In 1946, Ellis D. Atwood began to build a sanctuary for one of America's most magnificent beasts: the railway train, which was then on the brink of extinction. He rescued equipment from short lines in Maine and laid tracks around his cranberry bogs, where they would cart his harvests and carry visitors on scenic tours. These daytrips became such a draw that Ellis decided to augment his plantation with carnival attractions and holiday light displays. The park borrowed his initials to form its name, Edaville, and today, more than 65 years since Ellis purchased the first of his rails, the park continues to welcome families who flock there for the classic rides, outings aboard the train, and panoramas of growing cranberries.
A looming Ferris wheel rewards guests of all ages with a view of Edaville's layout. From the Tilt-a-Whirl and Red Baron plane rides to the old carousel and souvenir general store, the surroundings comprise a whimsical escape designed with young children and their parents in mind. To complement the 1,300-acre cranberry plantation, the Cranberry World exhibit provides a glimpse of antique cars and cranberry-harvesting gear, enlightening visitors with historical narratives about the fruit. Ellis's Playhouse contains a ball pit, maze, and train tables, which enable youngsters to see what subways looked like before they got shy and burrowed into the earth. Fall and winter seasons transform the park into a sparkling venue for Christmas lights and visits with Santa, with select dates offering magical rides aboard a train designed after the Polar Express.
Most physical confrontations involve a level of personal risk, but at Cartland of Cape Cod, fun-loving competitors let robotic Boxerjocks do the swinging. Safely tucked away in a cage of steel, operators trigger sidesteps with the thrust of a joystick and jabs with the punch of a button. The unusual attraction is just a taste of what the epicenter of family fun has to offer, from vintage Indy-style go-karts to colorful bumper boats and water-balloon slingshots. Visitors who want to keep dry can head to the 20-hole mini-golf course and batting cages, and can sate their hunger with chili, barbecue pork, and other meals, or a scoop of ice cream rather than laboring to befriend an iceberg.
My Gym Children's Fitness Center divides its classes into seven age groups, each based in the process of natural childhood development. Staff and instructors draw from current physiological, psychological, and sociological studies, as well as hands-on childcare experience, to design age-appropriate workouts that hone each age group's most vital skills. Classes accommodate children aged 6 weeks–8 years, focusing on skill sets ranging from visual and spatial exploration to gross-motor-skill development to structured games and gymnastics fundamentals. Eventually, this instruction leads up to full cardio and sports-focused classes for children up to 13 years of age, which keep kids fit enough to track and capture their own stuffed animals.
Jump Around Parties & Playdates boasts a sprawling indoor gymnasium of inflatable bounce houses, obstacle courses, and interactive games designed to give kids' energetic limbs and imaginative minds a place to explore. During open-jump sessions, staff members supervise children while they take on winding obstacle courses, break free from gravity in the moon bounce, and sharpen their jump shot during bounce-enhanced basketball games. The facility's two private party rooms host birthday celebrations that dazzle kids with pizzas, Cold Stone Creamery cake, and balloons in between their romps inside the climate-controlled gym. The center's invitation-creation center makes up quality invites so parents can use their time party planning instead of mastering calligraphy.
In 1945, Dr. Anthony Venditti—known as the godfather of New England auto racing—broke ground for the Seekonk Speedway. Today, his wife, son, and grandson carry on his legacy by managing the oval, 1/3-mile track with its 7-foot banking and 420-foot straightaway lengths. They also oversee the track’s concessions, but spectators can tote along their own six-pack coolers of frosty libations in the wheelbarrow full of gold bars they plan to wager during the races.
With the height of his career 230 million years behind him, the 20-foot T. rex followed a path typical to many retirees: he decided to hit the golf course. Since 1958, the bright-orange behemoth has kept watch over the sixth hole at Route 1 Miniature Golf & Batting Cages, dazzling visitors with his twin rows of gleaming incisors and spot-on Bob Hope impersonation. But the toothy star isn’t the only creature challenging players on this classic putt-putt course. Players must map their swings to navigate a roaring lion, yawning hippo, and towering gray elephant before testing their luck on the 18th hole, where only the most precise putts can succeed in ringing the siren and winning the player a free game.
Adjacent to the mini-golf fairways, four batting cages pitch balls at speeds of more than 85 miles per hour, and an arcade challenges players with classic video games, including Ice Ball. Come cool-down time, guests can usher in a sweet finish to their afternoon by storming the Dairy Castle to seize one of 26 flavors of Richardson’s ice cream, including black raspberry and maple walnut.