Being able to call Massachusetts home is such a gift; with the historical culture, distinct seasons, innovative arts communities, and thriving cities, it’s a fantastic place to explore, discover, play, and learn. As a kid, Massachusetts is a great place to grow up because there are many unique things and places to experience. I’ve compiled this list of some of my favorite things to do in Massachusetts with kids to give you a taste of why it’s such a great state for families!
The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) is one of the world’s most vibrant centers for making and appreciating art in all its forms. Part gallery museum and part performance venue, MASS MoCA encourages guests to explore and embrace all art forms, including music, sculpture, dance, film, painting, photography, theatre, and any other boundary-pushing creative format that defies simple classification.
They also have Kidspace, which features an awesome and interactive feature called ArtBar that gives kids a hands-on studio space to make art and take home projects with you. Open on weekends and during school breaks, it’s always free to visit ArtBar, making it an accessible way to get your kids engaged with the arts!
MASS MoCA also hosts scavenger hunts for kids to incentivize them to explore the artwork in the museum. You can take your children to explore other interactive exhibits that will challenge them to create and appreciate art in new ways. Plus, it’s a great family-friendly spot to spend a day with free parking, cafés, a full-service restaurant, refreshing ice cream, and even an innovative microbrewery!
Few things scream “summer” more than the solitude of berry picking, giving kids a hands-on lesson on how our food grows and where it comes from. Russell Orchards is a beautiful, family-owned, operated 120-acre fruit farm in quaint Ipswich, Massachusetts. With roots (literal and proverbial) stretching back to 1920 when the first trees were planted, today, the orchard is open for picking fruits and berries and enjoying plenty of other farm amenities for the whole family.
Their seasonal crops include strawberries, blueberries, currants, raspberries, jostaberries, blackberries, and apples, all available for a pick-your-own experience or sold pre-picked. Enjoy one of their fresh baked goods made from scratch, like a crispy apple cider donut or a homemade strawberry-rhubarb pie. While the kids explore all the goodies and treats in the store, the grown-ups can sample Russell Orchards’s fruit wines in their barn. Be sure to visit the barnyard to visit their beloved farm animals, like goats, chickens, potbellied pigs, sheep, donkeys, and more!
With so many fantastic beaches around, it’s impossible to resist a great beach day in the summer. Crane Beach is one of the Northeast’s most beautiful beaches, with 1,200 acres of trails, boardwalks, and gorgeous sand dunes. Whether you’re in the mood for sunbathing, swimming, or a beachside picnic, Crane Beach is the perfect place to spend the day basking in the sun.
Their Bathhouse Complex has a refreshment stand, a beach store, and a first aid and EMT office, so if you need a delicious treat or a bandaid, they’ve got you covered. Explore the coastal trails and see if you can spot some of their unique wildlife, like the once-endangered piping plovers that use the area for nesting. Take the family out on a paddling or kayak trip to discover the area on the water.
If you’re looking for something for the kids to do over the summer, their SummerQuest camp allows them to pick up swimming skills and explore Crane Estate and Crane Beach alongside fun, compassionate, and energetic counselors and leaders. It’s an excellent place for making memories and spending the day as a family.
deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum is the largest sculpture park in New England. With over 60 large-scale, outdoor, modern, and contemporary sculptures and installations, there is always something new to discover. Over 30 acres of garden space and trails make perfect spots for delightful picnics and lawn games. Kids can enjoy self-guided tours and scavenger hunts to help them explore the grounds and installments at their own pace.
deCordova Sculpture Park allows kids to play outdoors and enjoy the beautiful Boston seasons. Their imaginations will soar as they wander through larger-than-life sculptures, sparking engaging conversations and inspiring them to create their own artwork. If your child really loves deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, you can consider enrolling them in Lincoln Nursery School, the first preschool ever embedded in a contemporary art museum in the USA!
Eric Carle’s books have been beloved for generations. His best-selling titles The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Very Busy Spider, and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? have sold millions of copies and become integral stories in the childhoods of so many people all over the world. The Eric Carle Museum, aka The Carle, is the international champion for picture books, collecting, preserving, and sharing beloved books and illustrations for audiences passionate about children’s literature.
Bobbie’s Meadow is a century-old apple orchard on the property, perfect for meandering through New England wildflowers and watching butterflies and bumblebees buzzing by. Stroller and wheelchair-friendly, It’s a perfect location for reading, picnicking, or just playing on the lawns together. Then, play with your kids in the art studio to create something new out of various materials that will inspire their creative masterpieces. However, the real heart of The Carle is their libraries, home to their collection of 6,000 contemporary picture books. Cuddle up, explore various stories together, and find a few new favorites to share.
While these are just a few of my favorite things to do in Massachusetts with kids, there are hundreds of other ways to explore the state. What are some of your favorite things to do with your family here? Let me know so we can check them out!!
So are you ready for more Boston motherhood content? Then the blog links below are just for you! As a photographer, I love getting to chat with a ton of families each year and get tips from them on navigating family life in Boston. Then I get to share those tips with families like yours! So check out the blog links below for more of my work and other helpful tips. Then let’s chat about your dream photo session!