Vermont

100 Things to Do in New England with Kids Before They Grow Up

No matter where you live, exploring New England with kids ought to be on your short list of family vacation goals. Steeped in history and natural beauty, the Northeast offers families a chance to learn about the earliest Americans, frolic on snow or sand, and enjoy all sorts of old-fashioned fun, from farm-fresh ice cream to vintage carousels.

Drawing from our carefully curated lists of the best things to do with children in Boston and Connecticut as well as the inside scoop from parents in Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, we've come up with 100 things to see, do, and eat with kids in New England. It includes our favorite beaches, children's museums and amusement parks, charming New England towns with kid-friendly activities, ski and holiday trips, and top seasonal events and carnivals. One thing is for certain: You'll be wicked glad you visited Yankeeland.

7 Indoor Water Parks in New England

Dreaming of warm waters and balmy temperatures? A tropical vacation may be out of the question, but an indoor water park venture is just as thrilling for kids (and a lot less debilitating to the budget). We've reviewed seven water parks—some big and splashy, others small and convenient— that are within a one- to five-hour drive of Boston. Whether you’re looking for a quick day trip or a weekend escape, there are plenty of options for sneaking in some water fun before swimming season officially begins. No matter where you go, be sure to call ahead and check about special rates; and consider planning a trip for a weekday or weeknight outside of school vacation to steer clear of crowds.

20 Fun Things to Do in Killington, Vermont Without Skis

A family trip to Vermont in the winter months is like walking through a real-life winter wonderland. The natural beauty of the mountains and country terrain appeal to outdoor enthusiasts year-round, but when blanketed with a coat of snow, the Killington region really shines.

It isn't necessary to be an avid skier to enjoy this corner of New England come snowfall. The small villages and towns of central Vermont provide the perfect setting for winter activities for the kids and adults, both outdoor snow sports and even indoor arts and crafts. My family regularly visits the area, and though I hung up my skis some time ago, we're never bored. 

25 Must-Do Christmas Events and Activities in New England with Kids

Is there a part of the country that offers a more quintessential holiday experience than New England? From snowy vistas to historic town squares, it's tough to match our region's identity as a place where kids can feel storybook Christmas magic come alive. We can (and do) fill our site with plenty of options for seasonal fun, but here are 25 activities and attractions that should be on your family's holiday bucket list.

Top 10 Christmas Towns and Villages That Absolutely Sparkle

When it comes to the best places to visit for Christmas as a family, there are plenty of holiday travel options. You can head to Rome and Vatican City to soak in the religion of it all. Vienna, beautifully drenched in festive lights, boasts first-rate Christmas markets and concerts. Head north to Lapland, Finland, to visit Santa’s official hometown. Or, if you want to lie beneath Christmas-lit palm trees, a Caribbean vacation might do the trick.

Yet, some of the best Christmas towns and bedecked Christmas villages are actually right here in the US, offering those traveling with small kids a way to save on money and time. These local destinations go all out for Christmas with unique holiday light shows, special performances, and plenty of opportunities to meet with Santa Claus.

Read on for some of our favorite Christmas vacation ideas for those looking to get into the holiday spirit in a big way, from New York City to Williamsburg, Virginia, to Newport Beach, California. Find even more ideas in our Family Travel Guide.

11 Perfect Fall Weekend Getaways Near NYC for Families

Fall in the Northeast is a lovely time of year as the trees explode in a kaleidoscope of red, orange, and gold. The crisp air and outdoor activities are hard to resist for most kids (and grown-ups). New Yorkers can experience that magic right in the city's gorgeous parks, some of which feel almost like a countryside retreat during a foliage walk. But for a weekend away, perhaps over those fall school holidays, consider a weekend trip to fully immerse the family in fall fun.

We’ve rounded up 11 options, from a luxury retreat in Connecticut to glamping in New Hampshire to an Adirondack wilderness retreat where you can really unplug. 

9 New England Ski Resorts That Cater to Families

Despite the expense, the cold, and the gauntlet of gearing up kids, family ski trips are tough to beat. Skiing is one of the few sports where kids can quickly learn to meet—or in our family, surpass—parents' ability, and conquering a tough slope or cruising together down an easy one are the stuff of great and lasting memories. That said, not all ski resorts make it easy for families to deal with real parenting needs while on the slopes, but we found some gems that do. A few weeks ago, we covered great nearby spots for first-time skiers within an hour of Boston, and this week we venture northward to find resorts in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine that cater to families with plenty of green slopes, daycare, lots of food options, condo-style lodging, and more. Here are our picks.

Free and Cheap Kids' Ski Programs in the Northeast This Winter

Let's face facts: No matter how exhilarating skiing and snowboarding are, they are also among the most expensive activities in which a family can participate—especially if your kids take a single run and spend the rest of the day sipping cocoa.

Thankfully, many nearby state ski associations offer free or mostly free lift tickets to grade-schoolers, even if you're not a resident of that state. Of course, there are hurdles to clear to get those benefits—kids need to be the appropriate age, apply online and, in some cases, be accompanied by a paying adult. There are also "processing fees" attached to several, but it breaks down to a very discounted ticket if you use it more than once. But for avid skiers and riders, or those who merely want to try out the sports, these programs can save you plenty of cash when skiing with the kids.

Read on for more information on how to ski for free in New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. (Note: Connecticut has a residents-only program for free ski passes for kids at Mohawk Mountain.)

Check our Ski and Snow Sports Guide for more fun on local hills and mountains.

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