Boston is a city filled with great activities for families. For a brief change of scenery and a fun experience, here is a list of great day trips near Boston! With so many fun things to do in the area, your family will have no trouble planning a day that everyone will enjoy. Please contact us if you have any additional suggestions for great day trips near Boston.
Parents and children alike may enjoy a day in Springfield, Massachusetts. It’s the hometown of Dr. Seuss and you will find the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden. It is also home to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, which displays memorabilia from the country’s best players. Springfield also has several museums and a zoo. The Springfield Science Museum is home to the Seymour Planetarium, the oldest running planetarium in the U.S.
Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA
Any child who has read “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” or “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” will love the colorful The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. The museum has an extensive education program that seeks to inspire a love of reading in young children. Children can also get the chance to meet some of their favorite authors during exhibits held throughout the year.
EcoTarium, Worcester, MA
About an hour outside of Boston, the EcoTarium is an indoor-outdoor children’s museum with a nature center and hiking trails. Kids can meet wildlife, walk through treetops, or take a ride on the explorer train around the property.
Boston Harbor Islands, MA
Take a short ferry ride to the largest recreational open space in Eastern Massachusetts. The Harbor Islands enable you to explore nature, hike, or swim just minutes from downtown Boston. The kids programs and events help children enjoy the islands to the fullest.
Cape Cod, MA
Loaded with miles of beautiful beaches, Cape Cod should be on your list of day trips for the summer. Check out the popular Coast Guard Beach in Eastham, deemed one of the most beautiful beaches in the U.S. by the Travel Channel. Visit the Pirate Adventure Cruise in Hyannis. Children will enjoy using a treasure map, getting their faces painted, and playing with squirt guns. For a fun and informational afternoon, also check out the following:
- Brewster – Cape Cod Museum of Natural History inspires appreciation, understanding and stewardship of the natural environment and wildlife.
- Eastham – First Encounter Beach has some great tidal pools for looking for shells, rocks, and other beach treasures.
- West Yarmouth – Whydah Pirate Museum displays artifacts recovered from an 18th century vessel used for piracy and the slave trade.
Russell Orchards is a second generation family owned and operated 120 acre fruit farm. The orchard offers cider donuts made entirely from scratch. There are also multiple varieties of fruits and berries, including apples, peaches, pears, plums, strawberries, raspberries and more. Visitors can pick their own delectable treats. Entry fees are $3 per person 2 years or older and applied as a credit to the fruit that you pick and purchase (priced per pound). Visit the Russell Orchards website for current information about what is in season. Read the FAQs for important visitor information such as photography, pets, and restrictions on the farm. Russell Orchards is located at 143 Argilla Rd., Ipswich, MA.
Explore this New Hampshire seacoast town for a day. Water Country Water Park is New England’s largest, featuring a wave pool, slides and raft rides. The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire has more than 19 hands-on exhibits to keep kids engaged in science, nature, and art. During warm weather months, enjoy Prescott Park Arts Festival, an outdoor theater on the waterfront with concerts, dance, art, and children’s events.
Providence is a city that will keep you busy for the whole day. Start with a visit to the Museum of Natural History and Planetarium or the Providence Children’s Museum, where kids can touch, smell, push, and play. The Roger Williams Park Zoo is a must-see for animal lovers, but also has activities such as fishing for wooden fish in a pond, hula hooping, chalkboard art, and water play.
Small children will enjoy the Looff Carousel, which has 65 hand-carved figures where you can grab rings during the ride. Finish the day with WaterFire Providence, a non-profit adventure that combines fire, music, and lighting, all on a gondola ride with gondoliers.
Blithewold Mansion & Gardens is a 33-acre summer estate where your family can learn about the Van Wickle family, explore gardens, and spot natural wildlife. The estate is located approximately one hour drive from Boston.
Credit: Roger Williams Park Zoo, Golden Lion Tamarin
Explore the outdoor beluga exhibit at the Mystic Aquarium. The aquarium is one of only two facilities in the U.S. that holds Stellar sea lions. While you’re in Mystic, spend some time at the Mystic Seaport Museum, the largest maritime museum in the U.S., which offers seafaring events and exhibits for the entire family.