School’s out! Our super fun vacation picks for Science and Nature activities!
Looking for something fun to do with the kids during school vacation? Check out our picks for some educational and healthy fun!
Seabrook’s Nature & Science Center (Free)
Route 1, Seabrook NH 603-773-7219
The Seabrook Science & Nature Center is a hands-on educational exhibit where you can learn about the station’s history and creation, lessons on nuclear fuel and electricity and information on radiation and uranium. This all sounds a little much for younger kids to absorb, but the exhibits are created in a way that is interesting and interactive. In addition, the center has a ¾ mile boardwalk is a fantastic trail for kids and adults alike and winds through the habitats of the salt marsh and surrounding woodlands. Because the center is only open weekdays until 3pm, this is a great time to go with your school age children who wouldn’t normally get the opportunity to visit with family.
The Science & Nature Center is open Tuesday ONLY from 10:00am to 3:00pm. For more information, visit our review of the center.
Walking Trails (Free or $)
The seacoast area has a ton of beautiful and interesting walking and nature trails including Urban Forestry Center in Portsmouth, Odiorne Point in Rye, Parker River in Newburyport, Dover Community Trail in Dover, Great Bay Wildlife Refuge in Newington and my favorite, the Science & Nature Center in Seabrook. Most are free, however some charge a small fee. Don’t forget to stop by the visitor’s centers for a trail map which offer points of interest and/or seek-and-find activities. For more information, see our article on local walking trails.
Franklin Park Zoo & Stone Zoo ($-$$)
1 Franklin Park Road, Boston MA (617) 541-5466
149 Pond Street, Stoneham MA (617) 541-5466
Did you know that both the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston and the Stone Zoo in Stoneham, MA are open year round with outdoor exhibits? Watch as the animals explore their exhibits in search of special treats hidden inside boxes or hung from trees. Or visit the Stone Zoo at night for a special Zoo Lights exhibit ($5, 5pm-10pm) where you can stroll along tree-lined paths lit by thousands of twinkling lights. Upon entering the Zoo, guests will visit Yukon Creek, which not only features dazzling holiday lights but is also home to bald eagles, porcupines, lynx, a gray fox and reindeer. What fun!
McCauliffe-Shepard Discovery Center and Planetarium ($$)
2 Institute Drive, Concord NH
This museum in Concord, NH focuses on space exploration and offers rotating exhibits, daily planetarium shows and an observatory where you can experience the thrill of bringing faraway moons, planets, nebulae, clusters, and galaxies right into view, up close and personal. The educational aspect of the museum may be a bit complicated for the younger ones, but the hands-on exhibits make it great fun for kids of all ages.
Seacoast Science Center Day Camps ($$)
Odiorne Point, 570 Ocean Boulevard, Rye NH
Want to drop the kids off for a day of fun? Kids (ages 3.5 to 5th grade) explore, discover and connect with nature at the Seacoast Science Center’s environmental day camps. Located in historic, 135-acre Odiorne Point State Park, campers have tide pools, beaches, woodlands, a salt marsh, a freshwater pond and more as their classrooms. Indoors, the Center’s hands-on exhibits, scientific instruments and technology resources reinforce what campers have learned outside. Lessons, activities, art projects, games and stories combine for a full day of learning, excitement and fun! Visit their website for daily/weekly camp costs and program themes per age group.
Joppa Flats Education Center ($)
1 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport MA (978) 462-9998
Joppa Flats vacation program offers a wide variety of indoor and outdoor activities while keeping minds active and hands busy during school break. Each session offers a different theme, with art activities, experiments, group games, and more. It’s free-flow learning for the whole family. Come once or make it a three-day adventure; fly by for an hour or stay all day for a vacation activity that suits your family schedule. Some activities are drop-off friendly and some are great for the entire family!
If you have any fun ideas for school vacation week that you’d like to share, let us know!