Are you looking for a fantastic family getaway that combines history, culture, and plenty of fun activities for kids? Look no further than the charming city of New Bedford! Nestled along the Massachusetts coast, this historic destination offers a perfect blend of educational experiences and entertaining adventures for the whole family. Here are our favorite things to do in New Bedford, MA.
The Best Things to do in New Bedford, MA
New Bedford is renowned for its rich maritime history, and there’s no better way to dive into it than by visiting the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Your kids will be fascinated by the colossal whale skeletons, interactive exhibits, and the captivating stories of whaling adventures. The museum provides a unique learning experience that’s both educational and enjoyable for children of all ages.
My kids got a sense of the enormity of a blue whale when they crawled through a life-size heart before heading upstairs to the Sperm Whale Gallery. They also loved climbing aboard the Lagoda, which is the largest largest ship model in existence.
Next we headed down to the Discovery Center which is such a great place for kids to learn and play. They were quickly pretending that they were taking on water from the big play ship and looking out for pirates from the crows nest.
Just a short walk from the Whaling Museum will bring you to The New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center. This is a small free museum, but worth a stop. There were many interactive things for the kids to try like pulling aboard a bucket of oysters, trying on a life suit and making a mayday call from a ship.
3. Seaside Strolls
Take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque New Bedford Harborwalk. The scenic views of the harbor and fishing boats provide a perfect backdrop for family photos. Kids will love watching the boats come and go, and you might even catch a glimpse of some friendly seals swimming in the harbor.
For a day filled with wildlife wonders, head to the Buttonwood Park Zoo. This family-friendly zoo boasts a variety of animals from around the world. From playful lemurs to majestic elephants, your kids will have a blast exploring the different exhibits. The zoo also features a charming playground, making it a great spot for a picnic and some outdoor playtime.
5. A Taste of History
New Bedford’s historic district is a treasure trove of charming architecture and cobblestone streets. Walk through the streets lined with 19th-century homes, and make sure to visit the Rotch-Jones-Duff House and Garden Museum. The beautifully preserved mansion offers a glimpse into the city’s affluent past and provides a peaceful setting for a family-friendly guided tour.
6. Beach Day
If your family loves the sun and sand, head to Fort Taber Park and Beach. This hidden gem offers a family-friendly beach where kids can build sandcastles, play beach games, and take a refreshing dip in the ocean. The park also features walking trails and grassy areas for a relaxing afternoon.
7. Culinary Adventures
Refuel with a delicious meal at one of New Bedford’s family-friendly restaurants. Whether you’re craving fresh seafood or classic comfort food, the city’s diverse culinary scene has something for every palate. Consider trying a local seafood spot for a true taste of the region. We enjoyed dNB Craft Kitchen which is right on the corner of Bethel and Elm. Their locally-sourced food is made from scratch and their drinks are to die for. It’s a great way to end a day in New Bedford, although as you can see, Lizzie was done with it all.
There are so many things to do in New Bedford, MA. It is a fantastic destination for families seeking a blend of education, entertainment, and outdoor fun. With its maritime heritage, captivating museums, and scenic landscapes, this coastal city promises an unforgettable experience for kids and adults alike. So, pack your bags, gather the family, and get ready for a memorable adventure in New Bedford!