Summer has always been my favorite season. I am a huge fan of the beach and just being outdoor enjoying the sun. I am not, however, a fan of New England’s humidity… but that’s another story.
We spent the majority of the Summer of 2014 just enjoying local beaches, parks, zoos and activities. Here is a list of all my favorite things to do in New England that is kid-friendly (and budget-friendly, too!).
Beach chairs, umbrella, sand toys, floaties/life vest, sunblock, food, drinks… check, check, check. I could spend all day at the beach and thankfully, Alara enjoys it too. Going to the beach with children is obviously different, as is going on vacation. You can’t just lay down and take a nap. You always have to be on your toes, looking out to make sure they don’t wonder too far off or go too deep in the water or eat sand. Nevertheless, we enjoy walking around, chasing waves and playing with the sand. It also helps to go with another child/family to keep themselves entertained!
Here are some of our favorite beaches, in no particular order.
- Revere Beach – America’s First Public Beach and offers a International Sand Sculpting Festival at the end of July (July 24-26 for 2015), Revere, MA, free
- Winthrop Beach – Winthrop, MA, free
- Nahant Beach – located near Lynn shore, MA $5 parking
- Plum Island – located near Newburyport, MA, free
- Gooseberry Island – Westport, MA, free
- Weirs Beach – Laconia NH, free
- Hampton Beach, NH, $2 per hour public parking
- South Shore Beach – Little Compton, RI, $12 weekday/$15 weekend
We usually walk to the playground at the school near our house, but there are a few playgrounds that are worth a special drive on a nice summer day.
- Piers Park (East Boston, MA) – This is an awesome playground on park that offers amazing views of the city skyline. There’s a sprinkler too that turns on at 11AM, which is nice to cool off on a hot summer day. (Summer 2015)
- Nahant Beach Playground (Nahant, MA) – On Lynn Shore drive, right as you drive into Nahant on the rotary with Nahant Rd, there is a tiny parking lot (or park on any side street off Lynn Shore Drive in Lynn and enjoy the beautiful walk) that gives you access to a nice playground right on the beach. Beach and playground is a pretty cool combination.
- Fort Taber Park (New Bedford, MA) – A historic American Civil War-era military fort which has beautiful views of the ocean and a nice playground for children to play.
- Boston Common (Boston, MA) – The Tadpole Playground and the Frog Pond is a great area for kids to play. After cooling off at the shallow pool, be sure to take a few rides on the Carousel and enjoy walking around Boston.
We’ve only been to a couple zoos in the area, but they are a great way to enjoy a nice summer day!
- Southwick Zoo (Mendon, MA) – There are some great rides perfect for older children.
- Buttonwood Park Zoo (New Bedford, MA) – There is also a nice playground right outside the zoo. Here she is sharing a snack with her friend Lucas in front of a bear.
Other Local Events
- Free Outdoor Summer Movies – Check out free outdoor movies at the Boston Prudential Center, Boston Hatch Shell or around Southcoast MA.
- Free Concerts – Boston Hatch Shell, Framingham Summer Concerts on the Village Green, or in New Bedford.