With the “winter” season quickly coming to a close, there couldn’t be a better time to plan some day trips and educational excursions for the upcoming weeks. As residents of Massachusetts we are lucky enough to live in a state that not only has scenic destinations, but also historically significant locations all across the region. Take the beautiful weather we have been having lately and use it as an opportunity to get out, see somewhere different and learn about all of the history, nature, and excitement Massachusetts has to offer.
For those of you that are interested in a broad range of Massachusetts history, Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, Massachusetts has displays on everything ranging from Native Americans to Louisa May Alcott, to 19th century landscape paintings. The focus of the farm was to live off of the “fruits of the land” and and provide fruits, vegetables, and grains to community members which is what attracted such a diverse range of inhabitants. This destination offers something for everyone and features multiple museums, hiking trails, a restaurant, and educational workshops for both adults and children. http://www.fruitlands.org/
There is no doubt that Salem is one of the most historic towns in Massachusetts. With its oceanfront location and historical significance it is a popular spot to visit for both tourists and locals alike. Famous for the witch trials that took place in 1692 which unjustly convicted and hanged innocent civilians, Salem has capitalized on their history by operating multiple museums including the House of the Seven Gables and Salem Witch Village. Guests also have the option of taking in a harbor cruise or checking out the Salem Willows Amusement park. Certain attractions are seasonal but visitors are guaranteed to find something that will keep them entertained. http://www.salemweb.com/guide/tour/
If you’re looking for something to do with your little ones, The Butterfly Place in Westford, MA is a great option. They have an indoor garden with butterfly species from all over the world where families are welcome to walk down a winding path that will also bring you by a koi fish pond and many exhibits that educate children on the life cycle of butterflies. Butterflies in this garden fly free and visitors are welcome to carefully interact with the butterflies as they tour the facility. https://butterflyplace-ma.com/
For all of the Boston sports buffs, there’s no better stop than the New England Sports Museum located inside Boston’s TD Garden. The many exhibits take a look back on some of Boston’s most memorable sports figures and their accomplishments. Sights to see include Larry Bird’s locker, the original Boston Bruin, and displays featuring Nancy Kerrigan, Ted Williams, the Beanpot hockey tournament, and Adam Vinatieri. Boston has one of the best reputations in the country when it comes to our sports teams and this museum gives visitors an inside look at some of the greatest athletes in sports history. http://www.sportsmuseum.org/
Massachusetts has many National Parks and historical sights throughout the region but one of the most famous is Walden Pond. It was the home of Henry David Thoreau and influenced his book “Walden” which is credited with inspiring awareness for our environment. What better place to take in some nature? There are multiple trails that lead hikers around the pond and during the summer it is open for swimming. This is a great location for bird watching and nature watching in general as there is a wide range of different wildlife that can be found at the pond. There is also a museum on site and authentic replica of Thoreau’s cabin. Great for children and adults, Walden Pond is educational as well as a fun destination for anyone who loves the outdoors. http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/walden/
Cape Cod has always been one of the most popular destinations in Massachusetts but before beach season you may not think there is much to do. However the Cape Cod Scenic Railroad is a great attraction on the Cape that takes visitors on a 2 hour railroad road through Cranberry Bogs, woodland, and more as you travel from Hyannis to the Cape Cod Canal. Advanced reservations are suggested for this attraction. http://www.capetrain.com/train-scenic.php
Massachusetts is one of the oldest states in the country and definitely offers a wide range of activities and museums that cater to a variety of interests. Next time you are looking for something to do on the weekend check out one of these great Massachusetts day trips or museums that are both exciting and educational!