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3 Family-Friendly Day Trip Itineraries for Essex

Updated: Jul 12, 2023

We have curated three exciting day trip itineraries for families with kids, all centered around our river cruises. Get ready for unforgettable adventures along the picturesque Essex River as we explore outdoor wonders, delve into historical treasures, and indulge in farm-fresh delights. Let's set sail on a family-friendly journey that promises excitement and joy in the charming town of Essex.


River Adventure Day:

  • Begin your adventure by embarking on a scenic Essex River Cruise. Enjoy a narrated tour along the picturesque Essex River, learning about the local wildlife, salt marshes, and historic landmarks.

  • After the cruise, visit the nearby Cox Reservation at the Appleton Farms. Take a leisurely walk along the trails, enjoying the beautiful landscapes and spotting farm animals grazing in the fields.

  • Wrap up the day with a visit to the Essex Shipbuilding Museum. Let the kids explore the exhibits and interactive displays, giving them a deeper understanding of the maritime history of the area.

Coastal Exploration Day:

  • Start your day by taking an Essex River Cruise to explore the river and its surroundings. Learn about the local ecosystems, birds, and marine life from the knowledgeable guides.

  • After the cruise, head to Crane Beach. Spend the afternoon playing in the sand, swimming in the ocean, and enjoying a beachside picnic. Take a stroll along the shoreline and admire the scenic beauty of the coastal landscape.

  • End the day with a visit to Castle Hill on the Crane Estate. Explore the castle-like Great House, stroll through the manicured gardens, and enjoy panoramic views of the coastline. Don’t forget to participate in any family-friendly activities or events taking place on the estate.


Nature Discovery Day:

  • Begin your day with an Essex River Cruise to observe the local wildlife, including birds, seals, and other marine creatures. Engage with the guides and ask questions to enhance your understanding of the surrounding ecosystem.

  • After the cruise, visit the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary. Take a family-friendly hike along the trails, keeping an eye out for various species of birds, turtles, and other animals. Engage in nature exploration and enjoy a picnic amidst the serene surroundings.

  • Wrap up the day by visiting Russell Orchards. Let the kids pick their own fresh fruits, explore the farm, and enjoy some delicious homemade treats. Participate in any farm activities or events available during your visit.

Remember to check the availability and schedule of Essex River Cruises, as well as the opening hours of the attractions mentioned. Have a fantastic time exploring Essex, Massachusetts, and its natural wonders!




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