February can only mean one thing to parents: school vacation.
Because we are parents, too, we know how difficult it is to find something for everyone to do, barring a family trip to Disney World or the White Mountains.
You could, of course, stay home with the kids. No doubt they received lots of toys and coloring books over the holidays, and they should have plenty do right there at home. Right? Hello?
OK, so you have to get out of the house with them. Time to think outside the icebox. Just because it's February, you can still find warm-weather things to do. Here are some ideas.
Lowell Kids Week features events hosted throughout the city sponsored by more than 20 partner organizations. Here's a highlight from each day.
* Family Festival, Monday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., activities and giveaways for all ages at the Boott Cotton Mills Museum, 115 John St.
* Bingo With Your Grandparents, Tuesday, noon to 3 p.m., at the Council on Aging, 276 Broadway St.
* Winter Nature Scavenger Hunt, Wednesday, 11 a.m. to noon, at Hawk Valley Farm on Varnum Terrace; explore Lowell's oldest farm and join Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust for a scavenger hunt.
* Princess for a Day, Thursday, 12:30 to 2:30, at Reilly School, 115 Douglas Road; for kids 5-11 to have their hair and makeup done, nails painted, etc.
* Monkeying Around with Angkor Dance Troupe, Friday, Feb. 23, at Mogan Cultural Center, 40 French St.
* Maple Sugaring, Saturday, noon to 1:30, at STEM Academy schoolyard, 43 Highland St.; create delicious sugaring products with the Mass Audubon's Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary.
Libraries are always a good place to spend a few hours with your kids.
Just for instance, the Chelmsford Public Library is no exception. There is a Super Smash Bros. Wii U Tournament for grades 6-12 on Tuesday, 2 to 5 p.m.; a Popup Art School for ages 7 and up on Wednesday, 10:30 to noon; a Construction Zone: Vacation Edition for ages 3 and up on Thursday; a Playful Engineers drop-in for ages 6 and up and Friday, 10:30-12:30; Music with Sarah for ages 2 and up on Saturday, 10:30 to 11:30; and much more.
Dracut Access Television is hosting Television Camp for Kids, 12:30 to 2:30, Tuesday through Friday of vacation week at 91 Mill St., Suite 7. It's for kids ages 10-13 and costs $60. Call 978-957-5522, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.dracuttv.org., Nashoba Valley Ski Area, 79 Power Road, Westford, is offering three-day packages -- and three days from Feb. 19-25 -- for $200 that includes ski or snowboard lessons, rental and all-day lift ticket
Fun World, 200 Daniel Webster Highway, Nashua, N.H., offers a three-story indoor playground, more than 250 games, a kids area with more than 30 games and rides, catered parties and a snack bar. And the best part? New Hampshire school vacation is the week after, so Massachusetts kids have the place to themselves during normal school hours.
Discovery Museum, 177 Main St. (Route 27), Acton, is celebrating National Engineers Week the same week as February vacation, so kids can, for instance, build towers out of cups on Monday and Tuesday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and, from Wednesday through Saturday, same time, they can construct and create with repurposed and recycled materials. Also on Friday, from 10 to 10:45 a.m., they can take part in Backyard and Beyond: Forest Fridays. All of these programs are included with the price of admission.
Check out a UMass Lowell River Hawks hockey game. The Hawks host Providece at Tsongas Arena on Saturday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m., and it's "Star Wars Night." Following a game down the road a piece in North Andover against Merrimack College on Friday, Feb. 23, they're back home hosting Merrimack on Saturday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m., for the final home game of the regular season
The Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts are holding a Winter Vacation Camp at Camp Wabasso in Bradford N.H., for girls in grades 6-12. There will be skiing, snowboarding, tubing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, campfires and more. The cost is $400.
The Academy of Notre Dame, 180 Middlesex Road, Tyngsboro, is hosting Camp NDA for grades 4-12 daily from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be hands-on projects and crafts, tech time, board games, gym time and more, and it ends with a pizza party. Register for the entire week or just for a day. Visit www.ndatyngsboro.org/activities-camp/vacation-camps .
Littleton Parks & Recreation, 33 Shattuck St., plans a different field trip each day from Tuesday through Friday, from 8:30 to 3:30, for grades K-6, including New England Aquarium, LaserCraze, Ice Skating & Chunky's Movie Theater, and CoCo Key Water Park. Sign up for individual trips or get a 10 percent discount for all four days. Visit https://littletonprce.recdesk.com/Community/Home or call 978-540-2490.
Middlesex Community College, 33 Kearney Square, Lowell, offers "Lights! Camera! Action!," Tuesday through Friday, 1 to 4 p.m., for creative students to have a chance to generate their own short scenes and learn the basics of acting in and producing a short film. The course will concentrate on the creative process, with discussion of the technical elements involved in post-production. Cost is $129.
Indian Hill Music School, Littleton
February Break Music, Art & Dance Winter Mash-Up
For kids age 6-10. Learn how to play the ukulele with Joey Pierog. In just a few days, learn how to strum and sing your way through some of your favorite three- and four-chord songs. In art class with Christina Fossa of ActonArt, explore realism through projects designed for younger children. Develop foundation drawing skills such as light and shadow, negative and positive space, perspective, and proportion. High-quality art supplies provided. Lastly, learn the basics of hip hop, jazz, ballet and more and how different types of music influence different styles of dance.
2/20-2/23 (Tuesday to Friday)
Full day (9 AM - 3 PM): $345
AM only (9 AM - 12 PM): $195
PM only (12:30 PM - 3 PM): $175
Before and after care available
Create! Sewing Studio
February School Vacation Sew Fun 4 Kids
Future sewists, seamstresses & fashion designers -- experience sewing at Create! Sewing Studio & learn sewing skills in a relaxed extended time period. We offer morning or afternoon workshops plus an all-day option with fun supervised crafts during lunch period. Includes use of brand new sewing machines, patterns & sewing notions. You buy only fabric!
2/20-2/22 (Tuesday to Thursday)
ALL Day 8:30 AM - 5 PM (Includes 2 snack breaks with snack provided and lunch period supervision plus fun craft projects. Children bring lunch.): $530.
AM only 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM (Includes 1 snack break with snack provided.): $265
PM only 1-5 PM (Includes 1 snack break with snack provided.): $265
Create! Sewing Studio
274 Great Rd
Acton MA 01720
The Nashua River Watershed Association, 592 Main Street (Route 119), Groton, offers "Midwinter Mission: Cure Cabin Fever," an "eco-adventure for kids ages 6-9 who are interested in nature. The program runs Wednesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be daily treks; snow play; winter animal and plant investigations; snow experiments; winter detective skill-building, including tracking animals; fun games; and homemade hot chocolate with a story to round out the day. The fee is $55 per day for NRWA members or $65 for non-members. Sign up for one, two or all three days. Call 978-448-0299.