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New England Family Vacation Ideas

Plan a Fun Family Escape in New England

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Whether your children are tots or teens, a New England family vacation will be an experience you'll all remember. There's so much to do within this historic and diverse region. You can get your thrills at an amusement park or chill out by the shore, tour a living history museum or catch your own lobsters, camp beside a lake or stay at an upscale family resort, play in the snow or get lost in a corn maze. Your kids may even learn something... but it's probably a good idea if you don't let on.

See also: State-by-State Guide to Family Fun in New England

Cruise New England and Canada on Carnival

Carnival Towel Animal
© 2012 Kim Knox Beckius
My nine-year-old daughter was charmed by the towel animals aboard our Carnival cruise from Boston to Atlantic Canada, and we were amazed at how many "Baby's Firsts" she accumulated during our five-night Carnival Glory voyage. I'll help you do the math and see that a New England cruise can be as affordable as it is memorable.

A Family Resort Straight Out of "Dirty Dancing"

Canoeing at Migis Lodge Maine
© 2010 Kim Knox Beckius
At Maine's Migis Lodge, families don't have to sacrifice luxury to enjoy the simplicity of an old-fashioned family getaway. Book one of the resort's lakeside cabins, then relax and enjoy all of the recreational possibilities at this 125-acre property on Sebago Lake, from tennis and waterskiing to Bingo and turtle chasing.

Got Kids? Your Days of Staying at Charming New England Inns Aren't Over

Teddy Bear Pancakes at Wildflower Inn
© 2004 Kim Knox Beckius

The Wildflower Inn, located in Lyndonville in the Northeast Kingdom region of Vermont, is charming, cozy and family-friendly in every way. If my two-year-old could have designed a B&B, she would have conjured up just such a place, where sheep "baa" hello, cows "moo" goodnight, a toy- and book-filled playroom boasts spectacular mountain views and Mommy and Daddy feel so relaxed that they don't fret when you only eat the chocolate chips on your teddy bear pancakes.

The Ultimate Family Escape on The Cape

Sticky Marshmallow Face - Beach Bonfire
© 2004 Kim Knox Beckius

Ocean Edge Resort on Cape Cod is one of New England's largest resorts, a 400-acre property with a 700-foot private beach on Cape Cod Bay that provides luxury, country club-style family getaways. The resort is both immense and diverse, providing an amazing array of accommodations options and activities to suit all ages and interests. I'd take my family back to Ocean Edge in a heartbeat: Our stay was one of our most memorable family trips, and as you might imagine, we travel a ton.

The Family That Flies Together...

Bond with Your Family at SkyVenture in New Hampshire
Photo courtesy of SkyVenture.
If you've ever dreamed of floating and tumbling in midair but don't relish the sensation of falling or the risk inherent in jumping from a plane, then head to SkyVenture, a state-of-the-art vertical wind tunnel in Nashua, New Hampshire. This indoor skydiving simulator allows visitors to experience body flight without a parachute: It's even safe for kids ages 3 and up. My six-year-old daughter, pictured in flight at left, absolutely loved our SkyVenture experience. I'll take you inside the vertical wind tunnel in this video.

The Hall at Patriot Place is a Must-See Attraction for Football Fans

Huddle with Tom Brady at the Hall at Patriot Place - Photo
© 2010 Kim Knox Beckius

Where can you huddle with Tom Brady, go under the hood to review a close call frame by frame, try on a Super Bowl ring, test your football IQ, attempt a 45-yard field goal in the snow and see three Vince Lombardi trophies? The Hall at Patriot Place: the New England Patriots Hall of Fame at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. This family-friendly, interactive, state-of-the-art attraction celebrates America's most popular professional sport.

New England's Top National Parks

Acadia National Park Otter Cliffs
© 2011 Kim Knox Beckius
National parks are American treasures, and their rich opportunities for learning and outdoor adventure make them ideal family vacation destinations. Here's your guide to the 10 most-visited national parks in New England. Allow your children weigh in on which park you should visit this year.

New England's Premier Theme Park

Wiggles World at Six Flags
Media photo © Six Flags Theme Parks Inc.

Six Flags New England is the region's largest theme park and a great choice for family fun from spring through fall. Located in Agawam, Massachusetts, Six Flags New England delivers all of the thrill rides, tamer rides, children's rides and amusements and shows and events that visitors to the theme park company's 18 North American locations have flocked to year after year.

Choose Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, for a Classic Family Beach Vacation

Hampton Beach Classic Family Beach Vacation
© 2002 Kim Knox Beckius

"The family that plays together stays together," and Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, is the perfect place for families to play in the sun and to create enduring summer vacation memories they'll share for a lifetime.

New England's Most Amazing Zip-line Experience

Canopy Tour
© 2010 Kim Knox Beckius

Looking for an exhilarating opportunity to bond with your teens? The Bretton Woods Canopy Tour at the Omni Mount Washington Resort is a breathtaking adventure available year-round. Parents will appreciate the safety of the course's redundant dual-cable construction, and well-trained Canopy Tour guides can even help a reluctant middle-aged mom feel proud of tackling this sky high course. To zip line, you must be 12 years old and weigh between 90 and 250 pounds.

Related Video
Flying Without Skydiving at New Hampshire's SkyVenture

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