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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.

Family Activities in Massachusetts
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Caribbean Flamingo - Stone Zoo - Stoneham, MA
Stone Zoo

149 Pond Street Stoneham, MA, 02180 Phone: 617-541-5466

You and the kids will have a wild time at this multiple-environment zoo

Tell the kids you are going to have a really wild time, and let the Stone Zoo do the rest. Stroll through a series of environments bringing you up close and personal to animals from arctic foxes, reindeer and cougars to roadrunners, gila monsters and sloths. In the Caribbean Coast, feed the flamingos and play native percussion instruments; check out yak and snow leopards in the Himalayan Highlands and listen to the eerie calls of the gibbons and watch otters frolic in the Treetops and Riverbeds exhibit. Attractions include a children’s train, playground, hands-on Animal Discovery Center and nature play areas for children to climb into an oversized bird’s nest and build forts. The zoo has single and double strollers to rent.
Franklin Park Zoo Red Panda Boston MA
Franklin Park Zoo

One Franklin Park Road Boston, MA, 02121 Phone: 617-541-5466

It truly is fun for kids (and adults) of all ages at this colorful, exciting zoo

Age is no barrier to the delights of the Franklin Park Zoo. Littlest visitors (ages 2 to 4) have fun in the Curious Cubs Playgroup; other activities kids love include breakfast with the animals, behind-the-scenes tours, the petting zoo at Franklin Farm, a Children’s Zoo for climbing and the outdoor playground with wildlife-inspired designs. And, of course, there are the animal environments, from the Tropical Forest with Western lowland gorillas and hyenas to the lions of the Kalahari Kingdom and the giraffes and zebras of the Savannah. Families love the butterfly exhibit, watching kangaroos and kookaburras along the Outback Trail and feeding the budgies in the Aussie Aviary. For dining, there are burgers, pizzas and plenty of picnic spots.
EcoTarium Family Activities
EcoTarium, New England's Leading Museum of Science and Nature

222 Harrington Way Worcester, MA, 01604 Phone: 508-929-2700

Connect with Nature at the EcoTarium!

EcoTarium is closed for the fall and winter - see you next year!
Experience hands-on exhibits and make new discoveries, indoors and outdoors, at the EcoTarium in Worcester. The EcoTarium offers three floors of interactive exhibits, exciting shows in the Alden Digital Planetarium: A National Geographic Theater, daily Science Discovery programs, live animal habitats, nature trails through forest and meadow environments, PLUS unlimited play in the expansive Nature Explore® Outdoor Exhibit. 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, events calendar, exhibit information and more.
Children Waving - Island Queen - Falmouth, MA
Island Queen

75 Falmouth Heights Road Falmouth, MA, 02540 Phone: 508-548-4800

Sail away into your fabulous family vacation aboard this comfortable island ferry

Families have been enjoying the trip to Martha’s Vineyard via the Island Queen ferry for decades, and it’s easy to see why: The trip only takes 35 minutes, there’s a full-service snack bar, and the views are amazing. Kids under 4 sail free, and tickets are discounted for ages 5 to 12. Once on the Vineyard, there are beaches to paddle board from, bike trails to explore (you can bring boards and bikes on the ferry), fun shopping, a whaling museum – even the nation’s oldest carousel in Oak Bluffs. Back in Falmouth, you can launch your Cape explorations, visiting lighthouses, going to Cape Cod Baseball League games, concerts and plays, hiking, biking and swimming at some of the country’s most beautiful beaches.
Festival Logo 2021
Festival of Illumination - World of Lights 2021

Southwick's Zoo - 2 Southwick Street Mendon, MA, 01756 Phone: Toll-Free: 800-258-9182

Illumination festival designed to awe and enchant visitors of all ages

Visitors of all ages will be enchanted with the artistic display at the Festival of Illumination at Southwick’z Zoo. Featuring hundreds of handcrafted Chinese lanterns and intricate exhibits made of silk and steel, the “World of Lights: Our Continents and Their Cultures” festival will take you on a magical journey across the globe, visiting African Savannahs, the Amazon rainforest, the Great Barrier Reef and other amazing regions. The festival, which combines a centuries-old tradition with modern technology, also features live entertainment, an Asian Night Marketplace and specialty foods. It runs Thursday through Sunday evenings, September through Jan. 3. Starting Nov. 26, the zoo’s traditional Winter Wonderland lights, as well as additional holiday-themed lanterns, will be added, and Santa will visit children at his Enchanted Village.
Giraffe - Southwick’s Zoo - Mendon, MA
Southwick’s Zoo

2 Southwick Street Mendon, MA, 01756 Phone: 800-258-9182

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.

Coming to Southwick's Zoo this September thru January 3, 2022 - The Festival of Illumination "World of Lights" 2021! Take a trip across continents and explore hundreds of hand-crafted Chinese paper lanterns!
Mayflower Photo - Plymouth 400 - Plymouth, MA - Photo Credit: Katie Mclaughlin
Plymouth 400 Inc.

6 Main Street Ext. - Post Office Square Plymouth, MA, 02360 Phone: 508-812-2020

Mark your calendar now for family-fun activities to celebrate Plymouth’s 400th

Families who want to join in on the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the mayflower voyage and the founding of Plymouth Colony should make plans now for the plethora of events. They include cultural and arts festivals, a waterfront lobster feast, explorations of interactive exhibits at Plimoth Colony, a working 17th century English village, and the Wampanoag Homesite; tours of Mayflower II; a boat cruise around Plymouth Harbor; and a full slate of Thanksgiving events, including an illumination festival and the town’s famous parade. The anniversary’s opening ceremony in April will feature items placed in a time capsule; in June, a maritime salute to the Mayflower will involve wooden ships, working boats, yachts and other pleasure craft. Photo Credit: Katie McLaughlin
Harvard Peabody Museum of Natural History Kronosaurus Cambridge MA
Harvard Museum of Natural History

26 Oxford Street Cambridge, MA, 02138 Phone: 617-495-3045

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.
Old Sturbridge Village - More than a Museum!
Kid at the Helm 500x250 - Battleship Cove - Fall River, MA
Battleship Cove

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

An exciting family adventure in America’s naval history

Battleship Cove is now open from 9am-5pm daily! Please remember to follow our safety & social distancing guidelines!
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.
Carousel - Fun World - Nashua, NH
Fun World

200 Daniel Webster Highway Nashua, NH, 03060 Phone: 603-888-1940

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.
Pilgrim Belle Cruises Plymouth MA
Pilgrim Belle Cruises

Mayflower II, State Pier, 77 Water Street Plymouth, MA, 02360 Phone: 508-747-3434

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.”
Meet a Spring Lamb - Old Sturbridge Village - Sturbridge, MA
Old Sturbridge Village

1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, off Route 20 Sturbridge, MA, 01566 Phone: 508-347-3362 Toll-Free: 800-733-1830

Kids will have a interactive experience at this re-created 1830s village

Old Sturbridge Village is open! Advanced ticketing required is required. Please visit our updated policies & procedures before reserving your visit.

Learning comes alive like never before at Old Sturbridge Village, where kids can try their hand at farming, get up close and personal with baby animals, take a horse-drawn wagon ride, walk through a covered bridge and see how everything from horseshoes to lanterns were made in the early 19th century. The 200-acre village is designed to transport guests back to a rural New England town of the 1830s – and it’s really an immersive experience. Costumed historians at schoolhouses, trade shops, farms and homes are happy to answer questions. There are nature trails through woodlands, pastures and along the river, with wildlife from great blue herons to mallards and turtles.
Fall Family Hiking - The Berkshires of Western MA - Photo Credit Ogden Gigli
The Berkshires of Western MA

Make Memories with Berkshire Fall Family Fun

Set against the stunning backdrop of a New England fall, the Berkshires is a perfect family getaway for making lifelong memories. Dive into hands-on fun at one of our many aerial adventure parks or kid-friendly museums and then catch a lively concert or fun play that the whole family will enjoy. Pick apples, wander through a corn maze, see a hand-carved pumpkin show, and meet barnyard critters at a local farm where you can sample cider, donuts, jams, and other seasonal treats. Rest up for tomorrow’s adventure at a comfy hotel, many of which feature indoor pools and restaurants onsite or within a short stroll. In the Berkshires, there’s an experience for every age and interest. Book today.
Destination Plymouth Lobser Tales Plymouth MA Credit Kindra Clineff
See Plymouth

4 North Street Plymouth, MA, 02360 Phone: 508-747-0100 Toll-Free: 800-872-1620

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.
John Adams Homestead - Discover Quincy - Quincy, MA
Discover Quincy

Adams National Historical Park Visitor Center - 1250 Hancock Street Quincy, MA, 02169 Phone: 617-471-1700

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.
Galaxy Montage - Blake Planetarium - Plymouth, MA
W. Russell Blake Planetarium

117 Long Pond Road Plymouth, MA, 02360 Phone: 508-830-4470

Full-dome Plymouth planetarium a shining star for visitors of all ages

The sky’s the limit for visitors to the W. Russell Blake Planetarium, the only 4K full-dome planetarium south of Boston. As you sit back in angled chairs, you’ll gaze at a ceiling filled with stars and planets while learning to identify them and how to use a star map (that you can take home). It’s a spectacle of light and color not to be missed. Regular seasonal stargazing programs take advantage of the high-tech surround-sound system and jaw-dropping full-dome views.
Alpine Super Slide - Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort - Hancock, MA
Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort

37 Corey Road -- Route 43 Hancock, MA, 01237 Phone: 413-738-5500 Toll-Free: 800-882-8859

Super-sized fun for families at this resort nestled in the beautiful Berkshires

The family that stays together plays together at Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort, where families have come for years for the great summer activities, skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing. Whether your idea of fun is zooming down one of 45 ski trails or zipping through trees in the Aerial Adventure Path, that fun is super-sized at Jiminy Peak. An alpine roller coaster and slide, a bungy trampoline, a rock-climbing wall, a chairlift ride up to a magnificent summit: Those are just a few of the attractions at this scenic resort. Stay in a spacious country inn suite or a perfect-for-families condo unit. Stop by for a burger at a rustic tavern. Nearby activities include theaters, museums, horseback riding and golf.
Whitewater Crew 500x250 - Crab Apple Whitewater - Charlemont, MA
Crab Apple Whitewater (MA)

Route 2 Charlemont, MA, 01339 Phone: 800-553-7238

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.
Photo for Family Activities 500x250 - Beanstalk Adventures - Reading, MA
Beanstalk Adventure Ropes Course

50 Walkers Brook Drive Reading, MA, 01867 Phone: 781-942-9816

Taking Fun to New Heights!

Get the whole family active and make lasting memories while challenging yourself at Jordan’s Beanstalk Adventure Ropes Course. Your full body harness and sling line will keep you connected at all times while you explore two levels of exciting obstacles including zig-zag beams, spaghetti hand lines, angled rope ladders, crisscross walks and a Sky Rail® zip rail! In addition, little kids under 48” tall are able to explore the Beansprout ropes course, positioned close to the ground at more comfortable height. This smaller course allows children to build coordination, confidence, and have fun while their adult chaperones stay close by to assist.
Sunflowers - Plimoth Patuxet - Plymouth, MA
Plimoth Patuxet

137 Warren Avenue Plymouth, MA, 02360 Phone: 508-746-1622

Inspiring Journeys Begin Here

Plimoth Patuxet Museums creates powerful encounters with history built on thorough research about the Indigenous and European people who met along these shores of change. At our immersive, outdoor living history sites you’ll encounter costumed actors portraying iconic figures such as William Bradford and Myles Standish, as well as contemporary interpreters who discuss the Indigenous heritage of the Northeast and 17th-century life-ways of a culture that continues to thrive today. Permanent exhibits that tell the complex and interwoven stories of two distinct cultures – Indigenous and English – include the 17th-Century English Village, Patuxet Homesite, Plimoth Grist Mill, and Mayflower II.
Armored Kids - Worcester Art Museum - Worcester MA
Worcester Art Museum

55 Salisbury Street Worcester, MA, 01609 Phone: 508-799-4406

Art museum a lively, engaging adventure for families with children of all ages

Families love the Worcester Art Museum, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a safe, comfortable environment for kids and families to learn about art in new ways. Through mid-September, there’s a special exhibit featuring baseball jerseys, and the Open Door Gallery features the work of artists with disabilities.. All galleries are stroller-accessible, and there are baby-changing stations.

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