10 Kid Friendly New England Summer Activity Ideas

Hey Guys!  So I’m currently in the Outer Banks, North Carolina on a little summer adventure with my family.  I’ll be sharing some of our trip and experience on my Instagram and once I return here on the blog.  But speaking of travel,  Today I’m excited to introduce you to my first ever guest blogger – Meliss from Meliss Meets World.  Meliss is new to the blogger world and reached out to see if we could collaborate to get her blog out there.  I’m so excited to share this post with you, as she specializes in travel!  Y’all know I love to travel!  Plus, being from New England I get asked a lot about my favorite spots to go with kids.  I’m happy to pass these ideas on to you courtesy of Meliss Meets World.  Some of these are new to me and some are my favorites, too.  Huge thank you to Melissa for taking the time to write this post for my audience while I’m on vacation.  So let me introduce you all!

Hey all! My name is Melissa, but everyone calls me Meliss. Wisconsin natives, my husband and I moved to the big city Boston, Massachusetts on a whim and have loved every minute. We didn’t start traveling internationally until moving to Boston, and once we started we have not wanted to stop! Even though our favorite countries to travel to have been New Zealand and Japan, New England has our heart, and we will never stop exploring everything it has to offer! Even though I work full time as a nurse, I recently found a passion for blogging, and started a travel and lifestyle blog Meliss Meets World. Read more about me at MelissMeetsWorld.com. 

 

10 Kid Friendly New England Summer Activity Ideas:

1. Grab a unicorn themed ice cream cone in South Boston

 

Once a barren waterfront space occupied mostly with parking lots and a few businesses, the Seaport District is the newest up and coming part of Boston. The district features the ICA, International Contemporary Art Museum and the Harborwalk which runs along 43 miles of the Boston shoreline. Even though it seems there is always constant new construction in this area, there is a good amount of green space and quite a few hip and trendy restaurants with outdoor space, let’s not forget that Trillium Brewery has a spot here too! Probably my favorite thing to do in South Boston is grab unicorn themed soft serve ice cream in a fish shaped cone from Taiyaki, it will definitely earn brownie points with the younger crowds! Once you’ve gotten your very instagrammable cone, head to the Harborwalk. The ICA has a large, outdoor seating area right along the water, and if you continue towards the city there are also quite a few benches and even a few public tables. You could walk in either direction, or stop and enjoy the view!

2. Visit the Boston Garden and walk about in Back Bay

 

Known as the city’s largest garden and green space, the Garden offers visitors the perfect paths to walk about in Boston. Don’t miss the “Make Way for Ducklings,” and take a ride on one of the swan boats around the lagoon. If you’re up for a bit more walking, you can continue walking down the picturesque Commonwealth Avenue as it begins at the western edge of the Garden and continues west through the neighborhoods of Back Bay. Not only is Comm Ave a busy, main street, but also has a large green space. Sit and enjoy the sunshine on one of the many benches or have a min soccer game on the lawn.

 

3. Everyone should walk the entire Boston Freedom Trail at least once!

 

This is a must when traveling in Boston, but living in Boston and the surrounding areas as well. The Boston Freedom Trail will take you two and a half miles through Boston, just follow the red brick! If the kids are up for it, it will even lead you to Charlestown and if you choose, up the 294 stairs to Bunker Hill Monument. Just some advice, don’t climb to the top at the end of the day after walking the entire trail, it might leave you a bit exhausted, I know I was! The views from the top are pretty incredible, you get a panoramic view of Boston. If you need to stop to take a break, Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a great option, or even any Italian restaurant in the North End. Don’t forget to grab a cannoli before heading home!

4. Take a trip to the North Shore and spend the day in Rockport

 

Located less than an hour from Boston, Rockport is perfect for a summer day trip that’s not too far from home. This pedestrian friendly coastal town features the most painted building in America and a beach right in town. If you’re headed to the beach in town, Front Beach, make sure to get there early as there is limited metered parking spaces. If you can’t find a spot at a meter, there are multiple residential streets to park. This beach also features recently renovated public facilities. Don’t forget to walk down the touristy Bearskin Neck and grab a piece of fudge at Tucks Candy Factory.

5. Bike the Cape Cod Coastline and the Rail Trail

 

Cape Cod’s Rail Trail is quite extensive, and you could bring your own bikes or rent one along multiple areas of the trail. A bit farther near Provincetown is the National Seashore. Province Lands Trail runs right along it and starts at Province Lands Visitor Center which is right in Provincetown center. This bike trail along the National Seashore offers picturesque views and depending on how far you take it leads straight to the beach!

 

6. See a show at Wellfleet’s iconic drive in movie theater

 

Every time my husband and I go down to the Cape we never miss a show at the Wellfleet drive in movie theater. This iconic theater dates back to 1957 and will be a hit with children and adults alike! Once you enter the large parking lot, you can choose from any parking spot, at least in the past they have never directed you where to specifically park. Make sure to grab a spot that has a speaker for your viewing pleasure. If you’re bringing a larger vehicle, don’t forget blankets and pillows to enjoy the show. The show will always start a bit after dusk and feature two different movies, usually ones that are recent and still playing in theaters. If you have kiddos that are a bit younger and wouldn’t even be able to stay awake for the entire first show, feel free to leave after the first show. There is always an intermission between each movie, which allows you to get up and stretch your legs a bit. They do have a concession stand and public facilities. It is one of my husband and I’s favorite activities in the Cape, definitely worth the trip!

7. Spend a long weekend in Acadia National Park

 

Located on Maine’s Mount Desert Island, Acadia National Park covers 47,000 acres along the Atlantic coastline. The closest town in the area is the quaint Bar Harbor, which is the most idyllic New England town. My husband and I ventured to Acadia for a long weekend, depending on where you are in New England it is quite a drive from Boston, depending on where you’re staying. My husband and I rented a cottage right off Frenchman Bay through AirBnB, complete with two kayaks we were able to use whenever we liked. Depending on the ages of everyone in your party, it’s best to plan your trip through the park and trails ahead of time. Our favorite trail was The Beehive, but it was a bit strenuous to the top, and at one point the only thing separating you from the rock and a long way down is a rope! Our other favorite part about Acadia was seeing a sunrise at Cadillac Mountain, and if you do your research it does come highly recommended. The only downfall is it is quite popular, and you must get there early to get a spot to park. The advantage of getting here early is you can drive all the way up the mountain, and then park your car and find a spot on the grass to enjoy the show. USA Today claims it’s the first sight of the sunrise from October to March. Because of Cadillac Mountain’s height and relation to the coast is the reason it is the first place in the easternmost part of the state where the sun touches the USA! Don’t forget to try some blueberry pancakes during your visit, we had the most delicious ones at 2 Cats restaurant in Bar Harbor.

8. Take the ferry to Provincetown for the day

 

This northernmost tip of Cape Cod where the Mayflower first landed in 1620 is the perfect place to take the kids for the day. Boston Harbor Cruises departs next to the Boston Aquarium from Long Wharf, and is about a two hour ride to P-town. Bay State Cruise Company is only ninety minutes and around the same price, less than $100 per person. They will recommend you get to the boat a half hour before your departure time, and take advantage to get a spot on the roof deck. Even though $100 per person sounds a bit expensive, it may beat driving which will take a little over two hours one way, without traffic! When up on the top deck and getting close to shore, try to spot the faint tower in the distance, and you’ve spotted Pilgrim Monument. This tower is 252 feet high, and you’re allowed to climb all the way to the top. If you’re looking for other activities in P-town, rent a bike and try to find Race Point Lighthouse. If you take the bike path far enough it will lead you right to Race Point Beach. Take a walk down Commercial Street, where you may find a bit of an eclectic mix of shops. The kids will love grabbing something sweet at the Fudge Factory, located right on Commercial St and home to the world’s best peanut butter cup!

 

9. Spend a relaxing afternoon hiking around Walden pond

 

One of our quarantine activities was visiting Walden Pond, actually designated as a historic landmark. Not only is Walden Pond a historic landmark, but it was made famous by Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. This site is perfect for a day of family fun. Bring a picnic and enjoy a day of swimming, taking a leisurely walk around the pond, or visiting a replica of Thoreau’s single-room cabin. Already been to Walden Pond or need a bit more activity for the day? Mount Misery is down the street from Walden Pond and offers a little over nine miles of easy hiking trails in a forested conservation land.

10. Visit the Mystic Seaport Museum and tour the last wooden Whaleship in the world!

 

Mystic, Connecticut is always listed among the top ten New England towns to visit, and I can see why! Located right outside downtown Mystic is the Mystic Seaport Museum. This maritime museum feels like an old, harborside village, and even though they ask you to wear a mask during your stay, there is plenty of room to walk around! The village features dozens of historical New England homes and buildings that come from across the New England area, and are not replicas but have actually at one point been transported and maintained by the museum. The museum also features the last wooden Whaleship in the world, built in 1841 and you can tour it for yourself! The only ship older than this one is only the USS Constitution! The best part about the village was the opportunity to take a rowboat into the harbor, and enjoy the view of the village and ships from the water. The museum staff ensure safety first, and provide life jackets, but the rest is up to you! They ask you to stay close within the harbor, but you can take the boat out as long as you like! There is also a restaurant on site that serves alcoholic beverages, and kid friendly options too.

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So there you have it!  Have you visited any of these cool New England destinations with your kiddos?  Any other favorites we didn’t list that you’d like to add? Please leave them in the comment section.   If you are visiting the New England area this summer we hope you find these ideas helpful to do with your kids or on your own!  Thanks again to Meliss for sharing these amazing ideas while I’m on vacation! 

 
Best,
 
Jordan
 

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