With February break around the corner, which for many Massachusetts schools runs from Feb. 15-19, parents are undoubtedly seeking family-friendly activities for kids looking for winter fun.
Ahead, discover in-person and virtual ways to spend the time over school vacation.
As always, visitors should research venues for information about restrictions and safety measures due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Kids can eat breakfast — virtually — with a kangaroo, camel, or porcupine with the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston and Stone Zoo in Stoneham during Zoo New England’s Zoocation Week. All week long, zoo educators will host virtual programming for kids at the zoos, taking kids behind the scenes to see what the animals eat for breakfast. Crafts and activities on topics such as animal care, animal defenses, and animal enrichment are also part of the programming.
Families can once again explore art and science as museums reopen across the city this month. For example, the Commonwealth Museum opened Feb. 1, the Museum of Fine Arts opened Feb. 3, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the New England Aquarium both opened Feb. 5, and the Museum of Science opened Feb. 8. It’s a good idea to check museum websites before planning your visit due to capacity restrictions and safety rules.
The Trustees of Reservations will host plenty of fun for kids throughout the week, including farm activities, self-guided scavenger hunts, cooking classes, bird-watching excursions, hikes, fire pit picnics, and sledding. Kids can also take virtual art classes in watercolor painting, sculpting, and more. For parents looking for a drop-off activity for kids, properties such as Appleton Farms in Ipswich are offering programs, with safety measures in place due to COVID-19.
If fresh air sounds good for your family, check out the 30 local hiking trails recently recommended by Boston.com readers. Trying to decide where to go? The Blue Hills Reservation in Milton, with trails such as the Skyline Loop trail, Houghton’s Pond Loop, and Ponkapoag Pond Trail. World’s End in Hingham, with its scenic trails and sweeping views of the Boston skyline, was recently recommended by The New York Times and named one of the Trustees of Reservation’s most popular properties of 2020.
Kids will write, shoot, and edit a film in a genre of their choosing during a filmmaking class with Filmmakers Collaborative, which hosts the annual Boston International Kids Film Festival. The classes, for kids age 8 and older, are taught by professional filmmakers and cover scriptwriting, storyboard sketching, character development, improvisation, and camera skills. Kids can opt for virtual or in-person classes. In-person sessions will take place at Hunt’s Photo and Video in Melrose and at The Cabot in Beverly. All final projects are eligible for submission into the 2021 Boston International Kids Film Festival this fall.
Families can dine in igloos and enjoy fire pits this winter at more than 50 restaurants and venues around the state. For example, Patriot Place in Foxborough offers igloos at five different restaurants, and Trustees of Reservations visitors can book fire pit picnics at historic properties across the state, complete with s’mores kits. It’s a good idea to research a restaurant’s igloo policy before booking as some require rental fees and time limits.
Local sledding hills have become even more enticing with all of the recent snowfall. Wondering where to go? A local father of three young children who visited 350 parks shared his five favorite Boston-area sledding hills: Fallon Field in Roslindale, Jamaica Pond Park in Jamaica Plain, Millennium Park in West Roxbury, Peters Hill at the Arnold Arboretum in Roslindale, and Walsh Playground in Dorchester.
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