The holidays are over, it’s cold outside and your kids are spending way too much time inside. Don’t stay at home — a family outing is the best antidote to cabin fever.


The holidays are over, it’s cold outside and your kids are spending way too much time inside. Don’t stay at home — a family outing is the best antidote to cabin fever.

Make the most of New England’s winter. There is nothing like a fresh blanket of winter white for snow-loving kids who enjoy swooshing down the slopes or gliding on ice. When the weather turns really cold, head indoors— a visit to a museum, a drop-in art studio or nature center are all great daytrip options.

So grab the mittens and warm coats –and check out our guide to the best of the area’s winter family activities.


Massachusetts Public Skating Rinks

Locations throughout the state.


Bay State Blades: 888-74-SKATE

Bay State Skating School: 781-890-8480

Massachusetts has an extensive network of municipal skating rinks and they all offer public skating hours. The Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Web site lists locations, hours, admission fees and availability of skate rentals. Bay State Blades or Bay State Skating School also offer “learn to ice skate” programs.

Frog Pond (Greater Boston)

84 Beacon St., Boston 617-635-2120 Monday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday –Saturday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Sunday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Admission: $4 per person, children age 13 and under are free.

Take a spin on Frog Pond’s refrigerated outdoor ice. There’s wonderful skating music, skate rentals, a concession stand and a large warming pavilion with lockers.

The Charles Hotel Ice Skating Rink (Greater Boston)

One Bennett St., Cambridge 617-765-4515 Monday-Friday: 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Holidays 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission: $3 children, $5 adults.

Harvard Square pretty much defines urban hip and the outdoor ice rink at the Charles Hotel is one of Cambridge’s coolest places in the winter. Skate rentals and snacks available.

Larz Anderson Skating Rink (Greater Boston)

23 Newton St., Brookline 617-739-7518

Tuesday and Thursday: 10 a.m. to noon Friday: 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Weekends: Noon to 5 p.m. Additional hours during school vacation weeks Admission: $7 adults, $4 children.

A lovely outdoor ice skating rink in a park-like setting. There are skate rentals, a concession stand and warming area. For beginners, there is a small practice area next to the main rink. 


Weston Ski Track (Greater Boston)

200 Park Rd, Weston 781-891-6575 Weekends and holidays: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday –Thursday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Trail Pass: Adults $14, $7 for ages 6-12; children ages 2 to 5 are free.

Weston Ski Track has 15 km of groomed trails and snowmaking on a 2 km lighted loop that ensures consistent cross-country throughout the winter and reliable night skiing. Weston Ski rents cross-country skis, snowshoes, and even child sleds. First-timers may want to take an introductory cross-country ski lesson; lessons are available for adults and kids.

Blue Hills Ski Area (South)

4001 Washington St., Canton 781-828-5070 Daily: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Lift tickets: Prices vary. Monday-Friday $15-$21 Saturday, Sunday and Holidays $21-$30

Blue Hill offers the closest skiing in the Boston area with 60 acres of skiable terrain on green, blue and black graded trails.There’s a rental shop for ski gear and a snow sports school that offers private and group lessons for kids and adults. “Skiwee” lessons are geared for skiers ages 4-6.

Amesbury Sports Park (North)

12 South Hunt Road, Amesbury 978-388-5788

Thursday: 3:30 to 9:30 p.m. (outside holidays and school vacation)

3 hour pass $15, 5 hour pass $20

Friday: 3:30 to 9:30 p.m. (outside holidays and school vacation)

Weekends, holidays, and school vacation 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. 3 hour pass, $20, 5 hour pass $30

Get tubularAmesbury Sports Park has a great hill, snowmaking and two rope tow lifts that make it easy to enjoy fun in the snow. Price includes tube rental and use of the lifts. Helmets are provided for kids ages 4-7, bring your own for the older kids.

Ski Bradford (North) South Cross Rd., Haverhill 978-373-0071 Weekdays: 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Weekends: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Night skiing: Monday-Saturday 6 to 10 p.m.

Holiday and school vacations: Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Lift tickets: $18-to $38. Learning area tickets: $11-$20

State of the art snowmaking ensures great ski conditions. There is night skiing, and a rental shop. The ski school offers lessons for novices and clinics for advanced skiers. There are eight lifts here and snowboarders especially like that the terrain park has its own dedicated lift.

Great Brook Ski Touring Center at Great Brook Farm State Park (North)

Lowell Rd., Carlisle 978-369-7486 Weekends: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Parking fee: $2, Trail fees $12 weekends, $10 mid-week.

Enjoy the rustic beauty of cross-country skiing at Great Brook. The 10 miles of machine groomed trails (weather permitting) meander through rolling farmland and quiet woods. Rentals available at the rustic lodge. There is night skiing “under the lights” on Tuesday and Thursday evenings when a 1-mile trail loop is lit by lantern light.

Nashoba Valley Ski Area and Snow Tubing Park (West)

79 Powers Rd., Westford 978-692-3033 Ski Area: Weekends and holidays: 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Weekdays: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Lift Tickets: Prices vary depending on day of the week, time of day, and age of skier. Tickets start at $18 for the Beginner’s Area to $38 for a full day weekend/holiday Junior (age 12 and under) ticket.

Snow Tubing: Weekends and holidays 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., weekdays 1 to 10 p.m.

$20 for a 2 hour ticket. Must be 6 years old or 42” inches tall.

There are 17 trails that are serviced by four chair lifts, a terrain park for snowboarders and a separate snowtubing area. Lessons for kids as young as three, group and private lessons ski and snowboard lessons, and even race lessons for the more advanced skier. Nashoba’s snowtubing park is the largest in New England with 15 lanes and four tow lifts.

Ski Ward (West) 1000 Main St., Shrewsbury 508-842-6346 Ski Area: Weekdays 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, holidays and school vacations 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lift ticket prices range from $20-$34 Snowtubing: Weekdays 4 to 8 p.m.; 2 hour pass $16 Saturday and school vacations: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Weekend and school vacation 2 hour pass $19 Kids must be both 6 years old and 42” inches tall

Ward is a small mountain which makes it ideal for beginner skiers and boarders. There is snowmaking, lights for night skiing, a ski school, and rentals. Tubing is very popular here; Ward’s tubing hill is called “Tubaslide.”


The Massachusetts Audubon Society

Sanctuaries throughout the state. 1-800-AUDUBON or 781-259-9500

There are more than 45 Audubon wild life sanctuaries located throughout the state, all are open year-round. All feature walking trails, and many have nature centers and offer programs and workshops for preschool children, school-age children and adults.

The Franklin Park Zoo (Greater Boston)

One Franklin Park Rd., Dorchester 617-541-LIONS (5466) Winter hours: Daily 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Adults: $11, children ages 2-12: $6, children under age 2 free.

Don’t hibernate! A winter visit to the zoo is always fun. Bask in the warmth of Franklin Parks Zoo’s 3 –acre indoor Tropical Forest where the zoo’s seven gorillas are always entertaining. Other indoor exhibits open year-round are Bird’s World and the Farm Barn.

South Shore Natural Science Center (South)

Jacob’s Lane, Norwell 781-659-2559 Monday-Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed Sunday Admission: $5 adults, $3 children 2-15 and seniors

Get outside! Look for animal tracks in the snow. There are several easy outdoor walking trails through piney woodlands and marshland to explore here. Cap off your walk with a visit to the nature center where kids can see the exhibits and visit the resident animals including an owl, a rabbit and other small critters.

Buttonwood Park Zoo (South)

425 Hawthorn St., New Bedford 508-991-6178 Daily: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Adults: $6, seniors and students $4.50, children ages 3-12 $3, children under age 3 free

Buttonwood has a surprising collection of big zoo animals; including elephants, black bears and bison. There are weekend train rides (weather permitting) and a traditional New England farm animal exhibit that features rare breed animals like the very cute Tamworth hogs and pretty Leicester longwool sheep.

Halibut Point State Park (North)

Gott Avenue, Rockport 978-546-2997

Sunrise to sunset Free

From the 60- foot tall Visitor’s Center you can view Cranes Beach in Ipswich to Mount Agamenticus in Maine .Halibut Point is also a great spot to view seabirds like loons, grebes, gulls and ducks.

The Butterfly Place (North)

120 Tyngsboro Rd., Westford 978-392-0955 Open Feb.14 for a new season Daily: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through March 31

Adults: $9, seniors: $7, children ages 3-12 $6, children age 2 and under free.

Indoor butterfly habitat that makes a nice respite from New England’s winter cold. Dozens of butterflies flutter about while you walk along the flower and shrub lined paths in a beautiful greenhouse atrium. There are educational exhibits, an observation room and an informational video.

Wellesley College Botanic Gardens (West)

106 Central St., Wellesley 781-283-3094 Daily 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free

Even in the middle of winter, it always feels like a warm summer day at the Wellesley College Botanic Gardens. The 15 interconnected greenhouses feature more than 1000 varieties of exotic plants including tropicals, orchids and desert plants. Children’s classes and drop-in programs are offered too throughout the year. 

The EcoTarium (West) 222 Harrington Way, Worcester 508-929-2700 Tuesday-Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday: Noon to 5 p.m. Closed Monday

Adults $10, children ages 3-18 and seniors $8, children under age 3 free.

There’s a lot to see in the three floors of exhibit space dedicated to natural history and the environment. “Dinotracks” is a new hands-on, interactive exhibit about the dinosaurs of New England. Walk along the outdoor path to see the live animal exhibits. Don’t forget to say hi to Kenda, the Ecotarium’s resident polar bear!

INDOOR FUN 5W!TS Boston Tomb (Greater Boston) 186 Brookline Ave., Boston 617-375-9487 Wednesday-Thursday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Open additional hours during school vacations

Weekdays: Adult $16, children age 12 and under $14; Friday, Saturday and Sunday $20 Adults, $16 children age 12 and under. 

Tomb is an Egyptian-themed interactive reality adventure. A guide/actor takes you through Pharaoh’s burial chamber where you look for clues and solve puzzles. Think of it as taking part in an Indiana Jones movie—and more fun than scary.

The Chocolate Bar Buffet at the Langham, Boston (Greater Boston)

250 Franklin St., Boston 617-451-1900

Saturdays Noon to 3 p.m.

$35 for adults, $17.50 for kids ages 5-12 and free for kids age 4 and under.

The Langham’s chocolate buffet may be the ultimate winter indulgence. The exquisite tortes, mousses, and tarts will satisfy parents. Kids will love the stations dedicated to made-to-order mini chocolate chip cookies , the ice cream station where they can select “mash-ins” and the dunk- your- own chocolate fountain.

Coco Key Water Resort at the Sheraton Ferncroft Hotel (North)

50 Ferncroft Rd. Danvers 978-777-2500 for information and to purchase E- tickets

Sunday-Thursday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday-Saturday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Day Pass Admission: Monday-Thursday $30, Friday-Sunday $40, Holiday Weekends $50. Book passes on-line.

Children under age 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

This 65,000 square foot indoor water park is part of the Sheraton hotel, but you don’t have to be a guest — you can purchase a water park day pass. It is always a balmy 84 degrees inside; there are four giant waterslides, an inner-tube lazy river, and a zero-entry pool area for young children with lots of water play features. There are always lifeguards on- duty. The snack bar sells tropical treats, hotdogs and pizza.

Artbeat (West) 9 Summer St., Franklin 508-528-5001 Sunday and Monday: Noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday-Saturday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Project prices vary from $10-$30

Everyone loves making mosaic projects and Artbeat has more than 100 different glass and porcelain tiles to choose from. Typical kid drop-in projects include children- of –the- world dolls, sticky sand art or rolling beeswax candles. The patient staff provides free instruction, projects are suitable for children over age 4, and most take just an hour to complete.

Emerson Umbrella Center for the Arts (advertiser) 40 Stow Street, Concord 978-371-0820 Family membership: $75

Emerson Umbrella Center for the Arts in historic Concord, Massachusetts is a non-profit cultural organization committed to nurturing and encouraging the arts throughout the community. They offer art classes for children, teens and adults in a wide variety of media, an Arts and Environment program, and host the performing arts in their 435-seat theater.

* The Tot Plex 5 Carver Circle, Canton 781-821-0304

Hours: Monday through Friday: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Closed on all school holidays)

10-day passes available - $60.

Price $8 per child, discounts for families with more than one child.

Discounts for siblings involved in one of our programs.

The Indoor Play Space is just the environment you and your active children are looking for. Your children (infants and toddler) can play on four moonwalks; The Circus Train and the Clown Combo, the Shark and the Under the Sea Adventure. The Tot Plex also has specifically designed programs to teach children basic athletic skills. Coached by top professionals within their respective fields.

* Gymboree Play & Music

Locations in Acton, Andover, Burlington, Canton, Framingham, Medfield, Newton, Norwell, Peabody, Pembroke, Plainville, Plymouth, Quincy and Westboro.

For more than 30 years, Gymboree has been the global leader in child development programs for children zero to 5. Come see how an array of fun, developmentally focuses activities help children gain the social, physical and intellectual skills they need. Call and try a class for free.


The Puppet Showplace Theatre (Greater Boston)

32 Station St., Brookline 617-731-6400 Wednesday & Thursday: 10:30 a.m. for ages 3-6 Saturday & Sunday: 1 and 3 p.m. Extra shows are added during school vacation weeks. Tickets $10. Reservations recommended.

Always delightfully staged, both traditional and contemporary stories are presented using all sorts of puppetry—hand puppets, rod puppets and marionettes. There are different shows presented every week. Upcoming winter performances include “The Frog Prince” and “Going, Going, Gone Whaling”.

* Wheelock Family Theatre (Greater Boston)

200 The Riverway, Boston 617-879-2300 Tickets: $15, $19 or $23 depending on seat location.

Professional equity company located on the campus of Wheelock College. Each season, Wheelock Family Theatre stages a drama, a musical, and a children’s show. The musical version of Peter Pan will be performed Feb. 1-March 2.

Friday performances: 7:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday matinees:3 p.m.

School vacation week matinees: 1 p.m. Feb. 19-Feb. 22. (No evening performance Feb. 22)

Museums Galore!

The New England Aquarium (Greater Boston)

Central Wharf, Boston 617-973-5200 Monday-Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Adult: $18.95, seniors $16.95, children ages 3-11 $10.95.

The four-story Giant Ocean Tank (GOT) is the centerpiece attraction at the New Aquarium. This simulated Caribbean coral reef is the home to sharks, moray eels and schools of exotic fish. The star of GOT is Myrtle, the green sea turtle. “Killer Instincts” is the Aquarium’s latest feature. Kids can pick up a passport and have it stamped as they follow the Killer Instincts path throughout the Aquarium and learn about sharks, barracudas and stingrays.

The Boston Children’s Museum (Greater Boston)

300 Congress St., Boston 617-426-6500 Daily: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

$10 Adults, $8 seniors, $8 children ages 2-15, $2 children age 1 , children under age 1 free.

Recently expanded and renovated, the Boston Children’s Museum is an awesome place for young children and their families. Kids can investigate science through bubbles at the Science Playground, explore race and ethnicity issues at the Boston Black exhibit and learn about fitness and have fun on the very cool lightbox dance floor at Kid Power. Kids can’t get enough of the Children’s Museum new clear three-story climbing sculpture. 

The Museum of Fine Arts (Greater Boston)

465 Huntington Ave., Boston 617-267-9300 Monday and Tuesday: 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Wednesday-Friday: 10 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 9:45 p.m.

Adults $17; Children ages 7-17 $6.50 (free for children after 3 PM weekdays, weekends and public school holidays), children ages 6 and under free. 

During February vacation week there are live performances and art- making activities for kids in the galleries. If you prefer to go the self-guided route there are children’s activity booklets available at the information center. Don’t miss the MFA’s mummy collection— one of the world’s largest— which is sure to be a hit with your kids. John Singleton Copley’s “Watson and the Shark” and John Singer Sargent’s “The Daughters of Edward Boit” are both in the American Painting collection and are also extremely popular with young visitors.

Spellman Museum of Stamps and Postal History (Greater Boston)

235 Wellesley St. at Regis College, Weston 781-768-8367 Thursday-Sunday Noon to 5 p.m.

Admission: Adults $5, seniors/students $3, children ages 16 and under free.

Collecting stamps is a great way to spark your kid’s interest in geography and history. The Spellman Museum has fascinating exhibits of stamps, and a family activity room with scavenger hunts, design-a-stamp materials and puzzles.   Best of all, every kid gets a free packet of stamps at the end of their visit to begin their own collection!

Children’s Museum in Easton (South)

9 Sullivan Ave., North Easton 508-230-3789 Tuesday-Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday: Noon to 5 p.m. Closed Monday. Admission: $6 per person, under age 1, free.

A children’s museum located in an old fire station is a special place. There are three floors of fun all geared for children ages 1-8. Kids can climb the fire pole and ring the bell, dig for dinosaur bones, and make giant bubbles galore.

The Fuller Craft Museum (South)

455 Oak St., Brockton 508-588-6000 Daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday until 9 p.m.

Adults:$8, $5 seniors and students. Free for children under age 12.

The Fuller Craft Museum is New England’s home for contemporary crafts. Exhibits span all the areas of the arts including glass, metal, wood, fiber, and clay. Family events include [Sense]ation Day on February 18th when kids can watch artist demonstrations and participate in ongoing art workshops throughout the day.

 Battleship Cove (South) 5 Water St., Fall River

(800) 533-3194 Open Daily 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Adults $14; seniors $12; children ages 6-14 $8; children under age 6 and uniformed military personnel are free.   

Battleship Cove is a “floating” maritime museum and war memorial that is the site for a collection of World War II naval vessels. The Battleship Massachusetts, the Destroyer Joseph P. Kennedy and the East German submarine the Lionfish are docked here.    Kids will enjoy clamoring about the ships and imagining what a sailor’s life was like — there are steep stairs, low doorways, and terribly uncomfortable -looking sailor’s racks (cots) for sleeping. 


The Peabody Essex Museum (North)

161 Essex St., Salem 978-745-9500 Daily: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Adults $13; seniors $11; students $9; children ages 16 and under free.

Yin Yu Tang Admission: $4, free for children ages 16 and under (timed- entry tickets)

The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) is America’s oldest continuously operating museum. Totally renovated in 2003, the first thing kid’s notice is the building’s architecture; the soaring glass ceiling over the central atrium space mimics a ship’s sail— a nod to Salem’s strong maritime heritage. The galleries are brimming with curios from around the world – kids will especially enjoy seeing the collection of antique toys, the intricately carved ivory objects and the giant Asian export porcelain vases. The Art and Nature Center exhibit, “Origami Now!” (through June 2008) explores the connection between the art of paper folding and science. School age children will want to visit Yin Yu Tang, a reconstructed 200 year-old home of a Chinese merchant— the free snazzy remote control-like audio guides explain all.

The Concord Museum (North)

200 Lexington Rd., Concord 978-369-9763

January-March: Monday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday 1 to 4 p.m.

$10 Adults, $8 seniors and students, $5 children ages 6-17, under age 6 free.

At the Concord Museum kids can explore the town’s rich history as a Native American settlement, the site of one of the earliest battles of the Revolution and its importance as an intellectual and literary center in the 19th century. Concord after all, was the home of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Louisa May Alcott. The fifth annual Warm Words Storytelling Festival  Feb. 16-18  celebrates Native American, African –American and European immigrant storytelling traditions.  

The Wenham Museum (North)

132 Main St., Wenham 978-468-2377 Tuesday-Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Adults $7; seniors $6, children ages 2 and up $5.

Step back in time at the Wenham Museum which celebrates the treasures of childhood in New England from the 17th century to today. The exhibits include an extensive collection of dolls, a train room full of operating model trains, and a fine collection of 19th and 20th century toys including toy soldiers, dollhouses and mechanical toys. In the Family Discovery room kids can dress in colonial costume , play with puppets, and build with blocks. Bring the grandparents, this is a wonderful museum for intergenerational fun!

The Discovery Museums (West)

177 Main St., Acton 978-264-4200 Children’s Museum Tuesday-Sunday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Science Museum Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 1 to 4:30 p.m.; Wednesday 1 to p.m.; Saturday-Sunday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Admission: Adults $9,Children $9, Children under age 1 free. Special Savings for both museums on same day.

There is a Children’s museum in a charming Victorian house that is geared for children ages 1-6. Infants, toddlers and preschoolers can explore a safari room, the nautical- themed S.S. Discovery and Bessie’s Diner. Next door, the Science museum appeals to kids up to age 10 and features an inventor’s workshop where kids can create their own projects.

Gore Place (West) 52 Gore Place, Waltham 781-894-2798 Mansion Tours Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. Admission Adults $10; $5 children ages 5-12

“Take a Walk” winter schedule: Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Grounds are free and open to the public.

There are mansion tours during the winter Monday through Friday at 1 p.m. , but the main attraction for families is the grounds. During the winter months, families can explore the mansion’s open spaces and visit the small farm.Winter activity backpacks can be borrowed for a $5 fee and include binoculars, a magnifying glass and activity guide. When there is snow cover, snow shoes are available for rent too. Ring the bell at the mansion to get your equipment.

The Higgins Amory Museum (West)

100 Barber Ave., Worcester 508-853-6015 Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday: Noon to 4 p.m. Open special Mondays Jan.21 and Feb. 18.

$9 Adults; seniors $8; $7 Children ages 6-16, free for children 5 and under.

The medieval Great Hall with its gothic arches and stained glass is an awesome setting for the 70 suits of armor, weaponry and medieval artifacts at the Higgins Armory Museum. Kids especially like the examples of dog armor and the jousting tournament display with armored soldiers on life-sized horses The audio wand tour ($2) has a dedicated channel for children. In the Quest Gallery kids can try on helmets and renaissance costumes and play a game of chess with the giant game pieces.


New England Spring Flower Show (Boston)

Bayside Exposition Center, Boston March 8- March 16 617-933-4980

Adult:$20, seniors :$17, students, $12, children ages 4-12 $10, children under age 4 free.

Celebrate spring at The New England Flower Show. Meander among the dozens of indoor gardens interpreting this year’s theme “Rhapsody in Green” (apologies to Gershwin!) — eco- friendly gardening that is beautiful and responsible. Families won’t want to miss “Plantapalooza” the Children’s Festival and Educator’s night on Friday, March 14 which features hands-on gardening projects, live musical performances and storytelling just for kids.

Lowell WinterFest (North)

Arcand Drive, from City Hall to the Tsongas Arena, Lowell 978-970-4257 February 8: 6:30 to midnight February 9: Noon to midnight Free

Embrace winter! Lowell’s WinterFest is fun for the entire family. For kids there are craft activities and kid’s entertainment (clowns, storytellers, and magicians) throughout the two day celebration . The WinterFest highlight is the National Human Dog Sled Competition. Each team consists of 6 people- a rider, a pusher (musher) and four sled pullers. As many as 60 teams compete- many in wacky costumes. The North Bowl Soup Competition between thirty of the area’s restaurants is popular too.

Maria Olia lives in Newton and is the mother of four children. She is the author of “The Little Black Book of Boston” which will be published by Peter Pauper Press in 2008.