Ten New England Cities to Explore during the Fall Season
There is no more magical place (IMO) to be during the fall season than New England. (Sidebar: Although, I would probably say that for every season!). Many people descend on New England towns for the foliage, the festivals, and the food!.And while those are great reasons to visit, they won’t necessarily keep your kids as engaged as you might hope. A couple of years ago we shared this post about specific fall themed activities kids will love (and they ALL still hold true!) but this week we thought we’d share some places that have multiple activities the whole family will enjoy (and we’re including our “neighbors” in New York for a couple of bonuses.) These cities offer year round activities, but the beauty of fall is abundant in all of these spots.
Eight Ways to Explore Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Boca Raton, Florida
Established in 1951, the 145,000+ acre (one of the largest in America!) Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge preserves the remnants of the northern Everglades, which includes a cypress forest for 250+ species of birds; indoor, interactive exhibits; access to boat launches; and tons of hiking, biking, and paddling trails.
Eight FREE Kid Friendly Places to Explore in New Haven, Connecticut
Probably best known as the home of Yale University and the pizza capital of America (it may be self proclaimed, but we agree!), New Haven is the second largest city in Connecticut. It’s situated two hours north of Manhattan and about two hours south of Boston, right on the I95 corridor. The city of 130,000+ residents has many cultural neighborhoods, rich history, and several family friendly attractions that are FREE to visit.
The Portland Observatory in Portland, Maine
Earlier this summer, we enjoyed a few days in Portland, Maine, a beautiful seaside city on Casco Bay. One of the highlights of our visit was a guided tour of the Portland Observatory. Built in 1807 by Captain Lemuel Moody and one of the oldest marine signal stations in America, the six floor tower was used commercially until 1923 when it was abandoned. It is not technically considered a lighthouse because, although it does light up at night from the interior rooms, it does not emit light outwards. In the late 1930s, the tower was used as a lookout in World War II. The location of the observatory, and the unique octagonal shape, offered numerous views of the harbor. The Observatory went through several restorations throughout the 20th century and finally opened as a museum in 2007.
10 Ways to Explore the Green Cay Nature Center in Boynton Beach, Florida
On a recent visit to Delray Beach, Florida to visit family, we explored the nearby Green Cay Nature Center in Boynton Beach and ended up spending the better part of a morning enjoying the beautiful wetlands and exhibits. Originally farmland, the 100 acres property was sold by the farmers at a significantly reduced rate to the County with the promise the lands would be made into a wetland. It took two years, but in 2004 the property opened to the public and thousands of birds and wildlife began calling it home. Green Cay is part of the Palm Beach County Nature Center system, which includes six additional centers throughout the area- check out the full list and details here.
10 Ways to Explore the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum in Florida
Located across the street from Lighthouse Park and Cox Recreation Facility (both maintained by the city of St. Augustine), the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum complex features indoor and outdoor exhibits, walking trails, and the opportunity to climb to the top of the lighthouse. Built in 1856, the first watchtower was 350 yards closer to the ocean than the current complex. The second tower, 165 feet tall, followed less than 20 years later, including the addition of the 1876 home for Head Keeper William Farn, Assistant Keeper Joseph Rantia and their families. Lightkeepers tended to the lighthouse until the mid 1950s when the light became automated. The Junior Service League saved the property from being bulldozed in the 1970s and spent almost 20 years restoring the lighthouse tower, innkeeper’s home, and the original Fresnel lens. The museum officially opened in 1994 with a collection of over 19,000 artifacts and documents providing a timeline of the history of the lighthouse, its occupants, and the greater St. Augustine area.