Are you looking for ways to have fun with the kids over February break? There are plenty of family-friendly activities planned in the Boston area, from live shows to cooking classes to story times to museum fun. Boston.com Moms has rounded up the following February break adventures for your family to consider. Next
Hang out with presidents
The fourth annual JFK Library Presidents’ Day Family Festival promises to be a whole lot of presidential fun. Highlights include John Adams and Thomas Jefferson sharing stories about their lives, Abigail Adams inviting families to take part in a hands-on program about daily life and letting kids try on 18th century clothing, Dolley Madison conducting etiquette activities, and Debbie Douglas from MIT presenting NASA rocket models created during various presidential administrations. The Harvard Din and Tonics will also perform, singing versions of Kennedy campaign songs and pop songs from yesterday and today.
Attend a pajama and baseball party
Hotel Commonwealth will host its fifth annual “Bedtime Stories,” but this time with a special guest—Wally the Green Monster. Kids can come dressed in pajamas or baseball gear to listen to storytellers and take photos with Wally. There will also be a make-your-own-hot chocolate bar. Come just for the stories or plan an overnight getaway for the entire family by taking advantage of “The Hotel for Kids” package. The package features an overnight stay, morning pancake-making class, board games, family-friendly DVDs, a backpack stuffed with goodies, and more.
Friday, Feb. 21, and Saturday, Feb. 22. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Free to the public, but a $20 donation to ReadBoston is suggested. $259 for “The Hotel for Kids” package. Hotel Commonwealth, 500 Commonwealth Ave., Boston. 866-784-4000. www.hotelcommonwealth.com. Next
Get your face painted at Blue Man Group
Add some face paint to your child’s Blue Man Group experience. During February break week only, the Charles Playhouse is swinging its doors open early for some added fun. Kids can get their faces painted and then play with a new instrument called the “Lounge-U-Lum,” where they can create sound and light scapes. You must have a ticket to the show to partake of the extras. And bring that ticket to M.J. O’Connor’s Irish Pub (Park Plaza location) before or after the show and your kids will eat free. Please note: Blue Man Group is recommended for kids age 7 and up and kids under the age of 5 are not permitted at the show.
Monday through Wednesday 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Face painting begins 90 minutes before the performances. Blue Man Group, Charles Playhouse, 74 Warrenton St., Boston. 617-426-6912. www.blueman.com. Next
The theme of the week is “Take Shape” at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Kids can enjoy stories about shapes, go on a shape hunt with museum educators, create a collaborative mosaic that will be on view as it grows throughout the week, create moving shape mobiles, cubist collages, colorful adn sparkling sculptures, and more.
Visit the tropics
Step into 72 degree weather at the Franklin Park Zoo’s tropical forest. Meet the animals that call the tropical forest home, like the western lowland gorillas, ring-tailed lemurs, ocelots, Baird’s tapirs, an anteater, and more. There will be story times, zookeeper encounters, and crafts. On Monday, kids are invited to attend a gorilla’s birthday party. Happy birthday Little Joe!
Spend time with Mickey and Minnie
Take the kids to see their favorite Disney characters perform on skates. Disney on Ice presents “Let’s Celebrate!” Mickey and Minnie will celebrate different holidays with their friends—Mardi Gras with Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen, Valentine’s Day with the Disney princesses, a Halloween haunt with the Disney villains, and more.
Set aside some mime time
Hoopoe the mime, a.k.a. Chris Yerlig, is one of several acts coming to the Providence Children’s Museum. He will entertain kids with silent comedy, magic tricks, and balloon wizardry on Tuesday, Feb. 18. Other acts include children’s singer and storyteller Keith Munslow and the group Splash’N Boots, which was named 2012 Canadian Children’s Music Group of the Year.
Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. All school vacation activities are free with museum admission of $9 per person. Providence Children’s Museum, 100 South St., Providence. 401-273-5437. www.childrenmuseum.org. Next
Catch a perfomance by Circus Oz
The high-flying, animal-free, rock ‘n’ roll circus out of Australia will perform “From the Ground Up.” The show is centered around a giant, swinging, steel beam, from which acrobats hang, swing, and perform to original rock music. Jugglers, musicians, and aerialists join in.
Enjoy engineering fun
The theme at Boston Children’s Museum this week is “Engineering Everywhere!” Science explorations will happen daily. Take part in a play about cycles in the natural world, meet NAO, a humanoid robot that assists children with autism, take a music class, learn about special wheelchairs and other assistive equipment for sports like basketball, and cycling, explore the world through hands-on activities, enjoy a performance of the Quartet of Happiness, and more.
Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Adults and kids 1—15; kids under 1 free; $1 all visitors Friday nights from 5 to 9 p.m. The Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 617-426-6500.www.bostonchildrensmuseum.org. Next
Learn how animals fight the winter blahs
Animals get bored in the winter too. Find out how zookeepers keep them happy. There will be crafts and story telling and a chance to meet animals such as the snow leopard and Mexican gray wolf up close and ask questions of zookeepers.
Kids can enjoy a dinosaur scavenger hunt called “Dinosaur Walkabout” daily. Or sign up for the half-day program, “Prehistoric Worlds,” in which kids in grades 1-3 can examine real fossil specimens, touch live animals, investigate the galleries, and participate in hands-on activities.
Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adults $12; kids 3-18 $8; Kids under 3 free. Prehistoric Worlds takes place Tuesday, Feb. 18, to Friday, Feb. 21, from 9:30 a.m. to noon. $135 for members and $150 for nonmembers. Advance registration required.
Cook up some fun
Kids will be cooking all week at Create a Cook in Newton. Experts will teach kids how to make everything from pizza to sushi to Mexican food. There will also be classes centered on breakfast, cupcakes, and more. Yum!
Learn about birds and music
Take part in special programs all week long that involve music, birds, stories, and film at Peabody Essex Museum. Make a bird call, a bullroarer buzzing instrument, watch the movie “Tarzan,” ask questions of a vet, learn what the change of seasons looks like from a bird’s perspective, and more.
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