April vacation week is full of exciting possibilities for kids in Boston—no plane tickets required. Besides getting out to enjoy the start of spring weather, families have their pick of cool activities between April 15th and 23rd, including tons of ways to celebrate Patriots' Day, Earth Day and Easter. The Cambridge Science Festival (pictured at top) is most definitely a top pick in my household, but it's only one of many events going on, so have a peek at the additional gems below to enjoy with the kids. Here's to a fantastic week for everyone!
Boston Children's Museum
Local museums have families in mind with all of their fantastic offerings this week. There are programs for young artists at the MFA, the ICA, the Boston Children's Museum, and the deCordova. Budding historians can enjoy special activities at the the Paul Revere House and the Old Manse. Other great museum options include visiting the New Environment Science Museum at the Charlestown Navy Yard or participating in STEM activities at The Children's Museum in Easton. Last but certainly not least, special celebrations for the Earth are going on at the EcoTarium.
If you're determined to hit the great outdoors for April vacation, one way to get a running start is on the sidelines as spectators of the Boston Marathon or any of the Patriots' Day activities throughout the week. The Franklin Park Zoo, Stone Zoo, and Roger Williams Park Zoo are all are hosting special events for kids. Programs like Fairy Garden Days, Wild About Reptiles or a Fairy House Building Workshop might be the perfect thing for outdoorsy families. Or hop aboard the Swan Boats as they make their maiden voyage of 2017. Finally, round out the week when Earth Day Meets Math Day at The Discovery Museums.
Shows and Indoor Fun
A must-do this week is the Cambridge Science Festival. There are really cool hands-on activities happening all over the city as part of the festival, from a make-your-own skateboard workshop at Community Boat Building to a marine mosaic project in Nahant; as well as performances, like North Cambridge Family Opera's Singin' in the Rain: Songs About Climate and Weather. Speaking of the stage, other family-friendly shows going on around town this week include Charlotte's Web, The King and I, and Hansel and Gretel (the latter performed by the National Marionette Theatre). Bring the kids to a family-friendly showing of Despicable Me at Coolidge Corner Theatre or visit the Brattle Theatre for The Muppet Movie Sing-Along.
One of our favorite local organizations is 826 Boston, a nonprofit group offering writing workshops for kids over break. Another great option all week long is up in Lowell, where all kinds of free activities are available as part of the April Play-cation program. For something completely different, take older kids to see stars at an observatory night in Cambridge. Finally, some local libraries are offering fantastic programs, like Dot & Dash, where kids can learn to program robots, and Toto the Tornado Kitten, which includes story time and a craft activity. All for free!
Pastry workshop at Four Seasons Boston
You don't have to go far to make at least part of the vacation week feel like a very special getaway. Book a night or more at the Four Seasons Boston, and your kids will be welcome to participate in some of the many exclusive vacation week activities, including a scavenger hunt, a cookie or cupcake making workshop with the hotel's all-star pastry chefs, a "safari swim party" in the indoor pool, and a "little glampers" sleep-under and movie night in a luxury suite. Some of these book quickly; be sure to reserve spots in advance by calling 617-338-4400.
Top photo courtesy of Cambridge Science Festival. Other photos courtesy of Tim Porter and Four Seasons Boston.
Post originally published April 2016; updated by Elyse Andrews in April 2017.