Massachusetts played a huge role in U.S. history, starting when Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in1620 and as of 2012, the state is home to more than 6.6 million residents. Parents looking for some family fun have a broad range of fun places to choose from to take their teens throughout the state, ranging from trips to the zoo, or museums and activities at the water park.
Water Parks and Beaches
During the summer months, you can take your teens for some water fun at Bousquet Mountain in Pittsfield, around 140 miles west of Boston. Your teens can cool off with a swim in the pool and zip down the three huge water slides. Other summer activities at Bousquet Mountain include ziplining and disc golf. At Water Wizz in East Wareham, about 60 miles south of Boston, you and your teens can float around in the Mussel Beach Wave Pool, speed down the Squid Row tube slides, balance across the lily pads in Harpoon Lagoon and relax while floating down the Herring Run River on a tube. In addition, you'll find some fantastic beaches in the state to visit, such as Gloucester’s Good Harbor Beach, 40 miles northeast of Boston, or Nantasket Beach, 23 miles southeast of Boston, in Hull.
If your teens are looking for some thrills, you can take them for some climbing at one of the Central Rock Gyms, in Watertown, 8 miles west of Boston, in Worcester, 45 miles west of Boston, or in Hadley, 100 miles west of Boston. These indoor rock-climbing facilities feature more than 80,000 square feet of climbing walls. You can take a class or sign up for private instruction. There are also competitive climbing teams and lock-ins for teens to participate in. Alternatively, your teens can zip through the track at Checkered Flag Indoor Karting, in Haverhill, 36 miles north of Boston. This 30,000-square foot indoor facility features a 100-foot back stretch, along with two switchback turns. Teens 18 and older can go up to 25 miles per hour and those under 18 can reach speeds of 18 miles per hour.
In Mendon, around 45 miles southwest of Boston, you can take your teen to visit Southwick's Zoo. You'll get to meet more than100 species of animals from all around the globe, including snakes, lizards, tigers, lions and monkeys. In the petting zoo, your teen can be up-close with animals like sheep, wild turkeys and goats. Attractions include camel rides, live animal shows and panning for rocks, fossils and gems in the Elkhorn Cave Mining. At Animal Adventures in Bolton, approximately 50 miles northwest of Boston, teens can attend an Animal Adventures Teen Day Camp to work with animals and learn about what it takes to care for them. You can just visit Animal Adventures for the day and go on an Adventure Tour to get hands-on with an assortment of animals.
If you're looking for some fun educational opportunities for your teen, you can take him to Hancock Shaker Village, around 150 miles west of Boston in Pittsfield. Activities include nature hikes, historic exhibits and a tour of a gorgeous restored village, complete with Shaker buildings, artifacts and antique furniture. Programs and events take place throughout the year, including behind the scenes tours with a hayride and animal feedings, and a country fair with vendors, games, contests and demonstrations. If you make the 15-mile drive northeast of Boston, to Salem, you can take your teen for a tour of the Salem Witch Museum. You'll see exhibits that teach you about what led to the Salem Witch Trials, and you can even take a tour of the sites where the trials took place. Salem is also home to Nathanial Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables, where you can tour the museum and an assortment of historic buildings. At The Land of Witches and Pirates, also in Salem, your teen can explore three more museums, the New England Pirate Museum, Witch History Museum and the Witch Dungeon Museum.
- Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images