Top 5 Theme Parks And Amusement Parks Near Boston, Massachusetts

theme parks in boston
Maria Cristina
Maria Cristina 
| 4 min read

Boston, known as the “Athens of America”, was British North America’s intellectual center in 1722 and is home to reputable colleges, like Harvard, and universities, like Boston University. These iconic learning institutions attract thousands of visitors, including students, writers, scientists, scholars, and philosophers. Boston is also highly visited for its culture-rich vibe embodied in the historical landmarks that fill the cityscape. Copley Square, Back Bay’s public square, is a cluster of architectural landmarks symbolic of the 19th century. Though it is the mecca for high learning, its citizenry does have time to relax and have fun in their green spaces. Boston Harbour provides access to 34 scenic islands for an exciting urban day trip. Explore these top theme parks and amusement parks near Boston, Massachusetts, which are an amazing mix of culture, history, and wholesome family entertainment. Read our list below.

1. Lake Compounce

Lake Compounce
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Martin Lewison used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Visit Lake Compounce - the oldest running American family-friendly amusement park, based in Southington and Bristol, Connecticut since 1846! Its name was taken from John Compound, its original owner and Native American Chieftain. After Samual Botsford conducted electrical experiments in 1846, the property became a picnic park where people swam, rowed boats on the lake, and watched live concerts in the gazebo. In the following years, Southern-style barbecues were introduced and a 10-pin bowling alley and pool tables were built.

The Casino, it’s first permanent structure in 1895, has a second-floor ballroom and a ground-floor restaurant. Adrenaline-pumping rides, like the Carousel, the Green Dragon (later replaced by the Wildcat), speedboats, and a mini steam railroad were added. The park survived financial difficulties and change of ownership over the centuries. Under new management, millions of dollars were spent on its rehabilitation, including the addition of new rides and the integration of old traditions with the natural beauty of its surroundings. Go camping, shopping, dine at the restaurants, watch live shows, explore the rides, or book one of the lakeside cabanas on Crocodile Cove.

Lake Compounce

Address: 185 Enterprise Dr, Bristol, CT 06010, United States

Website: Lake Compounce

Opening hours: Sat - Sun: 4am - 9pm; Fri: 5am - 9pm (closed Mon - Thu)

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2. Canobie Lake Park

Canobie Lake Park Untamed
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Canobielakepark used under CC BY-SA 3.0

31 miles (49.9 km) to Boston’s north, in Salem, New Hampshire, is an amusement park called Canobie Lake Park. It first opened in 1902 as a huge botanical garden with a few park rides previously owned by the HP&S (Hudson, Pelham, & Salem Railways) and was introduced as a pleasure resort to complement their railways. The lovely botanical gardens motivated guests to dress in their finest while they leisurely enjoyed time with their family having picnics, enjoying the Circle Swing and Penny Arcade, joining in the sporting events, and canoeing on the lake. The introduction of automobiles in the 1920s caused the railway business to go bankrupt. In 1932, a self-made millionaire bought the park and focused on its rehabilitation, which included the purchase of the Greyhound Roller Coaster (now called the Yankee Cannonball) from Lakewood Park.

The Dancehall Theater was a popular entertainment destination until the 1950s and featured performances from famous celebrities, like Sonny & Cher and Frank Sinatra. In 1958, the park was purchased by a group of friends originally from New Jersey. They revived the park by adding new rides and concessions, paving the midway, and putting in more games, setting the highest benchmark for family entertainment.

Canobie Lake Park

Address: 85 N Policy St, Salem, NH 03079, United States

Website: Canobie Lake Park

Opening hours: 9am - 11pm (daily)

Price: starts at 139 USD

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3. Six Flags New England

Flashback à Six Flags New England (recadrée avec plus de luminosité)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Antoine6794 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Six Flags New England, the oldest in the Six Flags chain of amusement parks, is just a short car ride from Albany, Boston, and the Northeast district. It’s the place to go if you want heart-pounding, thrilling rides. Formerly called Riverside Park, it was a picnic area in 1870 called Callup’s Grove. During the early 1900s, visitors arrived by steamship until the Springfield Street Railway extended their tracks to the park.

Under the ownership of Henry Perkins in 1911, the park, along with the existing carousel and mechanical rides, was transformed into the amusement park you see today. He added the Giant Dip in 1912, the park’s first rollercoaster (replaced in 1920 by the bigger and better Lightning), the Greyhound in 1915, and its third coaster, the Whirlwind Racer, in 1928. Today you also have the Wicked Cyclone, the free-falling Zoom Down Screen, bumper cars, waterparks, kiddie rides, and live shows, including meeting the characters from Looney Tunes.

Six Flags New England

Address: Route 159, 1623 Main St, Agawam, MA 01001, United States

Website: Six Flags New England

Opening hours: varies, depending on the season

Price: starts at 6.49 USD

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4. Edaville Family Theme Park

Edaville Family Theme Parks Main Entrance
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user EdavilleMA used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Edaville’s former owner, Ellis D. Atwood, not only gave his initials EDA to the park, but his enterprising ideas that gave birth to this iconic amusement park. During the Great Depression of the 1800s, he purchased the tracks and surrounded his 1,800-acre (728.4-hectare) cranberry plantation with a 5.5 mile (8.9 km) long railroad. The trains were used to service his marshlands and give paying customers a sightseeing tour of the plantation.

The property eventually became a family-friendly fun park with lavish Christmas exhibits, carnival rides, and cheerful lights. In 2002, 250 acres (101.2 hectares) of the property was bought by Jon Delli Priscoli. Under his ownership, the ingenious combination of vintage rides and the addition of new attractions boosted the popularity of Edaville as the best amusement park for families with kids in the area of Carver, Massachusetts. There’s a festival for every season here, like the Christmas Festival of Lights during December and their “Not So Spooky Halloween” in October. There are also jumbo elephant rides, a Spinning Lady Bug Coaster, and a giant Ferris wheel. Besides its stage shows, there are also numerous dining options and shops.

Edaville Family Theme Park

Address: 5 Pine St, Carver, MA 02330, United States

Website: Edaville Family Theme Park

Opening hours: Fri - Sat: 2pm - 9:30pm; Sun: 2pm - 9pm; Mon - Wed - Thu: 4pm - 9pm; Tue: 4pm - 8pm

Price: starts from 30 USD

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Boston Tour Guide

Naim Benmayor

Naim Benmayor

As a Boston tour guide, I have the added experience of being a world traveler. For many years, I frequently visited Europe, Asia, and Latin America on business. During this time, I also organized tours of the USA, Europe and Asia for my business clients. I now bring this passion, excitement and expertise to the Boston area.By exploring the globe, I was exposed to various cultures, and this unique perspective has taught me what appeals to people when visiting a new part of the country or a new part of the world. My fluency in English and Turkish, and my advanced skills in Spanish and intermediate skills in French, also help me to service a wider range of tourists and business people.I moved to Boston, Massachusetts several years ago, and I now reside in Brookline. I have three children, so I develop my tours to accommodate families with kids, couples, and individuals who want to visit and learn about the rich history and culture of Boston. As a parent, I know that Boston is a great place for higher education, and I have knowledge of the colleges and universities in the area.I customize tours to suit the needs and preferences of my customers. Whether you want a walking tour, a riding tour, or a little of both, I can create an itinerary that showcases the best of what Boston has to offer.My one day tours are educational and entertaining, and include the history, culture, personalities, architecture and, even the shopping areas of this renowned city. At the end of the tour you will be happy and satisfied when you realize you've seen so much in just a short time.I am here to share my knowledge of Boston, Cambridge and all of New England with you, and help you to enjoy your visit so you can explore the must-see parts of this great city. I look forward to meeting you and guiding you around the city, so please send me a message if you have any questions.Thank you for reading.

5. Legoland Discovery Center Boston (from USD 25.0)

Bring your kids to a colorful world where they will learn as they play! Legoland Discovery Center in Boston is a huge facility filled with the famous LEGO bricks, where kids can freely play, explore, and be creative. It offers a lot of exhibits and activities that even adults will enjoy.

There are themed events with exciting building activities, interactive photos, and stop motion film opportunities. This unique family entertainment center is located indoors at the Assembly Square in the Somerville neighborhood, near Boston. It features rides, a gift shop, a 4D cinema, a soft play area, and miniature replicas of Boston, Fenway Park, and Gillette Stadium.

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Boston LEGOLAND Discovery Center Admission Ticket

Duration: 3 hours

Why amusement parks in Boston are so amusing!

Though Boston is both a historical and intellectual city, it is also a haven for amusement parks. These theme parks not only abound with thrill-seeking rides and outdoor fun, but also reflect the rich heritage of Boston that carries on for each generation. From camping and having a relaxing barbecue picnic beside a lake to riding heart-pounding rollercoasters up in the air, these parks have features that can please everyone at any age. Be sure to include one of the parks on your next visit to Boston, Massachusetts.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Tina is a free-spirited writer and traveler. She likes to experience unfamiliar places, cuisines, and scenery. She prefers beaches to mountains though as she is afraid of heights. Visiting museums,...Read more

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