20 Indoor Places to Explore in New England in the Winter
New England is my home. I love it. Every trip I take outside New England is wonderful- and a wonderful reminder of how much I love where I grew up and where I now live with my family. New England is known for its beautiful beaches and ocean water in the summer, stunning foliage in the fall, countless places to ski and skate in the winter, and open spaces to enjoy the outdoors in the spring. However, if you’re prone to sunburns, frostbite, and allergies, consider these places to visit for plenty of indoor fun (and yes, they’re just as great in the summer too!)
Patriot Place in Foxborough, Massachusetts
Gillette Stadium, which opened in 2002, is privately funded by the Kraft family, owners of the New England Patriots. The stadium covers 17 acres and includes over 500 concession locations and 1,000 tv monitors. The New England Patriots have grown in popularity in recent years, winning the Super Bowl in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2014, 2016, and 2018. While the stadium is not open to the public for tours, visitors and sports fan can get their fix of Patriots fever by visiting the Patriots Hall of Fame, an interactive museum that sports fan will enjoy.
National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum
The major impetus for the road trips my family has become known for is our love of baseball. To date, we’ve seen 22 of the 30 Major League baseball parks and we’re on track to visit two more in 2018. We love baseball. So when we planned a trip to visit friends near Utica, New York we decided to make a short detour to visit the village of Cooperstown, New York, home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Independently owned, the National Baseball Hall of Fame elected its first class in 1936 and the original Hall of Fame (which sits on the property of the current museum) opened in 1939. It was built in Cooperstown because of a now debunked theory that Abner Doubelday invented the sport in Cooperstown in 1839.
The museum is quite popular, welcoming about 275,000 visitors each year; on a typical summer day, the museum sees over 2,000 visitors. Many nearby attractions are only open in season (in April-May and September-October with limited hours, and full time June-August), which would make a summer visit appealing. However, if you really want to linger and get up close to every display and plaque in the Hall of Fame (and still have lots of lodging and restaurant choices), come in the quiet off season. I imagine mid and late October would be especially beautiful with the foliage.
Five Can’t Miss Exhibits at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto
No trip to Toronto would be complete without paying homage to the national winter sport of Canada: hockey. The original Hockey Hall of Fame opens it’s doors in 1961 and then expanded and moved to the current location at Brookfield Place in downtown Toronto in 1993. Throughout the early 2000s, the museum updated and expanded many of the exhibits. There are a lot of financial offices located inside Brookfield Place, but families might enjoy lunch at one of the quick service spots or local restaurants inside the complex. Be sure to look up and check out the architecture.
International Tennis Hall of Fame
This is the second post in a series on my recent visit to Newport, Rhode Island.
Originally called the Newport Casino, the International Tennis Hall of Fame was built in 1880 and hosted the first U.S. Nationals Tennis Championship just one year later. The grounds include a museum, pro shop, museum store, restaurant, 13 grass courts and one clay court open to the public for play during the summer, and six indoor hard courts available for public play during the winter. Each July, the Hall of Fame hosts a weeklong tournament, culminating with induction of new members to the Hall of Fame.
Basketball Hall of Fame Springfield, Massachusetts
here’s a Hall of Fame for just about every sport in America, and my family has visited six athletic halls of fame to date. Halls of Fame are a great way to learn the history and rules of a sport, the evolution of the game, and the background and stats on famous players. There are always plenty of interactive exhibits to keep children entertained. The “do not touch, please stay quiet” rules of many museums are non existent at athletic halls of fame.
Recently, when my family was in Springfield, Massachusetts, we stopped at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. I’d plan on at least a half day at the Hall of Fame, but if you find yourself with extra time, take a quick five minute drive and visit the Dr. Seuss Museum (read my tips here) or the Springfield Armory (read my tips here).