Massachusetts family activities can keep kids entertained year-round
Massachusetts has welcomed families since the first one landed at Plymouth. Any time of the year, you’ll find family friendly lodging
, activities, and adventures on day trips, weekend getaways, and longer vacations. Enjoy a full menu from museums to indoor and outdoor amusement parks and water parks, beaches
, zoos and ziplines, whitewater rafting and kayaking, and the largest family go cart track in New England. The most complete set of early American historic sites are here with tales to tell and there are great beaches and endless scenic places to stop, relax, and snap some pictures.
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Route 2 (Mohawk Trail)
Charlemont, MA, 01339
Outdoor fun for everyone with this adventure center as your base
It's hard to imagine that you and the kids would not have a blast at Zoar Outdoor. For starters, look at all the things you can do: fly through the trees on a zip line canopy tour that gets up to 50 feet above the forest floor; go for an easy float or face whitewater rapids with a rafting tour; or rent a stand-up paddleboard or kayak and paddle down a river or around a lake. At the Zoar center in Wilmington, you can go mountain-biking or, in the winter, snowshoeing or skiing. Where to stay? Try our Hawk Mountain Lodge in the Berkshires, a renovated farmhouse suitable for up to 14 people. Want something more rustic? We have five tent sites, 11 cabin tents – and a yurt! – in our campgrounds surrounded by 80 acres of breathtaking wilderness where the kids can see hawks, owls and deer.
1098 Fall River Avenue
Seekonk, MA, 02771
Get the whole family behind the wheel
Here’s a great day out for the entire family – go karts on tracks designed with everyone in mind. The longest Family Track in New England gets you revved up through speedy straight-aways, hairpin curves and tunnels and two of you can now ride the new two-seater go-karts. The Slick Track will test your mettle, and there’s a new Rookie Track for the youngest and Kiddy Track and Beginner Track as they grow - so there’s never a time not to be driving your own cart. Bumper cars and boats stretch the envelope of fun and you can take on the family in a friendly game of mini golf. Rain or shine enjoy more than 60 of your favorite arcade games.
5 Water Street
Fall River, MA, 02721
An exciting family adventure in America’s naval history
America’s naval history inspires the whole family at this world class heritage museum in Fall River. Explore the world's largest collection of US naval ships including the mighty USS Massachusetts, the destroyer USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., and PT Boats used in the South Pacific. The sheer size and impression these ships and their stories leave is overwhelming. There’s the state-of-the-art special effects Pearl Harbor Experience, the only outdoor multimedia reenactment anywhere. Scouts and youth groups can participate in a year round maritime camping program, overnights, and family nautical nights with affordable camping on site. Whether a casual visitor, history buff, student, teacher or scout leader, everyone learns. Special exhibits honor our men and women in uniform then and now.
Adams National Historical Park Visitor Center - 1250 Hancock Street
Quincy, MA, 02169
Families valued by this historic South Shore city
From the home of one of the nation’s first families, the city of Quincy offers your family a variety of activities from which to plan a day outing or a long vacation. Take the trolley trip at Adams National Historical Park to see the home of John and John Quincy Adams, and the nation’s first presidential library, boat over to Boston Harbor Islands National Park, sunbathe at Wollaston Beach (or one of 10 other city beaches), fish from a pier or just relax at one of 52 parks, many with playgrounds, picnic areas and ball fields. Enjoy autumn colors strolling marsh-side and riverside trails. In the winter, go ice skating or try skiing or snow-shoeing at Blue Hills Reservation.
137 Warren Avenue
Plymouth, MA, 02360
A compelling approach to history; a memorable visitor experience.
Plimoth Plantation is a world-class living history museum overlooking Cape Cod Bay. This immersive museum features costumed interpreters and modern day artisans throughout our award-winning exhibits, including the 17th Century English Village, Wampanoag Homesite, Plimoth Grist Mill and Mayflower II docked in picturesque Plymouth Harbor. Plimoth Plantation's hands-on, entertaining brand of living history is what has earned the museum it's reputation for delivering powerful personal experiences to guests of all ages from all over the world.
Please allow at least 3 hours to visit to Plimoth Plantation and about 45 minutes for Mayflower II.
40 Doaks Lane
Marblehead, MA, 01945
On-Water Recreation for the Whole Family
Bring the whole family for an outing or season of kayaking and standup paddling fun and fitness at Boston's North Shore hidden gem Little Harbor Boathouse! Just 15 miles north of Boston, spend the day at our pristine beach, paddle around Little Harbor Islands and Marblehead Harbor and stroll our historic seaside village shops & cafes. Choose from pedal, paddle and sail Hobie Kayaks (singles & tandems) and Standup Paddle Boards. From Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend, Little Harbor Boathouse offers hourly and group and party rentals for up to 50 paddlers. Summer Adventure Program (ages 8-14) runs weekly, Guided Tours and Kayak Fishing Guides by appointment. Helping families and friends have unforgettable on-water experiences is what we’re all about.
61 Market Street, Unit 1C
Lowell, MA, 01852
The family fun never ends in the Greater Merrimack Valley
The tough choice in the Greater Merrimack Valley is what to do next. Everything in a travel destination for the family is here. The Children’s Discovery Museum and the Science Discovery Museum offer exhibits, programs and educational, hands-on activities for everyone. Plan ahead and enjoy the many special event days in the valley’s quaint towns filled with historic homes, buildings and sites to explore. Your pet is welcome in many of the lodgings, parks and attractions throughout the valley. Skiing white slopes, hiking worn trails, biking scenic roads, and fishing, canoeing, white water rafting on the region’s waterways ought to keep everyone happy. So will the strawberry picking, hayrides and fun to be found on local farms, orchards and vineyards.
37 Corey Road -- Route 43
Hancock, MA, 01237
Your family belongs here
Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort offers lodging accommodations perfect for any family Berkshire getaway. Choose from our Country Inn Suites or two or three bedroom mountainside Vacation Homes. We offer a host of amenities to make you feel at home, including shopping and dining in the Village Center and Country Inn, outdoor heated swimming pool, fitness room, game room and more. During your stay enjoy some outdoor summer fun at our Mountain Adventure featuring 2 Parks in 1 location – Mountain Adventure Park and Aerial Adventure Park as well as the Soaring Eagle Zip Ride and Mountain Segway Tours. Enjoy the convenience of our New England Country Inn, a beautiful, spacious all-suite hotel located at the base of Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort.
434 Main Street
Tewksbury, MA, 01876
Great family fun place in Tewksbury
This family owned destination in Tewksbury offers the area’s best bowling, restaurant, golf simulator, and event space for any occasion. A fun, positive, family-friendly destination, it offers high quality, year-round entertainment for kids to seniors and for casual and league bowlers. Enjoy luxury candlepin and ten pin lanes with big screens, music videos, sporting events, and comfortable seating areas at each lane. The world class redemption arcade features over 60 of the most popular games in the industry and an upscale prize redemption center with electronics, games, novelty items, stuffed animals and more. Celebrations of every kind are welcome for groups of 10 to 400. There’s great food at the Firewater tavern plus weeknight and weekend specials. Check it out.
598 Assembly Row
Somerville, MA, 02145
Legoland and families are a perfect fit
Families love LEGOLAND Discovery Center Boston with its 4D cinema, Kingdom Quest laser ride, Merlin’s Apprentice, and the fabulous LEGO City Play Zone. You’ll find a spacious family restroom, full baby changing facilities, plus wheelchair and stroller accessibility throughout. Have your child make up a story about their LEGO® creations. Challenge them to a timed build – give them a set number of bricks and a time limit and see what they create. Have fun playing a brick building game together then display your creations on your own colorful LEGO podium or share a photo on LEGOLAND Discovery Center Boston’s Facebook page. There’s a delicious café and the amazing LEGO Retail Shop with the latest LEGO® products plus exclusive limited edition items.
2 Southwick Street
Mendon, MA, 01756
Take the family into the wild right near home
New England’s largest zoo is now open with an all new prairie dog digs, two toed sloths and cheetahs. Learn about your favorite animals at the Earth Discovery Center. You’ll find 115 species of animals large and small on foot, from the Woodlands Express train ride or high above on the Skyfari Sky Ride, Meet elk, native birds, painted turtles and toads, Step into the 35 acre deer forest, ride over the playful chimpanzees, stately camels, scary alligators, colorful zebra and ostrich. Enjoy a day’s worth of shows, animal encounters, a petting zoo, parakeet aviary and animal exhibits to take your breath away with big cats, white rhino, snakes, dragons, and WATCH OUT - the popular Madagascar Hissing Cockroach. Always free parking and handicap accessible.
55 Salisbury Street
Worcester, MA, 01609
Exciting family fun and learning at this central Massachusetts museum
For family adventure, fun and education it’s hard to beat this amazing museum. With exciting interactive programs, events and more for every age, the WAM offers a look into the extraordinary breadth of human creativity and showcases the world’s art treasures from ancient times to modern days. You’ll discover paintings by Cassatt, Gauguin, Goya, Monet, Sargent, and Homer; floor mosaics from the ancient city of Antioch; and stand face to visor with knights in armor. Kids will love getting creative in Helmutt’s Drop-in Studio. Take a guided tour or a live drawing class. Enjoy lunch at the Museum Café, and shop for unique gifts and mementos. WAM is considered one of the finest mid-sized museums in the country. For exhibitions and program schedules, follow our link above to our website.
200 Daniel Webster Highway
Nashua, NH, 03060
Be a Family That Plays Together
Arcades have been an entertainment choice for kids and families for generations and no wonder. Fun World has the formula covered. There's lots of physical activity for younger kids in a huge, multi-level playground with big slides and a ball pit, along with 30 tot rides. For older kids and teens, the blur of choices of arcade games is daunting, from Wave Motion Theater and six-player Galaxian Theater to sports games, dance games to classic air hockey and pinball. Tickets can be redeemed for prizes hundreds of prizes. Parents will appreciate the reasonable price for a full day for family fun. Naturally, Fun World sells pizza and other classic kid foods, so your gang can hunker here ’til everyone is too tired to move.
85 North Policy Street
Salem, NH, 03079
Family fun, services and accommodations make this a grand day out
The whole family is well cared for at this historic fun park just 30 miles north of Boston. Start with 85 rides, indoor-outdoor games and an arcade, plus live entertainment on two stages and the Dance Hall Theater, special events and a dedicated Kiddieland area, and everyone will get involved and smile. A wide variety of delicious food is yours and available around the park in 20 great spots, while plenty of tax free shopping at numerous gift shops lets you fill up on souvenirs, keepsakes and more. There’s an ATM, lockers, available services for expectant mothers, and accommodations for all ages and physical abilities. Bring your own or rent a wheelchair, electric scooter stroller or double seat stroller.
50 Walkers Brook Drive
Reading, MA, 01867
Play together on this one-of-a-kind sky ropes course
Here’s a great indoor physical activity for the whole family at Jordan’s BeanStalk™ Adventure Ropes Course in Reading Massachusetts. Enjoy the challenge of traveling from one activity to the next testing your agility and balance. Climb to 12 or 24 feet and make your way across the sky ropes course onto zig zag beams, crisscross angled rope ladders, and then hold on to spaghetti hand lines. Walk the plank at 24 feet then travel out on a 6 inch standalone beam, pivot and return. You’ll find two levels of challenging ropes course, 30 exciting activities and for young adventurers, there’s BeanSprout™, a specially designed course for children 2-7. Adventurers must be 48" tall or 42" if accompanied by a chaperone.
Mayflower II, State Pier, 77 Water Street
Plymouth, MA, 02360
Plymouth by paddle wheeler – the calm, the stories
Being by the water makes being on the water all the more inviting and you can be at one of the most important historic American landmarks. Jump on this true paddle wheeler which has no conventional propeller and watch and listen as the big red wheels on the back of the boat propel it like the boats on the Mississippi. Once aboard, you’ll get the perfect introduction to Plymouth. Loaded with history, you’ll learn more about Pilgrims, famous shipwrecks, the role of the commercial fishing and lobster industries, two lighthouses, and Plymouth’s spectacular beaches. Relax amid the calming sound of the paddles as they swish through the water. Then sit back and enjoy those fabulous stories. Spoiler alert: the Pilgrims considered lobster to be “poor man’s food.”
134 Court Street
Plymouth, MA, 02360
Bring America’s Founding Story to Life for Your Kids
Children learn well through visuals and action. Re-visit one of the opening chapters of the founding of America in Plymouth, Massachusetts, when you take part in activities of Plymouth 400 – the celebration that peaks in 2020 with the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock. The 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ arrival will be celebrated through 2021 with exhibits, festivals, arts and educational events. A traveling exhibit about the Native Wampanoag people, who greeted the English and helped save their lives in their first winter, is now underway. Coming up are Embarkation and Youth Festivals, Sunrise and Thanksgiving celebrations, and many other opportunities for Americans to re-learn and appreciate the idealism and physical grit of a legendary band of our founders.
50 Ferncroft Road
Danvers, MA, 01923
Wet, whacky, wild family fun!
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. 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.
Renew your family's fun this winter in the Berkshires
A family vacation to the Berkshires is an unforgettable getaway. The Berkshires offer year-round fun for all ages. In the winter bring the family and breathe in the crisp, clean air and glide onto a fresh blanket of snow by way of snowshoes or skis. Whether you are looking for a downhill or cross country experience you can find it here. Many of these ski areas also offer tubing as an alternative and if you are new to skiing they all offer lessons and rentals. If you prefer an indoor activity, winter is an excellent time to meander through the many fantastic museums sprinkled throughout the county, many of which are free during the winter season. To learn more visit us at berkshires.org or find us on Facebook at Visit the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts.
Visitor Center - 134 Court Street
Plymouth, MA, 02360
History is just the beginning!
Bring the whole family to Plymouth, MA for some unforgettable fun! Adults and children alike will be able to enjoy their visit to Plymouth with a wide variety of activities on land or on the water. The Atlantic Ocean itself is a playground, and trips such as whale watches, lobster excursions and pirate adventures have proven popular with visitors both young and not quite as young. Our beaches and parks offer families a place to relax and enjoy the great outdoors. Edaville USA is open year-round and features a restored narrow gauge train ride through acres of cranberry bogs, and Plimoth Plantation provides a living history museum depicting life in Plymouth in 1627. 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.
66 Thunder Mountain Road
Charlemont, MA, 01339
For families it's easy - bring your kids and play!
There’s lots to do. Where do you want to start? Depends on the season. How about skiing or boarding or tubing, zip lines, white water rafting, or downhill mountain biking? Come check out and ride North America’s longest mountain coaster! We offer lessons and equipment rentals. We have a great family friendly place to stay right here while you’re enjoying all of the activities, the Crazy Horse Bar and Grill for lunch or dinner, a friendly staff and a commitment to being the best at whatever we do. We are just 2 hours from Boston, three hours from New York City.
Charlemont, MA, 01339
Family Owned and Operated Whitewater Rafting Outfitter in the Berkshires
Crab Apple ran the first ever raft trips in 1989 on the dam controlled Deerfield River. The excitement continues on a wide range of full day and half day trips. Kids 8 and up can enjoy rafting trips on mild Class 1-3 rapids, teens on more aggressive Class 3-4 rapids, and those age 5 and up will have a great fun time in guided rafts or inflatable kayaks on mild
whitewater. The guides are great with kids of all ages and help rafters explore the Deerfield sharing information about local history, wildlife and hydrology along the way. There’s great food, hospitality and service, the best equipment, and riverside base camps with the comforts and convenience to make your rafting adventure one that you’ll never forget.
149 Pond Street
Stoneham, MA, 02180
Get everyone up close to fascinating animals from the wild
This wonderful family place started as a small local attraction in 1905 with elephants, giraffes, zebras, pigmy hippopotami and sea lions. Today discover fascinating animals from around the world. Greater Boston’s only white-cheeked gibbon exhibit is here, home to monkeys, lynxes, snow leopards, Mexican gray wolves, river otters, a black bear and the mysterious capybara. See jaguars, cougars, coyotes, and Gila monsters at the Treasures of the Sierra Madre exhibit. Windows to the Wild offers macaws, flamingos, sloth and meerkat. Meet “Major,“ the polar bear that inspired the Zoo’s popular black bear exhibit. The Peacock Place Gift Shop has unique gifts and souvenirs while the Safari Grill offers kid-friendly food and there are plenty of outdoor tables where to enjoy your own picnic.
1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, off Route 20
Sturbridge, MA, 01566
A family place with stories to tell
Families in New England weren’t so different 200 years ago, yet the lives they lived were very different. How they worked and made a living, fed and cared for themselves and each other, raised children and planned for the future. Their story is preserved here in one of America’s largest and most celebrated living history museums with 40 antique homes, buildings and water-powered mills from the 1800’s. You and your family can experience that time again on an early stagecoach ride, up close to old breeds of farm animals, in a chat with a costumed interpreter, and under the watchful eye of an experienced blacksmith, cooper, potter, or farmer doing what he did then. Over 30 special weekend events with hands-on craft work and more offered daily.
26 Oxford Street
Cambridge, MA, 02138
A memorable & amazing journey into our world's history
For families, it’s hard to beat the 16 galleries in this museum displaying 500 taxidermy animals -- full-size elephant, rhino, hippo, tiger, bison, even a 15-foot giraffe -- not to mention huge whale skeletons. Don’t miss the skull of one of the first Triceratops ever discovered and the world’s only mounted skeleton of the 42 ft.-long Kronosaurus. Explore a timeline of Earth’s history, and admire 3,000 rare minerals and gemstones. Touch a meteorite from outer space. New and changing multi-media exhibitions showcase cutting-edge research. The museum is an easy 8-minute walk across the historic Harvard campus from Harvard Square with its popular shops and restaurants and MBTA station. The museum is connected to Harvard’s Peabody Museum, and one admission fee covers both museums.
185 Elm Street
Fitchburg, MA, 01420
A creative adventure for the whole family
There is great family fun and creative magic at the Fitchburg Art Museum. FAM present galleries filled with antiquities from Egypt, Greece and Rome, Africa and 19th century New England. Take a journey across time and you’ll discover sculptures, everyday objects, realistic reproductions of tomb walls, and even a mummy. Intriguing Learning Lounges feature interactive spaces where you can listen to an artist describe her own process, create your own art project, or contribute to a communal art work. Bring a sketch pad and pencils, and let draw your reactions to the art you see. Check out the exhibitions of art from schools, community organizations, and local artist groups in the Community Gallery and even show something that you’ve created.
One Franklin Park Road
Boston, MA, 02121
Lions and lemurs and birds - Oh My!
Get your family up close to some of the worlds’ most interesting animals. Boston’s largest park on seventy-two acres brings you lions, giraffes, and zebras in their own special habitats. You’ll find gorillas, lemurs, sloth and other friendly beasts in the Tropical Forest and experience a free-flight bird adventure at the Aussie Aviary, open seasonally. Kids will find programs that are fun and educational, the Zoo Camp, and Snorin’ Roarin’ sleepovers. Plan a birthday party or other event at the unique indoor and outdoor facilities. The Things Wild Gift Shoppe has souvenir items, toys, games, and apparel and the indoor Giddy-Up Grill and Kalahari Kitchen offer southwestern-themed food for all to enjoy.