Inexpensive things to do during February school vacation
Fill winter's last school vacation week with free (and almost free) fun
Winter school vacation week for most New Hampshire schools bridges the last few days of February and the first days of March. This is the time of year when the winter blahs tend to peak, so why not make vacation week do double duty? Check out this roundup of kid-friendly vacation week events that can help cure even the toughest case of cabin fever.
- As vacation week starts, so do the outdoor celebrations and winter carnivals In Merrimack, head to Wasserman Park Winter Carnival on Saturday, February 23 from noon to 3 p.m. for a fun-filled day of snowman building, snow art, games and crafts, and an ice fishing derby. Admission is free.
- Heading up north? Another free celebration taking place on Saturday, February 23 is the Colebrook Kiwanis Winter Carnival. Held at the Colebrook Country Club, highlights of planned events include a cardboard box sledding derby for kids (prizes awarded by age category) and pancake breakfast.
A day at the museum can shake you free from your winter doldrums. At the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, families can take a look at artistic masterpieces then have fun making their own in the museum’s Discovery Gallery. As a special incentive, the museum offers a flat rate admission of $5 for adults and free admission for ages 17 and younger during vacation week Monday, February 25 to Friday, March 1 (please note that the museum is closed Tuesday). Vacation Art Camps are also available for children ages 5-14.
- Bring your lunch, plenty of snacks and a cozy blanket to the Hooksett Library on Tuesday, February 26 to watch “Smallfoot” on the big screen. The movie starts at noon and everyone is welcome to attend.
- The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire, located in Dover, has a number of special theme days and activities planned throughout the week, including: Animal Day on February 25-26, Floating Fun Day on February 28 and Dr. Seuss Pajama Party birthday celebrations on March 1-2. All themed programs are included with regular museum admission.
- For some out-of-this-world excitement, take in a planetarium show at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord. Each weekday during vacation, the center offers special family programs at 11 a.m. (The Little Star that Could) and noon (Life Under the Arctic Sky).
- If you want the family to unplug during February vacation week, then head to the Remick Country Doctor Museum & Farm in Tamworth Monday, February 25 through Friday, March 1 for Discovery Days. Kids will get a taste of life on the farm as they learn from hands-on, historic demonstrations as well as partake in farm chores. The cost is $5 per person and children under 4 are free.
- After hitting the slopes at Cranmore Mountain on Saturday, February 23, make sure that you stick around for the fun and excitement of Cranapalooza. Cranapalooza is the mountain’s weekly, family-friendly festival of music, games and entertainment. This particular celebration also includes fireworks at 6 p.m..
- If you’ve already put the skis away for the year, then check out snow tubing at ski areas like Pat’s Peak in Henniker and slide your way to another fun and memorable winter vacation week. Snow tubing is available on Fridays through Sundays.
- Kids ages 3-5 who love marine life and exploring should visit the Seacoast Science Center in Rye, specifically the Big Fish Little Fish program on Friday, March 1. This program is held weekly and adventures are designed to inspire curiosity and a sense of wonder, as well as empower and build a child’s confidence as a young scientist and naturalist. Each session features a different theme and participants go outside rain or shine, but focus more on indoor activities during inclement weather. If you can’t make it on Friday for this particular program, then we encourage you to simply visit this fantastic museum and check out the exhibits and touch tanks.
- If your budget is a little tight, then make your way to Amoskeag Fishways in Manchester, for FREE Critter Meet and Greet fun all week long! From February 25-March 1, families are invited to visit at 11 a.m. or 2 p.m. for a special opportunity to meet the reptiles and amphibians face-to-face and learn a some fun facts from the Fishways’ staff. There will be crafts all day during the week, and, on March 1 at 11 a.m., a “Friday Feeding Frenzy” will give visitors the opportunity to watch our animals enjoy their favorite foods.
- Go sledding! Skiing and snowboarding can get a little pricey, so if you’re looking to keep your budget in check, then hit up a local sledding hill. Here’s a look at our favorite sledding spots.