Fun Things to do in Massachusetts

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Massachusetts is one of the most historically significant states in our country and offers plenty of fun things to do when you plan outings for your kids.

Free Fun

The city of Boston is filled with free attractions and activities, so pack up your kids and head to this historic city. To get a glimpse into the city’s history, take a free tour of the Massachusetts State House, the oldest building on Beacon Hill. Freedom Trail is a self-guided tour of the city’s most historic sites, including the Old North Church, Boston Commons, and Paul Revere’s House. Plymouth Rock is always free as well. The USS Constitution Museum (http://www.ussconstitutionmuseum.org/) is also open on a donation basis, and your kids can learn about the oldest commissioned ship in US history.

Educational Fun

To give your kids a hands-on look into history, head to Plimoth Plantation (http://www.plimoth.org/), where they can see what life was like for those who disembarked from the Mayflower. They can also tour a replica of the Mayflower docked nearby. The Boston Children’s Museum (www.bostonkids.org) offers hands-on fun for the youngest kids in a save environment where they can create, climb, and experiment in exhibits covering all types of science. The Museum of Science (www.mos.org), also in Boston, provides exhibits that appeal to upper elementary and teenage students. The New Bedford Whaling Museum (http://www.whalingmuseum.org/) showcases the whaling history of this fishing community.

Environmental Fun

Spend some time outdoors with your kids at one of Massachusetts’ many beaches. While the water may be too cool for swimming, you can spend some time playing in the sand dunes and hunting sea creatures. The Boston Harbor Islands National Park Area (http://www.mass.gov/) is an ideal spot to spend time with nature. Pack a picnic and head out on the 45-minute ferry ride to spend the day on one of the 17 islands. If weather is keeping you indoors, take the kids to the New England Aquarium (www.neaq.org) in Boston, where they can see giant stingrays, penguins, dolphins, and a variety of other marine and freshwater creatures up close and personal.

Seasonal Fun

Warm up from the winter blues at Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate and Ice Sculpture Festival, held every February in Salem, Massachusetts. The kids will love seeing the ice sculptures and tasting the chocolates, and you can indulge in a bit of wine tasting as well. The Topsfield Fair (http://www.topsfieldfair.org/) in Topsfield is America’s Oldest Fair, running for nearly 200 years. plant to visit in early October. For Christmas events, head to the Edaville USA (www.edaville.com) amusement park for its annual festival of lights.

Just for Mom Fun

Looking for a quiet place to relax? Consider spending a kid-free day touring the quaint homes and shops of Martha’s Vineyard. For a spa experience, head to the Bella Sante Day Spa in Wellesley. Boston has several breweries that host free tours and tastings, such as the Samuel Adams Brewery (www.samueladams.com).

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