February Vacation Week Free Family-Friendly Programs

Park activities and programs February 17 - 25, 2024

Fresh air and family fun are the perfect combination for your February Vacation Week plans. Come out and play in your Massachusetts State Parks and enjoy a fantastic array of family friendly programs and experiences for all ages. Enjoy guided experiences or create a park adventure on your own. There is so much to enjoy and explore in your state parks. Come for a visit!

Visit Adaptive recreational programs and events for the complete schedule of adaptive programs during February Vacation week.

Table of Contents

Things to know before you go

  • All programs are free unless noted. 
  • Please be aware parking fees may apply – visit the park web page for applicable parking fees at Massachusetts State Parks  or to learn how to borrow a ParksPass from a community partner.
  • Be season smart and safe. Dress for the weather by wearing sturdy footgear and dressing in layers for maximum comfort.
  • Carry drinking water and snacks.
  • Have a map and cell phone.
  • Seasonal weather including extreme cold temperatures and storms affect parks and trails.  All events, programs and activities are subject to change.  Please take a moment to call ahead to confirm.
  • February Vacation Programs are listed by geographical region, date and time.

Central Massachusetts

Blackstone River & Canal Heritage State Park   287 Oak Street, Uxbridge

Wachusett Mountain State Reservation  345 Mountain Road, Princeton, MA 01541

Additional Resources

Northeastern Massachusetts

Belle Isle Marsh Reservation, 1399 Bennington Street, East Boston, MA

Breakheart Reservation 177 Forest Street, Saugus, MA    

Camp Nihan Education Center at 131 Walnut Street in Saugus  

Halibut Point State Park, Gott Avenue at Rte 127, Rockport, MA 01966       

Lawrence Heritage State Park 1 Jackson Street, Lawrence, MA

Revere Beach Reservation 1 Eliot Circle, Revere, MA

Walden Pond State Reservation 915 Walden Street, Concord, MA

Southeastern Massachusetts

Blue Hills Reservation 860 Hillside St, Milton, MA 02186

Borderland State Park, 259 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton                                                  

Ellisville Harbor State Park 1861 State Road (Route 3A), Plymouth                

Massasoit State Park 1361 Middleboro Avenue, East Taunton     

Nasketucket Bay State Reservation Brandt Beach Road, Mattapoisett               

Wompatuck State Park 204 Union St., Hingham, MA      

WBNERR 131 Waquoit Highway, Waquoit, MA 02536                                         

Fall River Heritage State Park 100 Davol Street, Fall River MA 

Western Massachusetts

Mount Holyoke Range State Park, 1500 West St, Amherst    

Mount Greylock State Reservation, 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough    

Holyoke Heritage 221 Appleton St. Holyoke, MA 01040  

Great Falls Discovery Center 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA 01376 


DCR Visitor Centers and Exhibits

Winter should never stop you from enjoying our State Parks! The Massachusetts’ State Park system, managed and operated by the Department of Conservation and Recreation, provides many year-round opportunities to learn about our rich natural and cultural history, a heritage that tells fascinating stories of the past. Recreational opportunities also abound. Below is a list of our Visitor Centers by region. Please note, some visitor centers are closed for holidays and hours can vary based on staffing and weather emergencies. Please call ahead.

Boston Region

Roxbury Heritage State Park, 183 Roxbury Rd, Boston

Roxbury Heritage Visitor Center

Open Daily, 10:00am-5:00pm

Roxbury Heritage is home to the c1750 Dillaway-Thomas House, one of the oldest structures in Roxbury. This building served as the headquarters of the Continental Army in 1775 during the Siege of Boston. The house is now a museum with exhibits of Roxbury's past and present history. Landscaped grounds also provide visitors with an excellent view of Boston's skyline. For more information, please call 857-399-1225 or email roxbury.heritage@mass.gov.

Northeastern Massachusetts

Breakheart Reservation


Wednesday-Sunday    8:30am-3:30p.m.       

Modelled after a hunting lodge which once stood inside the park, stop in to find historic photos, artifacts, and animals! Open rain or shine!

Walden Pond State Reservation, 915 Walden St., Concord

Walden Pond Visitor Center

Open Daily, 10:00am - 3:00pm 

VISITOR CENTER Exhibits, Walden Film, and Gallery Investigate the life & legacy of Thoreau through exhibits, art, and film. Walden shows every 1/2 hour, last show at 2:30pm. Painting Gallery exhibition, Dialogue with Nature, by local artist Sirarpi Heghinian Walzer, November 2023-January 2024. For more information, please call 978-396-3254.

Halibut Point State Park, 4 Gott Avenue, Rockport

Open Saturdays and Sundays, 9:00am - 3:00pm 

Quarrying History at Visitor Center

Visit the recently renovated World War II tower, now visitor center. Learn about this site’s quarrying and WWII history and discover plants and animals that live in this rocky coastal park. For all ages.

Lawrence Heritage State Park       

Daily   9:00am-4:00pm         

Come explore the history and development of Lawrence, MA, one of the nation’s first planned industrial cities. The Visitor Center & Museum is located in a former boardinghouse (1848) of the Bay State Mills, the first textile mill to produce cloth in Lawrence, MA. Find a model of the original interior in the exhibit on the first floor. All ages and abilities welcome!

Central Massachusetts

Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park

Thursday and Friday 9 am to 1 pm

Saturday and Sunday 9 am to 3 pm

Quabbin Reservoir, 100 Winsor Dam Rd, Belchertown

Open every day except Wednesdays, 8:30am - 4:30pm 

Les and Terry Campbell Quabbin Visitor Center

Quabbin Reservoir is one of the largest unfiltered water supplies in the United States. Along with the Wachusett Reservoir and Ware River, it is the source of high quality water for the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority water supply system. The 412 billion gallon reservoir covers 39 square miles with 181 miles of shoreline.  Come learn about the history of the Quabbin Valley and how the reservoir was built.  Also, learn about wildlife at the Quabbin and some of the research being done there.   Visitors may request viewing one of several short videos about the area as well. For more information, please call 413-323-722.  

Wachusett Mountain State Reservation, 345 Mountain Road, Princeton

John Hitchcock Visitor Center

Open daily 7:45m – 3:15pm (Hours may vary based on winter staffing and weather conditions).

The Visitor Center features exhibits detailing the mountain’s unique geologic history, including the effects of the last glacial period. Exhibits also highlight Wachusett Mountain’s human history, from the Native Americans living in the area who gave the mountain its name, to the European colonists who settled the area. The Visitor Center features displays explaining the ancient trees found on the mountain, the only old-growth forest east of the Connecticut River. There is also an antique collection of preserved birds that are found in the area. Hiking trail information is available in the Visitor Center, and park staff can provide advice on routes and trail conditions; winter hikers should be equipped for snowy and icy conditions. The Visitor Center features a magnificent stone fireplace with a crackling fire to warm winter visitors. Restrooms are available in the Visitor Center during open hours. Portable toilets are available in the parking lot if the Visitor Center is closed. Free parking and admission during the winter. Accessible. For more information, please call 978-464-2987.

Southeastern Massachusetts

Borderland State Park, 259 Massapoag Ave, North Easton

Open Daily, 8:00am - 4:00pm 

Welcome to the home-base for your exploration of Borderland. Come in for a self-guided brochure, or a quick warm-up before exploring the trails. Comfortable seating and bathrooms available.

Fall River Heritage State Park, 200 Davol St., Fall River

Open Daily, 9:30am - 3:00pm

Permanent and rotating exhibits that tell the stories of Fall River. Theater with on-demand videos exploring the maritime, textile, and military histories of the community. Enjoy the boardwalk with incredible views of the Taunton River. Three scavenger hunts are available: Do You Know Your Fall River Black History? Find that African Flag, & Textiles, Textiles Everywhere 

Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, 131 Waquoit Hwy (Rte. 28), E. Falmouth

Tuesday and Wednesday, 10:00am - 4:00pm 

Come in from the cold and explore our exhibits along with a host of self-guided, hands-on activities including animal puppets, leaf rubbings, crafts, animal life cycles and more. To interact with our newest visitor center exhibits, bring your smart phone or tablet to try out the interactive QR codes which let our researchers answer your questions about what we do here.  Families with children will be able to explore the headquarters property with a scavenger hunt and will also be able to pick up a “Grab and Go” bag (while supplies last) with a surprise project to do on your own. Can’t make it Tuesday or Wednesday? You’re welcome to come visit the Reserve any day to enjoy the grounds and the view. Accessible. For more information contact Joan Muller, joan.muller@mass.gov.

Western Massachusetts

Great Falls Discovery Center, 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls

Open Wednesday-Sunday, 10:00am – 4:00pm

Explore the natural, cultural and industrial history of the Con- necticut River Watershed in our dynamic exhibits. Next to the Canalside Rail Trail, the center includes the Great Hall exhibit gallery, restrooms, and drinking water. Wheelchair accessible. Open Presidents’ Day Monday, February 21.

Holyoke Heritage State Park, 221 Appleton Street, Holyoke

Open Tuesday through Sunday, 12:00pm to 4:00pm

Explore Holyoke’s industrial history. Exhibits celebrate the city's rich blend of cultures and people. Special programs are offered year-round. Also located within the park are The Children's Museum, the restored antique Holyoke Merry-Go-Round and the Volleyball Hall of Fame. Visitor information available. Wheelchair accessible. For more information or directions, please call (413) 534-1723.

Mount Greylock State Reservation Visitor Center, 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA

Open daily, 9:00am-4:00pm

The Visitor Center is the primary information and orientation site for visitors to Mount Greylock State Reservation. Located within a mix of open fields and woods and offers a spectacular panoramic view south across the Berkshire Hills and the Taconic Mountains. Dynamic exhibits and an orientation film explore the history and nature of the highest point in the Commonwealth. A recreational opportunity here includes an easy 1.8-mile loop hike along the Bradley Farm Interpretive Trail. Visitor information available. Wheelchair accessible. Call 413-499-4262 for more information.

Mount Holyoke Range State Park Notch Visitor Center, 1500 West St, Amherst 

Open Thursday through Monday 9:00am-4:00pm 

The Visitor Center features park orientation information, exhibits, restrooms, and drinking water. Try our Visitor Center Scavenger Hunt! Take a walk or hike in the park. Accessible by PVTA public transit (Amherst R38). Wheelchair accessible. 

Ongoing Resources

Public Skating

Ice skating is a great winter activity for people of all ages and abilities. Many ice-skating rinks have skate rentals and snack concessions. During school vacation week, public skating hours are 10:00am - 2:50pm. 

Self-Guided Opportunities

Visit DCR Programs & Events to find a list of:

  • Self-Guided Hikes
  • Recommended Hikes
    • Introductory hikes for families and children and Signature hikes of that highlight the best park features
  •  Fun in Nature Series
    • Downloadable activities to enhance your experience at any DCR park!  Fun and engaging activities include seek and find scavenger hunts to awaken all of your senses, a conversation starter set to encourage talks along the trail and creating your own story cube to inspire story- telling!
Last updated: February 1, 2023

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