Whether your children are tots or teens, a New England family vacation will be an experience you'll all remember. There's so much to do within this historic and diverse region. You can get your thrills at an amusement park or chill out by the shore, tour a living history museum or catch your own lobsters, camp beside a lake or stay at an upscale family resort, play in the snow or get lost in a corn maze. Your kids may even learn something—but it's probably a good idea if you don't let on.
When you need inspiration for your next family vacation, consider these ideas for memorable and fun New England escapes.
National parks are American treasures, and their rich opportunities for learning and outdoor adventure make them ideal family vacation destinations. Here's your guide to the 10 most-visited national parks in New England. Allow your children to weigh in on which park you should visit this year.
Six Flags New England is the region's largest theme park and a great choice for family fun from spring through fall. Centrally located in Agawam, Massachusetts, Six Flags New England delivers all of the thrill rides, tamer rides, children's rides and amusements and shows and events that theme park visitors love. Plus, on hot summer days, your kids will love all of the wet and wild fun at the Hurricane Harbor Waterpark.
With its wide sandy beach and classic boardwalk food and amusements, Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, is the perfect place for families to play in the sun and to create enduring summer vacation memories they'll share for a lifetime. There's so much happening at Hampton Beach all summer long including free concerts at the Sea Shell Stage every single night.
Ever wondered what a lobsterman's day is like? Want to learn all about Maine's delicious and mysterious crustaceans? Then book your family's spot aboard the Captain Jack Lobster Boat Adventure out of Rockland, Maine.
Want to share a memorable and educational animal adventure with your kids? Action Wildlife, a 116-acre zoo and museum in Northwest Connecticut, is an affordable family day trip destination.
From schooner sailings to whale watch voyages, museums to artists studios, America's oldest seaport town offers plenty of interactive things to do for all ages. Add in beaches—including one of the prettiest sandboxes in New England—and you have the perfect formula for family fun.
At Maine's Migis Lodge, families don't have to sacrifice luxury to enjoy the simplicity of an old-fashioned family getaway. Book one of the resort's lakeside cabins, then relax and enjoy all of the recreational possibilities at this 125-acre property on Sebago Lake, from tennis and waterskiing to Bingo and turtle chasing.
If you think it's a shame that Christmas only comes once a year, plan a family trip to Santa's Village. This enchanting amusement park, located high in the White Mountains in Jefferson, New Hampshire, puts families in the holiday spirit from Memorial Day weekend through early fall, and it reopens the Friday after Thanksgiving for special weekends of magical (if chilly!) fun leading up to Christmas Eve.
Looking for an exhilarating opportunity to bond with your teens? The Bretton Woods Canopy Tour at the Omni Mount Washington Resort is a breathtaking adventure available year-round. Parents will appreciate the safety of the course's redundant dual-cable construction, and well-trained Canopy Tour guides can even help a reluctant middle-aged mom feel proud of tackling this sky-high course. To zipline, you must be 12 years old and weigh between 90 and 250 pounds.
Where can you huddle with Tom Brady, go under the hood to review a close call frame by frame, try on a Super Bowl ring, test your football IQ, attempt a 45-yard field goal in the snow and see three Vince Lombardi trophies? The Hall at Patriot Place: the New England Patriots Hall of Fame at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. This family-friendly, interactive, state-of-the-art attraction celebrates America's most popular professional sport.
Getting lost for a spell inside a New England cornfield maze has become a fall family tradition in New England. There are corn mazes to challenge your wits and endurance in all six New England states, so make venturing into a maze one of the musts on your leaf-peeping trip.
If you've ever dreamed of floating and tumbling in mid-air but don't relish the sensation of falling or the risk inherent in jumping from a plane, then head to SkyVenture, a state-of-the-art vertical wind tunnel in Nashua, New Hampshire. This indoor skydiving simulator allows visitors to experience body flight without a parachute: It's even safe for kids ages 3 and up. SkyVenture is home to several other adventures, too, including Surf’s Up indoor surf park and a rock climbing wall.
Ocean Edge Resort on Cape Cod is one of New England's largest resorts, a 400-acre property with a 700-foot private beach on Cape Cod Bay that provides luxury, country club-style family getaways. The resort is both immense and diverse, providing an amazing array of accommodations options and activities to suit all ages and interests.
A family ski vacation in New England can be costly. So what are budget-conscious parents with kids who all love to snowboard to do? We've done the homework for you and found the cheapest places to ski in all six New England states.
The Wildflower Inn, located in Lyndonville in the Northeast Kingdom region of Vermont, is charming, cozy and family-friendly in every way. If a two-year-old could design a B&B, she would conjure up just such a place, where sheep "baa" hello, cows "moo" good night, a toy and book-filled playroom boasts spectacular mountain views and Mommy and Daddy feel so relaxed that they don't fret when you only eat the chocolate chips on your teddy bear pancakes.