places for kids north of boston
My family and I are coming back to the Boston area where I grew up to visit for 2 weeks. I would like recommendations on good places to go (both restaurants and attractions) with two small kids (1 and 4 years old) North of Boston. We are staying in Peobody but have a car. Any places close to Peobody with good take away would also be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
My two favorite places in Peabody, where my parents still live, are the Sea Witch, on Rt.1 North, for great, simple, reasonably priced seafood, and O'Fado, in Peabody Sq. for Portuguese..
Both are casual enough that kids won't be frowned on, and reasonable enough that you won't have a problem bringing them;( don't know if they have kids menus per se).
As a bonus, the food is good enough (loster and steamer specials at Sea Witch, Portuguese home-cooking at O'Fado) that you'd go even if kids were not an issue.
It's an ancient beachfront "casino" arcade with fried clams and pinball and skeeball and chop suey sandwiches and salt water taffy and kiddie rides -- PERFECT for a three year old who might feel lost at a Disneyland. And right next door to Peabody.
Salem has all sorts of historical stuff that I loved as a kid. There used to be a colonial-period ship on Derby Wharf that's cheap fun for curious kids, and low-strain.
Does the magic show still run in Beverly? That might be a bit too much for a one year old, but it's brilliant.
We were just talking about Willows. Click on the link below to read that thread. Two things I forgot to mention: there's a carousel in the arcade, and one of the food vendors has Richardson's ice cream.
Lynch Park in Beverly is a lower-key, no-arcade alternative. There's the beach, two different sets of playground equipment, picnic tables under the trees, the occasional band concert -- and you can get Dick and June's ice cream! (Also burgers, dogs, grilled cheese and the like, if you want a cheap and easy lunch.)
The "Friendship" is still docked at Derby Wharf as of last Saturday.
The magic show is still running as well. It's "Le Grand David and His Own Spectacular Magic Show", and it's the only resident magic company in North America. They just celebrated their 25th anniversary. They're usually at the Cabot Theatre in Beverly on Sunday afternoons, and the Larcom Theatre some other time -- perhaps Saturdays. Fun for kids of all ages. You can call them for details, or pick up their schedule almost anywhere around Beverly.
For better alternatives to Woodman's, search this board for "clams".
Some suggestions (I live on N. Shore and have a 2 and 5 year old):
Definitely try Richardsons Ice Cream on Route 114 in Middleton (as another post recod): great ice cream and yogurt kind of a local institution.
Bugaboo Creek steak house at the N.Shore mall 114 in Peabody: fine dining its not, but very kid-friendly (also an Outback down the street and Johnny Rockets hamburger shop in the mall).
Woodmans in Essex: in the rough fried clams, lobster and other fun, greasy finger food. Your kids will love everyone eating w/their hands.
For mom and dad: Red Rock Bistro, Humphrey street, Swampscott- excellent food, great water views of Boston skyline, sometimes have a jazz combo playing.
Walk around old town Marblehead-nice, upscale shops, a couple of small parks including an old navy fort on the water. In fact, there is a great place in Marblehead called Pottery by Design; they make their own plates, mugs, cookie jars, etc. with your kids handprints & footprints and their names and date. Great gifts (although fragile) and kids (all ones I know) love it. If its a beach day-try Marbleheads Devereaux beach- playground is right on the beach.
Finally- if you want to make the trip I HIGHLY recommend StoryLand in Jefferson (?) New Hampshire. The whole park is clean and rides are based on nursery rhymes w/whole park focused on kids under 8. It's about a 2 hour drive from N. Shore but well worth it
You have to take the kids on the Swan Boats in the Boston Public Garden. While your in Boston go to the Aquarium. There are plenty of kid friendly eating vendors in Fanieul Hall.
Any 99 restaurants would be great for kids or even Bertucci's. They give the kids pizza dough to play with.
Just a few places:
for taking kids, try Hometown Buffet on Route 114 in Peabody. Sure it's not gourmet (or even close) but kids enjoy picking what they like to eat and you pay a smaller price for them. For takeout, Panera Bread at the Liberty Tree Mall is good. For ice cream, go to Richardson's on Route 114 in Middleton, or Treadwells, which is in the opposite direction on 114, (I think it's Peabody or Beverly). Richardson's also has mini-golf.
For attractions, try Canobie Lake Park in Salem New Hampshire. It's not as huge as Six Flags, but sometimes that's a good thing. There's a part set aside with kiddie rides that your kids would enjoy. I have spent many an hour there! The park has a discount rate after four or five in the afternoon. There's also Gloucester, and Salem,(MA). I could go on and on!
I hope this was helpful. Have fun!