fun things to do with kids in north shore massachusetts   Travel for Kids
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North Shore

For centuries, people living on the North Shore of Massachusetts have turned to the sea for fishing and trade. Settlers landed here in 1623, the forests provided timber to build boats, boats used to fish for plentiful cod and lobster. Small fishing villages became grand maritime towns. After the American Revolution, Salem was the hub of trade with Asia, bringing back riches from the Orient.
    Salem
   

Marblehead – Marblehead is one the great New England seafaring towns, many a sea captain and fisherman sailed out of this picturesque harbor. Walk down Front Street, lined with original period century houses in pastel colors – peach, yellow, and white. Front Street ends at Fort Sewall. Since 1644, there’s been a fort on this point, guarding the entrance to the harbor.

      Back in town, Devereaux Beach is a long stretch of sandy beach, so bring your sand toys for the kids and make an afternoon of it.
    Manchester-By-The-Sea – Go down to the “Singing Beach,” the sand squeaks as you walk on it. (Our friends who visited the beach definitely heard it “singing” but it can depend on the humidity.)
      After you’ve been at the beach, stop at Captain Dusty’s Ice Cream shop (near the commuter train station) – try the blue goo (vanilla with a blue swirl) ice cream in a kiddy cone. Tip: In summer, parking in Manchester is pricey.
    Gloucester – Go out on a whale watching cruise to see humpback, minke or fin whales, dolphins, seals and turtles. Bring a jacket (it can get chilly out on the water). April to October.
   

Rockport – Rockport has some absolutely fabulous tide pools at Halibut Point State Park, tide pools with brilliant red and green colors, hermit crabs, snails and sea stars. Check the tide tables to find with it's low tide.

      In town, there’s a long sandy beach right along Beach St. and it’s fun to walk around the Rockport Inner Harbor and the town wharf, fishing shantys and colorful lobster floats everywhere.
family hotels north shore ma

Travel for Kids has plenty of fun things to do with kids on the North Shore, but you'll need a fun place to stay.

Here's our own Travel for Kids hand-picked list of family hotels, all styles and price ranges, comfortable for families, and convenient to Salem, Marblehead and Rockport:

North Shore family hotels
kids books massachusetts
     
Going Lobstering  
Going Lobstering
Jerry Pallotta, Rob Bolster

Two kids go out in a boat with a lobsterman, and learn how a lobster trap works, why floats are colored, what lobsters eat, how to hold a lobster so it doesn’t pinch you. (Picture book)

 

     
The Cod's Tale
Mark Kurlansky

Gloucester has always been a cod fishing capital, dating back to 1623. A fascinating story of the cod fish – it’s a large, ugly, greedy fish that will eat anything that fits in its big mouth, cod was once valued like gold, people ate fresh and salted cod for centuries. (Picture book)

 

 
The Cod's Tale
     
The Serpent Came to Gloucester  
The Serpent Came to Gloucester
M.T. Anderson, Bagram Ibatoulline

On a sunny day, the serpent came and played in the frothy sea, astounding and frightening the people of Gloucester. Men came to hunt the serpent with their harpoons and ships, but they only landed a pretty big fish. Sparkling illustrations, based on a true story, this is a wonderful tale of the mystery and beauty of the ocean. (Picture book)

 

     
Ghost Ship
Dietlog Reiche

In a seaside town, one night the bay disappears and the Storm Goddess, an 18th century sailing ship appears, stranded in the mud. Two kids, Vicki and Peter, are hot on the track of a ghostly crew, pirate legend, ill-gotten gold, and mystery of the seashells. (Chapter book)

 

 
Ghost Ship
More children's books on other Massachusetts pages.
 
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