We're in the summer homestretch and right about now it can be a real challenge to find cool, fun things to do with the kids, so we thought we'd share some of our favorites here at Suzanne & Company. In fact, there are so many great places to explore near here — state parks, historical sites, museums, restaurants, and shops — that it's sometimes hard to choose which one to visit first!
Great Brook Farm
Whenever we're looking to take a break from the stress of the day or just work out the wiggles, we head to Great Brook Farm State Park in Carlisle — it is extremely family-friendly, and lots of people bring their dogs. Walkers, hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders alike enjoy over 20 miles of trails winding through 1,000 acres. Native Americans used sections of Great Brook Farm as sacred sites and these can be viewed from some of the trails.
The trails offer varied terrain — woods as well as rocky and grassy avenues. During the winter, some trails are groomed for cross-country skiing and one is even lantern-lit for a "moonlight" experience! If you need gear or a trail map, one of the farm buildings has been converted to a ski rental concession. In addition, Meadow Pond has a canoe launch and is ideal for fishing.
The farm and buildings make up a classic eastern Massachusetts agricultural landscape which has been in use for centuries. Holsteins have been kept here for over 60 years and current farmer Mark Duffy continues the tradition. The park is home to the first robotic milking system in Massachusetts, installed in a state-of-the-art barn designed specifically for this technology. Individuals and groups can tour the new facility and watch the cows being milked through a glass wall while you enjoy homemade ice cream!
The ice cream stand is open daily from 11am to dusk April through October. An observational beehive is located near the ice cream stand and honey from the Duffy's local cranberry bog (within walking distance from Great Brook Farm State Park) is sold there as well. There's also a small petting zoo with chickens, sheep, pigs, rabbits, and goats.
Parking is $2/day.
Kimball Farm Ice Cream has multiple locations, but if you're looking to occupy the kids longer than it takes to eat a cone, the Westford location offers lots more to do!
Visitors can play Adventure Style Mini-Golf, swirl the waters in the Bumper Boat Pond, take a swing in the Grand Slam Batting Cages or play state-of-the-art games in the Olde Sawmill Arcade. There is also Animal Adventures, an 86 station Driving Range and 9-hole Pitch & Putt golf course with pristine full sized greens and water holes. Pony rides, a zip line and many more activities will keep everyone busy for a long time!
In addition, The Country Store is filled with unique gifts, gourmet foods and souvenirs and you can re-fuel at The Cafe with a variety of baked goods, coffee and tea, or The Outdoor Grill & Seafood Shack provides its famous lobster rolls, grilled burgers and other seafood.
Ice Cream at Bedford Farms
When you're longing for something cold and creamy closer to home, our very own Bedford Farms has convenient locations in Bedford, Burlington and Concord that make it easy to cool down with something sweet. Be bold and try one of the seasonal or newly created flavors!
Friday, August 26 from 4 to 7 pm
Enjoy roasted corn freshly picked from local farms, drink lemonade and play games on the lawn in front of the farmer’s cottage. Admission to this event is free. Food and beverages sold individually with proceeds supporting all mission-related programs including the farm at Gore Place.
Created in the 1880s as part of a health resort, Fawn Lake is now one of the few usable ponds in Bedford for fishing, hiking, ice skating and boating. The half-mile trail which circles Fawn Lake and returns to the parking area takes about one hour to walk all the way around. Turtles, owls, swans, and bullfrogs are just a few of the species easily observed — especially nice when you need a break from the rat race!
SAVE THESE DATES:
Saturday, September 17
Be sure to mark your calendar for a fun-filled day including a morning 5K, followed by the town parade and fair.
Saturday, September 24, 6:30 - 9:30pm
Support Drumlin Farm at their annual Farm-to-Table Gala
We're always on the look-out for cool new things to do. If you've got some favorites we didn't mention, please share!