Want a break from winter vistas? New England has a bunch of indoor gardens and play scapes for both kids and adults. Plan a visit:
Tower Hill Botanic Gardens in Boylston, Massachusetts
This year-round botanic garden has one of the finest collections of woody and herbaceous plants, both native and exotic, hardy and non-hardy. Bask in the warmth of the Limonaia (Lemon House) to feel like you are in sunny Italy. Hours: Closed January; reopens February 2 with lots of events, exhibits and workshops through the winter. Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Map.
IT Adventure Ropes Course in New Haven, CT
Here’s the ultimate in indoor physical activity for the whole family – Jordan’s IT Adventure Ropes Course. On two 60-foot high ropes courses you can climb and zip and jump and walk amidst swinging beams, angled rope ladders, cargo nets, bridges, and planks. Watch 1000 water nozzles dance to lights, stereo sounds and music. Soar across Sky Rail zip lines above the Waltzing Water show — and remember to keep your feet up, you may get wet! Map.
CoCo Key Water Park Boston North Shore in Danvers, MA
It’s always 84 degrees in this indoor water park. Does that sound good so far? Enjoy water slides, a lazy river, a splash pad and dip-in-the- theater arcade, private cozy cabanas, and lots more. Look for Coco Key discounts and packages that include overnight accommodations, water resort access, and breakfast in the family-friendly TradeWinds Restaurant. Map.
Foxwoods Casino in Mashantucket, CT, and Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT
Foxwoods consists of several casinos with thousands of slot machines and hundreds of tables, along with a large bingo hall. There is lots of fun shopping in the concourse and dining options include gourmet dinner at Paragon, seafood at Cedars, Italian cuisine at Al Dente, dim sum at the Golden Dragon, and steak at David Burke Prime. Entertainment venues at Foxwoods offer comedy, boxing, theater, concerts, lounges, and video games. Map.
Mohegan Sun offers some of New England’s finest dining, hotel accommodations, retail shopping, live entertainment and sporting events. Mohegan Sun is also host to the Kids Quest/Cyber Quest family entertainment facility, a luxurious day spa, and three theaters. People from across the globe come to see live concerts with top headliners, along with major sporting events. Map.
Newport Mansions in Newport, Rhode Island
The triumvirate of Marble House, the Breakers and Rosecliff welcome visitors to the artistry of the Gilded Age. Marble House, designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt, contains 500,000 cubic feet of American, Italian and African marbles. You will hear very interesting stories about the Vanderbilt families. The Breakers, an Italian Renaissance-style house, looks over a spectacular view of the Atlantic Ocean, where the waves crashing on the rocks below gave the house its name. Rosecliff is the creation of architect Stanford White. It’s been used as a setting for a number of movies, including “The Great Gatsby,” “True Lies,” and “27 Dresses.” Hours: The Breakers, Marble House & Rosecliff are open daily. Starting February 15, The Elms also is open daily. Map: Marble House / Map: The Breakers / Map: Rosecliff
Cape Codder Resort & Spa in Hyannis MA
This 30,000-square-foot indoor Water Park and the only one of its kind on Cape Cod. The Park features two body slides, a 300-foot lazy river with waterfalls and rapids, giant spouting humpback whale, Kiddie play area, the Gazebo Café, more – all beneath a giant retractable roof for sunny days. The Indoor Wave Pool, with its two-foot waves, 50 and 80 foot water slides, saunas and 24-person whirlpool is incorporated into the Water Park. Day Passes are based on availability. Map.
Okemo Valley Golf Club’s Indoor Golf Training Center in Ludlow, VT
Thought you couldn’t golf in New England when there’s a foot or more of snow on the ground? Au contraire. At the Okemo Valley Golf Club’s Indoor Golf Training Center in Vermont, your clubs won’t get rusty, and neither will your golf skills. In fact, you may just be able to knock a few strokes off your handicap with the instructional programs offered at Okemo. Affordable daily rates are available for the Academy’s Swing Stations and 9-hole practice putting green, and the Full Swing Golf Simulator is available for an hourly fee. Map.