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New England

Family-friendly activities

Our most recommended New England Family-friendly Activities

Newport, Rhode Island: Scenic Narragansett Bay Cruise

1. Newport, Rhode Island: Scenic Narragansett Bay Cruise

Take in the classic New England fall scenery aboard the comfortable Coastal Queen. Local guides will share their knowledge of the historic sites that surround beautiful Newport Harbor and the Jamestown shoreline. You will see historic church steeples, Bowen’s and Banisters Wharves, historic lighthouses, forts, mega yachts, and more on the tour. You may even spot a seal or two. The Coastal Queen offers maximum comfort and has a weatherproof interior that can be heated on chilly days, a bar, panoramic views, and an open-air top covered deck where the side curtains can roll up for catching the ocean breezes or rolled down for warmth.

Newport, RI: Lighthouse and Mimosa Cruise

2. Newport, RI: Lighthouse and Mimosa Cruise

Start your day in with style on a 75-minute, narrated lighthouse tour of scenic Newport Harbor. Take in some classic New England scenery aboard the boat, while sipping a morning drink. Listen as local guides share their knowledge of the four lighthouses surrounding Newport Harbor. Along the way, see historic church steeples, the Jamestown shoreline, the Newport Pell Bridge, Clingstone, Hammersmith Farm, the Newport Harbor mansions, mega yachts, offshore lobster and fishing vessels, and so much more. Kick back in the warm, covered, and virtually weatherproof main salon, or hit the open-air upper deck for catching the ocean breeze. Wherever you choose, enjoy sipping your drink while taking in the panoramic views in absolute comfort

Foxwoods, CT: 33-Story Building Zipline Flight Pass

3. Foxwoods, CT: 33-Story Building Zipline Flight Pass

Journey to the rooftop of Fox Tower at Foxwoods Resort Casino, 350 feet off the ground. Feel the cool, crisp, air under you as you soar over the treetops at nearly 60mph, arriving a mile away at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center, with a smile from ear to ear! There is no other experience in Boston, New York or America quite like it! If you wish to visit the Pequot Museum after your flight, a $10 discounted entry ticket is available for purchase at the front desk. Once your flight is complete, a complementary shuttle will return you from the Musuem landing area back to the HighFlyer ticket counter. Souvenir photos and merchandise are available for purchase before and after your flight.  

Portland: Schooner Tall Ship Cruise on Casco Bay

4. Portland: Schooner Tall Ship Cruise on Casco Bay

Set sail on a two-hour cruise from Portland along the rugged coast of Casco Bay. Pack a meal and your favorite wine or beer, and sit back and relax as you slip through the peaceful waters of Maine. Enjoy views of lighthouses, seals, and other coastal wildlife aboard a famous schooner tall ship. Join the crew to hoist the sails or take a turn at the ship's wheel if you feel inspired. Whether you're nine years old or 99, sailing aboard a Maine schooner is a unique adventure. Learn more about the wooden windjammers which are all listed on the National Register of Historic Places and were built in Maine.

Boston: Historical Sightseeing Cruise

5. Boston: Historical Sightseeing Cruise

Board a sightseeing cruise in Boston and take a tour around Boston Harbor. Experience breathtaking views, refreshing sea breezes, and vividly told stories of Boston's past and present as you admire the city's sights from the water. Depart from Long Wharf, then Cruise past the USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned US Navy warship afloat today, marvel at the Bunker Hill Monument, and catch a glimpse of the fabled Old North End Church steeple. Hear heroic tales told by expert narrators and learn about local legends from the Revolutionary War. You'll also discover how the harbor was transformed into one of the cleanest waterways in the country. Enjoy the best view no matter the weather, with spacious outdoor viewing decks when the weather is fine, and indoor spaces with large windows if you want to be indoors. Onboard refreshments and snacks are also available for purchase.

Harvard: 70-Minute Harvard Tour

6. Harvard: 70-Minute Harvard Tour

What better way to see Harvard than through the eyes of a student! This tour is a 70-minute student-led walking tour of America's oldest university, designed to be a funny and educational journey through Harvard's campus. Beginning in the heart of Harvard Square, you'll be led into historic Harvard Yard by an enthusiastic Harvard student. Enjoy the sights while your guide entertains and inspires with tales of Harvard history and personal experience at the university they call home. You'll get an up-close look at major Harvard landmarks including Johnston Gate, the John Harvard Statue, Memorial Hall, and Widener Library. You'll even become privy to a few Harvard secrets along the way! Whether you're a student visiting colleges or a family on vacation, the Hahvahd Tour is undoubtedly the top way to see Harvard.

Boston: Buffet Lunch or Dinner Cruise on Boston Harbor

7. Boston: Buffet Lunch or Dinner Cruise on Boston Harbor

Admire the sights of Boston with a 2-hour lunch or 3-hour dinner cruise on Boston Harbor. Savor an extensive buffet aboard the Spirit of Boston, and visit any of the 3 climate-controlled decks to watch the city glide by. Upon arrival, receive a personal greeting and have your photo taken by the ship's photographer to capture the memory. After being seated at your private table, feast on your lunch or dinner buffet consisting of creative meals prepared fresh daily. While you eat, listen to tunes from an onboard DJ. After your meal, go out on deck for panoramic city views. SAMPLE BUFFET MENU Salads Caesar Salad Romaine Lettuce | Aged Reggiano Parmesan Cheese | Herb Croutons Bow Tie Pasta Salad Scallions | English Cucumbers | Roma Tomatoes | Dill & Mustard Vinaigrette Vegetables, Potatoes, and Pasta Roasted Broccoli Florets, Creamed Corn and Cheddar Cheese Casserole, Mashed Potatoes Entrees Baked Ziti Pasta, Oven-Baked Atlantic Flounder, Filet Honey, and Sesame Chicken, Italian Beef Meatballs, Braised Beef Short Ribs Desserts Seasonal Spirit Dessert Display Please note that menu items are subject to change.

Boston Lights: A Lantern Experience at Franklin Park Zoo

8. Boston Lights: A Lantern Experience at Franklin Park Zoo

Enjoy the spectacle of the Boston Lights once again illuminating Franklin Park Zoo with sparkling new lantern additions, plus a few returning favorites. Experience over 50 displays of hundreds of magnificently crafted lanterns spanning Franklin Park Zoo's 72 acres for this seasonal event. Walk through glowing corridors of lotus and sunflowers. Discover luminous scenes from the rainforest, whimsical ocean displays with creatures of the deep, glowing stretches of bamboo, traditional Asian lanterns, and a stunning 66-foot-long rose corridor. Immerse yourself in luminous animal and ocean scenes, traditional Asian lantern displays, and a stunning 164-foot-long phoenix, lighting up the dazzling night sky. New this year is a colossal 82-foot-long octopus tunnel with blinking eyes and color-changing tentacles, sure to dazzle and delight guests of all ages.

Boston: Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum Interactive Tour

9. Boston: Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum Interactive Tour

Considered the most important event that led to the American Revolution, the Boston Tea Party was part of a resistance movement in British America. Be part of this event that changed history on an interactive tour. Meet live characters, see replica ships, and learn about the people involved. Take a handbill from one of the colonists and find out what part you’ll play. In the meeting house, hear the story of the night of December 16, 1773 and receive your own mohawk disguise before the march to Griffin's Wharf begins. Experience the thrill of throwing a crate of tea into the sea and explore the replica ships that recreate the original vessels from the 18th century. Inside the museum, travel back in time with 3D holographic characters and watch British soldiers and colonial patriots argue right before your eyes. Then experience the battle inside the giant wraparound theater for a complete history lesson.

Mystic Seaport Museum: All Day Admission

10. Mystic Seaport Museum: All Day Admission

Spend the day exploring historic vessels, original 19th-century storefronts and dwellings, and engaging with friendly shipwrights at the seaport museum in Mystic. Visit a unique living historical setting, dedicated to preserving American maritime heritage. Explore the 19-acre museum campus, walk through a working shipyard where carpenters combine traditional skills and modern techniques to preserve the craft of wooden shipbuilding. See the Charles W. Morgan, the world’s last remaining wooden whale ship and learn how America transformed from a nation of whale hunters to watchers. Take a stroll around the recreated village, gardens, and waterfront while learning what it was like to earn one’s living from the sea. At the museum guests are welcome to add on activities such as sailing, cruises, and a daily planetarium shows exploring celestial navigation and other themes. Pack a picnic to enjoy, or dine at one of 3 seasonally-operated eateries.

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Frequently asked questions about New England Family-friendly Activities

What are other things to do than Family-friendly Activities that are worth visiting in New England?

The other unmissable things to do in New England are:

Which New England Family-friendly Activities are taking additional COVID-19 precautions?

Other Sightseeing Options in New England

Want to discover all there is to do in New England? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about New England

Such a cool experience! We went on the lunch cruise, the food was very good and was a great selection. We also had a big margarita and got to bring the glass home with us, thought that pretty cool. The views of the Boston Harbor were awesome. The staff were so nice and friendly really made the experience even better. We would definitely come back and do it again.

We thought the whole experience was great. The guides/actors did an incredible job, had great enthusiasm, and made it educational but 'fun' considering the topic. It was very well run and organized.

Was a very enjoyable cruise and our guide was amazing. We learned so much history on the hour cruise. Well worth it and very informative.

The harbor cruise was enjoyable and informative. The boat is comfortable and it was great seeing things in the harbor.

Lily did a great job leading our tour group and she provided excellent information!