The mother of two girls, age 5 and 12, posts curated lists of the area’s most compelling family-friendly activities on a weekly basis to Boston Mamas. Koh’s blog, which she calls “a lifestyle portal for families in Boston and beyond,” offers product reviews, event listings, and tips and commentary on topics that range from parenting to travel to style.
As parents across Massachusetts gear up for February school vacation week, we asked Koh to pick three ways she keeps her children entertained. Here’s what she said:
1. Explore a museum
Setting aside several hours to explore a museum can be tough during the bustle of a regular school week, Koh said, but that’s why it’s a good one during school break.
“I just recently visited, for the first time, the Peabody Essex Museum, which was phenomenal,” Koh said.
The museum’s current exhibits include “Shoes: Pleasure and Pain,” a display of more than 300 pairs of vintage to modern shoes worn by notable historical figures and celebrities, and “Lunar Landing,” which is all about the moon. A lounge area encourages hands-on exploration with technology and different materials.
During vacation week, kids can design a spacecraft, plan a lunar colony, and create a moon-themed collage. There will also be storytelling, art activities, and a movie in the museum’s auditorium.
Don’t want the day to end?
“You can walk around adorable Salem afterward,” Koh said.
(Peabody Essex Museum, 161 Essex St., Salem; Tuesday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Mondays except on holidays; $20 adults, $12 kids 16 and under)
2. Go skiing
Koh said skiing helps to motivate her kids and get them outside in the wintertime.
“There’s a real tendency to want to hunker down and not go anywhere,” Koh said. “[But] the kids need the fresh air.”
When it comes to Massachusetts skiing, Koh likes Wachusett Mountain in Princeton because it’s only an hour drive from Boston, offers trails for all skill levels, and has great food options, including an on-mountain Waffle Cabin.
Wachusett has kid-friendly programs such as the Polar Kids Den for ages 4 to 8, which offers lessons, snacks, and supervised play. The Arctic Aces area, for kids age 9 to 12, features terrain with bumps, turns, and rails perfect for kids learning to increase their skills.
Koh said there are often good deals at the smaller, local mountains, too, such as Ski Bradford.
(Wachusett Mountain, 499 Mountain Road, Princeton; weekdays from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., weekends and holidays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; weekday/$63, weekend/$69 lift tickets for ages 13 and up; weekday/$51, weekend/$56 for ages 6 to 12; $18 daily for kids age 5 and younger)
3. Wander the Boston Public Market
Boston Public Market, full of delicious food and community activities, is a great place to take the kids, Koh said.
The market is home to 40 vendors selling everything from vegetables to meat to pastries to pasta. All items are grown, caught, or produced in New England. The market’s 3,200 square-foot kitchen hosts cooking demos, lectures, workshops, and family-friendly programs such as cooking lessons for kids.
And then there are the samples.
“Boston Public Market is like the best, the best ever, for sampling,” Koh said. “We’re all about the cider doughnut.”
The market will host special drop-in vacation week programs for kids. Kids can take cooking lessons, do crafts, make pizza, plant plants, decorate flower pots, learn about chocolate, and more.
“There’s just so much good stuff there,” Koh said.
(Boston Public Market, 100 Hanover St. at Haymarket Station, Boston; Monday-Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.)