New Bedford gets a bad rap because of the crime rate, but the small historic district of this fishing village will take you back to a simpler time. There are cobblestone streets and the sounds of seagulls reminding you of your proximity to the ocean. There are also some great places to visit with kids, if you know where to look.
New Bedford Whaling Museum-
Being the animal lover that I am, I did not think this would be a place I would enjoy, but it is actually a fabulous museum. It’s less about harpoons and more about what life at sea was like.
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.
The kids loved climbing aboard the Lagoda, which is the largest largest ship model in existence.
The rest of the museum is art that I didn’t want my crazy kids around, so 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.
A Spectacle in Motion
A Spectacle in Motion is a special exhibit that will be in the area until October 2018. The Panorama is a maritime artwork of national historical importance, authentically depicting a whaling voyage originating from the port of New Bedford in the mid-19th century. America’s longest painting is a pretty impressive sight, especially since it was created in 1848. It is 1,275 feet in length making it as long as the Empire State Building! The admission is free and transportation is available from the whaling museum. The painting is on display in the Kilburn Mill and I have to add that the ride in the freight elevator was worth the trip alone.
New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center
Just a short walk down Bethel Street will bring you to this free museum. 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 the ship.
dNB Burgers 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.