Hotel at a Glance: Great Wolf Lodge New England
High above Fort Mackenzie—a four-story waterlogged treehouse that feels like it could be a part of The Swiss Family Robinson or Pirates of the Caribbean—a 1,000-gallon bucket slowly fills with water. Suddenly, the big bucket topples, drenching those gathered below in a torrent of water. Heated to a balmy 84 degrees, Great Wolf Lodge New England’s indoor water park and its 15 splash-filled attractions draw visitors looking for an aquatic getaway no matter the season. In addition to braving Fort Mackenzie, you can crash into 3-foot waves at Slap Tail Pond, careen down a six-story funnel slide at Howlin’ Tornado, and unwind on a raft in the Crooked Creek lazy river.
- Soar to new heights: At Howlers Peak Ropes Course, test your balance while climbing across obstacles and balancing on ropes 30 feet above the ground
- After-swimming activities: Pint-sized guests can roll a five-pound bowling ball down a shortened lane at the Ten Paw Alley or play a round of mini-golf at the Howl at the Moon indoor course.
- Live-action adventure: At MagiQuest, kids wield magic wands and journey through a kingdom to meet mythical creatures, including a pixie and a dragon.
- Scooops Kid Spa gives manicures and pedicures to pintsize patrons sitting atop ice-cream-cone stools and banana-split thrones.
- Distance from Boston: Just a one-hour drive.
New England in the Fall: Brilliant Leaf-Peeping and Family-Friendly Outdoor Recreation
If there’s ever a season that New England shines, it’s autumn. There are few things more charming than its quaint covered bridges, steepled churches, and brilliant display of red, orange, and yellow adorning every tree. Surrounded by the White Mountain National Forest on all sides, the sleepy town of Jackson, New Hampshire is naturally positioned for peaceful solitude and postcard-worthy views. In fact, Yankee magazine named Jackson one of the best towns in New England for fall foliage. Nearby, sweeping mountain vistas and colonial architecture unfold along the 100-mile White Mountains Trail National Scenic Byway. A segment of the loop winds near Jackson, passing white-steeple churches, country cottages, and covered bridges.
Across the border, in Massachusetts, history buffs and families will appreciate the famed walking path known as the Freedom Trail, which begins in the Boston Common. The 2.5-mile trail wends through cobblestone streets, bringing Revolutionary history to life with stops at the site of the Boston Massacre and the Old South Meeting House, where plans for the Boston Tea Party were secretly hatched. North of Boston, in Gloucester, you can visit the half-dozen lighthouses that stand sentry over the Atlantic Ocean coastline, some of which date back to the 1780s. Outside the city, Fitchburg’s Top Fun Aviation Toy Museum has a collection of aviation-related toys and paraphernalia from the United States, Germany, Hungary, and Japan.