There are child and family-friendly activities and attractions open year-round in each New England state. From outdoor adventures and guided excursions, to indoor fun and learning, every state has something to please visitors traveling with children.
Visit one of the largest dinosaur track sites in North America at Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill. See early Jurassic fossil tracks that were made 200 million years ago, dioramas of Triassic and Jurassic environments, collections of fossils, and interactive exhibits. There are more than two miles of nature trails to explore within the park arboretum. Fish Family Farm Creamery and Dairy in Bolton makes ice cream and cheese from the milk of its Jersey cows. Observe the milking and bottling process in the barn and pet the cows before trying a taste of ice cream at the dairy store. See New England’s only beluga whales, African penguins and daily shows featuring California sea lions at Mystic Aquarium. Touch a ray or shellfish, and see the world’s only exhibits on Dr. Robert Ballard’s fascinating expeditions, including his discovery of the Titanic. Bristol is home to Lake Compounce & Crocodile Cove, the state’s largest theme and water park. Lake Compounce has more than 50 rides and attractions, and daily live entertainment, including a night laser light show over the lake.
Learn about the life of a lighthouse keeper at Burnt Island Living Lighthouse in Boothbay Harbor. Docents portraying keeper Joseph Muise and his family take visitors back to 1950 and explain the daily tasks required to keep the Burnt Island light tower working. Explore a trail around the island, and swing from a giant tire swing. Saco’s Funtown Splashtown USA is northern New England’s largest water and amusement park. Experience thrills on the Excalibur wooden roller coaster and Dragon’s Descent Turbo Drop. Cool off on the Thunder Falls Log Flume ride or at Pirate's Paradise water play area. Experience the fun and flavors of summer and fall at agricultural fairs in every region of the state. See farm animals, indulge in carnival-style foods, rides and games, and enjoy live entertainment. The Maine Discovery Museum in Bangor is a place for children's learning and discovery through interactive exhibits in the worlds of science, nature, geography, children's literature, music, art and anatomy.
Enjoy rides and games at Edaville USA family amusement park in Carver. Take a two-mile ride on the narrow-gauge Edaville Railroad with its quaint train cars that are just six feet wide. Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort in Hancock has 17 kid-friendly trails for skiing and snowboarding during winter. In the warmer months, the resort offers a 3,600-foot mountain coaster and toboggan-style alpine super slide, a kids’ climbing wall and ropes course, scenic chairlift rides and hiking trails. The EcoTarium in Worcester is a unique indoor-outdoor museum. Set in an urban oasis, the EcoTarium offers a chance to walk through the treetops, take a multimedia journey through the galaxy at a digital planetarium, meet wildlife, stroll nature trails, and get hands-on with family-friendly exhibits. The newest LEGOLAND Discovery Center is in Somerville, just outside Boston. Learn how bricks are made in the LEGO factory tour, see LEGO characters come to life in the 4D Cinema, hop on the Kingdom Quest and Merlin’s Apprentice rides, visit the LEGO Duplo Farm and LEGO City Play Zone, and see LEGO versions of Boston landmarks in MINILAND.
Hobo Railroad offers an 80-minute round-trip excursion between Lincoln and Woodstock, late May through October, with views of and crossings over the winding Pemigewassett River. The ride in restored vintage coaches travels through a natural forested area, and passengers can enjoy a tasty Hobo picnic lunch aboard the train. Ruggles Mine in Grafton presents a fun summer or fall adventure at the oldest mica, feldspar and beryl mineral mine in America. Dig for and collect a variety of exposed minerals atop Isinglass Mountain, and explore giant mined rooms and tunnels. Race down the operator-controlled Mountain Coaster, zip along the 700-foot-long Soaring Eagle, or slide in the sunshine down the 400-foot tubing hill at Cranmore Mountain Adventure Park in North Conway. During winter, nearly a third of the mountain’s 57 ski trails are rated for beginners. The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire in Dover engages young children through hands-on exhibits on aeronautics, brainwaves, dinosaurs, world cultures, nature, music, art and more. The museum is open year-round.
Spring Lake Beach recreation facility in Burrillville attracts families with a 750-foot beach, a swim dock, and children's slides at the water's edge. Take out a paddle boat or canoe, and spend time at the penny arcade. Open May through September. Sky Zone Providence is an indoor trampoline park in East Providence. Experience high-flying fun with trampoline open jump, Ultimate Dodgeball, the foam zone and SkyRobics fitness classes. Roger Williams Park Zoo displays more than 100 species of animals on 430 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds in Providence. See rare and fascinating animals from around the world, including elephants, giraffes, giant anteaters, a snow leopard, kangaroos, moon bears, gibbons and others, all in naturalistic settings. The BIOMES Marine Biology Center in North Kingstown is home to the world’s largest collection of New England marine life. The center has more than 120 species, from sharks and eels to snakes and tortoises. Children and adults can get a close-up, and sometimes hands-on, look at local marine life.
Live the life of a teddy bear maker on an entertaining tour at The Vermont Teddy Bear Factory in Shelburne. Follow the entire bear-making process from cutting, sewing and assembly, to stuffing and dressing small huggable bears to giant life size bruins. The Pump House Indoor Waterpark is a year-round destination for families at Jay Peak Resort in Jay. The 60,000 square foot park has one of the longest indoor rivers in North America, gentle and thrilling water slides, a Flow Rider surf machine and a play area for small children. Kingdom Aquafest is a weeklong celebration held each July in the lakeside city of Newport. Watch the famous Pet and Swimmers Parade, Pick & Shovel Bed Races or kayak races. Vote for the best at the Chowder Challenge, listen to live music and see fireworks over the waterfront. Enjoy an afternoon or evening of fun at a Vermont Lake Monsters baseball game in Burlington. The Lake Monsters are a minor league affiliate of the Oakland A’s, and cheered on by team mascot, Champ.