We are so lucky to live in Massachusetts, because there are so many fantastic vacation destinations located just a short car ride away. This past winter break, we spent our break visiting Boston, Portland, and New Haven. Whether you live in New England, or are planning to visit, here are some places to go in New England with kids.
Note: We experienced some of these destinations during media trips or hosted stays/media rates. Affiliate links are included – if you click/purchase through an affiliate link, we may make a small commission.
Places to Go in New England With Kids
We don’t seem to go to Maine nearly enough. Every time I visit, I just love it. Kittery, Maine, just over the New Hampshire border, offers lots of great outlets as well as delicious seafood restaurants. For a summer vacation, visit Migis Lodge, located on Sebago Lake. It’s a luxury family vacation spot that is rustic and fun. Of course, you can’t miss the original LL Bean store in Freeport, Maine. For a visit any time of year, visit Portland, Maine with kids, where you’ll enjoy delicious food, beautiful views, and fun attractions.
Even if you aren’t a skier, there are so many family-friendly vacation destinations within Vermont. We absolutely love visiting Smugglers’ Notch in the summer. The kids really enjoy the day camp, and my husband and I spend the afternoons exploring the area (including the Boyden Valley Winery). Down the road from Smugglers’ Notch is Stowe, where we can recommend two family-friendly resorts – Stoweflake and Stowe Mountain Lodge. We also really enjoyed our visit to the Montshire Museum of Science, located over the NH border in Norwich, Vermont.
I’ve enjoyed family vacations in New Hampshire since I was a child, visiting with my parents. We really enjoyed our stay at the Mountain Club at Loon in Lincoln, NH. While on that side of the Kancamagus Highway, be sure to stop at Clark’s Trading Post. On the other side of the highway, you’ll find North Conway, NH, home to lots of premium outlets (and NO sales tax). We’ve stayed at several hotels in North Conway, and enjoyed our stays at the Red Jacket Mountain View and the Residence Inn. If you have little kids, be sure to visit Story Land in Glen, NH. Also spend a morning or afternoon at Attitash, where you can enjoy a mountain coaster, alpine slide, and other outdoor activities.
Find hotels in New Hampshire on TripAdvisor.
My home state of Rhode Island may be small, but it has a lot to offer. The capital city, Providence, is just an hour from Boston and has quite a few family-friendly attractions. Our top vacation choice in Rhode Island is Newport. We recommend a stay at the Hotel Viking, which is located within walking distance of many restaurants and shops. Don’t miss the kids’ tour at the Breakers mansion, located along the famed Cliff Walk.
I’ve lived in Massachusetts for over 20 years now, and still find fun places to explore. Of course, the capital city of Boston is a must visit, especially in the warmer months. There’s so much to do, including the Boston Museum of Science and the New England Aquarium. In the summer, don’t miss a trip to the Boston Harbor Islands. See more to do in Boston with kids here.
Cape Cod is another fabulous vacation spot. There are several hotels we recommend – the Sea Crest Beach Hotel in Falmouth, Ocean Edge in Brewster, and the Harbor Hotel in Provincetown. Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket are beautiful in the summer. Combine a visit to Cape Cod with a trip to one of the islands. On your way down to the Cape, stop in Plymouth to check out Plimoth Plantation.
North of Boston is Cape May, where you’ll find many family-friendly spots, such as Rockport and Gloucester.
Last winter, we visited Mystic, Connecticut, which offers several great things to do with kids, including the Mystic Aquarium and Mystic Seaport. Stay overnight so you can spend much of the day at both attractions. During our trip, we stayed at the Hilton Mystic, which is right across the street from the aquarium.
This winter, we spent two nights in New Haven, which is about midway between Boston and NYC. We stayed at the Study at Yale, and enjoyed visiting the Yale Museum of Art and the Peabody Museum of Natural History.
What are your favorite places to go in New England?
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