New England Family Vacation Ideas

Got Kids? Plan a New England Trip They'll Always Remember

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.

Find More Family Fun State-by-State: CT | ME | MA | NH | NY | RI | VT

  • 01 of 15
    Acadia National Park Otter Cliffs
    ••• © 2011 Kim Knox Beckius

    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.

  • 02 of 15
    Yawgoo Valley Skiing in Rhode Island
    ••• Yawgoo Valley is Rhode Island's cheapest--and only--ski area. Media photo courtesy of Yawgoo Valley Ski Area

    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.

  • 03 of 15
    Bretton Woods Canopy Tour
    ••• The Bretton Woods Canopy Tour offers New England's ultimate treetop views. © Kim Knox Beckius

    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.

  • 04 of 15
    Reindeer Picture - Santa's Reindeer at Santa's Village in New Hampshire
    ••• Even reindeer deserve a summer vacation. At Santa's Village, reindeer like the one in this picture rest up before their big night of flying around the globe. (c) 2006 Kim Knox Beckius

    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.

    Continue to 5 of 15 below.
  • 05 of 15
    Boats at dock, Gloucester Inner Harbor.
    ••• Discover America's oldest seaport town with your family. Richard Cummins / Getty Images

    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.

  • 06 of 15
    Huddle with Tom Brady at the Hall at Patriot Place - Photo
    ••• Once you've suited up, jump right in the huddle with your Patriots team members and listen to instructions from Quarterback Tom Brady, who's surely destined for Hall of Fame honors. © 2010 Kim Knox Beckius

    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.

  • 07 of 15
    Llama portrait
    ••• By Eric Kilby from Somerville, MA, USA (Llama Portrait) [ CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

    Most children share Dr. Dolittle's dream of talking to the animals, and while you may not be able to teach them to converse with critters, you can treat them to the next best thing... a walk with the animals. Not every animal makes an ideal hiking buddy, but one New England farm is home to four-legged trekking companions who are bright, agile, low-key and as eager to hit the trail as you are. Better yet, they'll carry all of your stuff.

  • 08 of 15
    Kids on Cape Cod
    ••• A Cape Cod vacation should be on every family's bucket list. Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

    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.

    Continue to 9 of 15 below.
  • 09 of 15
    Hampton Beach
    ••• Hampton Beach calls to ocean-loving families in the summer and even in the quiet off-season. © 2016 Kim Knox Beckius

    "The family that plays together stays together," and 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.

  • 10 of 15
    Water Buffalo Picture - Action Wildlife Water Buffalo
    ••• The taxidermy water buffalo we saw inside the museum gave us a sense of this hulking creature's size. Viewing this live water buffalo on the grounds of Action Wildlife gave us a sense of this big bovine's sloppy eating habits!. © 2010 Kim Knox Beckius

    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.

  • 11 of 15
    Captain Jack Lobster Boat Adventure Photo Tour Rockland Maine - A Crab in a Lobster Trap
    ••• What's this? Lobster traps are intricate contraptions, but other sea creatures do manage to find their way in. Crabs like this one usually find a way out on their own. There's no market for Maine crabs, so Hale tosses them back or eats them for dinner. © 2006 Kim Knox Beckius

    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.

  • 12 of 15
    Corn Maze at Lyman Orchards in Connecticut
    ••• The corn maze at Lyman Orchards in Middlefield, Connecticut, is a fall tradition for families. © 2009 Kim Knox Beckius

    When you visit New England in the fall, you'll be surrounded by gorgeous autumn colors. You'll also be surrounded by... fellow leaf peepers! You can "lose yourself" for a little bit, though, even amid the throngs of fall foliage groupies--at a corn maze! In fact, you may just find yourselves begging strangers to give you clues as to how to find your way back out!

    Continue to 13 of 15 below.
  • 13 of 15
    Six Flags New England
    ••• Fearless? You'll love the roller coasters at Six Flags New England Amusement Park in Agawam, Massachusetts. © 2009 Kim Knox Beckius

    Six Flags New England is the region's largest theme park and a great choice for family fun from spring through fall. 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 visitors to the theme park company's 18 North American locations have flock to year after year.

  • 14 of 15
    Canoeing at Migis Lodge Maine
    ••• © 2010 Kim Knox Beckius
    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.
  • 15 of 15
    Hayride, Wildflower Inn, Lydonville, Vermont.
    ••• A Wildflower Inn Hayride. Kindra Clineff / Getty Images

    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.