The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) announced today that it will offer free and low-cost family-friendly programs during the upcoming February school vacation week. Programming begins on Saturday, February 19, 2022 and is available throughout the state. Visitors will be able to participate in a variety of programming, including scavenger hunts, wildlife tracking, crafting activities, trail hikes, and more. A full list of activities and programming can be found on DCR’s website.
“The Department of Conservation and Recreation is pleased to announce our expanded park program offerings across the state during the upcoming February school vacation week,” said Acting DCR Commissioner Stephanie Cooper. “We encourage children and families to get outside, enjoy the fresh air, and take advantage of these free programs while embarking on their own outdoor adventures.”
During the school vacation week, public skating hours have been extended daily from 10:00AM to 2:50PM. In addition to the school vacation week programming. DCR will continue to offer its normal recreation and interpretive programming, as well as adaptive programming through the agency’s Universal Access Program. In total, 44 programs will be offered in state parks across all five regions of the Commonwealth. Some programming highlights include:
Colonial Play Time at Roxbury Heritage State Park, 183 Roxbury Street, Boston, MA
Wednesday, February 23,2022, and Friday, February 25, 2022, from 10:00AM to 12:00PM
What do you get when you mix tic-tac-toe and checkers? Nine-Men’s-Morris, an ancient board game played during colonial times! Learn how to play this and other fun games popular in the 1700s. Take home simple instructions for making your own games. Suitable for ages 6 and up. All programs are free and open to the public. An adult must accompany all children. Reasonable accommodations available upon advance request. For more information, please call 857-399-1225 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Program meets inside.
Our Animal Neighbors at Roxbury Heritage State Park, 183 Roxbury St., Boston, MA
Saturday, February 20, 2022, Tuesday, February 24,2022, and Saturday, February 26, 2022 from 10:00AM to 1:00PM
Join us for a Bingo scavenger hunt on the Roxbury Heritage State Park grounds to learn about some of Roxbury’s furry and feathery inhabitants! Plus, a Take-and-Make art activity! Program appropriate for ages 4 and up. Please call for weather check. Drop-ins welcome, but pre-registration is recommended; please call 857-399-1220 or email email@example.com. All programs are free and open to the public. An adult must accompany all children. Reasonable accommodations available upon advance request. Program meets outside in the park.
A peak back in time at Wachusett Mountain State Reservation, 345 Mountain Road, Princeton, MA
Tuesday, February 22, 2022, from 2:00PM to 2:30PM
Come journey with us to Wachusett’s past. We will learn about our geologic history, the last ice age, the Native American Nipmuc people who inhabited this area, the fascinating houses that once stood on top of the mountain, the historic Civilian Conservation Corps era, the Hurricane of ’38, the legend of Lucy Keyes, and much more. This program takes place in the Visitor Center. Appropriate for ages 8 and above.
Earth, Wind and Water Hike at Wachusett Reservoir, Gate 39 North Dike. Parking at the intersection of South Meadow Road and Route 110, Clinton, MA
Saturday, February 26, 2022, from 10:00AM to 12:00PM
Take in views of the Wachusett Reservoir and hike along an earthen dam to the Wachusett Reservoir masonry dam. About 3 miles round trip. All ages welcome on this family-friendly hike. Hike may be canceled or modified for weather and trail conditions. For more information or to check status, please email Kathryn.Parent@mass.gov or call 774-261-1809. Dogs are not allowed on water supply protection lands.
Kid-leidoscope at Lawrence Heritage State Park, One Jackson Street, Lawrence, MA
Wednesday, February 23, 2022, from 10:30AM to 11:30AM
A fun program for ages 3-6, accompanied by an adult. Program includes a story and activity. Whenever possible, activities will be outdoors, meeting in the adjacent Visitor Center courtyard. In case of bad weather, activities will be held in the Community Room, with social distancing. No shared materials/items. Siblings and friends welcome.
Snowflake Beauties at Walden Pond State Reservation, 915 Walden St., Concord, MA
Tuesday, February 22, 2022, and Thursday, February 24, 2022, from 10:00AM to 12:00PM
Drop by the Visitor Center to see microscopic images of snowflakes and learn the science of snow. Create your own paper snowflake to take home. Meet at the Visitor Center. Appropriate for all ages.
DCR Southeast Mass Adult Walking Club at Borderland State Park, 259 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton, MA
Sunday, February 27, 2022, from 10:00AM to 12:30PM
Join the park staff for a 4.5 mile moderately paced hike to the Ridge Trail via various hilly and rocky trails. Weather conditions may alter the route. Dress for the weather and bring drinking water. For ages 16+. Parking fees apply: $5.00 per MA-plate vehicle and $10 per out-of-state vehicle. For more information, call 508-238-6566. Meet at the Visitor Center.
Learn to Play Disc Golf at Borderland State Park, 259 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton, MA
Wednesday, February 23, 2022, from 10:00AM to 11:30AM
Want to learn how to play a fun sport? Borderland hosts a great 18-hole disc golf course. The park staff will teach you the basics of the sport and some helpful hints when throwing a disc. Pre-registration required; email Paul.Clifford@mass.gov. For ages 8+. Parking fees apply: $5.00 per MA-plate vehicle and $20 per out-of-state vehicle. For more information, call 508-238-6566.
Geocaching 101 at Mount Greylock State Reservation, 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA
Wednesday, February 23, 2022, from 1:00PM to 2:30PM
For all ages. Looking for a fun way to engage your tech savvy kids with the natural world? This outdoor activity combines hiking with a tech-aided treasure hunt. Join Kathy Gwozdz and members of the Berkshire Geobash to learn the basics, then head out on the trail to test out new skills. Can you find the hidden treasure? Beginners welcome! No experience or digital device necessary. To participate fully you may download the free geocaching.com app and bring your digital device. Dress appropriately for winter weather; hiking poles and traction devices for boots, or snowshoes. Trails may be snow-covered, icy, or muddy. Bring drinking water and a snack. Inclement weather cancels.
Family Friendly Outdoor Adventures at Mount Greylock State Preservation, 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA
Saturday, February 26, 2022, at 1:00PM
Join us for an afternoon of winter activities, including snow tubing for the little ones, a SNOWSHOE DEMO by NeviTREK Handmade Snowshoes, and a guided mindfulness walk along the Bradley Farm Trail. Be prepared for winter weather, dress in layers and wear sturdy, warm snow boots. Traction devices, trekking poles or snowshoes are advisable for the hike. Snowshoes are available to try out during the Snowshoe Demo, for ages 8 and up.\
Visitors are encouraged to tweet, post, and tag photos on social media using @MassDCRand #MassDCR. DCR asks visitors to park in designated areas only, and to come back another time if parking lots are full. Dogs are required to be on a leash in state parks unless signage designates otherwise. Dogs are not permitted on DCR Water Supply Protection area. To find a dog-friendly park, visit the DCR website.