Families love vacations in Massachusetts. Why? Because there is so much to experience here – from days on the beach or in a theme park to Cycling and ziplining.
Roller coasters and wild water rides are something for the adventurous, whale watching a great experience for all. With their interactive exhibitions, museums are just as great for the whole family as they are for historic museum villages. Also hotels and restaurants are kid friendly – Massachusetts has everything for the perfect family getaway!
The 100-year-old museum combines entertainment with interactive projects. You can see yourself on TV, enter a Japanese house, try on woodwork and learn about surface tension through giant bubbles. The Boston Tea Party is world famous. Travel back to the year 1773: On the replicas of the original ships, performers and interactive stations help you to recreate the anti-tax protest of the colonists and to throw tea chests overboard into the harbor basin.
With the amphibious vehicles of the Boston Duck Tour you get a whole new view of the city – on water (on the V Charles River) and on land. The Swan Boats, which have been operating for 130 years in the Boston Public Garden, promise a quieter ride – a hit especially for the youngest guests! Dive into the water world of this 800-species attraction with a total of 40,000 marine life including seals, penguins, sharks and rays that you can even pet. From the dock it goes to whale watching. In Boston’s most popular attraction, you can create flashes, explore the universe, control a robot, and visit the IMAX Theater and Planetarium.
Museums, museums, museums
- MFA, Boston. The Museum of Fine Arts presents European masterpieces and Asian art. A must is Richard Rogers ‘new wing of the building that houses the Art of the Americas: a cultural journey through the New World – from Mayan pottery to the works of John Singer Sargent (19th century) and Georgia O’. Keeffe (20th century).
- Isabeßba Stewart Gardner / MuSeum, Boston. Isabella Gardner had the building, reminiscent of a Venetian palace, built in 1903 for her magnificent collection. Renzo Piano designed the elegant extension. The highlights include works by Titian, Raphael and Rembrandt, the tropical vegetation in the courtyard and the frequent concerts.
- HarvorcfArt / MuSeumS, Cambridge. After a major restoration (until 2014), Harvard University’s three world-class art collections are merged into a modern Renzo Piano-designed building.
- Peabodg Essex / Museum, Salem. Salem merchants and captains traveled 200 years ago across the whole world. Back they brought numerous treasures and opened for this museum. The collection spans the arc from Africa, Asia and Oceania to maritime and Indian art. A must is Yin Yu Tang, a Chinese family home with 200 years of history.
- Mass MaCA, North AoOms. What do you get when you refurbish an old factory? The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art! Huge are the exhibition areas – one has the length of a football field! Do not miss Sol LeWitt’s work “A Wall Drawing Retrospective”, where 65 artists worked for six months.
Celebration Time in Boston and around Massachusetts
- Boston: St Patrick’s Day. Whether you have Irish roots, here you have fun. Locals and visitors are dressed in green, especially on the Sunday before March 17, when one of the largest street parades in the United States takes place in South Boston.
- Boston / Concord / Lexington: Patriots Day and Boston Marathon. Parades, postponed battles, pancake breakfasts and more evoke the first shots in the Revolutionary War. Officially, on the third Monday in April, the Boston Marathon will take place. 30,000 runners and half a million spectators come to the oldest marathon in the world since 1897.
- Berkshires: Summer Festivals from June to early September, the west of Massachusetts attracts with music, dance and theater. Highlights include the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Shakespeare & Company and the Williamstown Theater Festival.
- Boston: Harborfest & Fourth of July. In the run-up to Independence Day, Boston hosts the harbor with concerts, street performers, the Chowderfest and children’s activities. On July 4, the Declaration of Independence will be read from the balcony of Old State House. In the evening there is a free concert of the Boston Pops on the Charles River – and the big fireworks!
- Lowell: Lowell Folk Festival Three days full of folk and traditional music on six stages in the city center – one of the largest free festivals in the US.
- Springfield: The Big E. Autumn is the time of agricultural fairs. The largest in the northeast is The Big E, a festival that celebrates country life with parades, cattle auctions, music, rides and a lot of fun.
- Salem: Haunted happenings. At the site of the notorious witch trials of 1692, witches are now the stars of a one-month festival that matches Halloween with ghost trains, spells, zombies and vampires.
- Thanksgiving. The typical American holiday is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. This begins the pre-Christmas shopping – with clearance sale and cheaper transatlantic flights and hotels.
- First Night. On New Year’s Eve, Boston celebrates music and dance on 35 stages indoors and out. With a badge for a few dollars you get in about 200 performances. At midnight, a big firework lights up the harbor. Invented in Boston in the 1970s, the concept of “First Night” has made a name for itself in many US cities.