Best Kid-Friendly Museums in New England

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Looking for a museum that appeals to kids and adults alike? Perhaps you long to tour the unusual? These museums offer entertainment in the form of vintage toys, an 8-foot tall Bigfoot, classic Pac Man, and all kinds of creepy crawlies.  We think they bring new meaning to the term “edu-tainment,” and make great school vacation destinations. Here are our picks of some of the best kid-friendly museums in New England.

Barker Character, Comic & Cartoon MuseumCheshire, CT
Herb and Gloria Barker’s cache of childhood nostalgia is one of the largest such collections in America. Old-time treasures such as Lone Ranger flashlight rings appeal to Baby Boomers, while the Pixar collectibles are a hit with the young set. Admission: $5 adults, $3 ages 3-12; free for ages 2 and under.
1188 Highland Ave. (Route 10). 203-699-3822; barkermuseum.com

The International Cryptozoology MuseumPortland, ME
An 8-foot-tall Bigfoot greets visitors at Loren Coleman’s museum. He’s a renowned expert in cryptozoology, the story of hidden animals, such as the Loch Ness Monster and the Abominable Snowman. Check Web site for details.
207-772-0245; cryptozoologymuseum.com

American Classic Arcade Museum – Laconia, NH
Asteroids? Check. Donkey Kong? Of course. Ms. Pac Man? You bet. They’re all here–more than 250 classic arcade games–at this one-of-a-kind museum dedicated to preserving the idea that you can still find an inordinate amount of pleasure for just a quarter.
Read more about the American Classic Arcade Museum.
579 Endicott St. North. 603-366-4377; classicarcademuseum.org

Harvard Museum of Natural HistoryCambridge, MA
There’s something to enrapture visitors of all ages.  Kids love the skeleton of the seagoing Kronosaurus dinosaur, millions of bugs, and stuffed lions, tigers, and bears. Parents marvel over the vitrine botanical specimens known as the Glass Flowers.
26 Oxford St., Cambridge, MA. 617-495-3045; hmnh.harvard.edu

Vermont Toy & Train MuseumQuechee, VT
This portal to childhood highlights hundreds of toys, arranged by decade, starting in the 1920s. You’re guaranteed to find something that sends you into spasms of Proustian nostalgia.
Quechee Gorge Village, Route 4. 802-295-1550; quecheegorge.com/vermont-toy-train.php

Comments
  • Loren C.

    We very much appreciate being favorably mentioned on your list of kid-friendly museums, as we have done much to achieve such recognition.

    However, for three years we have been a downtown-located Portland, Maine museum with regular hours (only closed on Tuesdays). As of September 15, 2011, we are a nonprofit, and moved to a much larger location (11 Avon Street) in October 2011.

    See full information here: http://www.cryptozoologymuseum.com

    Thank you once again for highlighting us.

    Sincerely,
    Loren Coleman, Director
    International Cryptozoology Museum
    Portland, Maine
    207-518-9496

    Reply

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