Fun, Educational Day Trips

Summer is right around the corner.  Your children are winding down school work and studies, and long hot summer days are within our reach.  But as parents we don’t want our children to lose everything they learned all year long.  We also want our children to have fun.  Some parents may think that this will be tough to put across. This segment was featured on The Rhode Show. Watch it here!

Henry James an America-English writer once said “The two most beautiful words in the English Language are summer afternoon.”  However; your children might say the three worst words are “summer school work.”

On average, children lose about a month’s worth of learning in the summer in math and reading.  Here are some tips to help this summer be a fun learning adventure for the whole family.

  • Taking day trips throughout New England
  • Educational weekend trips

New England boost some of the most exciting spots for the entire family to learn and have fun.


  • Museum of Science  located in the heart of Boston.  This museum is known for its hundreds of interactive exhibits and the most attended cultural museum.
  • Old Sturbridge Village  located in Sturbridge Massachusetts.  The largest outdoor museum in the Northeast.   Your children can experience life in the 1830s. Their website even has curriculum with facts that you could down load and ask your children as you tour the village.
  • Plymouth Plantation  located in Plymouth Massachusetts.  Visit this 17th century working replica community.  Home of the Wampanoag Home site that features Native American life at the time when the pilgrims arrived.  This trip would be especially fun if your children were learning about this during the school year.
  • Woods Hole Science Aquarium located in Falmouth. If you have budding marine biologist or children who are interested in this area, this day trip is for you.  The cost is FREE.  Donations are accepted.  Spend the day in the cape, visit the aquarium take in the sights and maybe even go for a swim. You might just see some marine life.

There are so many other places to visit also in Massachusetts

  • Museum of fine arts
  • The Freedom Trail
  • Eric Carl Museum


  • Mystic Sea Port   Mystic seaport is home to over 500 boats.  This port was built during the Great Depression.  Your child can also get some hands on information of how it was back in the 1800s and the life of a whaling and fishing community.
  • Mystic Sea Aquarium is not the far away either.    Mystic and oceanography institute is part of the sea research foundation.  They have helped rehabilitate many marine life and set them back into the wild.  Another great place for that child who loves see to learn about marine life. You get opportunities to touch a sting ray, get close up to extraordinary animals, and see first-hand these amazing sea animals gliding.  A learning experience the whole family is sure to enjoy.
  • Gillette Castle State Park    pack a picnic basket and head for the hills.  Unique castle that was the home of a stage actor William Gillette.  It is scituated on 184 acre park overlooking the Connecticut River.  There are hiking trails, picnic spots, gift shops, and of course a tour of the 24 room mansion. Psst William Gillette played Sherlock Holmes.

Rhode Island

  • Fort Adams   Step back into 1799 American Military fort that was operational until well after World War II They have secret listening tunnels below ground.  Pack a lunch and spend the day.
  • Coggeshall Farm Museum  48-acre property that have staff dressed in period clothing and it depicts agrarian life in the year 1799.  This facility is named after Wilber and Eliza Coggeshall. Their son, Chandler, was one of the founders of Agricultural Land Grant School, which went on to become the University of RI.  For a little bit of history.

Some Weekend getaways


  • Echo Lake Aquarium and Science Center    Echo Lake is 36,000 square foot facility.  This aquarium has over 70 species of fish, amphibians, invertebrates, and reptiles.  They also have 15 different frog species from six different countries.  If you are planning on going to Vermont this summer, plan a visit to Echo Lake.

New Hampshire

  • The Inn at East Hill Farm   You might visit some working farms, but how about doing the farming.  At East Hill farm you will get up early and collect the eggs for breakfast.  Get a chance to milk a cow by hand, join some fun activities and a camp fire at night.  Plenty to keep the adults and kids busy.  But also some real life lessons that you cannot find in a text book but will learn from hands on training and doing.

Whether you are looking for something to do for a few hours or a weekend, there is something for everyone. The historian, the biologist, the farmer or just the writer, your child will get a summer worth of lessons that they will not easily forget.  Don’t forget to read.  Find information about the places you are going or have your child pick out a great book to read on the way.   Enjoy this summer and the life lessons to come.

This article was written by Tracy Martin Turgeon, VP and Regional Director of Operations at The Children’s Workshop in Cumberland, RI.