Coastal Maine doesn’t absolutely scream “winter getaway” so that’s why this one’s such a nice surprise. This is their apathetic season, so the ante are low but the ambiance is top notch. The inn has 23 fireplaces, an calm pool, and a affable old-school pub, the Broad Arrow Tavern, that’s altogether ill-fitted to arctic days. (Them: Huddling in a lift line, aggravating to break warm. You: Cuddling about the blaze with a balmy beverage.) And there’s this: Lobster Sunday Brunch. Even in the off-season, that’s a hot ticket. If active in snowdrifts is a concern, accede the Amtrak Downeaster — the association at the Harraseeket will carriage you aback and alternating from the base in Freeport.
Freeport’s aperture food are accessible in winter, bare the crowds and additional some abundant off-season sales. Get aggressive by all the outdoorsy accessory at L.L. Bean (the “campus” is two blocks arctic of the inn) and assurance up for an action with Bean’s Alfresco Discovery program; activities booty abode at adjacent Pineland Farms. Not to mention, there’s affluence of alfresco fun appropriate in Freeport — winter hiking and snowshoeing — at Wolfe’s Neck State Esplanade on Casco Bay. Ante from $150. Lobster Sunday brunch, $49.95; www.harraseeketinn.com.
Wet and agrarian with the kiddos, booty one: Abundant Wolf Lodge, Fitchburg
Walk into Abundant Wolf Abode you’ll anon apprehension this: Anybody — man, woman, child, agent — is cutting bristling wolf ears. Acceptable to the abutting affair we accept to Walt Disney World. You’ve got your backwoods characters, ball parties, adventure hours, mini golf, arcade games, ice chrism shop, restaurants, and the capital attraction: a 68,000-square-foot baptize park. We’re talking 11 waterslides, a four-story baptize fort, a beachcomber pool, a apathetic river, and alfresco hot tubs, abundant to accumulate the kids prune-y pawed for an absolute weekend. The baptize temperature is a balmy 84 degrees.
Day passes are available, but best families break brief at the lodge, back waterpark passes are included in the allowance rate. Abode apartment are avant-garde and comfortable, and action our admired family-friendly amenity: a mini-fridge for BYO drinks and snacks. Allowance ante are accomplished on weekends, and as abundant as 50 percent beneath on weeknights, but be acquainted that there are added accuse for some activities, including mini golf, MagiQuest, bowling, and the ropes course. You can array these with attractions passes, but at $50 to $70 per kid, they’ll run up your tab. But there’s affluence of being to do for chargeless all day, from bingo to affectation making, abnormally for baby fry. This one is a acceptable best if your kids ambit in age: Toddlers will accept a abundant time in the splash-and-play pools, while earlier kids and adolescence bleat their way through the better baptize slides. If you’re attractive for a vacation vibe, Abundant Wolf Abode is a cinch cabin-fever buster. Allowance ante from $180; www.greatwolf.com.
Wet and agrarian with the kiddos, booty two: Cape Codder Resort & Spa, Hyannis
We can appealing abundant agreement you won’t hit cartage on the Sagamore Bridge this ages — aloof one of the affidavit to accede a quick appointment to the Cape Codder Resort & Spa. The capital accident here: a 30,000-square-foot calm waterpark. Airing in from the outdoors and the clamminess hits you, hot and steamy, like South Florida in August. In a word, perfect. This is no adored auberge pool, but the absolute deal, with baptize slides (including mini ones for the toddler set), a acrimonious indoor-outdoor pool, and our admired element, a apathetic — accomplish that bitter — river, complete with lightning, thunder, turbulence, and rain. Thankfully: no snow. Once the little ones are appropriately waterlogged, they can attempt into activities like face-painting and ability projects. The Beach Plum Spa is a acceptable allowance for harried moms.
Stay brief (waterpark passes are included in the allowance amount back anxiety are appointed through the hotel) or accomplish it a day trip. There’s a Hearth ‘n Kettle restaurant on armpit at the resort, but you ability appetite to adventure out to Craigville Pizza & Mexican (www.craigvillepizza.com), in adjoining Centerville, voted best on Cape Cod. Back you’re branch that way, why not amplitude your legs with a winter airing on Craigville Beach? No crowds, we promise, and as admirable as ever. Allowance ante from $159; waterpark: $40 per person; $30 for accouchement beneath 48 inches tall; $20 for beholder (non-swimmer); www.capecodderresort.com
Bumper cars and howler monkeys: Providence
Why accompany the kids to Providence in winter? Three words: ice bonanza cars. You’ll acquisition ‘em in Providence, the alone burghal in New England (and one of alone three places in the United States) to action this attraction. You ascendancy your bonanza car with a joystick, authoritative 360-degree turns and action forward, backward, and sideways. Way added fun than the Southeast Expressway. Kids age 6 (if they’re 42 inches tall) and earlier can handle their own bonanza car (www.theprovidencerink.com; $12).
And who knew you could go to the zoo in winter? For the absolute ages of February, the Roger Williams Esplanade Zoo (www.rwpzoo.org; approved rates, adults $17.95; 2-12, $12.95) will host its ceremony “Winter Wonder Days”: bisected amount acceptance for anybody from 10 to 4 daily. Last year, the Zoo apparent a new $10 million, calm rainforest area alleged Faces of the Rainforest, featuring naturalistic habitats. If you’re not into zoos, but adulation art, accede a appointment to the RISD Museum of Art (www.risdmuseum.org). Collections ambit from Greek and Roman carve to abreast art in every medium; currently on affectation is “Raid the Icebox Now,” the 50th ceremony of Andy Warhol’s “Raid the Icebox 1.”
If you appetite to accomplish it a mini-vacation, accede the Omni Providence Hotel. Connected to the Providence Abode Mall, the auberge is aural walking ambit to the Ice Bonanza Cars at the Alex and Ani Burghal Center. At check-in, kids get an Omni Kids Crew amenity, a haversack abounding with baby gifts, additional milk and accolade delivered to their bedfellow allowance on the aboriginal night. Back booking the hotel, aloof acquaint them you’ll be bringing kids along. From $169; www.omnihotels.com.
Diane Bair and Pamela Wright can be accomplished at email@example.com.
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