In 2009, Bloomberg Businessweek named Malden as one of the "Best Places to Raise Your Kids." The city, in eastern Massachussets, offers a variety of attractions that provide visitors of all ages with plenty of things to do. Many of the area's venues incorporate activities that highlight the region's historical significance as an early colonial settlement.
Head to the Malden Library (maldenpubliclibrary.org) to catch an event that interests you. Library activities include lectures, video games, board games, movie nights, yoga, dance, career counseling and crafts for kids. The Malden Public Library, on Salem Street near Trafton Park, maintains an extensive schedule of events that includes activities for adults, teens and kids of all ages.
Head to a Malden City Park to relax, have a picnic, let the kids play or join an organized sport. Pine Banks Park on Main Street between the Wyoming and Forest Dale cemeteries has baseball and softball diamonds, soccer fields, a multi-use synthetic field and walking paths. Devir Park at the corner of Fellsway and Malden Streets offers softball and baseball diamonds, basketball and tennis courts, and a playground. For hiking, the Middlesex Fells in Stoneham, just north of Malden, offers hiking trails around the Fells' reservoirs and Spot Pond. The Reservoir, Skyline and Cross Fells trails are steep and rocky, while the Bear Hill hike is easy and kid-friendly.
Free Fun Fridays
Visit Malden on a Friday and participate in the region's Free Fun Fridays events. Each Friday a different selection of regional cultural and historic sites opens to visitors for free. The venues change weekly. Sites include the Stone Zoo (zoonewengland.org) in Stoneham, 13 minutes from Malden, where visitors will see the animal, reptile, bird and mammal exhibits. The Arnold Arboretum (arboretum.harvard.edu) in Jamaica Plain, 26 minutes from Malden, provides information and on-site displays of local forest life. The Peabody Essex Museum (pem.org) in Salem, 27 minutes from Malden, exhibits American art. Other sites to visit on Free Fridays include Boston sites such as Boston Museum of Fine Arts (mfa.org), Boston Children's Museum (bostonchildrensmuseum.org) and the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art (icaboston.org)
Learn about the nation's history at Malden area historical sites. The Quincy House (no website; 20 Muirhead Street, Quincy; 617-994-5930) and the Quincy Homestead (no website; 34 Butler Road, Quincy, 617-742-3190) in Quincy, 27 minutes south of Malden, offer informative tours of houses that once belonged to the well-known Quincy family. The tours provide visitors with a glimpse into the lives of settlers who built their lives in colonial and post-colonial Massachussets. The Quincy Homestead was built in 1686 and displays distinct architectural styles of American homes -- architectural details of the Quincy House include a classical portico. The Longfellow House (no website; 105 Brattle Street Cambridge; 617-876-4491) in Cambridge, is the former home of Henry W. Longfellow, the well-known American poet. General George Washington used Longfellow's house as his headquarters during the Siege of Boston from July 1775 to April 1776. Visitors learn about Longfellow's work and the period in which he wrote. The gardens surrounding the house feature over 30 species of flowers.