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Summer Travel | Magazine

Twelve ways to have fun on rainy summer days in New England

These indoor options will keep the whole family entertained . . . and dry.

Beluga whales are among the creatures you can see at the Mystic Aquarium.
Beluga whales are among the creatures you can see at the Mystic Aquarium.(Dina Rudick/Globe staff/File)

CONNECTICUT

1. Mystic Aquarium, Mystic

Beluga whales, harbor seals, California sea lions, and Northern fur seals can be found at this aquarium tucked away in a quaint village. Along with a new stingray touch tank, there’s an exhibit of animatronic dinosaurs and an interactive replica of Long Island Sound. 55 Coogan Boulevard, 860-572-5955, mysticaquarium.org

2. Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl and Grill, Bridgeport

With ball returns that look like giant sharks, mermaids, and jellyfish, and lanes bathed in blue lights, you can imagine being at the bottom of the ocean. Even the bowling balls are decorated with images of sea creatures. 1 Bass Pro Drive, 203-362-4100, unclebucksfishbowlandgrill.com

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MAINE

3. Abbe Museum, Bar Harbor

Maine’s only Smithsonian-affiliated museum, the Abbe showcases contemporary and historic art from Maine’s original inhabitants, the Wabanaki Nations. Visitors learn about the tribes’ way of life, from viewing canoes and traditional dress, to student artwork from schools in present-day Wabanaki communities. 26 Mount Desert Street, 207-288-3519, abbemuseum.org

4. Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine, Portland

Located in the city’s arts district, this museum provides an indoor home to a 25-foot-long fire truck, with a pole to slide down and fire gear to try on. Kids can X-ray their teddy bear in the mini-doctor’s office or play in a lumberyard replica. Live theater productions run year-round, with kids as the stars. 142 Free Street, 207-828-1234, kitetails.com

MASSACHUSETTS

Eric Carle at his museum in Amherst.
Eric Carle at his museum in Amherst. (Jonathan Wiggs/Globe staff/File 2011)

5. Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst

This museum exposes the writers, illustrators, and creative process behind favorite children’s picture books. Visitors learn how Eric Carle classics like The Very Hungry Caterpillar came about, see rotating exhibits on other authors, and glimpse unpublished artwork and alternate book covers. 125 West Bay Road, 413-559-6300, carlemuseum.org

6. Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Springfield

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Located in the birthplace of basketball, the Hall of Fame honors more than 400 inductees. Read a script as if you’re in an ESPN studio, and watch your performance afterward. Interactive exhibits include the Rebounder, where you measure your high jump. A full-size basketball court is open for play, with 6- and 9-foot-high hoops. 1000 West Columbus Avenue, 413-781-6500, hoophall.com

The basketball Hall of Fame is located in Springfield, Mass., the birthplace of the game.
The basketball Hall of Fame is located in Springfield, Mass., the birthplace of the game. (Nancy Palmieri/Associated Press)

NEW HAMPSHIRE

7. Funspot, Laconia

Located at Weirs Beach on Lake Winnipesaukee, Funspot packs in more than 600 games, including classics like pinball, Tetris, and Skee-Ball. There’s also indoor mini-golf, bumper cars, and bowling. Founder Bob Lawton recommends prepping for a visit by watching The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, a 2007 documentary about Donkey Kong record-holders filmed at the arcade. 579 Endicott Street, 603-366-4377, funspotnh.com

8. Kahuna Laguna, North Conway

This indoor water park offers tube slides for big kids and tipping water buckets for little ones. A DJ spins tunes for the swimmers in the giant wave pool. If you’d rather not get wet, head to the arcade and snack bar. 2251 White Mountain Highway, 603-356-5411, kahunalaguna.com

RHODE ISLAND

There are numerous interactive exhibits at the Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island.
There are numerous interactive exhibits at the Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island. (Associated PRess/File)

9. International Tennis Hall of Fame, Newport

You don’t have to be a tennis fan to appreciate the passion and art behind the sport, from the uniforms to the game’s history. Interactive experiences include an exhibit where kids can record themselves broadcasting a match. A hologram of Roger Federer brings kids close to the legendary pro. Kids 16 and younger are admitted free. 194 Bellevue Avenue, 401-849-3990, tennisfame.com

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10. RISD Museum, Providence

The Rhode Island School of Design has churned out many talented artists, and some of their work is on display here, along efforts by other creators. You’ll see Egyptian mummy masks, the many colors of a Jackson Pollock painting, and Japanese battle armor from the 17th century. Look for Super Art Sunday, which offers hands-on family activities, and admission is free. 224 Benefit Street, 401-454-6500, risdmuseum.org

VERMONT

11. Ben & Jerry’s factory tour, Waterbury

A tour of the ice-cream maker’s factory, complete with samples, would make even a rain-soaked camping trip enjoyable. After the walk-through, get suited up in a tie-dyed coat and head to the lab, where you create your own flavor. 1281 Waterbury-Stowe Road, 802-882-2047, benjerry.com

12. ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, Burlington

Whether or not you believe in Champ, Vermont’s fabled lake monster, you’ll still appreciate this spot. With beautiful views of the lake and Adirondacks, the science center exhibits animals from the area. If you’re interested in Champ, you’ll find a section with images, stories from locals, and biologists’ opinions. 1 College Street, 802-864-1848, echovermont.org

RELATED SUMMER TRAVEL STORIES:

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Mary Shertenlieb is a writing instructor at Emerson College. Send comments to magazine@globe.com.