Sure, New England has enough historical tourist sites to gag Karl Rove if they were all transformed into items found at an all-you-can-eat buffet, but there is more to thrill the kids up Northeast than churches, battlegrounds and gallows where alleged witches were hanged for sport. New England offers a variety of exciting and fun tourist opportunities for families bringing along kids on their vacation.
Seacoast Fun Park-Maine
One day Maine’s most famous son may write a horror story about shenanigans taking place at Seacoast Fun Park, but in the meantime it offers simple pleasures and wayward distractions to the family visiting New England. Seacoast Fun Park is a simple little throwback to a time before the Disneyfication of amusement centers. Take half a day or more to allow the kids to enjoy activities like climbing a rock wall, banging into each other via bumper boats, thrill to the lawnmower-sized speed of go-karts, get in a game of miniature golf or taking a chance on losing their lunch courtesy of the slingshot trampoline. The Giant Sky Swing even affords the chance to take a wild ride on a 100-foot swing.
Hammond Castle Museum-Massachusetts
The family taking a vacation with children in tow will likely want to make a stop at this forbidding structure that contains more than a taint of Universal Studios horror movie-style foreboding. The castle was once the home of an inventor named John Hays Hammond when it was the home of cats, dogs and birds. The highlights of this New England family tourist destination include a pipe organ with more than 8,000 pipes, an exhibition of Hays’ many inventions and a Medieval Great Hall with incredible examples of stained glass. All kids and most parents will also enjoy discovering the secret passage hidden within the museum.
Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory Tour-Vermont
A family vacation to New England without stopping by the Ben and Jerry’s tour is like a Glenn Beck show without a dozen examples of ignorance of facts. The 30-minute long guided tour is highlighted by the offering of free samples. The other highlight is a visit to the factory via an observation deck from which you can watch the miracle of ice cream being made in a factory setting. Adults may be more interested in learning how two regular Joes created a money-making machine on the basis of what they learned from a correspondence school course.
Santa’s Village-New Hampshire
What kid on vacation wouldn’t love to stop by the village of Santa Claus, the ultimate proof that Ayn Rand knew nothing about which she droned on and on. Santa’s Village is a New England icon, having been treating visitors for than half a century. Eat treats at the bakery, have old-fashioned fun at a traditional amusement park, become a Santa’s helper at the North Pole Workshop and earn your diploma at the Elf University where, I am led to understand, Will Ferrell got his diploma in the field of Bad Career Decisions.