A Thrill Seeker’s Guide to Summer

When going to the beach gets old, check out these 10 alternative outings.

On the Water


Be prepared to get wet. Codzilla is the only high-speed boat ride in the Boston Harbor going up to 40 miles an hour. It’s presented as a tour, during which guides point out landmarks that the boat passes by on the way out of the harbor. The tour also presents a brief skit about pirates and the story of Codzilla the giant cod. Hold on to your hat (on second thought—don’t even wear one) as you experience a 40-minute ride of swerving, curving and ripping through the ocean at high speeds.

$29 for adults, $25 for kids, offered daily every hour from 12 to 6 p.m., Long Wharf, bostonharborcruises.com/codzilla.

Zoar Outdoor White Water Rafting

Zoar Outdoor offers multiple rafting trips designed for every experience level. “Family Float” is a leisurely paddle through calm waters. “Zoar Gap” is ideal for beginner rafters, incorporating some rough water and a few small drops. “Dryway” is a six-hour guided rafting trip with medium waves, some rocks, and a considerable drop—it’s ideal for the slightly more experienced. Caution: you will get wet.

$113 on weekends, $108 on weekdays, 7 Main St, Charlemont, zoaroutdoor.com/drywayrafting.

thrill seeking activities boston

Photo Courtesy of Joseph Pirrotta and Zoar Outdoor

East Coast Divers

Being in Boston with an ocean right next door has its perks, including easy access to open-water scuba diving. East Coast Divers offers a variety of classes for every experience level, from beginner pool classes to deep-diving courses, open-water courses, lobster-hunting workshops, wreck-diving courses and more.

$100 per person for in-pool scuba, $150 for deep-diving course, $125 for night diving course, and $295 for wreck-diving course. Anybody 12 years or older can participate. Beginner pool classes take place at the Boston University Pool, 285 Babcock St., Boston. Other activities take place at East Coast Divers, 213 Boylston St. Brookline MA, ecdivers.om.

In the Air

Skydive New England

How does jumping out of an airplane from 4,000 feet at speeds of 120 miles per hour sound? In Lebanon, Maine, anyone from first-time jumpers to seasoned experts can enjoy the thrill of skydiving. Skydive New England also offers jumpers the opportunity to jump with a professional free-fall videographer who will capture stills and videos for your Instagram and every other social media account imaginable. Sunrise and night jumps, skydiving boogies, and demo jumps are on the agenda throughout every month.

$229 on weekends, $209 on weekdays, must be 18 or older to participate in parachuting activities, 40 Skydive Lane Lebanon, Maine, skydivenewengland.com.

thrill seeking activities boston

Photo by Thales via Flickr

Boston Hot Air Balloon Rides

Take to the skies and experience the Boston skyline from inside a hot air balloon. Boston Hot Air Balloon specializes in private two-person flights—fewer passengers in the hot air balloon means the pilot can fly into meadows and marshes that otherwise wouldn’t be possible with a commercial flight.

Passenger rates are $295 per person, all flights are scheduled for sunrise, Minute Man Air Field, 302 Boxboro Rd., Stow, bostonhotairballoonrides.com.

Deerfield Valley Zipline Canopy Tour

Deerfield was the first to offer a zip line canopy tour in southern New England. This three-hour trek, accompanied by a guide, follows 11 zip lines, two sky bridges, and three rappels up in the trees in the northern Berkshires, connected through platforms that sit high above the forest floor. The course brings zip liners from the top of Hawk Mountain to the valley floor 600 feet below.

$91 per person on weekends, $79 per person on weekdays, 7 Main St, Charlemont, deerfieldzipline.com.

SkyVenture New Hampshire

Where else can you go to experience indoor skydiving, indoor surfing, rock climbing, and a Fishpipe all in one place? SkyVenture’s indoor skydiving is done inside an indoor vertical wind tunnel that immerses visitors into the world of high-adventure skydiving without ever having to jump out of an airplane. Meanwhile, SkyVenture’s 32-foot Surfstream is the largest indoor surfing facility in North America. If all that isn’t enough for you, you can have a go at Fishpipe, a unique water ride that combines sitting, sliding, or surfing in a giant rotating barrel/hamster ball. And last but not least, SkyVenture also offers a 24-foot rock climbing wall, which features a beginner, intermediate and expert climbing routes.

Indoor Skydiving: $55 for a two-minute flight; $95 for a four-minute flight. Indoor surfing: $45 for regular wave. Fishpipe: $20 for a 90-second ride. Rock climbing: $15. 100 Adventure Way,
Nashua, NH, skyventurenh.com.

On the Wall

MetroROCK Boston

With 30,000 square feet of climbing walls and 5,000 square feet of bouldering walls, MetroROCK Boston has a wide range of offerings for all levels of abilities. It also houses a complete fitness and training facility, with everything you could want from equipment for aerobic workouts to yoga sessions to gymnastic ring exercises. The gym offers 18 classes from basic rope safety to ice climber instruction to a parkour workshop. If that isn’t enough, MetroROCK is home to an indoor ropes course, with a course for children and one for adults.

Day pass for climbing: $22 for adults, $18 for students, $10 for children under 7; Bouldering costs $18, and a challenge course costs $20, 69 Norman Street, Everett, metrorock.com/boston.

thrill seeking activities boston

Photo Courtesy Of Richard Petty Driving Experience

High Speeds

Six Flags New England

As its motto states, our local Six Flags is the “Coaster Capital of New England,” and it doesn’t disappoint. The park boasts 45 rides, including 10 rollercoasters that guarantee varying levels of thrill for the entire family. Among the most famous and daring coasters is Bizarrowhich has been voted the number one steel rollercoaster in the world five times. It involves a 221-foot drop and twisted speeds of 77 miles per hour. For more thrills, be sure to ride Mind Eraseryou’ll get a guaranteed headache from this spinning coaster, which features drops, plunges, helixes and spirals at dizzying speeds.

$61.99 for general admission, $51.99 for children under 54″, free for children two & under, buying online saves you $15, with prices starting at $46.99. Park hours are 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., 1623 Main St, Agawam, sixflags.com/newengland.

New Hampshire Motor Speedway

We get that your need for speed is strong. To avoid getting a ticket for going only a little bit over the speed limit, there is but one solution: taking a ride or getting behind the wheel of a 600 horse power NASCAR race car driving at speeds of up to 130 miles per hour. Located in Loudon, the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, which usually hosts a variety of NASCAR events, opens its track to the public for ride-alongs and behind-the-driver’s-seat experiences.

Ride-Along: three laps for $109; Rookie Experience: eight laps for $449; Kings Experience: 18 laps for $849; Experience of a Lifetime, 30 laps for $1,299; Racing Experience, 50 laps for $2,599. 1122 Rt. 106, North Loudon, NH, drivepetty.com