GREATER WESTFIELD – With students off for winter break this week, many organizations are offering programs – both virtual an in-person – to help families find fun activities to do together.
From socially distanced play sessions to outdoor hikes, there are options to keep children busy this week, including:
Amelia Park Children’s Museum
Amelia Park Children’s Museum in Westfield will be open Feb. 16 and 17. Call the museum at 413-572-4014 for details or visit to sign up online for a play session. Play sessions are two hours with facility cleaning before and in between session. Visitors are asked to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines, including wearing masks. Daily events are also listed at ameliaparkmuseum.org.
The Westfield Athenaeum
The Westfield Athenaeum also has a full slate of activities Feb. 16-19, with details on the website and Facebook page.
Southwick Public Library
A live virtual Storytime at Southwick Library is Feb. 16 at 11 a.m. on the library’s Facebook page, and a live virtual Creative Writing Workshop is set for 7 p.m. lead by Melissa Volker. Email [email protected] to sign up for the workshop.
On Feb. 17 at 6:30 p.m., the Southwick Library offers a virtual New England program. Pull up a log to listen to outdoor explorer Michael Girard share some of New England’s most interesting folklore. Remember, not all folklore is fiction! This program is offered virtually. Email [email protected] to sign up.
On Friday at 10 a.m., Live on Pathways for Parents Facebook Page is “Move and Groove with Miss Renee” in collaboration with the Southwick Library Join Miss Renee from Harmonious Happenings for a live, virtual music and movement session streamed into your living room! Come sing and dance to your favorite songs as we play together fostering your child’s development and emotional needs during this time at home.
Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) announced that it will offer family-friendly Trip-Tips, self-guided adventures and suggested hikes for approximately 20 state park facilities during the traditional February school vacation week.
Programming can be enjoyed at any time starting on Feb. 13. DCR Trip-Tips provide children and their families with self-guided activity ideas to lead their exploration of a local state park or watershed. The Trip-Tips include activities like winter birding, wildlife observation. history tours, and scavenger hunts. For a full list of Trip-Tips, visit DCR’s website. Western Massachusetts options include Winter Wanders at Wendell State Forest, 392 Wendell Road, Millers Falls; Canalside Rail Trail, Unity Park, 2 Ave. A, Turners Falls; Mount Tom State Reservation, 125 Reservation Road, Holyoke and DAR State Forest, 78 Cape St., Goshen.
The Springfield Museums
The Springfield Museums present February School Vacation Week: Choose Your Own Adventure, Feb. 15-19. The Museums offers roomy indoor spaces filled with adventures.
“Whether you want to explore invention, artistry, or storytelling, come learn more about the world around you and chart your own path through the Museums!” said Jenny Powers, family engagement coordinator, in a written statement. “We have stations in galleries around our campus that prompt visitors to play and think and create.”
Powers is particularly excited about exploring the idea of innovation using special exhibitions How People Make Things and the Smithsonian’s Outwin: American Portraiture Today. “And most important,” she added. “We will have fun and create special memories. Follow trails for Be an Inventor, Be an Artist, and Be a Storyteller and find adventure.”
In addition to adventures throughout the Museums, the 4th Annual Ice Sculpture Invasion will be on the quadrangle Feb. 16 until the sun melts the ice. Over a dozen ice sculptures will be placed around the Quadrangle.