25+ Things to Do in Central MA (and beyond) in Summer 2021

When Memorial Day Weekend hits, I reach peak excitement regarding upcoming summer adventures we can have as a family. But I also know that before I know it, it will be the end of August, and we will be scrambling to make our back to school purchases.

So every year I make a bucket list, with more than we could accomplish in any summer, and we take it as a challenge to see how much we can do in one year. This year the bucket list is even more exciting because of the limits that was on our adventuring last summer.

  1. Visit the EcoTarium for the first time in a long while. (Indoor exhibits are open in July!)
  2. Make a fire in the yard and cook s’mores
  3. Check out new to us playgrounds like Castle in the Trees
  4. Take weekend day trips to our favorite beaches in York, ME and Hampton Beach, NH
  5. Visit Mystic Aquarium (because we have never been!)
  6.  Ride the sky safari or book a Giraffe Encounter at Southwick’s Zoo
  7. Make a bag of books at the library to switch up our usual choices
  8.  Take an afternoon swim at Rutland State Park lake
  9. Drive out to Look Park to play, explore and visit the animals
  10. Pick strawberries and blueberries and bake yummy treats with our loot
  11. Stop by Old Sturbridge Village, a family favorite spot, to check in on the baby animals
  12. Take in an outdoor puppet show at Drawbridge Theater – Jack and the Beanstalk is one of our favorite shows.
  13. Go camping at Dennison Campground in Winchendon – a great local camping spottwo kids with a tent in the background
  14. Harness our creativity and enjoy some at home arts and crafts
  15. Hike Wachusett Mountain with both kids
  16. Watch a movie at the drive in movie theater, something we have been talking about doing with the kids for years, but haven’t gotten around to!
  17. Get tickets to Jurassic Quest Drive thru at Gillette
  18. Eat ice cream. Plenty of summer good ice cream. 
  19. Take my six year old mini-golfing (per her request) at Kimball Farm in Westford
  20. Set up our camping tent in the living room (on a rainy day) or in the yard on a nice evening for some at home camping fun.
  21. Take in some fireworks
  22. Bring the kids to a demonstration at The American Heritage Museum
  23. Create scavenger hunts around the house and yard – my kids love doing these
  24. Explore the new Caterpillar Lab Discovery Museum in Acton and play in their giant outdoor tree house
  25.  Drive into Boston for the aquarium, Boston Market and a picnic on the Greenway
  26.  Enjoy the beautiful spring and summer flowers at New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill.
  27.  Go back to some of my kids’ favorite hiking spots like Rock House Reservation or Purgatory Chasm 

What must-do items did we miss from our list? What are the top things you and your family will do this summer?

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