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 Ferncroft Road
Danvers, MA, 01923
A Must Sea!
Just 19 miles north of Boston is the wettest, wackiest, wildest and largest indoor water park in Massachusetts. Here, a tropical paradise where the temperature is always 84 degrees is open year round for every kid of every age. The fun includes tantalizing water slides, a river too lazy to move too quickly, a splash pad and a dip-in-the- theater arcade along with private, cozy cabanas and more. Hold your next birthday party or group swim here or buy out the whole park for a day. Adjacent is the relaxing oasis of the Doubletree Hotel Boston North Shore with guest rooms and suites, an on-site fitness center, pool and spa, recreational game room, high speed internet access. Look for Coco Key Discounts and packages. OK, everybody in the water!
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.
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 get’s 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. Now open for the 2014 season. Free parking and handicap accessible.
200 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston, MA, 02115
Her ideas changed the world
Mary Baker Eddy founded Christian Science at a time when women could not vote and were generally barred from pulpits, seminaries, and the medical profession. Yet, inspired by experience, reflection, intensive scriptural study, healing activity, and teaching she became a highly influential religious leader, author, teacher and founder of the Christian Science Monitor. She taught women and men who established successful practices of their own here and abroad. In 1879, Eddy started her own church and became leader of the Christian Science movement. The library features some of the most thought-provoking and fun exhibits in the city, exploring Eddy’s life and achievements and houses the world-famous Mapparium®, an achievement in art and architecture from 1935 giving visitors a unique look at how ideas have the power to change the world.
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.
25 Merriam Parkway
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.
Adams National Historical Park Visitor Center - 1250 Hancock Street
Quincy, MA, 02169
Walk in the Footsteps of John Adams
Travel back in time at the Adams National Historical Park, where you’ll visit the birthplaces of two U.S. Presidents: John Adams and his son, John Quincy Adams. Your journey begins at the park’s Visitors Center in Quincy Center. After viewing the center’s exhibits and video presentation, board a trolley for the short journey to the birthplaces of the Presidents. Also visit the Old House at Peace field, the stately Adams Mansion that served as summer White House to both Adams presidents and home to generations of their descendants.
Trolley tours leave the park’s Visitors Center every quarter past and quarter to the hour. The last tour departs at 3:15. Admission is $5 for adults; children under 16 are free. Open April 19-November 10, seven days a week.
306 Congress Street
Boston, MA, 02210
Step into a Tea Party that’s not for the faint of heart
Step into December 16, 1773 and join the party at this one-of-a-kind museum and historical site. In just an hour you can walk through a variety of virtual exhibits, climb aboard authentically restored tea ships, dump tea in the harbor and view an inspiring documentary, “Let it Begin Here.” Other interactive and traditional exhibits will help connect the time line for you from the Boston Tea Party to America’s Declaration of Independence and how the events are forever connected. You won’t just be a bystander. You’ll have the opportunity to participate, explore and learn about the people, events and consequences that led up to the American Revolution in the order in which they actually occurred more than 230 years ago.
3 Lake Moxie Road
The Forks, ME, 04985
For a memorable vacation...
Crab Apple is a family owned business with three generations working our rivers in Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts. In Maine we offer a range of trips for families – on the Kennebec River we offer guided rafting trips for kids 8 and up. The youngest kids can ride and “hold on” in rafts rowed by our expert guides and older kids can paddle along with the rest of the crew. The nearby Dead River offers summertime weekend dam releases for intermediate rafting perfect for kids 9 and up.
Our base camp along the Kennebec River will keep the kids entertained with our outdoor pool and the highest waterfall in Maine is just up the road and a short walk to Moxie Falls, a 92 foot cascade. Many kids take advantage of nightly paintball games at Rapidshot Paintball which start each afternoon after summertime rafting.
At Crab Apple, all trips are led by family members and feature great food, excellent equipment and fantastic guides. Our riverside base camp offers comfortable lodging, restaurant/pub and family activities. 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.
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.
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).
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.
1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Off Rte 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.
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.
67 Grove Street
Sandwich, MA, 02563
Celebrating American Heritage for over 40 Years
Heritage Museums & Gardens has miles of walking paths and three museums featuring American art. We offer each of our visitors a unique experience ranging from quiet contemplation to active exploration. We’re famous for our Dexter Rhododendrons that bloom from late May into early June. The beautifully landscaped grounds are a naturalized woodland park on the edge of upper Shawme Pond. A Shaker barn houses an Antique Automobile Collection with its stunning display of antique automobiles. An operating hand-carved carousel and many of America's most distinguished artists' works are on exhibit in the Art Museum as well. Come see what we have to offer!
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.
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, Sears and Regal Cinemas. National brands within specialty boutiques include Victoria’s Secret, Gap, Charlotte Russe, Hollister, American Eagle, Aeropostale and Yankee Candle Company. 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.
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 through the galaxy at a digital planetarium, meet an array of live animals, stroll nature trails, “experience” the wild weather of Mount Washington, and get hands-on with lots of family-friendly exhibits. To complete your visit, take a trek through the treetops on New England’s only Tree Canopy Walkway (seasonal), or enjoy a ride on the Explorer Express Train around the grounds. Rain or shine, summer or winter, there is always something new happening at the EcoTarium. It’s fun for the whole family!
Visit the EcoTarium website
for exhibit and event schedules, and click here for a special offer
Nine Towns along the South Shore, MA
Travel the back roads and find historic treasures
Discover the intriguing hidden history from Boston to Plymouth in 21 important historic sites in nine towns along Massachusetts’s South Shore. This unique collaboration of 16 organizations was established to create awareness of the area’s historic gems and celebrate the spirit of the region. Enter picturesque early American houses where founding families like the Aldens and Adamses, Winslows and Bradfords, Stetsons and Westons, Howlands and Harlows made their homes and built the settlements of the “Old Colony” of Plymouth. A rich and rewarding journey of discovery awaits along the road less taken with stone walls, fields and meadows, salt air and a leisurely pace to enthrall you and your family. Take the “Here Lies Buried” bus tour of several south shore cemeteries this fall.
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.
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.
World Trade Center, 200 Seaport Blvd. Ste 75
Boston, MA, 02210
See the city while you explore the harbor
Step aboard our beautifully redesigned ship in the Seaport District and come alive with the most entertaining lunch and dinner experience in Boston. You'll enjoy a fabulous all-you-can-eat buffet, dancing, live entertainment with star-quality performers, and dazzling views on the largest outdoor deck in Boston, all for one price. Elegant but never stuffy, the Spirit is perfect for parties of two all the way up to 600. We offer year-round lunch and dinner cruises as well as seasonal Lobster Lunches and Sunset Cruises. Looking for a private setting? Then try a customized yacht charter aboard Spirit's sister ship, the Seaport Elite.
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.
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Springfield, MA, 01105
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.
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.
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!
See Boston Harbor Islands
for full description of this park.
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!
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.
The flavor of old New England
Located on the tip of Northeastern Massachusetts, eight miles out in the ocean with over 13 miles of natural Atlantic coastline is Rockport. Settled in 1639, incorporated in 1840, Rockport is known for its winding streets, fine old houses, stone wharfs, sandy beaches, art galleries, museums, shops, fine restaurants and distinctive inns. Enjoy the sight of the sailboats sailing in the breeze; explore Halibut Point State Park, or a walk along Atlantic Coastline, stroll historic Bearskin Neck or listen to wonderful musical concerts. With the flavor of old New England, Rockport is a place of unpretentious, informal and relaxing living. Come visit "a crown jewel of the Massachusetts coastline", only 45 minutes north of Boston.