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Six Child-Friendly Day Trips in Massachusetts

Six Child-Friendly Day Trips in Massachusetts

Booking a family to Boston? Provide them with these suggestions for quick day trips in Massachusetts, from the Berkshires to the Cape, that will form happy memories for parents, teens and children alike.

Greater Boston

Jump your way into a sea of trampolines at Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park. All trampolines are enclosed with additional angled trampolines that allow you to literally bounce off the walls. SkyZone.com

Boston Pizza Tours offers unique walking tours exploring Boston’s most historic neighbourhoods. Enjoy slices from three different pizzerias including Boston’s oldest shop with a brick oven from 1883 and learn the history of this beloved food in a city where it thrives. BostonPizzaTours.com

Hop aboard one of the famous Swan Boats on the water of the Boston Public Garden. Enjoy the picturesque 24 acres on this 15-minute ride. SwanBoats.com

Explore the new Legoland Discovery Center, which offers two Lego rides, a 4D cinema, play area, model builder academy and even a mini-land to see Somerville and Boston’s iconic buildings and attractions made from Lego bricks. LegolandDiscoveryCenter.com/Boston

The Boston Children’s Museum is one of the largest of its kind in the world. It emphasises hands-on engagement and learning through experience with a three-storey, jaw-dropping maze and a Japanese House gifted from Boston’s Japanese sister city, Kyoto. BostonChildrensMuseum.org

Boston Whale Watching

North of Boston

Head out to sea early for a quintessential Massachusetts adventure on Captain Bill and Sons Whale Watch. The three-hour tour views the world’s largest mammal surfacing, feeding and breaching in the feeding areas of Stellwagen Bank and Jeffreys Ledge. In season, these waters, a National Marine Sanctuary, provide some of the best whaling watching opportunities in the world. CaptBillandSons.com

Discover the nooks and crannies of an American medieval-style castle at the Hammond Castle Museum. John Hays Hammond Jr. built this castle in 1926 as his home and for his collection of ancient medieval artifacts. He produced over 400 patents and ideas for over 800 inventions including the remote control. An invention exhibits room pays homage to his large body of work. HammondCastle.org

Amesbury Sports Park offers the longest zorbing/sphering lane in North America. This outdoor gravity park also offers the steepest, fastest summer and snow tubing hill in New England. AmesburySportsPark.net

Explore the lower depths deep in the tunnels of witch city, Salem. The one-hour walking tour visits the wharfs, homes, businesses and banks connected by the tunnels used as part of the Underground Railroad and a pathway to speakeasies during prohibition. SalemTunnelTour.com

Boston Natural Resources Trust

South of Boston

Trail through 154 acres of meadows, forests and streams at the Natural Resources Trust of Easton, home to many farm animals including horses, chickens, geese, goats, cows and sheep. NrtofEaston.org

Wade in the Massachusetts State fruit at Mayflower Cranberries, a family cranberry farm with 3.5 acres of active cranberry bogs. May through October, visitors may act as the grower by stepping into a pair of waders and trudging through the bog to help with the harvest. MayflowerCranberries.com

Scale the 65-foot indoor rock wall at Carabiner’s Climbing. Beginners can start with a 10-foot climb or bouldering until ready for belaying or climbing greater heights with a harness. Carabiner’s New Bedford features some of the tallest indoor climbing in the Northeast. Carabiners.com

Buttonwood Park Zoo, one of the oldest in the USA, reflects the wildlife along a 200-mile journey of Massachusetts. The Berkshires to the Sea exhibit displays black bears, mountain lions, river otters, bald eagles and seals. Across the covered bridge stands Buttonwood Farm, with rare breeds of farm animals. BPZoo.org

Boston Cape Cod

Cape Cod and the Islands

Catch scup, bass, blackfish, squid, tuna and shark on a Magellan Deep Sea Fishing Charter. Captain Greiner and Pillsbury bring their 20 years’ experience and sense of humour for an entertaining, safe and successful fishing trip, with gear provided. CapeCodSportsmen.com

Snack time is at the Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory. From the farmers’ potato fields to the table, see how the legendary, crispy chips are made. CapeCodChips.com

Hunt for treasure in Hyannis Harbor. Pirate Adventures Cape Cod invites little pirates aboard the Sea Gypsy for face painting, tattoos and pirate sashes to dress the part. The captains will sing sea chanteys, tell stories and fend off other pirates to bring the Sea Gypsy home to harbour. CapeCodPirateAdventures.com

The Cape Cod Central Railroad Dinner Train provides a culinary journey through quaint, seaside villages and cranberry bogs to see the New England landscape. Capetrain.com

Boston Animal Adventures

Central Massachusetts

Hold a snake at the Family Zoo & Science Center at Animal Adventures. A husband and wife team takes in exotic animals no longer able to be kept by their current owners and houses them to provide them with proper care. AnimalAdventures.net

Still River Outfitters’ signature QuickStart canoe class is a three-hour introduction to paddling. Students learn about boat control, hazards and rescues. Paddle down the beautiful rivers of Massachusetts including Sudbury and Assabet River during your course. Still River Outfitters also offers white water or coastal kayaking trips, stand up paddle-boarding and snowshoeing. Blog.StillRiverOutfitters.com

The EcoTarium, a unique indoor-outdoor museum in Worcester set in an urban oasis, offers a chance to walk through the treetops, take a thrilling multimedia journey through the galaxy at a digital planetarium, meet wildlife, stroll nature trails and ride a narrow gauge railroad. Ecotarium.org

Old Sturbridge Village is a living, breathing, vibrant village depicting life in New England in the 1830s. Meet historians in costume and tour 40 antique buildings including a country store, a school and water-powered mills. Learn to plow, make crafts, dip candles and help the printer, potter and blacksmith at work. OSV.org

Boston Basketball Hall of Fame

Western Massachusetts and the Berkshires

Learn to make your own animated film in just two hours at Animagic, the museum of animation, special effects and art. You will create a model, make an animation movie, record your movie, add sound, music, a title and upload to YouTube. Mambor.com

More than 300 inductees and 40,000 square feet of basketball history are housed in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. HoopHall.com

The Connecticut River Valley is where the first dinosaur tracks in North America were found. Nash Dinosaur Tracks is home to a museum that displays various dinosaurs tracks and fossils, as well as a rock shop. NashDinosaurTracks.com

Weave in and out of a 2.66-mile corn maze at Rolling Acres. Once you make your way out of the labyrinth, play a round of mini-golf or launch skyward on the giant jumping pillow – essentially a giant trampoline. RollingAcres.us

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, copywriter, editor and proofreader for 52 years, and News & Features Editor for ‘Irish Travel Trade News’ for the past 42 years.

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