Family Friendly Activities

Hey, fellow explorers! Looking for a family-friendly getaway that’s part history, part outdoor fun, and all-around delicious? From our parks and museums to ice cream spots and arcade fun, we’ve got everything you need for an enjoyable trip with the kids.

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Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott

Start your family adventure by checking into the Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott, a welcoming hotel with comfortable accommodations right near the waterfront. Start your day with a complimentary continental breakfast and a dip in the indoor heated pool before you head out to explore the city.

The Baker

The best way to start the day is with a visit to The Baker, where you’ll find an assortment of gourmet pastries, Portuguese linguica rolls, and mouthwatering sandwiches. This gem of downtown, opened by Johnson and Wales culinary graduate, Brandon Roderick, is open Wednesday through Sunday. Make sure to check out their Facebook and Instagram on Fridays to see what the specialty donut will be on Saturday and Sunday and get there early because their treats sell out fast on the weekends.

Parks, Beaches, and Playgrounds

When you’re ready to stretch your legs and get some fresh air, we have over 30 parks, playgrounds, beaches, and recreational areas that are perfect for burning off some energy. Breathe in the salty air as you walk, run, or ride a bike along the Blue Lane, a dedicated walking path that spans the city’s waterfront. Enjoy soft sand and scenic views at East Beach and Fort Taber Beach. Noah’s Place Playground, located next to Pope’s Island Marina, is a state-of-the-art accessible playground that offers fun for kids of all ages.

Play Arcade

Get your game on or hang out on the rooftop deck overlooking the New Bedford harbor. Boasting over 40 vintage arcade games, including ski ball and air hockey, Play is the spot for fun games, good food, and great drinks. Play is 21+ after 8pm except on Sundays.

No Problemo Taqueria

Referred to as “No Probs” by locals, this taqueria is known for its fresh ingredients, affordable prices, and gigantic burritos. Options are available for both meat and veggie lovers. Spice it up with one of their specialty hot sauces, like the Dompierre named after local skateboarding legend Nick Dompierre. Dine in or head straight to their takeout counter, but take note that they are cash only.

The Fishing Heritage Center

This one-of-a-kind center is dedicated to telling the stories of New Bedford’s fishing industry from the past to the present. Learn about the hardworking people who have helped make New Bedford the #1 fishing port in the US for over two decades. Exhibits and activities are designed to engage children and adults while providing an educational, hands-on experience.

AHA! Nights

The second Thursday of every month is AHA! Night in New Bedford. This celebration of art, history, and architecture allows locals and visitors to experience the city’s creative spirit throughout the downtown area. AHA’s free programming is designed for people of all ages and includes performances, art exhibits, family-friendly activities, and much more.

Buttonwood Park Zoo

The best part about Buttonwood Park Zoo is its size. The zoo was named “one of the finest small zoos” by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). With both indoor and outdoor exhibits, a cafe, an outdoor nature play area, and rides for children, Buttonwood Park Zoo is the perfect spot to spend an hour or two with the whole family.

Brick Pizzeria Napoletana

In a rush to grab a bite? In minutes you can enjoy brick oven sourdough personal pizzas made with fresh locally sourced mozzarella made by hand daily. Choose from dozens of gourmet toppings and indulge your sweet tooth with a dessert pizza made with Nutella or a delicious ricotta-stuffed cannoli.

Dairy Maid & Acushnet Creamery

Summer in New Bedford is the best time to grab a scoop (or two!) of handmade ice cream. To make it even better, you can enjoy your frozen treat as you look out onto the New Bedford harbor. Acushnet Creamery is conveniently located on New Bedford’s Pier 3, where you can watch the fishing boats come and go. Dairy Maid is located in the South End along the hurricane barrier, giving you the perfect opportunity to walk along the Blue Lane, a walking path situated on top of the barrier.

New Bedford Harbor Tours

If you’re traveling with older children, we recommend booking a ride with New Bedford Harbor Tours. During this two-hour ride through New Bedford’s harbor, you’ll explore the same waters Herman Melville once sailed as you take in scenic views, watch commercial fishing boats come and go, and learn interesting facts about New Bedford’s history.

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