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Outdoor Outing Ideas for Kids in Massachusetts

by Amy Sutton

Massachusetts, nestled in the New England, has one of the most unique climates in the country. While winters are often chilly and snowy, spring, summer and fall usually offer spectacular weather for enjoying the outdoors with your family. So, if you're planning a visit to this great state and looking for something to do with your kids, you'll find a wide variety of outdoor activities to choose from.

Zoos

Plan a zoo day with your family. At Southwick's Zoo, in Mendon, you'll see animals from more than 100 species from around the world. In the Animals of the Earth Discovery Center, you'll find snakes, an African pygmy hedgehog and a green iguana. The petting zoo has sheep, turkeys and goats and fallow deer, turtles, frogs and tadpoles reside in the Deer Forest. Other attractions at this zoo include rides, animal encounters and shows. Your family can also visit one of the Zoo New England zoos. The Franklin Park Zoo in Boston sits on 72 acres and has exhibits like the "Wild Adventure with Jeff Corwin" and "Aussie Aviary". Stone Zoo is located in Stoneham and covers 26 acres. At Stone Zoo, your family can watch the "Masters of Flight: Birds of Prey!" show or check out the "Aussie Adventure."

Nature Centers

A great way to enjoy the outdoors in Massachusetts is at one of its nature centers. At the Hitchcock Center for the Environment, in Amherst, your family can participate in one of the nature programs offered, such as "Enchanted Forest," with games, activities and nature walks. You can also take your kids to the Boston Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, where you can walk the nature trails and boardwalks to explore the wetlands and meadows. Programs such as "Get Out and Go Birding," "Early Explorers" and "Nature Play Date-Kabloom!" provide more structured opportunities for learning about nature.

Farms

Spend some time with your children at one of the farms that are open to the public in Massachusetts. Davis Family Farm Adventures is located in Sterling and offers an array of family-friendly farm activities, like "Animal Showcase", where your children can pet and feed all sorts of animals, including goats, chickens, ponies, emus and cows. In ImagineAcres, kids can play on the playground, navigate through a maze and play pretend on the play farm. If you're near Millis, head over to Tangerini's Spring Street Farm for some family fun. You can take a walk on the walking trail, pick your own fruits and vegetables or sign up for one of the children's summer camps to learn what it's like to work on a real farm.

Amusement Parks

Looking for a way to cool off with your kids on a hot summer day? Go to Water Wizz in East Wareham for some water fun. Your family can float down a lazy river on tubes, play in the wave pool or zip down a slide. The kids can play on Little Neck Beach or balance on the floating lily pads at Harpoon Lagoon. Alternatively, spend the day at Six Flags New England, in Agawam. Family rides include the 1909 Illions Carousel, New England Skyway, Splashwater Falls and the Tea Cups. Your kids can enjoy Krazy Kars, the Whistlestop Train, ZoomJets and Tweety's Clubhouse. In addition to the rides, your family can meet Looney Tunes characters and watch a show.

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