Notices

Kids around New England

Reply

Aug 28th, 2012, 06:08 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,405
Kids around New England

If you don't travel with young kids, then this report may bore you.....

I see posts now and then about families looking for things to do with their young children. So here is my informal trip report about my week of day trips around northern New England.

Day one: Woke up to rain. Time to change plans. So it's off to Lawrence Mass to check out Imajine That. This is an indoor play place in an old mill building. It's just okay. I wouldn't go out of my way to visit, but if you're in the area and need something to do, go for it. The place was clean. They have a no shoe policy that was mostly enforced, but not fully. Staff is very inattentive. In fact, all they seem to do is sit at the front desk. They really need to be up walking around, checking on things, tidying up, keeping kids in line when the parents are too busy texting, etc. There is a climbing structure, a bounce house, a "grocery store", an art area, a dress up area, a puzzle area....so lots of options. The biggest issue is that they only have two bathrooms. A place that is loaded with children of potty-training age needs to have LOTS of bathrooms, not two.

On the way home, we decide to stop at Lavoie's farm stand in Hollis. Great peaches right now. I love this farm. Nice family. Check 'em out sometime.

Tomorrow it's off to Davis Farmland in Sterling Mass. First time there.....
rizzo0904 is online now  
Reply With Quote
Aug 28th, 2012, 07:20 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 4,549
I'm looking forward to hearing about the rest of your days!
Lookin_Glass is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 29th, 2012, 12:18 PM
  #3
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,405
Well today was going to be Davis Farmland, until I found out it would be $60 for the 3 of us. Ah, no thanks. So where can we go that's new to us?

We headed off to Don Ball Park in Derry NH. This is a great park!! It has a nice playground with two sections. The one for older kids is pretty high and of course it's where my two boys wanted to play. I was wishing for some anxiety meds or a bottle of wine....or both. It also has a splash pad area which was lots of fun. It's nothing fancy, but it's a nice way to cool off. There are also bathrooms there which is a huge plus! Not much worse than a playground port-a-potty.

Overall this ia a great park. It's clean and appears to be fairly new. Parking is easy. Picnic tables and benches all around. Not much shade though. I think there are baseball fields there and there is a sign that mentions their youth football program, so it probably gets pretty crowded at night when the teams are practicing.

If you have family visiting the area with kids and you want to get them out of the house, send them to Don Ball Park. They'll have a blast.

On the way home we stopped at Findeisen's Ice Cream in Hudson. This was a first for us as well. It was...okay. Staff was friendly, lots of seating, huge scoops....but the ice cream tastes like it has artificial ingredients in it. It tastes good, but it doesn't taste natural.

Tomorrow is an off day from our little adventures. Then we'll head to Seabrook NH and York ME.
rizzo0904 is online now  
Reply With Quote
Aug 29th, 2012, 12:23 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 4,549
York has a great play ground on Short Sands
Lookin_Glass is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 26th, 2013, 05:35 AM
  #5
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,405
Well it's been a while, but we found a great new place! The Providence Children's Museum is so much fun! We have 3 and 4 year old boys and they had a blast. There is an outdoor area where they can climb, dig in dirt, etc. Inside there are two levels. Upstairs they have a section that is divided up by century. My boys loved this. The 1600s area was their favorite. There is also a nice water play area, building areas, and trucks.

We also had a chance to visit Mystic Aquarium. It's very clean with lots to see. I did find some of the staff members weren't very educated and answered questions with "I don't know" a lot. There are a few exhibits outside too, so it's not necessarily a rainy day destination. And it's expensive IMO. My younger son was free but I still paid almost $100 for the four of us to get in.

I'll update again later as we get to check out more fun family spots around New England.
rizzo0904 is online now  
Reply With Quote
Apr 26th, 2013, 05:39 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,365
Rizzo, I agree about the Mystic Aquarium. It is overpriced with how small it is. I somewhat justify it by realizing that the money goes to their rescue program but its still too much $ for a family. Thankfully, I get in free through work.
tchoiniere is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 26th, 2013, 04:17 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,590
You do have your hands full with 3 and 4 year old boys. Yes, prices can be a bit much. Our son nearby has taken his 3 year old to the zoos in Boston and some parks, etc.
Ozarksbill is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 27th, 2013, 12:06 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 4,239
We once enjoyed a day at the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne Vermont. It was a huge, eclectic place spread out over a large area. Not a 'children's museum' per se, but exhibits on circus figures, carriages, antique toys, as well as a real-live steamboat.

A Ben and Jerry factory tour was a hit too.

Your kids may be a bit young for these now, but wanted to mention them for the future. It is so much fun to take little kids places. I loved reading about your adventures with them.
travelgirl2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 27th, 2013, 03:52 AM
  #9
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,405
travelgirl2 - thanks! we've done ben and jerry's, but by ourselves. we'll take the boys to vermont soon. i want to check out the montshire museum this summer. it's only 1.5 hours from us, so doable as a day trip.
rizzo0904 is online now  
Reply With Quote
Apr 27th, 2013, 05:06 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 21,938
We took our then almost 6 and almost 8 gds to the Montshire last summer. Make sure to take swim suits so they can enjoy the outdoor water play area. Also take a picnic lunch. There are plenty of picnic tables and seems to be in an area where there's not a lot of restaurants. Are you sure it's only 1.5 hours? I thought it was that long for us and we're near Concord NH.

I have an acquaintance that works at the Prescott Farm Environmental Center in Laconia NH. It looks like a good place to take the gds some time.
dfrostnh is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 27th, 2013, 05:11 AM
  #11
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,405
dfrostnh...google maps says 1+33 from Nashua.

Headed to the planetarium in Concord today. Will report back later.

Hopefully this thread will help folks find some fun places to take their kiddos!
rizzo0904 is online now  
Reply With Quote
Apr 27th, 2013, 10:37 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 21,938
I'm hoping to take the GDs to the SEE Science Center in Manchester while they still have the dinasoar exhibit. Our library has a pass.

I'll be away for the spring festival in Warner NH. The GDs enjoyed that two years ago.
dfrostnh is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 27th, 2013, 01:18 PM
  #13
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,405
dfrostnh - I don't think the pass gets you into the Dinosaur section, only into the regular museum. The pass then gives you 1/2 off the Dinosaurs. Use cation...they have a omnivore section where four small dinosaurs are eating a large one. My boys happened to be fascinated by it, but it may bother other kids.
rizzo0904 is online now  
Reply With Quote
Apr 27th, 2013, 01:23 PM
  #14
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,405
Went to the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium today. We have a museum pass that is good for ACMs and science centers so it was free. My boys enjoyed the flight simulator and thought it was hilarious when they crashed into the runway.

Right now there is a temporary exhibit called Treasures. There are cannons you can shoot at pirate ships downstairs. And upstairs you can unlock a safe, use metal detectors to find "treasure", and pan for gold. They had fun. We spent 2 hours. Could have made it three if we saw any of the shows.

For lunch we went downtown. We had burgers at The Barley House. It was kid friendly. Dessert was next door at The Crust and Crumb Bakery.

Make sure to cross the street and run around the grounds of the Statehouse. NH's copy of the Liberty Bell is out front.
rizzo0904 is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jul 7th, 2013, 07:01 AM
  #15
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,405
Yesterday we headed to Worcester for the Higgins Armory Museum. This place is pretty cool. We spent most of our time in the hands on Quest room since my boys are young. But there are four floors with armor, shields, weapons, etc. They have a room for kids to decorate shields ($5). There is also an auditorium but we didn't catch a show.

Higgins Armory Museum is closing in December so get there soon! I think some of the collection is moving to the Worcester Art Museum.
rizzo0904 is online now  
Reply With Quote
Oct 13th, 2013, 03:38 PM
  #16
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,405
Headed to Warner NH today for the festival. Visited the telephone museum. Actually a pretty cool little place with numerous hands on phones. My 3 and 5 year olds had fun!
rizzo0904 is online now  
Reply With Quote
Oct 14th, 2013, 04:23 AM
  #17
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,164
We live close to the Mystic Aquarium so get the grandparents season pass which lets us take the kids all summer for a few hours at a time. The family season pass might be worth it if you could go more than once a year and many of the CT libraries have passes for free or a much reduced rate.

If you need a break while driving on I-91 in CT, stop in Rocky Hill at the Dinosaur Park. It is small but has lots of actual dino tracks still in place (they put the building up over them), and a few exhibits.

Up the hwy in Springfield, MA is a quadrangle with museums, one of which is a science museum.

Down the hwy in New Haven is the Peabody Museum, with great exhibits of dinosaurs, minerals, birds, Native American history etc.
emalloy is online now  
Reply With Quote
Oct 14th, 2013, 08:14 AM
  #18
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,405
emalloy - thanks for the tips!

Today we did some "hiking" in Hollis NH off Rideout Rd. Found 5 letterboxes, or as my kids call them, TREASURES!!! If you've never letterboxed, check out atlasquest.com. It's similar to geocaching, just no GPS needed.
rizzo0904 is online now  
Reply With Quote
May 26th, 2014, 12:46 PM
  #19
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,405
Haven't posted in a while.

Took the boys up to Winslow State Park in Wilmot NH to hike Mt. Kearsarge. Took the Wilmot Trail up and the Barlow Trail down for a total of 2.9 miles. They did great! The 5 year old never complained, and the 4 year old started whining about 1/2 way down...at least he was pleasant going up! It was very buggy, so bring your DEET. And it was insanely windy at the top. We sat behind the fire tower to enjoy lunch and most of the wind was blocked.

This is a family suitable hike, but wear boots and be prepared. It's much more than a simple nature stroll. My boys passed some adults having a tough time.

We also found 2 letterboxes at the summit...link in post above.
rizzo0904 is online now  
Reply With Quote
May 27th, 2014, 03:39 AM
  #20
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 4,239
What about taking the boys biking on some rail trails? When our boys were young, we used to bring our bikes on most car vacations and spend a day riding somewhere (Burlington VT, Stowe, Connecticut, etc.). For a while we had the little bike with one wheel that attaches to the back of an adult bike, so they don't really have to work to keep up, mostly just along for the ride but they feel like they are biking. I mention it because you guys seem to enjoy hiking.
travelgirl2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:17 PM.