Massachusetts State Parks Family Fun Days
February 20, 2013

Several Massachusetts State Parks are offering a variety of free family-friendly programs and experiences during February school vacation week. You can enjoy a winter woodland walk or celebrate the season with stories, songs, and more, from guided experiences to self-directed adventures. Make sure everyone dresses for the weather and brings water and snacks. All events, programs and activities are subject to change. Call ahead to confirm.  

Here are descriptions of just a few of the scheduled programs. Visit the Department of Conservation and Recreation website for others and more information.

Nature on Vacation at Middlesex Fells Reservation
Easy environmental walks with a different theme each day to be held rain or shine. Indoor activities will be offered if the weather is stormy. Meet at the Botume House Visitor Center. Children must be accompanied by an adult. The Botume House is at the North Region headquarters  on Spot Pond about a quarter-mile south of Stone Zoo. February 20, 21 and 22 from noon to 1 p.m.

Track It! at Bradley Palmer State Park
Head to Topsfield to go with Bob Metcalfe, of New England Discovery, on an adventure in tracking wild animals. Ability to identify the tracks and sign of wildlife along the trail will add to your enjoyment of your favorite state lands. An indoor lesson in track identification will be followed by a one-hour walk to search for wildlife tracks and sign. Hot chocolate will be served. Meet at the Nature Center. Thursday, February 21, from 1-3 p.m.

Journal Making for Kids at Walden Pond
Keep a journal like Henry David Thoreau. Join a park interpreter in the Tsongas Gallery at park headquarters for a fun journal making project. All materials will be provided, and you can take home your own personal journal for writing, drawing, and recording observations of the natural world. Best for ages five and up. This is a free program, but there is a $5 parking fee. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Friday, February 22, from 11 a.m. to noon.

February Fun Run at DCR Stony Brook Reservation
Join the Boston Snow Dogs and the Yankee Siberian Sled Dog Club in a fun and educational presentation on dog sledding in New England.  Meet the mushers, get friendly with some furry sled dogs, and watch and cheer the canine athletes as they run. Plus, there will be free ice skating at Bajko Rink from 2-3:50 p.m. (bring your own skates). Dog sled demonstration only. No rides given and please don’t bring your dog to this event. Saturday, February 23 from 1-3 p.m. Meet at Bajko Skating Rink, 75 Turtle Pond Parkway, Hyde Park.

Signs of the Season at Mount Tom State Reservation
What makes winter so challenging? How are plants and animals able to survive? Will we see any early signs of spring? Discover the answers with indoor activities and an outdoor nature walk looking for tracks and other signs of life. Program is suitable for school-age children, their families and curious adults. Please meet inside the Bray Lake Warming Hut, 200 Reservation Road, just off of the Route 5 entrance in Holyoke. Sunday, February 24, from 11 a.m.-noon.

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