Massachusetts attractions cover a huge range of activities
Museums, parks, tours on land and on sea are among the Massachusetts attractions that help make vacation fun for adults, children, history buffs, and people who like outdoor sports and outdoor activities.
50 Walkers Brook Drive
Reading, MA, 01867
Even Jack would find this beanstalk hard to beat
Channel your inner tightrope walker as you take on BeanStalk Adventure Ropes Course! Participants are safely harnessed before climbing the 3-story tall ropes course attraction and embarking through elements like cargo nets, angled rope ladders and more. The adventure continues on the Sky Rail zip line that stretches 69-feet over Beanstown. There is also a special BeanSprout Sky Tykes ropes course for kids under 4-feet tall which allows parents to assist their little ones when necessary. Perfect for all ages, this is an exhilarating attraction for the whole family - rain or shine!
1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, off Route 20
Sturbridge, MA, 01566
Living History in a celebrated New England setting
To learn from people, places and things that used to be is an important part of education. Living history is preserved in this unique and celebrated setting, one of the nation’s largest living history museums. Anyone curious about who we are and how we got here. This is life as it was lived in New England in the 1800’s with 40 antique homes, buildings and water-powered mills. Participate each year in over 30 special weekend events with hands-on craft work offered daily. Ride a stagecoach, get up close to farm animals, talk with costumed historians, and watch a blacksmith, a cooper, a potter, or a farmer do what they do best. There is always something new to explore at one of the nation’s largest living history museums.
149 Pond Street
Stoneham, MA, 02180
Animals from small and local to large and global
There is plenty to see at Stone Zoo in the winter! Stroll through Yukon Creek and meet an arctic fox, bald eagle, black bear, lynx and reindeer. Other animals that call Stone Zoo home include the snow leopard, cougar, Mexican gray wolf, otter, and more. Stone Zoo is operated by Zoo New England, which also operates the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston. Both are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Closed Thanksgiving* and Christmas.
*Stone Zoo’s annual winter wonderland of lights, ZooLights, opens Thanksgiving Day at 5:00 p.m. (running each night through January 4).
2 Southwick Street
Mendon, MA, 01756
If you could talk to the animals….you can
From hissing cockroaches to white rhino to camels and alligators, New England’s largest zoo is a highly entertaining and enriching family attraction. Enjoy a day’s worth of shows, animal encounters, a petting zoo, parakeet aviary and animal exhibits to take your breath away. Learn about the 115 species of animals on site at the Earth Discovery Center. Travel on foot, ride the Woodlands Express train, or sail high above on the Skyfari Sky Ride to meet elk, native birds, painted turtles and toads. A 35 acre deer forest gets you up close and personal while playful chimpanzees, stately camels, scary alligators, colorful zebra and ostrich can be enjoyed from above. Catch the big cats, snakes, dragons, and more. Free parking and handicap accessible.
1 College Street
Worcester, MA, 01610
A museum with a mission
If you're someone who appreciates art, you'll always find something fascinating at the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery at Worcester's College of the Holy Cross. We offer regular traveling exhibits and loan exhibits, frequently curated by distinguished faculty here at Holy Cross. In conjunction with exhibitions, there are receptions, guest lectures, readings and student presentations, providing social interaction between students, faculty and community members. We also have an outstanding permanent collection, with historical Southeast Asia textiles; sculptures by Auguste Rodin, Enzo Plazzotta, and Robert Beauchamp; photography by Dorothy Norman, Paul Caponigro, and Eliot Porter; and paintings and prints by Dorothea Rockburne, James Stroud and John Wilson. Our mission is to educate the community about cultural, spiritual, and aesthetic issues encountered through art.
185 Elm Street
Fitchburg, MA, 01420
“A jewel in the tiara of New England Museums.” - The Boston Globe
The Fitchburg Art Museum is a world-class family-friendly museum with a permanent collection spanning 5,000 years. The museum was founded in 1925 through the bequest of artist, collector and Fitchburg native Eleanor Norcross (1854-1923). Her extraordinary talents and educational vision highlights her as an important pioneer in American social history.
The museum's four building complex features over 20,000 square feet of gallery and educational workshop space and includes the historic "Cross Barn" built in 1883, and the impressive Simond's building completed in 1989. Visitors can experience masterpieces in 12 beautifully designed galleries that feature ancient art from Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and African cultures as well as contemporary works from New England artists. FAM is also home to the Fitchburg Farmers’ Market on the First Thursday of the month from November to March.
101 Independence Mall Way
Kingston, MA, 02364
Make your shopping experience a truly exceptional one!
Our Mall is home to an impressive selection of traditional retail and entertainment experiences which include Macy’s, Target and Regal Cinemas. National brands within specialty boutiques include Victoria’s Secret, Gap, Charlotte Russe, Hollister Outlet, American Eagle, Aeropostale, Yankee Candle Company, K1 Speed go karting and Abercrombie and Fitch Outlet. Independence Mall is strategically located just off Route 3, on Exit 8 in Kingston MA. Visit www.Independencemall.com and follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter for a complete directory of stores, ongoing specials, promotions and a calendar of events.
One Franklin Park Road
Boston, MA, 02121
Incredible wildlife lives right in Boston
Winter is a great time to visit the zoo! Wildlife from around the world, including the African lion and Grevy’s zebra, can each be found in their own special outdoor exhibits such as the Kalahari Kingdom and the Giraffe Savannah. Guests can also warm up in the Tropical Forest, which is home to western lowland gorillas, ocelots, pygmy hippopotamuses and more. Franklin Park Zoo is operated by Zoo New England, which also operates the Stone Zoo in Stoneham. Both are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas.
137 Warren Avenue
Plymouth, MA, 02360
You are there – and will come back often
This extraordinary living history museum on Cape Cod Bay will launch you on a one-of-a-kind, bi-cultural, 17th-century journey. Costumed interpreters, modern day artisans and award-winning exhibits provide a hands-on and entertaining brand of education that has delivered powerful personal experiences to guests of all ages from all over the world. Come aboard the Mayflower II and learn about its voyage in 1620, the perils of maritime travel, and the tools of 17th-century navigation. Surrounded by soft furs, flickering firelight, and artfully woven bulrush mats, learn about traditional Wampanoag family life from an indigenous point of view. Then step into the year 1627, surrounded by modest timber-framed houses, fragrant raised-bed gardens, well-tended livestock and the fascinating townspeople of Plymouth Colony, the first permanent English settlement in New England.
75 Falmouth Heights Road
Falmouth, MA, 02540
Getting there is more than part of the fun.
For more than 50 years, the Island Queen has been a special part of the journey to beautiful Martha’s Vineyard. Sailing out of Falmouth, MA on Cape Cod to Oak Bluffs on the Vineyard is a perfect way to spend a delicious 35 minutes on scenic Vineyard Sound. Park your car in the secure lot and climb aboard with your bicycle, kayak, paddle board and pet. Sit back and relax, read, and chat up a new friend while enjoying the sun, sky and salt air. The Island Queen runs the sea along the historic Massachusetts Coast from May through October. No reservations are required but be sure to bring cash and travelers checks as Credit Cards are not accepted.
222 Harrington Way
Worcester, MA, 01604
Worcester’s Museum of Science and Nature
Set in a beautiful, urban oasis on 55 acres, the EcoTarium offers a unique indoor-outdoor experience of exploration and discovery. Take a thrilling multimedia journey in the Alden Digital Planetarium: A National Geographic Theater, meet live animals, stroll nature trails, “experience” the wild weather of Mount Washington, get hands-on with lots of family-friendly exhibits, and enjoy endless play in the expansive outdoor exhibit, Nature Explore®. To complete your visit, take a trek through the treetops on the Tree Canopy Walkway (seasonal). Rain or shine, summer or winter, there’s always something fun for the whole family to discover at the EcoTarium!
Visit the EcoTarium website
for directions, an events calendar, exhibit information and more.
Visitor Center - 134 Court Street
Plymouth, MA, 02360
History is just the beginning!
In Plymouth, MA we’re well known for our role in American history, but history is just the beginning of what you’ll find when you visit! Plymouth is the perfect blend of fun family attractions, and educational historic sites. In fair weather you’ll find all the expected maritime activities such as whale watching, harbor cruises, lobster excursions and pirate adventures. The Waterfront is also home to Jet Ski and kayak rentals as well as the Mayflower II, the full-scale reproduction of the ship that brought the Pilgrims from England back in 1620. In fall and winter enjoy the foliage or stay warm with a visit to an historic home or museum, ride the train through miles of cranberry bogs at Edaville USA, or cozy up to the fireside at Plimoth Plantation, a living history museum depicting life in Plymouth in 1627. With so many fun and educational things to do you’ll have to remind yourself to take advantage of all the fabulous dining available in Plymouth too! Please call 1.800.USA.1620, or visit our website to learn more about these activities and others to prepare for your trip to Plymouth.
Charlemont, MA, 01339
Let our Family take your Family on a rafting adventure
Crab Apple is a family owned business with three generations working our rivers in Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts. In Massachusetts we offer a wide range of trips for families – full day rafting trips for kids 8-15, wild rides for teenagers 15 and up and half-day trips in guided rafts or inflatable kayaks for ages 5 and up.
Our staff caters daily to kids and their families. There is nothing better than the look of excitement of a first time rafter conquering the waves and enjoying it with their family. The Deerfield River has spectacular scenery, rich history and sightings of bald eagles, beavers and other critters are common.
All trips are led by family members and feature great food, excellent equipment and fantastic guides. Our riverside base camp is comfortable and convenient. We are proud to offer great service with a personal touch since 1983. Call 1-800-553-RAFT(7238) or visit or www.crabapplewhitewater.com to book a great adventure with your family.
1098 Fall River Avenue
Seekonk, MA, 02771
Test your racing skills at Seekonk Grand Prix
Imagine that a friendly game on mini golf course and 60 of your favorite video games are just the appetizers. It’s go karts on specially designed state of the art tracks that make this place sing and dance. There’s the ¼ miles Family Track, the largest in New England that gets you humming through speedy straight-aways, hairpin curves, tunnels and new two-seater go-karts. There’s the slippery Slick Track to test your skills, a new Rookie Track for the youngest, and a Kiddy Track and Beginner Track got the growing youth. Bumper cars and boats in a gigantic pool will whet your appetites and your buddies. And who doesn’t love go karts. Check out the group rates and bring the gang.
75 Court Street
Plymouth, MA, 02360
The possessions and artifacts of the Pilgrims tell the story of brave and determined men and women.
PILGRIM HALL, built in 1824, is a gallery museum in the center of historic Plymouth, Massachusetts. The nation’s oldest continuously–operating public museum, Pilgrim Hall houses an unmatched collection of Pilgrim possessions. Among its irreplaceable treasures are William Bradford’s Bible, Myles Standish’s sword, the only portrait of a Pilgrim (Edward Winslow) painted from life, the cradle of New England’s first–born, Peregrine White, the great chair of William Brewster, and the earliest sampler made in America, embroidered by the teenage daughter of Myles Standish.
66 Thunder Mountain Road
Charlemont, MA, 01339
Scenic New England amidst the shrieks of the adventurous
New England’s largest zip line destination has been featured by USA Today as one of the Top 10 zip lines of the country. The Base Tour is your introduction. The Mountain Top Tour includes seven zips, two hikes, and two great ski lift rides. The adrenaline-filled Valley Jump tour includes two half-mile-long zips, a scenic chairlift to the mountaintop, some hiking and it’s all downhill from there at speeds up to 50 mph at an altitude of almost 200 ft. Coming this fall is the wild new Mountain Coaster - an alpine slide that requires no experience but propels you down 3,870’ of track with G-force inducing twists and turns and gravity defying drops that take you through scenic valleys and gorgeous woodlands amidst the shrieks of fellow riders.
55 Salisbury Street
Worcester, MA, 01609
Central Massachusetts’s unique art and antiquities museum
Visit this wonderful museum considered one of the best museums of its size in the country. With more than 38,000 pieces including antiquities, paintings, prints, photographs, sculptures, and decorative arts, you’ll have ample reason. See a Renaissance Court with a rare Roman floor mosaic; a medieval Chapter House from the Benedictine Priory of Saint John in west central France; and “Remastered,” an exhibit offering a new look at old European Masters. On view are works by Cassatt, Gauguin, Goya, Monet, Sargent, and Whistler. Known for its experimentation and innovation, WAM is home to an exhibition of arms and armor and Helmutt’s House, an interactive space just for kids. You’ll enjoy tours, interactive programs, workshops, classes, a museum shop and café.
5 Water Street
Fall River, MA, 02721
America’s naval history comes alive and inspires
This magnificent living history museum is a must-see for every child and family to understand the magnitude of America’s wartime naval history. The world's largest collection of US naval ships is here including the USS Massachusetts, the destroyer USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., PT Boats used in the South Pacific theater and others. A comprehensive women’s exhibit illustrates the contributions made by women during World War II and the role they have played in all of America’s wars, beginning with the Revolutionary War. The state-of-the-art special effects Pearl Harbor Experience is the only outdoor multimedia reenactment anywhere. Scouts and youth groups can participate in a year round maritime camping program, girl scout overnights, and the whole family will enjoy family nautical nights with affordable camping on site.
85 North Policy Street
Salem, NH, 03079
An historic amusement park that keeps it going 100 years later
One of New England’s premier family attractions for more than a hundred years has lots to offer kids of every age just 30 miles north of Boston. Start with your day’s special needs. There’s an ATM, lockers, available services for expectant mothers, and accommodations for all physical abilities. Bring your own or rent a wheelchair, electric scooter stroller or double seat stroller then get rolling. There are breathtaking thrills, amusements, prize games in three arcades, more than 50 rides, a dedicated kiddleland with kiddie rides, a water park and entertainment on two stages and the renown Dance Hall Theater. You’ll love the special events, lots of great food choices, nearby lodging packages, tax free shopping and free parking every day.
174 Colony Place
Plymouth, MA, 02360
The largest outdoor shopping and entertainment center in the region
An exceptionally designed lifestyle destination for the entire family, Colony Place has more of what you want. And all in one place. With special events, specialty retail, restaurants, home furnishings, services, electronics and even groceries. Colony Place is located ½ way between Boston and Cape Cod just off Route 3. Check our web site for upcoming events.
Information Centers on Boston Common and Prudential Towers (Center Court)
Boston, MA, 02116
We’re spilling the beans about Boston
Boston is one of the world’s great cities with attractions for singles, couples, families, tour groups, students, and travelers alike. Start with our fine art and contemporary art museums, the African American Art Museum, the Museum of Science with more than 600 exhibits, Old Ironsides, and the Boston Tea Party Museum. Then there’s the Children’s Museum and Harvard’s Museum of Natural History with 21 million specimens. That’s 21 million!
We’ve got lots of ships and ship museums, and the museums and libraries and homes of three American presidents – John F. Kennedy, John Adams and his son, John Quincy Adams. And churches and cemeteries, the final resting place of some of history’s most celebrated people. You’ll discover that we also have 3,000 glass flowers, a Chocolate Factory and LegoLand.
There are zoos and the New England Aquarium and more historic sites and artifacts than you can count. Wonderful spacious parks and the homes of world championship sports teams. And if you’d like to see Boston all at once, you can from our 360 degree Skywalk Observatory.
300 North Main Street
Florence, MA, 01062
Have fun and ensure for the future enjoyment of others
This lovely city owned park was opened in 1930 as a sanctuary for public recreation and relaxation. Mrs. Fannie Burr bequeathed the park to Northampton with land, funds for its development, and a trust fund for its upkeep. The not-for-profit charitable organization uses visitor fees, grants, gifts and other non- tax dollars for general operations and maintenance. The park is an exceptional family place to experience and explore. Kid friendly rides include the Steamer Train, Bumper Boats and Pedal Boat, and an 18-hole Mini-Golf course. Unlimited ride packages allow access to all attractions all day long for one low fee. Plan an outing or special occasion right on the grounds. Not only are you enjoying affordable fun, you’re supporting continuing enjoyment for future generations.
Rockport, MA, 01966
Fall in love with Rockport
Rockport, Massachusetts is a charming seaside village on Cape Ann; an hour North of Boston by car or train. This historic Art Colony is home to a number of internationally acclaimed artists and photographers along with their galleries. Rockport also offers numerous unique shops, restaurants, and accommodations, and boasts a magnificent rocky coastline. It is known for fresh seafood and world-renowned "Motif #1". Rockport further delights with its seven beaches, a state park, coastal walks, bird and whale watching, kayaking, scenic day and evening sailing tours, golf, diving and a number of historical attractions. Rockport harbor is listed as one of the top 10 most scenic places in the country by Walt Disney Productions. Come visit scenic Rockport, you'll be glad you did!
5 Main Street
Greenfield, MA, 01301
Downshift off Interstate 91 and travel one of the country's original highways - through the surprisingly unspoiled time warp that is Franklin
County. Its countryside is beautiful, its history rich and its culture eclectic. Franklin County is the most rural county in the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts, and it shows! Farms, Farms, and valleys form our historic villages and bustling towns. There is so much to do here - in our fine museums, educational institutions, and cultural centers - but most of all, in our great outdoors! If you like New England, you'll love Franklin County!
Springfield Museums & Dr Seuss Nat’l Memorial Sculpture Garden
21 Edwards Street
Springfield, MA, 01103
The Springfield Museums consists of five institutions at one location: the D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts, the Smith Art Museum, the Springfield Science Museum, the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum and the Museum of Springfield History. In addition, the property includes the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden, with life-size statues of Springfield native Dr. Seuss and his favorite characters including Horton, the Grinch and the Lorax.
IN the five art, science and historical museums, guests can find Samurai armor and weaponry; an internationally-acclaimed collection of Oriental bronze, jade and porcelain; intricate Middle Eastern rugs; fine American and European paintings and sculpture; a savannah of animals in the R.E. Phelon African Hall; Dinosaur Hall with its towering Tyrannosaurus Rex; Astronomy Hall complete with a planetarium; and exhibits about Connecticut River Valley history. Curriculum-based tours and programs are available.
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Basketball fans will find exhibits, interactive kiosks, memorabilia, and hands-on activities. Children and adults can spend the day in the 80,000-square-foot facility shooting baskets on a regulation court, measuring their skills against sports legends in an interactive game. Kids are invited to coaches’ clinics on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Check for seasonal changes in operating hours.
4 South Market Bldg.
Boston, MA, 02109
There’s a magical place in the center of Boston like no other. It’s Faneuil Hall Marketplace. It’s always a festival with free entertainment and incredible shopping, 18 fine restaurants and outdoor cafes as well as over 40 eateries in the historic Quincy Market Building. Faneuil Hall Marketplace is Boston’s hottest new spot for dining and entertainment. For information call 617-523-1300.
Salt Pond Visitor Center at Nauset Road and Route 6
Eastham, MA, 02642
Magnificent national park encompasses all shoreline and interior features of Cape Cod
This national park offers a full summer’s worth of fun for people of all ages. Six ocean beaches (lifeguarded) offer play in the surf; there are many walking and biking paths through inlands dunes, woodlands, and around cranberry bogs and small freshwater “kettle” ponds. Explore the first lighthouses in the country (commissioned by President George Washington). Historic sites, like the place where the first trans-Atlantic telegraph was sent.
See full description
for Cape Cod National Seashore.
Islands in Boston Harbor, and easy ferry ride from downtown. Swimming, hiking, picnicking. A fun day trip
Let yourself slip back in time with guided lighthouse tours (June-October) and ranger-narrated Discovery and Sunset Cruises (summer). There are also frequent special events and activities held on some islands for people of all ages. Sail the waters that conceal old shipwrecks and histories of war, pirates, and spooks! Find a ferry
to the islands.
See Boston Harbor Islands
for full description of this park.