Arts & Culture

Keep Your Kids Engaged During Summer Break

Continue the science, history, and art lessons beyond the classroom this summer at these special places across the state.

Multiple children pose in front of a sunflower field.

The inevitable happens every year; Summer break begins and a frenzy ensues as parents try to keep their kids occupied hoping they don’t forget all they learned that year before August. It’s a daunting time, even for the most experienced of parents. Luckily, The Trustees can help with locations around the state that are perfect for keeping the kids engaged during the break from school. 

Whether it’s learning about unique woodland inhabitants, a history lesson on the Revolutionary War, or interacting with art at an outdoor Sculpture Park, there are plenty of options for a variety of interests. Add them to your kids’ summer plans… 

Interact with Science

A kid climbs on a fallen tree.

Copicut Woods (Fall River) – Families with children of all ages, literacy levels, and abilities can immerse themselves in the new half-mile Discovery Trail. The stone dust pathway (perfect for strollers) takes you to five stations where kids can interact with different sensory elements all while learning about a special inhabitant of the woodlands. 

Long Hill (Beverly) – Near the Horticultural Learning Campus is a Children’s Garden* for kids of all ages to explore, play, and learn more about plants, nature, and the surrounding ecosystem.  While you’re visiting, see if you can spot “Fred” the frog in a lily garden near the parking lot, or “Frank” in one of the further back vernal pools. *The Children’s Garden opens in July 2024.

Stevens-Coolidge House & Gardens (North Andover) – Combining ecology, architecture, gardening, and art into one self-guided tour (available on your phone), there’s plenty to keep families busy even if you have a variety of interests. The best part is, everything is tightly packed together so walking around shouldn’t be too strenuous for younger kids. 

Engage with History

A family sits on a rock wall at Castle Hill on the Crane Estate.

© Stoney Stone

The Old Manse (Concord) Family-friendly 30-minute tours are available for ages 6+ where you can learn how people lived long ago, see objects that date back to the 18th century, and even get to play a 160-year-old piano! It’s the perfect stop during your trip to Minute Man National Historic Park for a day centered around Revolutionary War history. 

Castle Hill on the Crane Estate (Ipswich) – Help find Mrs. Crane’s mischievous Siamese kitty, Ptolemy, before a party begins! Recommended for children 3–8 and their families, this tour lets you imaginatively explore the expansive Great House while learning how the Crane family lived in the 1920s and 30s.  

Naumkeag (Stockbridge) – As both a public garden and historic home, there’s plenty for families to explore at this property in the Berkshires. If you’re taking teenagers (12 or older) with you, consider signing up for a “Backstairs Tour” where you can discover the secrets of running a Gilded Age country estate.  

Connect with Art

A summer camp participant hands rope at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum.

© Jake Belcher, 2023

Fruitlands Museum (Harvard) – Blending history and art, there are a mix of activities families with kids can experience at this expansive museum. From learning about Shaker history, to exploring a historic 1820s farmhouse, or diving into Indigenous historical and contemporary art, there’s plenty to do for visitors of all ages and interests. 

deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum (Lincoln) – There are nearly 50 different sculptures to discover across the Park (each with their own unique charm) that will surely fill your day with an engaging outdoor activity. Stick to the family-friendly route designated on the available maps or wander through the entire park yourself! 

The Guest House at Field Farm (Williamstown) – See if you can locate the 13 permanent sculptures that dot the landscape of Field Farm while burning off some energy during a hike of this northwestern Massachusetts property.  

You Might Also Enjoy

Join the Trustees

Enjoy 120 sites featuring inspired trails, historic homes, beautiful gardens, farms, summer camps and more.
Become a Member

Lend a Hand

Join a community passionate about a sustainable future and engaged in diverse projects across the state.

Support Our Work

We rely on your generous support to protect the irreplaceable landscapes and landmarks of Massachusetts.