For most Massachusetts kids, the third week in April means no school and plenty of time to have fun. It’s a great time to explore many of the sights and activities on offer throughout the North Shore (and maybe even a little beyond).
1. Go fly a kite Cogswells Grant
Kick off vacation week on Saturday with a visit to Cogswell Grant in Essex for its annual Kite Day celebration. Families can bring their own kites to fly in the property’s spacious and breezy field alongside professional flyers – and their spectacular kites. A kite-making workshop will also be available. The event is free to attend and kite-making is $10. Advance purchase of workshop tickets is recommended.
2. Explore the estate
Visit Castle Hill at the Crane Estate in Ipswich for one (or several) of its vacation week CraneExplorer family programs. Investigate a 100-year-old shipwreck on Sunday or Tuesday, hike the grounds and learn about the secret life of trees on Monday, learn map skills and navigate the estate on Tuesday, or tune in to the music of nature on Thursday.
3. Dig into farming at the Wenham Museum
Get some hands-on education with Wonders of Worms and Compost on April 18 at the Wenham Museum: Dig through the soil, learn how composting works, and make some worm-themed art to take home. For more agricultural action, try From Farm to Fiber later that afternoon to learn about harvesting angora wool from rabbits (and maybe score some bunny cuddles while you’re at it).
4. Let your climate creativity shine at the Peabody Essex Museum
When April vacation meets Earth Day, you get the Peabody Essex Museum’s Art and Science in Action week. From April 19 to 21, families can learn how to make hand drums, view musical performances, attend story readings, and transform climate data into art. There will also be interactive displays by climate action organization Rare that will demonstrate how to do you part to slow climate change. The full schedule is available online.
5. Get moving and making at the Lynn Museum
Check out the April vacation lineup at the Lynn Museum, including a creative writing class, family-friendly Zumba, tree-inspired artmaking, and a chance to get up close and personal with some interesting animals. The full schedule is available online.
6. See a modern-day classic
You know what they say: Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. So take the (older) kids to The Cabot in Beverly for a viewing of iconic 80s movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on April 19. Tickets are only $1 and there’s only one showing, so advanced registration is highly encouraged.
7. Clown around at the Shriners Circus
See daring feats of strength, balance, and aerial amazement at the Shriners Circus in Wilmington, running from April 19 to 23. There will be clowns, a spectacle known as the Globe of Death, and plenty of delicious fair food, but animal-lovers need not worry: There will be no exotic animals on display. Tickets are available online.
8. Take a trip to moon
If you’re considering a trip to the city but looking for something a little different from the usual museums, check out Space Adventure in Chelsea, an exhibit that celebrates humanity’s landing on the moon with artifacts from NASA, videos, photos, a life-sized lunar rover, and a virtual reality simulation of traveling to the moon. Timed tickets are required and available online.