School’s out! 6 Super-fun activities to do over winter vacation week!

You have a plan for next week? Ugh, me neither.

With the chaos of the impending holidays, planning Christmas Vacation activities always seem to slip to a close second on my priority list (Jokes, just kidding. It’s not even on my list.)

I personally don’t like to over plan vacation time because it sets my kids up with a false expectation that they are entitled to absolutely all my money and free time without relying on their own imagination and resources. Who am I kidding. I’m toast. Check out these fun things happening next week during vacation and I’ll see you there.

1. Torchlight Tubing

What’s more fun than zipping down a steep hill on a rubber tube in the dark? No, it’s not dark—King Pine has their tubing trails torchlit with neon lights for some nighttime winter fun! Opening Friday, December 29 and running through mid-March, you can snowtube down their groomed sledding trails for just $19 per two-hour session (check online and download a coupon for $10 admission for non-holiday times). Nighttime tubing runs several days during the week and all weekends. Visit kingpine.com for more info.

2. Zoolights

When have you ever been able to visit the zoo at night? The Stone Zoo in Stoneham, MA hosts Zoolights, where you can stroll along tree-lined paths lit by thousands of twinkling lights. New this year, guests can visit black bears Smoky and Bubba, walk through the beautifully lit Yukon Creek and see bald eagles, Canada lynx, arctic foxes and more. Meet and take photos with live reindeer, take a spin on the carousel (and the Safari Jeep, Jungle Fun and Turbo Tub). Tickets are $10 adults, $8 kids (kids under 2 are free). Zoolights run nightly through Dec. 31 (closed on Christmas) from 5-9 p.m. Visit zoonewengland.org for more info or to purchase tickets.

3. Local Performances

The Pontine Theatre is having their Annual ZESTFEST of family-friendly shows running Dec. 24-30. See Steve Corning’s “mind-blowing escape artistry, comedy magic, contortion, balancing, LED light manipulation and nearly endless amazing stunts” on Dec. 27; Check out the ever-popular magic show by BJ Hickman on Dec. 26 and 28; Be amazed at John & Rebecca Higby’s YOYO SHOW on Dec. 29 and finally, you won’t want to miss Bryson Lang’s “quick-witted comedy with mind-blowing juggling skills” on Dec. 30. Performances are held at the Seacoast Science Center and tickets are $15. To purchase tickets, visit pontine.org.

4. Discounted Boston Theater

Want to take in a Boston show without breaking the bank? Take advantage of the annual “Mayor’s Holiday”, a two-month celebration of Greater Boston’s performing arts featuring thousands of discount tickets to over 500 holiday performances and festivities. Get tickets for up to 60% off for shows like Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker, Blue Man Group, Elf the Musical, A Charlie Brown Christmas and more. Visit calendar.artsboston.org for a list of shows, available dates and tickets.

5. Road Trip (but not that far)

When I was a kid, there was literally nothing more fun than staying overnight in a hotel. As long as it had a pool and cable television, it could have been five minutes away from my house. So. Much. Fun. If you’re able to pull off a night away from home this week, find an inexpensive hotel with a nice indoor pool and go for it. Order pizza delivery, eat in bed and stay up late watching movies. Seriously, your kids will remember this trip forever.

6. Geocaching

How about some outdoor family fun? Try geocaching (pronounced geo-cashing), an outdoor scavenger hunt with a high-tech twist. All you need is a smart phone and a sense of adventure. It’s totally free. Caches are small containers holding small treasures like notes, photos, maps, etc. that have been hidden by fellow geocachers. Once you track it down using GPS coordinates, you can add to the cache or simply move on to the next one. By visiting Geocaching.com, you can sign up for a free account and see how many “caches” are in your area (there are 3,731 near Hampton alone!).

Happy vacation!

 

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