Press Release

Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Announces Family-Friendly School Vacation Programming

For immediate release:
  • Department of Conservation & Recreation

Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Announces Family-Friendly School Vacation Programming

Olivia Dorrance, Press Secretary

BOSTONBaker-Polito Administration Announces Family-Friendly School Vacation Programming


BOSTON — With the upcoming school spring vacation set to begin next week, the Baker-Polito Administration today announced that the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will be offering special family-friendly programs and interpretive services throughout the state parks system. With activities starting on Saturday, April 13, 2019, children and their families’ will have the opportunity to participate in a wide ranging selection of programs, such as guided hikes, wildlife observation opportunities, crafting activities, games, stories, and more. A full list of activities and programming can be found on the DCR’s website. 


“After a long, cold winter, the spring season is a great time of year for us all to get outside, and participate in activities and programs while appreciating the natural world,” said Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Leo Roy. “By adding additional programming during spring vacation, the Baker-Polito Administration is ensuring that there are worthwhile opportunities for children and their families to be able to continue learning in unique, diverse, and fun environments.”


During spring vacation the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife (MassWildlife) has scheduled “School is Out, Help Stock Trout!” fish stocking events. Interested participants need only show up at the sites to meet and assist MassWildlife fisheries staff, ask questions, view trout up close, and learn more about some of the popular places to fish in the Commonwealth. Six stocking events will take place across the state: Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester at 11:00AM and Whitehall Reservoir in Hopkinton at 1:00PM; on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at Long Pond at 10:00AM and Little Pond at 11:00AM both in Plymouth; and Thursday, April 18, 2019 at Hampton Ponds in Westfield at 10:30AM and Stockbridge Bowl at 1:30PM in Stockbridge. For more information on the trout stocking program, visit


“This is a unique opportunity for families and interested anglers to be part of our trout stocking program and help put out some fish,” said Mark Tisa, MassWildlife Director. “This spring, MassWildlife will stock nearly 500,000 trout throughout the state to be enjoyed by anglers of all ages. Fishing is a great way to experience nature and share memories with friends and family.”

In addition to the special school vacation week programming, DCR will continue to offer its normal recreational and interpretive programming, as well as adaptive programming through the agency’s Universal Access Program. In total, 127 programs will be offered in state parks across all five regions of Massachusetts with 12 Visitor Centers open and fully staffed. Some programming highlights include:


“Celebrating Our Roots” Guided Tree Walk 

Location: Beaver Brook Reservation, 66 Mill Street, Belmont

Date/Time: Thursday, April 16, 2019, 10:00AM-11:00AM

Established in 1893, Beaver Brook Reservation was the first state park in Massachusetts, created to protect the stately Waverly Oaks once found on this property. Join DCR staff for a guided walk that will introduce the trees that have taken their place, highlight the history of the park, and discuss some of the challenges this beloved community park presently faces. For more information, please call (617) 727-5290.


Great Hill Detectives​

Location: Wachusett Mountain State Reservation, 345 Mountain Road, Princeton, MA

Date/Time: Saturday, April 13, 2019, 12:30PM–1:15PM
Investigate the mysteries of the mountain as we unwrap objects from nature and human history and learn about their significance. Discover the secrets of “The Great Hill” we know as Wachusett Mountain. Drop in for a few minutes or stay for the whole program… it’s up to you! For more information, please call (978) 464-2987.


Time Traveler Tour

Location: Purgatory Chasm State Reservation, 198 Purgatory Road, Sutton, MA

Date/Time: Wednesday, April 17, 2019, 11:00AM–11:45AM
Take a step back in time! Get an introduction to this unique park as we stroll to historic structures and geological features, jumping around the park’s history all the while. Meet at the visitor center for this easy 45-minute walk, suitable for historians ages 10 and above. For more information, please call (508) 234-3733.


Free Fishing Clinic                                  

Location: Walden Pond State Reservation, 915 Walden Street, Concord, MA          

Date/Time: Saturday, April 13, 2019 from 7:30AM–9:30AM
Learn to fish - basics for beginners ages 8 to adult. Equipment and instruction provided by a Park Interpreter. A fishing license is not needed for this free catch/release program. Space is limited to 10 participants, and registration is required (contact Elizabeth at Confirmation will be sent by email. For more information, please call (978) 369-3254.


Great Hall Exhibit: “The Time of My Life”

Location: Great Falls Discovery Center, 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls

Date/Time: Ongoing until Sunday, April 21, 2019 during normal Discovery Center hours

“Having the time of my life.” So wrote Bernice on a postcard sent to her “Ma” in the early 20th century—one among many cards from Memorial Hall Museum’s collection, now in the Great Hall. Enlarged postcard scenes take visitors on an imaginary road trip, with stops at Mount Tom, Mount Holyoke Summit House, Sugarloaf, Turners Falls, Greenfield, Shelburne Falls and the Mohawk Trail. Sit down and relax with reproduction postal souvenir albums, a hands-on stereoscope, and a Viewmaster with other area scenes that paint pictures of civic pride and new ideas about leisure and travel. Event sponsored by the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association’s Memorial Hall Museum. For more information, please call (413) 863-3221.


Children must be accompanied by an adult. Additionally, due to the unpredictability of the weather, such as low temperatures, precipitation, or wind, the DCR asks that all visitors call ahead to confirm that the scheduled program is able to take place. Proper outerwear, including coats, boots, hats, and gloves, is encouraged for all participants of outdoor programs to ensure an enjoyable and safe outing. Furthermore, parking fees may apply at some locations.




Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Announces Family-Friendly School Vacation Programming

Department of Conservation & Recreation 

DCR manages state parks and oversees more than 450,000 acres throughout Massachusetts. It protects, promotes, and enhances the state’s natural, cultural, and recreational resources.