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Family Vacations

Family Vacations: New England

A warm summer night draws crowds of fans to Boston's Fenway Park.
A warm summer night draws crowds of fans to Boston's Fenway Park.

Pinpoint the places in New England -- Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut -- that offer the best activities for your children. Teach them to sail at Bar Harbor, let them run on the beach at Martha's Vineyard, or take them on a tour of the Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream factory in Vermont.

Each season brings a new set of delights to New England. Visitors can see the season's earliest blooms at the Green Animals Topiary Garden in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, watch a game on a hot summer day at Boston's Fenway Park, or celebrate autumn at the Keene Pumpkin Festival. Thanksgiving is a particularly poignant time to visit Plimoth Plantation to experience some of the hardships endured by the settlers during their first winter.


Continue reading to find links to 25 amazing places in New England, and use our helpful links to find Mobil-rated hotels and restaurants that welcome families with kids.


Barker Character, Comic & Cartoon Museum

See all your friends at the Barker Character, Comic & Cartoon Museum in Cheshire, Connecticut.

Mystic Seaport

Seafarers at Mystic Seaport, Connecticut walk the decks of tall ships and hear tales from costumed pirate docents.

Stonington Borough Lighthouse

Stonington, the oldest borough in Connecticut, has lovingly restored its lighthouse more than once. It now stands as a beacon to Connecticut's maritime history.

Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History

See fantastic dinosaur skeletons and more at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History.


Bar Harbor

In Bar Harbor, Maine, family-friendly resorts are packed with kayaks and bikes for rent, and old-fashioned charm to explore.

Boothbay Harbor

The Boating Capital of New England is a sailor's paradise along Maine's mid-coast.


On Maine's coast, the fishing village of Ogunquit is a place where kids can sail, swim, or hike to their heart's content.

Penobscot Bay

Recreational opportunities available at Penobscot Bay range from water sports to landlubbing along the rich coastline.


Boston Children's Museum

The Boston Children's Museum allows kids explore, climb, and even dig their way through a visit.

Boston Harborfest

Six days packed with more than 200 patriotic events surround July 4th in Boston - by land and by sea, this festival celebrates Americana.

Boston Marathon

On the third Monday in April, Patriot's Day, 500,000 spectators take to the streets of Boston to cheer on the Boston Marathon's runners.

Boston's Public Gardens

Storybook characters live in Boston's Public Gardens, a magical journey through literature.

Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

View the charming collection at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Massachusetts.

Fenway Park

Take your kids to Fenway Park for a game and a behind-the-scenes tour they'll love.

Freedom Trail

Boston's Freedom Trail allows you to walk a 2.5-mile trail past 16 historic sites.

Harvard Square

Historic Harvard Square is also the more historic village of Newtowne, the first planned settlement in Anglo North America. Now it buzzes with activity.

Martha's Vineyard

Martha's Vineyard is a bucolic family destination offering the best of a Massachusetts seaside escape.

Old Sturbridge Village

It's New England in the 1830s at Old Sturbridge Village, an outdoor living history museum an hour from Boston.

Plimoth Plantation

At the Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts, find out how the earliest Americans and Native Americans lived.

Plymouth Rock

The ten-ton granite boulder that marks the Pilgrims arrival in the New World marks the beginning of a journey that includes whale watching, kayaking, and beach bumming.


Witch trials made the town of Salem, Massachusetts famous, and the streets here are filled with mystic history.

Walden Pond

Henry David Thoreau's place of rest presents a serene escape and an excellent opportunity for contemplation.

New Hampshire

Keene Pumpkin Festival

Celebrate Halloween at New Hampshire's Keene Pumpkin Festival, a weeklong event.

Lake Winnipesaukee

Rent a cottage at Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire, where bucolic towns thrive on summertime lake activities.

Odiorne Point State Park

Sea creatures teem along the shores of Odiorne Point State Park in New Hampshire, a hands-on park for the whole family.

White Mountain National Forest

New Hampshire's White Mountain National Forest boasts natural beauty and budget-friendly campsites.

Rhode Island

Benefit Street

Providence's Benefit Street features historic homes and in June, a festival to celebrate the historic neighborhood.

Block Island

Take to 17 miles of beaches at Block Island, Rhode Island's windswept seashore.


See Newport, Rhode Island's tony vacation destination, but stay for the family fun.


Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory Tour

Kids love touring Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory - and its graveyard of "retired" flavors.

Green Mountains

Vermont's Green Mountains create a haven for skiers in the winter and hikers in the summer, but there are also caves to explore and amazing fall foliage.

Lake Champlain

Solders, warriors, smugglers, spies, patriots and traitors have visited Lake Champlain throughout the years.

Sand Bar State Park

Sand Bar State Park's 2,000-foot stretch of sand is Vermont's most coveted swimming hole.

Shelburne Museum

Vermont's Shelburne Museum's large campus features true American folk art.

Vermont Institute of Natural Science

Just outside of Woodstock, Vermont, the Vermont Institute of Natural Science makes a home for raptors, and other less volatile birds in the shade of trees and gardens.

New England's charms are rivaled by the hospitality down South -- particularly in the winter months when family vacation seekers look for a few days in the sun. Continue to the next page to read about some of the best locations in the South for a great family vacation.

Visit the following links to learn about scenic drives or to get recommendations on Mobil Travel Guide's ratings on hotels, resorts, and restaurants.