February Vacation Week Free Family-Friendly Programs

Park activities and programs February 15 - 23, 2020

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!

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.
  • Programs are listed by geographical region, date and time.

Greater Boston

Roxbury Heritage State Park 183 Roxbury Street, Eliot Square/Roxbury
Sunday, February 16, 1:00-3:30pm

Movie Matinee & Discussion - 11-year-old Akeelah from south-central L.A. is a good speller, but what does it take for her to believe that she is “powerful beyond measure” and to go up against the best in the National Spelling Bee? What are our dreams and aspirations and what can we learn from Akeelah? For all ages. For more information, please email or call 617-445-0062 to leave a voice message.

*Leo J. Martin Ski Track 190 Park Rd, Weston, MA
Monday, February 17 and Sunday, February 23, 12pm-4pm

Adaptive Winter Sports Program - This popular location offers outdoor recreation on a groomed course. Register for an hour-long adventure on the trails using a kicksled, sit-ski, snowshoes, or cross-country skis. Call to inquire about weekday programs! Call Brenda at (413) 259-0009 or email her at outdooraccessma@gmail.com.

Roxbury Heritage State Park 183 Roxbury Street, Eliot Square/Roxbury
Wednesday, February 19, 12:00-1:00pm; and Friday, February 21, 12:00-1:00pm

Roxbury Icons A-Z - What do you know about Amos Adams, Ruth Batson, or Melnea Cass? Learn about these and other Roxbury “icons”, A to Z, who have a place in Roxbury’s history and community, during this fun, interactive program. For all ages. For more information, please email or call 617-445-0062 to leave a voice message.

Roxbury Heritage State Park 183 Roxbury Street, Eliot Square/Roxbury
Wednesday, February 19, and Saturday, February 22, 3:00-4:30pm; Thursday, February 20, 11:00am-12:30pm.

Explore & CreateDid you know that there were African American regiments in the American Revolution and one was honored with a flag? Take an interactive tour of the Dillaway-Thomas House to learn about these brave soldiers, the Siege of Boston, and more. Then get creative! Design your own flag to honor African Americans who’ve fought for freedom throughout history! Ages 7 and above. For more information, please email or call 617-445-0062 to leave a voice message.

Roxbury Heritage State Park 183 Roxbury Street, Eliot Square/Roxbury
Thursday, February 20, and Friday, February 21, 3:00-5:00pm

Play Games! Have you ever played Mancala or Nine-Men’s Morris? How about chess? Drop by and learn how to play these games from around the world—or show off your skills with a friend or stranger! Ages 5 to 95, depending on the game! Games may vary. For more information, please call 617-445-0062 to leave a voice message.

Central Massachusetts

Blackstone River & Canal Heritage State Park   287 Oak Street, Uxbridge
Friday, February 14 – Monday, February 18        10:00am – 4:00pm

Storywalk® “At Grandpa’s Sugarbush” by Margret Carney - Get outside and enjoy reading a story as you stroll along the park. The featured picture book captures the signs of spring and the old-fashioned way of making maple syrup. A short, easy, self-guided walk. This program is free and open to the public. Meet at the River Bend Farm Visitor Center at 287 Oak Street in Uxbridge. For more information, please call (508) 278-7604.

Blackstone River & Canal Heritage State Park   287 Oak Street, Uxbridge
Saturday February 15, 22, 11:00am- 12:00pm

Kidleidoscope - Join us in the conference room of River Bend Farm Visitor Center for a nature themed story time, followed by a short nature walk and a craft activity. Meets rain or shine, during inclement weather nature walk with be replaced with activity in the Visitor Center’s unheated hayloft. Appropriate for ages 3-6, siblings are welcome, children must be accompanied by an adult. Please contact the park at (508) 278-7604 for more information.

Wachusett Mountain State Reservation  345 Mountain Road, Princeton
Event Location: Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, 41 Mile Hill Rd., Westminster

Saturday, February 15, 11:00am - 12:30pm and Sunday, February 16, 11:00am - 12:30pm

Winter Snowshoe Walk at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area - Take a leisurely 1 mile guided round-trip in the winter wonderland at Wachusett Mountain. Enjoy the beauty of winter, meet other interesting people, and learn about the animals leaving tracks in the snow! All ages are welcome. Bring your own snowshoes and/or micro-spikes; if there is no snow, we will hike to Balance Rock, an amazing geologic formation. Meet at the Wachusett Mountain Ski Area main lodge at 41 Mile Hill Road in Westminster (one mile from Wachusett Mountain State Reservation Visitor Center at 345 Mountain Road in Princeton). This program is a joint effort of DCR and Wachusett Mountain Associates. This program is $15, pre-registration is required, as there is a 20-person limit. Snowshoes are available to rent for $10. For more information, please call Wachusett Mountain State Reservation at (978) 464-2987.

*Wendell State Forest, 392 Wendell Rd, Millers Falls, MA 01349
Saturday February 15 and 22 at 11:00am-3:00pm

Enjoy adaptive outdoor winter recreation with All Out Adventures. Experience the winter woods with outdoor ice skating, gentle hockey games, sit-skiing, cross-country skiing, kick sledding, hiking, snowshoeing, and snowmobile rides (as weather conditions permit). Meet us at the Wendell State Forest Headquarters when you arrive! Bring a lunch and warm up next to the wood stove before heading out on the groomed trails for a group excursion!  Cost: Suggested $5 per person donation
Pre-registration is required. Call (413) 584-2052, email info@alloutadventures.org, or register online to reserve an hour-long outdoor experience.

Blackstone River & Canal Heritage State Park   287 Oak Street, Uxbridge
Sunday February 16, 23, 1:00-2:00pm

Canal Walk - Join us on a guided walk along the Blackstone Canal. Find out about the canal’s historical and cultural significance and its role in the farm to factory transformation of the Blackstone Valley. All walks end at start location. If conditions permit, bring snowshoes and hiking poles. All ages welcome, children must be accompanied by an adult.
· February 16 River Bend Farm Visitor Center.
· February 23 Plummer’s Landing, Church Street, Northbridge.
Approximately 2 miles.

Quabbin Reservoir and Visitor Center  100 Winsor Dam Rd, Belchertown
Sunday, February 16, 2-3pm

Discovering the Other Lost Valley – Before the Swift River Valley was cleared and flooded, 23,000 acres were taken along the Ware River in Barre, Oakham, Rutland, and Hubbardston in a project designed to supplement the waters of the new reservoir.  350 people lost their homes in this project and three villages were removed.  Join us to learn more about the other lost valley, why it was cleared and the role the Ware River Watershed plays in protecting the water supply of 3 million Massachusetts residents. Program is best for adults and families of older children.  Meet in the Quabbin Visitor Center, snow or shine. Pick up a Quabbin Park map in the Visitor Center and explore trails before or after the program.  The program is free and open to the public.  No parking fees apply.  Call 413-323-7221 for more information.

Blackstone River & Canal Heritage State Park   287 Oak Street, Uxbridge
Monday February 17, 10:00am-12:00pm

Fun on the Farm - Come and play the way they would have in the early days of River Bend Farm. Learn how to play nine men’s morris, hoop and stick, and other games from the 18th and 19th centuries. Program will take place in the unheated hayloft of the River Bend Farm Visitor Center. All ages welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult. In case of inclement weather program will take place in the hayloft of the Visitor Center. Please contact the park at (508) 278-7604 for more information.

Quabbin Reservoir and Visitor Center  100 Winsor Dam Rd, Belchertown
Tuesday, February 18, 1-2pm

Eagles, Loons and Bears oh My! - In the past 50 years our region has seen the return of many woodland animals in part because of the great habitat Quabbin Reservoir Forest creates.   Come learn a little about the history and habitats of some local wildlife. 40 min presentation. Families of all ages welcome. Meet in the Quabbin Visitor Center, snow or shine. Pick up a Quabbin Park map in the Visitor Center and explore trails before or after the program.  The program is free and open to the public.  No parking fees apply.  Call 413-323-7221 for more information.

Wachusett Reservoir Watershed, Stillwater Farm  228 Redemption Rock Rd., Sterling
Wednesday, February 19, 11:00am-11:45am

Owl Pellets- Learn about the most common owls of the area and hear recordings of their calls. Discover how these fascinating birds live and eat. Discover what habitat favors the prey that owls need for food and characteristics that make owls successful hunters. Be prepared to take a closer look and dissect an owl pellet. All ages welcome. Meet inside Stillwater Farm Interpretive Center. In the case of inclement weather, programs may be modified/cancelled. Please call 774-261-1809 or email Kathryn.Parent@mass.gov for updates.

Wachusett Reservoir Watershed, Stillwater Farm  228 Redemption Rock Rd., Sterling
Wednesday, February 19, 12:00pm-1:00pm

Habitat Hike - Discover the different types of habitats that exist along the trail. Think like an animal as we walk around habitats that may provide cozy winter resting places. Dress for the weather, wear sturdy hiking shoes, about 1 mile walk. All ages welcome. Dogs and domestic animals are prohibited on watershed lands. Service dogs are welcome. Meet at Stillwater Farm. For more information or to check status during inclement weather, please email Kathryn.Parent@mass.gov or call 774-261-1809.

Blackstone River & Canal Heritage State Park   287 Oak Street, Uxbridge
Monday February 20, 1:00-2:00pm

Snowshoe Stroll - Bring your snowshoes and enjoy this easy pace winter walk along the tow path and through the meadow at River Bend Farm. This is a 2 mile walk on a flat trail. If there is no snow on the ground, we will take a 2 mile nature walk. All ages welcome, children must be accompanied by an adult. Please contact the park at (508) 278-7604 for more information.

Blackstone River & Canal Heritage State Park   287 Oak Street, Uxbridge
Thursday February 20, 1:00-2:00pm

Maple Sugarmakers Weather Watch - Is it maple sugaring season yet? Let’s talk about the weather and the science of maple sugaring to find out what conditions get the sap running, then head out on the trail for some hands on action as we measure and mark trees for tapping. Up to a 1 mile walk. All ages welcome, children must be accompanied by an adult. Please contact the park at (508) 278-7604 for more information.

Quabbin Park, Hanks Meadow, access through Quabbin Park East entrance off Rt.9 in Ware, MA (call for directions)
Thursday, February 20 1-2pm

Quabbin Park History Detectives - Hidden in the Quabbin Forest are clues to life in the four drowned towns.  Join us as we search for signs of the past!  Meet at the Hanks Meadow parking lot at Quabbin Park. (Call 413-323-7221 for directions) Families of all ages welcome.  Easy ½ mile walk. Please dress appropriately for the weather and for a forest hike. The program is free and open to the public.  No parking fees apply.  Call 413-323-7221 for more information.

Wachusett Mountain State Reservation  345 Mountain Road, Princeton
Thursday, February 20, 11:00am - 12:00pm and Friday, February 21, 11:00am - 12:00pm 

Miraculous SnowflakesJoin us to learn about snowflakes and create some of your own. We will discuss the science behind the mysteries of winter weather, and explain how snowflakes are formed, and why no two snowflakes are alike! We will then show you how to create your own one-of-a-kind paper snowflake, suitable for framing or decorating. We will also be serving hot chocolate next to our cozy fireplace. This program is suitable for all ages, but children must be accompanied by an adult. This program is free and open to the public and there is no parking fee. This is an indoor program, and no hiking is required. For more information, please call Wachusett Mountain State Reservation at (978) 464-2987.

Wachusett Reservoir Watershed, Stillwater Farm  228 Redemption Rock Rd., Sterling
Thursday, February 20, 11:00am -11:45am

What's Your Watershed Address? - This indoor program uses models, maps and hands-on activities to explore what a watershed is and how to protect water supplies. All ages welcome. Meet inside Stillwater Farm Interpretive Center. For more information or to check status during inclement weather, please email Kathryn.Parent@mass.gov ​or call 774-261-1809.

Wachusett Reservoir Watershed, Stillwater Farm  228 Redemption Rock Rd., Sterling
Thursday, February 20, 12:00pm-12:30pm

Watershed Winter Sensory Walk - Learn about the wonders of the watershed while we explore firsthand using each of our senses (except for tasting!) on this easy 1/2 mile walk. Dress for the weather, wear sturdy hiking shoes.  All ages welcome. Meet at Stillwater Farm. Dogs and domestic animals are prohibited on watershed lands. Service dogs are welcome. For more information or to check status during inclement weather, please email Kathryn.Parent@mass.gov ​or call 774-261-1809.

Blackstone River & Canal Heritage State Park   287 Oak Street, Uxbridge
Friday February 21, 10:30-11:30am

Maple Story Time - Join us in the heated meeting room for a maple themed story time, followed by a short outdoor nature walk and a craft activity. Meets rain or shine; during inclement weather outdoor discoveries will be substituted by a scavenger hunt in the unheated hayloft of the River Bend Farm Visitor Center. Bundle up and get young children out to enjoy nature! All ages welcome, children must be accompanied by an adult. Please contact the park at (508) 278-7604 for more information.

Blackstone River & Canal Heritage State Park   287 Oak Street, Uxbridge
Friday February 21, 1:00-2:00pm

Winter Wildlife - Stop by the River Bend Farm Visitor Center to learn about the different animals that live in the park and what they do in the winter. This program will have a hands-on activity and a short walk to look for signs of winter wildlife. All ages welcome, children must be accompanied by an adult. Please contact the park at (508) 278-7604 for more information. ​

Blackstone River & Canal Heritage State Park   287 Oak Street, Uxbridge
Saturday February 22, 12:30-1:00pm

Winter Hiking Workshop - Want to get more comfortable hiking in the winter? Join us for a workshop about proper winter hiking safety, technique, attire, gear, and more. Program will take place in the River Bend Farm Visitor Center conference room. All ages welcome, children must be accompanied by an adult. Please contact the park at (508) 278-7604 for more information.

Blackstone River & Canal Heritage State Park   287 Oak Street, Uxbridge
Saturday February 22, 1:00-2:00pm

Winter Recreational Hike of the Goat Hill Trail - Join us on this 3 mile round trip easy hike with the Blackstone River Watershed Association. We will hike around Goat Hill past the Goat Hill Lock and along the Blackstone River. Hot chocolate will be served after the hike. This is a family friendly hike and dogs are permitted on a leash. Portions of the trail are hilly and may be more strenuous if icy or snow covered. This forest trail has roots and rocks along the path. Be prepared for cold weather, dress in layers and avoid cotton clothing. Appropriate footwear is required, consider bringing hiking poles. Carry drinking water and snack. Appropriate for all ages. We will hike unless weather creates unsafe conditions. Please call 508-278-6486 for weather updates.

Wachusett Mountain State Reservation  345 Mountain Road, Princeton
Saturday, February 22, 1:00pm - 2:30pm

Snow MysteriesInterpreting snow tracks can be a source of wonder and fun. Join our expert tracker to solve the mysteries of animal life at Wachusett Mountain, home to almost 50 species of mammals! Be sure to dress warmly and wear winter boots, as we will be outside for over an hour. If snow is deep, participants will need snowshoes. Call the visitor center for an update on snow conditions. Afterwards, we will come inside to warm up by our fireplace to drink hot chocolate (we provide it) and chat about what we have seen. This program is suitable for all ages, but children must be accompanied by an adult. We will be walking approximately three-quarters of a mile. This program is free and open to the public and there is no parking fee. For more information, please call Wachusett Mountain State Reservation at (978) 464-2987.

Wachusett Reservoir
Gate 8, intersection of Cross Street and Route 70, Boylston                                                                               
Saturday, February 22, 10:00am-11:30am 

Watershed Ranger Program: Cabin Fever Snowshoe Hike - Rangers will lead the program to explore the wooded winter wonderland and discuss how the critters that call Wachusett their home survive the cold winter. The program will last about 90 minutes and the terrain will be easy to moderate. Bring your own snowshoes and dress accordingly for the weather. If there is little to no snow, it will be a foot hike instead so wear sturdy boots. Dogs and domestic animals are prohibited on watershed lands. Service dogs are welcome. For more information or to check status during inclement weather, please email Kathryn.Parent@mass.gov ​or call 774-261-1809.

Wachusett Reservoir Watershed, Stillwater Farm  228 Redemption Rock Rd., Sterling

Saturday, February 22, 1:00pm-2:00pm
Nature Almanac Club - Meets every 4th Saturday. The focus for February is Harbingers of Spring! All ages and levels of interest welcome to connect to nature through recording observations in your own nature journal. Supplies provided to start a nature journal or bring your own to share ideas.  For more information or to check status during inclement weather, please email Kathryn.Parent@mass.gov ​or call 774-261-1809

Additional Resources

Northeastern Massachusetts

Belle Isle Marsh Reservation, 1399 Bennington Street, East Boston, MA
MBTA: Blueline to Beachmont Station.  Free parking available in the paved lot.
Saturday, February 15    8:00-9:00 a.m.   

An Oasis for Birds-Join a DCR Park Supervisor and Park Interpreter on a bird walk through a restored wildlife sanctuary. We will look for Snowy Owls and other raptors, native sparrows, finches and waterfowl. Bring binoculars if you have them. Be ready for chilly weather and a breeze. Reasonable accommodations available upon request. Suitable for adults and children ages 10 and older accompanied by an adult. Meets every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month, (Except National Holidays) Every month of the year.  For more information, Contact Matthew Nash at 781-656-1485 or Matthew.Nash@mass.gov.   For program cancellations phone 978-937-2094 ext. 121, one hour before start time. Rain and Heavy Snowfall Cancels.

Halibut Point State Park, Gott Avenue at Rte 127, Rockport, MA 01966
Saturday, February 15, 1:00PM-3:00PM   Meet at Parking Lot.

For the Love of Winter – Two-hour brisk ski/hike around the hills and dales of Bayview, Back-40, and Quarry Trails!  If over six inches of snow, bring your Nordic skis.  Wear warm clothing layers and warm sturdy boots/shoes.  We will warm up afterwards with hot cocoa.  For all ages.  Parking and Program are FREE.  Meet at parking lot.  Heavy rain or snow storm cancels—if so, will leave cancellation message by 3PM the day before at 857.268.6024. 

Halibut Point State Park, Gott Avenue at Rte 127, Rockport, MA 01966
Saturday, February 15 – Sunday, February 23.  All day!  Brochures at Parking Lot Bulletin Board.

School Vacation = Exploration! 
·Quarrying History Self-Guide for visitors of all ages at your leisure! 

·Granite Pieces Scavenger Hunt!  Hunt for significant granite features using a picture guide.  Find them all and win a prize!   Recommended ages 8 and up. 
·StoryWalk!  Self-guided reading, It’s Winter!  By Linda Glaser posted pages along a lovely Park trail at the edge of a field.  Connect with nature and each other while enjoying the magic of reading together in the outdoors!  For Pre-K through 7 with favorite adult.

Halibut Point State Park, Gott Avenue at Rte 127, Rockport, MA 01966
Sunday, February 16, 8:00AM-10:00AM   Meet at Parking Lot.

Winter Birding for Beginners – Winter brings birds and ducks to the seashore that escape freezing ponds.  You’ll see harlequin ducks and loons among the winter visitors at the rocky coastal water’s edge.  Join us for a short, leisurely walk while learning about their sounds, habits, and flight patterns.  Wear sturdy, warm footwear/boots, clothing layers, and wear sunscreen on your face to protect you from the very windy coastal edge.  For all ages.  Parking and Program are FREE.  Meet at parking lot.  Heavy rain or snow storm cancels—if so, will leave cancellation message by 3PM the day before at 857.268.6024. 

Middlesex Fells State Reservation   4 Woodland Road, Stoneham
Sunday, February 16, 3:00pm - 4:30pm

Meet Your Wild Neighbors, w/ special guest, wildlife guide Bob Metcalfe - Ever wondered what kind of wild neighbors share our community? Join us for a special afternoon of discovery as we learn about the wildlife and natural world of the Fells. We’ll become more familiar with the wild animals that live around us and how these animals interact with and depend on their environment—our shared neighborhood! All are welcome, perfect for kids and families! Hot cocoa will be provided. Rain or shine. This program is free and open to the public; no parking fee. Additional parking at Spot Pond Boathouse, same address. Meet at the Botume House Visitor Center at 4 Woodland Road in Stoneham. For more information, please call (617) 727-1199 x1.

Walden Pond State Reservation,915 Walden Street, Concord, MA 01742
Sunday, February 16 & Saturday, February 22 10:00am-noon

Snowflake Beauties - Drop by the Walden Visitor Center to see microscopic images of snowflakes and learn the science of snow. Create your own paper snowflake to take home. Public programs are free and open to the public, but parking fees apply: $8 for vehicles with MA plates, $15 for non-MA plates. To protect the resource Walden Pond has a visitor capacity: call (978) 369-3254 or check Twitter @waldenpondstate for park closures. All children must be accompanied by an adult. 

Lawrence Heritage State Park  One Jackson St., Lawrence
Tuesday, Feb. 18, Wednesday Feb. 19, and Thursday, Feb. 20; 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.

Spinning and Weaving for Beginners - How did the Lawrence mills turn raw cotton or wool into miles of fine, finished cloth? We’ll see how spinning and weaving can be done by hand, and how machines did both on a massive scale.  A hands-on, participatory program for all ages!  Meet at:  Lawrence Heritage State Park Visitor Center, 1 Jackson Street, Lawrence, MA  01840.  Parking is free.  Park hours, inquiries, and updates call 978-794-1655.

Walden Pond State Reservation,915 Walden Street, Concord, MA 01742
Tuesday, February 18 & Saturday, February 22 1:00-3:00pm

Beavers Are Back! - Learn about beavers’ habitats then take a one mile guided walk with a Park Interpreter to secluded Heywood Meadow to look for signs of these fascinating animals once hunted to near extinction for their  pelts. Wear winter clothes and boots.  Meet at the Visitor Center.  Public programs are free and open to the public, but parking fees apply: $8 for vehicles with MA plates, $15 for non-MA plates. To protect the resource Walden Pond has a visitor capacity: call (978) 369-3254 or check Twitter @waldenpondstate for park closures. All children must be accompanied by an adult. 978 369-3254

Walden Pond State Reservation,915 Walden Street, Concord, MA 01742
Tuesday, February 18 and Wednesday, February 19  10:00am-noon

Warm & Wild in Walden Woods - Drop by the Walden Visitor Center to learn how Walden animals adapt to  survive cold weather with an assortment of  furs and artifacts.  Public programs are free and open to the public, but parking fees apply: $8 for vehicles with MA plates, $15 for non-MA plates. To protect the resource Walden Pond has a visitor capacity: call (978) 369-3254 or check Twitter @waldenpondstate for park closures. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Belle Isle Marsh Reservation, 1399 Bennington Street, East Boston, MA
MBTA: Blueline to Beachmont Station.  Free parking available in the paved lot.
Wednesday, February 19 & Saturday, February 22    10:00-11:00 a.m. 

Winter Wildlife Detectives*- Can you imagine living outside the entire winter like the coyotes do at Belle Isle Marsh in East Boston?   Join a DCR Park Interpreter as we explore the trails of the Marsh searching for signs (tracks, scat and chews) left by the wild creatures that are active during the winter. Be ready for chilly weather and a breeze. Reasonable accommodations available upon request. Suitable for adults and children ages 5 and older accompanied by an adult. For more information, Contact Matthew Nash at 781-656-1485 or Matthew.Nash@mass.gov.  For program cancellations phone 978-937-2094 ext. 121, one hour before start time. Rain and Heavy Snowfall Cancels.

*Note that the Winter Wildlife Detectives program is also available for groups by appointment. Contact Matthew Nash at 781-656-1485 or Matthew.Nash@mass.gov

Revere Beach Reservation, Outside at 1 Eliot Circle, Revere, MA (The tan DCR building at the corner of Dolphin Avenue). MBTA Blue line Revere Beach Station. Free Parking Available along Revere Beach Boulevard.
Thursday, February 20   10:00-11:00 a.m.
Saturday, February 22    1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Winter Beach Safari - Did you know that razor clams can rapidly burrow deeper into the sand when disturbed by predators?  Join us to learn about the fascinating lives of animals of the seashore and to discover the new treasures of animal shells that have washed up on the beach. Be ready for chilly weather and a breeze. Reasonable accommodations available upon request. For all ages. For more information, Contact Matthew Nash at 781-656-1485 or Matthew.Nash@mass.gov For program cancellations phone 978-937-2094 ext. 121, one hour before start time. Rain and Heavy Snowfall Cancels.                                            

Walden Pond State Reservation,915 Walden Street, Concord, MA 01742
Friday, February 21 10:00am-noon

Walden’s Frozen Water Trade - Thoreau watched ice harvested from Walden Pond in the winter of 1846-47.  Try the tools  of the trade and learn about the “Ice King of Boston”  at this interactive drop-in program at the Thoreau house replica. Public programs are free and open to the public, but parking fees apply: $8 for vehicles with MA plates, $15 for non-MA plates. To protect the resource Walden Pond has a visitor capacity: call (978) 369-3254 or check Twitter @waldenpondstate for park closures. All children must be accompanied by an adult. 

Southeastern Massachusetts

Blue Hills Reservation, Houghton’s Pond Playground, 840 Hillside Street, Milton
Every day during February Vacation, 8:00am – 4:00pm

Family Sugaring StoryWalk - “Cold nights and warm days – that’s sugaring weather.” Enjoy a classic New England tale written by Jessie Haas. Read along as you stroll through the pages of the book posted on the wooden fence at the playground. Add a unique literacy experience to your outdoor fun. Best for families with kids 3-8 years old. Enjoy a self-guided visit during February School Vacation Week at 840 Hillside Street in Milton. Co-sponsored by DCR and Milton Early Childhood Alliance. Free; no parking fee. For more information, call (617) 698-1802.

Fall River Heritage State Park, 200 Davol Street, Fall River 
Daily February 1-29, 8:30am - 3:30pm

Fire and Thunder: Massachusetts Blacks in the Civil War - February is Black History Month and Fall River is exploring the African-American experience in Massachusetts in the years leading up to and during the Civil War.  “Fire and Thunder,” an exhibit on loan from the Commonwealth Museum, tells the story of how blacks in Massachusetts fought – in the press, on the streets, from the pulpit, the lecture podium, and the battlefield – in defense of human dignity and freedom. A learning experience for all ages! Accessible. Parking is free at the DCR Lot at 5 Water Street. For park hours, inquiries, and updates call 508-675-5759, ext. 0.

Fall River Heritage State Park, 200 Davol Street, Fall River
Daily February 15 -23, 11:00am and 3:00pm

Safe Houses: The Underground Railroad in Fall River - Discover the hidden history of Fall River and its role in the Underground Railroad in the film “Safe Houses: The Underground Railroad in Fall River.”  See the houses and streets that welcomed escaped formerly enslaved people.  Learn about the abolitionists of Fall River, especially the women, who opened the gates of freedom and their homes in this 20-minute film. Shown in our warm comfortable theater. Accessible. Parking is free at the DCR Lot at 5 Water Street. For park hours, inquiries, and updates call 508-675-5759, ext. 0.

Fall River Heritage State Park, 200 Davol Street, Fall River
Daily, February 15 - 23, 9:00am - 3:30pm

Movie Marathon: Fall River Goes to the Movies! - Discover the rich heritage of Fall River told through the voices of its people. Join us in our warm and cozy theater to view the remastered classic "The Fabric of Fall River: Self Portrait of a City," reminisce about fun days at everybody’s favorite amusement park with “Lincoln Park Remembered,” and learn everything you never knew about “The Fall River Line,” the region’s glamorous steamship service to New York.  “The Fabric of Fall River” plays twice each day: 11:00am & 2:00pm. “Lincoln Park Remembered” plays twice each day: 10:00am & 1:00pm. “The Fall River Line” plays at 12:00pm each day.  Just added: “Safe Houses: The Underground Railroad in Fall River” shown at 9:00am and 3:00pm daily. All films are free. Parking is free and available at the DCR parking lot located at 5 Water Street in Fall River. For more information, please call the park at 508-675-5759 ext. 0.

Fall River Heritage State Park, 200 Davol Street, Fall River 
Daily, February 15 – 23, 8:30am - 3:30pm

Crafts from the Heart - Join us for crafts at the Creation Station in the Visitor Center before, after, or during our film marathon. Make your own calico. Try some origami. Lend your hand to our loom and weave. On Saturdays, February 15th and 22nd, and Sundays, February 16th and 23rd artists from the Greater Fall River Art Association will celebrate National Heart Month with simple creative heart crafts for the whole family. We provide the supplies….and hot chocolate, too. You and your family supply the talent and enthusiasm! All activities are in the Visitor Center. Accessible fun for the whole family. Free parking is available in the DCR Lot at 5 Water Street.

Pilgrim Memorial State Park, 79 Water Street, Plymouth
February 15, 16, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 at 10:00am, 12:00pm, 1:00pm, 1:30pm, 3:00pm, 3:30pm, 4:00pm

All About that Rock - World famous Plymouth Rock is said to be the site of the Pilgrims’ landing in 1620. What is the story? Why is it important? What does it represent? Come find out the answers to these questions and more in this ten-minute program as we discuss how the rock became famous and why Plymouth Rock remains important to us to this day. Programs take place in the Portico, across from the steps going up Cole’s hill on Water street.  Phone number is 508-208-0675. Heavy rain or heavy snow cancels program.

Pilgrim Memorial State Park, 79 Water Street, Plymouth
February 15, 16, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 at 10:30am

The Way of the Wampanoag: The Technology of Patuxet - Long before king Charles I named the site New Plymouth in 1618, The Wampanoag community of Patuxet was established here in what is now called Plymouth. Patuxet thrived and grew to a community numbering over 2000 people before being abandoned due to a plague by 1619. To survive and thrive here the Wampanoag and their neighbors developed and mastered technologies uniquely adapted to living in the often harsh climate of southern New England. In this 15-minute talk you will discover three indigenous technologies: Agriculture, House building and hunting weapons, how these technologies developed and the influence of these technologies on the history of the Wampanoag, Plymouth and even the present day. The talk is given on the top of Cole’s hill, near the statue of Massasoit. The stairway to the top of Cole’s hill is on Water street, across from Plymouth Rock’s Portico. Phone number is 508-208-0675. Inclement weather cancels this program.

Pilgrim Memorial State Park, 79 Water Street, Plymouth
February 15, 16, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 at 11am

Beyond the Rock: Hidden Stories of Plymouth’s African Americans - There is more to the Plymouth story than Plymouth Rock, the Mayflower and Thanksgiving! On this free 30-minute walking tour you will hear some of the less commonly told stories that may provide a new perspective on your thoughts about Plymouth’s many African American residents. Did you know that one of Plymouth’s first African American residents sued his master over his length of service? Did you know that the Parting Ways settlement was founded by four Black Revolutionary war veterans? Come along on the tour and find out more about the African Americans of Plymouth.  The terrain is mild and most of the walking is on pavement. The tour begins at the kiosk near the North parking loop on Water Street. Phone number is 508-208-0675. Inclement weather cancels this program.

Pilgrim Memorial State Park, 79 Water Street, Plymouth
February 15, 16, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 at 2:00pm

The Women of New Plymouth - Did you know that in 1620, when the Mayflower set out from Plymouth, England, there were 19 women on board?  In the 17th Century, it was very rare for women to cross the Atlantic Ocean yet over a third of Mayflower’s passengers were female. Come on our free walking tour of the park to discover why so many women came, what hardships they faced and how they may have saved the colony in the winter of 1620-21. The terrain is mild, with most of the walking done on pavement and it is about 30-minutes long. The tour begins at the kiosk near the North parking loop on Water Street. Phone number is 508-208-0675. Inclement weather cancels this program.

Borderland State Park, 259 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton
Saturday, February 15    10:00am – 10:45am

A Presidential Mansion Tour - Celebrate Presidents Day Weekend at Borderland State Park on this adapted tour. Learn about all the presidents whose stories intertwined with the Ames Family. Did you know that Blanche and Oakes Ames are related to many politicians and military war heroes? Having a family with a lot of political connection, naturally they crossed paths with presidents. The Ames Family and their relatives played an intrinsic role in shaping the state of Massachusetts and the Nation. Join the Park Interpreter for a 45-minute guided tour learning about the Ames family involvement in war and in politics. For adults and older children. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Meet in front of the Ames Mansion. Rain, snow or shine. This program is free and open to the public.  Parking fees apply: $5.00 per MA-plate vehicle and $10 per out-of-state-plate vehicle. For more information, call (508) 238-6566.

Borderland State Park, 259 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton
Saturday, February 15  11:00am – 11:30am

Kids Mansion Tour – What would it be like to be a kid living in this huge mansion? Join the Park interpreter for this 30-minute interior tour of the Ames Mansion. Program is best for families with younger kids to explore the first floor of the mansion. For all ages. Meet in front of the Ames Mansion. Rain, snow or shine. Grab a brochure of suggested family hikes from the Visitor Center or the Park Interpreter and enjoy a winter walk at the park before or after your tour. This program is free and open to the public.  Parking fees apply: $5.00 per MA-plate vehicle and $10 per out-of-state-plate vehicle. For more information, call (508) 238-6566.

Borderland State Park, 259 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton
Saturday, February 15  1:00pm – 3:00pm

DCR Walking Club at Borderland State Park – Join us for a moderate, 5 mile hike on the Granite Upper and Lower trails, ending with hot chocolate in the Visitor Center. For adults and older children 16+. Meet at the Visitor Center. Dress for the weather, bring water, and wear winter boots; consider hiking poles and ice cleats. This program is free and open to the public.  Parking fees apply: $5.00 per MA-plate vehicle and $10 per out-of-state-plate vehicle. Severe and inclement weather will cancel hike, please call ahead to confirm hike is still happening at (508) 238-6566.

*Asiaf Memorial Rink, 702 Belmont St, Brockton, MA 02301
Sunday, February 16  1:20pm to 3:10pm

Come as you are and play on the ice! Lace up a pair of conventional ice skates or slide around the ice in your wheelchair. This program takes place during public skating time on a separate section of the rink. Ice sleds, skate walkers, helmets, and ice grippers are also available. Activities include obstacle courses colorful pucks to shoot around and gentle hockey matches. 
Cost: Admission and equipment are provided free of cost.
Pre-registration is required. Call (413) 584-2052 or email info@alloutadventures.org

Borderland State Park, 259 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton, 259 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton
Sunday, February 16    11:00am – 11:30am

Kids Mansion Tour – What would it be like to be a kid living in this huge mansion? Join the Park interpreter for this 30-minute interior tour of the Ames Mansion. Program is best for families with younger kids to explore the first floor of the mansion. For all ages. Meet in front of the Ames Mansion. Rain, snow or shine. Grab a brochure of suggested family hikes from the Visitor Center or the Park Interpreter and enjoy a winter walk at the park before or after your tour. This program is free and open to the public.  Parking fees apply: $5.00 per MA-plate vehicle and $10 per out-of-state-plate vehicle. For more information, call (508) 238-6566.

Borderland State Park, 259 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton
Sunday, February 16   12:00pm – 12:45pm

A Presidential Mansion Tour - Celebrate Presidents Day Weekend at Borderland State Park on this adapted tour. Learn about all the presidents whose stories intertwined with the Ames Family. Did you know that Blanche and Oakes Ames are related to many politicians and military war heroes? Having a family with a lot of political connection, naturally they crossed paths with presidents. The Ames Family and their relatives played an intrinsic role in shaping the state of Massachusetts and the Nation. Join the Park Interpreter for a 45-minute guided tour learning about the Ames family involvement in war and in politics. For adults and older children. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Meet in front of the Ames Mansion. Rain, snow or shine. This program is free and open to the public.  Parking fees apply: $5.00 per MA-plate vehicle and $10 per out-of-state-plate vehicle. For more information, call (508) 238-6566.

Borderland State Park, 259 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton
Sunday, February 16    2:00pm – 2:30pm

Mansion Tour: The Ameses and Women’s Rights – Did you know that 100 years ago, when the Ames Mansion was built, women did not have the right to vote? Oakes and Blanche Ames’s involvement in the struggle for women’s rights helped pass the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution on August 18, 1920. During this 30-minute guided tour of the first floor of the Ames Mansion, you will learn about their women’s suffrage efforts and view some of Blanche’s suffrage artwork and political cartoons. First floor only. For adults and older children. Meet in front of the Ames Mansion. Rain, snow or shine. This program is free and open to the public.  Parking fees apply: $5.00 per MA-plate vehicle and $10 per out-of-state-plate vehicle. For more information, call (508) 238-6566.

Wompatuck State Park, 204 Union Street, Hingham, MA
Sunday, February 16, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Wildcat Pond Walk – Join the DCR’s Walking Club for an easy 4-mile walk on paved surfaces. We will trek past Wildcat Pond along Burma Road. Enter the park via the Hingham entrance at 204 Union Street and meet at the Visitor Center. Dress for the weather, bring water, and wear winter boots; consider hiking poles and ice cleats. This program is free and open to the public. For ages 16+. Hike is free; no parking fees. Severe and inclement weather will cancel hike, please call ahead to confirm hike is still happening at (781) 740-1605 x204.

Borderland State Park, 259 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton
Monday, February 17    9:00am – 4:00pm

Self-Guided: Make your own Bird Feeder – Stop by the visitor center, where the staff will have directions and supplies to make your own bird feeder.  Take the bird feeder home with you and enjoy watching the winter birds visit your feeder.  Supplies are limited, while supplies last.  One per person. Rain, snow or shine.  Self-guided craft will be hosted inside the visitor center. Children must be accompanied by an adult. This self-guided opportunity is free and open to the public. Parking fees apply: $5.00 per MA-plate vehicle and $10 per out-of-state-plate vehicle. For more information, call (508) 238-6566.

Borderland State Park, 259 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton
Tuesday, February 18   9:00am – 4:00pm

Self-Guided: Make your own Bird Feeder – Stop by the visitor center, where the staff will have directions and supplies to make your own bird feeder.  Take the bird feeder home with you and enjoy watching the winter birds visit your feeder.  Supplies are limited, while supplies last.  One per person. Rain, snow or shine.  Self-guided craft will be hosted inside the visitor center. Children must be accompanied by an adult. This self-guided opportunity is free and open to the public.  Parking fees apply: $5.00 per MA-plate vehicle and $10 per out-of-state-plate vehicle. For more information, call (508) 238-6566.

South Cape Beach State Park, 494 Great Oak Road, Mashpee
Tuesday, February 18th   10:00am -11:30am

Family Fun Walk - Walk approximately 1 mile along the boardwalks and bridges of the sheltered Flat Pond Trail and discover why some plants hold their leaves all year while others do not. Search among the pine, holly and wintergreen plants for cold weather survival tips and stop, look and listen for signs of wildlife along the way. Observation platforms offer stunning views of wetlands and perhaps a snowy owl or two. Rain or heavy snow cancels. Great for all ages; children must be accompanied by an adult. Please dress for the outdoors with warm, sturdy footwear. This program is free and open to the public.  Meet at Mashpee Town lot at South Cape Beach State Park, Great Oak Road, Mashpee For more information, call (508) 457-0495 ext. 125.

Waquoit Bay Reserve, 131 Waquoit Highway, East Falmouth
Tuesday, February 18 through Friday, February 21st   9:00PM – 5:00PM  

Self-Guided: Tread Lightly Trail PuzzleStop by the visitor center or the outdoor kiosk and grab a Tread Lightly Trail guide that will direct you to a series of 9 outdoor signs that describe actions to help sustain our planet.  Follow the route to learn about watersheds, energy, composting, and how the Reserve uses the sun to power parts of our campus. Answer the question at each stop to solve the puzzle and receive a stamp in the Visitor Center, to confirm your intention help the bay.  Children must be accompanied by an adult. This self-guided opportunity is free and open to the public. Dress for the outdoors. No fee for parking.  

Borderland State Park, 259 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton
Wednesday, February 19   10:30am – 11:30am

Story Hour by the Fire - Join Ms. Jessica, the childrens’ librarian from the Sharon Public Library, and the staff at Borderland for a story by the warm fire. After the story, there will be coloring and crafts for the children. Great for children of all ages, children must be accompanied by an adult.  The story hour will be held at the Visitor Center at Borderland State Park.  This program is free and open to the public.  Parking fees apply: $5.00 per MA-plate vehicle and $10 per out-of-state-plate vehicle. For more information, call (508) 238-6566.

Borderland State Park, 259 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton
Wednesday, February 19   12:00pm – 12:30pm

Kids Mansion TourWhat would it be like to be a kid living in this huge mansion? Join the Park interpreter for this 30-minute interior tour of the Ames Mansion. Program is best for families with younger kids to explore the first floor of the mansion. For all ages. Meet in front of the Ames Mansion. Rain, snow or shine. Grab a brochure of suggested family hikes from the Visitor Center or the Park Interpreter and enjoy a winter walk at the park before or after your tour. This program is free and open to the public.  Parking fees apply: $5.00 per MA-plate vehicle and $10 per out-of-state-plate vehicle. For more information, call (508) 238-6566.

Waquoit Bay Reserve, 131 Waquoit Highway, East Falmouth
Wednesday, February 19     10:00am – 11:00am

Water WorldDive into the world of water with a host of activities that help us uncover differences between salt and fresh, frozen and not, and the ways that we use and reuse the same water over millions of years.  We’ll experiment in the classroom, explore outdoors and measure groundwater in a test well . Program held indoors and outdoors, weather permitting.  Programs are free. Great for children ages 5 and up; all children must be accompanied by an adult. Meet at Reserve Visitor Center. For more information, call (508) 457-0495 ext. 125 

Borderland State Park, 259 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton
Thursday, February 20th   10:00am – 11:00am

Birds of Prey - Live Birds! - Join Marla Isaac and the Friends of Borderland inside the visitor center to see live hawks, owls and even a vulture! Marla explains the adaptations that make raptors special, how they hunt and their places in the ecosystem. Take photos up close of these dramatic and awe-inspiring birds! This event is sponsored by the Friends of Borderland. Great for kids of all ages, all children must be accompanied by an adult. This program is free and open to the public.  Parking fees apply: $5.00 per MA-plate vehicle and $10 per out-of-state-plate vehicle. In case of inclement weather, or for more information, call (508) 238-6566.

Borderland State Park, 259 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton
Thursday, February 20   12:00pm – 12:30pm

Kids Mansion TourWhat would it be like to be a kid living in this huge mansion? Join the Park interpreter for this 30-minute interior tour of the Ames Mansion. Program is best for families with younger kids to explore the first floor of the mansion. For all ages. Meet in front of the Ames Mansion. Rain, snow or shine. Grab a brochure of suggested family hikes from the Visitor Center or the Park Interpreter and enjoy a winter walk at the park before or after your tour. This program is free and open to the public. Parking fees apply: $5.00 per MA-plate vehicle and $10 per out-of-state-plate vehicle. For more information, call (508) 238-6566.

Waquoit Bay Reserve, 131 Waquoit Highway, East Falmouth
Thursday, February 20   10:00am -11:30am

Awesome OpossumThey are common on Cape Cod and they’re active all winter yet many people know little about this insectivorous mammal?  Discover some unique features and a whole lot more about opossums and other fur bearing animals living in our neighborhoods. Learn to recognize the signs they leave behind and take home a track ID card for detecting wildlife around your home. Programs are free. Great for children ages 5 and up; all children must be accompanied by an adult. indoors and outdoors weather permitting. Great for children ages 5 and up; all children must be accompanied by an adult.  Meet at Reserve Visitor Center. For more information, call (508) 457-0495 ext. 125

Borderland State Park, 259 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton
Friday, February 21st   10:00am – 10:45am

A Presidential Mansion Tour - Celebrate the week of Presidents Day at Borderland State Park on this adapted tour. Learn about all the presidents whose stories intertwined with the Ames Family. Did you know that Blanche and Oakes Ames are related to many politicians and military war heroes? Having a family with a lot of political connection, naturally they crossed paths with presidents. The Ames Family and their relatives played an intrinsic role in shaping the state of Massachusetts and the Nation. Join the Park Interpreter for a 45-minute guided tour learning about the Ames family involvement in war and in politics. For adults and older children. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Meet in front of the Ames Mansion. Rain, snow or shine. This program is free and open to the public.  Parking fees apply: $5.00 per MA-plate vehicle and $10 per out-of-state-plate vehicle. For more information, call (508) 238-6566.

Borderland State Park, 259 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton
Friday, February 21st  1:00pm – 3:00pm

Off the Beaten Path Hike - Let’s hike some of the lesser known trails during the winter season at Borderland State Park. Each week we will change up the hike, exploring different trails and areas of the park on these easy to moderate 2 to 5 mile hikes. Dress for the weather, bring water, and wear winter boots. Hike is easy to moderate in difficulty. For adults and children 13+. Meet at the Visitor Center. This program is free and open to the public.  Parking fees apply: $5.00 per MA-plate vehicle and $10 per out-of-state-plate vehicle. Severe and inclement weather will cancel hike, please call ahead to confirm hike is still happening at (508) 238-6566.

Borderland State Park, 259 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton
Friday, February 21st   8:00am – 3:00pm

Self-Guided Owl Discovery & Pellet Dissection  Do you know what an owl eats?  Drop in the visitor center between 10:00am and 3:00pm.  The park staff will have owl pellets, magnifying glasses, bone charts and you can dissect the owl pellet and discover what an owl eats. This is a self-guided program. One per family group please; while supplies last.  Great for children ages 6 and up; all children must be accompanied by an adult.  Rain, snow or shine.  This program is free and open to the public.  Parking fees apply: $5.00 per MA-plate vehicle and $10 per out-of-state-plate vehicle. For more information, call (508) 238-6566.

Borderland State Park, 259 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton
Saturday, February 22nd      8:00am – 3:00pm

Self-Guided Owl Discovery & Pellet Dissection  Do you know what an owl eats?  Drop in the visitor center between 10:00am and 3:00pm.  The park staff will have owl pellets, magnifying glasses, bone charts and you can dissect the owl pellet and discover what an owl eats. This is a self-guided program. One per family group please; while supplies last.  Great for children ages 6 and up; all children must be accompanied by an adult.  Rain, snow or shine.  This program is free and open to the public.  Parking fees apply: $5.00 per MA-plate vehicle and $10 per out-of-state-plate vehicle. For more information, call (508) 238-6566.

Borderland State Park, 259 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton
Saturday, February 22     Offered twice; 10:00am – 10:30am & 11:00am – 11:30am

Kids Mansion TourWhat would it be like to be a kid living in this huge mansion? Join the Park interpreter for this 30-minute interior tour of the Ames Mansion. Program is best for families with younger kids to explore the first floor of the mansion. For all ages. Meet in front of the Ames Mansion. Rain, snow or shine. Grab a brochure of suggested family hikes from the Visitor Center or the Park Interpreter and enjoy a winter walk at the park before or after your tour. This program is free and open to the public.  Parking fees apply: $5.00 per MA-plate vehicle and $10 per out-of-state-plate vehicle. For more information, call (508) 238-6566.

Borderland State Park, 259 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton
Saturday, February 22  1:00pm - 1:30pm

Ames Mansion Tour: Building a HomeCome get a look at the fully furnished interior of the Ames Mansion, including the ornate two-story library. On this 30-minute guided tour of the home, you will learn about the history of the Ames Mansion and the Ames Family. This is a great tour to familiarize yourself with the unique history at Borderland State Park prior to taking another themed mansion tour. First floor only. For adults and older children. Meet in front of the Ames Mansion. Rain or shine. This program is free and open to the public.  Parking fees apply: $5.00 per MA-plate vehicle and $10 per out-of-state-plate vehicle. For more information, call (508) 238-6566.

Borderland State Park, 259 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton
Sunday, February 23   1:00pm – 2:00pm

2020 Centennial Lecture Series: “First Women Park Rangers Program”Who were the first women rangers in eastern Massachusetts state parks? Patricia Jennings: hosteller, advocate and Red Cross volunteer who travelled to Europe during World War 2. Francis Gilotti: an award-winning teacher who taught her Girl Scout troops survival skills and resilience. Hear about their groundbreaking years and hear what path brings them to become leaders at the state parks. Join Kery Ellis for her PowerPoint presentation to learn about these two remarkable park rangers. Q & A will follow.  If weather conditions permit, a short walk will follow the program.
Tickets at $10 per person and Members of the Friends of Borderland are $8. Children 10 and younger are free. Seating is limited, first-come, first-seated.  Tickets for this unique presentation will be sold the day of the event.  Doors open at 12:45pm.  Please park in the main parking lot, near the visitor center. 259 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton, MA. Program will be held inside visitor center.
This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Friends of Borderland, a non-profit organization.  In 2020, Borderland is celebrating the centennial of women’s suffrage through a lecture series, highlighting remarkable women in American history, along with other programs and events throughout 2020.  For more information, please visit www.friendsofborderland.org. Lecture series is rain or shine, all children must be accompanied by an adult. For reasonable accommodations, please call Borderland at (508) 238-6566.

Blue Hills Reservation, 840 Hillside Street, Milton, MA
Sunday, February 23, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

DCR Walking Club at the Blue Hills – Join the DCR’s Walking Club for a moderate 3-mile hike on hilly terrain. We’ll hike Wolcott Path to Wildcat Notch and return on Five Corners. Meet at the Houghton’s Pond main parking lot at 840 Hillside Street in Milton. Dress for the weather, bring water, and wear winter boots; consider hiking poles and ice cleats. This program is free and open to the public. For ages 16+. Hike is free; no parking fees. Severe and inclement weather will cancel hike, please call ahead to confirm hike is still happening at (617) 698-1802 x4.

Western Massachusetts

Mount Greylock State Reservation, 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough
Daily during School Vacation Week, 10:00am - 3:00pm

Hibernation, Migration and Adaptation Stations! - Learn about our native animals and birds that hibernate, migrate or change their appearance in ways to adapt to the changing seasons! Chose a storybook, video or craft activity! Take home projects also available. Designed as a self-guided activity with intermittent sessions led by a Park Interpreter. This program is FREE for all ages. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Meet at the Visitor Center. For more information, call (413) 499-4262.

Great Falls Discovery Center, 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls
Friday, February 15 - 23

February School Vacation Week: Open More Hours and Investigation Stations - Don’t get cabin fever! Come on by during school vacation week to explore our habitat dioramas, try a scavenger hunt, enjoy a program, and spend some time at our “You Are Here” investigation station all about maps.

Mount Greylock State Reservation, 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough
Saturday, February 15, 9:00am - 12:00pm

Winter Wildlife Tracking - Join Jim Pelletier of Mass Appalachian Trail Management Committee, for a FREE 3-hour guided WINTER WILDLIFE TRACKING exploration! Enjoy a mid-winter’s day exploring nearby woodlands, meadows and streams. See what local wildlife has been up to! Journey off-trail, less than 2-miles, at a leisurely pace with some rough terrain and likely stream crossings. Meet at the Mount Greylock Visitor Center. PLEASE NOTE:  Participation is limited to 10 people (a waitlist is also available). PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED by February 14th. TO PRE-REGISTER: Follow the link - https://mgry_wildlife_tracking.eventbrite.com - and click on the green REGISTER button in the top right hand corner of the Eventbright.com event page. Follow the prompts to register. This program is FREE and open to ages 8 and up. Be prepared for cold weather: dress in layers and wear winter boots. If there’s enough snow, bring your own snowshoes or traction devices and hiking poles. Bring water and a snack. Inclement weather / Rain date is Tuesday, February 18th. Reasonable accommodations available upon request. For more information, or in case of inclement weather, please call the Visitor Center at 413-499-4262.

Mount Greylock State Reservation, 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough
Sunday, February 16, 10:00am - 3:00pm

Nature Scavenger Hunt - Here at Mount Greylock, we’ve created several “seek and find” Scavenger Hunt lists for different age and skill levels. These adventurous quests invite you to explore various treasures along any forested trail, including some of the many beautiful trails here on Mount Greylock, or even in your own backyard! This program is designed as a SELF-GUIDED activity. Pick up your FREE Scavenger Hunt lists at the Visitor Center while supplies last! This program is FREE for all ages. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, call (413) 499-4262.

Mount Greylock State Reservation, 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough
Tuesday, February 18, 12:00pm - 1:30pm

Pinecone Nature Crafts - Come join the fun! Unleash your wild imagination and create your own pinecone forest animals! We will use ingredients found in nature along with colorful art supplies to create your pinecone nature craft masterpieces! NOTE: All craft supplies will be provided, but some items may be limited. Program duration 90 minutes. Meet at the Visitor Center. This program is FREE for all ages. Children must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, call (413) 499-4262

Mount Greylock State Reservation, 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough
Wednesday, February 19, at 10:00am

Kid Friendly Mountain Mindfulness - Explore healthy mind-body techniques such as various meditations, breathing exercises, yoga or a Forest Bathing “Fox Walk” along the Bradley Farm Interpretive Trail! Program starts at 10:00 am and may last from 20 minutes to 90 minutes, taught by local certified teachers, as well as our own multi-talented Mount Greylock staff. Beginners welcome. No previous experience is necessary. Meet at the Visitor Center. Please dress warmly, programs such as walking meditations, and Forest Bathing will be held outdoors, weather permitting. This program is FREE and open to all ages. Children must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, call (413) 499-4262.

Mount Greylock State Reservation, 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough
Thursday, February 20, 10:00am - 11:30am

Special School Vacation Edition: Nice and Easy Trail Hike – Bring the grandkids on this staff guided, easy-paced, one to 2-mile hike, geared toward seniors, but open to all ages during school vacation week! Suitable for families with children able to walk one to three miles on an easy to moderate trail. Please dress appropriately for winter weather conditions; trekking poles and traction devices for boots or snowshoes are recommended as trails may be snow-covered, muddy, and/or icy. Bring drinking water and a snack. Meet at Visitor Center. Inclement weather cancels. For more information, call (413) 499-4262.

Great Falls Discovery Center, 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls
Thursday, February 20, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Maps and Legends - You’ve probably seen a map of the world, a map of your country, and a map of a shopping mall where you were trying to find the food court. But have you ever seen a map where California is an island, where Mars has oceans, or where US states have names like Cascade and Cochise? During this brown-bag lunch learning session in the Great Hall, learn why mapmakers don’t always get things right, and to try making some maps of your own. For teenagers and adults.

Great Falls Discovery Center, 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls 
Friday, February 21, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Kidleidoscope Story Hour – Rabbits - Come learn about our wildlife neighbors who share our home in the Connecticut River Watershed. Program includes a story, activities, and a craft to introduce young children to wildlife along the river. For ages 3-6, accompanied by an adult. Siblings and friends welcome.  Join us for preschool yoga afterwards!

Great Falls Discovery Center, 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls
Friday, February 21, 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Yoga For Preschoolers - Join us in the Great Hall for a kids yoga program for preschool-aged children, including mindful games, movement, breathing practices and stories. Caregivers stay on-site during the class and are encouraged to join in the fun! Jackie Howard is a Yoga Alliance-certified Akhanda teacher and is trained in the Full of Joy Yoga for Children technique. She teaches at Great Falls Yoga, The Academy of Early Learning and Khalsa Childcare.

Mount Greylock State Reservation, 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough
Friday, February 21, 11:00am - 12:30pm

Winter Tree Identification Hike - Calling all our NATURE DETECTIVES! Learn how to identify trees during their winter slumber with DCR Management Forester, Kevin Podkowka, on this family friendly Winter Tree Identification Hike along the Bradley Farm Trail! Be prepared for the weather by wearing appropriate clothing and sturdy snow boots (traction devices, trekking poles and snowshoes may also be advisable). Inclement weather cancels. This program is FREE and open for ages 8 and up. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Program duration 90 minutes. Meet at the Visitor Center. For more information and/or weather updates, call (413) 499-4262.

Great Falls Discovery Center, 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls
Saturday, February 22, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Get in Touch with Winter and Not Get (Too) Cold –  Just like us, other animals have lots of ways to live during winter. In this family program, see and feel how wildlife copes with cold, snow, and wind. Meet in the Great Hall for hands-on experiments and demonstrations that help us make these discoveries. Weather permitting, we may investigate outdoors. Bundle up! For children 6 and up, their grown-ups, siblings and friends.

Mount Greylock State Reservation, 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough
Saturday, February 22, 11:00am - 12:30pm

Family Friendly Outdoor Adventures! - Come out and join us for an afternoon of winter activities, including snow tubing for the little ones, a SNOWSHOE DEMONSTRATION by NeviTREK Handmade Snowshoes, and a “Forest Bathing” guided hike along the Bradley Farm Trail! It’s a WINTER WONDERLAND of family-friendly activities not to be missed! NOTE: Please be prepared for the weather, dress in layers and wear sturdy snow boots. Traction devices, trekking poles or your own snowshoes are advisable for the hike. Snowshoes will be available to try out during the Snowshoe Demo for ages 8 and up. This program is brought to you in collaboration with NeviTREK Handmade Snowshoes (www.nevitrek.com). This program is FREE and open to all ages. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Meet at the Visitor Center. Program duration 90 minutes. Rain or inclement weather cancels. For more information and weather-related details, call the Visitor Center at (413) 499-4262.

Great Falls Discovery Center, 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls
Sunday, February 23, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

Exploded View Presents: An Open Discussion on Surveillance in Our Lives - Michael Jackson, editor of the Montague Reporter, leads an open discussion in the Great Hall on the increasing surveillance of our movements, actions, and associations. How can we reduce this growing record?

DCR Visitor Centers and Exhibits

The Massachusetts’ State Park system, managed and operated by the Department of Conservation and Recreation provides many year-round visitation opportunities at which you can 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.

Northeastern Massachusetts

Breakheart State Reservation, 177 Forest St., Saugus 

Christopher P. Dunne Visitor Center

Open Daily, 8:30am–4pm 

This picturesque visitor center was built in the style of Ben Johnson’s Lodge. Ben Johnson along with two friends built the lodge that opened in 1891 for their private hunting reserve, the origin of Breakheart Reservation. The Civilian Conservation Corps also built much of the park infrastructure. Enjoy the rustic warmth of the visitor center, open daily. Dogs are allowed within the reservation on a leash. Parking is free, but limited. Parking is also available at the shopping center near the approach.  Accessible. For more information, please call 781) 233-0834

Walden Pond State Reservation, 915 Walden St., Concord

Walden Pond Visitor Center

Open Daily, 10am–4pm 

Henry David Thoreau’s legacy has rippled across the globe and is tastefully presented in exhibits and displays. Get a look at our Gold LEED-Certified, earth-friendly, energy efficient building constructed from sustainable materials. View our 22-minute film “Walden,” produced by Ken Burns, on Thoreau’s legacy. A replica of the cabin he built and lived in from 1845-1847 is located near the visitor center for public viewing. No pets are allowed within the reservation. Daily parking fee: $8 per vehicle with MA plates, $15 per vehicle for out-of-state plates.  Accessible. For more information, please call 978-396-3254

Lawrence Heritage State Park, 1 Jackson Street, Lawrence

Open Daily, 9am–4pm 

Visitor Center Exhibit "City of Workers" - is built into a restored boarding house with two floors of interactive exhibits which tell the tale of Lawrence, one of the nation's first planned industrial cities. Along with stories of Lawrence's mill workers and industry, the workers' role in the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike is relived in images and sounds. 

Free parking and admission. Accessible. For more information please call 978-794-1655.

 

Central Massachusetts

Blackstone River & Canal Heritage State Park

 287 Oak Street, Uxbridge

River Bend Farm Visitor Center

Daily, 10am–4pm

The Following the Plough exhibit explores the story of the Blackstone Valley and its communities from pre-European settlement through European style agricultural development, industrialization, and into today.  Guided tours for groups with advance notice.  Free admission.  No parking fee. Accessible. For more information, call (508) 278-7604.

Wachusett Mountain State Reservation

 345 Mountain Road, Princeton

John Hitchcock Visitor Center

Open daily 8am–3:30pm (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.

Quabbin Reservoir, 100 Winsor Dam Road, Belchertown

Open Monday- Friday 8:30am–4:30pm and 9am–4:30 pm on weekends. 

Visitor Center & Exhibits

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.

 

Southeastern Massachusetts

Borderland State Park, 259 Massapoag Ave, North Easton

Open Daily, 8am–4pm 

Visitor Center "Ames Family History Gallery" - Borderland is one of the most historically significant tracts of publicly owned land in the Commonwealth. Created in the early 1900s by artist and suffragist Blanche Ames and her botanist husband Oakes, Borderland offers many of the same pleasures that the Ames family enjoyed.  Learn about the family through the park’s exhibits. Then enjoy the winter recreational experiences once enjoyed by this famous family at their “Borderland.” A variety of self-guided walk brochures are available in the Visitor Center vestibule. Accessible. For more information or directions, please call (508) 238-6566. There is a $5.00 per vehicle parking fee; $6.00 for out-of-state vehicles.

Fall River Heritage State Park

200 Davol St., Fall River

Open Daily, 8:30am-3:30pm

The Visitor Center at Fall River Heritage State Park offers insight into the City’s unique past as a thriving textile center and confluence of cultures. Sit back in the comfort and warmth of the park’s movie theater and watch a marathon of four films about Fall River’s past from its role as the leading textile hub in America, to its critical role in the Underground Railroad leading up to the Civil War. Enjoy the majesty of the luxurious Fall River Line ships that sailed here from New York. Re-live the fun days of locals at play at everyone’s favorite local amusement park. Try your hand at crafts. Enjoy a cup of hot cocoa while you enjoy the beautiful views of Battleship Cove and the waterfront. Linger in the galleries for historic photos and an exhibit on African-Americans in the Civil War. There is something for everyone and it’s all free! Parking is free at the adjacent DCR Lot at 5 Water Street. ​Accessible. For more information or directions please call (508) 675-5759, ext. 0.

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

Tuesday-Friday, 10am–5pm 

The Waquoit Bay Reserve –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. Accessible. For more information or directions, please call (508) 457-0495 x125.

 

Western Massachusetts

Great Falls Discovery Center, 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls

Open daily February 15-February 23, 10am-4pm

The Great Falls Discovery Center features exhibits illustrating the natural, cultural, and industrial history of the Connecticut River Watershed and Turners Falls. Engaging wildlife habitat dioramas are fully accessible and child-friendly. The center is a preserved historic paper mill building, admission is free and open year-round. Ongoing public programs, cultural events, and community gallery are offered. Four acres of open lawns surround the center with picnic tables and colorful flower gardens.

Holyoke Heritage State Park, 221 Appleton Street, Holyoke

Wednesday through Sunday, 12pm to 4pm.

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, 9am–4pm

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.

Western Gateway Heritage State Park

Thursdays through Mondays, 10am–4pm.

115 State Street, Building # 4, North Adams, MA 01247

Visitors to this former railroad yard in North Adams, MA may discover about the controversial and dangerous construction of the 4.75-mile Hoosac Tunnel, which spanned 1851-1875. Offered is a short documentary film about the tunnel, still in use today.Visitors can see historical artifacts and exhibits to better understand this historic engineering feat and the cultural-industrial story of this smallest in Massachusetts. Visitor information available. Wheelchair accessible. Call 413-663-6312 for more information.

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 February 17- February 21 public skating hours are 10am-2:50pm.    

Healthy Heart Trails.  Trails are the heart of our parks and DCR wants them to be the heart of a healthy lifestyle. Statewide, over 70 trails are designated as Healthy Heart Trails in the hope that Massachusetts residents will make them part of their regular exercise routine. Healthy Heart trails are identified by a green heart symbol, measure approximately 1.5 miles or less in length, and are easy to moderate in activity level. The program offers a great way to have fun and get exercise in a low cost way! Visit https://www.mass.gov/service-details/find-a-healthy-heart-trail for more information, trail listings and downloads.

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