25. Live Performance Venue: Boardinghouse Park
Owned and operated by Lowell National Historical Park, Boarding House Park – named for the mill girls’ boardinghouse adjacent to it – is a grassy retreat located in the epicenter of busy downtown Lowell. Home to the Lowell Summer Music Series and the main stage of the Lowell Folk Festival, the park offers concertgoers a shady spot to spread out blankets, set down their coolers, and enjoy an evening of rock, jazz or blues. And, as an added bonus, there isn’t a bad seat in the house.
French Street, Lowell / www.Lowell.com/Parks
26. Family Destination / Entertainment: Canobie Lake Park
First opened in 1902 as a “trolley park,” at the end of the new line from Boston, Canobie Lake Park has been a favorite family destination for over 100 years. With views of beautiful Canobie Lake, the park offers more than 85 rides, from the classic “Crazy Cups” to the Valley’s newest roller coaster, “Untamed.” Live entertainment and the popular “Castaway Island” water park are included in the admission price. Less adventurous types will find plenty as well, from relaxing boat rides on the lake to lots of shady benches to rest on.
85 North Policy St., Salem, N.H. / www.Canobie.com
27. Art Gallery: Essex Art Center
In a region full of great art, the Essex Art Center is one the few places in the Merrimack Valley where visitors can both view and purchase the work of local artists, and create art of their own. With two dedicated galleries showing local work, Essex Art offers classes several times a year, including drawing, painting, pottery and photography – no experience necessary. Open since 1993, the center also hosts kids’ birthday parties and school field trips.
56 Island St., Lawrence / www.EssexArtCenter.com
28. Museum: American Textile
History Museum Not your “run-of-the-mill” museum (pun intended), the American Textile History Museum in Lowell is nothing if not unique. Dedicated to telling the stories of America’s past and future through our relationship with textiles, the museum is also home to the Chace Catalog and Osborne Library, a combined collection of more than 105,000 items including textiles, machinery, books, costumes and manuscripts – a national treasure trove of textile history. ATHM’s shop also sells one-of-a-kind items made on the museum’s vintage looms.
491 Dutton St., Lowell / www.ATHM.org
29. Sports Team: Lowell Spinners
Take me out the ball game! With reserved tickets to Lowell Spinners games (Boston Red Sox affiliate class A) starting at just $6, you’ll be able to take the kids to the game every week. Family-friendly games at the Spinners’ beautiful LeLacheur Park include fun giveaways, tasty concessions that won’t break the bank, and visits from the team’s zany mascots Canaligator, Allie-Gator and Millie-Gator. The 2012 season includes four fireworks nights.
LeLacheur Park 450 Aiken St., Lowell / www.LowellSpinners.com