston and a neighborhood rich in history; Back Bay, centered around Copley Square; Freedom Trail and the North End, with many Colonial-ear sites; the Public Garden; and the Waterfront, the busiest port in America for hundreds of years. 617-851-2273.

Play for Kids --
LEGO! Let’s Go!

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Boston at 598 Assembly Row in Somerville is the ultimate play place for kids and adults entranced with the endless possibilities of LEGOs. At the Discovery Center, kids can take a workshop tour with Professor Brick-a-Brack to see LEGO bricks are made, or they can jump into the indoor play zone, the Fire Academy or the Construction Site. These are places to climb, leap, and burn energy -- and to play with LEGOs -- while adults take a rest. For younger kids, the DUPLO Farm is the place to … what else … build a farm! Open daily. 866-228-6439

River Tours --
Charles Riverboat Offers a Window on Cambridge Charles River Boat Tours MA

Tour Cambridge from the comfortable seat on boat cruise with the Charles Riverboat Company, traveling the historic river that winds through this city. Sightseeing cruises offer views of Beacon Hill, Esplanade Park, the Back Bay, Boston and Harvard universities, lots of sailors and rowers. Another narrated tour specializes in explaining old and contemporary architecture like Marriott’s Custom House, the Prudential Building, and the Hancock tower. Tours leaves from 100 Cambridgeside Place, easily accessible to the T trains. Phone: 617-621-3001.

Taj Boston Taj Boston Boston MA

15 Arlington Street Boston, MA 02116 Phone: 617-536-5700

Rooftop Sunday Brunch with spectacular views of the Public Garden and Boston

Enjoy traditional breakfast preparations, contemporary New England cuisine, and Indian specialties, alongside a bounty of dessert items made in-house by our talented pastry team.

Every Sunday, April-November, with seatings from 10:30am - 2pm. Reservations suggested.

Travel Fun --
Bicycle Built for 3… or More

You've seen them in the movies (probably a romantic comedy) -- city pedicabs. On vacation, why not try out a pedicab ride in Boston or Cambridge, two of the globe's most picturesque cities. Charles River Pedicab company brags: "…our cabs are faster than walking, can maneuver through heavy traffic and are environmentally friendly …" Moreover, our drivers can share their personal and historic knowledge" of the city. Fun, restful, unusual -- almost like starring in a movie. Phone: 617-266 2005.

Wine Tasting --
City Wine Tours

City Wine Tours of Boston offers guests a chance to spend a day exploring the historic city on a fun guided tour of the best restaurants and wineries. Meet the Wine Ambassadors, viticulture experts who can answer all your wine questions. These tour guides lead groups through the Harvard Square, Back Bay, South End, and North End areas of Boston. Experience samplings of delicious wine and food as you learn about varieties of wine, food pairings, and other fun facts. These half-mile tours are made on foot. Phone: 855-455-8747

Zoo Visit --
Franklin Park Zoo is Warm & Welcoming Franklin Park Zoo is Alive and Warm in Winter

Animals don’t turn off their antics in winter, so the zoos shouldn’t shut down, either, right? Franklin Park Zoo on Franklin Park Road in Boston hums through the winter at a balmy 72 degrees year-round. Enjoy the western lowland gorillas, ring-tailed lemurs, mandrills, a pygmy hippopotamus, and more. Ask questions at the daily zookeeper encounters, at Bird’s World, the Tropical Forest (complete with gorillas), and at Franklin Farm. Experience the thrilling new 6D ride, Rhino Rescue (that is 3D film enhanced by seat movement, wind, and light changes. Phone: 617-541-5466.

“I Went to the Woods…” Walden Pond State Reservation Concord MA

Henry David Thoreau lived at Walden Pond in Concord from 1845 to 1847 and his experience there provided the material for his book “Walden.” Because of this legacy, Walden Pond is considered the birthplace of the conservation movement. Interpreters at Walden Pond State Reservation , 915 Walden Street in Concord provide tours and educational programs. The pond is open for swimming and people may visit a replica of Thoreau’s one-room cabin. A 2680-acre wooded area -- great for strolling, nature viewing, picnicking, and reflection -- surrounds the reservation. The property has a gift shop, bookstore and gallery. Phone: 978 369-3254

Antique Carousel --
Fly With the Horses Flying Horses Carousel Oak Bluffs Martha's Vineyard MA

Oak Bluffs, on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, is home to the Flying Horses Carousel at 15 Lake Avenue. With 20 beautiful hand-carved horses, the Flying Horses Carousel was built in 1876 by Charles Dare and is one of only two Dare carousels still in existence. Originally operated as a Coney Island, New York, amusement, it was moved to Oak Bluffs in 1884, where it has lived in its red barn, delighting generations of Island residents and visitors. The carousel is open 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., every Saturday and Sunday from mid-April to Memorial Day. From late June, about the time schools let out, to Columbus Day, the carousel is open 10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. Phone: 508-693-9481.

Bicycling --
2 Wheels Can Cover This Beautiful Island Bicycling and Bike Rentals on Martha's Vineyard, MA

Many people are surprised to discover Martha's Vineyard covers about 100 square miles. Bicycling the entire Island can be quite a challenge. People who are occasional bikers will find plenty of exercise and wonderful sights by taking in bits of the down-Island route—Vineyard Haven to Oak Bluffs to Edgartown and back (roughly 25 miles round trip). This route is mostly flat and easier for children. More experienced riders can make the entire route or bike up-Island to Chilmark and Aquinnah. The terrain can be hilly and the roadway curvy. There are no bike paths or streetlights for the major part of the up-Island route. Some easier options are to bus up and bike back or to use West Tisbury as your starting point. Bikes are available to rent on the Island.

Bookstores --
Mission: To Surprise and Delight Mission: To Surprise and Delight

Nantucket Bookworks at 25 Broad Street in Nantucket, declares that its mission is “surprise and delight visitors.” This is a full-service, general interest bookstore selling new books, with a small selection of out-of-print Nantucket titles. There is an extensive children's room, card room, young adult section, and Nantucket Book section. Also, you never know what kind of eclectic sidelines might wind up in the store. The store sells and accepts ABA gift cards, good for use at more than 200 participating independent bookstores across the country. Open daily, year-round. Hours vary seasonally. Phone: 508-228-4000

Clothing Shopping
Unique Knitwear at Isobel & Cleo

Isobel & Cleo is a beautiful knitwear shop just a few steps from the dock in Nantucket, off of Straight Wharf. The shop’s knitted designs for sweaters, pants, scarves and other items are absolutely unique. Charlotte Hess, the company’s head knitwear designer, is a graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and The Glasgow School of Art. The shop is open from June to mid-October and the two women work at the studio at 2 Union Street the rest of the year. This is artistic clothing and the shop is so-o-o easy to find.

Dining --
Farm Dinner in the Garden

Bartlett’s Farm on 33 Bartlett Farm Road on Nantucket serves up a gorgeous dinner of its home-grown organic fruits, vegetables, and more in its Garden Center about twice a month in the summer and monthly in winter. The farm-to-table dinners are served at a long, elegant table and served family style. Executive chef Neil Patrick Hudson explains the courses of the dinner before they are served; much of the food has been picked just that day. Vegetarian entrees are available and guests may bring their own alcoholic beverage. Menus are usually posted a few weeks before the dinner. Dates in summer 2014 are June 21 (Summer Solstice), July 12 and 30, and August 10 and 27. Reservations are needed. 508-228-9403 ext. 12.

Farmers Market --
Going to Market on the Island West Tisbury Farmers Market Martha's Vineyard, MA

A lazy day or weekend on Martha’s Vineyard is a perfect time to wander to the West Tisbury Farmers Market, which is open on Saturdays and Wednesdays at the Old Agricultural Hall, 1067 State Road in West Tisbury. The combination of the brightly colored floral bouquets, the scent of freshly harvested produce, the savory edibles offered and the music on Saturdays all combine to truly create a feast for the senses. Bring your children to visit the alpacas and enjoy the live fiddle music. And watch for the chance to try some more exotic treats, like wheatgrass juice and Vietnamese spring rolls. In 2014, the Saturday market runs from June 7 to October 11. The Wednesday market runs from June 18 to August 27. Phone: 508-693-9561.

Find the Right Book at Mitchell’s

Whether you are in Nantucket in the chillier months, needing a good book with tea and a window seat, or in the summer, hankering for a beach book, you are welcome at Mitchell's Book Corner at 54 Main Street in Nantucket. New titles and classics. Also, the book stores hosts author talks and signings and even a taste of wine and cheese with conversation from time to time. Phone: 508-228-1080

Gardens --
Enjoy Polly's Gardens

Polly Hill Arboretum at 809 State Road in West Tisbury on Martha's Vineyard is a dreamy, tranquil place to enjoy cultivated gardens and native woodlands. Trees and shrubs are set among stone walls, meadows, and fields. Visitor favorites are the dogwood alley, perennial border, monkey puzzle tree, and the Julian Hill magnolia. Families love the Family Explorer Backpacks. Open year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. The Visitor Center is open daily and self-guided tours are available at the parking lot kiosk. Phone: 508-693-9426.

Gift Shopping
Midnight Farm

Midnight Farm, at 44 Main Street in Vineyard Haven on Martha’s Vineyard, is a home goods store and a joint project of Tamara Weiss and singer Carly Simon. The unusual collections of good includes clothing for women, men, and children, jewelry, shoes, furniture, bedding, art and more. Vintage textiles from Morocco, India and Turkey sit side by side with luxurious silk bedding, candles, perfumes, and books. Beautiful and exotic for yourself or gifts for friends. Phone: 508-693-1997.

Maritime History --
Shipwreck!!! Nantucket Shipwreck and Lifesaving Museum Nantucket MA

In the 19th century, hundreds of ships passed by Nantucket Island each day. Unpredictable storms, dense fog, and strong currents could catch the most experienced sailors off guard. Treacherous shoals and inclement weather led to over 700 shipwrecks near Nantucket, causing the area to be dubbed “a graveyard of the Atlantic.” The Nantucket Shipwreck and Lifesaving Museum at 158 Polpis Road, Nantucket, preserves the memory of Islanders who risked their lives to save shipwrecked mariners. The museum takes visitors inside maritime history, featuring over 5,000 objects from famous shipwrecks and lifesaving equipment used to save seafarers in trouble. Open daily, late May through Columbus Day.

Meditation Garden --
Japanese Peace on a New England Island

The wonderfully peaceful Mytoi garden is laid out in Japanese style in a pine forest on Chappaquiddick Island off Martha’s Vineyard. The plants and flowers include native and foreign trees and shrubs. There is a small pond with an island and an arched bridge. Footpaths take people through a birch walk, camellia grove, and hillside garden. A rustic meditation shelter offers views of the landscape. No charge to enter. Open year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. To reach the island, use the Edgartown-Chappaquiddick ”Chappy” ferry, which runs continuously across the 527-foot water gap that separates the larger and smaller islands. 508-627-7689

Outdoor Activities --
Birdwatching and Fishing at Wasque Reservation Wasque Reservation  Chappaquiddick Island Martha’s Vineyard MA

Wasque Reservation on Chappaquiddick Island off Martha’s Vineyard is a saltwater fisherman’s paradise and a superb spot for birdwatching and strolls along a beautiful shore. Popular in summer, the 1,000 acres of preserved land – including Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge, Mytoi, and Norton Point Beach – offer plenty of places to explore year-round. Like the herons and egrets that congregate here to fish, saltwater anglers find Wasque a fine destination for striped bass and bluefish. Hikers will find 1.5 miles of trails through rare sand barrens. Restrooms, picnic tables, bike rack, fresh water by hand pump. Open year-round, daily. Phone: 508-627-7689.

Outdoor Activities --
Breathtaking Views

A highlight of natural beauty on Martha’s Vineyard is Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge on Chappaquiddick Island, adjacent to Martha's Vineyard. Chappaquiddick Island’s eastern edge is a barrier beach that extends for seven miles, passing the Cape Poge Lighthouse to the Gut. The refuge offers 14 miles of beachfront and oversand vehicle and walking trails. Facilities include picnic tables, bike rack, restrooms, which are open May 30 to October 30. Tours include a natural history tour, a wildlife kayak or canoe tour, a fishing discovery tour, and Cape Poge Lighthouse tour. Open year-round, daily, with an entrance fee May 30 to October 15. Phone: 508-627-8390.

Outdoor Tours --
Island Tours to Suit Your Tastes

Get to know Nantucket on a guided tour just right for your style: by bicycle, a van, or on foot. Cyclists can follow experienced guides on Nantucket by Bike, visiting remote island spots. Do you like the comfort of a van? On Gail's Tour you'll enjoy the insider's view from a sixth-generation Nantucket native. Shearwater Excursions will take you offshore to explore the lovely shoreline. For the earthbound explorer, Raven's Walk will guide you on a choice of spooky nighttime walks.

Science & Nature --
Star Gazing From Nantucket Star gazing from Nantucket

Loines Observatory of the Maria Mitchell Association at 59 Milk Street Extension Nantucket is open for public viewing year round, and for frequent special astronomical events. Climb a ladder to the eyepiece of a fine, old telescope and sample the sights of the distant heavens. Public hours are longer in the summer and more abbreviated in the winter, so check the calendar on the observatory’s website. Star-gazing nights are held regularly, and posted on the calendar. Remember, observing is weather dependent, so check the skies or call ahead. Phone: 508-228-9273.

American History --
Revolution Is Born Minute Man National Historical Park Lincoln MA

On April 19, 1775, the American Revolution began at Lexington and Concord with a clash of arms known to history as "the shot heard round the world." At Minute Man National Historical Park on North Great Road in Lincoln, the opening battle of the Revolution is brought to life as visitors explore the battlefields and witness the American revolutionary spirit through the writings of the Concord authors. The park grounds are open sunrises to sunset and gates close at sunset. Visitor centers and Hartwell Tavern are open through November 1. Phone: 978-369-6993

Antique Shopping
Beautiful Essex Is Rich With Antiques

The beautiful Cape Ann town of Essex is known for its Colonial history, wetlands and marshlands, and wonderful antique shopping . The region is only a 30-minute drive north of Boston and many stores are packed in close proximity -- a boon for serial shoppers. Every shop has a distinctive character and collections. They may specialize in Arts and Crafts, period American and European, Asian, Americana and Victoriana antiques periods. (One list of shops runs a vast gamut from woodworking to ancient maps to "fins and feathers.") Most dealers can arrange delivery or shipping.

Audubon’s Drum Farm Is a Nice Outdoor Visit With Kids Audubon Awaits Your Visit

Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, a property of the Massachusetts Audubon Society at 208 South Great Road in Lincoln, is a real working farm and a wildlife sanctuary all in one place. The farm hosts ongoing professional education, but the public can visit for walks, daily hay rides, wildlife exhibits, and periodic Family Farm Days (see farm website for schedule). There is a picnicking area. Nice way to get outdoors and close to nature with the welcoming help of Audubon. Phone: 781-259-2200

Beach & Mansion
Adventures in Ipswich

The Trustees of Reservations, which manages many historic properties in New England, has many great ideas for day trips and outdoor fun in Massachusetts’s most beautiful places. In Ipswich, 30 miles North of Boston, is the pristine Crane Beach and, just up the hill, the fabulous Great House at Castle Hill, open for tours. On the homeward trip, stop at Appleton Farms Dairy Store for straight-from-the-farm treats.

Bicycling --
Biking the Beautiful North Shore Boston’s North Shore Bike, Hike, and Kayak Adventure Trip Ipswich

Great Freedom Adventures and its experienced guides offer narrated biking trips -- usually involving overnight stays -- is places of great natural beauty and history. The company's Boston’s North Shore Bike, Hike, and Kayak Adventure Trip starts in Ispwich and covers territory that includes Plum Island and the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Crane Estate, Salem, Rockport and a bit of kayaking in the Essex River basin. Phone: 508-545-1864.

Boatbuilding History --
Wooden Boat Craft on Display at Lowell’s 216 Years of Wooden Boat History

Lowell’s Boat Shop at 459 Main Street in Amesbury is a working museum preserving the art of wooden boat building. Lowell’s builds dories and skiffs as it has done for seven generations. Within these buildings, remnants of past work like ancient ship’s knees and support beams speak volumes of the wooden boat industry. Branded into the wood of one cross-beam are annual production figures from 1897 through 1919; an astonishing 2,029 boats were built here by hand in 1911 alone. Summer hours: Tuesdays- Sundays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Winter hours: Tuesdays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and by appointment. Phone: 978-834-0050

Gift Shopping
Dedham Rabbit Ready to Go Home Arts and Crafts Rabbit Still Charms Us

The Arts and Crafts decorative art movement flourished in this country from about 1880 to 1920, but one of its signature designs is the Dedham Rabbit, produced by the Dedham Pottery Company. Reproductions of the famed Rabbit and other Dedham Pottery – highly prized by collectors and museums -- can be found at The Potting Shed’s Factory Store at 105 Commonwealth Avenue, West Concord. The store stocks first and second quality pottery. It is filled with accessories, giftware, dinnerware and figurines, and a whole lot of Christmas decorative items.

Historic Cemetery
Here Lies Hawthorne

Pay your respects to celebrated authors and thinkers at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, the sylvan resting place of some 10,000 souls. Stroll the garden-like grounds on a self-guided walking tour. Literary buffs may flock to "Author's Ridge" atop the highest hill, which marks the modest family plots of Henry Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Emerson, and Louisa May Alcott. "The Knoll" houses specially consecrated Jewish burial grounds. "Mourning Victory", or the Melvin Memorial, honors three brothers killed in the Civil War. While here, explore nearby Walden Pond or the Wayside, home to both Hawthorne and Alcott. Located one block east of Monument Square, on Bedford Street. Self-guided tour books available. Phone: 978-318-3233

Industry History Museum --
Daily Objects Will Surprise You at Textile Museum Daily Objects Reveal Their Secrets <br>at Textile History Museum

From spinning wheels to airplanes and power looms to baseballs, history really comes alive at the American Textile History Museum at 491 Dutton Street in Lowell. In the main exhibition, Textile Revolution: An Exploration through Space and Time, visitors can spin, weave, design, and recycle through an interactive experience that explores how textiles affect our lives. Watch how baseballs are made from wool, weave on a hand loom, and try on a glove designed for the NASA space program. Rotating special exhibitions exploring fascinating topics through textiles. Open year-round; closed on holidays. Phone: 978-441-0400.

Kayaking --
Dip a Paddle Into Wild Beauty Crane Wildlife Refuge in Essex Bay Essex MA

Get that kayak into new waters! Managers of the beautiful Crane Estate near Essex invite kayakers to join guided kayak trips through the Crane Wildlife Refuge in Essex Bay. Guided paddling tours are offered every Saturday and Sunday afternoon from June through September. They leave from the Visitor Services Gazebo at Crane Beach, 290 Argilla Road. Explore the beauty and tranquility of the island refuge, which is maintained to provide habitat for wildlife and to preserve the property in its natural state. Cost is $50, including kayak, life jacket, paddle, guide fees and shuttle service. Phone: 978-356-4351 ext. 4062

Maritime Gifts
Wooden Shop Models by Experts

Piel Craftsmen at 3 Center Street, Newburyport is a step into the intricate and beautiful world of model wooden ship making, Here, people can watch ship models being made and restored, or shop for models and model kits. The staff is happy to talk about ship modeling, to old salts and anyone who is interested. The company's gift shop also specialized in handmade wooden ship models. Gift ideas for yourself or a landlocked seaman can include ships in bottles, scrimshaw art, paintings and sea charts, and books of fiction with nautical themes. Also, of course, models and tools and wood for building. Phone: 978-462-7012.

Maritime Industry --
Coolest Spot in Town
Cape Pond Ice Gloucester MA

If you were fascinated by the lives of Gloucester fishermen depicted in “The Perfect Storm,” visit Cape Pond Ice at 104 Commercial Street on Gloucester’s working waterfront, which produces block ice used by the fishing fleet. Take a 35-45-minute narrated tours of the business, explore the historic Ice House, and see block ice being made. See fishing vessels taking on ice and watch the waterfront action. As a bonus, ice sculptors may be at work. Tours from June to August are daily, 9:30 and 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. Tours from September to May are daily except Sundays, 11 a.m. Phone: 978-283-0174

Maritime Stories
Gloucester’s Seafaring History Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center Gloucester MA

The Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center at 23 Harbor Loop in Gloucester celebrates the city’s historic relationship with the sea. Visitors can watch a boat builder shape a traditional wooden dory; handle sea stars and sea urchins in touch tanks; sound a vintage foghorn; learn about life aboard a schooner 100 years ago; and watch underwater footage of the creatures that inhabit the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. From the Main Pier, enjoy panoramic views of Ten Pound Island, Rocky Neck, and the State Fish Pier, as well as an ever changing parade of draggers, trawlers, tugboats and pleasure boats departing from and returning to the inner harbor. Open daily, late May through October. Phone: 978-281-0470.

Salem Does Night Life, Too

Salem may seem to simmer down at dusk, but the nightlife is just getting started around 6 p.m. On just about any day of the week, you can stop by In a Pig’s Eye on Derby Street and discover a variety of genres of live music. Weekends, experience the Celtic spirit of Salem while enjoying a pint of beer and Celtic bands at O' Neill's Irish Pub and Restaurant. Once or twice a month, Peabody Essex Museum welcomes the public to an extended evening of art gallery viewing, activities, and live music. Other popular, buzzing nightlife spots include Gulu Gulu Café on Open Mic Night and Opus Underground. Phone: 978-744-3663

The Maker Lounge Is Open to Inventors

The "Maker Movement" is all about DIY -- do-it-yourself building and creating your own fun. Tuesdays-Sundays starting March 29, check out the Peabody Essex Museum's new activity space and Maker Room in Salem. Teens and adults in particular will enjoy interactive activities with creative modern technology and art. There will be 3D printing, games, digital art, and crafting workshops. You’ll have access to some of the best technological resources like expert demonstrations and classes, with ample tools and workspaces. Make your own music, use a computer to paint, discover 3D printing, or enjoy time building your own masterpiece. Senior and student discounts. Young adult engineering and building enthusiasts will thrive in this innovative environment! Phone: 978-745-9500

Visual Arts
Artist Colony Is Vibrant in Gloucester Artist Colony Is Alive and Vibrant <br>In This Corner of Gloucester

Rocky Neck Art Colony in Gloucester is the oldest working art colony in the country, and has been luring artists to its picturesque shores for more than 150 years. Today the area is still home to many working artists and to galleries showing paintings in all media, as well as batik, photography, jewelry, prints, sculpture, ceramics, and fine gifts. A convenient walking tour of Rocky Neck, along East Main Street, includes information about three dozen galleries and studios on the Neck. A new book about the artists and history of the region, titled Rocky Neck Art Colony 1850-1950, by Judith Curtis, is available. Phone: 978-282-0917.

Where the Flowers Go Wild Garden in the Woods of the New England Wildflower Society Framingham MA

Garden in the Woods at 180 Hemenway Road in Framingham is the headquarters and botanic garden of the New England Wild Flower Society. This living museum -- New England's premier garden of native plants -- has more than 1500 kinds of native plants, with many rare and endangered native specimens throughout the gardens. People who enjoy flowers, which or without expert knowledge of them -- love wandering these expertly tended gardens. Special weekend activities are scheduled. A tour map with descriptions is available in several languages and in large type. Books and gift items at the museum shop.

Adventure Cruises --
Ahoy Lobsters! Ahoy Pirates! Lobster Tales and Pirate Cruises Plymouth MA

The people who plan and host the Lobster Tails cruises, docked at Plymouth Town Wharf, are looking for fun, no doubt about it. Lobster Tales and Pirate cruises are offered April through November aboard this 45-foot passenger boat. On the Lobster Cruise, guests watch the work of the lobster fishermen up close, and may roll up their sleeves and help haul lobster traps. On the Pirate Cruises, for children age 6 to 11, guests learn that an enemy pirate ship has stolen a treasure and are invited to join the hunt for the malefactors. Cruises take place within Plymouth Harbor. Phone: 508-746-5342.

Battleship Cove Battleship Cove Fall River MA

5 Water Street Fall River, MA 02721 Phone: 508-678-1100 Toll-Free: 800-533-3194 Fax: 508-674-5597

A day out you won’t forget

Teachers, students, tourists, Moms, Dads and kids will be inspired by this magnificent living history museum on the water in Fall River. A great attraction year round brings you up close to some very big players in America’s storied naval history. Ships that participated in definitive battles like the USS Massachusetts; protected the coast and brought home astronauts from their landings in the sea like the USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr.; and PT boats engaged in the Pacific theater are here in the world’s largest collection of US naval ships. Myriad inspiring exhibits enhance the stories told. The Pearl Harbor Experience is the only outdoor multimedia reenactment anywhere while year round maritime camps, girl scout overnights and family nautical nights make this a highly unique and memorable adventure for all.

Bettyann’s Tours of Plymouth Bettyann’s Tours of Plymouth

Bettyann’s name is part of the business name of Bettyann’s Tours of Plymouth because Bettyann is deeply interested in Plymouth history and she wants to tell you all about it. Among the highlights of her tours of Plymouth is the Forefather’s Monument, Plymouth Rock, Town Wharf, Burial Hill, Pilgrim Maiden, Brewster Gardens, Long Beach, 1749 Court House, First Church, Coles Hill, Antiquarian Homes, Mayflower II, the Massasoit and Governor Bradford statues, the Pilgrim Sarcophagus, and Pilgrim Hall Museum. In September and October, Bettyann hosts a fascinating tour of the nearby cranberry bogs during harvest time. Phone: 508-224-6469.

Book Browsing With No End in Sight

The clamor of daily life in this former turn-of-the-century mill is replaced by shuffling feet and sibilant page-turning at the Shire Book Shop at 305 Union Street in Franklin. An inventory of more than one hundred thousand used books includes collectibles, first editions, and just about anything else you can name. Enjoy quiet browsing and reading in comfortable seating in a setting that inspires dreams of grand topics, with a complimentary cup of tea on the side. Open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m. Phone: 508-528-5665.

Broadmoor Offers Broad Variety
Broadmoor Offers Broad Variety <br>

Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary on Eliot Street in Natick offers nine miles of walking trails through a variety of field, woodland, and wetland habitats. A quarter-mile, accessible trail and boardwalk along the bank of Indian Brook and over the marsh offers great opportunities for birdwatching, photography, and sketching. To enjoy this site in the winter, bring your snowshoes or cross-country skis. Stroll along the edge of Indian Brook, which flows into the Charles River at the sanctuary, and look for wood ducks and signs of beavers and otters from the 110-foot-long bridge. Phone: 508-655-2296.

City That Lit the World City That Lit the World  MA

New Bedford was the mid-19th century’s preeminent whaling port and for a time the richest city in the world. At the New Bedford Whaling Park and Museum on 33 William Street – which part of the U.S. Park Service – visitors can explore that fascinating era by strolling cobblestone streets and by touring the world’s largest whaling museum, a merchant’s home, a whalemen's chapel, and a 19th-century schooner. The park is actually a neighborhood consisting of several buildings: visitor centers for the park and the waterfront, a whaling museum, a church, and a historic house with gardens. Most facilities open year-round, with some seasonal variations in hours. Phone: 508-996-4095

Corn Into Flour: See How It Was Done Corn Into Flour: See How It Was Done

Located on Town Brook, not far from the Plymouth waterfront is the Plymouth Grist Mill, a reproduction of the water-powered mill built on the brook in 1636 and used by the Pilgrims for grinding corn. This mill, completed in 1970, has many parts from the early 1800s. The staff shows visitors exactly how the process was done by early settlers. The mill is open daily and milling is done on Saturdays and Wednesdays from noon to 3 p.m. A fun learning experienced for adults and kids. Phone: 508-746-1622 ext. 8242.

Cranberry Wine is a Unique Bay State Taste Cranberry Wine is a Unique Bay State Taste

The family-owned Plymouth Bay Winery , at 114 Water Street in Plymouth, overlooking Plymouth Bay, produces cranberry and other fruit wines. The winery is located in the heart of Plymouth's historic waterfront district, close to the Mayflower II, Plymouth Rock, and other historic attractions and great places to dine. The owners welcome the public for tastings, saying, “There isn't an event or holiday that cranberry wine won't serve as a warm embrace.” Open daily, March 1 to December 31. Free tastings, with no appointment necessary. Phone: 508-746-2100.

Hall of Fame at Patriot Place Hall of Fame at Patriot Place

The Hall at Patriot Place in Foxboro is open to all football fans. Try your skill at kicking or converting a field goal. See how high can you jump compared to Devin McCourty. Is your reaction time as quick as that of NFL players? How hard is it to make an official’s call on the field? Listen to Coach Belichick explain the strategies behind each play. Learn if you have what it takes to score a touchdown. Finish with a special visit to see the Vince Lombardi Super Bowl Trophies and World Championship rings from 2001, 2003 and 2004. The Hall is open daily, but it closes occasionally for private functions. It is typically closed before and during a Patriots home game, but it re-opens after 1 p.m. home games. Hours vary seasonally. Phone: 508-6989-4800.

History Museum
Artifacts of the Mayflower Grace This Museum Artifacts of the Mayflower Grace This Museum

The Pilgrim Story — the hazardous voyage, the 1620 landing, the fearful first winter, the First Thanksgiving at Plymouth — is the heritage of all Americans. Pilgrim Hall Museum, at 75 Court Street in Plymouth, is a gallery museum with a mission of telling the Pilgrims’ story. Among its treasures are William Bradford’s Bible, Myles Standish’s sword, the cradle of New England’s first-born child, and the earliest sampler made in America. The museum also contains a superb collection of American history paintings, ranging from Henry Sargent’s heroic Landing of the Pilgrims to Jennie Brownscombe’s First Thanksgiving. To understand the Pilgrims, this is the place to visit. Open year-round except January. Phone: 508-746-1620.

Indoor Activities
Formula One Racing: Try It! Earnhardts, Move Over

Why should the Earnhardt boys hog all the fun? At F1 Boston on Wood Road in Braintree, an indoor race track, the thrill of racing is open to everyone. During open racing sessions, also called “Arrive and Drive,” guests may come in, suit up, receive a driver briefing, and pit themselves against other drivers, scored by a computerized, split-second timing system – the same system used in professional racing. Open racing sessions include a practice session and a race. Tracks and carts are precisely scaled and engineered to guarantee a real racing experience. Life doesn't have to be dull, right? Open daily; call for public hours. Phone: 781-848-2300.

Living History --
Fateful Voyage to the New World Mayflower II in Plymouth MA

Visiting Mayflower II, a reproduction of the original Mayflower located at State Pier in Plymouth, is an extraordinary experience. The details of the ship, from the solid oak timbers and tarred hemp rigging to the wood and horn lanterns and hand-colored maps, is re-created to exactly resemble the original 17th-century vessel was like. Come aboard and learn about the 1620 voyage of the Mayflower and the perils of maritime travel. Explore the cramped quarters of the ship's passengers. Along side are reproductions of a 17th-century shallop and a ship's boat. Phone: 508-746-1622.

PaintNite Unleashes Your Inner Artist

Paint your own happy way at the creativity-and-cocktail-driven Paint Nites, at various locations throughout Massachusetts and South of Boston. No experience is necessary, and all your materials will be provided for you on site. People ages 21 and up can experience a night of food, drink, and art at this sip-‘n-paint event. Paint an original work of art, or follow the guidance of a professional artist, then take your painting home as a souvenir of a relaxed but fruitful evening out on the town. E-mail:

Peaceful Refuge for a Variety of Critters Winslow Farm Animal Sanctuary Norton MA

Winslow Farm Animal Sanctuary at 37 Eddy Street in Norton is a nonprofit stay-for-life animal reserve established to care for abused and abandoned farm and exotic animals. Visitors can take a tour the farm, meet the animals who live there, and enjoy the beauty and peacefulness of the season. Winslow Farm also offers a nature trail, full playground, birthday parties, perennial garden, and many activities throughout the year, like the October Festival, Sheep Shearing, Easter Egg Hunt, Green Sprouts, Renaissance Faire, Yuletide Festival, and Arts and Craft Faire. Open daily except Tuesdays, year-round. Phone: 508-285-6451.

Zeiterion Brings Great Theater to New Bedford Zeiterion Brings Great Theater <br>to Southern Massachusetts  CT

For lively, dynamic, creative entertainment of all stripes, stay tuned to the Zeiterion Theatre on Purchase Street in New Bedford. This historic performing arts center is located in a restored 1923 vaudeville house, and its programs include summer musicals, comedy, great American music, dance, special events, and family fun. The 2014 season includes Garrison Keillor, Melissa Ethelridge, Tedeschi Trucks Band, "The Sound of Music," and much more. Check the theater’s website for schedules. Phone: 508-997-5664.