Summer Escapes: Stick Around

Child’s Play

Off-the-beaten-path outings kids will love.

At the Water Works Museum, children can learn about the underground world of pipes and pumps that transport water from the seashore to your home’s sinks, showers, and porcelain thrones — helpful when it’s time to explain where Nemo will end up after you’ve had to flush him. >> 2450 Beacon St., Chestnut Hill, 617-277-0065,

The brand-new 25,000-gallon Shark & Ray Touch Tank at the New England Aquarium has viewing windows that encourage close encounters with sea creatures. The aquarium’s a madhouse, but come on, you know you want to pet a shark, too. >> One Central Wharf, Boston, 617-973-5200,  

At the Larz Anderson Auto Museum, which houses America’s oldest car collection, your little ones can glimpse the inner workings of automobiles and run wild among the mini models. You can enjoy “Curve Appeal,” the exhibit of American and European cars from the ’30s and ’40s. >> 15 Newton St.,
Brookline, 617-522-6547,

Tykes can explore the life cycle of a chip — from the farmers’ fields to the fryolator — at the Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory. A chip trip, by the way, translates in a child’s mind to “awesome parent.” >> 100 Breed’s Hill Rd., Hyannis, 888-881-2447,

The Hull Lifesaving Museum offers workshops in which the kids can check out a surfboat, try on lifesaving equipment, and learn about heroic rescues. >> 1117 Nantasket Ave., Hull, 781-925-5433,

— Alexa Cleary & Lindsay Tucker