Here are ten summer day trips, in and around Massachusetts, to consider putting on your must-see 'places to visit in Massachusetts' bucket list! Great for families and fun for kids!
Ten Places to Visit in Massachusetts this Summer
1. Six Flags: A two hour car ride from downtown Boston, Six Flags New England is based in Springfield. It has over nine areas with a water park and three areas dedicated to kids. You can also rent strollers and day lockers. Outside food and beverages are not permitted unless you can show someone in your party has a food allergy or you have baby formula/breastmilk you need in a cooler.
2. Edaville Railroad: Edaville is a big destination for its award winning Festival of Lights during the holiday season, but there are a lot of events during the summer too. About a one hour drive from downtown Boston, Edaville Railroad is located in Carver. This summer and fall, Thomas the Tank Engine is chugging into Edaville where kids (and adults!) can take a magical train ride on a replica of Thomas. Then enjoy unlimited use of all our amusement rides and indoor and outdoor play spaces with most perfect for the little ones. If there are no Thomas fans, then consider meeting Curious George and the Berenstain Bears are also on the calendar too.
3. Whale Watch Tour: Just off the coast of Massachusetts, a variety of Whales are following a summer migrating path and thus there are many Whale Watching Tours to take advantage of the opportunity to see a Whale in its natural habitat. You'll be out on the open ocean for a couple of hours so you should bring sunscreen, sunglasses and jacket or sweatshirt because it can get windy and chilly out in the ocean. Wear sneakers or shoes with good traction, and don't forget a camera or video camera with a sturdy wrap (you don't want it to go overboard). Binoculars are a bonus and just in case, some anti-nauua medication as the Atlantic ocean can test the willpower of many.
4. Castle Island: This island is on the State and National Register of Historical Places and is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. There is fishing, ocean swimming, a tot playground, a boardwalk, a fort to explore, and restrooms too! There are plenty of picnic areas so pack a lunch and enjoy a day with beautiful views of the harbor and the Boston skyline.
5. Water and Splash Parks: Even though there are ocean-front beaches up and down the east coast of Massachusetts, sometimes you want to just have fun in a pool. On those days try the various public pools, wading pools, splash parks, and water parks throughout the state. Like the CoCo Key Water Resort in Danvers and Fitchburg, Water Wizz in East Wareham, Six Flag’s Hurricane Harbor in Agawam, and the Wave Pool at the Cape Codder Resort in Hyannis (just to name a few). Many are free too!
6. Kittery and Freeport, Maine: About 90 minutes from Boston, Freeport Maine is a great destination for upscale outlet shopping, the world-famous L.L. Bean outdoor store, and little boutiques with Maine-made items. Freeport also has many historical sites to explore and several parks and sanctuaries for great hiking along the coast. Don't forget to check out Kittery Maine with great places to eat and shop.
7. Cape Cod Canal: Take a bike ride along this seven mile paved trail that separates mainland Massachusetts from Cape Cod. With plenty of picnic areas, benches and restrooms, it is a scenic way to spend the day along this quiet stretch of land.
8. The Islands: There is nothing like a ferry ride over to Martha's Vineyard. Bring your bike on the ferry or rent one on the island. Then spend the day riding from Edgartown to Ocean Bluff to Vineyard Haven. There are many paths specific for bike riders too. Take a break on a beach or in one of the town centers with great new england food and shops. Skip the traffic and the crowds by planning a day trip during the week. Nantucket is another great destination but there are fewer ferries scheduled and the trip is longer. Thus, it is a better option for an overnight trip.
9. Harborfest: A once-a-year favorite destination for Fourth of July activities and events. It is a week-long schedule of fireworks, parades, kids activities, and food. There is a Children's Day, the infamous Chowderfest, the fun Party on the Plaza, free concerts, Tall Ship sightings and more.
10. Free Concerts and Movies on the Esplanade: Pack a picnic and a blanket and head to Boston for Free Friday Flicks at the Boston Hatch Shell and a variety of free musical performances through the week and weekend. From the Muppets movie to The Lorax film, or the Boston Pops to Rick Springfield, it is a perfect time to be hanging out on the banks of the Charles River. Pack the kids' pajamas so they can fall asleep on the way home.
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