It’s school vacation week for most of Boston! If you are looking to get away for a bit, and haven’t made plans yet, here are a few suggestions for quick road trips.
- The White Mountains of New Hampshire. Storyland and Santa’s Village isn’t open for the season yet, however, Wildcat Mountain is still open. You can also enjoy loads of tax-free outlet shopping (pick up some spring/summer clothes for the kids), and go waterfall touring (melting snow means more gushing water!). There are also two indoor water parks right in the North Conway area.
- Mystic, Connecticut. Check out Old Mistick Village for quaint shops, and the Mystic Aquarium for some wonderful kid-friendly aquatic animal viewing.
- Freeport, Maine. Kids just love the original LL Bean store, and there are lots of outlets there also (unfortunately, not tax-free).
Are you going anywhere this week?
The first annual Boston International Kids Film Festival will take place during the school spring vacation week at the Capitol Theatre in Arlington April 15 – 22nd. The festival will run for seven days with four screenings each day and will feature eight full length independent, family friendly films, shorts programs as well as live performances from storytellers and animators. Thought provoking and entertaining films from India, Ireland, Mexico, Japan, Iran, Israel and Brazil will offer kids a unique glimpse of the cultures and experiences of children from around the globe.
The feature length films to be screened during the festival include “Chandani: Daughter of the Elephant Whisperer” (India), “The Secret of Kells” (Ireland), “Alamar” (Mexico), “Only When I Dance” (Brazil), “Summer Wars” (Japan), and “Stranger” (Iran). An American classic “To Kill a Mockingbird” will kick off the festival on the evening of April 15th.
204 Massachusetts Ave.
If you live in the Metrowest area, you are in luck, because you are just a short drive from a family-friendly hidden gem. The Natick Community Organic Farm is free to visit, and they offer a variety of kid-friendly reasonably-priced programs.
On March 5th, the farm is hosting their annual pancake breakfast at Memorial School (across from the farm) from 8-11am. After eating breakfasts, guests can travel across the street to the farm to learn about maple sugar making (an additional fee of $4 for breakfast attendees, $5 otherwise).
The farm also runs spring and summer programs that are extremely popular and fill up quickly. If you are interested in the summer programs, become a member and you can register before the general public.
Natick Community Organic Farm
117 Eliot Street
Natick, MA 01760
The 2011 Boston Globe Travel Show will take place from February 11-13 at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston. This exciting three-day event will feature exhibitors showcasing travel destinations around the world, great show-only travel deals, cultural and culinary presentations, trip giveaways and most importantly fun for the whole family. I also wanted to send along a special promo code with you to share with your readers for discounted advanced tickets (see below).
Highlights of this year’s show include: Live performances with music from around the world on the Cultural Stage where kids can take part in a limbo contest and learn how to salsa; an amazing indoor ice skating rink located right on the show floor; Children’s Play Area, complete with a moon bounce, balloon artist and other fun activities; animals galore at Zoo New England’s live animal exhibit featuring snakes, lizards and the chance to meet some underwater creatures in New England Aquarium’s Touch Tank.
The 2011 Boston Globe Travel Show will be open to the public from 5:30-8 p.m. on Friday, February 11; from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 12; and from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Sunday, February 13. Tickets for the show are $10 and are available at the show or in advance at www.bostonglobetravelshow.com. Use the code BOSPR511 for 50% off! Children 18 and under are admitted free of charge.
Coming to Boston for February vacation? Some of my favorite hotels in the area are offering some wonderful promotions for kids:
Seaport Hotel’s Children’s Museum Package: Includes admission for the entire family to the Boston Children’s Museum and a free toy for kids from the hotel’s treasure chest. Rates start at $169 per night.
Hotel Commonwealth’s Hotel for Kids Package: Kids receive a welcome backpack filled with LL Bean slippers, a flashlight, a bedtime story, and much more! Valet parking is also included.
Four Seasons Very Important Kids Package: Rates start at $440 for a moderate room, but there are loads of amenities included as part of the package. You’ll receive a Very Important Kids backpack, tickets to your choice of the Children’s Museum or the Science Museum, a visit from the hotel’s Ice Cream Man, and more.