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.
Boating in Boston drops anchor at seven area locations—including local lakes, ponds, and Boston Harbor—helping visitors to undertake watery adventures with a fleet of more than 200 canoes, kayaks, sailboats, pedal boats, and paddleboards. Whether navigating the gentle eddies of Stoneham's Spot Pond or searching for the feral water-polo team rumored to inhabit Wakefield's Lake Quannapowitt, visitors can hit the water untrained or gain new proficiency with solo or group lessons. The crew of instructors also instills a love of boating in the littlest buccaneers with youth summer camps that teach basic skills and safety.
You're rarely guaranteed to see a whale, unless you go to the aquarium or you're watching Free Willy very carefully. On voyages with Provincetown Whale Watches, however, sightings are guaranteed. The expert crew helps passengers spot species from humpback whales to pilot whales during trips that traverse North Atlantic waters en route to Stellwagen Bank. On the boat's lower deck and roomy sun decks, passengers might also spot porpoises, seals, and dolphins. Between sightings, patrons can listen to the crew's historical tidbits about Provincetown, and head to a galley that's stocked with food and drinks.
Tendrils of fog typically set the stage for a spooky film, but they provide the backdrop for laser battles at Bentley's Playland & Laser Tag. Fog curls through the play center’s spacious laser-tag arena, minimizing visibility as players strive to train their laser guns on their opponents’ sensors. An adrenaline-pumping soundtrack further sets the mood, enhancing the competition without the use of one long crescendo.
Meanwhile, in Playland, youngsters burrow through the Mega Climber, a complex of tubes, slides, nets, and windows outfitted with soft-play balls. While they clamber through the structure or play pirate at Buccaneer Bay, their parents supervise from a lounge outfitted with complimentary massage chairs. Tots aged 2 or younger play on their own private play structure in Toddler Town, and visitors of all ages can test their air-hockey and pool talent in the arcade.
Fish don’t say “cheese.” But that doesn’t stop captains Doug and Jeff Amorello from snapping photos of the monstrous striped bass and bluefish that their customers reel in. The two own Sashamy Sportfishing, where they orchestrate half-day fishing trips around Plymouth Harbor aboard their 36-foot charter fishing boat, Sashamy. As full-time fishermen, the duo knows their way around the area, and as family members, the two have a soft spot for promoting wholesome activities. They welcome all ages aboard their boat, fostering the future of fishing stories shared between fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, and teenagers and their cell phones.
With iridescent miniature golf courses in malls throughout North America, Glowgolf adds elements of phosphorescent fun to shopping sessions. Courses contain sights such as light-defying blush corals, incandescent animals, and lush foliage reminiscent of the glowing trees on Neptune. Each pass is good for three 18-hole games, giving golfers ample opportunity to get familiar with each hole's obstacles. Equipment is available on the spot, so players won't have to carry around personal clubs or seek out a bioluminescent caddie.