The Best 5 Indoor Places to Take Kids
You could fill a shelf with the guidebooks written by Patricia Harris and David Lyon. Whether the subject is their beloved Boston, the art museums of New England, great food, or exploring Spain, they pack light yet provide weighty information. Their newest books are Top 10 Boston and Top 10 New England (Dorling Kindersley, 2011 and 2010, respectively). See their five honorable mentions among kids’ destinations.
BOSTON CHILDREN’S MUSEUM
The Friday-evening $1 admission is a great chance to introduce youngsters to New England’s best play space (photo below). They can tackle the three-story climbing sculpture or deploy jackhammers in the Big Dig-inspired “Construction Zone.” (Don’t tell them it’s educational.) 308 Congress St., Boston, MA. 617-426-6500; bostonkids.org
PEARY-MacMILLAN ARCTIC MUSEUM
Fact is not only stranger than fiction–it’s more exciting. This Bowdoin College museum captures the derring-do and sense of wonder as alumni explorers Robert E. Peary and Donald B. MacMillan sought true north (the Pole!) and chronicled the changing cultures of the Arctic.
Note: This exhibition is no longer going on. Please contact the museum for information on their current exhibit.
Hubbard Hall, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME. 207-725-3416; bowdoin.edu/arctic-museum
FAIRBANKS MUSEUM & PLANETARIUM
Half of this natural-history museum is an old-fashioned cabinet of curiosities–sort of like an amazing attic of the Northeast Kingdom, filled with stuffed birds and animals. There’s modern science, too, but the Victoriana never fails to charm. 1302 Main St., St. Johnsbury, VT. 802-748-2372; fairbanksmuseum.org
McAULIFFE-SHEPARD DISCOVERY CENTER
Inspiration, aspiration, and we have lift-off … The examples of teacher Christa McAuliffe and astronaut Alan B. Shepard show kids how–and why–to reach for the stars. Check out the night sky in the planetarium. 2 Institute Drive, Concord, NH. 603-271-7827; starhop.com
BARKER CHARACTER, COMIC & CARTOON MUSEUM
From Popeye and Mickey to Buzz Lightyear and the California Raisins, the Barker champions the imaginary friends of a century of childhoods. Why did you ever throw away that Cinderella watch? 1188 Highland Ave., Cheshire, CT. 203-699-3822; barkermuseum.com