Here we are, school vacation week! Homeschoolers may or may not observe this week, but whether you are a homeschooler, a k12er (online school), an unschooler or a public schooler, I hope this guide of things to do in the local area will get your adventurous side going! Here is our (non exhaustive) list of options in Massachusetts, and Rhode Island at formal locations like museums and organizations. Non-formal stuff will have to wait for another day.
NEW BEDFORD / DARTMOUTH
New Bedford Ocean Explorium http://oceanexplorium.org/ The Ocean Explorium will be open all week, Saturday, February 16, through Sunday, February 24, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. for a “Whale of a Week”. Daily activities include fish feedings, Sphere presentations, touch tanks, and great learning opportunities from our educators. Admission is $8.50 for adults, $7.00 for seniors and students with I.D., and $6.50 for children between 3 and 17 years of age. Children under 3 and members are Free! For more information go to http://oceanexplorium.org/2013/02/ocean-explorium-open-for-february-vacation/
New Bedford Whaling Museum http://www.whalingmuseum.org/ Hours Tuesday – Saturday, 9-4. Admission Adult, $14, Child & Youth $6, Children aged 5 and under are FREE. Visit the Whaling Museum during February Vacation Week for children’s activities and programs! Regular admission rates to galleries apply. New Bedford residents receive FREE admission to ALL galleries through the sponsorship of BayCoast Bank – just bring proof of residence (water bill, license, or other document / contact front desk for details at 508-997-0046). For more information and schedule of events, visit http://www.whalingmuseum.org/programs/childrens-activities/february-vacation
Dartmouth: Buttonwood Park Zoo http://bpzoo.org/ Wild Winter Week February 18-22 at 10:30am & 12:30pm Cost: Actvities are free with zoo admission. During the Zoo’s Fall & Winter Hours, the Zoo will be open 9:00am-4:00pm, with the last admission at 3:30pm. Ticket Prices Adults: $6, Seniors & Teens: $4.50, Child 3-12: $3.00, Children under 3: Free, Parking: Free. For more information go to http://bpzoo.org/things-to-do/wild-winter-week/
Dartmouth: The Lloyd Center http://lloydcenter.org/ Tuesday – Saturday 10-4. Donations appreciated. The Lloyd Center serves individuals, agencies, and organizations in southeastern New England – Rhode Island to Boston to Cape Cod. It is the only area organization focused on educating the public about coastal and watershed issues, and conducting research on coastal ecosystems and endangered species. To see more about the Lloyd Center exhibits, visit http://lloydcenter.org/exhibits/. For special events during February Vacation week, go to http://lloydcenter.org/calendar/.
GREATER FALL RIVER / SOUTH COAST REGION
Fall River Public Library http://www.sailsinc.org/fallriver/ Tuesday, 10:30 Meet children’s book author Carla Marrero, who will read from her two books, Mimsie’s Mousie and The Magical Cat. For ages 3-5; Wednesday, 11 am “Violet the Clown” for ages 4+; Wednesday 4 pm Game Night (South Branch) Apples to Apples; Thursday Storybook Bingo 10:30 ages 4+; Friday, 10 am Play & Learn group; Friday, 1 pm Bird Feeder Activity
Battleship Cove, Fall River http://www.battleshipcove.com Hours 7 days a week, 9 am to 4:30 pm; Admission Adults – $16.50, Seniors & AAA – $14.50, Children aged 6-12 – $10.00, Children under 6 FREE. At Battleship Cove, the past is at your fingertips. You’ll thrill to the state-of-the-art special effects in the new Pearl Harbor Experience. The kids will love scampering around the world’s largest collection of US naval ships and imagining dangerous missions aboard the mighty USSMassachusetts… the destroyer USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr…. PT Boats in the South Pacific.
Fall River Children’s Museum http://www.cmgfr.org/ Saturday 10-4 and Sunday 12-4 ONLY. Admission is $8.00 per person, Children under 2 are free. After ten years as a traveling show of exploration and learning, we have a home – and a grand home it is. Formerly the Fall River Superior Courthouse, the Romanesque “castle” at 441 North Main Street has long been a landmark building and is now poised to begin its new life as the Children’s Museum of Greater Fall River.
Higgins Armory, Fall River http://www.higgins.org/ Hours Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Admission Adults (age 17+) $12.00, Children (age 4 to 16) $8.00, Children age 3 and under are FREE. The collection, some 4000 pieces in all, includes major examples of arms and armor from medieval and Renaissance Europe, Ancient Greece and Rome, Africa, the Middle East, India, and Japan. The armory has a number of events for kids all week long. See, live and in-person, the toys that knights played with during our week of presentations, workshops, and interactive experiences! See a knight in full armor as he guards the Higgins Castle. How much does his armor weigh? How old was he when he got his first suit? Try your hand at swordplay in our 45-minute, drop-in workshop, or create a gift for yourself or a loved one in our shield workshop. For more information, visit http://www.higgins.org/calendar
Somerset Public Library http://www.somersetpubliclibrary.org FREE Children’s programs Tiny Tot Play Time, Tuesday 10:30-11 for ages 0-5; Family Story Time Tuesday, 6:30-7:30; Singing with Aunt Susie Wednesdays 10:30-10:50 “Bouncing Babies” Birth to age 2 & “Peppy Preschoolers” 11-11:30 for ages 2-5. Teens & Tweens Programs Wednesday, February 20, 6:30 pm Game Night “Minute to Win It” games;Thursday, February 21, 3 pm Eric Fulford, Comic Book Artist ages 11+
Swansea Public Library http://www.swansealibrary.org/swansea/ Children’s Programs Preschool Story Hour Monday, 10:30-11:30; Library Lego Club for ages up to 12 3:30 – 5 (Monday); Fun Fairy Tales, 11-11:30 for ages 2-4; Winter Story Hour, Wednesday 10:30-11:30 for children + caregiver; Babies on Board, Thursday 11-11:30.
Dighton Public Library http://www.dightonlibrary.org/ Tuesday, 1pm “Birds of Prey” Marla Isaac of New England Reptile & Raptor Exhibits, will be showcasing some live owls, falcons, hawks and/or vultures while explaining their lives and habitats;[the following events are free, but please register with firstname.lastname@example.org] Tuesday at 6 or 7 pm (2 sessions) “Make Your Own Cookie House”; Friday, 1 pm “Princess Party”
BOSTON / CAMBRIDGE / LOWELL
Museum of Science, Cambridge http://www.mos.org Monday – Thursday, 9-7 & Friday 9-9; Regular admission for exhibit halls 3-11 years, $19 and 12+ $22 (Passes available at some public libraries) Special exhibit included with admission: Shipwrecked! Pirates and Treasure will capture your imagination and take you on an incredible journey through thousands of years of maritime history
Harvard Museum of Natural History, Cambridge http://www.hmnh.harvard.edu/ Open daily 9-5; Admission Adults: $12.00, Children ages 3–18: $8.00, Children under 3: Free. Presenting the incomparable collections of these parent museums and the research of scientists across the University, it has a mission to enhance public understanding and appreciation of the natural world and the human place in it, sparking curiosity and a spirit of discovery in people of all ages. Information for kids and families can be found here http://www.hmnh.harvard.edu/kids_and_families.html
MIT Museum, Cambridge http://web.mit.edu/museum/ Open Daily 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m, Admission Adults: $8.50; youth under 18, students, seniors: $4:00. The MIT Museum invites you to explore invention, ideas, and innovation. Through interactive exhibitions, public programs, experimental projects and its renown collections, the MIT Museum showcases the fascinating world of MIT, and inspires people of all ages about the possibilities and opportunities offered by science and technology. Programs available for vacation week are available at http://web.mit.edu/museum/programs/calendar.html#Feb. Registration and fees sometimes apply.
Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston http://www.icaboston.org/ Hours Monday – Wednesday 10-5, Thursday – Friday 10-9. Admission $15 general museum admission and FREE for youth 17 and under. For more than a half century, the ICA has presented contemporary art in all media—visual arts, film, and video, performance and literature—and created educational programs that encourage an appreciation for contemporary culture. Family School Vacation Week Adventures information available here http://www.icaboston.org/programs/families/vacationweek/February2013/ or see more programs at http://www.icaboston.org/programs/calendar/
Boston Children’s Museum http://www.bostonchildrensmuseum.org/ Hours daily 10-5, Fridays 10-9. Admission $14 per person 1 year and up. The Museum’s exhibits and programs emphasize hands-on engagement and learning through experience, employing play as a tool to spark the inherent creativity, curiosity, and imagination of children. Programs for the week can be found here http://www.bostonchildrensmuseum.org/calendar
New England Aquarium http://www.neaq.org Hours Saturday, February 16 – Sunday, February 24: 9 am – 6 pm. Admission (Reduced pricing during construction) Adults $17.95, Children 3+ $12.95. The New England Aquarium is the only Boston-based cultural institution with a mission focused primarily on the environment, promoting the importance of protecting the blue planet through innovative exhibits and educational programs. For vacation week daily schedules and exhibits, visit http://www.neaq.org/visit_planning/tours_and_programs/presentations_and_shows/index.php
American Textile Museum, Lowell http://www.athm.org/ Open Wednesday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m $8 for adults 17 and older. $6 for children 6 – 16, and college students with ID. $2 off with this coupon http://www.athm.org/pdfs/athm-web-coupon.pdf. An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, MA, tells America’s story through the art, history, and science of textiles. Kid Class offerings for the whole week. Registration required. For more information, go to http://www.athm.org/education/public_programs/textile_arts_classes/index.php#kid
Eric Carle Museum, Amherst http://www.carlemuseum.org/ Hours Tuesday – Friday 10-4. Adult admission $9, Youth (under 18), Student, Teacher and Senior Admission $6, Family Admission (2 adults and 2 youth) $22.50. The only full-scale museum of its kind in the United States, The Carle collects, preserves, presents, and celebrates picture book and picture book illustrations from around the world. Find details of the week’s events here http://www.carlemuseum.org/Programs_Events/Upcoming or in the left side-bar under “Calendar”
Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge http://www.nrm.org/ Hours Weekdays 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Weekends and holidays: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission $16.00 for adults, $5.00 for children/teens ages 6 – 18, Free for children 5 and under. Special Admission Offers Here Norman Rockwell Museum is dedicated to education and art appreciation inspired by the legacy of Norman Rockwell. The museum preserves, studies and communicates with a worldwide audience the life, art and spirit of Norman Rockwell in the field of illustration. SCHOOL VACATION WEEK PROGRAMS: Drawing and Painting from the Comic Masters 1 pm. For details see http://www.nrm.org/ai1ec_event/school-vacation-week-programs-drawing-and-painting-from-the-illustration-masters/?instance_id=5555
Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge http://www.osv.org/ Hours Monday – Friday 9:30 – 4. Admission Adults $24,Youths (3-17) $8.00 Children age 2 and under Admitted Free. A trip to Old Sturbridge Village, the largest outdoor history museum in the Northeast, is a journey through time to a rural New England town of the 1830s.
Roger Williams Park Zoo, Providence https://rwpzoo.org The Zoo is open year ’round. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, with last admission at 3:30 p.m. Admission is half-price throughout January and February – $7.50/adults, $4.95/children (ages 3 – 12), $6.50/seniors (ages 62+). Zoo members and children under 3 are always free. For more information, go to https://rwpzoo.org/331/winter-wonder-days
Providence Children’s Museum http://www.childrenmuseum.org Hours are Monday – Sunday, 9 to 6; admission is $9 per person ages 1+; Monday, 11:30 am, 1 & 2 pm, Keith Munslow, Storyteller; Tuesday 10 & 11 am, 1 & 2 pm Wingmasters – Meet birds of prey ages 3+; Wednesday and Thursday all day Paper Caper: Make flying contraptions ages 5+; Friday, Mad Science 11:30 am, 1& 2 pm ages 3+; For more information visit http://www.childrenmuseum.org/documents/calendar20132.pdf
RISD Museum, Providence http://www.risdmuseum.org/ Hours are Tuesdays through Sundays, 10 am-5 pm
Thursdays, 10 am-9 pm; Admission Members, children under 5: free Adults: $12 Senior citizens (age 62+): $10 Youths (ages 5-18): $3. Events available throughout the week for all ages. Some events require registration. See here for more information http://www.risdmuseum.org/events.aspx
Coggeshall Farm, Bristol http://www.coggeshallfarm.org/ Hours Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00am to 4:00pm, year round. Admission Weekday Adults: $5.00 Children (3-12) & Seniors: $3.00 Children under 3 Free; Weekend Adults: $7.00, Children (3-12) & Seniors: $5.00 Children under 3 Free. Coggeshall Farm Museum is Rhode Island’s only living history farm, featuring multi-sensory, hands-on interactions with Rhode Island’s agricultural past. There are several special events that require registration the week of February Vacation. For more information go to http://www.coggeshallfarm.org/calendar.html
Rhode Island Audobon Society, Bristol http://www.asri.org/environmental-education-center/environmental-education-center.html Daily hours 9 am to 5 pm. Admission Adult $6.00, Child (ages 4-12) $4.00, Child (under 4) free. The Audubon Environmental Education Center is a state-of-the-art natural history museum and aquarium offering many natural wonders to explore. This week: School’s out! Come to Audubon for a week of Cool Science and Wacky Wildlife Adventures. From a winter beach party to an adventure in color, Audubon vacation programs have something to engage and entertain kids of all ages. Special programs and activities are available each day and are free with admission. Registration is not required. Nature crafts will be held from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm each day, as well as a nature story at 10:00 am and 2:30 pm and an animal interview at 1:30 pm. For more information, see http://www.asri.org/getting-ready-for-your-visit/audubon-family-programs.html
Newport Winter Festival http://www.newportevents.com/winterfest/ $9 per person for a button. Join our “Silver Sparkle Celebration!” as the Newport Winter Festival commemorates it’s 25th Anniversary! Touted as “New England’s Largest Winter Extravaganza,” the annual Winter Festival will take place February 15th-24th, 2013 throughout Newport and Newport County. Featuring over 150 events, the Festival offers a unique winter experience combining food, festivities, music, and fun for all ages. For the Calendar of Events, visit http://www.newportevents.com/winterfest/calendar/
I missed something? Oh, I’m sure I have! If you have a favorite place to go or know of an event happening this week in the local area, please share in the comments below.